All Korean Parties Urge Japan to Scrap Export Restrictions

Jay Yim, July 19, 2019, 9:35 a.m.

President Moon Jae-in met with the heads of the five main political parties on Thursday to discuss responses to Japanese export curbs on vital IT materials.

On the opposition side, Liberty Korea Party head Hwang Kyo-ahn and Bareun Mirae Party chief Sohn Hak-kyu urged Moon to seek a diplomatic solution in a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or by sending a special envoy to Tokyo.

But Moon told them that that would have to be preceded by negotiations. He also called for the country to reduce technological dependency on Japan.

The party leaders in a joint statement after the meeting urged Japan to scrap the export restrictions and called on the Korean government to consider a wide variety of diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation.

They also agreed to set up an emergency committee to promote supra-partisan cooperation.

National security adviser Chung Eui-yong said the government expects Japan to strike Korea from its "whitelist" of trusted trade partners on July 31 or Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, the party leaders also called on Moon to rethink his "income-led" economic growth model that has so far badly backfired. But instead the president urged them to approve his request for an additional supplementary budget.

Hwang said, "There are concerns of numerous negative effects the government's income-led growth policy has brought about. Self-employed people and small businesses are demanding a policy shift."

Sohn urged Moon to stop "using government spending to create jobs" and insisted the president's economic policies must change. 

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