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Toyota's recent troubles weren't merely issues for its customers, dealers, lawyers and bottom line – the repercussions also went all the way up through diplomatic channels. A series of cables posted by Wikileaks reveals that then-Transportation Minister Seiji Maehara asked that Toyota's situation not cause "obstacles to trade."

The entreaties disallow bilateral trade to be affected by the Toyota recalls, and in the words of a Japanese cable to Washington, "For many GOJ (Government of Japan) bureaucrats and Japanese auto executives, any and all auto issues seem to trigger memories of bilateral trade friction in the 1980s and 90s." That was when sectors like automobiles, agriculture, steel, textiles and market access were rich sources of friction, retaliation, treaties and new accusations.

The U.S. position – beyond Ray LaHood's occasional thundering – was also a desire not to return to dark international days as long as everyone realized "It is crucial for Toyota to stay ahead of the issue."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      miles
      • 3 Years Ago
      A government that supports it's own industrial interests. What a concept. If only the US could see the wisdom in supporting its own wealth creating and middle-class creating portions of the economy.
        whofan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @miles
        Like the industry needed to win WWII. God help the US. A nation now ran by retards
      whofan
      • 3 Years Ago
      All of this is typical goverment over reaction to what, I don`t know? News Flash!!!!!!!!!! Toyota is just another car built by man with the inpefections that go along with it,as any other make will have.
      John P
      • 3 Years Ago
      In Japan the "government" and business sleep in the same bed. Think whale "harvesting" in the name of scientific research. In Japan the busines of government is business. In the 80's, Toyota used workers savings-paying very low interest ( 1-2% ) and invested in US Treasuries paying 15% and using those profits (spread) to invest ( build assembly plants ) in their assault on the US auto industry. Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot. For a US dealer to get a Honda franchise in the early days, bribery was commonplace. And how about the widespread industrial espionage of US facory practices. Toyota was always touting all the "domestic" suppliers set up to supply radiators, mufflers etc. to their US plants-but of course, they were also Japanese owned.
        mylz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @John P
        why someone voted this guy down is beyond me. he is atually correct... The government and business are in bed together. especially toyota. When the first prius rolled out guess who took the loss on that car. not toyota it was the governement who paid for the loss...
          AP1_S2K
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mylz
          everything in Japan is intertwined (keiretsu). Even the Yakuza works in an official capacity with businesses *ahem" government. The yakuza also have business cards and offices throughout Japan - the yakuza is seen as a integral part of the culture and not outside of it....well maybe the fringes
      AccentPlanet
      • 3 Years Ago
      In 10 years Japan will be an enemy to the US. The Japanese hold a greater portion of US debt than the Chinese does today. Japan is going to get killed when that US Dollar that's worth Toliet paper finally CRASHES. This will force Japan to get militant with America, and the west in general. The Media is a Liar: It's a Fact Japan has been in an Economic Depression since 1998, and selling their goods to America has been the only thing keeping the Japanese society from falling apart. When the Dollar Crashes- Japan wont have American Customers for their products, and the Chinese themselves wont have money for 3 years or so to buy their products. China is going to have a crash too, but it will be short and they will bouce back quickly as they grow their military industrial complex, and continue to develop it's wild west. Japan= Fail Japan has has nothing but a series of weak leaders. It's products are stale at best, and their reliability and quality are marginal overall- some companies excellent and some companies horrible. Japan is America in 1976. They are about to go through a crisis that will put many of its car companies on the chopping block. It's a Fact, Japanese Cars have inferior design characteristics to even Chinese Cars. The Chinese will destroy Japan's auto industry like they Destroyed America's industry. The Koreans will one day make the German and French Auto Industry extinct. Japan must become militant and must go it's own way if it's going to survive and not become a total slave to international oiligarchs.
        AP1_S2K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AccentPlanet
        WOW!?! I guess you have know idea on how much Japan has become a pacifist country due to their history?!?! I thought this was by the writers of the re-make of Red Dawn cuz this might be the only way they could save that movie that's been changed already from China to North Korea. You forget one thing though. The Japanese will eventually do away with cars, and switch to robotic exoskeletons that Honda (Asimo) and several other robotic companies are currently working on. This exoskeleton army will than take over the world...... they won't carry guns though, they actually get you with hentai and *******
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AP1_S2K
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      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyhow Toyota seems to have recovered from the damage to its reputation in America now.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      billfrombuckhead
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't piss off Japanese Government Motors
      TokyoRemix
      • 3 Years Ago
      Toyota has a lot to do with Japan. Other than employing like a DRILLION people here, it represents the best of Japanese industry. A blow to Toyota isn't just materially damaging -- it's ideologically detrimental as well. I forgot that Maehara was Transportation Minister during that little fiasco. He is incredibly pro-American, but the handling of the Toyota recalls may be one reason why he was denied the PM's position recently in spite of clear favor among voters.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TokyoRemix
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        • 3 Years Ago
        @TokyoRemix
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