JEAIL > Volume 12(2); 2019 > Regional Focus & Controversies
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2019

Japan’s Measures on Export Control to the Republic of Korea: From the Perspective of International Law

Kotaro Shiojiri
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Japan has argued that its recently introduced export control measures toward the Republic of Korea (ROK) are consistent with relevant international guidelines. The ROK has rejected this view and claims that Japan’s measures are inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) law. If a WTO Panel is established to adjudicate this matter, the national security exception clause, specifically Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994), is likely to be invoked. Russia–Measures concerning Traffic in Transit is one of the few cases in which a WTO Panel has rendered a decision on this article. In general, the doctrine of precedents does not strictly apply; however, it hints that the Panel may require objective arguments to be provided despite the clause’s “self-judging” nature. On its face, Japan appears to have a stronger case, but the Panel would nonetheless be required to make a difficult decision.

Keywords : Control, WTO, National Security Exception Cause, Article XXI of GATT 1994, Japan, Republic of Korea

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