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A picture of the leaders of the United States and Japan meeting in Washington

Japan’s mercantilism in the spotlight again

With his focus on the trade dispute with China and several other fronts opened, U.S. President Donald Trump has been lenient in his criticism of Japan’s mercantilism. If he wins a second term in office, however, he may change tack and slap tariffs on, for example, Japanese cars – a move long demanded by U.S. carmakers whose own sales in Japan are minuscule. Opening Japan’s domestic market to foreign competitors would require a cultural transformation in the island nation, but the Japanese are discovering new reasons to move in that direction.

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