Air Transport World

Beyond Japan.(U.S.-Japan airline passenger service)(Editorial)

The nasty, intramural brawl in the U.S. over opening U.S.-Japan passenger-service bilateral talks is trying to adopt the guise of a global trade discussion.

At first blush, the fight appears to be the incumbent U.S. airlines--Northwest, United and Federal Express--defending their turf against American, Delta and TWA. But thanks to the expert ministrations of spin doctors from both sides, the arguments have become more complicated, more academic and more important (see "In Detail," page 16).

Thousands of business and civic leaders have been enlisted in a cause that has become inflamed and impassioned. A number of serious academic studies have attached numbers to the price of making the wrong move.

After diligently studying. the issue to penetrate the legal and economist verbiage--the most dense verbiage available--one finally can get down to what is really going on. …

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