The Foreign Policy of Modern Japan

The Foreign Policy of Modern Japan

The Foreign Policy of Modern Japan

The Foreign Policy of Modern Japan

Excerpt

Despite the close relations between the United States and Japan during the past thirty years and the growing number of person-to-person contacts via economic interaction, student exchanges, and various conferences, true communication between our two peoples is still at a relatively rudimentary stage. The reasons are many. Even in situations where language barriers are reduced—and in most settings, these remain formidable—the challenge of conveying to those of another culture the nuances and subtleties that derive from one's own societal experiences and thought processes is a prodigious one.

In a small way, our conference on Japanese foreign policy represented progress in this respect.For five days, January 14-18, 1974, seventeen scholars—almost equally divided between Japanese and American—met in the mid-Pacific, on Kauai, Hawaii, focusing their attention on selected aspects of Japan's foreign policy.An effort was made to encompass both the major issues or aspects of policy and the central institutions involved in the policy-making process. Some participants employed the case-study approach; others wrote as generalists. A variety of methods were used, as will become apparent.

In addition to the individuals whose papers are included in this volume, James William Morley, Edwin 0. Reischauer, Royama Michio, and Robert E. Ward participated, serving as discussants.The papers were subsequently revised, both to take account of the initial criticisms and to include later developments when relevant.

Our effort was to select scholars from both cultures having different specialities and coming from different generations. A certain premium was placed on younger scholars in an effort to take advantage of differences in training and perspective. As many of the participants of both nationalities bridged in some measure the linguistic-cultural gap by virtue of their training and experience, communication in this instance flowed with minimal difficulty. Exchanges were lively and to the point. On a number of subjects, there was no agreement, as some of the papers will indicate. Disagreements, however, did not conform to nationality, nor were they absolute in most cases, being rather a matter of degree.

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