Japan, which has about 90 per cent of the world shipbuilding market has offered to raise its prices and limit competition with European shipyards in serious difficulties.
GV Building and street sign "Rue de Franqueville" (2 shots)
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Background: Japan, which has about 90 per cent of the world shipbuilding market has offered to raise its prices and limit competition with European shipyards in serious difficulties. The offer came as part of three-part deal put before the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shipbuilding committee which is meeting in Paris to deal with the crisis in world shipbuilding.
SYNOPSIS: A Japanese Ministry of Transport delegation on Tuesday (8 February) put the proposals to the committee, while it was examining European Community complaints that Japan unfairly dominated world shipbuilding to virtual exclusion of European yards. The following day the Japanese delegation said they could not improve on the proposals.
Mr. Muneto Shishaki, director of the Japanese Transport Ministry's ship bureau told the committee it would be said the proposals were not enough, but it was the best Japan could do. He said Western Europe must appreciate his country's position and he hoped the plan could be implemented as soon as possible, to avert a possible trade war. The Japanese at first refused to raise price but they repeated their rejection of a European plan for equal sharing of new ship orders. Mr. Shishaki said Japan aimed to reduce orders to Japanese yards, whose price in some cases are 40 per cent below their European competitors.
The three proposals included the raising of prices for vessels of 2,5000 tons (tonnes) and larger. Secondly, if a shipyard could show it was in exceptional difficulty because of Japanese competition, the Japanese government would encourage its yard to restrain exports to those countries. Thirdly, the Japanese government was prepared to order further reductions in working hours in shipyards if Japan's share of the market exceeded 50 per cent. Mr. Shishaki said the Japanese industry was itself experiencing severe unemployment problems because of reductions in hours, ordered last November. The proposals brought a cautious reaction from the Common Market.