South Korea's finance minister said Friday that he can meet with top executives of Samsung Group and four other major conglomerates to deal with Japan's export restrictions.
"There seems to be no reason not to meet with (them)," Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, told reporters at the Press Center in central Seoul before heading to parliament.
Hong said he will coordinate with the presidential office on the meeting, which could also include Kim Sang-jo, chief of staff to President Moon Jae-in for policy.
The five business leaders are Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong; Chung Eui-sun, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won; LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo; and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin.
The possibility of a meeting comes as South Korea prepares to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Japan's restrictions of exports to Seoul of high-tech materials essential for the production of semiconductors and display panels -- namely fluorine polyimide, photoresist and etching gas.
Fluorine polyimide is used to make flexible organic light-emitting diode displays; photoresist is a thin layer used to transfer a circuit pattern to a semiconductor substrate; and etching gas is needed in the semiconductor fabrication process.
On Thursday, the first day of the restriction's implementation, Japanese companies sought their government's approval for exports of the three materials to South Korean clients, but none were given a green light.
The development caused the suspension of customs clearance of the three materials, which in turn has led to a halt in exports to South Korea.
Industry watchers have said it may take up to 90 days for the Japanese government to process requests to export the materials to South Korea.(Yonhap)
Lee kyung-sik email@example.com