South Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee said in a press briefing on Wednesday that Seoul will file a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Japan’s trade curbs on three key materials used to make smartphones and memory chips.
Seoul accused Tokyo of violating WTO’s obligation not to discriminate, changing export procedures for three materials from requiring general permits to individual permits, and taking advantage of trade in retaliation over political issues.
“Japan announced its export curbs without any prior notice and executed the curbs just three days after the announcement of Korea’s Supreme Court rulings. It has ignored procedural justification, showing no consideration for its neighboring country,” said Yoo.
Yoo said that if consultations with the Japanese embassy in Geneva and the WTO do not resolve the issue within the next two months, Seoul will take the case to the WTO for panel ruling, which could take more than two years to be resolved.