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33 J. Common Mkt. Stud. 1 (1995)

handle is hein.journals/jcmks33 and id is 1 raw text is: 






Journal of Common Market Studies                                  Volume  33, No. 1
                                                                       March  1995






                European Business in Japan:

                      A   Policy Crossroads?



                                SUSAN  STRANGE*
                 Department  ofPolitics and International Studies,
                   University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

                                    Abstract

      Until the EC Commission policy statement of September 1994, few Europeans
      had given much thought to EC relations with Japan. Susan Strange argues that
      this neglect is mistaken in view of the persistent unilateralism of US policy
      towards both Europe and Japan. Even though serious barriers to foreign-owned
      firms (FOs) remain, it would be a mistake to join the US in multilateralizing
      gaiatsu (foreign pressure). The historical record shows that the US itself is
      partly responsible for turning a blind eye to Japanese protection of its home
      market; and, secondly, that firms and private organizations in contact with
      reformist Japanese may be more effective in bringing about change.

                                I. Introduction

With  a few exceptions, European   business in Japan has only a modest  presence
and, generally  speaking, a low  profile. This is in sharp contrast with the very
visible presence of Japanese firms doing  business in Europe - the UK  especially
- and in North  America.  The figures, rough  as they are, are striking. The stock


* Research and preparation of this article were supported financially by the Commission of the European
Union and by the Japan Foundation. Research assistance by Thomas Bourke (EUI) and Leslie Hoy
(Hitotsubashi University) was invaluable, as was the co-operation of many officials and corporate executives
in Tokyo. I should also acknowledge the critical comments of an early draft by Jean-Pierre Lehmann, John
Richardson, Ryuchi Shoji, Toshiro Tanaka, Toshihiro Horiuchi, and - more especially since they did not
agree with my conclusions- William Keller, Louis Pauly and Simon Reich -all members of an expert team
on foreign investment in Japan set up by the Office of Technology Assessment of the US Congress.
o Blackwell Publishers LAd 1995, 108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK and 238 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

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