Japan renews shipbuilding spat with Korea at the WTO

Japan has reignited its shipbuilding beef with neighbour South Korea, filing dispute proceedings at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over alleged shipbuilding subsidies, citing the billions handed to prop up Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) over the past five years.

The South Korean government has dismissed the latest shipbuilding subsidy row with a spokesperson in Seoul saying over the weekend: “We find Japan’s claim groundless and will fully explain that the measures comply with international norms.”

A huge drop in orders combined with a massive accounting fraud brought DSME to the brink of collapse five years ago at which point the South Korean government stepped in to save it.

Japan and South Korea have had repeated shipbuilding tussles at the WTO over the last 20 years.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. very true, but only half of the truth, 3o% assistance in tax rebates for all foreign orders. its not a secret.

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