• Kyodo

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China has issued a sharp protest against Japanese moves to impose an emergency import curb on Chinese-produced towels.

“The Chinese government strongly opposes any such restrictive moves,” Gao Yan, a spokeswoman for China’s ministry of foreign trade and economic cooperation, said Friday.

China issued the statement after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said it would investigate whether Japan should impose an emergency import curb on towel products from China and Vietnam.

Gao said the increase in China’s towel exports to Japan was moderate and a result of “economic complementarity and division of trade” between the two countries. “It will not inflict any harm on related industries in Japan,” she said.

Gao warned that any limitation on Chinese textile products would damage the overall balance of mutual trade and harm the interests of Japanese investors in China.

In Tokyo, METI officials said the ministry will decide within six months whether to invoke the textile “safeguard” import restriction. allowed under World Trade Organization rules when domestic industries are threatened by excessive imports.

The ministry conducted a preliminary investigation after a claim by the Japan Towel Industrial Association in February that the surge of low-cost foreign imports has dealt a severe blow to the domestic towel industry.

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