Shinji Sato, international trade and industry minister, on Mar. 25 brushed aside U.S. concerns that Japan is trying to achieve economic recovery by boosting its exports.

He made the remark in reference to a recent comment by U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, who voiced concern over the recent upturn in Japan’s trade surplus. However, Sato said during the news conference that export-driven economic recovery is not the way Japan is pursuing. “Primarily, Japan’s economy will start doing well when we successfully implement six major reforms, economic structural reform in particular,” Sato told a news conference.

Pointing to a proportional increase of capital goods within overall external trade, he said a substantial part of Japanese companies’ manufacturing bases have been relocated overseas. “Japan’s trade structure has undergone substantial changes,” he said. “Exports may rise but so do imports.”

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