Pacific vitality and vigor offer the world as a whole the opportunity to create a good future, and the task of understanding and representing the political and economic implications of this dynamism, for the Asian-Pacific countries themselves and the other countries of the world, is an important and a challenging one. It takes a lifetime to become an expert on any one of the many and highly diverse countries of the Pacific Basin, and though I do not claim to have that expertise, I do think it possible to understand enough of what is happening in this rapidly changing region to illuminate the likely consequences for the rest of the world, whether for the established industrial countries in Europe and North America, for the developing countries, or for the communist camp.
My background in economics and in elective political office has stimulated and guided my interest and work in this field. During two periods and a total of eight months in 1983-84, I had the privilege of being invited to use the excellent research facilities of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, California, where a substantial part of my work on this essay was carried out. I profited greatly from discussions with and encouragement from many Stanford economists and political scientists, among whom I wish to mention Nathan Rosenberg and Daniel I. Okimoto. My wife Thesy and my young son Peder tell me that they had an excellent time at Stanford, and this too helped me greatly. Extensive travels in the Asian‐