Trump Wants More American Cars in Japan. Japan’s Drivers Don’t.

Mr. Trump accuses Japan of shutting American producers out, by throwing up regulatory barriers and rigging the currency market in favor of Japanese brands. “They do things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan,” he said in a meeting with American executives last month.

Such talk is alarming in Japan, where the auto industry is a pillar of the economy. When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets Mr. Trump starting on Friday, averting a trade war will be at the top of his agenda. Mr. Abe’s government has been floating proposals, like using Japanese pension money to fund Mr. Trump’s infrastructure plans, that might mollify the president and help offset Japan’s large trade surplus.

To the Japanese, Mr. Trump’s accusations…

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