At South Korea's request, key WTO meet to discuss Japan's tightened controls on semiconductor materials exports


South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Sunday it will highlight the unfairness of Japan’s tightened controls on semiconductor materials exports to South Korea at a key World Trade Organization meeting later this month.

The ministry said it will explain problems and unfairness regarding the move at a WTO General Council meeting in Geneva slated for July 23-24.

At the request of South Korea, Japan’s stricter controls that are being applied to exports of certain materials vital to the tech industry will be taken up as a formal agenda item at the meeting, which is attended by representatives from all WTO members to discuss important issues.

In a statement, the ministry said it is meaningful that the Japanese move will be formally taken up at the General Council, the WTO’s highest decision-making panel, excluding ministerial conferences.

The ministry said it will make efforts to deepen WTO members’ understanding of problems with the Japanese measure and secure their support for South Korea’s position.

On July 9, the South Korean government took up Japan’s export controls for the first time at a meeting of the WTO Council for Trade in Goods, criticizing them as economic retaliation introduced for political purposes and demanding their cancellation.

Japan hit back, saying its measure is fully in line with WTO rules.

The South Korean government is expected to decide when to file a complaint with the WTO against Japan’s export controls following discussions at the General Council meeting.