The World Trade Organization has disclosed Seoul’s recent complaint against Japan over its tighter controls on exports of three semiconductor materials to South Korea.

The complaint, dated last Wednesday, claims that the Japanese measure constitutes “politically motivated, disguised restrictions on trade.”

South Korea believes that the measure is based on “political considerations unrelated to any legitimate export control considerations,” according to the complaint disclosed Monday.

The measure causes “unnecessary delay and other serious restrictions to the exportation of these products and their related technologies” bound for South Korea, the complaint states.

Under WTO rules, the two countries will refer the issue to a dispute settlement panel if they fail to resolve it within 60 days.

If the dispute remains unresolved at the panel, the countries can appeal to the Appellate Body. If brought to the body, the dispute is likely to take years to resolve.

Tokyo flatly rejects South Korea’s claims, saying the Japanese measure is consistent with WTO rules. It appears almost certain that a dispute settlement panel will be set up on the issue.

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