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The era when Japan played the role of an engine for economies in East Asia is over, according to a 2001 white paper by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry to be officially released on May 18, of which the full text was obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Tuesday.
The white paper focuses on East Asian economies, especially China. It stipulates that East Asian nations have now entered a period of tough competition and views a sharp growth of the Chinese economy as a new threat to Japan.
As the government has recently introduced temporary emergency import restrictions on three agricultural products mostly from China, economic relations between Japan and East …