tirsdag 12. mai 2020

Calls for 'China exit' mount as Japan reviews economic security

In a phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump assured his friend that American-made ventilators would be available. "We can send you ventilators anytime," Trump said. The U.S. had begun mass production and succeeded in bringing down costs.

For Abe, this was a relief. Japan had struggled to ramp up domestic production. The country's reliance on China for most of its supply of face masks left it unable to keep up with a spike in demand, spurring electronics maker Sharp to begin production.Securing medical supplies to tackle the pandemic has become a primary concern for world leaders. Such shortages have brought back to the fore a long-running debate in Tokyo over pulling manufacturing out of China. With the COVID-19 crisis making the economic security stakes clearer than ever, the government has begun to act.

Japan's cabinet in April earmarked 248.6 billion yen ($2.33 billion) for subsidies to businesses that move production back to Japan, covering up to two-thirds of relocation costs.