This paper argues that Japan's export growth is likely to slow
sharply over the next few years, perhaps to zero. For the past dozen
years Japan's export volume has gown much more rapidly than her domestic
production. This divergence was made necessary primarily by rising oil
prices, and secondarily by a shift into current account surplus. Now
both these factors are running in reverse. If Japan's export growth does
slow sharply, the mechanism will be a very strong yen -- probably above
140. The paper argues that it is Japan's export growth rather than
static trade structure that is the main cause oÂ± trade tension, so these
developments should lead to a considerable reduction in trade friction.
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