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We don't see any way that you can have fair trade with Japan because of all of the non-tariff barriers, Japanese culture, tight integration of the government policies and the companies. We don't see a

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United Auto Workers President Bob King, saying he opposes allowing Japan into the trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free talks, arguing it could put American auto jobs at risk and because he feels there is no realistic way to open up the markets in Japan. (Detroit News)

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Basically he says what is the plain truth. Protectionism, which is one of japanese favorite pasttimes, is on the rise worldwide, and once there is less money earned a country by importing from Japan, than is lost by the lack of exporting possibilities to an extreme country like Japan, this kind of action will be on the increase. As japan's government have never shown any ability to learn from reality, this is more bad news for jobs on Japan.

Other countries try to elect governments that actually have the job to take care of the inhabitants of their country. Maybe the japanese people ought to try that system too?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Or the US could try and build a car to match Japanese roads instead of overly sized USVs that are wider than the roads in Japan. They could also try building car with better fuel efficiency than Japanese rivals.

Bottom line if the big three cars are better than Japanese then Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc. would not sell as much in the US.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

what the heck is a USV? anyway, let the market decide. if the cars are available without the insane tarrifs and they sell what is the hullaballu?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What this dude is saying is pretty bang on, but US car manufacturers have more problems then just facing the WALL J-BS that stands in the ways of most imports

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sillygirl

There are no tariffs charged on imported cars in Japan, silly girl.

Some argue the cost of inspection and modification to meet Japanese regulation is part of the non-tariff barriers but the truth is each and every nation(region in case of EU) holds their own regulations so the door swings both ways.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Bob King speaks the truth.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ping Pong!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japanese culture

Japanese and German companies overcame the cultural barrier to make their products suite the American market.

Whose fault is it that American companies can't do the same?

It's noteworthy too that German companies seem to do reasonably well in the American market.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

These guys are SOOO pathetic!!!! They don't deserve success in Japan.

There are US auto dealers all over the place here in Japan (just go to Google maps, Tokyo, type in for example "Ford dealer" in English, and you can street view the dealers).

It is certainly not the case that they cannot get into Japan because of "non-tarriff barriers". The problem is that they don't put any effort into the Japanese market. Ever seen an advertisement anywhere by a US automaker? Even Volkswagen advertises here. Just because everyone knows you in the US doesn't mean they know you here. Also, make stuff for the Japanese market, stuff Japanese like.

If you cannot succeed in Japan, it is because you are a lazy failure. End of story.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"We don't see a way to overcome that"

It is because you are stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

PS There are NO, I repeat, NO tarriffs on US auto imports to Japan. ZERO! They were gone with Reagan. That is why they dream up the "non-tarriff barrier" to explain their grand failure in Japan. Did I say that there are NO tarriffs on US auto imports to Japan?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hey, wait! I just noticed that the ad at the bottomof this page is "Chrysler: Stay Driven": Chrysler Japan Official Website. See they are here!!! Put a little juice in it baby!!!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Another interesting point, in the early 70's the most imported cars were AMERICAN with I believe somewhere around 300,000 units. Just shows how lazy the big three had become.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Could someone answer this question for me? Why can't countries have reciprocating import laws. In this case if Japan's market are closed like the quote implies why can't the US government impose exactly the same importing laws to match Japan's?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

movieguy

The US have more regulations on imports then Japan like the "Buy American" in which US federal government agencies allow only the big three automobile to be purchased for public use.

The so called "non-tarriff barrier" is as gokai_wo_maneku posted a facade to hide the inability of US big three not able to develop a product that matches the Japanese market.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

gokai, then perhaps you can explain why crappy yank cars do ok in say China, but in Japan...................

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The ranking of top-selling imported cars shows rather clear trends. The columns are (2011 sales, 2011 share, 2010 sales, ratio of sales 2011 to 2010)

1 VW Golf 26,125 12.8% 26,075 100.2% 2 VW Polo 15,171 7.4% 14,507 104.6% 3 BMW MINI MINI 14,350 7.0% 11,338 126.6% 4 Toyota Townace 12,437 - 9,533 130.5% 5 Mercedes-Benz C-class 11,710 5.7% 9,206 127.2% 6 BMW 5 series 9,257 4.5% 6,049 153.0% 7 BMW 3 series 8,912 4.4% 11,664 76.4% 8 Mercedes-Benz E-class 8,411 4.1% 10,850 77.5% 9 Volvo 60 6,032 3.0% no-data - 10 BMW X1 5,874 2.9% 3,829 153.4% 11 BMW 1 series 5,279 2.6% 5,856 90.1% 12 Audi A4 5,220 2.6% 5,660 92.2% 13 Fiat 500 4,501 2.2% 4,280 105.2% 14 Audi A1 4,206 2.1% no-data - 15 Audi A3 3,739 1.8% 4,506 83.0% 16 VW Passat 3,513 1.7% no-data - 17 Volvo 50 3,336 1.6% 2,808 118.8% 18 Mercedes-Benz B-class 3,062 1.5% 3,665 83.5% 19 VW Sharan 2,728 1.3% no-data - 20 Peugeot 207 2,354 1.2% 3,076 76.5%

15 out of 20 top-selling imported cars in Japan are German models. There are no particular FTAs or tariffs between Germany and Japan (as for the USA), there is no smaller cultural difference than between the USA and Japan and the corporate culture faces the same issues. Obviously, the failure of US automakers must have a different reason and thus, King's statement is proved false.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ah yes, Detroit - the quality car making capital of the world....

I'd love to buy a car from there... if it weren't for all these damned imaginary trade barriers....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

GW, as soon as Chinese have enough experience with US cars, they will return to Japanese cars. You will remember that, unlike Japanese cars, US cars are manufactured on the basis of "planned obsolenscence".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Anyway, the whole idea that the Japanese market is closed to US cars, as said by UAW person, is false. There are US car dealers here. The US can get cars into Japan (with NO tarriff). They just don't sell. As I said, put a little juice into it! And with the high yen, they certainly have the price advantage.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

German companies overcame the cultural barrier

European cars account for a mere 4% of Japan's market and falling. The European auto exporters federation has exactly the same complaints as Bob King.

Just shows how lazy the big three had become.

GM is the No. 1 automaker in China, and the world's biggest automaker in the world in 2011. It ain't lazy, it's actually very aggressive and forward thinking.

.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Let's add another BIG point. Here in Tokyo, there are numerous consultancies whose very purpose is to guide companies through the process of getting established in Japan. There is no excuse. Lots of US companies have made it here. If you can't, it is because you are a FAILURE! Period.

@JeffLee US makers are doing big business in China, for sure, but there ARE VERY LAZY to the Japanese market. But soon Chinese will discover why US people like Japanese cars.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

gokai, you obviously arent paying attention to the constant non-stop, J-made is good, US-made is bad that is pretty pervasive in Japan, J-Inc & the govt actively push this.

And I aint a yank but seems pretty obvious to me, although more & more Japanese are starting realise MIJ isnt all its made out to be, especially in electronics.

Japan is on its way down & out so it will steadily be of less & less interest to the rest of the world

1 ( +3 / -2 )

GW

It's not US-made goods are bad, it's cars made by the Big three does not fit the Japanese market. Products by Coca Cola, McDonald's, Unilever, Mars, Alico, etc. etc. are selling fine since they had arranged their products and/or marketing strategy to meet the US market.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

its cars made by the Big three does not fit the Japanese market.

Lots of Toyotas don't fit the Japanese market either, like the massive Mega Cruiser I see on the ridiculously narrow streets of my neighborhood. Lots of smaller Fords DO fit the J market, as Ford is one of the world's most globalized brands, like Apple.

Korean Hyundai cars "fit" the Japanese market... to a tee. But they were forced to leave a few years ago after nearly zero sales despite an active marketing-dealership campaign. Just a coincidence, eh?

The Germans, Koreans, Americans auto industry people all say the same: Japan's market is closed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JeffLee

To my knowledge Hyundai had not left but they have a up hill battle since they are followers in terms of technology which most consumers already know. Same with Ford they weren't able to fight against consumer perception which is totally different issue from non-tarriff barrier. This also works both ways being an advantage for European cars able to sell at a higher price then Japanese counterparts.

This door also swings both ways since Japanese car are having tough situation in the Korean market.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The problem with foreign auto industry here in Japan is that they have not made a commitment.

Both Tokyo and Nissan has about 4~5000 dealer outlets nation wide where as the most popular foreign auto importer Volkswagen only have around 500 dealers.

Japanese car dealer's radius for commerce is around 4Km where as most foreign car dealer's radius for commerce is 30Km ~50Km. With products that does not match the Japanese market and have such scarce contact rate it is impossible for foreign importers to sell more then present rate.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

(Hyunda) are followers in terms of technology

The Hyundai Elantra was named 2012 North American Car of the Year, beating the Ford Focus and VW `Passat (Japanese cars couldn't rate.)

Not really a feat by a "follower," is it?

Meanwhile, Japanese motorists are happy driving their inferior "kei cars," which account for a third of Japan's auto market(!) Kei cars are not exported to developed countries, because no one would want to buy one. They only exist because of Japan's protectionist policies.

Japanese car consumers are really not very knowledgeable nor demanding, when you really think about it.

As I said before, European cars are NOT successful in Japan. They only have a 4 percent share, which they are very unhappy about.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes,Ford, GM,etc. want to build their own Kei model to match the Japanese market they are completely free to do so. They haven't the commitment provide a product to match the Japanese market and not any protectism.

Just think for a moment how many Japanese auto manufacturers had built manufacturing facilities in the US, European, Mainland Chinese market. Compare that to how many foreign auto manufacturers constructed a manufacturing facility here in Japan?

The answer speaks for itself.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

We don't see any way that you can have fair trade with Japan because of all of the non-tariff barriers, Japanese culture, tight integration of the government policies and the companies. We don't see a way to overcome that .

Forget for a moment that this quote is from a leader of the UAW, and it is unarguably spot on. Japan Inc. was built on protectionism and the three elements -- bureacrats, politicians and companies -- working to provide full employment for Japanese workers by maximizing the market share held by Japanese companies in the home market. Autos are jus one example. Insurance, financial services, electronics, pharmaceauticals, agriculture -- the list goes on and on. Japan has not business being in TPP, as the core concept of free trade is against their culture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@herefornow, you should read the above comments before you simply restate the position of the UAW. Is the US going to bow down to the UAW, which is now a tiny irrelevant union anyway? China want's Japan (with S Kores) in an FTA in spite of all the problems between them (well, money talks in China I guess). China knows what's really what with respect to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

SamuraiBlueNov. 25, 2012 - 05:57PM JST

Products by Coca Cola, McDonald's, Unilever, Mars, Alico, etc. etc. are selling fine since they had arranged their products and/or marketing strategy to meet the US market.

Most of these companies are American in name only. Most of them are Japanese in every other and that is how Japan wants it. You also missed Citibank.

Those who argue that there are no non-tarrif barriers in Japan are living in an alternative universe. Japan is for the Japanese and the Japanese only. Fair enough, if that's how they want to play it, but they are shooting themselves in the foot because not only are they excluding themselves from lucrative trade pacts but it has got to the stage now where industries as far ranging as the pharmacutical to the financial sector just by-pass Japan, when expanding on the international stage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gokai_wo_manekuNov. 26, 2012 - 12:10AM JST

Is the US going to bow down to the UAW, which is now a tiny irrelevant union anyway?

That's the problem, it's not just the UAW or the Americans who are complaining about Japanese protectionism. Even countries, like India and Mexico, who have trade agreements with Japan, have their importers complaining about Japan still playing the trading game with a loaded deck of cards.

Heck, Mexico has an FTA with Japan and the only noticeable difference in Japanese supermarkets (themselves which look like something out of the European eastern bloc circa 1980) is a few more limes still over priced at $2.

Next you'll be saying that the Japanese consumer with their unique intestines can't handle foreign made food stuffs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dog, SamaruiBlue gets at another point. American companies are too lazy to comit to the Japanese market, so they find it easier to liscense their product to Japanese companies or joint ventures. How about setting up an actually operation here. Pharmaceutials by-passing Japan? GSK and Pfizer have huge operations here (even though there is socialized medicine they make huge profits here). Financial sector is still here too. Anyway, Japan can do whatever it wants, and gain the benefits or suffer the consequences. We are a soverign nation. Read Glen Fukushima about "non-tarriff barriers". He is whining becuase Japan is Japan and Japan is not the US. Very typical. Even this guy complains about "Japanese culture". Good grief. We don't complain about US culture, we just go in, learn what's what, and get things done. Nothing stopping the US from doing the same here. Some have.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From today's Nikkei:

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Honda is shifting development of its next-generation Civic and Accord sedans to the U.S. to offer vehicles better tailored to local tastes.

THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For those of you who insist that there is a "Non-tarriff barrier" kindly elaborate one so to make this discussion more constructive.

Really I get tired of people yelling at the top of their voices without making any substantial claim of their argument.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Honda is shifting development of its next-generation Civic and Accord sedans to the U.S. to offer vehicles better tailored to local tastes.

Also, it'd be cheaper to pay labor in dollars instead of yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US have more regulations on imports then Japan like the "Buy American" in which US federal government agencies allow only the big three automobile to be purchased for public use

And you've never see j-officials tooling around in their j-models with curtains in the windows?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For those of you who insist that there is a "Non-tarriff barrier" kindly elaborate one so to make this discussion more constructive.

These include wider roads, MPH display, gas mileage under the EPA system, U.S. emission standards, lack of dealership. These are tough "non-tarriff barrier" that the U.S. Big Three simply cannot overcome. (sigh)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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