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Japanese 'Mouse' May Bite U.S. 'Cat' if Pressed on Trade

November 17, 1987|Associated Press

TOKYO — A backlash is growing among Japanese lawmakers against what they call "highhanded" pressure from the United States to end Japan's curbs on imports of farm products.

Sadanori Yamanaka, former head of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, warned today that "a cornered mouse may bite at a cat."

"We can find other sources, such as Argentina," for Japan's imports of agricultural products, he said.

Japan estimates that it buys almost 20% of all U.S. agricultural exports, or nearly $6 billion worth in 1986.

"Japan has a small military, its population is half that of the United States and it has very few resources. . . , " Yamanaka said.

"However . . . it is possible that Japan will bite at the United States . . . if and when Japan can no longer endure the highhanded U.S. demands that are imposed on us one after another," he said.

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