Trade official: Japan ‘not proud’ of its export restrictions on Korea
July 26, 2019
Global Korean Post
By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on July 24 argued that Japan’s export restrictions on Korea were unfair at a meeting of the World Trade Organization’s General Council in Geneva, saying how Japan was “not proud” of its measures.
Kim Seung-ho, deputy minister of multilateral and legal affairs, told a news conference after the meeting in Geneva that in his first speech there, he argued how Japan’s unjust export curbs pose a threat to the free trade system by hurting the global value chain. “We strongly expressed our will to solve this problem amicably and bilaterally,” he said, suggesting a one-on-one discussion between representatives from the two countries.
Kim also proposed having the chairman of the WTO board of directors intercede to arrange a discussion between both sides rather than have Seoul directly making the request to Tokyo.
Shingo Yamagami, director-general of the economic affairs bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry, was the Japanese representative at the meeting. He avoided making a direct response to the suggestion of a meeting, Kim said, adding that Yamagami kept repeating that the restrictions were geared toward revising administrative trade regulations, not regulating trade.
Kim also said Korea never got a response from Japan on his suggested consultation.
Using additional speech time given after the meeting, he again urged that both sides hold a one-on-one consultation but got a negative response from Japan.
“I didn’t get a solid reason on Japan’s refusal,” Kim said.
“Japan cannot firmly explain its actions to a foreign diplomat. It just shows how it’s not proud of its own actions.”
Korea plans to file a complaint against Japan with the WTO.