Many Japanese industrialists hope the 9th. Tokyo International Trade Fair, which opened on April the?
Many Japanese industrialists hope the 9th. Tokyo International Trade Fair, which opened on April the sixteenth, will do something to prevent a threatening slump in the country's economic growth rate, which has long been the envy of the world.
For the last five years the Japanese economy has grown at the rate of 12-13 per cent annually, but sluggishness appeared in the middle of last year. It is predicted that his year's growth could be about 9 per cent, and the trend may continue downwards.
Japanese costs are rising as wage-earners demand a bigger share of the country's increasing prosperity (they rose 18 per cent last year). A share of profits is also being spent on combating pollution, as public anger rises against it. There is also increasing criticism of the comparatively low standard of living in Japan, achieved, critics say, by selling cheap aborad and keeping domestic prices artificially high.
There has been considerable talk overseas that the Japanese yen is undervalued, and gives Japanese industry an unfair advantage in overseas markets. But so far, the Government has insisted it will not re-value the yen - not in 1971 at least.
Meanwhile, more than two thousand Japanese companies are exhibiting at the Tokyo International Trade Fair, hoping it will give trade a boost. They are competing with exhibitors from ten overseas countries. These pictures of some of the exhibits are from Visnews cameraman K. Tanaka.
SYNOPSIS: The Tokyo International Trade Fair opened at the Harumi Fair Grounds in the Japanese capital on Friday, with ten foreign countries pitting their exhibits against those from more than two thousand Japanese companies.
Firms from Taiwan were showing a wide range of garments...and unusual marble ornaments
On the Korean stand, wigs to meet the latest craze among women in many countries.
And from India, traditional brass-work.......
From Western Germany, jewellery, musical instruments and clocks, among other high quality merchandise.
And form Rumania, one of two East European countries taking part - high quality furniture.
But dominating everything on their home ground were the products of the Japanese companies taking part - making everything from ships to automation equipment.....The Japanese were making a special effort because their rate of economic growth - for long the envy of the world - is beginning to drop from the 12 to 13 per cent of the last five years. Some critics say Japan is now on a downward trend because of an increase in costs, and the growth rate may go down in the next few years to as low as five per cent.
Five per cent growth each year is a rate many a country would regard as solid progress, but for Japan, it is an alarming change in fortunes.
Inevitably however, Japanese workers have obtained an increase share of the country's prosperity, and there is now an outcry in the country about the comparatively high cost of living. Critics say that Japan must soften its policy of selling cheap in overseas markets, and keeping domestic prices high.
Japanese industrialists have had their share of criticism too from the anti-pollution lobby, and a whole floor is devoted to anti-pollution equipment. In the Fair as a whole Japan is making a big effort going - and 1971 could be one of the country's most difficult post-war years.