Speaking of Asia

Japan as arms exporter is an idea that'll take some getting used to

Having learnt from their early stumbles, the Japanese are having a go again with tech on offer

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reviews Air Self-Defence Force personnel at Iruma Air Base on Nov 28, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
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For most of the past five decades, and until the South Koreans and later, Chinese, began catching up with them in many areas, the Japanese were the export powerhouse of Asia. You could buy a new Toyota or a Honda sight unseen - such were their reputation for quality. Suntory's spirits and beverages had so much pricing power, it gave the company enough muscle to buy out America's Beam.

Up until the turn of the century, you said people watched television on their Sonys, much the way you used xerox as a verb, a compliment to America's Xerox, which introduced commercial photocopying in the late 1950s.

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