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Trade chief Takashi Fukaya expressed concern over Wednesday’s dumping ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission against Japanese steel-plate imports, saying “overuse” of such measures hurts trade relations. “Frankly speaking, the U.S. has taken many such actions these days. I’m concerned that repeating such practices will seriously affect the maintenance of sound trade relations,” Fukaya said. Asked whether the government is considering taking the case to the World Trade Organization, Fukaya said a concrete decision has not yet been reached. but he will deal with the issue as soon as possible by examining the details of the ITC judgment and consulting with the Japanese steel companies “The government must (decide) whether to file a complaint with the WTO by scrutinizing documents detailing the ruling, which will come out in a month, and by hearing the opinions of the companies affected by the ruling,” Fukaya said. On a related issue, Japan has been engaged in bilateral consultations with Washington since Jan. 13 under the auspices of the WTO over another case concerning hot-rolled steel. The sessions are being held in accordance with procedural rules for a complaint it filed with the WTO last November. Fukaya said both sides have gained deeper understanding, with the U.S. responding to questions raised by the Japanese side during the bilateral consultations. He added that his government will decide on further courses of action based on the dialogues.

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