Japanese say they will impose punitive duties on Hynix chipsThe Japanese government has decided to impose countervailing duties on products made by Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of computer memory chips, government officials said yesterday. After meetings with the Korean government and related parties, the Japanese government will decide whether to impose 28 percent duties on Hynix’s memory chips, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement. “The Korean government is deeply disappointed with the Japanese government’s decision to levy such a high rate of countervailing duties,” the statement said. The statement also said the ministry will do all it can to dissuade the Japanese government from going through with the measures. Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment. The Japanese government will make its final decision before February 2006, Hynix spokeswoman Kim Ah-young said. “We regret the Japanese government’s decision and will aggressively take steps to get a reasonable result during the final decision,” Ms. Kim said. The Japanese government’s announcement came nearly 14 months after it began an investigation into Hynix’s alleged violation of government subsidies authorized by World Trade Organization rules. The investigation started after Japanese memory chipmakers, including Elpida Memory Inc., filed complaints with the Japanese government, accusing Hynix of receiving a bailout in 2002 from Korean government-affiliated banks and others when the Korean chipmaker was in danger of bankruptcy.
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