politics

Japan trying to clear up 'U.S. misunderstandings' over TPP

99 Comments

The Japanese government says it is trying to clear up some misunderstandings by the U.S. about the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact (TPP) talks.

Senior Vice Minister Katsuyuki Ishida was sent to Washington last week to continue negotiations on the TPP, but said that the American side failed to understand certain key points of Japanese policy in regard to automobiles, postal services and insurance, TV Asahi reported.

The talks have been characterized by confusion from the very beginning after Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced last November that Japan would take part in discussions with TPP partner nations.

After Noda met U.S. President Barack Obama in Hawaii, the White House issued a press release saying that Obama welcomed "Noda's statement that he would put all goods, as well as services, on the negotiating table." But when Noda returned to Japan, he said that he had been misquoted.

Meanwhile, members of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, as well as members of Noda's own Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have expressed their Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. The LDP wants agriculture (rice), insurance and the automotive sectors exempt from the negotiations.

The current round of talks focus on automobiles and insurance while Japan weighs its options for entering the TPP. Ishida's claim that America had misunderstood Japan's position came after talks with U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Robert Hormats, undersecretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs, TV Asahi reported.

Talks are currently focusing on allaying fears on the Japanese side that joining the TPP will result in an influx of unskilled foreign workers, and on the American side that Japan's inclusion could cause an increase in Japanese automobile imports, TV Asahi reported.

Noda has said that the government will not compromise what is important to Japan's national interests. He said Japan has the option of not joining the TPP talks if it is not in the country's interests.

So far, talks have avoided the sensitive issue of rice. Asked by an opposition lawmaker if Japan would ask for rice to be excluded from the list of products to be liberalized, Noda said it would not be prudent to reveal specific tactics at this stage.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

99 Comments
Login to comment

Japan trying to clear up misunderstandings when basically there is no understanding over TPP ?!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Amazing that the sticking point will probably be... rice.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I like Japanese rice but the banks really get my goat. Today's Asahi said the all party back-tracking on the denationalisation of the Post Office Bank and the resultant semi-government semi-monopoly on financial services is the major sticking point of the TPP.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not particularly "news" per se...

The "misunderstanding" was that Japanese expected to be allowed in but not to uphold it's part. It's the same old song. Americans should stay strong, Japanese presence in TPP is not important. Let them have their expensive yen and diminishing trade. Japan doesn't matter in the world anymore, not even regionally.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

DoLittleBeLateApr. 09, 2012 - 08:42AM JST The "misunderstanding" was that Japanese expected to be allowed in but not to uphold it's part. It's the same old song. Americans should stay strong, Japanese presence in TPP is not important. Let them have their expensive yen and diminishing trade. Japan doesn't matter in the world anymore, not even regionally.

Japan doesn't matter? Wow, that's just so wrong. It's the 3rd largest economy in the world. It's of critical strategic interest to the U.S. It is also a world leader in a number of technologies. Not to mention of course the web of trade relationships that makes Japan's continued success and survival critical to the economic wellbeing of a lot of countries, including the U.S.

When reading this report one simply has to ask the question, would any nation in the world be open to unrestricted access to their economy? The answer is no! The U.S. steel and agricultural sectors are heavily protected, in Europe it's agriculture. There isn't a single nation in the world where at least some sectors are "off limits". Any halfway intelligent person would realise that no nation in the world would allow unrestricted access to its economy, so one is forced to conclude that Obama misrepresented the situation in order to be seen as scoring another "win" and boost his campaign. Frankly, this is an election year and this sort of lying is pretty normal. Before an election U.S. politicians would promise the world, confident that after they're elected they can default on the promise without any consequences.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Aaah...the famous "misunderstanding "....Japan wants the US to understand that US should allow tax free access to Japanese products while Japan keeps its protectionist policies regarding agriculture , insurance, medicines etc...because of " unique, cultural" factors and such . Well done Japan - keep telling the US that they "misunderstand" and keep watching how " understanding "Korean makers market share continues to improve at Japanese expense. Nothing new really - Japan just cant stop digging its own hole.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Noda is an idiot, I'm sure that is exactly what he said not knowing what it ment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Must be hell for the simultaneous translator to sit there and translate the Japanese into English knowing what is said and what is really meant often have very little in common. Those guys must just turn off their brains when working - I know I couldn't do it! At least not with a straight face! ;-)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japanese policy in regard to automobiles, postal services and insurance

Um, buy all our car, let us keep our postal system the same and let us continue to allow companies to rip off the public and steal everything they have...

Japan doesn't matter? Wow, that's just so wrong. It's the 3rd largest economy in the world. It's of critical strategic interest to the U.S. It is also a world leader in a number of technologies.

I think you might be confused with the Japan of about 30 years ago. I don't actually think they are the 3rd largest. If you get rid of all the lies, all the deceit, I think you'd find a shell of what the economy used to be. China and Korea are taking over for electronics (sorry, not a large market for nurse robots) and the only interest the US has in it is location.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Would any nation in the world be open to unrestricted access to their economy? The answer is no!

You need to get out more. Ever heard of the European Union? Or NAFTA? Apart from a small number of minor issues, trade among the member states is unrestricted.

Frungy is dead on, when he says Japan wants to be a member but not hold up its end of the deal.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think you might be confused with the Japan of about 30 years ago. I don't actually think they are the 3rd largest. you get rid of all the lies, all the deceit, I think you'd find a shell of what the economy used to be. China and Korea are taking over for electronics (sorry, not a large market for nurse robots) and the only interest the US has in it is location.

Um, no, tmarie, Japan IS the third largest economy in the world and remains a world leader in a number of technologies. Japan's current account surplus increased multiple times in size between 1989 and 2010 and Japan's net worth increased nearly 500% during the same time period. Yes Japan is facing competition from Korea, but that doesn't mean its manufacturing will just immediately collapse, LOL. South Korea is also facing the same competition from China that Japan and Germany are. Japan and Germany lead the way in the production of producer's goods and capital equipment.

-5 ( +4 / -8 )

Japans power is in fast decline, but it doesnt realize its happening, the world needs to be a little firmer with Japan, no more screwing around with tarrif & non-tarrif non-sense

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There's no misunderstanding on the U.S. part, it's the Japanese side that now wants to pick and chose which things it agrees too, which wasn't in the all or nothing agreement...

The terms were already set, and all the other countries are FOLLOWING the SAME RULES, except now, Japan wants their own special conditions...

3 months ago Japan came running over to Hawaii, saying they want in, and they'll agree to the already fixed items of the TPP, And the U.S. already told them, this agreement is Non-Negotiable, all or nothing, You either accept the set conditions or NOT. So Japan said, "Ok we want in...!"

Now, they want to change it, because they don't want FAIR trade policies, they want everyone else to buy their stuff, but, only accept a few items from other countries... Sounds like typical Japan. Sounds like just another 8 year old boy, that wants everything his way.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Clearing up misunderstanding here = Backtracking after offending the master, or trying to worm your way out.

Noda has said that the government will not compromise what is important to Japan’s national interests.

I would welcome more choice and access to, not necessarily cheap, but affordable food products. The other day, I saw Japanese celery next to American ones in the supermarkets. The Jp one consisted of one stalk at 200 yen. The American consisted of one WHOLE plant at 120 yen. Guess which one I bought. We need more of these.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Japans power is in fast decline, but it doesnt realize its happening, the world needs to be a little firmer with Japan, no more screwing around with tarrif & non-tarrif non-sense

I don't think you understand, Japan is a mercantilist economy. It is in its interests to keep current policies in place. South Korea and China both employ the same mercantilist approach that Japan does, and have visible tarrifts and non-visible barriers in place to block imports in key areas and suppress consumption among the populace, which boosts savings which are then diverted into industry and R&D. This is how their economies are structured. America doesn't understand how the East Asian economies are structured, which is dangerous since it is AMERICA'S power which is in decline as we can see from its collapsed economy, failed military adventures, and the fact that a country with many times its population (China) is growing stronger and stronger every day.

-8 ( +6 / -13 )

Yes, Japan is number three. But how far can you trust the numbers? U.S.A is number one, and when number one stumbles, the world will trip and fall economically very soon after that.

Japan has been in recession continuously from the bubble economy of the 80's, and they were number two then. Did anybody notice? How come the world did NOT notice that economic power number two (number three now) was in recession?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Yes, Japan is number three. But how far can you trust the numbers? U.S.A is number one, and when number one stumbles, the world will trip and fall economically very soon after that.

The USA has already stumbled and Japan is still the third largest economy in the world. So you're saying we should trust the numbers for America, but not for Japan? OK.

Japan has been in recession continuously from the bubble economy of the 80's, and they were number two then. Did anybody notice? How come the world did NOT notice that economic power number two (number three now) was in recession?

Japan was number two in the 80s, because China was still in the early stages of its economic reform and still had a miniscule economy in comparison to its population. Japan slipping in the rankings doesn't reflect a failure of Japan's economy, but simply the phenomenal success of China's The bubble economy was based on inflated land prices and stock market. The bubble influenced, but was still different from the manufacturing which was always the backbone of the Japanese economy. The American media had a heart attack during the bubble era, spreading fears of imminent Japanese economic invasion and when it burst, decided to write off Japan as a has-been, completely overlooking that, during the next twenty years, the value of Japan's exports increased hugely leading to a multiple times increase in the current account surplus, and Japan's total net value also increased by nearly 500%. Oh dear, big mistake by America.

-6 ( +4 / -9 )

"the American side failed to understand certain key points of Japanese policy" The Americans failed to understand that Japan's government has no intention of implementing a free trade agreement no matter what it says or signs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I do not want American Health insurance. It is expensive and no where as good as Japanese National.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"regard to automobiles, postal services and insurance" umm these things are confusing to Japanese people in Japan. I dont blame the Americans for getting confused for 1 sec. I don't really blame Japan for being protective of its rice. I don't know enough about trade, but is it wise past a culture level. As it is rice is VERY over priced in Japan. I never figured out the reason for this. Many products in japan, that are made/from japan are MORE expensive IN japan. Tires that are made in japan sell for sometimes 50% less when exported to the USA but most of time around 25% of the JP cost. The same for rice and beer and sake. The made in the USA sticker means a good product a good price. The made in Japan sticker tends to mean a good product at a higher price. Is it because of pride? Mabye it is supply and demand. I cold never grasp economists very well, because so many things are to factor, and it can often include things like pride in ones product which can not really be calculated. But the supply of rice is MORE than enough (in japan), and demand has been dropping steadily for nearly 40 years. so why the do they charge more for rice than any country in the entire world?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

While I agree with most posters that "Japan wants to have its cake and eat it too" I think that it is important to make a clear distinction between The Japanese GOVERNMENT and Japanese people. Most PEOPLE here as individuals couldn't give a fiddler's fart about the TPP. Most of 'em have no idea what it is anyway, I think it needs to be established that "they" and "Japan" mean the corrupt and slippery shadow brokers at the top of the food chain here. Not the working class every-man/woman

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Asked by an opposition lawmaker if Japan would ask for rice to be excluded from the list of products to be liberalized, Noda said it would not be prudent to reveal specific tactics at this stage."

And they wonder why there are misunderstandings? When you are intentionally vague, wishy-washy, or simply reneging on promises, it's no wonder people misunderstand what the J-government is 'saying'.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"regard to automobiles, postal services and insurance" umm these things are confusing to Japanese people in Japan. I dont blame the Americans for getting confused for 1 sec. I don't really blame Japan for being protective of its rice. I don't know enough about trade, but is it wise past a culture level. As it is rice is VERY over priced in Japan. I never figured out the reason for this. Many products in japan, that are made/from japan are MORE expensive IN japan. Tires that are made in japan sell for sometimes 50% less when exported to the USA but most of time around 25% of the JP cost. The same for rice and beer and sake. The made in the USA sticker means a good product a good price. The made in Japan sticker tends to mean a good product at a higher price. Is it because of pride? Mabye it is supply and demand. I cold never grasp economists very well, because so many things are to factor, and it can often include things like pride in ones product which can not really be calculated. But the supply of rice is MORE than enough (in japan), and demand has been dropping steadily for nearly 40 years. so why the do they charge more for rice than any country in the entire world?

The high prices are designed to suppress consumption and keep the savings rate high.

-8 ( +3 / -10 )

Ishida said there is "some misunderstanding by the U.S. side" on automobile and insurance issues, without elaborating.....................................For formal entry into the discussions, Japan needs to gain the approval of all nine countries already involved in the TPP — Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam................I would hate to see what they say when they are ACTUALLY formally in TPP discussions.......

At First I was Pro Japan joining the TPP ,but now I want them blocked, The GOJ will only cause delays to the TPP. Japan must meet the "high standards" of market-opening rules shared by nine countries involved in the TPP

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ JapanGal

Most US Health insurance cover more then the Japanese system, I'm an Expat and My Wife uses our Cigna insurance rather then her national insurance (its paid by my company and we only pay 10-20% on everything with a $2,000 max pay for the year..... meaning if we go to the doctor or get medicine refilled all the time we pay 10-20% until the total amount we paid reaches $2,000 then everything after that is 100% paid by the insurance company.) The problem with American insurance is not what they cover, its the price if your company doesn't provide it or if you don't have a job....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The high prices are designed to suppress consumption and keep the savings rate high.

And as a result of overcapacity and protection of the wasteful distribution system that keeps jobs, even when they aren't necessary. You have to be kidding yourself if you think the driving force for high prices is to intentionally lower consumption.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What I wondered about was US insistence that Japan stop making kei cars. Why!? They're cheap, affordable, fuel efficient transportation for young kids, small young families, people on a budget and in some cases about all you can drive in the streets or park in the garages in some neighborhoods.....Iwaya in Awaji comes to mind, as do some areas in Minatogawa, Nagata, and Kita-ku.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

( a couple older neighborhoods in Kita-ku....you drive anything bigger than a kei,and the back end of your car sticks out of the garage)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did they put their Hanko on the pact? if so it is sealed!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would welcome more choice and access to, not necessarily cheap, but affordable food products. The other day, I saw Japanese celery next to American ones in the supermarkets. The Jp one consisted of one stalk at 200 yen. The American consisted of one WHOLE plant at 120 yen. Guess which one I bought. We need more of these.

A great example - my husband and I went shopping the other day and saw the same thing - American celery (full celery) for 100 yen vs the Japanese celery (one stalk) 100 yen. Guess which one we bought. The same can be said for the broccoli as well. What your average Joe Yamada doesn't get it that with Japan kicking and screaming about this, they are paying much, much more than they need to be for their food and other products. A bunch of bananas from the Philippians for 100 yen or AN apple from Aomori (is it safe to eat??!!) for.... 156 yen. Again, guess what I bought. I will continue to buy produce from abroad if they are cheaper. I went to JA a few weeks ago and laughed at the prices - more expensive than JUSCO. What a rip off. Japanese farmers, get with the game. I am sick of my tax money being used to prop them up and have to pay through the nose for their "oh so special" crap.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"said that the American side failed to understand certain key points of Japanese policy in regard to automobiles, postal services and insurance, "

Too funny. There are so many ways to rephrase that.... shall we this is the euphemism of the week?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And as a result of overcapacity and protection of the wasteful distribution system that keeps jobs, even when they aren't necessary. You have to be kidding yourself if you think the driving force for high prices is to intentionally lower consumption.

Except high prices exist for goods and services all across the board and not just for the subsidised and inefficient sectors of the economy.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The entire system is inefficient.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The entire system is inefficient.

No, it really isn't. Japan's manufacturing sector is far from ineffcient. The farmers being subsided and protected doesn't mean the whole economy is. The high prices are designed to boost the savings rate, which is a key cornerstone of East Asian economic system that Japan pioneered.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

oginome,

You really need to re-think a lot of the stuff your going on about........................

The high prices are just part of the overall corruption that is rampant, VALUE FOR $$$ is way way to low for so much here.

And as far a savings are concerned I am pretty sure the days of high savings ended a ways back, only the old folks have savings, the young & middle classes have not been able to save like in the past & its going to hurt like hell later in life, we will see many more suicides & many many more people just dieing in their tiny mansions.

When I think about what Japan did in the 60-80s it disgusts me to see Japan falling so much & its getting worse, it AINT gettin better

5 ( +7 / -2 )

oginome,

You really need to re-think a lot of the stuff your going on about........................

The high prices are just part of the overall corruption that is rampant, VALUE FOR $$$ is way way to low for so much here.

And as far a savings are concerned I am pretty sure the days of high savings ended a ways back, only the old folks have savings, the young & middle classes have not been able to save like in the past & its going to hurt like hell later in life, we will see many more suicides & many many more people just dieing in their tiny mansions.

When I think about what Japan did in the 60-80s it disgusts me to see Japan falling so much & its getting worse, it AINT gettin better

Oh dear, maybe you should read again. High prices DO keep the savings rate high, look at the overall consumption levels in Japan compared to America. The savings have continued, it's not just the 'old folks'. And when you 'think about what Japan did in the 60s-80s', it disgusts to see where it is now? I don't get it. What about what Japan did in the 90s-2000s, multiplying their current account surplus, and how Japan's total net value increase by 500%? Corporate Japan hoards '$2.4 trillion dollars in cash', which is a record.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-30/sony-leads-japan-inc-circling-takeovers-with-2-4-trillion-cash-real-m-a.html

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

No, it really isn't. Japan's manufacturing sector is far from ineffcient. The farmers being subsided and protected doesn't mean the whole economy is. The high prices are designed to boost the savings rate, which is a key cornerstone of East Asian economic system that Japan pioneered.

Ogi, can Japanese farmers produce enough food to feed all of Japan? Nope.

Can Japan produce enough food via methods that allow them to produce more food? Yes.

Do farmer use such methods? Nope.

Do Japanese farmers get huge subsidies? Yep. If they were good at what they do, why do they need government funding?

On average, is Japanese food more expensive then imports? Yes. How is Broccoli shipped from the US HALF the price of Broccoli here? More so, with all the damn subsidies?

Are Japanese farmers protected? Yes.

Does Japan have ridiculous rules about importing of food? Yes

Is Japan's food supply safe? HELL NO! The rice, beef, tea... are all fine examples. I keep waiting for the fish to be tested.

If food prices are high, are people able to afford fresh food? Nope.

If prices are high, are people able to save money? Nope.

Come on Ogi, stop drinking the kool-aid. This is hurting you too!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@ tmarie, nothing you said contradicts anything I've said. I've already said the farmers are subsidised. And yes, high prices, along with trade barriers are designed to BOOST saving rates and have done been shown to achieve just that. If food prices are high, yes, people do save up, versus not doing so, when the prices are low.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Do you have a chart or something? I think people buy less because they can't afford it, not because they are trying to save.

Do you think that the farmers should be subsidized as they are? Do you think they should change their methods so they can produce more? Don't you think the public would like cheaper prices and more selection?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Do you have a chart or something? I think people buy less because they can't afford it, not because they are trying to save.

It has already been proven in the much lower consumption and higher savings rate in Japan compared to America. People buy less because they can't afford it, so you understand, but that in turn leads to bigger savings. It's not a conscious decision by the consumer, it's the result of policies the government have implemented.

Do you think that the farmers should be subsidized as they are? Do you think they should change their methods so they can produce more? Don't you think the public would like cheaper prices and more selection?

Yes, the farmers' methods should be changed IMO, but Japan won't allow real free trade, because cheaper imports and lower prices will undermind this savings policy by the Japanese government. A high savings rate is crucial to the long term success of an economy, and is one of thes reason why Japan and South Korea industrialised and became rich faster than other nations. China is now following the same path.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Do you have links that give your specific point, Onigome? Most of what I've read about Japan's high prices are from protectionism, lack of land, layered distribution systems, subsidies, etc. Your comments are the first that I've ever read saying that prices are kept artificially high to encourage savings. I'm curious as to how this is done, by the way.

And as for the savings rate it's a natural occurrence for a culture that hasn't had a great deal of exposure to financial instruments or investments (check out stock ownership Japan vs. US, or the lack of any real real estate appreciation) and a history of savings.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do you have links that give your specific point, Onigome? Most of what I've read about Japan's high prices are from protectionism, lack of land, layered distribution systems, subsidies, etc. Your comments are the first that I've ever read saying that prices are kept artificially high to encourage savings. I'm curious as to how this is done, by the way.

It's self-evident, Japan's consumption rate is lower than most developed nations. You've correctly identified that the high prices come from protectionism and other factors, the but the products which do not emerge from subsided or protected areas of the economy also have high prices. The cartels which are encouraged by the government of course play their part in keeping the prices high. Suppressed consumption equals a higher savings rate, which has been a vital factor of Japan's post-war growth and a deliberate policy.

And as for the savings rate it's a natural occurrence for a culture that hasn't had a great deal of exposure to financial instruments or investments (check out stock ownership Japan vs. US, or the lack of any real real estate appreciation) and a history of savings.

Actually, the 'history of savings' emerged in the post war era, when Japan began to apply the economic model which it pioneered in Manchuria to itself. Japan has deliberately shielded 'exposure' to financial instruments and investments to keep the savings rate high, finance is not afforded the same level of importance as it is in the US.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

SuperLib: Do you have links that give your specific point, Onigome?

oginome: it's self-evident.

You really should be able to do better than that.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You really should be able to do better than that.

Except I've already provided the evidence in Japan's high saving and low consumption rates. Did you not understand? The trade protectionism is part of the overall government policy which restricts imports, and this combined with further government encouragement of cartels, keeps prices high, which causes the savings rate to go up and the products which end up being sold and purchased tend to overwhelmingly be Japanese, which contributes to the surplus.This is why Japan is a savings based country, not because of some sort of cultural reason that goes back to the times when Amaterasu refused to leave her cave, LMAO, but because of government policy. Japan stays away from finance, because it knows it would undermine this policy.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Noda said in "Japan's national interests." Rice a "national interests" for Japan. What rot! Japanese farmers can't even grow enought food for half the country. Traditionally Japanese to hang on to a system that should have been put to death generations ago. Americans didn't national interest when Japan flooded the TV market; we no longer produce TV but we survived in the name of free market. It's best for the rest of Pacific rim countries to let Japan float by themselves. The US need to cut the umbilical cord and let Japan "grow up."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Americans didn't national interest when Japan flooded the TV market; we no longer produce TV but we survived in the name of free market.

'We survived in the name of the free market' - grandiose statements like this show the extent to which so many Americans are unwilling to face up to the fact that their economy has collapsesd. No such thing as 'free trade' if the countries you trade with don't practice the same free trade principles America goes crazy for, even one country imposing tarrifs and non-visible barriers throws the whole thing out of sync. Japan is a leader and monopolises many areas of manufacturing, so even if the US 'cut the umbilical cord', it would still be dependant on Japan for the goods Japan only knows how to make. America needs to examine itself, putting all this faith in 'the market' when the rug is being pulled out from under its feet by other nations borders on the insane.

-8 ( +2 / -9 )

So it's corruption by design?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So it's corruption by design?

My point was that there is no such thing as 'free trade' unless all countries practice it with each other. America seems to content for everything to flow one way, and they put this down to a deluded belief in 'the free market', which is a disaster, because many of the nations it trades with certainly don't practice free trade and that includes Japan, the world's thirld largest economy and China, the world's second largest.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 02:10AM JST. because many of the nations it trades with certainly don't practice free trade and that includes Japan, the world's thirld largest economy and China, the world's second largest.

How do you define fair trade? They are practicing free trade because this is how Japanese and U.S. corporation wants it this way, and is supported by their own goverment and their trade partner. It's an agreement between countries and fair trade is defined by all countries that make agreements for mutual benefit. If you look at China, the U.S. corporations manufacturing U.S. products in China and export to U.S. market accounts for half of the trade inbalance. They also send manufactured goods to many other countries. These major U.S. companies like Apple would not support increase in tariffs by paying heavily to the lobbyist that works in Washington so that no major disruption takes place. Same can be said of 20,000 Japanese companies operating inside China that sends manufactured goods to Japan, Europe and U.S. It's all about maximizing profit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Robert DykesApr. 09, 2012 - 12:48PM JST The made in the USA sticker means a good product a good price.

Made in U.S.A.? Where? 25 to 50 percent? Remember, the average cars have 20K-30K parts on each vehicle. Where do you think these parts come from? In making Ford Focus, has global supply network has over 300 suppliers from over 20 countries. Suppliers from different countries are critical in making new Focus. The new Focus raises the bar for Ford and their suppliers by using common parts and global processes that will pay off with higher quality and lower costs. It also represents Ford in how they work with supply base. The high level of communication, early information sharing and data transparency between Ford and our supply base as they move into the global market. The international parts suppliers is normal for all major companies in Japan and U.S.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How do you define fair trade? They are practicing free trade because this is how Japanese and U.S. corporation wants it this way, and is supported by their own goverment and their trade partner. It's an agreement between countries and fair trade is defined by all countries that make agreements for mutual benefit. If you look at China, the U.S. corporations manufacturing U.S. products in China and export to U.S. market accounts for half of the trade inbalance. They also send manufactured goods to many other countries. These major U.S. companies like Apple would not support increase in tariffs by paying heavily to the lobbyist that works in Washington so that no major disruption takes place. Same can be said of 20,000 Japanese companies operating inside China that sends manufactured goods to Japan, Europe and U.S. It's all about maximizing profit.

Japan and the US certainly do not practice free trade with each other, Japan exports to the US, but when it comes to imports from America, Japan's market remains tightly closed. The most perfect example of this is the car market. The US trade balance is still in the deficit unfortunately, no matter if half of it comes from the US manufacturing in China and exporting its product back to the US, that still leaves half that isn't. You correctly stated Japan does the same, but Japan also manages to have a current account surplus, while the US' current account deficit has been growing wider and wider and has actually increased five times in size over the last 20 years. Japan keeps its surpluses, because of its mercantilist nature, it benefits from being a closed economy while America being open. The playing field is not level, so America's free trade principle is destroying it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The international parts suppliers is normal for all major companies in Japan and U.S.

Japan manufactures far more of its parts and supplies than America does.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 05:09AM JST. The most perfect example of this is the car market.

This was in the past. Tell me about today's car export rule to Japan that they are not fair? Any U.S. manufacturer cars with right hand drive? Any U.S. manufacturer makes cars that compete with Prius or Prius C that gets 53 mpg in the city? Remember, in Japan, it's 158 yen per litre, that's $7.06 per gallon U.S.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This was in the past. Tell me about today's car export rule to Japan that they are not fair? Any U.S. manufacturer cars with right hand drive? Any U.S. manufacturer makes cars that compete with Prius or Prius C that gets 53 mpg in the city? Remember, in Japan, it's 158 yen per litre, that's $7.06 per gallon U.S.

I'm sorry, but it's still very much in the present. Yes, there are many US cars with right hand drive, there are sold in Ireland and the UK and other countries which also have right hand drive. The whole 'America forgot that Japanese drive on the other side' argument was always false, propaganda by the Japanese side to deflect from the fact that their car market was completely closed. Not everyone drives a Prius, in Japan or elsewhere, US cars continue to be sold in European countries, side by side with Japanese and German cars. Except for Japan, because their car market remains completely closed. South Korea too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 05:27AM JST. I'm sorry, but it's still very much in the present.

Excuses once again. Volkswagon, BMW, & Mercedes seem to be very well despite these so-called "non tariff barriers". Is it any wonder that many countries have trade surpluses with U.S? Always threatening with additional protectionist measures just because things don't go your way. U.S. Manufacturers never make it in Japan because they have not set up their own factory, dealership, and service centers in Japan. You simply can't expect that mass population to buy your products even if the quality happens to be below equal. German automakers at least figured out that the Japanese market is not that big to begin with and the growth potential is limited. In JD Powers 2012 listing, Toyota had three of the top five cars for reliablity with Lexus being number one, followed by Scion and Toyota. Why no Chysler products?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Excuses once again. Volkswagon, BMW, & Mercedes seem to be very well despite these so-called "non tariff barriers". Is it any wonder that many countries have trade surpluses with U.S? Always threatening with additional protectionist measures just because things don't go your way. U.S. Manufacturers never make it in Japan because they have not set up their own factory, dealership, and service centers in Japan. You simply can't expect that mass population to buy your products even if the quality happens to be below equal. German automakers at least figured out that the Japanese market is not that big to begin with and the growth potential is limited. In JD Powers 2012 listing, Toyota had three of the top five cars for reliablity with Lexus being number one, followed by Scion and Toyota. Why no Chysler products?

No excuses, reality. Volkswagon, BMW, and Mercedes make up a SMALL part of Japan's overall car market, no matter how commonplace they might seem in Tokyo or the other big cities. They are still sufficiently few in number to be considered a status symbol, buying a German car for a Japanese person is about showing off. American cars don't have the prestige German cars do so they don't sell in Japan for that small wealthy market, but neither do Korean cars. In the bigger picture, German car companies are unable to break the mainstream car market in Japan, just like all the foreign automobile makers, they didn't give up 'because growth potential was limited'. The fact is that Japan's car market remains extremely protectionist and Japan is committed to keeping this in place even as it takes advantage of America's free trade principles to export its cars to the States. This is an example of unfair trade. American car companies aren't even given the chance to go to Japan and fail there. You've correctly identified that the surplus countries have an advantage over broken America and can threaten with additional protectionist measures if things don't go there way. But this is America's fault, for practicing free trade with countries that didn't practice free trade in turn. The balance has shifted. And your top 5 list doesn't provide an excuse for Japanese to not buy foreign cars, Japanese cars score for reliability all over the world, but that doesn't mean people in other countries don't also buy German, French, Italian, Korean and American cars.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 06:12AM JST. The fact is that Japan's car market remains extremely protectionist and Japan is committed to keeping this in place even as it takes advantage of America's free trade principles to export its cars to the States. This is an example of unfair trade. American car companies aren't even given the chance to go to Japan and fail there.

Where is the U.S. factories, dealership, and service center in Japan? You keep saying protectionist, but, example: today, and I am not talking about 10-20 years ago, if Ford exports Mustang to Japan, how much does retail $30K Mustang in Los Angeles cost in Tokyo? The price determines if there is unfair markup on the retail price. If the price is close, how can you say Japan is "extremely protectionist"? it's up to the Japanese consumer if they want 412hp 5.0 GT Mustang that gets 15mpg at over $7.00 a gallon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where is the U.S. factories, dealership, and service center in Japan? You keep saying protectionist, but, example: today, and I am not talking about 10-20 years ago, if Ford exports Mustang to Japan, how much does retail $30K Mustang in Los Angeles cost in Tokyo? The price determines if there is unfair markup on the retail price. If the price is close, how can you say Japan is "extremely protectionist"? it's up to the Japanese consumer if they want 412hp 5.0 GT Mustang that gets 15mpg at over $7.00 a gallon.

Oh dear, the reason why there are so few US factories, dealership and service centres in Japan today is BECAUSE of the protectionist policies in the fist place. And again, even with the price issues, the Prius is not the only Japanese car which sells in Japan, and American cars still sell in European countries, even with the Prius. In my country, Fords are a common sight and people drive on the right hand side.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 06:12AM JST. And your top 5 list doesn't provide an excuse for Japanese to not buy foreign cars, Japanese cars score for reliability all over the world,

Maybe not for you. Just like in Japan, If your a middle class working person in U.S. and thinking about buying a car, you think about reliablity and investment return. If you trade in or sell to the private party, a 5 years old Chevrolet Malibu, you will get 25 to 40 percent less in value than comparable Toyota Camry. It is a good excuse for most people since you want to get maximum return from my investment from their hard work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 07:00AM JST. Oh dear, the reason why there are so few US factories, dealership and service centres in Japan today is BECAUSE of the protectionist policies in the fist place.

Huh? in early 90's Ford had control of Mazda and they refused to manufacturer their brand in Hiroshima. They refused to use Mazda dealership and service center throughout Japan. Why?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe not for you. Just like in Japan, If your a middle class working person in U.S. and thinking about buying a car, you think about reliablity and investment return. If you trade in or sell to the private party, a 5 years old Chevrolet Malibu, you will get 25 to 40 percent less in value than comparable Toyota Camry. It is a good excuse for most people since you want to get maximum return from my investment from their hard work.

No, not 'maybe not for you', both Japanese AND American cars sell in Europe, even though I'm pretty sure middle class working people exist in both Europe as well as the US. Japanese cars are known for being reliable all over the world, but Europeans and Americans still buy American cars. The choice is there, unlike Japan.

Huh? in early 90's Ford had control of Mazda and they refused to manufacturer their brand in Hiroshima. They refused to use Mazda dealership and service center throughout Japan. Why?

Lol, for the same reason Renault, which is supposed to control the Nissan distribution system can't get its cars into its own Japanese showrooms. The Japanese car market is extremely protectionist and geared towards blocking imports and keep citizens buying Japanese cars, there are invisible barriers everywhere.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 07:32AM JST. Japanese cars are known for being reliable all over the world, but Europeans and Americans still buy American cars. The choice is there, unlike Japan.

Half of the cars sold in Europe are diesels. It's a different market. Still, U.S. made cars are made for U.S. roads. They are large for Japanese roads. Due to the high price of gas in Japan, how many cars manufacturered in U.S. get over 40 to 50 mpg with reliability? Do you know any U.S. made cars that have 1000cc engine or 1500cc Diesel, or four cylinder hybrid that competes with Prius that is available for export from U.S. to Japan? Answer: None.

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 07:32AM JST. Lol, for the same reason Renault, which is supposed to control the Nissan distribution system can't get its cars into its own Japanese showrooms. there are invisible barriers everywhere.

20 years ago, Ford had a opportunity with Mazda to expand in Japan. Even today, nobody, including J-goverment or other Japan car manufacturer is stopping Renault from having their own dealership network in Japan. Renault just refuse to spend money because they know their product is marginal. It's a business decision. Since they control Nissan, they could use Nissan dealership and service center in Japan to test out their product but they don't won't. It has nothing to do with your allegation of protectionist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Half of the cars sold in Europe are diesels. It's a different market. Still, U.S. made cars are made for U.S. roads. They are large for Japanese roads. Due to the high price of gas in Japan, how many cars manufacturered in U.S. get over 40 to 50 mpg with reliability? Do you know any U.S. made cars that have 1000cc engine or 1500cc Diesel, or four cylinder hybrid that competes with Prius that is available for export from U.S. to Japan? Answer: None.

Europe has a bigger population than the US and even with half the cars sold being diesels that still means half are not. Even with this being a 'different market', both American AND Japanese cars still manage to get sold, not to mention the German cars which are also very popular. So even with the superior Japanese and German cars, Fords are a common sight. Again, the Prius is NOT the only car sold in Japan, the rest of the cars sold in Japan are Japanese cars which are not as fuel efficient. And actually, roads in Western Europe tend to be smaller than America's. The 'small road, not making cars for the right hand side' argument doesn't hold up.

20 years ago, Ford had a opportunity with Mazda to expand in Japan. Even today, nobody, including J-goverment or other Japan car manufacturer is stopping Renault from having their own dealership network in Japan. Renault just refuse to spend money because they know their product is marginal. It's a business decision. Since they control Nissan, they could use Nissan dealership and service center in Japan to test out their product but they don't won't. It has nothing to do with your allegation of protectionist.

That makes no sense. Having control of the Nissan distribution system would have given Renault the PERFECT opportunity to test out their product on the Japanese market, it doesn't make sense for them to not to have already at least tried considering the position of power they were supposed to have and just how lucrative the Japanese market is. They haven't done so, because Japan is a completely protectionist market where only 5% of the cars sold are from foreign manufacturers and they understand these invisible barriers would always work against them, not because their product is 'marginal'. Even leaving Renault aside, German cars are respected by the Japanese and are far from 'marginal' - so why haven't the German automobile companies been able to break out of that narrow 5% ghetto?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 08:31AM JST. so why haven't the German automobile companies been able to break out of that narrow 5% ghetto?

BMW, Mercedes and Audi cannot sell in quantities because of high prices. They are high price vehicle anywhere, and only high income earners can afford these luxury cars. However, given the market condition, VW has done well.

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 08:31AM JST. . Again, the Prius is NOT the only car sold in Japan, the rest of the cars sold in Japan are Japanese cars which are not as fuel efficient.

They are fuel efficient compared to U.S. Average size engine in in U.S. is around 3000cc-3500cc, and there are plenty of large V8 SUV's with 5-6 litre engine, compared to Japan at around 1500cc or less four cylinder engines. In Japan, if you buy a vehicle that has larger than 2000cc, they are taxed heavily. The main reason why U.S. cars with large displacement engine do not sell well is because of their high taxes based on engine size and poor fuel milage. Most of the U.S. export to Japan is 2500cc - 5000cc engine size and they are too large for their roads. If U.S. is really serious about exporting competitive vehicles to Japan, they have to manufacturer reliable, smaller, 1500cc or less engine size and 8 speed automatic with automatic engine shut-off during the traffic stop to maximize fuel milage like what Honda does. You have to get reliable 45-50mpg to be competitive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BMW, Mercedes and Audi cannot sell in quantities because of high prices. They are high price vehicle anywhere, and only high income earners can afford these luxury cars. However, given the market condition, VW has done well.

The high prices which have been placed on these cars have also been placed on VW, which is decidedly not a luxury vehicle, another barrier to make Japanese people choose Japanese cars instead. The fact of the matter is that in the US and countries in Western Europe, all of which have similar income levels to Japan, German/French/American cars are NOT relegated to a 5% ghetto like they are in Japan and the car markets in these countries is not composed 95% of Japanese cars. Foreign automobiles are systematically kept out of Japan, because of Japan's protectionist policies. Germany, the other big car making country, does not have a car market which is 95% composed of German cars.

They are fuel efficient compared to U.S. Average size engine in in U.S. is around 3000cc-3500cc, and there are plenty of large V8 SUV's with 5-6 litre engine, compared to Japan at around 1500cc or less four cylinder engines. In Japan, if you buy a vehicle that has larger than 2000cc, they are taxed heavily. The main reason why U.S. cars with large displacement engine do not sell well is because of their high taxes based on engine size and poor fuel milage. Most of the U.S. export to Japan is 2500cc - 5000cc engine size and they are too large for their roads. If U.S. is really serious about exporting competitive vehicles to Japan, they have to manufacturer reliable, smaller, 1500cc or less engine size and 8 speed automatic with automatic engine shut-off during the traffic stop to maximize fuel milage like what Honda does. You have to get reliable 45-50mpg to be competitive.

You should be putting the dots together by now. The heavy tax in vehicles larger than 2000cc is another protectionist barrier put in place to block American vehicles from the Japanese car market. Again, American vehicles sell well in European countries even if the average size of these vehicles is over 2000cc. Small roads are also a feature of many European countries, such as my own, and yet Fords are a common sight.

Here is an article which I think you should read

http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/07/03/detroit-s-collapse-the-untold-story/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why am I not surprised? Japan wants all the benefits that would come from the TPP, but they don't want to hold up their end. It's so typical Japan, whether it's the TPP, getting oil from Iran but asking to be exempt from US punishments, or anything else.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

'misunderstandings by the US' ? whatever. try Japan acting like a baby again, wanting to take but not give.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@tmarie

The high prices are designed to boost the savings rate, which is a key cornerstone of East Asian economic system that Japan pioneered

Yes, there's a name for it, it's called, "Protectionism." And the prices are artificially high because, because that's the consequence of virtually eliminating any foreign competition in Japan's domestic market, through ban or tariff, that's how you raise prices... It's called a 100% tariff. That's why you see a 500ml bottle of "VitaminWater" for 200-yen, when I get it on base less than a dollar. They inflate the price through the use of Tariffs to make it at least as expensive, or more often the case, more expensive than the domestically available product.

The Japanese save money, because they're Japanese, and that's what they like to do, But mostly because they live at home, with mom and dad until they're 45 or 50 years old, and they're parents pick up the majority of the Tab.

In the U.S., at 18 you are out of the house, good luck, don't come back, and don't expect any handouts!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps you could read who made that comment as it was not I!

Ogi, still waiting for some links, graphs...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That makes no sense. Having control of the Nissan distribution system would have given Renault the PERFECT opportunity to test out their product on the Japanese market, it doesn't make sense for them to not to have already at least tried considering the position of power they were supposed to have and just how lucrative the Japanese market is.

Let me give you some examples of the difficulties which Renault-Nissan might have found. Floor space for most dealerships is quite limited. Selling Renault cars in Japan makes only sense when it doesn't just replace Nissan cars. When you can't extend the floor space, you would have to remove Nissan cars from the showroom.

Japanese companies mostly keep their many different brands separate although they belong to the same company, which allows them to better exploit the respective brand images. In my (potentially distorted) view the quality of Renault cars is not on par and there could be the danger that the image of Nissan would be affected.

To me, the decision not to sell Renault cars in Nissan dealerships looks like a reasonable business decision. But please feel free to point out concrete protectionist regulations or laws which may have led or contributed to it.

You should be putting the dots together by now. The heavy tax in vehicles larger than 2000cc is another protectionist barrier put in place to block American vehicles from the Japanese car market. Again, American vehicles sell well in European countries even if the average size of these vehicles is over 2000cc. Small roads are also a feature of many European countries, such as my own, and yet Fords are a common sight.

First of all, a tax, as long as it is applied to everybody in the same way and not changed arbitrarily within short term, is not a trade barrier in the sense of the WTO. Otherwise, if you think a litte further, any tax must be considered a trade barrier. American makers could offer low displacement vehicles in Japan. They do have suitable cars in the portfolio of their European or Korean subsidiaries, but since they don't even offer those cars in Japan it is obviously a business decision.

Furthermore, American cars do not at all sell well in Europe, at least when you look at cars which were developed and made in the US. Those cars have a negligible market share in Europe, not much different to the share in Japan. The Ford and GM cars which you can see in Europe are the ones developed and made in Europe for Europe by their respective subsidiaries. Although the mother companies are American, these cars can be considered European or rather German cars. GM also sells small cars developed and made by their Korean subsidiary Daewoo. Chrysler, despite their tie-ups with Daimler before and Fiat now and using the respective dealer networks is almost non-existent in Europe.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/07/03/detroit-s-collapse-the-untold-story/

Well, I have taken the time to read through this drool, but what facts does it give which are not history since quite some time? The only point I take is the question how much power Japanese makers have over dealerships in Japan. I'd like to see more facts about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ogi, still waiting for some links, graphs...

These are facts, Japan has a higher savings and lower consumption rate compared to other developed nations. You didn't know that by now and if you've been in Japan for how long? Go look it up yourself

Let me give you some examples of the difficulties which Renault-Nissan might have found. Floor space for most dealerships is quite limited. Selling Renault cars in Japan makes only sense when it doesn't just replace Nissan cars. When you can't extend the floor space, you would have to remove Nissan cars from the showroom.

Japanese companies mostly keep their many different brands separate although they belong to the same company, which allows them to better exploit the respective brand images. In my (potentially distorted) view the quality of Renault cars is not on par and there could be the danger that the image of Nissan would be affected.

To me, the decision not to sell Renault cars in Nissan dealerships looks like a reasonable business decision. But please feel free to point out concrete protectionist regulations or laws which may have led or contributed to it.

Um, floorspace in dealerships are limited all over the world, not just in Japan, and these floors in other countries aren't composed nearly entirely of Japanese cars. The fact is, that having control of the Nissan distribution system would have given Renault the PERFECT opportunity and basis for launching their Renault into such a lucrative market. It wouldn't have harmed the Nissan brand, because most Japanese would have been aware that the Renault is not a Japanese car. Renault doesn't do this, because it understands the Japanese protectionist measures that are in place which impede it. Japanese cars have the same reputation for reliability all over the world, but that doesn't mean that in other countries, people always buy Japanese cars; German, American and Korean cars are very popular, and there is no 95% rate of Japanese cars in any country except Japan. South Korea is another country which is just as protectionist as Japan, most Koreans drive Hyundai, and the market for foreign cars is at similarly miniscule 5%.

First of all, a tax, as long as it is applied to everybody in the same way and not changed arbitrarily within short term, is not a trade barrier in the sense of the WTO. Otherwise, if you think a litte further, any tax must be considered a trade barrier. American makers could offer low displacement vehicles in Japan. They do have suitable cars in the portfolio of their European or Korean subsidiaries, but since they don't even offer those cars in Japan it is obviously a business decision.

But South Korea is just as protectionist as Japan is and American cars don't sell well there either, even with the 'suitable cars in the porfolio'. They don't have those cars in their portfolio for Japan anymore, because they know they will be blocked no matter what they do and they will learn that about South Korea in due time. The fact remains that American cars continue to sell in Europe even with Japanese and German competition, but they don't in Japan or South Korea because of their protectionist policies. 'Small roads, right hand side, and tax' can't be blamed, when these are all same realities in European countries.

Furthermore, American cars do not at all sell well in Europe, at least when you look at cars which were developed and made in the US. Those cars have a negligible market share in Europe, not much different to the share in Japan. The Ford and GM cars which you can see in Europe are the ones developed and made in Europe for Europe by their respective subsidiaries. Although the mother companies are American, these cars can be considered European or rather German cars. GM also sells small cars developed and made by their Korean subsidiary Daewoo. Chrysler, despite their tie-ups with Daimler before and Fiat now and using the respective dealer networks is almost non-existent in Europe.

The subsidaries in Europe are still beholden to the 'mother' American companies. Going by your logic, the Nissan cars which are manufactured in Sunderland do not represent success for Nissan as a whole, because they are made in the UK. German and Japanese car companies also have operations in the US, does that mean these cars produced in these American factories are no longer German or Japanese? The bottom line is that the Japanese car market is composed 95% of Japanese cars, the situation is not reflected in any other country except South Korea which is also just as protectionist.

Well, I have taken the time to read through this drool, but what facts does it give which are not history since quite some time? The only point I take is the question how much power Japanese makers have over dealerships in Japan. I'd like to see more facts about it.

How is it drool? He stated facts about Japan's protectionism, it's right there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They don't have those cars in their portfolio for Japan anymore, because they know they will be blocked no matter what they do

Come, please tell us how they are blocked. I absolutely don't care about figures for market share. They are irrelevant because they are the result of too many factors. Please point out specific protectionist laws and regulations or other causes which are responsible.

The subsidaries in Europe are still beholden to the 'mother' American companies. Going by your logic, the Nissan cars which are manufactured in Sunderland do not represent success for Nissan as a whole, because they are made in the UK. German and Japanese car companies also have operations in the US, does that mean these cars produced in these American factories are no longer German or Japanese?

To my knowledge, there are only very small differences of the Nissan cars made in Sunderland to the ones made in Japan, so I would count them as Japanese cars. Many German and Japanese makers have not only manufacturing sites in the US, but they build models which were specifically designed or at least extensively modified to fit the US market. It is part of their success. In the same way Ford is successful in Europe, not because they have several plants there but because specification, design and most of the engineering is done locally in Europe in order to meet European market requirements. Similar for GM, although they're struggling a bit at the moment. GM also does a lot of localization of their cars for the Chinese market and they are successful there. They basically don't do any localization for the Japanese market and their cars don't sell well there. No surprise, I'd say...

He stated facts about Japan's protectionism, it's right there.

No, except the one point I mentioned and which is not supported by any references or data, there is absolutely nothing which is relevant for the TPP discussions. Apart from the fact that the author disqualifies himself by personal insults.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

oginomeApr. 10, 2012 - 09:40AM JST. You should be putting the dots together by now. The heavy tax in vehicles larger than 2000cc is another protectionist barrier put in place to block American vehicles from the Japanese car market. Again, American vehicles sell well in European countries even if the average size of these vehicles is over 2000cc. Small roads are also a feature of many European countries, such as my own, and yet Fords are a common sight.

Another barrier? Then why don't U.S. manufacturer adjust to current laws in Japan? All other Japanese companies compete with same rules, but U.S. just keep making excuses. Problem with Japan is that they do import 99 percent of the oil. Conservation is important to them, and J-goverment discourage waste and believes in maximizing efficiency. U.S. auto manufacturer still has take it leave it attitude with exporting large displacement cars to Japan and complaining why Japanese is not buying 4-5 litre vehicles. U.S. auto manufacturer has to adjust their products to meet the local demand. If you live in Japan, would you want to buy a 400hp, 5000cc with 2500kg weight SUV vehicle from U.S. and use it to go to work everyday or a 1-1.5 litre Japanese hatchback that gets 40-45mpg? If I want to buy a fuel efficient vehicle from U.S. in Tokyo, what choices do I have?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come, please tell us how they are blocked. I absolutely don't care about figures for market share. They are irrelevant because they are the result of too many factors. Please point out specific protectionist laws and regulations or other causes which are responsible.

Actually market share is not 'irrelevant', it's one of the biggest pieces of evidence which show just how protectionist Japan and South Korea are. There are invisible barriers everywhere, just one thing I can think of, American cars were completely excluded from Japan's 'Cash for Clunkers' program, while Japanese cars were included in America's version of the program.

To my knowledge, there are only very small differences of the Nissan cars made in Sunderland to the ones made in Japan, so I would count them as Japanese cars. Many German and Japanese makers have not only manufacturing sites in the US, but they build models which were specifically designed or at least extensively modified to fit the US market. It is part of their success. In the same way Ford is successful in Europe, not because they have several plants there but because specification, design and most of the engineering is done locally in Europe in order to meet European market requirements. Similar for GM, although they're struggling a bit at the moment. GM also does a lot of localization of their cars for the Chinese market and they are successful there. They basically don't do any localization for the Japanese market and their cars don't sell well there. No surprise, I'd say...

But that's the thing, Japanese and German car manufacturers tailor their cars to fit the American car market and succeed, but if we're going to go by your logic, then surely this 'tailoring' results in a more 'American' car, since you've said American cars in Europe are basically European for doing the same? Just like the Japanese and German automobile companies in the US, American manufacturers are able to also localise to fit into the European market, but yet they are still unable to do the same for the Japanese market, even though roads in European countries are also narrow, and many countries in Europe also drive on the right hand side. The American automobile manufacturers have given up on Japan for the same reason the German, Korean and French manufacturers have; because they understand that Japan is a protectionist country. And your GM example proves what I'm saying, American manufacturers have proven they are able to tailor their cars and meet specific requirements for different countries, as we can see from their success in China and countries in Europe. But in Japan, they remain sidelined. They don't localise for the Japanese car market, because they know that it's pointless. Japan doesn't remain protectionist just against American cars, but against German and Korean cars too, and yet they meet the requirements for the Japanese market.

No, except the one point I mentioned and which is not supported by any references or data, there is absolutely nothing which is relevant for the TPP discussions. Apart from the fact that the author disqualifies himself by personal insults.

No, he didn't. Japan is not interested in free trade and will never be, all these tentative 'talks' with the TPP and 'misunderstandings' are all a ploy on behalf of Japan to give the impression that it wants to make progress, but keeps getting hampered by problems here and there. Protectionism is what led to Japan's phenomenal growth, imports have always been blocked in some form of another, as we can see from Japan's yearly surpluses (except for last yar), and America stll doesn't understand that its free trade principle is destroying it as long as it trades with countries who don't practice this same principle.

Another barrier? Then why don't U.S. manufacturer adjust to current laws in Japan? All other Japanese companies compete with same rules, but U.S. just keep making excuses. Problem with Japan is that they do import 99 percent of the oil. Conservation is important to them, and J-goverment discourage waste and believes in maximizing efficiency. U.S. auto manufacturer still has take it leave it attitude with exporting large displacement cars to Japan and complaining why Japanese is not buying 4-5 litre vehicles. U.S. auto manufacturer has to adjust their products to meet the local demand. If you live in Japan, would you want to buy a 400hp, 5000cc with 2500kg weight SUV vehicle from U.S. and use it to go to work everyday or a 1-1.5 litre Japanese hatchback that gets 40-45mpg? If I want to buy a fuel efficient vehicle from U.S. in Tokyo, what choices do I have?

Again, the US manufacturers have proven that they are able to adjust to current laws in European countries. The cars they sell in Europe meet Europe's requirements which are similar to Japan's. American manufacturers don't localise for the Japanese market, because they know it's pointless, but they have proven they are able to localise in Europe and China. And it's not just American car manufacturers which are sidelined in Japan, it's EVERY non-Japanese car manufacturer, including the European manufacturers whose cars meet Japanese requirements. Japan is completely protectionist.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

oginomeApr. 11, 2012 - 03:38AM JST. American manufacturers don't localise for the Japanese market, because they know it's pointless,

Then why are you complaining that U.S. cars do not sell in Japan? You answered your own question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then why are you complaining that U.S. cars do not sell in Japan? You answered your own question.

Um, no, my point was that even if American cars were localised, they would still not sell in Japan, just like all non-Japanese manufacturers, because Japan is a protectionist country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes, there are many US cars with right hand drive, there are sold in Ireland and the UK and other countries which also have right hand drive.

Which models?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suppressed consumption equals a higher savings rate, not because 'they're Japanese, and that's what they like to do.' It's government policy, not culture.

Ok, we won't call it a "Japanese" thing, but it's bred into their upbringing, with the same intensity as taking one's shoe's off when entering a home. No, it's NOT a consequence of any governmental policies... That's ridiculous... No industrialized country on the planet, would encourage their populace, NOT to spend to money, that would stifle growth. Prices are expensive because that's the result of what you get, when you eliminate competition.. PERIOD... Not as a result of some secret government policy...

Of course there are other factors contributing to keeping prices artificially high, but most of them are because of diminished competition, and high taxes. Japan is as Socialist a country you can get, while still technically being a Capitalist Society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually market share is not 'irrelevant', it's one of the biggest pieces of evidence which show just how protectionist Japan and South Korea are.

No, because it only shows that US companies have no interest in the Japanese market. They put their efforts in other places, going for the lower hanging fruit in China and other emerging markets.

There are invisible barriers everywhere, just one thing I can think of, American cars were completely excluded from Japan's 'Cash for Clunkers' program, while Japanese cars were included in America's version of the program.

This example shows just the opposite of what you claim. Due to political pressure, American cars got exempted from measuring fuel consumption according to Japanese standards and could use the results based on US standards, which typically look better. The Japanese 'Cash for Clunkers' program was focussed on promoting low consumption cars and the limits were of course determined by Japanese standards. Those cars which were sold under the exemption rule were therefore initially excluded. After further pressure from Washington, Japan made another exemption. This is not an example of Japanese protectionism but of American makers using political pressure to gain unfair advantages.

Again, the US manufacturers have proven that they are able to adjust to current laws in European countries. The cars they sell in Europe meet Europe's requirements which are similar to Japan's. American manufacturers don't localise for the Japanese market, because they know it's pointless, but they have proven they are able to localise in Europe and China.

GM invested in Vauxhall in 1925 and in Opel in 1929. Ford set up their subsidiary in Germany in 1925. At that time, the European market still was the most interesting market outside the US, so they put some efforts into it. Currently, China is the most promising market for them, so they put their efforts there. During the time when Japan was interesting, from the 1960s to the 1990s, Japan was indeed highly protectionist and American makers could not get a foothold in that market. Since then, the market in Japan is stagnating and any newcomer to the market cannot grow with the market but has to win share from competition. With high upfront investments into distribution and marketing and a comparably low ROI Japan is much less attractive than emerging countries.

These days, the Japanese car market is more open than the US or EU markets and the former protectionism has vanished. If you think different, prove it. You haven't come up with anything yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok, we won't call it a "Japanese" thing, but it's bred into their upbringing, with the same intensity as taking one's shoe's off when entering a home. No, it's NOT a consequence of any governmental policies... That's ridiculous... No industrialized country on the planet, would encourage their populace, NOT to spend to money, that would stifle growth. Prices are expensive because that's the result of what you get, when you eliminate competition.. PERIOD... Not as a result of some secret government policy...

I think you need to research into the East Asian economic system, it is far different from Western and particularly, American capitalism. No secret, or conspiracy, the facts are available for all to see. Japan DID develop an extremely high savings rate starting from the 1950s, and this, NOT consumer spending, was key to Japan's growth. Savings are extremely important for being used and diverted into industry and research and development, and since Japan's were so high, this sped up its economic development even further than would have been the case had this policy not been implemented. Japan has NEVER been a spending based economy, unlike the US and UK. High prices do stifle consumption and drive up the savings rate.

Of course there are other factors contributing to keeping prices artificially high, but most of them are because of diminished competition, and high taxes. Japan is as Socialist a country you can get, while still technically being a Capitalist Society.

The diminished competion comes from protectionism by keeping foreign businesses and products out, and the high prices come from this and the cartels, which have always been encouraged by the government. Your taxes argument doesn't make sense, taxes in Japan are still on average, much lower than they are in European countries, but European savings rate are nowhere near Japan's.

No, because it only shows that US companies have no interest in the Japanese market. They put their efforts in other places, going for the lower hanging fruit in China and other emerging markets.

No, it shows that US companies have given up on the Japanese market, just like the German and French automobile makers have, because of protectionism. Japan's policies worked, and because of that it can now nominally 'open' its car market, since it knows foreign automobile makers won't try and break into it anymore. Very clever.

This example shows just the opposite of what you claim. Due to political pressure, American cars got exempted from measuring fuel consumption according to Japanese standards and could use the results based on US standards, which typically look better. The Japanese 'Cash for Clunkers' program was focussed on promoting low consumption cars and the limits were of course determined by Japanese standards. Those cars which were sold under the exemption rule were therefore initially excluded. After further pressure from Washington, Japan made another exemption. This is not an example of Japanese protectionism but of American makers using political pressure to gain unfair advantages.

Yes, the Japanese 'Cash for Clunkers' program was focused on promoting low consumption cars partly BECAUSE it wanted to sideline foreign car manufacturers and since Japan leads the way in the production of hybrid electric cars, it provided a convenient excuse and cover up to block out American vehicles. It killed two birds with one stone, to promote lower consumption vehicles on one hand and block out imported cars on the other. The 'exemption' Japan provided was just another way of making Japan look less protectionist, since it conveyed the impression that Japan was being bullied by the US, when in actual fact, Japan had implemented a policy in the first place which was extremely unfair to foreign vehicles, and them 'amending' it slightly did not change this, but provided the impression that they did.

GM invested in Vauxhall in 1925 and in Opel in 1929. Ford set up their subsidiary in Germany in 1925. At that time, the European market still was the most interesting market outside the US, so they put some efforts into it. Currently, China is the most promising market for them, so they put their efforts there. During the time when Japan was interesting, from the 1960s to the 1990s, Japan was indeed highly protectionist and American makers could not get a foothold in that market. Since then, the market in Japan is stagnating and any newcomer to the market cannot grow with the market but has to win share from competition. With high upfront investments into distribution and marketing and a comparably low ROI Japan is much less attractive than emerging countries.

These days, the Japanese car market is more open than the US or EU markets and the former protectionism has vanished. If you think different, prove it. You haven't come up with anything yet.

Not just Europe, American car manufacturers also invested in Japan in the 1920s, and as a result, gained a monoploy in the Japanese car market. And I don't think you undersand, Japan has 'dropped' its protectionist measures, because they have already succeeded in keeping foreign automobile manufacturers away. Now that the incentive for non-Japanese companies isn't there anymore, due to high costs and low ROI, the Japanese government can lift the tariffs and whatnot and say their car market is 'open', because they know that the competition is no longer interested. If the American and German car industries targeted the Japanese market again tomorrow, like they tried to do in the past, you can bet the protectionism would return in full force.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, the Japanese 'Cash for Clunkers' program was focused on promoting low consumption cars partly BECAUSE it wanted to sideline foreign car manufacturers and since Japan leads the way in the production of hybrid electric cars, it provided a convenient excuse and cover up to block out American vehicles. It killed two birds with one stone, to promote lower consumption vehicles on one hand and block out imported cars on the other.

Completely wrong again. The Japanese 'Cash for Clunkers' program required that cars meet the 2010 emission targets. The targets and evaluation methods had been legally enacted in 1998 already, when surely nobody was thinking about a 'Cash for Clunkers' program more than a decade later.

If the American and German car industries targeted the Japanese market again tomorrow, like they tried to do in the past, you can bet the protectionism would return in full force.

That's just your speculation. Certainly that path will be blocked when Japan joins the TPP or an equivalent free trade agreement with the EU.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Completely wrong again. The Japanese 'Cash for Clunkers' program required that cars meet the 2010 emission targets. The targets and evaluation methods had been legally enacted in 1998 already, when surely nobody was thinking about a 'Cash for Clunkers' program more than a decade later.

No, not wrong, the targets and methods had been legally enacted in 1998, but Japan had been aiming for low fuel emissions since 1992-3 with the G21 project, and Toyota introduced the hybrid car in 1997. The targets and evaluation methods were based around that and were of course designed for low emissions sake, but also to sideline US and other foreign autombile manufacturers, and the 'Cash for Clunkers' program provided the perfect example. NO US car was legible for Japan's program and that included the Ford Fusion which met the minimum requirements.

That's just your speculation. Certainly that path will be blocked when Japan joins the TPP or an equivalent free trade agreement with the EU.

Japan will certainly not start practicing free trade any time soon. It will remain mercantilist and protectionist.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

oginome Apr. 12, 2012 - 04:20AM JST. The targets and evaluation methods were based around that and were of course designed for low emissions sake, but also to sideline US and other foreign autombile manufacturers, and the 'Cash for Clunkers' program provided the perfect example. NO US car was legible for Japan's program and that included the Ford Fusion which met the minimum requirements.

To be clear, U.S. automakers have the opportunity to test and certify their vehicles, but they chose not to. Instead, they take advantage of a special exemption and bypass a complicated and expensive inspection process, saving millions of dollars in the process. This point can’t be emphasized enough – U.S. automakers are selling vehicles in Japan without emissions certification. As a result, buying one of these non-emission certified cars doesn’t entitle the buyer to a cash voucher in Japan’s Cash For Clunkers emissions reducing program. This seems obviously fair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To be clear, U.S. automakers have the opportunity to test and certify their vehicles, but they chose not to. Instead, they take advantage of a special exemption and bypass a complicated and expensive inspection process, saving millions of dollars in the process. This point can’t be emphasized enough – U.S. automakers are selling vehicles in Japan without emissions certification. As a result, buying one of these non-emission certified cars doesn’t entitle the buyer to a cash voucher in Japan’s Cash For Clunkers emissions reducing program. This seems obviously fair.

Except US makers aren't 'selling' in Japan at all, the special exemption is a ploy by the Japanese government to encourage US automobile manufacturers not to localise for the Japanese market, and then Japan can use the excuse of 'not meeting requirements' when it comes to the Cash For Clunkers program, even though certain cars did in fact meet requirements. The special exemption is unhealthy for the American car industry, it does not benefit it. It is a ruse for Japan to deflect away from its protectionist policies and say 'oh well, American manufacturers didn't meet specific requirements', even though European and Korean cars which meet requirements are also blocked from the Japanese market.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

oginomeApr. 12, 2012 - 05:06AM JST. Except US makers aren't 'selling' in Japan at all,

You consider over half a billion dollars in sales as "not selling at all" with cars that are too big for Japan market? U.S. auto manufacturer keeps complaining that Japanese does not buy their products. I asked you what models that Ford, GM, and Chrysler that is produced in U.S. that Japanese would be interested in buying. How many 40+ miles per gallon cars they produce that is competitive to Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, or Mazda? I don't think any cars that is produced by U.S. manufacturer in U.S. gets consistant 40mpg or over. Can you be specific and tell me what U.S. manufacturer produce that might be marketable in Japan without constant B.S. use of the word protectionist. Go with facts on product versus product and compare.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You consider over half a billion dollars in sales as "not selling at all" with cars that are too big for Japan market? U.S. auto manufacturer keeps complaining that Japanese does not buy their products. I asked you what models that Ford, GM, and Chrysler that is produced in U.S. that Japanese would be interested in buying. How many 40+ miles per gallon cars they produce that is competitive to Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, or Mazda? I don't think any cars that is produced by U.S. manufacturer in U.S. gets consistant 40mpg or over. Can you be specific and tell me what U.S. manufacturer produce that might be marketable in Japan without constant B.S. use of the word protectionist. Go with facts on product versus product and compare.

Oh please, even with the half a billion dollars sales, the Japanese market remains composed 95% of Japanese cars. The only other country that has a similar situation is South Korea, and it is equally as protectionist. American car manufacturers, just like their European counterparts are sidelined from the Japanese market and prevented from being able to compete there. US car manufacturers have proven they ARE able to localise in Europe by making cars which fit the specific requirements of the European market, requirements which are close to the Japanese requirements. They are currently localising for the very different Chinese market. Yet they didn't do so in Japan, (or Korea) because the market for 50 years has been protectionist and geared towards favouring domestic vehicles, and now that the total monopoly of Japanese automakers in the car market in Japan has been firmly established, Japan's car market is 'open', and the exemptions are given to the US BECAUSE Japan has already sidelined them and its protectionist policies paid off. The bizarre 'exemption' dissuades the US car manufacturers from localising (even though they have proven they are able to) and gives the impression that Japan is doing a 'favour' for a stubborn US and is not protectionist when it most certainly is. Again, it is NOT just American cars. European cars have been unable to break into the Japanese market, even though their localising for Japan is minimal compared to the US companies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

oginome...oh please, you keep talking in circles. I see tears in your eyes. I ask you again a specific questions regarding car models made by U.S, auto manufacturer (made in U.S.A.). What model is marketable in Japan?.....and you cannot tell me what they are? Go with facts on product versus product and compare if U.S. cars are worth the value.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oginome...oh please, you keep talking in circles. I see tears in your eyes. I ask you again a specific questions regarding car models made by U.S, auto manufacturer (made in U.S.A.). What model is marketable in Japan?.....and you cannot tell me what they are? Go with facts on product versus product and compare if U.S. cars are worth the value.

Oh dear, you clearly didn't read my post. I've already said that the US models are NOT marketable in Japan, because they haven't localised, did you not understand? Japan enourages this with its 'exemptions'. Yet the US car manufacturers have proven they were able to localise in Europe and now they're doing the same in China. The fact that they didn't localise for Japan, was because Japan was openly protectionist for decades, so it wasn't worth it, but now that Japanese automobile manufactures have established dominance and monopoly of the Japanese car market, Japan's car market suddenly became 'open' and American manufacturers are nominally free to compete, but the 'exemptions' serve as another protectionist measure to prevent them from doing so. Again, European cars are also sidelined from Japan, 95% of cars bought in Japan continue to be Japanese, a situation found nowhere else in the developed world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

oginomeApr. 12, 2012 - 07:15AM JST. European cars are also sidelined from Japan, 95% of cars bought in Japan continue to be Japanese, a situation found nowhere else in the developed world.

Then tell me this: Where is the protectionist? German company VW aims to increase sales in Japan by 18.5 percent from the previous year to 60,000 vehicles on the strength of new models. VW sales in Japan grew 8.4 percent to top 50,000 vehicles in 2011. The lightweight fuel-efficient car will be a new entry model for VW meeting the needs of Japanese users who prefer small, fuel-efficient cars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then tell me this: Where is the protectionist? German company VW aims to increase sales in Japan by 18.5 percent from the previous year to 60,000 vehicles on the strength of new models. VW sales in Japan grew 8.4 percent to top 50,000 vehicles in 2011. The lightweight fuel-efficient car will be a new entry model for VW meeting the needs of Japanese users who prefer small, fuel-efficient cars.

German cars have grown in sales over the years and have stayed well within that narrown 5% ghetto and even with the increase in sales will continue to do so. You're forgetting, even though you pointed it out before, that Japan remains a leader in fuel efficiency. The sales of VW are nowhere near what they should be for a population of Japan's size and wealth, compared to the marketshare VW enjoys in other countries. The 5% marketshare of foreign automobiles has stayed the same, even though Japan's market has supposedly been 'open' for twenty years now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Readers, please make sure your comments focus on the TPP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Readers, the topic is the TPP talks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan should never joined that TPP. It's another USA intrument to put Japan economy down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What about what Japan did in the 90s-2000s, multiplying their current account surplus, and how Japan's total net value increase by 500%? Corporate Japan hoards '$2.4 trillion dollars in cash', which is a record.

And yet strangely enough the vast majority of people here are getting poorer - so wheres the money going?

High prices will only encourage savings if people have anything to save in the first place. And given that the economy has been at either zero % inflation or deflation for the best part of 20 years, why in the world would the government be trying to discourage spending? One of Japans many issues is that currency is tied up in (mostly the elderlys) savings accounts. As others have said, the only reason these exist is because of (until recently) lack of access to stocks, shares, real estate, and other investment intruments.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And yet strangely enough the vast majority of people here are getting poorer - so wheres the money going?

The surplus reflects the value of goods and services exported versus those which are imported. The fact is is that Japan's current account surplus multiplied numerous times in size between 1989 (last year of the bubble) and 2010 (Japan's economy has collapsed! The net value reflects Japan's net foreign assets

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/05/24/japan-economy-assets-idUSTOE64N07320100524

Japan's net foreign assets hit a record high of 266.2 trillion yen ($2.958 trillion) at the end of last year, making it the world's top creditor nation for the 19th straight year, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

High prices will only encourage savings if people have anything to save in the first place. And given that the economy has been at either zero % inflation or deflation for the best part of 20 years, why in the world would the government be trying to discourage spending? One of Japans many issues is that currency is tied up in (mostly the elderlys) savings accounts. As others have said, the only reason these exist is because of (until recently) lack of access to stocks, shares, real estate, and other investment intruments.

Wages in Japan are comparable to other developed countries, yet the prices in Japan are much higher. This is reflected in Japan's consumption rate, which is lower than other developed nations, and this policy of suppressed consumpton leads to an increase in the savings rate, and this is diverted and invested into industry and the economy. This is the reason for Japan's post-war miracle, the extremely high savings rate sped growth faster than would have been the case if Japan followed the Anglo-American capitalist model. Japan's consumption rates were lower than other developed nations even before their economy went into deflation, it has never been a spending based economy. Lower consumption rates equal higher savings rates.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/114546-savings-consumption-and-the-economy-lord-make-us-thrifty-but-not-yet

Turning now to the second graph, it is clear that as the savings rate declined (to effectively zero), personal consumption rose as a share of the economy. In recent months we have seen a rebound in the savings rate. If it is sustained, it should over time lead to personal consumption being a smaller share of the economy.

Again, Japan has deliberately left its finance sector underdeveloped, because it knows it would undermine the savings policy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is being held back by its old-men government; lost decade going on two. Status quo means others catch up or pass by. Japan needs a kickstart and not over-rely on export-driven but domestic consumption, so it depends less on other nations' economies recovering, particularly when there are already other export-driven nations are cheaper and quality catching up or on par.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tenbatsu will come as it did for Toyota when they stopped making the RAV4 EVO, only made for California in 2002. Few years later a butch of Toyota recalls for other models and more recent years, Honda and even Nissan too. Heard that Nissan is considering going back to Datsun in the US.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TPP and FTA could be a double-edged sword. Noda is going to see Obama later this month to discuss TPP and the realignment of US force. While some industries can expect the benefit of liberalization, others will suffer from more reasonable goods and the deregulation in the middle of more cut-throat competitive environment. But it seems we cannot ignore FTA anymore to be able to survive in the current world as well as Asia. So it is imperative to cope with the affected industries, in particular, embarking on swift agricultural reform. We need to figure out what sort of compensation, how much budget scale is required, how to expand the farmlands, and how to secure the successors. I want the government to explain these to us as easily and plainly as possible.

In the wake of TPP and FTA between USA and SK, China is keen to get Japan, China and Korea FTA deal done. There are two reasons. One is that to match TPP, international coalitions against China, it wants to keep USA from expanding in Asia and hold a closer relation between Japan and USA in check, making use of JCK FTA. The other is to attract good Japanese and SK companies by FTA to help nurture domestic industries. But it turns out we march to different drummers as of today.

EU also put great emphasis on reaching FTA agreement with India and Japan, so we will end up thinking about 3 negotiations simultaneously. I think TPP and FTA might be Noda's toughest job given how delicate they can be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quite a lot of misunderstanding caused by Japanese politicians. It's too bad. I wonder how they had proceeded the discussion. Probably there was no pre-negotiaon, pre-talk...etc. They have got to conclude objectives at official meetings w/higher level of politicians from US, Korea, China, Iran. Thinking about Japanese higher politicians negotiation skill-set, at the end of the day, if Japanese politicians challenge all issues head-on w/o any pre-negotiations , every negotiations may fail to be concluded.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites