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Stacked odds: A decoupling world should be pulling apart Asia's two biggest economies. Instead, Japan is leaning even more heavily into China.   © Nikkei illustration
The Big Story

Decoupling denied: Japan Inc. lays its bets on China

US-China trade rift creates havoc and opportunity for Asia's economic giants

MITSURU OBE, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- In 1978, when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping visited a factory belonging to what is now Panasonic Corp. in Osaka, he made Chairman Konosuke Matsushita an offer he couldn't refuse.

That year, China's economy lay in ruins following the Cultural Revolution. But Deng had an idea. Turning to Matsushita, his guide on the tour, he said: "You are called the god of management. Will you help us modernize our economy?"

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