South Korea to file WTO complaint over Japan trade curbs:The Asahi Shimbun

  • South Korea to file WTO complaint over Japan trade curbs:The Asahi Shimbun

South Korea to file WTO complaint over Japan trade curbs:The Asahi Shimbun

South Korea is lodging a complaint to the WTO regarding Japan's trade restrictions. accusing Tokyo of being "politically motivated".

South Korea will file a complaint on Wednesday (Sept 11) with the World Trade Organisation against Japan's export curbs on key materials used by its neighbour's chip and display makers, South Korea's trade minister said in a statement.

Japan imposed export controls in early July targeting three essential chemicals used in products produced by South Korean tech giants such as Samsung and LG.

Bilateral relations deteriorated after South Korea's Supreme Court past year ordered two Japanese companies to compensate the wartime workers in a ruling that Tokyo said violated worldwide law. It claims Tokyo is retaliating over South Korean court rulings that called for Japanese companies to offer reparations to aging South Korean plaintiffs over World War II forced labor. Japan believes the issue of compensation was settled under a 1965 treaty. "It was a discriminatory measure that directly targets only our country".

The original WTO panel found that Japan showed that Korean authorities had acted inconsistently with some provisions of the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement in determining injury to domestic producers.

Seko added that Tokyo would study the demands and respond according to the proper WTO procedures.

As the first step of WTO dispute settlement, South Korea will request consultations with Japan and seek the end of the export curbs.

Following the defeat, Japan's Foreign Ministry is seeking to boost lobbying activities at the WTO, requesting to more than double its budget for its operations linked to the organization for the next fiscal year to March 2021.

South Korean officials say they will ask the Japanese government to enter into bilateral negotiations on the issue, a requirement for taking the case to the WTO. Yoo said Japan approved the shipments of the materials only three times since the measures took effect on July 4.

The two countries have been embroiled in an ongoing economic and diplomatic spat that has seen both sides remove each other from their status as trusted trading partners and prompted South Korea not to renew a military intelligence sharing pact.