South Korea to resume WTO complaint over Japan’s export controls

SEOUL (Reuters) — South Korea said on Tuesday that it decided to resume dispute settlement proceedings over Japan’s export controls, saying the two sides failed to make progress over talks to resolve the trade disputes rooted in wartime history.

In July, Japan imposed curbs on exports to South Korea of three materials used to make semiconductors and displays, threatening a pillar of the South Korean economy and the global supply chain of tech components.

South Korea in September complained to the World Trade Organization over Japan’s move, but in November suspended the proceedings for further talks.

“…The Japanese government has

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Japan’s judicial diplomacy at crossroads as Laos enacts civil code

TOKYO — A quarter-century of Japanese “judicial diplomacy” is bearing fruit in Southeast Asia. On May 27, Laos became the third country in Southeast Asia, after Vietnam and Cambodia, to introduce a civil code with Japanese support.

Japan’s long-term engagement on the topic has resulted in it being allowed for the first time to participate in a conference of senior legal officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting, or ASLOM, will discuss cybersecurity and other cross-border legal issues.

Gaining a seat at the conference table reflects the “trust Japan has gained through down-to-earth

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Japan’s Kubota ties up with Indian peer to make tractors for Africa

OSAKA — Top Japanese farm equipment manufacturer Kubota is teaming up with Indian peer Escorts to produce cheap machinery for sale in developing countries.

Kubota and Escorts, India’s third largest farm equipment maker, have agreed to create a new brand, “E Kubota,” under which they will market tractors in Eastern Europe, Africa and other regions, from this year.

Demand for agricultural equipment is expected to grow in emerging markets as farming becomes increasingly mechanized.

Key U.S. and European agricultural equipment makers such as Deere & Co. and CNH Industrial are already dominant in more advanced economies where large-scale farming is

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Japan’s April production and consumption hammered by coronavirus

TOKYO — Japan’s industrial output in April fell 9.1 percent from the previous month, government data showed Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic pummeled the world’s third-largest economy.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said the seasonally adjusted index of production stood at 87.1 against the 2015 base of 100. The result showed the biggest decline since April 2014 and was the third consecutive monthly drop.

Production decreased in a wide swathe of sectors including automobile, steel and transport equipment. Inventories decreased 0.3% to 106.1 and the shipment index dropped 8.8% to 85.0. The inventory ratio, however, rose by 12.7%

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