• Kyodo News


The government lashed out Monday at South Korea’s plan to introduce a compulsory certification system for lithium-ion batteries, fearing it could hurt Japanese exports.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai said Japan will complain to the World Trade Organization. Seoul reportedly plans to require that foreign companies obtain approval from South Korean authorities to make and sell products using the batteries starting July 1.

“We fear the new regulation, if introduced, could amount to a trade barrier for foreign companies,” Nikai said.

Japan, the world’s leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, will express its objection to the South Korean move at a WTO panel meeting this week, Nikai said.

Lithium-ion batteries are used in such products as laptop computers, mobile phones and digital cameras, and Japanese makers account for nearly 60 percent of the global output of the batteries.

The envisaged certification program may delay the export process for Japanese goods shipped to South Korea and consequently damage the business strategies of companies, government officials said.

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