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Does Japan import less than it should?

Kenji Takeuchi

No 63, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Japan's continuing large current account surpluses have promoted a series of investigators to examine the volume and the structure of the goods that Japan imports. The usual charge is that Japan's level of manufactured imports is too low and that it is low because Japan has erected a wall of trade barriers that limits access by foreign suppliers of manufactured goods. Recent studies have looked at this question to see if Japan's overall imports are lower than they should be, and specifically if Japan imports fewer manufactures than other industrial countries. This paper presents a review of the econometric literature and these give diverse results. Additionally, if Japan does import a lower volume of manufactures, why is that so? Is it because of trade and tariff barriers, the Japanese marketing system, or the tastes of Japanese consumers? None of the studies resolved these questions.

Keywords: Free Trade; Trade Policy; Environmental Economics&Policies; Common Carriers Industry; Economic Theory&Research (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1988-07-31
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