Curtis, Gerald L.
March 1981
Foreign Affairs;Spring81, Vol. 59 Issue 4, p852
The article focuses on the security policies of Japan and its impact on the country's alliance with the United States. The last time two-way trade between Japan and the Soviet Union exceeded that between Japan and China was in 1976. Since then trade with China has grown at a much faster rate than that with the Soviet Union, the gap growing wider in the aftermath of Afghanistan. Anti-Soviet sentiment in Japan is strong, and it is growing. Despite their own anti-Soviet views, Japanese leadership groups share a general lack of confidence in U.S. leadership and a feeling that Japan has been pulled to and fro by excessively wide swings in U.S. policy, especially during the administration of U.S. President Jimmy Carter. An inability on the part of the United States to maintain an economically competitive position would eventually undercut domestic support for a major political and military role in the region. It could lead to political problems in the bilateral U.S.-Japan relationship, particularly if a pattern emerges in which Japan retains a dominant position in the export of machinery and equipment for industries in the middle-income Asian countries that find their major export markets in the United States.


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