European complaints about its trade imbalance with Japan have intensified recently, especially in view of an expected trade gap of up to five billion dollars in Japan's favour this year.
European complaints about its trade imbalance with Japan have intensified recently, especially in view of an expected trade gap of up to five billion dollars in Japan's favour this year. Japan has often argued that part of the solution lies in the European countries ' own hands, if they only would become more competitive and act more to stimulate interest in their goods in Japan.
SYNOPSIS: Britain has taken up the challenge by staging a large exhibition in one of Tokyo's top department stores. Goods from all parts of Britain are on display and are selling well. Their popularity is indicated by the fact that the trade fair will remain at the store for three weeks instead of the customary six or seven days. Even British bread is on show, as well as biscuits, chocolates and general confectionary. Most prices would seem very high by British standards, but are only moderately expensive to the Japanese -- particularly in the Mitsukoshi store which is Tokyo's equivalent of Harrods. These lighters are among Silver Jubilee items on show.
These English roses are other examples of high quality produce Britain is able to export.
Tourists are one Japanese import that Europe is clearly happy to encourage, and some treasures from the Royal Academy of London and from several stately homes are attracting keen interest. The opening of the display coincided with a visit to Japan by former British Home Secretary, Mr. Roy Jenkins, who is now President of the European Common Market Commission. He appealed for increased European sales on the Japanese market and obtained agreement to set up a joint study group to monitor bilateral trade relations.
Scotch whisky sales are especially brisk at the stand, despite the production in Japan of a cheaper variety using imports of bulk malt whisky from Scotland. Visitors are being invited to pay 1,000 yen, approximately $3.70 U.S., and take as many miniature bottles of Scotch as they can grasp. The British have long regarded Japan's import duty on whisky as discriminating against Scotch and are keen to maintain its superiority over cheap imitations.