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Can Japan stand up to US request to contain China? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-5-26 09:41:25 |Display all floors
(Global Times) Two days before US President Donald Trump's visit to Japan, a fake news story caught the globe's eye on Thursday - Japan's Panasonic said it was suspending business with Huawei "to comply with US restrictions," according to Reuters. It was reported that roughly 25 billion yuan ($3.6 billion) worth of Panasonic goods were procured by Huawei in 2018. That being said, if the news were true, Panasonic's move could be equated to cutting its own wrists. But Panasonic soon denied the rumor saying "currently Panasonic Corp is still supplying Huawei."

The story hype has an inextricable connection with Trump's upcoming visit to Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the US in April. Trump is expected to attend the G20 summit next month in Japan. Then why bother visiting Japan again in May? Some say it is because of the honor to be the first state guest to meet with the new emperor. But Trump's real purpose is more about turning Japan into the biggest pawn to contain China.

In terms of procuring core parts, Japan is a crucial source for Huawei. According to The Nikkei, "Huawei procured roughly 700 billion yen ($6.3 billion) worth of goods from Japanese companies" in 2018. At a time when an increasing number of Japanese major companies, including Toshiba, Mitsubishi and NEC, all shut down their smartphone business, Huawei's orders are revitalizing mobile phone parts manufacturers in Japan.

China is not the only victim of the US-launched trade war. Japan is too. Setting aside US-Japan controversies in tariff cuts on automobiles, agricultural products and the fact that Washington failed to award immediate exemptions for Japanese products with US steel tariffs in 2018, quite a few products produced by Japanese companies in China are expected to be sold on the US market. They can hardly remain unscathed during the China-US trade conflicts.

If US demand for China's high-tech products is to be greatly reduced, relevant Japanese industries such as semiconductor manufacturers, which have been exporting substantial quantities of components to China, will be hurt.

Many Japanese companies rely on doing businesses with their Chinese partners like Huawei. Mature industrial chains have been shaped between China and Japan. When China's business is jeopardized, Japan will also suffer losses.

It's time for China and Japan to find a stable path of cooperation amid Washington's attempted containment of Beijing. The trade war might serve as a new opportunity for Asia to promote regional collaboration, a China-Japan-South Korea free trade zone and currency exchanges, and more importantly, to safeguard regional trade stability.

Emphasizing "America first," Trump has seldom provided Japan any benefits. But in the meantime, China-Japan ties have finally returned to the right track after twists and turns with emerging economic and trade potential. Does acting at Washington's beck and call prove rewarding for Tokyo? It's time for Abe to think this through.

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Post time 2019-5-26 11:10:37 |Display all floors
I beg to differ on the way this question should have been asked.

The real question is "Why would Japan stand up to US demand to contain China? Why?"


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Post time 2019-5-26 11:12:00 |Display all floors
Why is Beijing so quiet?

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Post time 2019-5-27 13:29:27 |Display all floors
wchao37 Post time: 2019-5-26 11:10
I beg to differ on the way this question should have been asked.

The real question is "Why would Ja ...

The reason is simple. Unlike China, Japan hasn't any bargaining power to counter against the US, since it has been both politically and economically dependent on the latter.

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Post time 2019-5-27 17:06:56 |Display all floors
This post was edited by wchao37 at 2019-5-27 17:10
ceciliazhang Post time: 2019-5-27 13:29
The reason is simple. Unlike China, Japan hasn't any bargaining power to counter against the US, s ...

Okay Cecilia:

May I suggest that nothing is as simple as it looks?

If Japan really has no bargaining power to counter U.S. pressure, then why was it able recently to independently voice its willingness to join China in the BRI, when the U.S. is so steadfast in opposing any of its allies from so doing?  

May I also suggest that this time around the U.S. seems not to be able to strong-arm Japan into signing another Plaza Accord as the one she did sign in 1985, after which Japan's economy was in the doldrums for more than 20 years.  Note also that the U.S. side this time is represented by the same negotiator as the one in 1985.  That means now Japan has some clout in the trade talks.

For these two reasons, I think Japan may not really want to oppose America's anti-China stance in the trade talks.

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Post time 2019-5-28 00:10:21 |Display all floors
That country is known for being astute, it may not be in its interests to see China languish economically under the US blockade, but it seems to have no choice but to do the US's bidding if the US persists, because the Japanese body politic has no real independence in terms of defense and diplomacy,  and disobedience on its part against the US would land it in big trouble.
Believe it or not, it's true.

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Post time 2019-5-28 10:14:10 |Display all floors
wchao37 Post time: 2019-5-26 11:12
Why is Beijing so quiet?

I have said this b/4 and I will say it again. Prepare for the worse case scenario, which is Trump applying another 25% to the rest of the US$300 billion on top of the current $200 billion. A steady decoupling of the two economies is in progress, so,  start thinking about a total divorce ending in US sanctions against China.

Meanwhile, ask the US corporations nicely whether they want an orderly exit out of China, perhaps sell their market share and production facilities to the Europeans, Japanese or Koreans annd if they can bear to negotiate with the Chinese, they can sell their market shares to Chinese companies. Black & Decker has already flagged that it may be worthwhile to relocate production back to the US if Trump makes the 25% tariff permanent. So what if Americans buy tools with a 25% markup, none of China's business.

Again, ad nauseum, has China an alternative to SWIFT? This is important for global trade and China has to continue with the BRI and MIC2025 initiatives. The government should support aerospace industries and chip fountries until they can stand on their own two feet and compete globally.

Can a combination of A220neo and CAC919  take over when Boeing vacates the China market? Start preparing for Boeing's departure from China.

How far along is China with a competitive 100kN turbofan? It is thoroughly possible that the Americans will ban export of turbofans to China. Rolls Royce will follow. That leaves Russia, Ukraine and Germany.

Way back, I advocated buying or emulating ARM. Bit late now for Huawei.

Signing onto BBS is getting difficult and unproductive. It will be a while...

Let the dice fly high

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