Edited and translated by Li Qian, People's Daily Online
The scholars on Sino-Japanese relations can basically foresee what will be happening between the two countries at some time in the future, and the tragic history of Sino-Japanese relations may repeat. But at present, there are a few heavyweights who can turn around the worsening situation, and Japanese business leader Akio Toyoda is one of them.
1. The influence of Toyota
When Junichiro Koizumi campaigned for the Japanese Prime Minister, his famous saying once resounded in the sky of Japan, "Without reforming, there is no recovery". Junichiro Koizumi won wide supports from Japanese citizens as he vigorously pushed forward the reforms during his tenure. On Sino-Japanese relations, although he had unshakable responsibilities for "cool politics", he also had the outstanding contributions to "hot economy". For example, the Japanese government attempted to implement the trade remedy measures to restrict the importation of three agricultural products from China, which suffered the strong countermeasures from the Chinese government. It's said that the former head of Japan's powerful Keidanren, the retired president of Toyota Motor Corporation, Hiroshi Okuda once persuaded Mr. Koizumi in person, the Japanese government then gave up the protectionist trade measures subsequently. Hence the economic relations between the two countries developed rapidly. With the aid from China's overseas market demand, Japanese averted a meltdown of the economy and realized the economy recovery as long as seven years.
Now, some important Japanese entrepreneurs may know that the Japanese economy will have a big crisis, and the turning point to get out of the difficult situation is in China, rather than in Japanese. Only continuing to seek supports from China, continuing to push ahead with reforms, can turn the Japanese economy around. And when it comes to who can influence Japanese politics, the answer is Akio Toyoda without doubt. Because the pillar of Japanese economy is the automobile industry and the automobile industry follow Toyota's lead, and so does the whole Japanese business without exaggerating. Akio Toyoda, with no lack of channels and interpersonal relationship, is fully qualified if he wants to influence Japanese politics.
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