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Japan and the United States : helping each other cope with change

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Publication Date: January 1992

Publisher(s): East-West Center

Author(s): Michael H. Armacost

Series: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 2

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)

Type: Report

Coverage: United States Japan


Subtle changes in Japanese thinking about the United States have taken place in recent years, although an effective relationship with Washington remains the foundation of Japanese foreign policy. Many in Japan regard the economic problems in the United States as structural, long-term difficulties that may not be susceptible to a quick fix. Worries about a military retreat from Asia persist. The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement has provoked uneasiness in Japan and reinforced an underlying perception that events are moving the world toward regional trading blocs. At the same time, many Americans are concerned about Japan, particularly the ability of the United States to compete in world markets. The ultimate test of the U.S.-Japan relationship will be whether the two countries can help each other cope with the problems of success.