PARIS: Japan and South Korea are showing no signs of resolving an escalating trade dispute, which traces back to 1910. It now poses a threat to the world's tech supply chain and has potentially severe consequences for the global economy. And the dispute is being played out within a complex confluence of historical grievances, domestic politics, the ongoing US-China trade war and a looming global recession. Japan has officially removed South Korea from its list of trusted trade partners that receive preferential treatment for importing sensitive Japanese-made goods, as of Aug 28. The list of goods includes chemicals that are crucial to producing the semiconductor memory chips found in most modern electronic devices. This means that Japanese companies will now have to apply for a license to export the chemicals to South Korean companies, a process that could take up to 90 days. Semiconductors are South Korea's top export item. From a global perspective, South Korea semiconductor giants Samsung and SK Hynix, which supply 60 per cent of the world's memory chips, have warned that they can't rule out production disruption if the Japanese export restrictions remain in place. Any delay to supply could cause serious disruption to global tech… Read full this story
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