South Korea summons Japan ambassador as export trade curbs take effect

Japan dropped South Korea from a so-called "white list" of favored trade partners this month, which could mean more paperwork and on-site inspections for some Japanese exporters and potentially slow supplies of a range of goods. The move, which came into force on Wednesday, prompted South Korea to drop Japan from its favored trading list and scrap an intelligence-sharing agreement.

South Korea summoned Japan's ambassador to protest a decision to remove Seoul's fast-track export status, which took effect on Wednesday amid a deepening political and economic feud.

South Korean deputy national security adviser Kim Hyun-chong said it was deeply regrettable that Japan's decision to scrap fast-track export status for South Korea has taken effect. South Korea would be willing to reconsider its decision to end the intelligence-sharing pact if Tokyo corrected its "unjust measures", Kim told a news conference.

"Relations between Japan and South Korea are in an extremely difficult state due to the repeated negative and irrational actions from the South Korean side," Suga told a regular news conference, without elaborating.

At a separate meeting, the South Korean government also pledged to invest 5 trillion won ($4.12 billion) from 2020-22 to stabilize supply chains in affected sectors of the economy. The escalating row has raised U.S. concerns about three-way security cooperation with its top two regional allies in the face of North Korea's growing nuclear and missile programs.