Japan in the Free World Economy: A Statement on National Policy by the Research and Policy Committee of the Committee for Economic Development

By Keizai Doyukai; United Nations Environment Programme | Go to book overview

Even if the United States and Europe should completely remove all restrictions on imports from her, Japan would not get the full benefits of international trade. Japan suffers from her own limitations on the import of things others produce more cheaply and from her own restraints on the inflow of foreign capital and enterprise.

Moreover, the United States and Europe will not in fact substantially reduce their restrictions affecting Japan without a corresponding liberalization of Japan's policy. Therefore, whether Japan now becomes an equal partner in the free world economy depends on the decisions Japan makes as well as upon the decisions made by the United States, Europe, and other free nations.

Japan has advanced economically far beyond the state in which she was left by World War II. She should be prepared to move from her postwar restrictionist policy into full participation in an open world economy.

This policy statement is the result of study by the Research and Policy Committee of CED extending over a period of eighteen months. In this study we have had the benefit of several discussions with members and experts of the Keizai Doyukai, an association of Japanese businessmen, and of two trips made by many of our members to Japan. However, we should acknowledge that our prior experience with Japan was limited, our period of study was restricted, and there is much more we would like to know about the Japanese economy and Japanese economic policy. We offer this Statement, therefore, not as the last word on its subject but as a contribution to a process of thinking and learning in the United States which we hope will develop vigorously in the years ahead.

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(Memorandum continued) developing' nations like India, need high tariffs, quantitative quotas and even outright import bans if their industrialization programs are to provide needed employment of skilled people and generally strengthen their economies. If so, however, don't nations like the United States, England and the Common Market countries have to provide some degree of 'home market' protection for their own competing industries? If the United States loses more and more of our home markets for manufactured goods without increasing our exports of those products to competing countries, our balance of payments position, our unemployment problem, our lack of growth in corporate profits, and thus the problem of Government tax collections will all be affected adversely."

-11-

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