Marking a thawing of relations between the Japanese and South Korean governments, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has partially removed export restrictions on photoresists to South Korea. As a result, Japanese companies can now obtain a ‘bulk’ license to supply three years’ worth of photoresists to companies like LG, Samsung, and SK Hynix rather than seek approval for each shipment. However not all restrictions have been removed: exports of fluorinated polyimides and high-purity hydrogen fluoride from Japan to South Korea are still restricted. Earlier this year the Japanese government imposed restrictions on exports of three industrial chemicals to South Korea as a consequence of a long-lasting political conflict. Starting early July, Japanese manufacturers were required to get approvals for individual exports...

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