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Korea, “Japan’s Ban on Samsung SDI’s PDP Import is Unjust”

Korea, “Japan’s Ban on Samsung SDI’s PDP Import is Unjust”

Posted April. 22, 2004 20:53,   


The Tokyo customs office’s arrangement, which postponed customs procedures for Samsung SDI’s Plasma Display Panel (PDP) products, is likely to stir a trade conflict between Korea and Japan due to the Korean government’s decision to consider issuing a complaint to the World Trade Organization.

In the midst of the Korean government’s determination that they will treat this problem as a major issue in negotiation table talk for the Free Trade Agreement between Korea and Japan, the FTA drive has hit upon an obstacle.

On April 22, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy (MOCIE) of Korea disclosed that they will deliberate multilateral countermeasures on customs clearance delays at the Tokyo customs office should the problem be prolonged.

They have also decided to discuss the Korean government’s anxieties regarding the issue at the FTA negotiation table, which is scheduled to be held in Seoul beginning on April 26 for an anticipated three-day duration.

This is the first time the government has been faced with PDP conflicts.

“We don’t have any alternative if the Japanese government doesn’t permit an opportunity for Samsung to take appropriate action on the problem,” remarked a source from MOCIE. “This problem is categorically dependent on Japanese governmental officials.”

On April 22, the minister of MOCIE, Lee Hui-bum, met with the Japanese ambassador Takano Toshiyuki in Korea to express the Korean government’s apprehension at requesting extra consideration on this issue.

“Though it is fair that the Japanese government institute such a countermeasure after undergoing enough inspections both inside and outside the patent issue, their unilateral ban violates the principle of equilibrium,” stated Minister Lee.

“The international law and Japanese domestic law recommend that the customs office grants an opportunity for both the prosecutor and the defendant to submit evidence materials and set forth their opinions,” stated a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “We demand the Japanese government guarantees such for Samsung SDI.”

Ki-Jeong Ko Ji-Wan Cha koh@donga.com cha@donga.com