FILE PHOTO: japanese Prime minister shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on December 9, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
TOKYO/SEOUL (reuters) – The Japanese government has reversed curbs on the export of photoresists to the republic of Korea, for a three-performance materials, which it had, from the month of July, a Trade Ministry official said on Friday.
The step comes as Prime minister shinzo Abe and South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, is expected to meet on Tuesday on the sidelines of a trilateral summit in China.
Japanese vendors are now able to apply to the export of three years, up to the value of the photoresists rather than seek approval for each consignment, the official said.
South Korea gave a guarded welcome to the move by the japanese.
“The latest measure, it was voluntarily adopted by the Japanese government, and is considered to be a part of progress, however, we are of the opinion that this falls short of a fundamental resolution of the export to curb the problem,” an official at the office of the president, he said.
The South Korean trade ministry official told Reuters that the photoresist export curbs have been eased, largely for shipments to Samsung Electronics, but said it was a “very low level of liberalisation”.
Samsung was not immediately available for comment.
The more stringent of the pavement will remain for the other two tech-materials, fluorinated polyimides, and hydrogen fluoride.
Japan produces about 90% of photoresists are used for transfer of circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers. South Korean companies have been trying to get to the source of the tech and materials from non-Japanese companies to absorb the cost of the impact of japan’s export curbs.
Reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu and Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo, and Hyunjoo Jin in Seoul; Editing by Alison Williamsabz and Muralikumar Anantharaman