mandag 15. februar 2021

Why Japan Inc can’t and won’t quit China

As the fog of economic war lifts, the ways in which China outmaneuvered Donald Trump’s White House are becoming clearer. Nowhere more so than in Japan, a nation the former US president tried hard to pull out of China’s commercial orbit.

Though Trump’s decoupling-from-China imperative was rather America-centric, he cajoled Tokyo early and often to join the battle. And Shinzo Abe, prime minister from 2012 to 2020 and old-school Japanese nationalist, was happy to oblige.

Abe pursued an ambitious “re-shoring” scheme. And in the last six months of his premiership, which ended last September, he leaned into supply chain disruptions related to the coronavirus. He even sweetened the deal, offering subsidies to companies bringing jobs back from China.