Japan to Take Korean Import Ban to WTO

Tokyo wants to complain about Korea's import ban on Japanese fisheries products at the World Trade Organization.

Kyodo News on Sunday said a Japanese delegation will attend a session of the WTO Goods Council's Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee, which starts in Switzerland on Oct. 16, to argue that the Korean government's expansion of the import ban lacks scientific justification.

The ban was imposed after Japan admitted a massive leak of radioactive water into the sea from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.

In June, Tokyo complained to the WTO about a similar ban imposed by China.

Sending the delegation stops short of filing a formal complaint with the WTO, but Tokyo is keeping its options open.

"No import ban based on consideration for people's health has ever been subject to an official complaint to the WTO," a diplomatic source said. "Japan is probably just trying to pressure the Korean government into lifting the ban sooner."

In September, Seoul banned the import of fisheries products from Aomori, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi, and Tochigi prefectures.

englishnews@chosun.com / Oct. 07, 2013 09:23 KST