Japan is the primary target of President Nixon's measures to control imports. This year America's?
Japan is the primary target of President Nixon's measures to control imports. This year America's trade deficit with its leading trade partner was likely to be well in excess of GBP700 million. Yet in opposing Japan, America is fighting a monster of its own creation.
Following Japan's defeat in the Second World War, America needed an economically strong Japan for strategic and political reasons. The problem is now that Japan has become too conspicuously successful. But Japan's enthusiasm is not confined merely to the American market.
In Taiwan, 386 fully Japanese-owned businesses represent an investment of almost one hundred million dollars (US). There are also more than four hundred joint Japanese business ventures shared with Taiwanese investors. In the Philippines, Japan has already replaced the United States as number one trading partner.
Japan's business expansion in Asia can be attributed to cheap labour. Workers in Japanese factories in Taiwan are paid an average of 45 dollars a month (22 sterling approx) -- much less than the average Japanese worker would receive for doing the same job.
This film shows Japanese industry in both Taiwan and the Philippines and outlines the conditions and expansion rate of the Asian economic surge put forward by Japan.
SYNOPSIS: In Taiwan there are 386 fully Japanese-owned businesses, representing an investment of almost a hundred million dollars The Japanese enterprises employ a total of 40,000 Taiwanese workers, and pay them an average monthly wage of about 45 dollars...far below what Japanese worker demand to do the same job. Electronic components make up a large part of the Japanese investments on the island... thousands of girls preform the delicate work as well as Japanese workers, and much cheaper.
Following its defeat of Japan in the Second World War, America needed an economically strong Japan for strategic and political reasons. But America now sees Japan as conspicuously too successful and the Japanese have slowly been transferring some of their enthusiasm to the Asian markets.
As well as electronics, the Japanese have invested heavily in textile plants. The appeal of Taiwan is its plentiful and cheap labour pool. Japan is gaining a reputation of an economic giant and now is compelled to go overseas for labour and markets.
As in the homeland, Japanese managers take care of their workers in a paternalistic manner. Some workers live in dormitories, eat at the factory mess halls, and relax in the factory recreation rooms.
Besides the Japanese-owned concerns in Taiwan, there are more than four hundred joint ventures shared with local businessmen. Taiwan was for years Japan's own territory, and there is less anti-Japanese sentiment there than in other parts of Asia. Many of the people speak Japanese, and observe many of the Japanese customs.
The Philippines is a different matter. The people remember the days of Japanese occupation. The historic walled city was destroyed in a fierce battle as American forces drove the Japanese from Manila at the end of the war. But despite the residue of wartime hatred, the Japanese have returned to the Philippines in force. This time they come as partners and associates.
Japan has already replaced the United States as the Philippines' number one trading partner. One of the major Japanese involvements in the Philippines is the Toyotn car assembly plant. The Japanese not only assemble products for export in many of their overseas operations, but they have their eye on the local markets too. They bring many of their own customs and business methods -- the uniforms to develop the company identity. Many Philippines welcome the Japanese economic penetration, but others fear that the clever Japanese businessmen will steal control from the local managers.