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Japan may take Indonesia to WTO over mineral export ban

Published on Feb 20, 2014 11:32 AM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan is preparing to take Indonesia to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over a ban on exports of mineral ores that has curtailed supplies for industry, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.

The Japanese government is set to seek talks with Indonesia through the WTO this month, the report said, without citing sources. If the issue was not resolved, Japan would request that a panel be appointed to look into the case, it added.

If the bilateral talks failed, Japan was likely to team up with China, another big buyer of minerals from Indonesia, to seek remedial action, the report said.

A senior official at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) told Reuters no decision had been made to pursue the issue with the WTO, but it remained a possibility.

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