Wto Backs S.korea In Japanese Seafood Dispute

WTO backs S.Korea in Japanese seafood dispute

The World Trade Organization has ruled in South Korea's favor in a dispute over the country's ban on Japanese seafood imports.

The ban covers eight Japanese prefectures and was introduced after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

The ruling by the WTO appellate body overturns a lower panel's decision in Japan's favor last year. In a report on Thursday, the WTO cited several errors in the previous investigation.

Since the appellate body is the highest authority for dispute settlement at the WTO, Thursday's ruling is final. South Korea is expected to maintain the import ban.

In a statement, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said he is disappointed with the decision. He said Japan wants negotiations with South Korea to end the restrictions.

Japan's Fisheries Agency says seafood exports to South Korea fell more than 20 percent in the year after Seoul introduced the ban.