In Japanese Trade Statistics 1, we find that China is the driving force behind the increase of the Japanese trade with Asian countries from 1988 to 2015.
Following this, we want to know what kinds of products contribute most to this change of trading pattern.
To answer this question, we first have a look at the structure of commodities in the Japanese Trade.
The top three kinds of goods are Machinery / Electrical, Transportation and Mineral Products (import or export). This is consistent with our impression of Japan, which relies heavily on the export of electrical products and the import of mineral products.
Next, let’s see its trade with China.
We can see that the Machinery / Electrical is the dominant part in the trading between China and Japan, followed by Textiles and Miscellaneous. The ratio of Machinery / Electrical with China is about 8% higher than that in the general structure. However, we do not see the Transportation and Mineral Products appearing at the top. We can guess that Japan emphasizes much the Chinese market for the sale of its electrical products but did not rely on China for the raw material (Mineral products).
But was this structure consistent through these 27 years? How did the structure change from 1988 to 2015?
Since 1990, we start to see the increase of the total amount of trade between China and Japan and the driving force behind this is the increase of Machinery / Electrical. Between 2000 and 2008, we witness the golden period where the speed of increase is extremely higher than before.
We also notice a sudden increase of Mineral Products at 2008. What was happening then?
Meanwhile, the increase of Miscellaneous and Textiles remind me of the “Made in China” phenomenon after 2000.
By now, we have seen that Japan trades various structures of goods with different countries or areas. So we want to know how did it do that. Does Japan trade with Middle East countries more Mineral products?
We can get conclusions from this plot:
1.Japan have most of its Machinery / Electrical products sold at Asia, North America and Western Europe. Asia is the main market.
2. Japan relies heavily on the Middle East countries for the Mineral Products
3. Japan has little trade in farm produce but much trade in commodities with high value-added products