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Car import restrictions to Russia may affect Japan business — expert

September 18, 2014, 12:10 UTC+3 TOKYO
Russian presidential aide Andrey Belousov contemplated earlier that restrictions on car import, primarily used cars, may be among retaliatory measures after a new wave of sanctions against Russia
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© EPA/EVERETT KENNEDY BROWN

TOKYO, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Restrictions on car import to Russia in retaliation to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union may strongly affect Japanese economic interests, including the situation on the domestic market, chief of Russian programs in investment consulting company United Managers Japan Yusuke Otsubo told ITAR-TASS. Yusuke Otsubo also worked in the Central Bank of Japan and headed the economic department in the Japanese Embassy in Moscow.

“Cars are the main export article of our country in Russia,” he recalled. “Certainly, their local production is developing gradually, but a large part of Japanese cars is still delivered from Japan or plants of our companies in the West. Export of Japanese used cars has already shrunk drastically, after restrictions imposed in Russia after the world economic crisis in 2008. However, if these bans are made much tougher, this step will affect even domestic Japanese market. For instance, this measure will result in lower prices on used cars and falling sales of new cars, because it will be more difficult to sell old cars.”

Meanwhile, the expert noted that the ban on import of foreign cars will result in their broader localized production in Russia that “has its advantages”, he said. “Any restricting measures in this sphere will inevitably affect bilateral economic relations in general. This may take no less than ten years to eliminate damage in this case, as this was the case after the economic crisis in Russia in 1998.”

Russian presidential aide on economic issues Andrey Belousov contemplated earlier that restrictions on car import, primarily used cars, may be among retaliatory measures after a new wave of sanctions against Russia.

Meanwhile, the used car import in Russia is extremely low, as it fell sharply first after customs duties were raised on used foreign-made cars in 2008 and then after a high car-scrapping tax was introduced in 2012. Executive director of the analytical agency of Russian motor market AUTOSTAT Sergey Udalov said at the website of the organization the import of cars with some mileage has dropped sharply after Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to AUTOSTAT, the used car market has made 5.7 million in 2013 and $86.1 billion in monetary terms.

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