South Korea's industry minister on Sunday vowed to provide any necessary support to local firms to help them cope with Japan's economic retaliation and export restrictions on key industrial materials.
"The government will utilize all necessary assets and capabilities to ease local firms' burdens," Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said during a meeting with representatives from different industries.
The remark came as Japan announced the removal of South Korea from its list of trusted trading partners last week, a move which could affect a broad range of industrial materials.
Tokyo has begun implementing tougher restrictions on South Korea-bound shipments of three key materials vital for the production of semiconductors and displays since last month, in apparent retaliation over a local court's ruling that ordered Japanese firms to compensate for wartime forced labor.
The government also vowed to make efforts to bolster the country's competitiveness in the materials and parts industries to cope with the prolonged dispute with Japan. (Yonhap)