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Japan to Extend Antidumping Fiber Duties by 5 Years

2007 Kyodo News

TOKYO, June 19 -- Japan will extend its antidumping duties on polyester staple fiber products from Taiwan and South Korea by five years beyond the originally scheduled expiry date of June 30, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

The prolongation, to be formally approved at a Cabinet meeting on June 26, is the first extension of any antidumping duties by Japan.

The Cabinet decision will prolong the validity of the duties through June 28, 2012, the ministry said.

Japan has imposed antidumping duties ranging from 6.0 percent to 13.5 percent since July 26, 2002, to protect domestic manufacturers from imports from South Korea and Taiwan, which Tokyo says have been dumping their products at unfairly low prices.

In June last year, three major Japanese producers of polyester fibers -- Toray Industries Inc., Teijin Fibers Ltd. and Unitika Fibers Ltd. -- pleaded with the government to keep the duties in place.

Earlier in the day, an advisory council to the finance minister on tariffs and foreign trade recommended that the government keep the duties in place in light of the damage the Japanese producers have suffered as a result of the dumped imports.

Although the combined market share of Japanese polyester fiber makers stands at 91.4 percent, they have been operating in the red due partly to price-cutting competition with imports.

Despite the antidumping duties, prices of imports from South Korea have remained low and damage to domestic makers ''may continue,'' the panel said, adding that low-cost imports from Taiwan have almost stopped but if the duties are removed the problem may reappear.

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