TOKYO One week after being proposed by the country's Ministry of Finance, a countervailing duty of 27.2 percent on DRAMs manufactured in Korea by Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and exported to Japan has been approved by Japan's cabinet and gone into effect.
The Japan Ministry of Finance announced Jan. 20 it would impose the duty, in response to alleged Korean government subsidies to Hynix.
Both the Korean government and Hynix strongly repelled the decision of the Japanese government and said that they would bring the matter to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Japan's decision is within the guidelines set by the WTO, said an official of the Ministry of Finance. The United States and Europe have imposed tariffs of 44.29 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively, on Hynix's DRAMs in 2003.
Elpida Memory Inc., which sought for the countervailing duty with Micron Japan Ltd., welcomed the invocation.
Elpida president and CEO Yukio Sakamoto said in a statement, "We believe that our claim was judged as legitimate and consequently led to the implementation of the duty. We expect that the invocation of the countermeasure will contribute to facilitate fair competition in the DRAM industry and to encourage the stable development of the domestic market."