Government to request 120 billion won extra budget

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Government to request 120 billion won extra budget

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Wednesday the government will seek parliamentary approval for more than 120 billion won ($101 million) in extra budgetary funds to cope with the impact of Japan’s recent restrictions on exports of high-tech materials.

“The government plans to politely request at least 120 billion won from the National Assembly for an early implementation [of the necessary measures],” the prime minister said in a parliamentary interpellation session.

“I hope opposition party lawmakers also help out with this as they are well aware of the seriousness of the Korea-Japan trade row,” Lee noted.

Japan’s restrictions of exports to Korea of materials vital for semiconductor and display production took effect last Thursday, in apparent retaliation for Seoul court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of wartime forced labor.

“One of the reasons [Korean firms] are so seriously affected is [their] excessive reliance on Japanese components and materials,” the prime minister said, adding that Korea needs to diversify its import sources and improve self-reliance.

Asked whether the government has sought mediation by the United States, Lee said, “The government is making all kinds of diplomatic efforts imaginable.”

The government is also bracing for additional measures the Japanese government could take, he said.

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