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  5. Japan Held Consultations under the WTO Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Korea Regarding Japan’s Update of Licensing Policies and Procedures on Exports to the ROK

Japan Held Consultations under the WTO Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Korea Regarding Japan’s Update of Licensing Policies and Procedures on Exports to the ROK

November 20, 2019

On November 19, 2019, Japan held the second bilateral consultation under the WTO Agreement in Geneva with the government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) regarding Japan’s update of licensing policies and procedures on exports to the ROK.

Outline

On November 19, 2019, the government of Japan and the government of the ROK held the second bilateral consultation regarding Japan’s update of licensing policies and procedures on certain exports to the ROK, in Geneva, pursuant to Article 4 of Annex 2 to the WTO Agreement: the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.

During the consultation, Japan made it clear once again that Japan’s measure was undertaken in order to properly control certain exports and transfer of technologies with potential risk of being diverted for military use. In this regard, Japan decided to manage the exports and transfers through individual licensing applications to ensure the proper operation of Japan’s export control system. Japan pointed out that the allegation of WTO-inconsistency is completely baseless.

Further, Japan explained once again that export licenses are granted once items in concern are confirmed to be for civil use and no risk of diversion for military use exists, that Japan's measure is not an export ban, and no impact to supply chains has been found.

Reference 1: Consultations under the WTO Agreement

If a member country requests consultations under the WTO Agreement, the members concerned shall enter into consultations within a period of no more than 30 days after the date of receipt of the request (Article 4 of Annex 2 to the WTO Agreement: the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes).

Reference 2: Background

July 1, 2019: Japan released the “Update of METI’s licensing policies and procedures on exports of controlled items to the Republic of Korea”.

July 4, 2019: Japan excluded the exports of Fluorinated polyimides, Resist and Hydrogen Fluoride, and the transfer of their relevant technologies (including technology transferred with exports of manufacturing equipment) to the ROK from the items to which relevant bulk licenses had been applicable, and started to request exporters/transferors of these items to submit applications for individual export licenses.

September 11, 2019: The government of the ROK made a request for consultations under the WTO Agreement with the government of Japan regarding the abovementioned update of licensing policies and procedures.

October 11, 2019: Japan and the government of the ROK held the first bilateral consultation in Geneva.

Division in Charge

Office of WTO Compliance and Dispute Settlement, Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau

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