Around a hundred college students gathered near the Blue House in Seoul on Saturday to protest against the leading opposition Liberty Korea Party for its alleged pro-Japan stance as a trade dispute between the two Asian nations continues to escalate.

Students sat down in the street chanting and holding signs, with small groups singing through microphones and playing music.

The protesters believe that the Liberty Korea Party, which has recently urged President Moon Jae-in to resolve an escalating trade row with Japan, is too supportive of Japan and the country's conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

Japan announced on Friday that it was removing South Korea from its so-called 'white list' of countries that enjoy preferential export controls, with the South Korean government announcing its intention to reciprocate.

The newly introduced measure would strip South Korea of its preferential trade status by requiring a stricter approvals process for an expanded list of materials. The measure comes a month after Japan's decision to tighten controls on exports for three chemicals that are used to make semiconductor products.

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