In 1988 the Federal Republic of Germany exported goods worth a total of DM 13.1 billion to Japan. In the same year Japanese products worth over DM 28 billion poured into the Federal Republic. Germany’s chronic trade deficit with Japan amounted to over DM 15 billion. The proportion of German exports taken by Japan—3%—is unusually low in view of the size, purchasing power and economic structure of that dynamic industrial nation. Among Germany’s trading partners Japan thus ranks with countries as small as Denmark and Norway. Yet of Germany’s total imports, about 5% came from Japan, and this percentage has risen in past years (see Table 1).