The Sept. 15 story, "Rice Growers Push for Japan to Open Market," has some interesting geopolitical as well as business implications. Since time immemorial, Japan has been a rice-growing and rice-consuming nation, self-sufficient in providing its citizens with their "daily bread."
All nations who have been and are world powers have been self-sufficient in feeding their people. Without being independent of any other nation or group of nations for its basic necessities, Japan cannot hope to sustain its present leadership in industry and trade. Nor can it aspire to the next level of political and, if attainable, military predominance.
To expect the Japanese to agree to our opening a wedge of 10% of its rice market is to expect them to commit, in their eyes, national suicide. Rice is Japan--Japan is rice.
Let's forget this one commodity and concentrate on having Japan Inc. lowering trade barriers on all other trade items.