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The United States and Japan in the Postwar World

The United States and Japan in the Postwar World

Akira Iriye
Warren I. Cohen
Copyright Date: 1989
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    The United States and Japan in the Postwar World
    Book Description:

    A major phenomenon in the post-World War II world is the rise of Japan as a leading international economic and industrial power. This advance began with American aid in rebuilding the nation after the war, but it has now seen Japan rival and even outstrip the United States on several fronts. The relations between the two powers and the impact that they have on economic and political factors during the postwar years are the focus of this important book. The editors, Akira Iriye and Warren I. Cohen, themselves noted authorities on Asian affairs, have gathered here contributions from a distinguished group of American and Japanese scholars. The resulting collection represents a unique blend of viewpoints from each side of the American-Japanese relationship.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5847-1
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Part One. U.S.-Japanese Relation since 1945

    • [PART ONE Introduction]
      (pp. 1-2)

      As the basic framework of international affairs since the end of World War II, Robert Gilpin proposes the concept of the “American System.” According to this analysis, the postwar world was characterized by America’s military, political, and economic predominance, and it continued to define the international system until the 1980s. Western European countries and Japan basically accepted this definition and generally fitted themselves into it. The American System, however, had two components—the U.S.-European and the U.S.-Japanese axes, each buttressed by security alliances and close economic ties—but these two were not always well coordinated, The third possible axis, the...

    • 1 The Global Context
      (pp. 3-20)

      The future of American-Japanese relations must be analyzed in the larger context of the evolving relationships among the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. The interactions and tensions among these three industrial democracies cannot be isolated from one another. Because the United States has been the linchpin of these crucial relationships since 1945, this article will refer to them as the “American System” and will argue that this system is in a state of crisis that necessitates difficult policy choices.

      This essay defines the American System as the political understandings, military alliances, and economic agreements that the United States has...

  7. 2 From the Yoshida Letter to the Nixon Shock
    (pp. 21-35)

    Soon after the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in September 1951, Japan recognized the Nationalist government in Taiwan as the legitimate government of China and opened diplomatic relations with that government. But almost two decades later, Japan drastically changed her China policy and normalized relations with the government in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This essay will examine the development of Japan’s China policy between 1951 and 1972, focusing particularly on its relation to the East Asia policy of the United States.

    Through the “Yoshida Letter,” written only three months after the signing of the San...

  8. Part Two. The United States and Japan in the World Economy

    • [PART TWO Introduction]
      (pp. 115-116)

      Using the case studies of Part One as their starting point, the next group of essays examines how Japan has performed in the economic arena since its leaders succeeded in integrating the country into the U.S.-led world economy on their own terms, and how their very success has created havoc with “the American system.”

      Okimoto and Krasner (chapter 7) offer several theoretical (predictive) models for Japan’s reaction to the disruption its booming economy caused in the structure of the economic regime, i.e., rules of the game that are central to the American system. They concede that Japan, under pressure from...

    • 7 Japan’s Evolving Trade Posture
      (pp. 117-144)

      Japan has experienced more dramatic levels of economic growth than any other major industrialized country. One-twentieth the size of that of the United States at the end of the Second World War, Japan’s economy increased to one-half that of the United States by the early 1980s. Its products jumpedn from 3.4 percent of world exports in 1963 to 7.5 percent in 1982,¹ and its exports dominated several fast-growing and important industrial sectors. Its intrusion into the world economy has generated conflict to the extent that Japan has been accused of protecting its domestic economy while preaching international liberalism. Import-impacted in...

    • 8 U.S.-Japanese Trade Relations, 1955-1982
      (pp. 145-170)

      Throughout the period from 1955 to 1982, a close political and economic interdependence existed between the United States and Japan, but the characteristics of their interdependence underwent substantial changes. The span of years may be divided into three periods.

      Period I (1955-64) may be characterized as one of patron-protégé relations, in which the United States gave unilateral support and protection as a powerful patron of Japan and helped it enter the postwar international community. The United States strongly endorsed Japan’s membership in GATT in 1955 and in OECD in 1964. In the latter year, Japan was asked to become an...

    • 9 Internationalization of Japanese Capital Markets
      (pp. 171-188)

      This essay describes the regulatory environment of capital account transactions in Japan in the 1950-80 period. The rationale for regulation of such transactions is discussed within a theoretical framework before turning to a discussion of the channels through which payments were made and how proper structuring of such channels could simplify the achievement of national economic goals. Specific rules relating to foreign investment,¹ raising funds in foreign markets, and banking are also discussed.

      First, a brief discussion regarding capital market regulation and its relation to foreign exchange is appropriate. To improve welfare, an economy must trade and invest. Without foreign...

  9. Part Three. Global Awareness

    • [PART THREE Introduction]
      (pp. 189-190)

      The three essays in this part underscore the extent to which Japanese define themselves in relation to the United States, whereas Americans perceive Japan more in terms of changing American values than in terms of Japanese realities. As an international political economy, the American system may be disintegrating, but it appears to persist culturally. On the other hand, Japan is only now, in the 1980s, beginning to have any influence on America’s self-image as quality is identified with Japanese industry and Americans strive to meet Japanese standards. At the same time, Japanese seem confused by the responsibilities of the power...

    • 10 War, Peace, and U.S.-Japanese Relations
      (pp. 191-208)

      During the 1930s and throughout World War II, few ideas were more prevalent in the United States than the notion that Japan was a warlike nation: militaristic, aggressive, brutal, and bent on committing atrocities wherever its soldiers went. As early as 1934, Nathaniel Peffer was describing Japan in the following fashion, using words and concepts that would remain essentially constant until 1945:

      That the country is completely under the rule of the military caste is self-evident, and that the people would follow the army into any adventure, however fantastic, is equally clear. It is the combination of national centralization with...

    • 11 America in the Mind of the Japanese
      (pp. 209-222)

      In recent years, the postwar period in Japanese history has been interpreted and reinterpreted. Controversies—both academic and nonacademic—have surrounded issues such as the meaning of Japan’s surrender, the significance of the American occupation, the character of the “New Constitution,” and the importance of the Japan-U.S. security system. Behind these issues lies the fundamental problem of the relevance of the United States to Japan and the Japanese people—the United States as a nation, a power, a party in economic relations, a positive or negative model, a civilization, and, above all, an object of identification.

      Recent trends in reconsideration...

    • 12 Beyond the Pressure-Response Cycle
      (pp. 223-230)

      Since the late 1960s, trade and economic frictions of a serious nature requiring government-to-government negotiations and consultations have continued to reoccur between Japan and the United States. The now familiar sequence of events typically begins with the United States filing complaints and demands, which then lead to drawn-out negotiations, and eventually the two sides arrive at an arrangement to alleviate the particular problem. A brief period of tranquility follows, only to be disrupted by the outbreak of a new friction. This cycle of developments has established itself more or less permanently, introducing a discordant note into relations between the two...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 231-231)
  11. Index
    (pp. 232-238)