Chinese technology companies have faced numerous difficulties overseas this year owing to a lack of trust, particularly in the US where Huawei's proposed carrier deals with AT&T and Verizon fell through due to political pressure and ZTE was forced to pay huge fines and sack board members to resume trading. US government agencies were then banned from using technology made by either firm, and it looks like Japan may be following suit with similar sanctions.
According to unnamed sources speaking to Reuters, the Japanese government has similar concerns about Chinese equipment being used for spying and will cease purchases from Huawei and ZTE. Despite repeated denials from both companies about Chinese government ties, the US and Japan aren't the only countries with a deep mistrust. Australia and New Zealand have also blocked them both from installing 5G network infrastructure, while the UK's BT has stopped using Huawei equipment in its 3G and 4G network setups.
New technology procurement guidelines in Japan aren't expected to name either Huawei or ZTE specifically, but revisions will be aimed at tightening security, which will include banning the use of equipment from sources deemed a risk to cybersecurity. While Japan does have strong trade links with China generally, the influence of the US is plain to see in this instance. Tensions were already building between the US and China following the arrest of Huawei's global CFO in Canada last week, and it doesn't look as though these relationships will be improving anytime soon.