INTERVIEW: Japanese Aide Vows to Support WTO Head on Reform

Economy

Tokyo, June 23 (Jiji Press)--A former Japanese Foreign Ministry official who became senior adviser to the director-general of the World Trade Organization in May vowed to devote himself to assisting the reform-minded WTO chief.

"I'll fully support the WTO chief who has a strong will to promote reform," Tomochika Uyama, who became the first Japanese to take such an important post at the Geneva-based trade body, said in a recent interview.

The WTO has made little progress in making trade rules. Its dispute settlement functions do not work well due to U.S. opposition to replacing Appellate Body members.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who became the first woman to lead the WTO in March, has been working on challenges including intellectual property waivers for COVID-19 vaccines and fisheries subsidies.

"WTO member economies are feeling her enthusiasm," Uyama said, referring to rising momentum for reforming the organization.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press