From the late 1970s until the 1990s, US–Japan trade relations were marred by regular bouts of economic friction. These periods often peaked in tandem with rises in the United States’ trade deficit with Japan and ended in ‘voluntary’ Japanese concessions to US pressure.
Deja vu all over again in US–Japan trade
Scandals involving Japan’s public servants in recent times have exposed a litany of bureaucratic missteps. These include falsifying, concealing and denying the existence of official documents, redacting key parts of administrative records, providing false testimony or refusing to testify to the Diet, ‘finding’ disappeared files, producing misleading data and alleged sexual harassment. In some cases, ministers have been complicit in or have had knowledge of these activities.
What’s wrong with Japan’s bureaucrats?