S.Korea to remove Japan from its trade whitelist

South Korea says it plans to remove Japan from its top-tier list of countries subject to preferential export procedures.

South Korean Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo said Monday the ministry will place Japan in a new bracket that requires stricter export controls.

Under the plan, Japan will be dropped from Seoul's 29-nation list of its trusted trading partners.

Companies will have to submit more documents to ship products to Japan, and the screening process is expected to take longer.

Sung said they need to introduce an export control framework as it is difficult to work closely with a country that frequently violates the basic rules of export control or that operates an inappropriate system.

Sung said the new classification is scheduled to be in place in September after the ministry gathers opinions from the general public over the next 20 days.

Sung also said Seoul is ready for talks should Tokyo request them while the opinion gathering takes place.

On August 2, the Japanese government endorsed plans to remove South Korea from a list of nations entitled to simplified export-control procedures.

Seoul announced the same day it will drop Japan from its own list of trusted trade partners.