Japan says steps on exports to South Korea not retaliation over forced labor feud

FILE PHOTO: 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/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese curbs on exports of key materials used by South Korean tech companies are not intended as retaliation in a feud over South Koreans who worked for Japanese firms during World War Two, a Japanese foreign ministry official said on Friday.

The official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, also said that the steps were “necessary measures related to security”.

Japan has tightened restrictions on exports of three materials used in smartphone displays and chips, threatening to disrupt supplies of chips and displays by South Korea's tech giants Samsung Electronics 005930.KS and SK Hynix 000660.KS, which count Apple Inc AAPL.O and other smartphone makers as customers.

Officials from the two sides were to meet on Friday to discuss the restrictions.

Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by David Dolan