Japan, China prepping to revive high-level economic dialogue


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The writing is on the wall for all the Asian mercantilist regimes. No longer can they bank on a complacent America, one which turns a blind eye to skewed trade statistics and the massive market distortions and theft of intellectual property which underpin them. The perverse rewarding of market access without insisting on full reciprocity has finally ceded to the realist perspective and these discussions between Japan and China are a confirmation of that.

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This is good news and all, but the Chinese government needs to do a better job of not brainwashing its citizens into hating all things Japanese from an early age. We're talking indoctrination at the grade school level. There's a difference between teaching history, and teaching irrational hatred, particularly when the nation you purport to hate has provided a lot of economic aid and technological know how, and will continue to do so in the future.

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The writing is on the wall for all countries of the world; The American have weaponized trade and will attack and bully any nations;allies or not. Those countries that are united together(like EU) will be able to stand up against Trump's trade attack and protectionism, while other countries that are divided(like South Korea, Japan and China) will have give in and give up certain interests.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

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Don't expect too much from Abe. He isn't capable to do significant contributions to the United State of Northeast Asia. Abe is just try to remedy his ill policy toward China in the past 5 years. He is paying the price for his mistakes and Japan will suffer the pain for Abe's bad manner and stupidity. The responsibility of any govt is to design a future for a its people. Because Abe is a long sitting PM, his blunder 5 years ago is showing symptoms now even before he finishes his job.

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This is because the nations of the world, including the so-called ‘’advance nations’’ have appeased the US for too long and allowed the US to become drunk with power, to become arrogant. Nothing will change until these nations exert their independence, regain their sovereignty.

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It's Trump who is pushing these two incompatible nations come closer to each other. The harder he pushes, the closer they become. I think this move is rather significant because Trump does not seem to realize that the world today can live without US.

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socrateos, this has nothing to do with Trump. Northeast Asia have much more compatibility than you would think, they are almost identical. Abe isolates Japan from neighbors, it is Abe's fault: pulling away from neigbours against history and culture and geopolitics.

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Not yet,not yet! Many old disputes should be clearly defined first before any constructive economic talks. Mr.Abe is in big trouble of his own scandal,I think it takes time to see the outcome first. Especially who is going to be his sucessor,who is the next prime minister and about his approach!

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Silly. When you can print money to infinity there is no stopping any nation.

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 this has nothing to do with Trump...

Yes, it's about Trump trade policy. He puts Japan in the same category with China and Russia. It's going to have a lasting effect on Japanese politics, forcing Japan to rethink about Japan-China relationship.

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I dont think this changes anything at all. Japan Inc will always seek economic benefit where it can find it, as does every other country. In fact, if you were to accept that Japan will eventually need to sign a bilateral trade agreement with the U.S then the need to offset any perceived losses with gains in China should come as no surprise. The differences between Japan and China, in terms of politics is not going away. The facts about China are clear:

Deeply authoritarian to the core. More so than Russia

Social credit system ensures the worlds biggest and most comprehensive surveillance state ever created. Eastern Germany and Soviet Russia are nothing in comparison.

Your ability to question power and how its used is increasingly heading towards zero. You toe the party line or your life will be ruined. You will be banned from jobs, university, travel etc. Its already started.

Increasingly strong tendency towards following in the footsteps of 18 - 20th century European imperialism through the creation of debt traps and military expansion. Where that begins and ends we don't know, but the signs are obvious - SCS, Maldives, Doklam, Sri Lanka, large parts of Africa etc etc. South Korea was another example of different kind 12 months ago.

Established history of cyber-hacking and industrial espionage sponsored by the state. IP theft

The way they treat foreign companies inside China is becoming increasingly difficult. They talk about openness but practice the exact opposite. Nobody is fooled.

Ongoing history of seeking influence through bribery of politicians in order to secure business deals or for those politicians to toe the line from Beijing, especially in regards to the SCS

Its support for particularly nasty characters in Cambodia, Venezuela, certain African regimes. Philippines

A clear desire to subvert and undermine the rules based order that has existed since WW2 and lead to global prosperity. The U.S is also guilty of this of course at times, mainly in relation to their escapes in the Mid East and South America in times gone by.

A highly aggressive military development program that includes hypersonic nuclear weapons and advanced AI. China is ushering in a global arms race that could lead to the outbreak of WW3 and losses of life on an unbelievable scale. I'm not discounting the role of the U.S and Russia in this, they are also guilty, just saying that China is a willing and leading participant. The U.S and Russia have treaties which could be reinvigorated to prevent this situation getting out of hand. That does not exist with China.

Some of this impacts Japan and some of it doesn't, but politically, China can never be seen as a strategic partner of any liberal democracy, Western or Eastern, given the direction the country is headed in domestically, the sort of language coming from Xi and the track record over the last couple of decades that continues.

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Further on China's industrial espionage (towards the end of this article). I'm sure Japan is aware.


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Matt Hartwell - very well put. There is not much to add to your posts except for additional emphasis on China's total lack of respect for intellectual property.

I know someone who was the head master at a very large international school in China last year. He left China and told me two things. One, it was well known that all their accomodations were under surveillance, or simply put, bugged. Two, it was obvious to him and alot of people China has become much more unfriendly to foreigners as they feel they have now extracted what they need out of the west and other Asian countries. Many people were leaving China...or being asked to leave.

Many large engineering/tech firms do not allow company laptops to be taken to China. If a device is connected to the internet in China it is to be discarded or at least prohibited for use for business purposes (I have personal experience with this and now follow this policy myself). This speaks well of China's ability to "gather information" but does not speak well of business practices there.
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socrateos, no one cares about Japan-China relationship except Japanese people and Chinese people. No one puts Japan in the same category with China. Japan is the third class economy while China is the second one. US-China relationship is the dominate one, not Japan-US relationship, nor Japan-China relationship. In the past 5 years, Abe successfully marginalized Japan in Northeast Asia. I am afraid that Japan is no longer respected by others. Is it funny that Abe wants to protect US by collective defense ? Since when does US need Japan's protection ? It is too late for Abe to play a balanced role, he missed his chance 5 years ago. There is no free lunch. Abe wants a special treatment ? Pay for it.

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The discussion seem to get inti personalities here.

One must remember that unlike the US, China and Russia, the Japanese Prime Minister has limited direct autonomous power and control of matters.

This matter is also tied into international economics as well as politics with the entire world trade in turmoil due to overt and covert activities tied into the impact of Trump on "group" and "joint" trade policies such as by EU, and TPP, designed to "control" the markets to some idealized economic balance.

The problem for Japan however, much greater in that Japan has also assisted in China's economic growth and invested heavily in Chinese industries believing in their "mutual" sharing of economic benefits, only to be robbed of technology and "control" of "production" due to "labor costs" controllable in China because of their massive labor population and vast territory.

Meanwhile the "price" factor began to dominate the world market based upon volume and "created" markets for "variety" and "created needs", where China was able to adjust and dominate due to so called investments from Japan and US. That helped China to "control" much of the lower priced products markets throughout the world. Their momentum in that area is difficult to stop at this time. There are too many countries dependent on "cost" and "price" because they cannot "compete" in the "production" of same ir similar products.

Japan suffered from it and has now made the change to pruduce "quality" in "quantiy" as well as in high end specialized technological products. The problem is that both Japan, China, Gernaly and other countries have "invested" in China for low cost production and have lost the "production power" which was cheap "trained" and "capable" labor. The entire world invested in "training" Chinese and ignored to train their own citizens. So China is now not only the cheap labor but highly trained cheap labor in the world.They can produce the high end quality products as well.

China by ignoring patents an copyrights of others have used the "borrowed" technology and allowed their already trained people to produce their own. Therefore, the rest of rhe world has nothing to really gain from China but to buy what they can no longer produce within their own country.

For Japan, the need is more basic in the form of commodities. If China were to raise the price of foods being shipped to Japan by even 10%, Japan will suffer a major inflationary problem. While Japan probably needs the TPP to assure the availability of commodities while they make an effort to increase production in Japan, China is still the major source.

Therefore despite the threat of China "stealing" natural resources on land and and under the sea overtly and covertly, and even territories, Japan must continue to "purchase" commodities from China while hoping thatChina will lnot force high techology products that Japan produces and reduce Japanese production.

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