Japan Let Us Shake Hands

Under pressure from allies, Tokyo changes tactics

From the facade of the normally austere 17-story Ministry of International Trade and Industry in the heart of Tokyo dangled a huge white banner last week. In bold calligraphy it exhorted passersby: LET US SHAKE HANDS WITH NATIONS OF THE WORLD BY IMPORTING MORE GOODS. In his 13th-floor office, Hiroshi Sugiyama, head of MITI's Bureau of Industrial Policies, echoed the spirit of the banner. "To Japan," he said, "the economic priority is not kyoso ((competition)) but kyocho ((conciliation)) with the rest of the world."

This from the government whose rallying cry has long been "Export or Die" ? Does this mean...

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