S. Korean ministry voices regret over Japan’s ‘pressure’ over Line messenger

May 10, 2024

The science ministry on Friday expressed regret over the Japanese government’s “pressure” over the Line messenger app, saying that Seoul would “strongly and sternly” take measures against Tokyo’s move against the popular app developed by Naver, South Korea’s biggest internet company.

Second Vice Science Minister Kang Do-hyun made the remarks a day after Japan’s SoftBank confirmed it has been in talks with Naver over its capital relationship in LY Corp., the operator of Line messenger.

Kang told reporters that his ministry “expresses regret over what is perceived as pressure on a Korean company to sell a stake,” referring to an administrative guidance by Japan to LY over a data leak incident.

South Korea will “respond strongly and sternly to discriminatory measures against our company,” Kang said.

LY is controlled by A Holdings, a 50-50 joint venture between Naver and SoftBank.