MacEachron, David
December 1982
Foreign Affairs;Winter82/83, Vol. 61 Issue 2, p400
This article discusses the international relationship between the U.S. and Japan as of 1982 and its impact on global development. In the tangled international tapestry certain relationships dominate the pattern. The U.S.-Soviet struggle has colored almost all world politics for a generation. Franco-German entente has ended centuries of European warfare. One relationship which holds much potential for improving world conditions is that between Japan and the U.S. This bilateral relationship, conducted within a dense multilateral web in which each nation has many other ties based on interest and sentiment, is now, and will be increasingly, central to any proper functioning of the world economy and polity. These two nations, so drastically different in history, culture, geographic size and location, outlook and temperament, have been thrust together in an unlikely partnership. They must simultaneously reorder their bilateral arrangements while improving their skills of international leadership. The U.S. must learn to rely more on the power of persuasion and become more sensitive to the legitimate interests of others. Japan must give up its small-nation mentality. Moreover, each nation can help the other in this, and in cooperation they can help guide the world through one of its most dangerous and exciting eras.


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