When the U.S. government, under President Bush, proposed the Structural Impediments Initiative (SII) Meeting to the Japanese government in 1989, one of its crucial objectives was to remedy the Japanese “closed�? distribution system. The American government asserted that Daiten-hô was blocking the flow of American products into the Japanese market. From the American perspective, an appropriate access point for entry into the Japanese distribution system seemed to be large-scale stores, such as supermarkets, in the outskirts of big cities. This is so, it was reasoned, because such stores have the personnel and financial resources to import products. However, in light of restrictions found in Daiten-hô, it was difficult at that time to open a large-scale store. For example, Itôyokadô, the second largest supermarket chain in Japan, planned to open a branch in Shizuoka City in 1977, but the opening was not accomplished until nine and a half years later.
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