Samsung heir’s Japan visit extended amid trade row
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is extending his trip to Japan to resolve any potential fallout from the neighboring country’s tough regulations for shipments of key materials used for chip and display productions, industry sources on July 9.
Lee, the de factor leader of the South Korean tech giant, arrived in Tokyo on July 7, three days after Japan implemented tougher export rules against Seoul on high-tech materials used for making chips and displays.
He was scheduled to attend a group meeting with the heads of conglomerates, arranged by the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae, to discuss a strategy on Japan’s export restrictions, but he may skip the gathering, as the tycoon is scurrying to meet Japanese business partners, according to the sources.
Samsung declined to comment on Lee’s trip, noting the company’s business strategy can’t be discussed amid sensitive diplomatic issues between the two nations.
Japan’s Nikkei reported earlier that Lee is expected to request Japanese business partners to ship high-tech materials from overseas factories to avoid the new trade restrictions and discuss other possible countermeasures.
All-Nippon News Network also reported that Lee is arranging meetings with executives from Japanese banks and semiconductor companies.
Ahead of Japan’s export curbs that went into effect last Thursday, Samsung sent a letter to its foundry clients, promising to make sure shipments of their products would be made within their planned supply schedule.
The reports are fueling speculation that Lee may not attend President Moon Jae-in’s planned meeting with chiefs of Korea’s top conglomerates to discuss countermeasures against Japan’s export curbs.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)