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KODAK NOT EXPECTED TO WIN FUJI CLAIMS

Eastman Kodak Co. is unlikely to convince the World Trade Organization that the Japanese government has prevented it from competing fairly with archrival Fuji Photo Film Co., lawyers and trade experts said.

In June 1996, the U.S. complained on behalf of Kodak to the Geneva-based WTO that Fuji, in collusion with the Japanese government, had unfairly restricted Kodak's access to Japan's film market, worth $13 billion a year. A WTO panel is now expected to issue a preliminary ruling on the dispute towards the end of November.

Kodak will find it hard to prove to the panel that the Japanese government enacted specific legislation to limit its presence in Japan, the experts said.

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