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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

U.S. supports Japan’s objection to ROK demand for launch of WTO panel

Yomiuri reported online on a WTO meeting held in Geneva on Monday, at which Japan strongly opposed South Korea’s call for the establishment of a conflict resolution panel aimed at discussing its complaint about Japan’s tightened controls on Korea-bound semiconductor materials on the grounds that the step was taken to prevent such products from being converted to military use. According to the article, a U.S. representative supported Japan’s objection by saying that the matter should not be settled by the world trade watchdog if Japan’s measure was implemented for national security reasons. While no conclusion has been reached on Seoul’s proposal yet, the paper said WTO rules stipulate that such a panel will be launched automatically at the next round of talks unless there is unanimous opposition by all member states and regions. Trade Minister Kajiyama reportedly urged the ROK government to suspend the WTO proceeding by telling the press this morning: “We will be strongly calling on South Korea to return to the negotiating table.”

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