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Japan says no barriers to auto imports after U.S. fires trade salvo

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Yep, no barriers. That's why a Ford Explorer will cost nearly double in Tokyo what it will cost in Los Angeles.

Kind of like Japan ended commercial whaling by changing the words to "scientific research."

And before anyone says something stupid like "German cars sell well in Japan", that is only because Germany made threats similar to what Trump has made, and began to enact them. Japan backed down. Why are British, Australian, Italian, Australian, French and Swedish cars selling as poorly as American cars? These are compact cars, most available with RHD.

There are barriers to American and other European cars and goods in Japan, and for Abe to state otherwise is disingenuous. The very first barrier is currency manipulation, and much of what Abenomics has been about is manipulating the currency. This manipulation is disguised as stimulus and debt management, but it is simply manipulation.

But then back when the exchange rate was 75 yen to the dollar, another barrier was erected to prevent imported cars from selling, and that was Japan'a all time favorite, corporate collusion and price fixing. Despite a more than 40% strengthening of the yen, which should have resulted in at least a 40% decrease in the price of imported cars, Japanese dealers in imports did not reduce prices. A new imported car (even the German ones) cost the same at 75 yen to the dollar as they did when the rate was 130 yen to the dollar.

Barriers do exist, and they are a mile high.

9 ( +21 / -12 )

US cars are not monstrously too big in the UK, neither are they left-hand drive in the UK. The US makes very good cars now, that are perfect for the English countryside, and also absolutely suited to Japanese roads. If you've never seen them, you won't know them, but they are manufactured and sold in "right-hand drive UK", and they are every bit as good as the European and Japanese equivalents.

http://www.ford.co.uk/Cars/Focus

http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/best-small-cars.html

I'm a Brit, with no reason to support US cars, except that they are very good in the UK, and this "way too big for Japan" line is a decade out of date. The US manufacturers have fair access to the UK market, not the Japanese one. That's the difference. I've driven a Toyota Auris and a Ford Focus in the last few months in the UK, both right-hand drive, and I can't choose between them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Dogdog,

Spot on. Excellent post. Excellent.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The biggest non-tariff barrier that American cars face in Japan is that they are from America. Whether justified or not, they are seen as big, brutish and unsophisticated. A bit like their president. European cars in Japan don't face the same problem. They are seen as technically advanced, stylish and sophisticated. It's all about the marketing. Perhaps Tesla and Apple might change the perception of American cars in the future.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Many US cars are oversized for Japan.

However, that does not mean that the kei car rules are a de facto trade barrier, because they are. A non-turbo 660cc engine is too small for optimal performance in a car carrying four people. Fiat, Renault, etc. sell millions of small cars in Europe with bigger engines, the Fiat Panda for example. If there was something magical about having a 660cc engine and only two seatbelts in the back, another kei rule, European manufacturers would make such cars. Designing and tooling up for cars cost a fortune, so overseas manufacturers cannot produce sub-optimal cars that they can only sell in Japan. It means 30%+ of the car market in Japan is ringfenced. Regardless of what US manufacturers may or may not be doing, without the kei rules, you would see more Fiats and Renaults etc. in Japan, because they make small cars that are competitive with Japanese cars.

The smallest notable car is the Smart for Two which a. is a two seater, b. has a turbo, and c. was available under 660cc in one initial configuration. For economy, you want a larger engine that will rev less. Stick a turbo on a kei and its fuel economy falls to about the same as a 1300cc Honda Fit, a bigger and better (more room, more safety features, 5 seater) car.

An N-Box Custom, Tanto Custom, Wake Custom etc. can easily cost 2 million yen new with a sat nav, which most people buy. These are some of the top selling kei cars, proving that kei cars are not for "poor people" who need a tax break. Poor people do not buy new cars anyway.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I cannot count the amount times I've had someone drift into my lane or driving right on the center line in a US-made left-hand-drive car. They should be made to convert them right-hand-drive or the US manufacturers should do it for the Japanese market. Also, those K-cars are nothing short of an aluminium can on wheels. They cannot be imported into Australia because they fail to meet the safety standards of side impact and they have no crumple zones. if you have an accident in one you are screwed. They are a death trap.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan has used its skill and proffit to benifit the world while the US has developed an arms industry and bombed the "unko" out of any lesser nation with oil.

Really? Didn't realize personal computers, smartphones, the Internet, TV, radio, jet planes, etc. were invented in Japan. How has Japan's skill benefited the world, exactly?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan has done a very good job keeping foreign cars out with the exception of hi-end stuff & some SUVs, THIS was all by design, by Japan INC!

True there is ZERO duty on vehicles, just 8% import consumption tax that applies to all imports, which in essence is a FIXED duty rate on everything into Japan.

That said Japan won the battle in 70s-90s when it mattered, THEY KEPT foreign cars etc out of Japan.

Fast forward to present & the market is no NOT worth the bother, population is in steady decline, young are less & less interested in buying cars PERIOD, so Japanese car markers market is in state of steady decline.

The biggest non-tariff barrier to any foreign import is the CONSTANT Japan this Japan that, Japan good, foreign bad that is hammered into the populace as a constant barrage, so no wonder things like US cars have a hard time.

And lets face back in the 70s-80s when the US actually tried they soon hit the brick wall where NO ONE in Japan would handle anything to do with made in US cars, from truckers to garages to dealers, they just said NO! And anyone who has lived here would know setting up whole new distribution is insanely expensive & the populace trained few would want to work for the US car industry. THAT was the simple biggest NON-tariff barrier & it still exists today.

All that said if given a fair chance I think US cars could have carved a small chunk but not a lot. In any case the market is no longer worth the hassles involved.

But for meat/veggies Japan needs to be HAMMERED big time on those fronts & look for the US to do just that.

Japan your hey days are long over, life is going to get more competitive or you can continue to regress into a North Korea like country, WHICH I think a LOT of Japanese would be happy to do so actually!!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I think the cars part is a misnomer too.. Fact is most American "cars" don't suit Japan, and in America most cars that would fit in a carpark here or comfortably down a Japanese back street are Japanese, Korean or European.

Now, rice, meat, milk, butter and so on.. there is something to that for sure.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"Also, the current crop of American cars are not suited for mass market in Japan... They are niche fashion statements (american muscle). Detroit-3's best hope is to just carve a niche."

Absolutely not a problem at all. Just look at the Toyota Hilux. One of the best selling cars (trucks) in the world. One of the rarest cars in Japan. A big car company can design and churn out a car for a particular market in no time at all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Dogdog's position and comment is completely wrong. Not a little wrong, completely wrong. And smithinjapan is wrong, as usual. No matter how many accounts they have to vote up and down, the truth is that there are no tariffs and they're are no "non-tariff barrier," what ever the heck that means.

Is the US going to demand that Toyota sell American cars in Japan again?

The radio frequency is different. Japan drives on the left. US cars are monstrously too big.

Would Japanese companies have sold any cars in the US if the steering wheel was on the right, the radio frequency wasn't adapted to the US, all of the dash and panel was in Japanese?

Mechanics don't have 1/2" wrenches in Japan, for heaven's sake. The US is beyond stubborn and is the only developed nation in the world still using old Imperial measurement. Sheeeeesh.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The reason imported cars do not sell well in Japan has nothing to do with their size or style, it has to do with their price. Imported cars are priced out of the domestic market, and that is why they are not sold here.

Meanwhile BMW and Volkswagen AG are making a kiling in Japan.

If they can make a killing, other brands are just not trying (or worst - simply do not even understand Japan and Japanese quirkiness) and are ready to cry victim mentality at the first opportunity.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan demands inspections every two years.

It's every two years after the initial inspection at 36 months, in line with many developed countries. The UK, by contrast, demands an annual inspection after the first three years.

Drivers in such jurisdictions are reassured, therefore, that the souped-up car tailgating them at least has functioning brakes and suspension.

If you're from the USA where, alarmingly, only 17 states have periodic safety inspections, it's quite natural to see Japan's inspection regime as draconian. For the rest of us it's normal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Since the post war years, America has had three of the world's top-selling compact cars, the Fiesta, Escort, and Focus.

These were not the same cars around the world, just the same labels. For example, the first Escort to be made in the US was in 1980. There had been an Escort in Europe since the 1960s.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"we do not impose any non-tariff barriers,"

Suga needs to stay off the narcotics. A third of Japan's auto market is effectively ring-fenced from foreign competition thru "kei-cars," built to a unique Japanese technical standard -- and reflecting Japanese agricultural needs in the 1950s.

Owners of these uniquely Japanese vehicles - often 4 seaters with one 660cc engine(!) - get preferential tax treatment and a host of other govt stipulated incentives. Even lower safety standards. LOL. It's like happoshu: the govt rewarding producers of inferior products.

Yep, free trade luvin' Japan.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Yeah, but if you're from a smaller country like the UK, you get American cars designed for UK roads and conditions, and they compete and sell. This huge American gas-guzzling SUV imagery is a deliberate Japanese red herring. US cars that sell well in e.g. UK, like the new Ford Focus, should have similar market access in Japan. But they don't. The real reason why they don't is that Japanese consumers believe in the superiority of their own products unless something has brand/fashion value, plus collusion here stops free competition, which skews prices. So you see quite a few high-end Mercedes, but you never see Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat etc., and you seldom see Ford or GM.

Food is indeed the biggie. The Japanese are nowhere near self-sufficient, import taxes are sky high, and protectionism is rife. It is impossible to re-educate the Japanese into believing US cars are great, but the Japanese will eat more US and European food. The US should challenge this area more.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Why are British, Australian, Italian, Australian, French and Swedish cars selling as poorly as American cars?

Brands in those countries (barring ultra high end like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini) do not really exude quality like the German Big 3 and Japanese domestics.

Like I said above, if you are an American car maker, forget mass market in Japan and start catering to rich clientle with otaku interest in cars and be an aspirational brand.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@gokai - I do not think that is the case (US not happy until Japan passes such a law).

On the other hand you say "US is not America first"

I agree with you - the U.S. government is corrupt and has been for decades. The U.S. is crony capitalism at its finest (and in this case fine is not good). We have members of Congress and Senate who go to work as lobbyists for foreign governments after they finish. Japan, in fact, hired the Daschl group (Tom Daschl is the former Senate Majority leader) to lobby for Japan.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/japan_taps_lobbyists_to_bolster_us_ties-241489-1.html

I do not blame Japan for doing this. I blame the corrupt U.S. system where the U.S. politicians neither look out for nor serve the interests of American citizens.

Related to cars - I believe the U.S. needs to focus on manufacturing and marketing cars to Japan that would be functional and suited for use in Japan (as many above have stated). This would include right side steering, size, and fuel economy....or as Redsuns says above...find a niche...albeit small...at least it is a niche! (not a bad idea actually)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Regardless of your view on this, it could end badly for JApan with Trump as president. I think agricultural products are a bigger issue myself.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How has Japan's skill benefited the world, exactly?

Dunno what planet are you from... But if you lived in the 70s-80s-90s (and even stretching it to early 00s) the consumers all over the world experienced owning extremely well engineered & well made Japanese products at reasonable prices. Be it business-to-consumer or business-to-business.

It's no exaggeration when Japan Inc. showed it to Americans and Europeans how to make less shoddy electronics and cars. This was perfectly demonstrated when Toyota-Lexus released LS400 luxury sedan, Nissan Skyline GTR and Honda NSX world-beating supercars in the 90s. These showed how so-called European presitge were woefully behind in refinement and blending/implementing complicated advanced electronics in cars (see Nissan Skyline GTR)

Fast forward to this decade, even Korea and China have finally caught up with Japan in durable goods Seems that the only export the Japanese have without any semblance of competetion is manga&anime (hentai included), videogaming and JAVs and is proving to be highly profitable. Anime/manga/hentai/game/JAV have totally conquered millenials all over the world, and may even displace Hollywood's reliable popcorn movie blockbusters.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Quality and after-care service/maintenance are key to U.S. auto industry success in Japan.

Both of which are seriously lagging behind the Japanese. Tariffs are but a small hurdle.

Consumers cannot be pressured to buy something simply on the basis of one country getting upset and claiming it's all because of unfair trade practices. If the U.S. government & auto industry want to seriously compete here, they need to study what Japanese consumers expect when they buy a car and how the Japanese auto industry tries to meet those expectations. Otherwise, they're just wasting their time talking about tariffs all the time. If Japanese car quality and after-care service were poor or lagging in the U.S., do you think so many American consumers would still buy Japanese autos (regardless of price)? Probably not.

It would be wonderful to say that Ameican cars are the best in the world and that the only thing preventing Japanese consumers from buying them is due to high tariffs imposed upon them, but the problem is more complex than that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But for meat/veggies Japan needs to be HAMMERED big time on those fronts totally agree, Japan need a huge wake up call on agriculture trade, the insulting tariffs on many agriculture imports needs to be killed off once and for all.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Japan is BMW Group’s sixth largest market by volume–almost 76,000 cars last year according the president of BMW Group Japan. Bertel Schmitt recently wrote an interesting article for Forbes about non-tariff barriers in selling cars in Japan and how BMW succeeds in that market.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bertelschmitt/2017/02/27/bmws-japan-ceo-reveals-the-countrys-true-non-tariff-barriers/#20ea4eb52f65

One reason for the ease (over the US) at which the Euro manufacturers can import to the Japanese is not just the EU’s production of smaller vehicles.

ENCAP. The Japanese use the same model for their vehicle assessing, thus eliminating costly duplication of product testing.

This is where the US is on its own manufacturing under its own system. I have read a few years back that 13 billion dollars a year could be saved by the US if it adopts what the rest of the world is doing.

The US needs to build JNCAP compliant vehicles. The US has dug itself into a hole outside of the US. US companies building in ENCAP signatory nations have a better chance. At some point Americans need to realize that they are the ones that put up barriers, not the other way around.

There already is a global vehicle harmonisation system in place. The only country to not adopt is the US.

What percentage of the global market does the US represent? As many are now realising the world will not change to suit the US. The US auto industry needs to come on board to what the other 80%+ of the world is doing. This will facilitate trade between the US and other signatories.

The US has a more than favorable approach to large vehicle manufacture. This is where the US is competitive …… because no one else is heavily dependent large vehicle production. The US is quite uncompetitive at what the world wants in vehicles, combine this with different design and safety standards you have an industry trying that is hamstrung.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

US cars are not monstrously too big in the UK, neither are they left-hand drive in the UK. The US makes very good cars now, that are perfect for the English countryside, and also absolutely suited to Japanese roads.

But those "US" cars we see in the UK are designed and manufactured in Europe. They are certainly not made in the US. So why doesn't Ford follow the same pattern and build a plant in Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yoshihide Suga said "We do not impose import tariffs on cars, and we do not impose any non-tariff barriers,” >can I have ten minute to stop laughing before I write a comment?.......I don't know who he's trying to kid here I think we all know better.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The main hurdle foreign car manufacturers face is that Japanese are proud of their cars - they may buy European brands and specialty items like Jeep, but Japanese consumers believe in the quality of their vehicles when it comes to your average family car (as they should). Trump needs to be careful, if he starts to get too pushy, all he will do is further encourage Japanese to buy more Japanese products. No way will they buy American if they feel they are being threatened. If and when American cars achieve eqivalent quality of say German made cars they may have a better chance. Japanese consumers like to buy Japanese products, all things being equal - no amount of threats or chest thumping is going to change that. It's a matter of culture and national pride (with just a tinge of "sabetsu" thrown into the mix.)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The whining about the K cars is getting obnoxious.The copy and paste of the same stale argument over and over. Changing the K's alleged advantageous status by increasing tax and insurance rates won't convince people to buy more US cars, unless makers get off their butts and produce a reliable small car that can emulate the K.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

US cars are not monstrously too big in the UK, neither are they left-hand drive in the UK. The US makes very good cars now, that are perfect for the English countryside, and also absolutely suited to Japanese roads. If you've never seen them, you won't know them, but they are manufactured and sold in "right-hand drive UK", and they are every bit as good as the European and Japanese equivalents.

@Hampton,

The cars you refer to are made in Portugal and Germany (Ford Focus) and Germany (Opel/Vauxhall Adam). They are designed in Europe, built in Europe and not American cars by any stretch of the imagination.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ford_factories#Current_production_facilities http://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/gm-manufacturing/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Sugawas right to regect american demands ! m

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"this is what most japanese can only afford and can fit in most japanese streets & parking lots. "

They can "afford" kei-cars due to a layer of discriminatory tax and insurance breaks designed by the govt. Which, er, is the problem.

"they are seen as big, brutish and unsophisticated."

The result of a propaganda campaign, orchestrated by the government and vested Japanese interests. AKA, a "Non-tariff barrier."

"European cars in Japan don't face the same problem."

No, they face a raft of other problems that limits their share to around 5%. Check out the EU business chamber for details.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Kei cars are clearly better for the environment, they reduce the demand for petrol imports in a resource poor nation, and they eliminate the need to expand the narrow roads that are ubiquitous in Japan. I think incentivising Kei cars is just an example of smart and legitimate domestic regulation. At what point does a reasonable regulation that serves the needs of local people become a devious non-tariff trade barrier? That seems to be the key question. It's scary to think that under the TPP, US companies would have been able to target these reasonable regulations and sue for all of their imaginary lost profits.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I wish I could afford a big American car but my house is too small to park an American car.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This manipulation is disguised as stimulus and debt management, but it is simply manipulation But then back when the exchange rate was 75 yen to the dollar back when the yen was at 75 to the $, the US was printing flat out into their 10yr $5+trillion QE. Now the US has stopped and the EU and Japan are basically doing the same thing people want to dry foul. Pot meet Kettle. Japan and the EU still have a long way to go to catch the US in the QE (opps manipulation game)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Every time A̶b̶e̶ ̶p̶u̶p̶p̶e̶t̶ Suga opens his mouth, it's to whine, moan and basically throw a hissy fit as if the whole world is against him and Japan. He must be a bundle of laughs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think the US would be wise not to focus on cars. Most people admit Japanese cars are more suited for this tiny country. Japanese look at foreign cars as fancy, that is why BMWs sell, they are a status. The US needs to realize this.

The US should focus on agriculture. Tell Japan we want to sell the same amount of foods in Japan as they sell cars in America.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

domtoidi I completely agree.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The K are small, but you can drive long periods between refills, the main drawback is the narrow roads. Large US and Europeans vehicles will struggle to find a market. The way poles and posts are placed in some of the strangest of places doesn't help

Also there are times i wish I could slide the floor panels to the side with feet in motions,more speed could be gained on the straights. That said the K's easy to park, in some of the tightest of spaces..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether justified or not, they are seen as big, brutish and unsophisticated.

Since the post war years, America has had three of the world's top-selling compact cars, the Fiesta, Escort, and Focus. These cars were top sellers because they were small, cheap, economical, and available in either LHD or RHD. These cars could be commonly seen on highways and roads on every continent throughout the world. But you have never seen any of these cars in Japan, they were kept out.

The same goes for Korean cars, which are selling well in North America and Europe, and are top sellers in Russia. These are small, inexpensive, and economical, but once again, you will never see one in Japan.

The reason imported cars do not sell well in Japan has nothing to do with their size or style, it has to do with their price. Imported cars are priced out of the domestic market, and that is why they are not sold here.

As an aside, a fiend of mine has been a car designer for Honda for more than 20 years, helping to design their two top selling cars. He is not Japanese, and the design studio is not in Japan. His kids have to say the "pledge of allegiance" at school in the mornings, that'll give you some idea about where he lives, and were Honda designs their most popular cars.

One of the reasons Japan has such an expensive and unnecessary inspection and road tax system is to keep imports out of the country. Any modern vehicle is designed to run and operate regularly for at least 5 years with no maintenance or repair other than fluid changes, yet Japan demands inspections every two years. Road taxes are based on engine size, primarily because in the rest of the world where highway speeds are greater, cars have bigger engines, and by taxing cars by engine size. Since most imported cars have larger engines, they are heavily taxed, which prices them out of competition.

Suga is lying through his teeth, just as his predecessors were. There are barriers, and for him to claim otherwise shoes he is no more honest than his predecessors were.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

My grand parents have said that there were American cars all over the place here in Japan in the 60s and 70s, and American gas stations too (Esso). But by the late 80s all that was gone. What happened?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agree, with Albaleo.

Model names also vary between countries, as a model name might already be used.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have imported two classic cars, and there is genuinely no import duty for this of transaction, I mention the detailed costs in a previous post. I actually managed a deal on areas of valuation. But their is noticeable a difference in priece between a car purchased retail in Europe and Japan. I tried asking a dealer, I get the shrug.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

presto345, there are plenty of small cars available like the ford focus its 950 cc 11bhp 3 cylinder car, but iam sure its better built and far safer than the little 600cc micro vans, I wonder what there safety testing is for them, I don't think that they would have any rating on them her in Europe. if these ford focus were on sale in japan at a commutative price they would sell for sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I could have sworn there was a multi-national trade agreement that address the agricultural and other trade barriers. I wasn’t even just between the US and Japan but a whole bunch of nations boarding the Pacific. “Trans-Pacific”, if you like. They all got together for YEARS to iron things out so that they all shared the same standards…almost like a “Partnership”.

Trump should just sign THAT and all his problems will be solved.

Well…maybe not ALL his problems. Comrade.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Our position is that Japan’s auto market is already open. This is something that will be settled in our bilateral dialogue.”

Your position, yes. And yes, it'll be settled when the spineless here give in to Trump 100%. They have that option, or else seeking to join China's free trade zone -- after having spent Abe's entire career as PM alienating said nation.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

The mortality of doom land orca Standard American Diet (SAD) is not worth it. Hope Japan keeps it's food protected. Albeit better at supply management such that when supply doesn't meet (meat?) demand they open it up for imports. That middle step would alleviate butter shortages and such

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Trumpsie is making no friends with his "America First" in most places, including here. If he is putting the US first, why shouldn't every other country put themselves first? And if he keeps it up, they should, too.

I live in Japan, and appreciate our food being protected from the crap quality food made in the US! http://www.mercola.com/infographics/10-banned-foods.htm

This doesn't even include cheese with cardboard in it to make it cheaper, foods that are very nearly not inspected at all for safety (or "self-inspected" by the food producing companies themselves). Companies that don't care about anything but profit are running the show 100% in the US and paying the politicians to let them do it.

Maybe they should think about improving US quality and safety as a way to get other countries' people to buy their products? They can strip the outrageously high salaries of US executives to pay for it. https://hbr.org/2016/12/if-the-sec-measured-ceo-pay-packages-properly-they-would-look-even-more-outrageous

Please protect Japan from agreeing to anything called "Free Trade" by Trumpsie and his band!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

tinawatanabe: "JT chose a picture of defiant look Suga nothing to do with this article."

So, what do you expect instead? One of him bowing down to the US? You seem to want Japan to say "no", do you not? So why do you object to the photo? Maybe a photo of him sleeping at meetings as usual?

In any case, he and Japan will, as always, do whatever the US wants.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Generally foreign cars are a hard sell in Japan. Car businesses are very competitive in Japan and very much a local market with its quirks. Foreign cars are not competitive here. Don't bark the wrong tree. Nevertheless, Japan has numerous non-official & hidden trade barriers that effectively block imports and encourage exports:

Extreme monetary policies that weaken the Yen to help the economy & exporters Import rules & regulations; stringent paper work, detailed inspection, etc with language & cultural barriers across officials and citizens Huge oligopolistic trading companies as go in-between in domestic distribution & sourcing & exports Extremely well protected agriculture & related plus services industries with historic LDP political backing Exports that serve Japanese overseas factories, where high value-added parts are sourced within Japan.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )

One complaint of US companies about doing business in Japan is that everything in in Japanese! Although lots of US companies are successful in Japan, many others aren't because they lack expertise. Also, there are American car dealerships in Japan. They are selling American cars, right? Maybe if they put a little more energy into it. I've never seen an American car commercial, but I have seen one for Volkswagen.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

JAPANTODAY readers have AMAZING thoughts on Japan. You don't see those in other news sites

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In 1951 , GM and Ford began selling cars in Japan. They are smaller and were popular in Japan for the owners who employed drivers. American car makers just exported cars from Detroit. Trump may still. Believe all Japanese brand cars in USA are made in Japan and exported from Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Most Japanese do not want to buy an American car. Quality is not as good as Japanese cars, just check out consumer reports magazine.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Most of the cars you see in Japan are domestic Kei-type with engines less than 1000cc because this is what most japanese can only afford and can fit in most japanese streets & parking lots. Anything above 1000cc or larger than Kei type means you're in the better off income bracket and live outside Tokyo metro.

Also, the current crop of American cars are not suited for mass market in Japan... They are niche fashion statements (american muscle).

Detroit-3's best hope is to just carve a niche.

Forget mass marketting razor thin margin soulless pleb-mobile and start selling "American lifestyle" products with justifiable high margins like Muscle cars and SUVs to impressionable & fashionable rich Japanese clientle!

Look, Japan knows that Harley Davidson is the Rolls Royce of motorcycles. If Harley Davidson can thrive in Japan, why not Detroit-3? All they need to do is just double or even triple down on "American-ness" (in style, substance and attitude). There's definitely room for 'murican Hellcat-powered Charger and Escalades with "TwentyFO" mag wheels here!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Funny the Trump administration is still insisting that Japan open its auto market to U.S. carmakers when it's reported the U.S. imposes 2.5% tarrifs on imported Japanese cars while Japan imposes no tarriff at all on U.S.-made cars (See Sankei Shimbun: Jan. 24, 2017). Doesn't the Trump team know about this fact? Or should this information of mine be taken with a grain of salt?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Actually they are many barriers and obstacles in place but they are well hidden and disguised in a well organized bureaucratic protectionism. Just like everything else, deception through wordplay is the game, and noone plays that game better than the Japanese.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nothing seems to have changed in years. When Senator Gephardt highlighted Japans unfair trade culture in the 1980' the excuses from Japan are exactly the same as what we here now.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Who in the world would buy a Ford Explorer? When there are a gazillion better SUVs around. While it's true that Japan does not put a tariff on US cars, the truth is that there is little demand from the Japanese consumer market. US cars that are of interest are "specialty" cars with an American image; Corvette, Jeep, Hummer, etc. usually bought by someone with a "amesha mania". As for the kei cars, most of those would not be allowed on the streets in the U.S. so no American maker is going to bother even making them.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

US is not America First, so Japan will be Japan First. The US will not be happy until Japan passes a law requiring every Japanese to own an American car.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

So why do you object to the photo?

because the photo was taken from a different situation, and there is no date on the photo.

In any case, he and Japan will, as always, do whatever the US wants.

Making Japan do whatever the US wants won't be US interest in the long run.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Fostering supporting industries looks like protectionism to some, but providing profit for reserch, stable employment, a way of life and growth environment for subordinate and paralel indusrieies with science and reserch is a good thing. Japan has used its skill and proffit to benifit the world while the US has developed an arms industry and bombed the "unko" out of any lesser nation with oil.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Exporting USA built cars mean exporting Japanese auto companies in USA built cars

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

US car makers moved to China, so car makers in USA are branches of Japanese car makers This is why I wrote exporting American cars means export cars made by Japanese automakers. Inn USA. It has nothing to do with how superior British business practice is superior in the world..

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

tinawatanabe: "because the photo was taken from a different situation, and there is no date on the photo."

Lots of photos are used from different situations. It's common practice when no photo at the time of question is available, and nowhere does it say or suggest the photo is taken of or at the time of Suga's comments. No, your problem, as you stated, is that the photo of a "defiant looking Suga". You seem embarrassed. The photo does not matter, except that it indicates who Suga is. Relax.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

JT chose a picture of defiant look Suga nothing to do with this article.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

American cars are not wheel chair friendly.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

The U.S. government also said Japan’s agriculture sector remains protected by “substantial” barriers

US has a bad resume. US stopped food export to Japan when US trying to drag Japan into a war. (But after started the war, US secretly sold food to Japan to extend the war so that US could sell more weapon)

Selling more food to Japan is another US ploy to control Japan.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

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