Export restrictions on South Korea are for (quote)"national security reasons," and Japan is not considering lifting them.
That's what Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami said at a news conference on Wednesday.
"This is a review needed to properly control exports for national security. There is no indication that they violate WTO agreements and we are not considering withdrawing them."
Nogami added that it's merely returning export procedures to normal.
"We explained that this measure means the simplified procedures we applied to South Korea before will now change to normal procedures that are consistent with the WTO agreement."
As relations sour between Seoul and Tokyo, high-level South Korean officials have meetings lined up with their U.S. counterparts to discuss the issue.
The director-general for bilateral economic affairs, Kim Hee-sang, will be in Washington on Thursday to meet Roland de Marcellus, acting deputy assistant secretary for international finance and development at the State Department.
Kim will also meet with Marc Knapper, deputy assistant secretary for Korea and Japan.
South Korea's trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee, is also likely to travel to the U.S. as early as next week.
"Seoul views Tokyo's move as economic retaliation over an issue that's political. And, Seoul says, it also goes against the principle of fair and free trade, which Japan itself had advocated strongly at the G20 summit it hosted last month. High-level exchanges will continue between Seoul and Washington in the days to come and high on the agenda will be how to deal with Japan's recent measure. Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News."