United States Direct Investment in Japan: Trends and Prospects

by Mark Mason

Fall 1992

Volume 35
Issue 1

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Virtually every relevant measure, both macroeconomic and microeconomic, reveals the low levels of United States foreign direct investment in Japan. Many critics blame American companies and point to their alleged inadequate efforts to penetrate Japan's markets. This article argues that Japanese restrictions have played a more important role. Restrictions imposed by the Japanese government have eased in recent years, but today numerous barriers stem from Japanese business. The experiences of two notable American "success stories" in Japan. Toys 'R' Us and Merck, illustrate many of the obstacles that today confront even the most determined American companies.

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