South Korea vows to strike back at Japan with WTO complaint
Nikkei -- Aug 29
Seoul said Wednesday it will file a World Trade Organization complaint against Japan, hours after Tokyo formally imposed additional trade restrictions on South Korea.

"We will present a case before the WTO without delay," South Korean Prime Minister Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon said at a cabinet meeting concerning Japan's trade curbs.

Lee also laid out a plan to invest 5 trillion won ($4.1 billion) over three years into the domestic production of materials and manufacturing equipment that are chiefly imported from Japan.

Japan and South Korea have been embroiled in a dispute that has cast a cloud over the relationship between East Asia's second- and third-largest economies, and a pathway to a resolution remains elusive. The feud, triggered over a wartime labor issue, intensified last week, when South Korea withdrew from an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.

At midnight Wednesday, Japan enforced the decision to remove South Korea from a whitelist of nations, so-called Group A countries, that are able to import Japanese goods without added procedures. This follows strictures on semiconductor material exports Japan put into force in July.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon laid out a plan to invest $4.1 billion over three years into the domestic production to counteract trade curbs from Japan. © Kyodo South Korea was demoted to Group B status, in which all exports except for timber and food are subject to case-by-case screenings to prevent military use.

However, the controls are not expected to be exercised immediately, and the screenings will target shipments that raise suspicion. Mitsubishi Corp., the Japanese trading house, believes the effect of the export controls will be limited.

News source: Nikkei
Mar 30
Masayoshi Son has been among the most fervent believers in the sharing economy, investing billions in startups that help people split the use of cars, rooms and offices. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
The Japanese government will create a special system to provide a one-year grace period for companies to pay tax and social insurance premiums due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Mar 28
Supermarkets and convenience stores decided Thursday to stay open as usual in the coming days, after a request by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s for residents in the capital not to leave home over the weekend. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
Mask prices in Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards jumped 11.3 percent in March from a year before, reflecting supply shortages stemming from the spread of COVID-19, government data showed Friday. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
The parent of Japanese airline All Nippon Airways is looking into a roughly 100 billion yen ($920 million) syndicated loan from seven lenders as the carrier fortifies its balance sheet to cope with the drop-off in air travel demand. (Nikkei)
Mar 26
A day after the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed by a year, Tokyo's landmark Imperial Hotel began arrangements to release the several hundred rooms it had withheld for organizers of the games during the July-September period. (Nikkei)
Mar 26
The $6 billion that just walked out the door with the postponement of the 2020 Olympics is only the start of the hits Japan's economy will sustain this year. (Nikkei)
Mar 25
Some Japanese hotels saw March and April bookings drop as much as 90% year on year amid the new coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey conducted by the land ministry, as the tourism industry continues to teeter. (Nikkei)
Mar 25
"Everybody needs a coach," stressed Bill Gates in the opening of a recent TED Talk. (
Mar 23
Hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, Japan's economy faces its biggest challenge in more than a decade, with analysts warning of a technical recession and even the worse if this summer's Tokyo Olympics is cancelled. (Japan Today)