By highly embarrassing coincidence the announcement came only one day after Japan had been complaining about a US decision to impose anti-dumping duties on Japanese steel.
The ministry of international trade and industry yesterday announced that duties of up to 27 per cent would be imposed on imports of ferrosilicon manganese from China, claiming that the material - used in manufacturing steel - had been sold at unfairly low prices in Japan, causing damage to domestic producers.
At the same time officials hinted that more problems might arise with China in the future as its economic growth continued.
On Thursday a ministry official hit out at anti-dumping measures against European and Japanese steel producers by the US, arguing that the effect would be to increase prices to consumers and reduce incentives for manufacturers in the US to restructure.
But officials have rejected suggestions that they are being hypocritical, saying that the anti- dumping charges on Chinese imports come only after lengthy negotiations and are designed to maintain world trade order.
Apart from protecting its domestic industry, the decision to move against China was significant.
Japan clearly sees the rise of China's economy as a challenge and does not want a flood of low-price imports to undercut its own industrial producers.Reuse content