August 1, 2019 / 1:12 PM / 21 days ago

Japan official says 'we have to see' if South Korea is dropped from trade list

National flags of South Korea and Japan are displayed during a meeting between Komeito Party members and South Korean lawmakers at Komeito Party's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, July 31, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

BANGKOK (Reuters) - There is no need to speculate whether Japan will drop South Korea from its list of favoured trade partners on Friday, a Japanese diplomat said.

Japan is expected to drop South Korea from its white list of countries that enjoy minimum trade restrictions, which South Korean officials said was “highly likely” to happen on Friday.

Jun Saito, a deputy press secretary in Tokyo’s foreign ministry, on Thursday told reporters in the Thai capital that media reports indicated the decision was imminent, but “We have to see the situation.”

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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