(AP) - Japan told the United States and China on Friday it will join a trade case the U. S. has lodged against China, alleging that the country unfairly uses export subsidies to protect domestic companies.
Japan notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva of its decision, Japanese officials said.
Japan plans to throw support behind Washington by taking part in U.S-China talks or WTO panel negotiations over the issue as a third party, they said.
However, Japan's move is likely to affect Japanese companies operating in China in partnership with Chinese capital.
''We cannot let (companies including Japanese ones) enjoy benefits they get by not respecting WTO rules,'' Japanese trade minister Akira Amari said earlier in the day in Tokyo.
The United States alleges that China unfairly subsidizes its steel, wood and other industries, which Washington sees as discriminating against imports of U.S.-manufactured goods.