JEAIL > Volume 12(2); 2019 > Regional Focus & Controversies
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2019

Who Violated International Law? Critical Analysis of Abe’s Export Restrictions to Korea

Soojin Nam & Eric Yong Joong Lee
HUFS Dept. of International Trade, 107, Imun-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02450 Korea 30, Pildong-ro, 1-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04620 Korea
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Tensions are high between Korea and Japan as a result of Japan’s export restrictions on three essential semiconductor materials exported to Korea and the removal of South Korea from their White List of countries. The Abe Administration announced that these measures were necessary to “ensure non-proliferation of weapons-related materials.” However, it is widely suspected that these measures were adopted as a retaliation against the Korean Supreme Court’s decision recognizing compensation for the forced labor victims during the Japanese occupation period. The Korean government filed a complaint concerning these measures at the WTO DSB for resolution under international law. In this research, the authors will critically analyze Japan’s export restrictions under international law to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the current conflict. This paper will tackle the relevant issues under the WTO/GATT regulations and the Korea-Japan Claims Agreement to address the issue of who violated international law.

Keywords : Export Restrictions, Semiconductor Materials, White List, WTO, Japan, Korea

View the Full Text