An April 17 dispatch claims, “Japan wants to keep Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross out of an economic dialogue with the US as it seeks to avoid disputes with the Trump administration over a weaker yen and trade imbalance, according to a Japanese official who asked not to be identified.”
On the contrary: Wilbur Ross, a past president of the Japan Society, is well known and well liked in Japan as a capable businessman who knows Asia first hand. Ross will be a tough negotiator, but Japan is well aware that the United States has legitimate complaints about Japan’s trade barriers.
Japan’s economy has climbed out of deflation, GDP will grow by about 1% in 2017, exports to Asia are booming (up 16% YOY in March), and the government’s efforts to bring women into the workforce to alleviate a labor shortage are showing results. Exports to the US were up just over 3% in March.