It is inevitable that Japanese companies have been establishing American operations. America after the era of Reaganomics is now responding to that trend with new Bush Administration policies. In response, Japan should now begin to make it a habit to say no when its position is clearly negative. It [is] the rule in the West to say "no" whenever one's position is clearly negative. We are in a business environment where "well" or "probably" have no place in normal business conduct. I have been saying "no" to foreigners for the last thirty years. Clearly, the Japanese Government has missed many, many opportunities to say "no."
American imports from Japan are mostly products which require a high tech capacity to produce. Many of these products fall into the area of military procurement, but it is true that even the private sector is buying Japanese products which are technologically indispensable. Even some of the inexpensive home electrical appliances may be obtained from Japanese manufacturers within a short time frame if they require high technological skills in the production process.
America has left the production responsibility with Japan, resulting in a heavy dependency upon Japan. American politicians only talk about the results of this situation, blaming Japan for the trade deficit to get votes. Yet it seems that these same politicians don't even know specifically what it is that America buys from Japan. If they took the time and the effort to seriously investigate the matter, they could not condemn Japan so out of hand.
Japan should tell America that it may buy these quality products irrespective of the exchange rates, even when the US dollar falls to the 100 [presumably yen] to 1 ratio. Artificial manipulation of the exchange rate does not benefit the American economy. Such products as transistors, which Sony originally marketed, may today be purchased anywhere outside Japan, and so are not a matter of friction between the US and Japan. Products recently developed in Japan are not as easily obtained elsewhere. There are some things that can only be found in Japan and Japan cannot be blamed for over-exporting. Those who say otherwise simply do not know the facts.
Computer terminals are in short supply and are being rapidly developed in Japan. Japan should let America know what the situation is and make the US realize that the relationship between the two nations is increasingly mutually dependent.
My purpose in advocating saying "no" is to promote that awareness. "No" is not the beginning of a disagreement or a serious argument. On the contrary, "no" is the beginning of a new collaboration. If Japan truly says "no" when it means "no" it will serve as a means of improving the US-Japan relationship.