Yomiuri focused on remarks made at the Diet on Monday by Prime Minister Abe, who criticized the high tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed on steel and aluminum imports by saying: “They could have adverse effects on the multilateral trade system by throwing the global market into confusion. They are extremely regrettable.” As for Japan’s response, the premier reportedly hinted at his reluctance to take countermeasures, such as imposing retaliatory duties on U.S. products, by saying: “We will pursue the best possible strategy by effectively combining various tools while always maintaining the option of retaliatory action.” Asked if Japan will make concessions on the trade dispute in exchange for obtaining U.S. support for resolving the abduction issue with North Korea, the prime minister reportedly stressed that there will never be a quid pro quo involving the two issues.
In a related story, Nikkei highlighted press remarks yesterday by Keidanren Chairman Nakanishi, who commented on the trade friction caused by the Trump administration’s tariffs by saying: “I don’t think the economy will be completely disrupted. However, they are extremely abnormal. I am very worried.”