By Kim Hwaya
President Moon Jae-in on July 10 hosted a meeting with Korean business leaders at Cheong Wa Dae on Japan's recent restrictions on exports to Korea.
"The Japanese government is taking steps to deal a blow to the Korean economy for political purposes and making unfounded allegations to tie its action to sanctions against North Korea. None of this is ever desirable for our two countries' friendly relations and security cooperation," he said.
"Needless to say, it is not beneficial to the two countries' economies. As this will surely have an adverse impact on the global economy, we will pursue international cooperation as well."
He added, "I hope that the Japanese government will respond accordingly and, in the least, avoid choosing a path that leads to a dead end.
Stressing constant communication and cooperation between the government and business, the president said, "As a fundamental countermeasure, we have to take this as an opportunity to reduce our reliance on overseas sources by drastically raising the rate of localization for the core technologies, key parts, materials and equipment needed by Korea's mainstay industries."
The attending executives quoted the saying "Opportunity is found in times of crisis," and agreed to cope with the situation over the short and long term through close cooperation with the government.
Earlier on July 9 in Geneva, the World Trade Organization Council for Trade in Goods designated as an urgent agenda item Japan's export restrictions on semiconductors and display materials after Seoul raised the issue.