When you have central planners printing inverse-wealth (because money printing dilution by definition means less wealth for everyone), who needs that cornerstone of old school economics: trade. Certainly not Japan (which has been diluting its futures to prosperity for the past 30 years and somehow failing each and every time) and China, both of which are now starting to feel the consequences of the collapse in political relations as a result of the senseless spat of the Senkaku Islands (recorded in its full visual glory here). As the NYT reports, "major Japanese companies closed factories in China and urged expatriate workers to stay indoors Monday, after angry protests flared over a territorial dispute, which threatened to hurt trade ties between the two biggest Asian economies." What does the idiotic escalation in unprovoked Japanese tensions over a rock in the East China Sea (note: not West Japan Sea) for the bottom line of Japan? In a word: Lots.
"Increasing tensions further Monday, the Chinese state media warned Japan that it could suffer another “lost decade” if trade ties soured. China and Japan generated two-way trade worth $345 billion last year, and China is the biggest single trading partner of Japan. Protests broke out across dozens of Chinese cities over the weekend, some violent, in response to the Japanese government’s decision last week to buy some of the disputed islands from a private Japanese owner."
To summarize: in the past week alone, Japan has already suffered about $7 billion in lost benefit from trade as the trade relations between the two countries have frozen. But at least Japan's nationalistic pride is content: after all it managed to put up its flag on some completely meaningless island in the middle of nowhere, containing zero natural resources. Luckily for everyone, the central planners who are now in charge of everything, have a much better grasp on things.
More from the NYT:
The protests focused mainly on Japanese diplomatic missions but also struck shops, restaurants and car dealerships in at least five cities. Toyota and Honda reported that arson attacks had badly damaged their stores in Qingdao.
However, Toyota said that its Chinese factories and offices were operating normally Monday and that it had not called its Japanese employees home.
The Japanese electronics group Panasonic said that one of its plants had been sabotaged by Chinese workers and would remain closed through Tuesday, which is a memorial day in China to mark the 1931 occupation by Japan of parts of the mainland.
The Japanese electronics firm Canon stopped production at three of its four Chinese factories Monday and Tuesday, citing concerns over employees’ safety, according to Japanese media reports. All Nippon Airways also reported a rise in cancelations on Japan-bound flights from China.
The dispute also hit shares of Japanese retailers listed in Hong Kong on Monday, with the department store operator Aeon Stores (Hong Kong) falling to a seven-month low.
“All Japan-related shares are under selling pressure,” said Andrew To, a research director from Emperor Capital.
As Japan is among China’s largest trade partners, any harm to business and investment ties would be bad for both economies at a time when China faces a slowdown.
Naturally, Pax Americana is threatened if something, somewhere in the world is in danger of no longer conforming to the status quo:
Mr. Panetta said that the United States would stand by its security treaty obligations to Japan, but would not take sides in the row, and urged both sides to exercise calm and restraint.
It is in everybody’s interest “for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to find a way to avoid further escalation,” he said in Tokyo.
And while we are confident that Japan will promptly retract its neo-imperialistic ambitions especially versus an opponent it has no chance against, a far more troubling development is how China will react when food prices across the mainland soar once hot money flows can find no more parking spots in the US, whose economic collapse will eventually catch up with the farce that is the market, and reallocate toward China. How soon until we see the same Chinese demonstrations as targeting Japan, only this time focusing on the central printer in the subbasement of the Marriner Eccles building?
Courtesy Tyler Durden, founder of ZeorHedge (EconMatters author archive here)
The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.
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