The World Trade Organization ruled that Japan's quarantine restrictions on U.S. apple imports lacked scientific justification.
The U.S. brought the case last May in response to restrictions imposed by Japan on imports of apples to prevent fire blight, a plant disease. Japan has applied regular tests and has required a 500-meter buffer zone around orchards since 1994 to qualify the fruit for import to its markets.
Japan violated international rules governing trade restrictions by imposing the restrictions "without sufficient scientific evidence," arbitrators for the WTO ruled in July. An appellate panel of the Geneva-based trade body upheld that decision Wednesday.