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The tariffs, which could rise as high as $51 million, will target ball bearings, airplane parts, and other steel products.
The Japanese government has long demanded the repeal of duties imposed by the U.S. on Japanese steel products under the Byrd Amendment-an antidumping law ruled illegal by the WTO.
Japan's trade minister said Tokyo had no choice but to take action after realizing there was very little chance that the amendment would be repealed before the end of September.
The WTO ruled in January 2003 that the U.S. measure unlawfully protected the American steel industry. When it wasn't repealed by the end of that year, Japan, the EU, and six other countries gained the right to impose a total of $150 million in economic sanctions against the U.S.