situation report

Japan, South Korea: Tokyo Agrees to Hold WTO Consultations With Seoul on Trade Dispute

1 MIN READSep 20, 2019 | 16:03 GMT

What Happened: The Japanese government has agreed to enter bilateral consultations with South Korea under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization after Seoul formally filed a complaint regarding Tokyo's trade restrictions, The Japan Times reported Sept. 20.

Why It Matters: Japan's decision to agree to the consultation process is unlikely to ease trade tensions with South Korea; instead, it signals Tokyo's willingness to comply with WTO conventions and to prevent Seoul from unilaterally expediting the process.

Background: Both countries will hold their first consultations within 30 days of South Korea's initial request. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement within 60 days, the WTO will establish a dispute settlement body, which could take two years to reach a conclusion, if not longer.

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