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Japan Won’t Support South Korean WTO Candidate, Kyodo Says

  • Report comes amid continuing rancor over Japan’s colonial past
  • Tokyo to back Nigeria’s candidate Okonjo-Iweala, report says
A picture taken on July 23, 2020 shows the empty seat and desk of the World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general prior to a general council in Geneva. - The World Trade Organization's exiting chief acknowledged on July 23, 2020 that the body was facing "tremendous pressure", but insisted that a "big bang" reform was not the way ahead. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 23, 2020 shows the empty seat and desk of the World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general prior to a general council in Geneva. - The World Trade Organization's exiting chief acknowledged on July 23, 2020 that the body was facing "tremendous pressure", but insisted that a "big bang" reform was not the way ahead. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)Photographer: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP

Japan has decided not to support a South Korean candidate for leadership of the World Trade Organization, Kyodo News reported, as ill feelings over history continue to hurt commercial ties between the Asian neighbors.

The agency cited several unidentified government officials as saying on Sunday Japan will throw its weight behind Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over the only other remaining candidate Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade chief. Either one would become the first woman in the job.