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U.S. Ambassador Thomas Foley on Tuesday urged the Japanese government to implement further deregulation, saying such measures will open its markets to trading partners and also help strengthen the Japanese economy.”My government urges Japan to deregulate because we see Japanese regulations as forestalling access to its market by foreign firms,” Foley told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.”When a potential trader is barred by unnecessary regulations or defeated by uncompetitive practices, it is not only the trader who suffers,” Foley said. “Consumers and that market, and ultimately the entire international trading system, also bear the consequences.”He said deregulation will help bring about more vigorous and sustained growth. Foley added that a strong Japanese economy is important for Asia’s economy, which has been badly hit by currency crises, as well as for the global economy.Foley was named ambassador to Japan last November. Meanwhile, Foley also reiterated concerns over Japan’s growing trade surplus with the United States and called for Japan to implement market-opening measures.”I do worry about it because regardless how strong the U.S. economy is, the rapid growth in the trade deficit will be, and already is, a growing issue in the United States,” Foley said.It is “dead wrong” to believe that the issue will not be important to the U.S. as long as the U.S. economy remains strong, he said.

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