The Japanese government has reportedly authorized a second shipment of industrial material under its export restrictions to South Korea, amid the continued trade tensions between the two neighbors.
According to industry and government sources, Japan once again approved a request from a local manufacturer to export photoresist to South Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics.
This is the second such approval since Tokyo announced export curbs on three key materials to Seoul in July.
The latest batch, if shipped, is said to be six months' worth of supplies for the South Korean chipmaker.
Many have pointed out that photoresist, which is an indispensable component in semiconductor production, is rarely used for military purposes, and thus should not be targeted by the export ban.
Some analysts note that such move could be a friendly gesture, but many still believe it cannot be considered as a means to alleviate uncertainties.
An industry official says that, although it's good news Tokyo has again approved an outbound shipment, there are still many concerns as Japan has not yet approved a single import request for etching gas from South Korea.
Some also interpret the Japanese move as a message ahead of a possible meeting between the countries' top diplomats in China on Wednesday.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.