07/20/2020, 09.56
JAPAN - CHINA
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Tokyo: First funds for companies that move production from China

The Japanese government wants to reduce economic dependence on Beijing. Around 536 million euros will go to 57 companies moving back to Japan. Another 30 Japanese companies operating in China will receive funds to invest in Southeast Asia. The US is working on a similar measure.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Japanese government has allocated the first funds to reduce its manufacturing dependence on China. Over the weekend, the Ministry of Economy announced that 57 national companies present in China, including the manufacturer of protective masks Iris Ohyama and Sharp, will receive over 57 billion yen (468 million euros) to bring production back to their homeland.

A further 30 Japanese companies operating in China will benefit from funds of an unspecified amount to move their activities to Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.

In total, Japan will pay out 1.9 billion dollars to help its businesses leave China. The measure is part of the massive 864 billion euro financial stimulus that the Japanese government announced on April 7 to combat the recessive effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

A part of this sum (192 million dollars) is intended to incentivize Japanese companies to close their factories in China and to reopen them in other countries, especially in the Asean States (Association of Southeast Asian Countries).

Japanese companies are massively dependent on importing components made in China, from where Covid-19 virus spread. The Chinese economy is an essential element of the global supply chain which ground to a halt between January and May as a result of the production blockade imposed by Beijing to curb the spread of Covid-19.

After Taiwan last year, Japan is the only country to have adopted a policy to attract investments back from China. The United States is working on a similar measure, with some sectors of the Trump administration and Congress pushing a real "decoupling" (separation) from the Asian giant.

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