Japan warns about tit-for-tat trade tariffs between America and China

Japan warns about tit-for-tat trade tariffs between America and China

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

Japan is focused on a “quietist approach” to tariffs being put on many nations by America. This is despite Japan being far from impressed by certain comments made by President Donald Trump of America towards the land of the rising sun. Therefore, President Shinzo Abe of Japan is hoping that Trump will make a U-turn based on many powerful nations, including China, France, Germany, Japan, and others, all opposing tariffs being put on their respective nations.

It is known that Abe feels let down by Trump because the leader of Japan believes in a special relationship with America. Yet, with Japan failing to get tariff exemptions on steel and aluminum, unlike an array of other nations, then suddenly the relationship between Abe and Trump seems brittle. This especially follows on from appearing to being sidelined on the North Korean issue.

The leader of America recently announced major tariffs on China and now this nation is reciprocating, even if currently at a lower level. Japan fears a trade war between America and China. Similarly, if Trump decides on tariffs with individual European Union nations then this trade bloc may also reciprocate. Hence, Japan wants all nations involved to take a few steps back in order to avoid a tit-for-tat trade war.

On hearing that China is reciprocating against America then Japan warned against this. Hiroshige Seko, the Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister, said, We have been saying that reacting with countermeasures does not serve any country’s interest, and we will continue to impress this upon each country.”  

Of course, for the political elites in Beijing then the above comment hints at a too moderate approach being taken by Japan. After all, China is protecting its own self-interest, while also showing the general public that this nation refuses to be bullied. Trump, of course, believes that America is being manipulated openly when it comes to trade. Therefore, in the eyes of the Trump administration, and the electorate who voted for him, China and other nations should acknowledge that they have abused the goodwill of America for far too long.

Seko continued, It would be appropriate to reach a solution in line with World Trade Organization rules.” 

The Foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono, commented, “The imposition of reciprocal countermeasures by the world’s largest and second-largest economies has an extremely serious effect on the world’s economy.”

Overall, Japan hopes that America and China can iron out their respective positions. At the same time, Abe is hopeful that America will refrain from upping the ante too much against Japan. In other words, Japan will maintain a non-confrontational approach providing tariffs by America don’t get out of hand.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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