• Kyodo


The World Trade Organization on Wednesday selected Junichi Ihara, Japan’s representative in Geneva, as the next chairman of the WTO General Council.

Ihara, who will hold the post for a one-year term, becomes the second Japanese to head the General Council following Shotaro Oshima, who took the helm of the body in 2004.

Ihara will steer the 164-member trade watchdog’s decision-making body together with WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo.

Until March, Ihara chaired WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body for a year and has been credited for mediating disputes between advanced and developing countries.

He is assuming the position at a time when concern is mounting that U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could trigger a global trade war.

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