South Korea withdrawing complaint to WTO as Japan eases export control

South Korea's government has announced that it will withdraw a complaint it filed with the World Trade Organization in 2020 in response to Japan's decision to tighten controls on exports to the country.

The announcement comes as Tokyo says it is set to ease controls on shipping high-tech materials to Seoul. That came after a three-day director-level meeting between the neighboring countries.

Japan tightened rules for exporting the materials used for semiconductors and organic LED displays in 2019, citing security concerns. Japanese companies are major manufacturers of such goods.

South Korea reacted to the controls by filing a complaint with the WTO in 2020, saying the move violated international trade rules.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang told a news conference that the agreement is the first step toward building trust and will serve as a foundation for economic cooperation between the two countries.