Commerce: The Emperor's New Coins

The Emperor's New Coins

Serendipity sometimes succeeds where policy falters. When Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. finally declined slightly to $3.85 billion last month, from $4.03 billion in May, it was not because of the strenuous efforts by the Reagan Administration to reduce the American trade deficit. Nor were Americans buying fewer Japanese cars, cameras or VCRs nor consumers in Japan importing more U.S. goods. It was all because of the Emperor.

The drop in the surplus resulted from Japanese imports during June of $1.33 billion worth of gold, most of it American. The Japanese plan to use the gold to mint special commemorative...

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