Japan firms confused about Trump’s immigration order

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Concerns are growing among Japanese companies over U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending entry into the United States for people with passports from seven Muslim-majority countries.

With global turmoil related to the executive order and a rising tide of protectionism expected to affect some companies negatively, business leaders are paying close attention to every word and action of Trump, who might target Japanese companies.

“I’m not sure what will happen” because Trump’s policies are unpredictable, Toshizo Tanaka, executive vice president of Japanese camera maker Canon Inc., said.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have decided to refuse boarding to passengers with passports from the seven countries for their flights to the United States for the time being.

“The order may contribute to shrinking the global economy in terms of trade and diplomacy,” JAL Senior Managing Executive Officer Norikazu Saito said.

Concerned that rising protectionism may lead to reductions in trade volume, Yukio Toriyama, managing executive officer of shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., suggested that “some distribution companies may voluntarily regulate their operations.”

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. Corporate Vice President Masaru Yoshizawa expressed concerns that U.S.-bound exports from China and Japan may be adversely affected.

“It’s difficult to change production bases,” Yoshizawa said, adding that he wants the Japanese and U.S. governments to discuss ways to avoid negative effects on Japanese companies.

Some companies still pin hopes on economic stimulus measures by the Trump administration, including infrastructure investment and corporate tax cuts.

Takashi Niino, president of electronics maker NEC Corp., said higher infrastructure investment in the United States could have positive effects on his company’s earnings. NEC supplies fingerprint authentication systems to U.S. police.

Tokyo stock and currency markets have been showing unstable moves in response to remarks by Trump.

“The Trump administration’s trade and security policies will be the biggest risk factor this year,” Nomura Holdings Inc. Group Chief Executive Officer Koji Nagai predicted at the start of the year.

Such concerns are becoming a reality only about a week after Trump took office, a market source said.Speech

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