Japanese Diplomat Voices Concern Over Wto Ruling

Japanese diplomat voices concern over WTO ruling

A Japanese diplomat has expressed disappointment over a ruling at the World Trade Organization's appellate body that favors a South Korean ban on seafood from Japan.

Junichi Ihara, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva, spoke on Friday at a WTO meeting in which the ruling was officially adopted.

The WTO functions under a two-tier dispute resolution system, meaning the decision is final.

South Korea prohibits imports of marine produce from eight prefectures in Japan, citing safety concerns after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

Japan has been calling for the ban to be lifted, saying it is unjust.

Ihara said the WTO has not looked into whether the ban conforms to its rules, and that the appellate body has not fulfilled its role to settle disputes.

He said it is extremely regrettable that the body's position hampers the recovery effort in areas of Japan that were affected by the 2011 accident.

After the meeting, Ihara told reporters that many WTO member countries are aware of various problems with the current appellate body.

He said they need to think about how to steer discontent toward reform.