Japan To Address World Trade Organization Over South Korea’s Fishing Ban
kpopluv, May 22, 2015, 10:28 a.m.
Japan has asked the World Trade Organization to address Korea's ban on imports of Japanese fisheries products in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. On Thursday, Japan requested talks with Seoul based on WTO accords. Japanese fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Korea's import ban had "no scientific basis," which prompted Tokyo to turn to the WTO after requests to reverse the decision were rejected.
Since September 2013, Korea has banned imports of fisheries products from Fukushima and surrounding provinces. The dialogue is a precursor to formally addressing a trade dispute at the WTO. If the two sides fail to reach agreement within 60 days, Japan will take the matter to the WTO, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.
But Korea is not the only country that has banned imports. Starting on May 15, Taiwan requires the origin of all Japanese food imports to be clearly displayed on the label. The Japanese government has threatened to take Taiwan to the WTO as well and asked it to scrap the measure. Responsible officials here met Thursday and expressed regret at Japan's decision. They said they will explain to Japan why the ban is necessary considering public safety concerns.