South Korea imported $144 million of the three materials from Japan in the first five months of this year, accounting for 94% of its fluorinated polyimides, 44% of its etching glass and 92% of its photoresist, Korean industry data showed.
Japan was "not thinking at all" of withdrawing the curbs and they did not violate World Trade Organization rules, industry minister Hiroshige Seko said.
Celina Yoon has more.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on July 8 that the South Korean government would have to take measures if Japan's retaliatory export restrictions actually did harm to South Korean companies.
On Monday, President Moon Jae-in urged Japan to withdraw export restrictions that hurt South Korea's semiconductors and display panels industries and called for honest negotiations between the two countries.
The restrictions on exports of the material to South Korea could hit tech giants, such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and SK Hynix Inc, that supply chips to the likes of Apple Inc and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
Japan threatened last week to drop South Korea from a "white list" of countries with minimum trade restrictions. Although 59.9 percent said the trade row would have a negative impact on the industry, majority of 46.8 percent said they don't have any countermeasures to address the situation.
South Korea raised the issue at a meeting of WTO member nations on Tuesday and will also raise it with US officials in Washington, South Korean officials said.
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"The measure is a necessary domestic procedure in Japan for the goal of properly controlling exports". The move follows South Korean court rulings demanding Japanese companies to compensate victims of wartime forced labor.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said South Korea had asked Japan for an explanation of the curbs and that working-level officials would respond.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, speaks during a meeting with senior aides at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 8, 2019.
South Korea on Tuesday denied accusations in Japanese media that it had transported Japanese high-tech material to North Korea, calling for an immediate halt to such comments.
"South Korea says it is adequately abiding by the sanctions and that it is properly carrying out export controls".
For the past five years through 2018, South Korea's trade deficit with Japan in industrial parts and materials reached 76.3 billion dollars, including a deficit of 15.1 billion dollars in 2018.
The United Nations Security Council has assessed South Korea as faithfully implementing sanctions resolutions imposed on North Korea, he said.
Additionally, caught within the fray are Japanese chemical suppliers akin to JSR (4185.T) and Stella Chemifa (4109.T), that are exploring methods to provide South Korean purchasers from crops outdoors Japan. Seoul couldn't rule out countermeasures for the harm they inflicted on corporations in South Korea, Moon added.