politics

11 nations OK Japan's inclusion in TPP talks

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The TPP is the perfect bludgeon for Japan to use against China, now that the PRC has shown its true face.

Japan recognizes that China is stuck with rising wages and declining cost competitiveness in the world economy. In addition, China can't compete with the advanced economies of Japan or the US in high-skill innovations; likewise, China cannot compete with low income, low wage economies in the cheap production of manufactured goods. That's where the TPP comes in.

China is up the creek without a paddle, with their smallest problem being the fact that they are swamped in pollution which is slowly killing their urban population, as well as hundreds of thousands of pigs. By 2017, their economy will be in shambles, providing for some of the few rich and making the poor see how they've been disenfranchised. By its very nature, the TPP will ensure that China is in the worst possible situation from this simple set of circumstances. At that point, the PLA will begin the Battle of the Senkakus, in order to sidetrack domestic concerns over economic conditions.

Even if Japan were unable to defeat the PLA Navy and Air Force at this very moment (which we know they can, if they're pushed into it), 2017 is the year set for the Battle of the Senkakus, since it is the most optimal for the systematic disintegration of the PRC into six separate countries which, internally competitive without being globally aggressive, will be better able to be integrated within the global economic system.

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lachanceAPR. 21, 2013 - 08:26AM JST The TPP is the perfect bludgeon for Japan to use against China, now that the PRC has shown its true face.

Well, if your argument is correct Japan is in trouble,because Japan is already negotiating free trade with china and korea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well as the saying goes, "The proof is in the pudding". If this becomes reality it is a cosmic shift in how Japan has dealt with trade issues in the past and potentially opens the door for opportunities across the board.

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@ lachance - directly copy/pasting the same comment from other threads is mundane. China will continue to be many member nations number 1 partner - for instance Japan, australia etc - for the forseeable future. Let's hope the negotiations go smoothly and the consumer is the winner. I expect quite a few people in the rural sectors of Japan are fuming over their fish-heads and natto this morning...

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It’s not only this region where China is “gaining clout” - just a few days ago, Iceland became the first European country to sign an FTA with China.

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With "spanner in the works" Japan joining the talks they should soon grind to a halt.

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PaulJ,

Sorry but Japan has gamed the system in their favor(& against their own people) since the 70s!

Japan has had ample time to reform its price fixing, bid rigging, kick backing, amakudari etc etc ways & has basically chosen to to nearly ZIP!

And truthfully even if TPP comes into play in Japan I seriously doubt we will see that much better prices, we will be LUCKY to see more choices, Japan has a way to keep the world out while still being able to sell to the world but its coming to an end as time passes, not sure if the TPP will be able to change Japan much, time will tell

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@GW

It isn't just Japan that is being dishonest and gaming the system. All the major economies of the world are doing it, have done it and it will continue as long as the leaders of the poorer economies are corrupt enough to allow them to. I know that you don't say that Japan is the only country at it but the tone of your post seems to me to imply that. I apologise if that is not the case. The USA and the EU have also forced agreements onto countries and in the case of the EU on each other, which are far from being in the best interests of the average citizen. I just don't buy the idea that Japan is the only place out there being dishonest and all the rest of the world are playing by the rules.

You could be right about what you say about nothing changing in Japan but I take the view that there is a world of difference between the institutional Japan that is resistant to any kind of change and the average Japanese person who is sick of the malaise in their society. At some point I would like to believe that there will be a shift in power because the people demand it. It seems to me that there is a huge disconnect between the people making the decisions and the average person. What was good for the country post WW2 is now what is digging them deeper into their hole. Group orientated society might be good when everyone is working towards the same aim but when there are lots of disparate groups looking after their own selfish interests, even if those interests are to the detriment of the country as a whole, then a downward spiral is inevitable.

Regarding the TPP, I think it l might end in a lot of tears, bitterness and recriminations. The truth is that the fundamental values, ideology and structure of Japanese society, business and the general mindset of the populace is incompatible with free trade at this point. Whether or not free trade is a good or bad thing I really can't say but I feel that Japan is being led to open up it's entire economy before the essential restructuring of the domestic economy (that would be needed to have any sort of level playing field) takes place.

I just don't think that a genuine free trade agreement is possible with Japan and it baffles me that other economies wanting Japan to sign up to the agreement can't see that. Any free trade agreement of this scale, if honestly implemented (and I can see your point here GW) would not just damage Japan's agricultural industry but would rip the guts out of most of the desperately inefficient Japanese domestic economy which has for many years become complacent as they enjoy a position of, as you say price fixing and lack of foreign competition for years. When I travel abroad I see the same international brands everywhere except in Japan (I am not talking about Cartier watches or Louis Vuitton handbags) and what baffles me even more is that many of those "luxury" European brands that are seen in the swanky department stores are nothing more than low quality high street goods everywhere else. The rich Japanese will be astonished when they find out that their luxury English tea or French wine can be picked up for a little less than a euro in any Tescos or Carrefour and is considered a very poor quality good in those countries. For years foreign goods are allowed to be sold in Japan as long as they don't interfere a Japanese producer. I think it will take more than a fair trade agreement to make the entrenched business interests comply with the rules of that agreement and change the mindset of an entire population but my hope is that the average Japanese can began to effect the change. Perhaps I am naive but I still like to believe that it is possible.

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Obama tried a similar agreement with TPP in latin america, but was put out with a kick in the ass, because the Latino leaders are not foolish enough to fall into this trap.

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Globalization and globalism is a total failure. Europe and states are a good example. Obama knows this but wants to continue this farce of free trade with Japan just to benefit their boss, wall street bankers and large corporations americans that financed his political campaign for reelection.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Regarding the TPP, I think it l might end in a lot of tears, bitterness and recriminations. The truth is that the fundamental values, ideology and structure of Japanese society, business and the general mindset of the populace is incompatible with free trade at this point. Whether or not free trade is a good or bad thing I really can't say but I feel that Japan is being led to open up it's entire economy before the essential restructuring of the domestic economy (that would be needed to have any sort of level playing field) takes place.

PaulJ,

But all the above is Japans responsibility, its done pretty much nothing since the 80s. Actually I think if the TPP is properly implemented it will put a LOT of companies in Japan out of business, again thats Japans fault & the rest of the world SHOULD NOT let Japan into the TPP with favours, Japan has reaped for 3-4decades without really opening up much, they have had their cake & also been eating everyone elses, time for that to STOP, if Japan wants to continue to trade.

Japan by all means can opt out, perhaps it should, but there are consequences both ways, Japan doesnt deserve any more free passes, those days are gone, shoganai ne

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GW

I agree with you I think that the countries that are pushing for Japan to be in the agreement are naive if they really believe that Japan will truly follow the agreement. I don't think that free trade is in itself is a good thing and it certainly isn't a good thing for Japan. I really don't think that a free trade agreement is suitable for Japan at this point and it is not the way out of their 20 year malaise. It isn't just the cozy relationships between government and big business, the protectionism of domestic industries but more importantly a mindset that has been inculcated into people that every Japanese product from an apple to a care is superior to foreign made goods. If the free trade agreement is not implemented fairly by Japan is going to end in a lot of bitterness which will only further isolate Japan from the world. And Japan isn't going to get many more free passes anymore, they are not as important as they were 20 years ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

apple to a care

Of course that should read car

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It isn't just the cozy relationships between government and big business, the protectionism of domestic industries but more importantly a mindset that has been inculcated into people that every Japanese product from an apple to a care is superior to foreign made goods.

I fully agree with this, but imo govt, big biz & the MEDIA have fo decades hammered this into the locals. So I think ALL as to blame, hey I am the first to admit Japan makes great stuff, although quality isnt what it used to be & continues to decline, so all share in the blame & as I have been harping for ages, unless Japan re-invents itself from the ground up its going to continue its decline, its amazing the decline I have seen over 20+yrs, very sad.

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Thanks for your reply

I too really hope that Japan can emerge from the two decade economic decline but I really think it is unimportant compared to other issues in this country. I really think that the Japanese people deserve better than what they have been getting with their horrendous work hours, fairly low quality of life and institutional bullying culture. The people that I come into contact with everyday are some of the most considerate, kind and genuine people I have met anywhere and they are being continually abused by those higher up. Like you said it is big business, the government and media hammering these ideas into people but those people do have a breaking point. And I agree with you that the Japanese make very good quality stuff (they have incredible pride in their work) but so do a few other places. I really don't care if Japan declines economically if the average Japanese person can find a new freedom and happiness in their new found place. Being the biggest economy in the world doesn't mean much when you don't have any time or any place to enjoy the fruits of your labour. These are genuinely good people and they deserve better than 16 hours a day at school followed by 16 hours a day at a meaningless repetitive job. The human spirit was not designed for such a life.

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PaulJ,

I agree the life of your average Tanaka isnt something to be envied clearly, I have often said quality of life needs vast improvement here BUT do the locals even WANT it, RECOGNIZE things could be better??????????

I am not convinced that most want it, seriously, I find that many Japanese really resent when they see others doing well & enjoying LIFE, most to me seem to more enjoy collective misery than trying to make things better...............

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