AP NEWS
Related topics

Officials Say Partial Lifting Not Enough With AM-Summit Rdp Bjt

June 9, 1987

TOKYO (AP) _ Ending only 17 percent of U.S. sanctions imposed on Japanese electronics products does not fully recognize Japan’s effort to ease frictions over trade in computer chips, officials said Tuesday.

One predicted serious effects on some industries unless all the sanctions are lifted within a month, but a businessman called the U.S. action an encouraging step.

″The Japanese government strongly expects that the U.S. side would appreciate properly the efforts of the Japanese side under the agreement and realize an early and total lifting of the measures,″ Hajime Tamura, minister of international trade and industry, said at the current seven-nation economic summit in Venice.

President Reagan announced the partial lifting of sanctions at the Venice meeting on Monday.

Reagan said Japan had made partial progress in complying with a 1986 agreement to stop dumping computer chips at unfairly low prices and to open its markets more to American products. Japan has denied violating the agreement.

Junji Yoshiwara of the Japanese ministry’s Electronics Industry Division said Tuesday in Tokyo: ″Although this is a positive step, I certainly would have hoped for more, perhaps 50 or 60 percent.″

On April 17, the United States imposed $300 million in tariffs on selected Japanese electronics goods for alleged violations of the 1986 agreement. Reagan had a private meeting with Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in Venice and said afterward he was was lifting $51 million of the tariffs.

The only products freed from penalties were 20-inch color televisions. Sanctions remained on 18- and 19-inch color sets, personal computers and power tools.

Masaki Mikura of Toshiba Corp. urged Washington to end the sanctions and said his company would strive ″not to cause a recurrence of this situation.″

Iwao Ojima, managing director of the Electronic Industries Association of Japan, issued a more favorable statement saying: ″Though it is a very small part (of the sanctions) ... we welcome it at this time as we see that efforts of the Japanese side were appreciated.″

Yoshiwara, the ministry official, said: ″Even if you use American figures, you can see there has been an increase in America’s share of the Japan market.″

He said the United States is using world semiconductor trade statistics that show the U.S. share of Japan’s market grew from 8.4 percent last July- September to 8.5 percent in October-December and 8.6 percent in January- March.

Japanese figures, based on a questionnaire sent to 64 major semiconductor users in Japan who account for 80 percent of purchases, showed the foreign market share up from 10.3 percent last April-September to 11.6 percent in October-March.

Although the figures include chips from such other countries as South Korea and Taiwan, the ministry spokesman said, 90 percent of the foreign chips are from the United States.

Some Japanese businesses stockpiled two to three months worth of products in the United States before the sanctions, but those stocks are running out, he said.

Yoshiwara said Toshiba and some other companies moved part of their personal computer production to the United States to avoid the tariffs, which ″shows they’re having some problems as a result of the sanctions.″

Unless the penalties end within a month, he said, ″some industries are going to really get hurt, I’m afraid.″

AP RADIO
Update hourly