[Ok Kids, Global Wahrman will now try to dig into the reality of the subsidies and see what the real numbers are, at least up to a point... so take whatever numbers you read here with a grain of salt...]
Unlike the Tokyo Round Subsidies Code, the WTO SCM Agreement contains a definition of the term “subsidy”. The definition contains three basic elements: (i) a financial contribution (ii) by a government or any public body within the territory of a Member (iii) which confers a benefit. All three of these elements must be satisfied in order for a subsidy to exist.
The concept of “financial contribution” was included in the SCM Agreement only after a protracted negotiation. Some Members argued that there could be no subsidy unless there was a charge on the public account. Other Members considered that forms of government intervention that did not involve an expense to the government nevertheless distorted competition and should thus be considered to be subsidies. The SCM Agreement basically adopted the former approach. The Agreement requires a financial contribution and contains a list of the types of measures that represent a financial contribution, e.g., grants, loans, equity infusions, loan guarantees, fiscal incentives, the provision of goods or services, the purchase of goods.
No member should cause, through the use of any subsidy referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 1, adverse effects to the interests of other members, i.e.
(a) injury to the domestic industry of another member,
(b) (...)(c) serious prejudice to the industry of another member.
GOVERNMENT subsidies have been a consistent feature of Japanese practice since the country emerged from the feudal system in the eighteen-sixties. Japan's industrial history is singularly unlike that of other countries in that it is not marked by a policy of "laissez faire." Immediately following the restoration of 1867-8, the government set itself the task of industrializing the country, realizing that for this purpose it would have to convert into capitalists and factory workers a nation of knights and retainers. From the first, therefore, the government has exercised a paternal rôle in Japan's economic development. The result has been to make the Japanese people dependent upon the government to a degree unparalleled in other capitalist countries. "Almost any new industry," says a recent writer,[i] "so long as its promoters had some political friends, could secure exemption from taxation, even if no more direct form of subsidy could be obtained."
In starting modern industries it was the government's intention to turn them over to private management and ownership as soon as possible, retaining only a measure of control. In some cases this was done, but not in all. Not only has the government continued to manufacture steel, woolen cloth, and other articles, but it has reserved as state monopolies the trade in salt, tobacco, camphor and ginseng. For the rest, the "westernization" policy has created mammoth corporations, which -- despite their size -- still look to the government for sustenance. Indeed, the list of interests receiving aid in one form or another covers almost the entire field of Japanese economic life. Banking, industry, agriculture, labor, shipping, and shipbuilding, foreign trade, construction, and domestic commerce, all are in receipt of help; hardly any activity of importance or promise is not clamoring for it.
2. When a production company goes out of business, it is usually due to a number of factors, not just one. However, in all the cases listed here, foreign subsidies were recognized and publicly stated to be one of the causes, if not a primary cause, of their demise.
3. Its hard to believe that the subsidy is so high, I admit it. And I have never verified the numbers, but I am trying to now. It must be less than the reported 60%, that is just too good, I admit it.