South Korea resumes WTO dispute with Japan

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — South Korea will resume proceedings against Japan at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over export controls for some high-tech materials, reports Reuters .

At the same time, the South Korean side added that negotiations to resolve the dispute have not yet been crowned with success.

However, Seoul plans to continue the dialogue with Tokyo, blaming the Japanese side for not showing sufficient commitment to resolving problems when considering a complaint to the WTO.

“Our government has come to the conclusion that it is difficult to see how this situation will develop in the framework of a normal dialogue, which served as a condition for us to suspend the settlement of this issue through the WTO,” said South Korean Deputy Minister of Trade and Investment Na Son Sik.

“Through a complaint to the WTO, we will prove the illegality and injustice of the Japanese export control and increase the awareness of the international community,” he added.

Bilateral relations between the countries deteriorated after the Supreme Court of South Korea in 2018 ordered two Japanese companies to compensate wartime workers, deciding that Tokyo violated international law. Japan states that the issue of compensation was settled in accordance with the 1965 treaty.

In accordance with a decision by the Japanese government, last July it announced the termination of the preferential regime for the supply of three materials to South Korea, the production of which it dominates and which are used by companies such as Samsung Electronics.

Restrictions on the two materials still remain, and exporters need to get permission for each batch, which takes about 90 days.

The representative of the Ministry of Commerce of Japan said that Tokyo will decide on its next course of action, having learned the details.

A senior Japanese government official, Yoshihide Suga, called the decision of South Korea to resume the proceedings against Japan at the World Trade Organization “extremely unfortunate.”

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