Courtesy Reuters

Anniversaries sometimes impose their own almost arbitrary logic on events. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the massive attention being paid in the United States to the fiftieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The television programs, articles and ceremonies-with the president himself presiding over one of them-have caused alarm among many Japanese, who fear that memories of that infamous day and the world war that followed will fuel anti-Japanese sentiment.

The anniversary itself will quickly pass. But serious strains between Japan and the United States will remain long after December 7, 1991, and they are likely to

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.