West Germany is Japan's best customer in the European Common Market. Last year the West?
West Germany is Japan's best customer in the European Common Market. Last year the West Germans spent over GPB 394,000,000 sterling ($986,000,000 U.S.) on Japanese goods. The Japanese, in turn, are nurturing and guarding this mighty source of foreign revenue jealously. When Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka arrives in Dusseldorf on Wednesday (3 October) as part of his visit to Europe, he'll find much to make him feel at home.
The Japanese resident population in the city is steadily growing. Japanese businessmen, their wives and children are to be seen in large numbers of highways and byeways of the city, mingling with the permanent population. All around are signs of Japanese investment - banks, offices, restaurants and schools - all proudly displaying now familiar Japanese names and symbols.
West Germany and Japan share two of the world's strongest currencies and, while the surface the relationship between the two cultures appears cordial in West Germany's leading industrial and commercial cities, it's believed that the Germans are wary of the growing Japanese strength in their country. Equally careful, the Japanese are aware that the German labour market is tight and are treading softly where their presence might compound local economic problems.
The attractions of Dusseldorf for the Japanese are many. It's a city with a modest population of 660,000. Because of its industrialisation, its finely laid out streets and general excellent overall planning, many foreigners find it a good place to live. Dusseldorf also lies on the Autobahn (one of West Germany's fine network of fast highways), and is a big railway junction. It also has one of the most important German civil airfields. Added to these factors is the even more important one that three Rhine harbours connect the city with ports in Great Britain, northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Dusseldorf is also a city of banking, a wholesale centre, the home of many industrial associations and of the international wool secretariat. It's the centre of the women's clothing industry in Germany.
Its manifold attractions to the Japanese are very evident and Mr. Tanaka should find much to please him as his countrymen establish increasingly strong footholds in one of West Germany's most important cities.
SYNOPSIS: Dusseldorf, West a city where Japanese influence is steadily growing. Buildings bear familiar Japanese names, and the resident population is almost daily swelled by Japanese families arriving from their homeland, adding to the ranks of fallow countrymen and women looking after Japanese investment in the city.
While the relationship between the West Germans and Japanese in Dusseldorf appears cordial, it's believed the Germans are wary of the growing Japanese strength in their midst. The Japanese tread carefully. They keep themselves to themselves, even to having their own schools. When Mr. Kakuei Tanaka, Japanese Prime Minister arrives in Dusseldorf on Wednesday, he'll find much to make him feel at home. Mr. Tanaka has already visited France and Britain and, after West Germany, goes to Russia. While aggressive Japanese sales drives are launched at European Common Market countries, they are ever mindful that last year Germany were their biggest customers in Europe.