As tensions continue to escalate between Japan and China over disputed island territories, it remains to be seen whether and how their economies will be affected in the short and long-term. China is Japan’s largest trade partner, while Japan is China’s fourth largest trade partner; bilateral trade volume was over $340 billion US dollars in 2011.
Following our Aug. 31 post on island tensions in Northeast Asia, in this post we focus on Japanese and Chinese commentary on the economic dimensions of this crisis.
Officials in Japan urged both countries to act with restraint, while Japanese companies in China began looking for ways to reduce their dependence on China amidst declining sales across various sectors.
- Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned China on Tuesday that demonstrations in China over the territorial dispute could weaken China’s economy by scaring away foreign investors. PM Noda encouraged both countries to “behave with restraint’, and urged the Chinese government toprotect the safety of Japanese nationals and Japan-affiliated companies.
- Japanese automakers Toyota and Nissan announced on Wednesday that they are cutting back production in China and have dampened their sales outlook for 2012. Koji Endo, auto analyst at Advanced Research Japan, stated that “For the time being I think you’re going to see Japanese automakers’ sales in China down by 20 to 30 percent. The last time we had protests like this in 2010, the effects only lasted about a month, but I think this time is going to be different.”
- Meanwhile, the Asahi Shumbun reported that Japanese businesses are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on China for rare earth elements (more…)
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) recently convened in Tehran for its 16th Summit, drawing attention to the relevance of the NAM, members’ relations with Iran, and the ongoing turmoil in Syria. This post highlights commentary on the summit in the Indian, Russian and Chinese press.
The NAM summit drew considerable attention and commentary in India, due to both India’s status as a founding member of NAM and the bilateral meetings that PM Manmohan Singh had with leaders of Iran and Pakistan on the sidelines of the summit.
- The Hindu, known for its mix of leftist and soft-nationalist viewpoints, printed an editorial hailing the NAM’s significance and outlining two reasons why the summit was important for India: Singh’s public opposition to intervention in Syria was India’s “clearest statement of differences with the US on this issue,” and his meetings with the Iranian leadership demonstrated that “New Delhi’s relations with Tehran would not be dictated by the U.S.”
- In contrast, Pramit Pal Chaudhuri of the Hindustan Times acknowledged that anti-Americanism no longer characterizes the NAM. Instead, the paper’s foreign editor argued, the NAM as potential as a multilateral forum that could “provide a means to limit or slow down the expansion of Chinese interests in the world.”
- C. Raja Mohan, known for his great-power realist views in his Indian Express column, dismissed the “utter incoherence of the NAM as a collective political entity.” According to Mohan, the real winner at the NAM summit was Egypt’s new president Mohamed Morsi, whose attendance defied America’s wishes and whose public statement in support of the Syrian opposition riled the Iranian host.
- In the usually liberal-globalist paper The Times of India, an opinion piece similarly lauded Egyptian president Morsi for asserting an independent course of foreign policy: “NAM enables its member nations to…reject Washington’s current foreign policy… (more…)
In advance of the G8 and G20 meetings held at Camp David, Maryland, and in Los Cabos, Mexico, in May and June 2012, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted two workshops to examine the pressures placed on international institutions as a result of changing international power dynamics. Approximately forty thought leaders from the private sector, government, civic sector, and academia, including RPI Co-PI Deepa Ollapally, came together in New York and Chicago as part of an ongoing Chicago Council research project on Rising Powers and a New Emerging Order. This working paper by Ambassador Richard S. Williamson, Chicago Council senior fellow on multilateral institutions, and Jana Chapman Gates, project director, summarizes the findings of the two workshops. These workshops were made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Learn more and download the working paper.Continue Reading →