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Japan’s removal of S. Korea from ‘white list’ to take effect on Aug. 28

Japan’s removal of S. Korea from ‘white list’ to take effect on Aug. 28

Posted August. 03, 2019 07:27,   

Updated August. 03, 2019 07:27


Japan’s revision to remove South Korea from the “white list” of countries granted preferential treatment in trade procedures, which was passed Friday, is set to take effect on Aug. 28.

In Japan, an amended ordinance comes into effect 21 days after it was approved at a Cabinet meeting and proclaimed by the country’s emperor. The Japanese government convened a Cabinet meeting at 10 a.m. Friday and agreed to revise the Export Trade Control Order to eliminate South Korea from its list of trusted trade partners. The revision was signed by Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan’s Emperor Naruhito is currently expected to make a proclamation next Wednesday, and then the measures will go into effect on Aug. 28.

Some had speculated that Tokyo would put off an implementation of the revised order to adjust the pace of imposing retaliatory measures. They expected that the Japanese government, even if they decide to greenlight Seoul’s exclusion at a Cabinet meeting, would delay a proclamation of the Emperor to buy more time. However, Minister Seko said in a press conference that the emperor will announce the decision on next Wednesday. According to Japan’s legislation authorities, it usually takes around three business days for an amendment to be passed and declared. This means that the country plans to follow the same procedures to drop South Korea from its “white list.”

It is highly unlikely that Japan’s Emperor will arbitrarily adjust the schedule. While he can reject making a proclamation in theory, under the principle of a constitutional monarchy that an emperor does reign over the state but not govern, Emperor Naruhito seems unlikely to reverse the decision made at the Cabinet meeting.

Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com