Japan's Hottest New Export Market: Japan

Its multinationals are shipping goods home from foreign plants
Mitsubishi compacts head for Japan from the company’s Thai plant Photograph by Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

At the Shibaura Chuo auto showroom in Tokyo, the Nissan March subcompact has all the signs of Japanese quality—it’s fuel-efficient, sturdy, and handles well. Except the March is made in Thailand, not Japan. “People see the sale of cars made abroad as a sign of the times, as globalization,” says salesman Shiro Kakinuma. “When the new March came out here there were some articles questioning the quality of a car made in a developing country. Not anymore.”

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