South Korean President Moon Jae In on Monday again criticized Japan over its tightened export controls, calling them an "unfair economic retaliation," while also urging a cool-headed response.

Moon, in a meeting with top government officials, held three days ahead of the country's Liberation Day commemorating the end of Japanese colonial rule, said the export curbs are not only unfair but also very serious as they stem from disputes over wartime history.

"Our measures, however, should not be emotional," Moon said, adding that the issue should be looked at with a long-term view.

Japan last month tightened export controls on some South Korea-bound materials crucial to the country's technology industry.

Earlier this month, Japan's Cabinet also approved plans to remove South Korea from a "white list" of countries that enjoy minimum restrictions on buying goods that can be diverted for military use.

Seoul has shown deep concerns over the moves, viewing them as being in retaliation over a series of court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate South Korean plaintiffs for wartime forced labor.

South Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910 and gained independence on Aug. 15, 1945.

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