China News Service, June 30, according to Kyodo News, South Korea’s request for setting up in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Agency (DSB) is equivalent to “first trial” on the grounds of Japan’s improper practices in strengthening export control of semiconductor materials against South Korea. ". In this regard, Japan did not agree to set up an expert group at the DSB meeting on the 29th and refused.
If South Korea does not require a special DSB meeting, and again sets up requirements at the next DSB regular meeting on July 29, the expert group's setting will be almost finalized automatically.
An expert group composed of trade professionals, in principle, issued a report equivalent to a judgment in six months, but in recent years there has been a tendency to procrastinate. In addition, the appellate body equivalent to the "second instance" was paralyzed, and it will take time to solve the problem.
At the DSB meeting held on June 29, Japan pointed out that because the three types of semiconductor materials in question may be transferred to the military, the WTO agreement also allows export control. The Japanese side said that the strengthening of export control in July last year was not an embargo measure, and if it was confirmed to be used for people's livelihood, it was allowed to export. Therefore, it was not a "trade restrictive measure based on political motives" advocated by the ROK.
Trade officials in Geneva said that the United States stated at the DSB meeting that "Japan's measures are based on security concerns and the WTO's decision is inappropriate", supporting the Japanese government's position.
According to previous reports, in July 2019, Japan announced that it would strengthen the control of three types of semiconductor raw materials exported to South Korea and remove South Korea from its export "white list." The Korean side believes that this is in response to the "economic retaliation" imposed by Japan after the South Korean Grand Court issued a judgment on the "forced labor claims". Subsequently, South Korea also moved Japan out of the trade "white list."
In September 2019, the Korean government decided to appeal to the WTO on Japan’s export control to South Korea and requested consultations under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.
Since 2020, South Korea has repeatedly asked Japan to make a statement regarding the lifting of export controls on South Korea, and set May 31 as the deadline. However, the Japanese side finally gave no answer, so the South Korean government decided to restart the dispute settlement procedure on June 2.