Conflicting Currents: Japan and the United States in the Pacific

Conflicting Currents: Japan and the United States in the Pacific

Conflicting Currents: Japan and the United States in the Pacific

Conflicting Currents: Japan and the United States in the Pacific

Synopsis

The subjects covered in this collection will appeal to a range of scholars, specialists, and general readers. The contributions of the Japanese scholars will not go unnoticed either for they draw on many primary sources in Japan that have yet to be translated into English and therefore offer a unique perspective on the events and individuals discussed in the essays. By focusing on both the US and Japan, this work provides easy access to the competing perspectives of the two nations, a competition that is enhanced by examinations of individuals and events, which have often been overlooked. The evolution of Japanese strategic goals prior to WWII, for example, was not limited to the vision of Yamamoto any more than the post-war relationship that emerged was defined exclusively by Douglas Macarthur. The Cold War has ended, but the relationship shared by the US and Japan plays a central roll in the GWOT. Overall, the range of topics covered by these essays adds depth to any understanding of the strategies and relations pursued by the two countries while providing a foundation for understanding the relationship as it continues to evolve today.

Excerpt

The following collection of essays represents the combined efforts of a group of Japanese and U.S. scholars and students of strategy. We have mapped out major issues and figures in the making of strategy in the Pacific between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of the Cold War, and our efforts reflect very much the differences between our two nations in their responsibilities and their views of the world.

For the Japanese, not surprisingly, their approach to strategy has largely reflected a world very much centered on East Asia and their interactions with that world. For the Americans, on the other hand, their strategic geography has forced them to address crucial interests at the far side of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Thus, to them Asia and the problems of the Pacific for most of the twentieth century represented only half of the strategic equation. It was not that Asia was a peripheral issue or a distraction; rather, U.S. strategists have confronted a far more diffuse and complicated set of problems. How the two nations and their leaders have viewed strategy and their relationships with each other, then, is the subject of this book. It is our hope that these contributions will help in furthering the understanding between our two great nations with their very different points of view, but their close relations nevertheless.

Williamson Murray and Tomoyuki Ishizu, Editors . . .

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