The ongoing fight between China and Japan over a chain of islands continues, and now it has Toyota is scaling back production of its luxury Lexus models because of reduced demand in China.
The tension between the two countries wasn’t always so high. Ten years ago, with the U.S. poised to wage war on Iraq, China was busy making friends.
“That was the era of really effective Chinese soft power. They’re speaking softly, and yet they’re putting their money out there, and they’re diplomatic and their stature rose considerably in the region in that period,” says Beijing law professor Stan Abrams. “But then they get up here to a much higher level, and they start acting like the U.S.”
Now, China’s been turning up the heat on Japan. It’s encouraged protests at local Japanese consulates; many that have turned violent.
Japan, China, and South Korea agreed in May to begin talks on a free-trade zone. Japan’s government says the deepening conflict with China will impact these trade talks, and the Japanese prime minister is expected to instead begin work on a deal with the United States.
Abrams says Japan’s renewed focus on a free-trade pact brokered by the U.S. in the region could mean the big winner out of this row between China and Japan might end up being the American economy.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.