South Korea said Monday it will heavily invest in 100 key strategic items to have a stable supply by 2024, in the latest move to cope with Japan's economic retaliation.
"We will upgrade the competitiveness of the materials, parts and equipment industries," Hong Nam-ki, minister of economy and finance, said in a meeting with officials in Seoul.
Last week, Japan decided to remove South Korea from a list of countries subject to preferential trade status in apparent anger against last year's South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor.
In July, Japan also imposed tighter regulations on exports to South Korea of three materials -- resist, etching gas and fluorinated polyimide -- that are critical for the production of semiconductors and flexible displays.
Japan's export curbs have prompted South Korea to diversify supplies of key industrial materials and boost their localizations to reduce heavy reliance on Japan. South Korean companies have also been scrambling to find alternative suppliers of key items. (Yonhap)