September 18, 2019 / 3:36 AM / 4 months ago

Japan says South Korea move on fast-track trade status 'regrettable'

A police officer stands guard near Japan and South Korea national flags at hotel, where South Korean embassy in Japan is holding the reception to mark the 50th anniversary of normalisation of ties between Seoul and Tokyo, in Tokyo June 22, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan on Wednesday said South Korea’s decision to remove Tokyo’s fast-track trade status without sufficient explanation was “regrettable”, as a diplomatic and trade row between the two Asian neighbours and U.S. allies deepened.

Earlier in the day, South Korea said it had approved plans to drop Japan from its “white list” of countries with fast-track trade status. The decision, which wasn’t accompanied by sufficient explanation, was “regrettable”, Isshu Sugawara, the minister of economy, trade and industry, said in a statement.

Reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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