Trade Face-Off: A dangerous U.S.-Japan confrontation

A dangerous U.S.-Japan confrontation

It is no larger than a few grains of rice, but it was big enough to cause one of the most serious episodes between the U.S. and Japan since the end of World War II. It is the tiny microchip, a sophisticated bit of silicon that is the indispensable heart of the techtronic age, the raw material for everything from talking teddy bears to personal computers to intercontinental missiles. After the Reagan Administration imposed trade sanctions against Japan in an attempt to protect American makers of microchips, it suddenly looked last week as if the U.S. and Japan were headed for...

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