Japan to Not Back S. Korean Nominee for WTO Head

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to support a Nigerian nominee, not a South Korean one, for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organization, government sources said on Monday.

The move comes against a backdrop of a semiconductor trade dispute between Japan and South Korea, in which the South Korean nominee, Yoo Myung-hee, currently the country's minister for trade, has repeatedly criticized Japan.

With the next WTO chief expected to be selected by early next month, the candidate list has been narrowed down to Yoo and Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, both women.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry is encouraging other WTO members to back Okonjo-Iweala, who has served as her country's finance minister and as World Bank managing director, according to the sources. She is a "superior candidate to Yoo," one of them said.

With Nigeria receiving large-scale economic assistance from China, however, some are concerned about China's possible influence on her.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press