Japan wins World Trade Organization dispute over 2011 Fukushima related food

Vastavam web: The World Trade Organization largely upheld a Japanese complaint against South Korean import bans and additional testing requirements imposed on Japanese seafood because of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.A WTO dispute panel said that South Korea’s measures were initially justified, but that keeping them in place violated the WTO’s sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) agreement.South Korea’s government said on Friday said it will appeal the ruling and will keep the ban in place.

Japan, which has been in talks with other countries such as China and Taiwan that also have trade restrictions in place, plans to step up talks with them in light of the WTO ruling, a government official said.Some countries have maintained bans on imports, but South Korea is the only one that Japan has taken to the WTO.

South Korea widened its initial ban on Japanese fishery imports in 2013 to cover all seafood from eight Japanese prefectures including Fukushima.South Korea imported 10.9 billion yen ($102 million) worth of Japanese seafood in the year to August 2013 before it broadened its restrictions. Those imports then fell to 8.4 billion yen the following year, according to the Japanese government.