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ECONOMY

Japan calls for WTO reforms

  • May 23, 2019
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All papers reported from Paris that Foreign Minister Kono met with WTO Director General Azevêdo on Wednesday and called for reform of the trade body’s dispute settlement mechanism in view of Japan’s recent defeat in a WTO suit against South Korea’s ban on Japanese seafood. Calling the WTO decision “extremely regrettable,” the top Japanese diplomat stressed that an overhaul of the dispute settlement mechanism is imperative to restore trust in the WTO. Kono also reportedly held talks with USTR Lighthizer in the French capital on the same day, during which they agreed on mutual coordination for promoting WTO reforms. The top U.S. trade official reportedly said to the Japanese minister: “We share Japan’s view on what needs to be addressed [when pursuing WTO reforms]. We don’t want Japan to become a victim of problems associated with the WTO’s appellate body.”

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