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Korea, Japan fail to settle the issue over import ban on Fukushima marine product

Korea, Japan fail to settle the issue over import ban on Fukushima marine product

Posted July. 04, 2015 01:21,   


Bilateral discussion between Seoul and Tokyo over the Korean government’s import ban on Fukushima marine products fell apart. South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday announced that the two held a talk over the matter at the Secretariat of World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday and Thursday (local time) to no avail.

In the aftermath of Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, the Korean government has placed a ban on some 50 varieties of marine products that are produced in the vicinity of Fukushima prefecture and, since September 2013, expanded the ban to all the fishery products produced in the eight prefectures around Fukushima.

Japan has brought a lawsuit over Korea’s import restriction on the ground that it goes against WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and thus, should be lifted. During the bilateral talk this time, Tokyo focused on making questions as to scientific and legal ground of restriction imposed by Korea while Seoul expressed its regrets, contending that the measure is reasonable one which is based on WTO agreement.

As the two failed to reach an agreement, the matter will have to be settled in a compulsory manner by WTO’s subcommittee. As the request for bilateral resolution was made on May 21, Japan can make a formal request for the dispute settlement 60 days after the day, which falls on July 20 in accordance of WTO regulations.