South Korea's trade minister, Yoo Myung-Hee, said the country plans to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization on Wednesday about Japan's tighter export controls, accusing Tokyo of "being politically motivated," Reuters reported.
The two countries argued over the 2018 decision of the Supreme Court of South Korea suggesting that Japanese companies should compensate Korean workers over forced slave labor in the first half of the 20th century and during World War II.
Japan protested the decision, claiming that the 1965 agreement between the two countries resolved the issue of damages.
The ties became more tense in July after Japan canceled preferential treatment for exports of chemical compounds which are needed for the production of semiconductors and displays in South Korea.
In August, Tokyo removed Seoul from its list of trade partners that have preferences in importing Japanese technologies and high-tech products, beginning 28 August.
Japan cited security concerns as the reason behind its decision, saying it suspected Seoul of exporting double-purpose goods to Pyongyang in betrayal of Tokyo’s confidence.
Seoul retaliated by excluding Japan from its list of favored-nation trading partners with facilitated export conditions.