Japan's contribution to an open trading system

Shujiro Urata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Trade and high living standards. The quality of Japanese people's lives would be significantly lower without international trade. Poorly endowed with natural resources, Japan depends on foreign countries for the supply of natural resources and the products using natural resources such as food. In terms of calorie intake, Japan's dependence on foreign supply for its food consumption is higher than 60 per cent. Japan's dependence on foreign supply for oil, which is essential for leading a modern life as it is a main source of heating and air-conditioning as well as a major input for the production of vital goods such as drugs and foods, is as high as 99 per cent. These statistics indicate the crucial importance of international trade for Japanese people to enjoy their high standard of living. Imagine the deterioration in the quality of life of the Japanese if foreign supply of vital imports were cut. The prices of food, oil and oil-related products would soar, and the budget of Japanese citizens for the purchase of other products would be significantly reduced, thereby lowering their living standard. It should be emphasized that the limitation of import opportunities would particularly hurt the poor, as their share of income for purchasing essential products is high. This point is especially relevant during a period of recession and when a widening income gap between rich and poor becomes an important social problem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeace and Prosperity through World Trade
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780511723285, 9781107000421
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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