Buy More Foreign Goods

Under fire from the U.S., Nakasone asks the Japanese to boost imports

As millions of his countrymen watched and millions of Americans waited, Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone appeared on Japanese national television last week with a crucial mission: to prevent an international trade war. In stern tones, he told his audience that the U.S. Congress, incensed by Japan's $37 billion trade surplus with America, was on the verge of erecting steep new barriers to imports. Warning that the free-trade system and even peace and prosperity were in danger, Nakasone made an unprecedented appeal to the Japanese public. "I would like to ask you to buy more foreign goods," he said. "If each Japanese...

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