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WTO says South Korea can keep import ban on Fukusima food

Christian Fernsby |
Japan has attacked an "extremely regrettable" ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that upheld a ban by South Korea on some seafood from Fukushima imposed after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

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The WTO's highest court overturned an earlier judgement from 2018, handing Seoul a final victory in a legal battle that has dragged on for years.

"Even though the ruling did not acknowledge that South Korea's measures comply with the WTO rules, it is extremely regrettable that Japan's argument was not approved," said the foreign ministry in Tokyo.

"There is no change in Japan's position of demanding South Korea lift all the restriction measures, and we will pursue this via talks with South Korea," added the ministry in a statement.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono urged South Korea to "correct its policy" but acknowledged that Japan had now run out of legal recourse.

Fearing radioactive contamination, Seoul imposed a partial ban on seafood imports from the region after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

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