Japan restricts cutting-edge materials to South Korea and South Korea intends to appeal to the WTO

The Japanese government has announced restrictions on the cutting-edge manufacturing of semiconductors, televisions and smart phones. Officials from the South Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed that the government is studying legal procedures for filing complaints with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

On the 1st, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced the “export restrictions” on the grounds that the mutual trust relationship was obviously damaged. It is required to obtain the permission of Japan to manufacture semiconductors, televisions, and smart phone products, and strictly control the fluoropolyimide (photosensitive liquid). High-purity hydrogen fluoride, and the production of materials such as elastic organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) commonly used in smart phones.

The South Korean joint news agency pointed out that the official said that the South Korean government believes that Japan violates the general cancellation of the quantity limit principle of Article 11 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Therefore, relevant departments such as the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Resources have begun to study the legal procedures for resorting to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Experts pointed out that if South Korea and Japan enter the WTO dispute settlement procedures, they may fall into long-term disputes. Enterprises of the two countries will face major losses. Therefore, they should be resolved through political and diplomatic means.

In response, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun on the 2nd that the restrictions did not violate the WTO rules and had nothing to do with free trade.

Credit : https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aopl/201907030086.aspx