Courtesy Reuters

Wishful thinking in Washington and a refusal to discuss basic matters in Tokyo are threatening to turn a troubled relationship into one in which both parties will be guided by metaphors of villainy.

Washington's wishful thinking is composed of the self-flattering view that Japan was more or less remade in the American image during the early years after World War II, and the belief that whatever stands in the way of a relatively free and equitable exchange of economic opportunities will eventually be removed through mutual resolve. On the Japanese side, one finds a consistent denial of fundamental problems other

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