The United States and Japan; U.S.-Japan Relations: Towards a New Equilibrium

In This Review

The United States and Japan

By William Watts
Ballinger (for Potomac Associates), 1984
118 pp.

U.S.-Japan Relations: Towards a New Equilibrium

By The Program on U.S.-Japan Relations
Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1983
185 pp.

The Watts volume analyzes the mutual perceptions of the Americans and Japanese, and concludes that things took a turn for the worse about 1980. It is short on recommendations for improving the situation. The Harvard study is the annual review for 1982-83 of the newly established Program on U.S.-Japan Relations. An essay by Richard Cooper and Philip Jones assesses the outlook for U.S.-Japanese cooperation, and concludes that the American people are likely to become more and more unwilling to bear a disproportionate share of the costs of maintaining the existing international economic system. They go on to outline a few potential areas of cooperation. In another thoughtful essay, Kozo Yamamoto notes the huge stake that both the U.S. and Japan have in sticking together. He identifies four approaches in the U.S. to the problem of reducing the $18-billion trade deficit, and comes down strongly on the side of removing all remaining Japanese trade barriers. What Japan needs, he says, is strong political leadership to take bold initiatives in opening up Japan's market. In response, the U.S. should offer Japan guaranteed access to U.S. agricultural products.

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