The Effects of Recession and Disaster on Japan Imports

Japanese Cars

Japan Imports and Their International Status

Japan Imports are recognized as an international leader in exporting high-quality products and services to the rest of the world. This global commercial giant has always operated at a trade surplus for well over a decade, but has suddenly fallen into a trade deficit as of April 2010. Although the quality of the goods and services has not declined,

there have been interruptions in production of Japan imports such as automobiles and other important items.

Overview of Japan Imports and Exports

Japan is mainly a service and manufacturing economy, with the third-highest GDP in the world and is ranking as the number four on the list of global trade giants. The country does not have a large amount of arable land, and what is grown locally is largely reserved for their domestic consumption, nor does it have significant natural resources such as mineral deposits or petroleum reserves. As such, Japan imports the majority of its raw materials, but it then uses it in their manufacturing processes. Japan is famous for its automobiles, electronics and other technology.

Japanese Manufacturing

Japanese manufacturing plants are ultra-modern, and were some of the first in the world to become completely automated. They have refined precision on a small and large scale, and are able to construct some of the largest and most complex machinery, as well as computer chips, optical fibers, optoelectronic s, and other tiny items. The Japanese workforce is almost 100% literate, and the culture emphasizes hard work, long hours, loyalty to their company, and commitment to excellence. This translates into finished products that are some of the best in the world.

Effects of the Recession

The global recession that began in 2007 has struck the Japanese economy severely. Purchases of Japan imports dropped steeply in the past three years, as other nations had less money to spend. The US share of Japan imports has dropped by approximately 28% in 2009, and the trend has been echoed in the EU, Australia, and even China. These countries being the main buyer of Japan imports. Production costs have also risen steeply as a result of higher petroleum prices, making products more expensive when lower prices could have potentially boost sales and economic growth.

Earthquake and Tsunami Damage

Japan had been showing a slight improvement in their economy prior to the March 2011 earthquakes and tsunami that devastated the northeastern part of the nation; Japan imports were increasing again, albeit slowly, in increments of .01 and .02 in January and February of 2011. However, when the natural disasters leveled whole towns, factories, and ruined crops, the economy went into a downward plunge that has still not leveled out yet. The unemployment rate is climbing monthly with firms closing their doors or slashing their staffs.

Global Reaction to Japan Imports

To make matters even worse, the tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant, causing low-level radiation contamination of substantial portions of the nation?s food, water and even manufactured products. Although the levels of radiation are not dangerous, many countries in Asia and Africa have initiated temporary bans on Japan imports such as plastic products, processed foods, and other manufactured items. Since March, Japan imports even more of its food products in order to feed its people with non-contaminated milk, cereals, and meat.

Japan imports have enjoyed high sales and brand loyalty for decades, due to their superior quality and enduring value. The temporary setbacks caused by the recession and the damages by natural disasters can be addressed by the government. The quality of Japan?s products will continue to remain high, and as the recession ends, Japan imports will once again continue to dominate.

If you enjoyed reading about The Effects of Recession and Disaster on Japan Imports then see our next article about Basics of Import Export.

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