The impact of Sino-Japanese trade structure change on the transformation and upgrading of China’s industrial structure


(1.School of International Economics and International Relations, Liaoning University)

【Abstract】Over the past 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, Sino-Japanese trade has developed rapidly with continuously expanding trade scale, and the trade structure has been optimized. Sino-Japanese trade has gradually achieved the transformation from vertical division of labor between industries to vertical division of industrial trade, and is consolidating its development from vertical division of industrial trade to horizontal division of labor within industries. It is particularly noteworthy that the upgrading of the trade structure between China and Japan has had an important positive impact on the transformation and upgrading of China’s industrial structure. In the new era, China should take effective measures to further promote the development of Sino-Japanese trade to a higher level, thereby facilitating the transformation and upgrading of China’s industrial structure.

【Keywords】 Sino-Japanese trade; trade structure; transformation and upgrading of China’s industrial structure; influence;


【Funds】 The National Social Science Fund of China (18BGJ010)

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    [1]. (1) Calculated and summarized based on General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China. [^Back]

    [2]. (1) SITC, or Standard International Trade Classification, is the main method for unified classification and calculation of foreign trade products, developed by the United Nations Statistics Division in 1950. It divides the objects studied into 10 major categories by sector and group, specifically referring to SITC0, food and live animals; SITC1, beverages and tobacco; SITC2, raw materials; SITC3, fuels and lubricants; SITC4, animal and vegetable oils; SITC5, chemicals; SITC6, manufactured goods; SITC7, machinery and transport equipment; SITC8, miscellaneous manufactures; and SITC9, others. Products of SITC6 and SITC8 sectors are labor-intensive products; SITC5, SITC7 and SITC9 are technology and capital-intensive products; and the labor-intensive and capital and technology-intensive products are classified as industrial manufactured goods. The rest of the commodities are primary products. [^Back]

    [3]. (2) Organized and calculated based on the statistics from UN Comtrade Database. [^Back]

    [4]. (1) The RCA index, according to Japan External Trade Organization, is classified into 0 ≤ RCA < 0.8, 0.8 ≤ RCA < 1.25, 1.25 ≤ RCA < 2.5, and RCA ≥ 2.5, and products have a weak, medium, strong and extremely strong competitive advantage, respectively. [^Back]

    [5]. (1) Organized and calculated based on the statistics from UN Comtrade Database. [^Back]

    [6]. (1) Based on the data released by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the customs of countries (regions), China’s top five trading partners in 2017 were the European Union, the United States, ASEAN, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, and Japan. [^Back]

    [7]. (1) We analyze 19 categories of the products in Sino-Japanese trade (except No. 19, No. 21 and No. 22 category), and divide them into resource-based (No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 category), labor-based (No. 4, No. 7, No. 8, No. 9, No. 10, No. 11, No. 12 and No. 20 category), capital-based (No. 6, No. 13, No. 14 and No. 15 category), and technology-based (No. 16, No. 17 and No. 18 category). [^Back]

    [8]. (1) The General Agreement on Trade in Services classifies service trade into traditional service trade and new-type service trade. Traditional service trade includes transportation services and tourism services, and new-type service trade includes communication services, construction services, insurance services, financial services, computer and information services, patent services, and other business services and cultural services (excluding government services). [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 22-1180/C

Vol 28, No. 06, Pages 95-111+125

November 2019


Article Outline



  • 1 The trajectory of Sino-Japanese trade structure changes
  • 2 Characteristics of changes in Sino-Japanese trade structure
  • 3 Impact of Sino-Japanese trade structure changes on China’s industrial structure transformation and upgrading
  • 4 An empirical analysis of the impact of Sino-Japanese trade competitiveness on China’s industrial structure transformation and upgrading
  • 5 Conclusion and countermeasures
  • Footnote