S.Korea plans to file WTO case over Japan moves

Marco Green
September 11, 2019

SEOUL-South Korea said it will initiate a complaint Wednesday to the World Trade Organization over Japan's tightened export controls on key materials South Korean companies use to make computer chips and displays.

South Korea looks to have prevailed on the major issues in its WTO dispute settlement against Japan over pneumatic valves, which are used for automobiles, general machinery and electronics.

Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee said Japan was politically motivated in taking the export control measures on July 4 after South Korea's Supreme Court ruled on compensation for former Korean war-time forced labourers, and the measure is a "discriminatory" step directly targeting South Korea.

South Korea says Japan's trade measures threaten its export-dependent economy, where many manufacturers rely on materials and parts imported from Japan. Seko added that Tokyo would study the demands and respond according to the proper WTO procedures.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement within 60 days of commencing talks, Seoul plans to take the case to a WTO panel that arbitrates trade disputes.

Still, the decision is a welcome victory for Japan after the appellate body said in April that South Korea could uphold a ban on Japanese seafood imposed in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster amid concerns of radioactive contamination.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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