politics

U.S. trade rep urges Japan to make progress on autos, insurance

75 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

75 Comments
Login to comment

He said the feelings of unfairness reached their height in the late 1980s and early 1990s but still persist today.

Only feelings persist not the consumption and consumer confidence that japan had in those golden years. Now it is a small, shrinking and saturated market, noting much to gain for the U.S.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He said the feelings of unfairness reached their height in the late 1980s and early 1990s but still persist today.

Japan had plenty of time to build larger roads, bigger streets and wide parking lots that could fit US cars but it did nothing, nothing! they keep building small houses with small parking lots, tiny roads. I understand US frustration. Why did Japan get not bigger, wider? :-)

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

tokyobakayaroAug. 20, 2013 - 07:36AM JST

Japan is a size of California and the land is too expensive.

Please compare the price of land within 23 districts in Tokyo to NYC, Zurich, Geneva, London, Moscow and Paris. Good luck.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@tokyobakayaro

Thank you for that. I'm still chuckling.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The U.S. also believes that Japanese government-backed insurance services run by the post office have an advantage over private and foreign companies.

Aflac seems to be doing pretty well.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

American cars may not be popular here in Japan but German (European) cars sure are.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Well, the Americans had 20, 30 years time to make progress and build cars like the Germans.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

GM Sold 2.84 million vehicles in China in 2012. Chevrolet sold 643,000 in Brazil, 627,000 in China, 205,000 in Russia, 179,000 in Mexico, 139,000 in Canada, 134,000 in Argentina, 125,000 in South Korea, 123,000 in Uzbekistan, and 92,000 in India. Hmmmm..... now I know that American auto manufacturers are prone to whine about unfairness and such.... but considering that South Korea.... a country with less than half the population of Japan and a very robust Domestic auto manufacturing base too boot.... imported 5 times more American autos than Japan. Well.... it just does not make sense to me. I lived in Japan for 15 years.... and there were a few times I would have loved to own a Jeep or a nice Ford F-150.... but the price in Japan compared to what it cost in the USA was more than 30% higher. Why? As I've said before.... and it is relevant now more than ever because Detroit is making some very nice cars, if U.S. cars were priced in Japan, at what they cost in the USA, then I think they'd sell.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

GM Sold 2.84 million vehicles in China in 2012. Chevrolet sold 643,000 in Brazil, 627,000 in China, 205,000 in Russia, 179,000 in Mexico, 139,000 in Canada, 134,000 in Argentina, 125,000 in South Korea, 123,000 in Uzbekistan, and 92,000 in India

Very few of those vehicles were imports.

GM has 15 factories in China, 3 in Brazil, 1 in Russia, 5 in Mexico, 7 in Canada, 2 in Argentina, 3 in South Korea, 2 in Uzbekistan and 1 monstrous plant in India.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I would have loved to own a Jeep or a nice Ford F-150

I hope you and I will never be on the same street. One of us will end up scratching a side of car or you may end up driving over mamachari.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Here, one of the oft-quoted unique factors of Japan does become important - it is a SMALL island with most of the population living on narrow coastal strips or up valleys. There is no zoning as such - rice paddies and temples live next to homes and small factories, and most of the roads are just concrete upgrades to old trails and market roads, except for the highways that were very expensive pork-barrel projects for political largesse. There is just no room for large cars, hence the popularity of the "Kei" genre. Until the US starts making something suitable, and with the steering wheel on the right side for Japan roads, they'll get nowhere.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

American cars are garbage,nobody would buy them anywyay....................:)****

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Oh yeah, listen to THIS guy. He's all about freedom, democracy and trying to make this world a better place. A brief CV:

a J.D. from Harvard Law School where he was a classmate of Barack Obama

Managing Director at Citigroup

Chief Executive Officer of CitiInsurance

He spent much of his career within the United States Department of the Treasury

Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations

I often wish there were more people..uh sorry..ONE person sitting in prison right now that caused not just the 2008 crises, but also the vacuuming of the manufacturing sector in the US. It's easy to put Ben (FU) Bernanke or Alan (FU) Greenspan on my mental "poster-board". However, this is one slug who definitely belongs on it.

Citigroup is one of the first financial mega-institutions to be created in the wave of banking deregulation in the 1990s, under President Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Froman is Rubin's former chief of staff at the Treasury Department, where he also worked as a deputy assistant secretary.

Listen to this guy, and Japanese families will have zero savings, living paycheck to paycheck and buying large necessities with their Credit Cards. It's worked SO well in the States that he wants to import it to Japan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdCfYHNctsc&list=PL2D9F7E908CED1B42

7 ( +8 / -1 )

China is hungry for oil and will become #1 oil importer at the end of this year(?) Majority of her electric power generators run via coal (guess where China's coal resources came from?).

Japan needs oil and gas for energy resources and China is a threat to Japan's national security obviously. The Americans still have some muscles left, stuff like GPS, nuke subs, and most importantly.... NASA. Electric cars will be dominated in 15 to 20 years from now, guess where electric cars from? Japan needs free-trade agreement with the U.S., no doubt about this issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nearly half the U.S. auto market is controlled by foreign manufacturers.

So what does this statment say? It tells everyone that even the americans dont wat to buy american cars. Half of them want to drive something relaible, economical and made properly.

The US put tarrifs on Japanese cars to begin with so how about this froman dork looks inward forst instead of trying to stick it into japan.

And I 100% agree with the above posters, guys like this froman are trying to line their own pockets and dont give 2 sh!ts about anything else.

Zurich insurance are here aflac are here and seem to be doin ok so whats this guy banging on about?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Tokyobakayaro: Froman is not asking Japan to change size of roads. Japan is a small country. Compare price of land with Arizona or Colorado or Nevada or any state where empty huge lands are all over. A few thousand acres empty lands you will notice. Froman is not unreasonable. He is not ignorant on how Japanese people live with narrow streets. Also he knows to expand all roads in Japan is too expensive. He is not that kind of idiot.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Thats the problem with these trade packs, we join to side line China and we get hit by the Americans asking us to open our markets to cars and etc. Big American cars don't really have a market here.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

French/Italian bags, Swiss watches and German cars for those who can afford them and in some cases for those who can't. It's partly based on image and partly on actual quality. US cars don't have the image nor the quality in most cases to break this mindset even if the prices came down.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He said that imported vehicles make up a tiny fraction of the Japanese market, although nearly half the U.S. auto market is controlled by foreign manufacturers.

What a non-statement. Those 'foreign' manufacturers have R&D and manufacturing facilities, placing the whole automotive value chain in the US, and helping Detroit to up its game.

The US still levies Lyndon B Johnson's 'chicken tax', a 25% tariff on light trucks, which has limited the American consumer's choice for decades. Protecting this segment sustains heavy, high emissions, low technology (read: otherwise highly uncompetitive), high margin product which has long been, and remains a crutch for Detroit's other lackluster operations.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

At least have the steering wheel on the "right" side.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is right - Japan needs to open up its auto market. The Japanese consumers are rational, if Japanese cars are truly better than American cars, than they will continue to buy Japanese cars.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

bannedacctsamAug. 20, 2013 - 10:42AM JST

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is right - Japan needs to open up its auto market. The Japanese consumers are rational, if Japanese cars are truly better than American cars, than they will continue to buy Japanese cars.

OK, Japan can open up market for US Auto, no problem.

Japanese consumers driving big US vehicles should send all auto insurance comprehensive and liability claim bills to US govt. If US is willing to accept that, then the deal closed. Why don't you see what I am saying? German car is doing fine in Japan. Think why it is? Be fair, American automakers have not striving hard enough to win the market, IMHO.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

kinda weird when anyone who is anyone knows American cars are too big for Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

First off, most American cars aren't "big" and get decent gas mileage. In fact, a typical US mid-size car is now comparable in size to many Japanese models. Second, let them export to Japan in greater numbers and if these cars are as bad as some of you claim and Japanese consumers don't buy, then so be it, the US companies will lose money.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Froman should encourage Japan to approve GM and Ford to create their factories in Japan so that USA brand cars will be used in Japan. Just like Japan Inc. automakers expanded to USA.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

American needs to admit American automakers cannot produce quality cars!

I can hardly wait to buy good quality products of home appliances, building materials and HVAC from Japan after the TPP.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

European cars sell very well here, thankyou. Amercan car makers haven't advertised enough or made cars to suit this market.... American health insurance companies....don't want to let those scum sucking vultures into this country..... No TPP please!!!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There are American Motors and Chrystler dealerships here in Japan, so they are in the market. But they can't even sell with the yen rises to 76. And there is no tarriff on US cars in Japan, unlike Japanese cars exported to US. No advertising, nothing. And the BIGest problem is: US automakers have no American feet on the ground here in Japan doing the deals. Americans are a big failure on that. You need American feet on the ground who know what is going on (and speak and read Japanese). They have none. Why do you think there are so many Japanese in the US. US cars don't just float over to Japan and sell themselves. ALSO, US sales in China got a big boost due to the anti-Japanese demonstrations. But after their experience with US cars, they are already changing back to Japanese cars.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Amerixcan large insurance companies will give you a whole bunch of description pages. But they usually have a=small companies to handle your health care/ If you have emergency in out of these small companies' territory,, you are out of luck. they don;t pay. Then if you don;t pay, attorney of these small companies' give nasty letters threatening. They call partner companies. I don;t know how they will operate in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't know where most of you live, but in my suburb of Tokyo the SUV is alive and kicking. That's the Japanese SUV of course, not the American one. The idea that the Japanese do not buy larger vehicles is total rubbish. They buy them in droves, but they prefer the Japanese ones.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

To: U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Monday urged Japan to open its market to American cars

Dear Mr. Froman,

I do not know if you read my post on JT or not, but let me try.

First, I appreciate what you do for a free trade, but it has to be a fair trade. I am sure you agree with me.

Let me share my unique experience as a trade liaison between GM Tracker and Suzuki Samurai partnership programs many years ago.

These are many astonishing findings you may want to consider in the TPP Trade talks.

1)GM was receiving too many complaints from US consumers as Tracker tops were leaking while Suzuki did not have no complaints.

WHY?

The finding was US PCV (PCV coating over canvas) was very inferior, therefore, we ended up changing vendors to Japanese PCV vendors. The Japanese PCV had a trade secret they did not want to share.

The convertible top supply vendor (White Automobile) did not have a sharp mega size blade (do not laugh, yes it did not have a sharp blade) attached to the cutting machine in operation. The workers were paid by the pieces they cut (quality vs quantity). It was a sweat shop operation with many labor and OSHA safety violations.

The manual used for Suzuki in metric system was not properly converted to the US measurement.

If you still insist tough talks to Japan demanding them to open up market, then America needs to consider converting all US measurement system into metric system first. I do not understand why we cannot do that while the rest of world are already applying metric system in daily life. It starts from a change in US education.

Without this conversion to the metric system, I am afraid that US is getting behind in globalization. Japan is not in a position of TPP blaming game.

Thank you for listening.

Sincerely,

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This must be a great opportunity,

The Americen do love Japan so much , They even are likely to fight for Japan for the disputes islets, so these must be on the great behalf of Japanese.

The USA is the indeed friend of Japan!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, the bottom line of the TPP talk is a General Liability issue of products. Currently, the way it is, the general liability in property and casualty insurance (fire marine) does not go beyond the shore, but it may change after the TPP..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tokyobakayaro have you ever thought that the USA could build smaller cars?. why should a whole country bow to a foriegn market? the petrol heads of the USA still using v8 6-10 ltr cars for god sake! why the speed limit is pretty low, why not make a small car?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Folks while indeed cars are average smaller than NAmerica as a few posters pointed out there are TONS of large cars & trucks on the roads in Japan, so this ALL American cars are too big is simply BS!

And to those who say European makers are living it up in the J-market.......wtf! Get a clue, while they do do better than the yanks the percentage is still TINY, please keep in mind ALL foreign cars sold in Japan come to around 5% tops so even the Europeans have lots to bitch about when it comes to Japan.

Japan has been having its cake & eating it too for decades, far too long IMO. But as another poster pointed out the J-market is shrinking & not so slowly so for many it may not be worth the bother, hell even J-companies are giving up on the local market more & more & looking overseas, I predict more will become based outside Japan, mark my words.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

shut up America.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

An amazing number of posters here seem to be stuck in the 1970s when it comes to the U.S. and its autos, or the Japanese market and its direction. Almost every U.S. auto manufacturer has come out with small, well-rated, safe, efficient cars across the spectrum from sub-compact to cross-over and full-size SVU--with many of their latest innovations and offerings based on success they've had with similar models in Europe and elsewhere (though not Japan, obviously). So many of the old arguments about why they've had so little success in Japan no longer hold water--though I guess many of these comments show how a bad reputation can linger, sometimes for decades.

The real problem, now and going forward, will be in trying to sell into a shrinking market with a smaller appetite for cars of any kind--including the autos the U.S. is interested in exporting (you know you won't find Ford or GM trying to enter the kei category anytime soon.) The U.S. can offer no real category killers, have no real cache behind any of their nameplates (certainly not on par with the Germans or Italians), and thus give most Japanese consumers no compelling reason to switch, even if the U.S. product has improved of late. Most of my friends who talk about getting (or dreaming of getting) a U.S.-made vehicle are either thinking about the larger SUVs or are waxing nostalgic over models that haven't been on the market in decades.

I think the insurance issue is far more worrisome. The intentions of the U.S. are harder to read here (surely they understand they won't be toppling Japan's public health insurance infrastructure anytime soon), but the possible consequences have the potential for far greater impact on people's daily lives than anything that happens in the automobile market. I find the prospect of the U.S. trying to export all or parts of its "open, competitive" and highly dysfunctional health insurance system truly frightening.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

have you ever thought that the USA could build smaller cars?. why should a whole country bow to a foriegn market? the petrol heads of the USA still using v8 6-10 ltr cars for god sake! why the speed limit is pretty low, why not make a small car?

Because American culture is built on words "Big, Tall, Large, Wide, Thick, Sexy, Comfort". You can tell when you go to grocery store how people pick fruits and veggies. We now realize something big is not always good.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Alico: American insurance company has its largest profit from Japan. Also, you face the problem that Japanese youth are loosing their interest in automobiles (車離れ). So evern Japanese companies are going to have a hard time with a shrinking market.

But I still say (and based on my experience in business) that American needs to get more American feet on the ground here in Japan and everywhere else. As I said, executive types who can get the deal done in Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the insurance issue is far more worrisome. The intentions of the U.S. are harder to read here (surely they understand they won't be toppling Japan's public health insurance infrastructure anytime soon), but the possible consequences have the potential for far greater impact on people's daily lives than anything that happens in the automobile market. I find the prospect of the U.S. trying to export all or parts of its "open, competitive" and highly dysfunctional health insurance system truly frightening.

I could not agree more. . As you know that US insurance industry has been controlling ALL presidential elections in the past since JFK.. They are just too powerful.

I am beginning to have a question if Japanese government wants to protect Japanese healthcare system. The way it is J government is having a hard time to balance the budget every year, and Japan is in very deep debt hole. Does it mean that the LDP is thinking to shift the government responsibility of health care to the private sector? Good grief. Hope not. What do you think?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't know if they've been controlling all presidential elections, but certainly since the early 20th century, the insurance industry in the U.S. has been largely responsible for lobbying against publicly-funded health care, and for building support for the idea that any such moves will lead inevitably to the slow march of socialism. You're right though, that given the state of the Japanese government's budget, they are perhaps closer than ever to throwing Japan's vaunted (and by now somewhat tattered) social egalitarianism overboard in favor of more "open market" approaches. But the medical establishment here knows perfectly well where that's led in places such as the U.S., and are in no hurry to welcome anything resembling the U.S.'s broken system. I'm sure the very powerful Ishi-kai lobby will put up a strenuous fight should it come to that.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ford is American and the Focus is a Ford and it is a small car and it is the biggest selling car in the world. Plenty of private insurance comapnies make decent money in Japan. not the best examples to choose. Foodstuffs offer a more compelling argument. Anyway, who didn't see that TPP would not lead to much by way of opening markets. more exceptions than inclusions.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"shut up America"

Japan can't afford to have that attitude. The US is the biggest market for Japanese exports, and the Japan economy is largely export oriented. When your biggest customer has issues, you address them. Otherwise, you lose out (in this case to China), and become poorer in the process.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And to those who say European makers are living it up in the J-market.......wtf! Get a clue, while they do do better than the yanks the percentage is still TINY, please keep in mind ALL foreign cars sold in Japan come to around 5% tops so even the Europeans have lots to bitch about when it comes to Japan.

The Europeans can leave any time they decide the returns aren't worth the effort. Until then, VW has gained around 25% of the import market in Japan, according to these figures.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/guess-which-cars-sell-in-japan-imports-now-guess-which-ones/

By comparison, the performance of US companies is derisory, with no one managing even 2 percent of that 5 percent. It's the difference between being very visible (VW, Audi, BMW) and being invisible (Ford).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is no import duty levied on foreign cars since 1978 (US levies 2.5%).

There is also no legal requirement to have the steering wheel on the right side which is normal in Japan. Vehicle emission and safety standards are already similar.

So exactly what else can the Japanese Government to to "open its markets"? Isn't it open already?

In terms of sales efforts, pricing points, competitor differentiation, advertising and marketing are not in the domain of Governmental involvement.

There is no negative anti-USA car sentiment in Japan either.

I can see the frustration, but I don't see what barriers are in place now that can be removed to help American cars get more market share.

Unfortunately the only kind of goods that could appeal to the Japanese market is probably in agricultural goods and there is undoubtedly protectionism for foodstuffs that can be seen as a security asset for a country that is so dependent on the import of food related goods.

But, Japan could easily reduce the trade surplus with the USA in a simple manner. Buy more military equipment! But that wouldn't make a lot of Japan's neighbors too happy, me thinks.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Auto and Insurance are two big issues but there are other industries that can benefit both countries with freer trade/ For instance, fashion industries, restaurants, entertainment, sports, anything in both countries love to use/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A bit of a trade war is much better than signing something that eventually becomes the source of feelings of unfairness.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tmtmsnb: I agree with you. Sooner or later, any agreement will become an excuse to needle another.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dear the Japanese Government and the people in Japan: I told you this already in the previous article. "Do not let the American trade rep. push you!" They are good at doing so. Mr. Froman states, "Japan's success came at the expense of others." That is not true. Japan's success came from the Japanese people's honesty and hard working in their production. The way Mr. Froman states is as usual. American industries always blame their own flaw to someone else. That is why they have not been able to grow themselve to produce better products. The people in America and, in fact, even the local government itself started promoting bicycling and dramatically REDUCING the size of the road for cars in order to provide a new bicycle lane. The American society in general is trying to discourage people using an automobile. The American car industry is worrying about the America's GREEN movement. The American health insurance company also worry about the prospective of their business because Obama Healthcare will start from 2014. The Japanese do not have to give any space to the American industry that Americans themselves are trying to reduce or remove entirely. Do not let Mr. Froman fool you!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You will not see noticeable change since Japan and U.S. are already party to WTO treaties, there are relatively few tariffs that could be eliminated between the countries.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

SpeaklikeGandhiAug. 21, 2013 - 05:35AM JST

Great post! Thanks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"The Europeans can leave any time they decide the returns aren't worth the effort."

The problem is that the Europeans are a much more stubborn and ruthless bunch, and are refusing to give in so easily. The ACEA, the European industry group, is right now playing hardball with Tokyo, demanding that the ongoing and extensive FTA talks be scrapped all together if the Japanese continue to maintain their trade barriers to auto imports. It's called a "pull the plug" clause. Detroit needs to be as ruthless and find similar leverage somewhere.

Info here

"ACEA calls for elimination of non-tariff barriers in EU–Japan FTA discussions." http://www.ihs.com/products/global-insight/industry-economic-report.aspx?id=1065977549

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

SpeaklikeGandhi Aug. 21, 2013 - 05:35AM JST Japan's success came from the Japanese people's honesty and hard working in their production. The way Mr. Froman states is as usual. American industries always blame their own flaw to someone else. That is why they have not been able to grow themselve to produce better products.

Do you consider Japanese farming method a success? Japan goverment currently pays the agricultural industry $50 billion annually for their insufficient small farmers. The average land that they cultivate in Japan is around 4-1/2 acres compare to 440 acres in U.S. The result heavy farm subsidies, the Japanese consumers get penalized and pays 4 to 5 times more for the similar rice that is produced in California. If these Japanese consumer had choice between Japanese rice or California rice at 80 percent discount, some will buy California rice and enjoy the savings. The farm subsidy in Japan is not substainable since goverment is having difficulty because of decrease revenue from tax. The average farmers age in Japan is over 60-65 years old, and they still are getting free ride from the goverment. This has to stop.

By the way, Obama care is delayed until 2015 and this is still not certain.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Now we are getting closer to Truth. US is no longer talking about Agriculture, its now down to Autos and Insurance. And nothing can realistically be done about Autos, so the real target is (and has always been Insurance).

Japanese SAVINGS are what the US is after. Consumer spending is nothing compared to what the US could gain by forcing in the same financial mechanisms that wiped out US savings in 2008.

Japan, however, may have put itself into a difficult position. Peasants focused so much on the threat to agriculture, and automobiles are a dead issue... So, insurance may be the only bargaining chip left... which is EXACTLY what the US wants.

Like Germany, Japan has been too successful for her own good. BEAUTY can sometimes be a sinn, especially when it inspires evil in others. Japan needs to QUICKLY find a way to make its financial industry unappealing. When rape is imminent, victims are advise to claim the have AIDS or otherwise make themselves disgusting to their attacker.

I am sure Japan already recognizes the gambit. Though, there are some here who would welcome financial rape, as it probably be the fastest way to make the public flip out, and embrace the more dramatic changes that Abe, Isshihara, Hashimotokun have been pushing for... Interesting.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japanese SAVINGS are what the US is after

Exactly. What US really wants is a big chunk of Japanese postal saving. The insurance (health, life, property, casualty) should not be on the negotiation table.

Hope Japanese have not forgotten who tanked the world financial markets, and so far, none of them have not gone to jail yet. I tell you they are too savvy and too sophisticated for Japanese. They will sweep your money in daylight with big smiles and run.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So this is perhaps what the US (and EU) are considering as non-tariff barriers to the Japanese car market:-

Europe and the United States have strongly criticized Japanese light motor vehicles as serving as non-tariff barriers, however, charging that the unique Japanese specification of a displacement below 660cc acts as preferential treatment with respect to taxes. Foreign manufacturers are also positioning the market introduction of compact cars as a countermeasure with respect to light motor vehicles.

"Kei" cars account for nearly 40 % of all owned vehicles in Japan, and certainly there are cheaper to own tax-wise and insurance-wise compared to regular cars. These are small cars (and trucks) that have engines smaller than 660cc's.

So the thinking is that Japan must hike up the cheaper taxes for these light vehicles to promote more chance for imported regular automobiles to gain traction in Japan...

Why don't the Americans build "kei" cars if they wish to compete?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

European cars are well sold in Japan on the other hand. 

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The result heavy farm subsidies, the Japanese consumers get penalized and pays 4 to 5 times more for the similar rice that is produced in California. If these Japanese consumer had choice between Japanese rice or California rice at 80 percent discount, some will buy California rice and enjoy the savings.

California rice is also subsidized:

http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=06000&progcode=rice

http://farm.ewg.org/top_recips.php?fips=06000&progcode=rice&regionname=California

http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=06000&progcode=rice&page=conc&regionname=California

And only a very small proportion of rice in the US is imported.

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2012/03/21/what%E2%80%99s-in-your-rice-a-look-at-where-rice-in-the-u-s-comes-from/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

wipeoutAug. 21, 2013 - 06:21PM JST

Not really. There is a difference between California rice and Japanese rice. The agricultural process are completely different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not really. There is a difference between California rice and Japanese rice.

I'm not fully clear what you're talking about. Not really what?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@mu-da The US has also had decades to come up wtih a better public transportation system, but instead of doing that, it blows.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unless Japanese people change their short grain rice eating to long grain rice, American rice farmers in midwesrt and east farmers producing rice still have to depend on marketing China.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is a difference between California rice and Japanese rice.

Doesn't matter. Vietnamese rice would be the main threat under TPP. TPP member Vietnam is the world's biggest rice exporter and can offer much more competitive prices.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unless Japanese people change their short grain rice eating to long grain rice, American rice farmers in midwesrt and east farmers producing rice still have to depend on marketing China.

Don't say that to the Californians, Toshiko: http://www.tamakimai.com/product.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Get Real: In California, Roce farmers in Sacrament area make delicious short grain rice. Not in So. Calif. because Orange County lands are more expensive than Beverly Hills now. Years ago, Irvine was farmers area but now Irvine City for big movie stars etc and very expensive city. So, Northern Ca;if that has similar climate as Japan prodiuce delicious short grain rice. USA Rice Producers Associations have3 members in AK,CA, LA, MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURIi but Sushi restaurants do not use long grain rice. However, there are more none Japanese Asian restaurants that use long grain rice in USA.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Short grain rice grown in California is already sold in Japan. Japanese grown rice is better, although more expensive. As for autos, maybe if the Americans made some good ones they would sell more.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

toshikoAug. 22, 2013 - 10:35AM JST

@Get Real: In California, Roce farmers in Sacrament area make delicious short grain rice

What kind of Japanese rice were you fed while you were in Japan?. Japanese rice is superior and California rice does not even come close. I use California rice only for fried rice. I always bring back about 20 kg (Y3,000 per kg) top premium Japanese Sushi rice. I can tell a big difference.

Regardless, JeffLee hits the nail. Vietnamese rice is a real threat. They will be sold to combini bento and mass restaurant chains.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@globalwatch: We never had Clifornia grown KG units rice in Japan. Rice was never sold in Clif packed kg weighted bags at all. Rice was sold in Japanese quantity measurement, niot weight. Gou, shou, tou, hyou (pyou pyou_ , For your info, JK/ Until GHQ ordered non farming farm owners give farms to farmers, jiinushis received their rice in tawaras. Kome-yas did not sell rice in the shiny Californian rice bags because rice was not imported from Calif. in 1940s. Have you seen Japanese rice farmers packing in tawaras? About 2 feet diameter circle with about more than 4 feet length pack. Are you buying Japanese rice in Californian bags? Farms were measured by Tan, and Chou. One tan produced 9 tawara raices in my area's county, Jinushi got 2/3 amd far,mers got 1/3. Are you buying raice in Japan with KG printed shiny pack?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Within 10 years Japan's top quality agricultural products will be exported to China and other Asian countries because they'll be able to afford the high prices while the Japanese will be eating imported bland products from the USA and such. The money in Japan is drying up.... wages are down.... more part time workers.... health costs too high. Read the tea leafs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@damalawton1: USA industries have difficulty in exploiting Asian markets. Japan already finished Japan Inc. dominated USA manufacturing and sales field. Watch out. It is a great chance to import USA products to Japan and sell to SE Asian countries that mistrust China and USA. .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

American needs to admit American automakers cannot produce quality cars!

Actually they do, American automakers may have been poor quality during the 90's and early 2000's but since mid 2000's and later they have basically been making just as good of quality cars as the Japanese have been. Ford Focus, Ford Fusion are probably the best cars in their class. The Ford Fiesta is probably Ford's most underrated car in North America and in Japan. Ford Fiesta could easily take on any subcompact car in Japan.

But after their experience with US cars, they are already changing back to Japanese cars.

ROFL, Gokai if you have been reading the news reports these past couple of weeks China's July sales show that American car companies gained market share while Japanese car companies lost market share.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rice: You never use long grain rice to make sushi because Long grain rice do not stick together. Also, if you want to make fried rice with short grained rice, they stick together too much and you have difficulty in washing your fry pan. It is not like you eat rice once in a while. We Japanese know how to eat rice. Also, people in other Asia know how to eat their rice, too. California;s CallRose etc has been sold well in Japan. Just like in Japan, they grow riice in Mizuta. This USA talk is Japan to import more made-in-USA cars to Japan. GM and FORD have many excellent auto plants in China and sell very well in China but this talk does not have made-in-China cars sales to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

American cars are too big for the Japanese market. Too expensive to operate and too hard to park. They can sell some rice but Japanese people do not like long grain rice. They can bring the cars but they will not sell well. They can bring their long grain rice but it will not sell. Their products are wrong for the market. It is not the government but lack of Japanese consumers demand.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

YuriOtani: "American cars are too big for the Japanese market. Too expensive to operate and too hard to park. They can sell some rice but Japanese people do not like long grain rice. They can bring the cars but they will not sell well. They can bring their long grain rice but it will not sell. Their products are wrong for the market. It is not the government but lack of Japanese consumers demand."

So what's your point? If things are as you say, then Japan can only benefit from joining the TPP. Japanese will still buy Japanese, but the nation will benefit from others having more freedom to their products.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Smith my friend, the Americans are not the problem. Korea and China are the problems.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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