To Avoid Isolation: An Ambassador's View Of U.S.-Japanese Relations

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To Avoid Isolation: An Ambassador's View Of U.S.-Japanese Relations

By Yoshio Okawara
University of South Carolina Press, 1990
182 pp.

The author, a distinguished Japanese diplomat who served more than 42 years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been a forceful proponent of close U.S.-Japanese relations and his analysis is even-handed. He quotes former U.S. Ambassador Mike Mansfield as saying that the Japanese market is not as closed as Americans think, nor is the U.S. market as open as Americans believe. He adds, however, that Japanese need to admit their market is not as open as many Japanese believe, and Japan must not falter in efforts to open doors wider if it is to change its negative image in America. The book also contains some interesting diplomatic history. Okawara notes that one salient aspect of the Reagan administration's Asia policy was to attach a pivotal position to Japan. This was a significant change from the Nixon-Ford-Carter approaches to Asia that emphasized China and the "strategic triangle" with the U.S.S.R. The Reagan administration's upgrading of Japan and the establishment of a much firmer U.S.-Japanese relationship was one of the major achievements of the Reagan presidency.

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