chapter  2
30 Pages

THE NATURE AND COMPOSITION OF JAPANESE FOREIGN TRADE

For almost two decades Japan has not only been the envy of the world but has also aroused significant hostility in the West from governments and manufacturers because of her rapid rate of economic growth and her export performance. Admittedly, in terms of the rate of growth of exports, Japan has done very well; starting from a narrow base, particularly after World War II, her performance has been quite outstanding. But in terms of various indicators such as exports as a proportion of GNP of world exports, or of the total exports of the industrialised countries, her share is considerably lower than that of other developed nations. For instance, Japanese exports account for only 10 per cent of her GNP as against 16.8 per cent for France and between 22 and 23 per cent for Italy, West Germany and the UK. Among the six major industrialised countries in the non-Communist world, only in the USA are exports less significant as a percentage of GNP than in Japan. In view of the size and geographical diversity and richness of the USA this is not surprising.