Britain's Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Heath, visits Japan for three days next week against a?
Britain's Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Heath, visits Japan for three days next week against a background of increasing British concern about Japanese trade.
Japan's penetration of the British market has been rapid in certain specific goods and British business reaction has been equally quick. As a result, Japan is reported to have pledged to curb the export of certain goods in sensitive areas.
A British Department of Trade delegation was told in Japan recently that some exports were to be diverted form Britain, which has borne the brunt of the recent surge, to other European countries, and cuts will be made to below the 1971 level.
The upsurge of Japanese exports to Britain is vividly illustrated in the television market. In 1969. Japan exported no TV sets to Britain; in the first seven months of 1972, the figure was 6.7-million pounds worth.
Mr. Heath will visit a country that is in many ways remarkably similar to Britain. Both countries have few natural resources and rely heavily on imports for essential goods; at the same time, the heavy import bill demands active exports, and the Japanese approach is energetic and professional.
In British, the Japanese presence is becoming more pronounced. Electronic goods, motor cars, motor cycles and electrical equipment combine with Japanese banks, business clubs and restaurants to underline Japan's commercial success in Britain.
The potentially difficult situation with Britain, say observers, is complicated by the probability that Japanese industry, responding to the evidence of protectionism in the United States, will switch a major pert of its exporting drive to European markets.
All these factors are expected to be discussed during Mr. Heath's three-day visit next week. Mr. Heath will also have to take into account that Britain more than makes up for the Japanese inroads with its own invisible exports to Japan... such as shipping services and insurance.