(Bloomberg) -- Japan has decided to join an alternative trade-dispute resolution mechanism initiated by the EU, saying the World Trade Organization’s appellate body has “ceased functioning.”

The cabinet approved the decision on Friday to participate in the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. The MPIA already has 52 member countries and regions, including Australia, Brazil, Canada and China, as well as the EU.

The WTO issued its first ruling based on the alternative system in December last year in a case over French fries between Colombia and the European Union, both parties to the arrangement. 

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