International News

Impact of US-Japan Trade Relations on Region

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A lecture on trade relations between the United States and Japan may provide valuable insights to regional business owners engaged in international trade or looking to start trading goods internationally.

Noriyuki Shikata is an associate with the program on U.S.-Japan Relations with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and minister with the Embassy of Japan in the U.S. His lecture, “US-Japan Trade & Economic Relations in the Era of Trade Friction with China” is scheduled for Jan. 21 in the DeBartolo Stadium Club at Youngstown State University.

“Japan is in a difficult situation with regard to the U.S. trade war with China for a lot of reasons,” says Paul Sracic, professor and chairman of the Department of Politics and International Relations at YSU. “Japan and the U.S. are close allies. We’re also important trading partners. And certainly, Japan doesn’t want to get on the wrong side of the Trump administration.”

So, while Japan is inclined to support the actions of President Donald Trump, Japan also has a “significant trade relationship” with China, Sracic says. Japan’s trade with China is worth nearly $100 billion more than its trade with the U.S., “however, they are our ally,” he says.

“That’s something that Shikata will be talking about,” he says.

On the regional level, Sracic says trade relations between Japan and the U.S. can impact businesses that are involved in international trade or want to add that dimension, he notes. Studies from the Brookings Institution identify the Mahoning Valley as “one of the most export-dependent metropolitan regions in the United States,” he says.

As an example, he cited the recently announced partnership between General Motors and LG Chem to invest $2.3 billion into the Lordstown area for electric battery production. With LG being based in South Korea, its trade is tied up with relations between the U.S., Japan and China as well, he says.

“International trade is a big deal,” Sracic says. “If you’re doing business in this area, you’re most likely interested in doing international trade.”

The lecture is from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a one-hour wine and cheese reception. The event is co-sponsored by the YSU department of politics and international relations, The Business Journal and the Logos International Consulting Group, Columbus.

Click here to register for this free event.

Shikata has been a high-level diplomat for Japan and was the face of the country to the western media during the 9.0-9.1-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Tōhoku in 2011. In 1986, he earned a bachelor’s in international law from Kyoto University, and graduated from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1989 with a master’s in public policy.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.