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Japanese Spirit, Western Things

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Japanese Spirit, Western Things

The article “Japanese Spirit, Western Things” discusses establishment of close relations between the USA and Japan. The article stresses important role of Japan in the world economy and politics and provides perspective on future. The author underlines that America and Japan are two the world’s greatest powers. And over the 150 years of relations, conflicts and misunderstanding two countries remain economic partners. In the very beginning Americans occupied Japan and such occupation appeared to re-built country as pacifist liberal democracy.

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Moreover, American occupation assisted in setting the stage for jaw-dropping growth. In such a way, the author is willing to show that America has contributed significantly to Japanese development and economic growth.

It is noted that “America’s enduring frustration—in the decades after 1853, in 1945, and even today—has not been so much that Japan is closed, but that it long ago mastered the art of opening up on its own terms”. (p.35) Since that many countries became open to trade by western cannon.

But Japan was set apart as the country was willing to decide for itself whether to be open to other countries. Because of that America always complained about economic practices. The climax was in the 1980s, when America blamed Japan for unfair competition for large trade surpluses. Nowadays poor countries want Japan to make trade in farm good free, whereas rich countries complain about macroeconomics and finances. Rich countries don’t see problems in trade policies.

Japan is argued to be insistent in protecting worthless companies and weak banks, as well as the country remain reluctant to foreign investors whoa re willing to assists in fixing economy. Therefore, Japanese demand is prevented from recovering for far too long. One more important moment is that the country is “is unfairly taking what it can get from the world economy—exports and overseas profits have been its only source of comfort for years—without giving anything back”. (p.36) Japanese economic miracle is appeared to be long-awaited blessing for the rest of the world. However, foreign exporters were kept away from enjoying some fruits of the miracle, but western consumers were allowed to enjoy cheaper cars and cheaper electronics. Japan resist to inward investment because outward investment of the country has helped to transform East Asia into developing economic region. The most impressive in Japanese miracle is that “it has still managed to do the world so much good over the past half-century”. (p.37)

Japan was blamed for efforts to measure up the Western world diplomatically, socially and economically and till 1945 military. Moreover, Japan resisted cultural changes, whereas America was opened to them. The central argument is that Japan has helped America to achieve exactly what it set out to do in the end of the 19th century. In those times America was less than a decade away from the civil War and it was not as powerful as it is today. 150-year relations between America and Japan have brought impressive results. Nowadays America and Japan are the world’s biggest economies. They are driven by the world’s technological advances. Actually, it was America that helped Japan to open up, to re0built the country and to destroy its militarists. Japan has become an advance export dynamo and has helped America to improve its technologies and manufacturing techniques.  Summing up, Japan has ventured America into East Asia to trade.

It is necessary to underline that author’s arguments about Japanese-American relations are valuable today as America and Japan are still world’s biggest economies and technological advancers. Their relationships are very close military and economic cooperation with extensive cultural knowledge. By the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century relationships between countries have been strengthened and improved. Frictions in trade became less problematic because Japan’s position as the greatest economic threat to America is displaced by China. Close security ties remain equally important for America and Japan. (Sadao, 2005)


Japanese Spirit, Western Things. (2004). The Economist, July, pp.34-39. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://www.ambrosiasw.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t41522.html

Asada, Sadao. (2005).Culture Shock and Japanese-American Relations: Historical Essays. USA: Prentice Hall.

Cite this Japanese Spirit, Western Things

Japanese Spirit, Western Things. (2016, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/japanese-spirit-western-things/

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