Higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese products are expected to affect Marubeni Corp., Masumi Kakinoki, president and chief executive officer of the major trading house, said in a recent interview.

“Japan will be affected for sure and so will Marubeni to some extent,” said Kakinoki, who took the helm April 1.

The tariffs are expected to drive down the company’s consolidated profits by ¥1 billion to ¥2 billion for the year ending in March 2020, he said.

The U.S. actions are likely to prompt manufacturers to process Chinese-made parts in Southeast Asia for export to the United States, Kakinoki said.

But he said such a shift will take time and that there will be “disturbance for a certain period of time.”

Referring to Marubeni’s plans, unveiled earlier this month, to invest ¥200 billion in new business fields over three years through March 2022, he said a task force newly established with a staff of about 100 has already been discussing some concrete plans. The Marubeni CEO pinned high hopes on the growth of Interstellar Technologies Inc., a Japanese aerospace startup financially supported by the company.

Interstellar Technologies this month became the first private sector company in Japan to successfully launch a rocket without government involvement.

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