The official, who spoke to reporters in Seoul in a background briefing on government strategy, said Japan's moves could have "dire consequences of stopping semiconductor lines". At the time, South Korea received more than $800 million in economic aid and loans from Japan and used the money to rebuild its infrastructure and economy devastated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
Amid a growing trade dispute, Moon said Japan was using sanctions violations as a pretext after failing to gain global support for its attempt to connect trade issues to the Supreme Court ruling regarding the victims of forced labor.
To stress the legitimacy of the restrictions it has placed on some South Korean exports, Japan will send a senior government official to a World Trade Organization general council meeting next week, according to diplomatic sources.
"Memory semiconductor is an integral part of data processing center operated by global IT companies like Google and Amazon", Kim Yang Paeng, research fellow at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, told ABC News.
The companies have refused to comply, in line with Japan's stance that the issue of compensation was resolved under a 1965 treaty that established diplomatic relations between the countries.
If you violate the "sacrosanct principles" of free trade, the South Korean official said, "the global value chain will crumble".
Seoul and Tokyo "no longer need to engage in wasteful disputes about this", Moon continued, stressing that the two countries "should be able to clear away any suspicions by jointly commissioning an investigation by an worldwide organization and accepting the results".
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The export restrictions were announced amid a standoff in the bilateral dispute over South Korean court decisions ordering Japanese companies to compensate victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
The South Korean official on Wednesday offered to bring the matter before the United Nations Sanctions Committee.
Seoul proposed a joint fund put together by South Korean and Japanese firms, while Tokyo wanted an arbitration panel brokered by a third country.
The topic is now formally included as the final agenda item at a two-day meeting of the WTO Council for Trade in Goods next week, Yonhap News reported. So fundamentally the ROK and Japan must resolve these sensitive matters, and we hope that resolution happens soon.
"But we have an extremely tight export regime control, which is probably even more restrictive than the Japanese version". Public opinion has flared in South Korea over the export restrictions, with local convenience stores halting the sale of Japanese beer and snacks.
If Japan went so far as to drop South Korea from its "white list" of countries with minimum trade restrictions, it would cause a "tremendous amount of problems" and strain ties between Japan, South Korea, and the United States, the official added.