50 Years On: Japanese, Chinese Firms Deepening Relations

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--The 1972 normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China offered an opportunity to develop their economic relations, prompting over 10,000 Japanese companies to launch operations in China.

During the 50 years, some Chinese companies have overtaken Japanese rivals in the home appliance and electronic device sectors.

"You are said to be the god of management. Would you help us modernize China?" then Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping asked Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., now called Panasonic Corp. <6752>, during a visit to the Japanese maker in October 1978.

"The 21st century will be an era of prosperity in Asia. Let's work together," Matsushita told Deng.

Matsushita initially planned to establish a joint venture in China involving the whole Japanese electronics industry. But he faced difficulties doing this due to differences in the economic systems of the two countries, ending up with Matsushita Electric acting alone.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press