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Japan and China depend on each other economically, but not necessarily in an equal way. Sometimes slight changes in commercial prospects in China can have a profound effect on Japan, or, at least, more of an effect that people realize.

Earlier this month, the Asahi Shimbun reported that China is now the No. 1 importer of mutton in the world. On the surface, this fact would seem to have little to do with Japan, which doesn’t export mutton or have much of an appetite for it. However, the importation does affect Japanese consumers.

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