Vietnam Joins the World

Vietnam Joins the World

Vietnam Joins the World

Vietnam Joins the World

Synopsis

Ten American and Japanese specialists offer a comprehensive analysis of one of the most dramatic developments in Asia today: the reemergence of Vietnam -- not as the belligerent champion of a militant ideology and socialist causes, but as an open, friendly country seeking a respected place in the world community. Basing their observations on five years of study, visits to Vietnam, and numerous interviews with knowledgeable officials, scholars, and businessmen there and in the United States and Japan, the authors evaluate the political, economic, social, and foreign policy changes that have been taking place in Vietnam over the past decade, trace the responses of the United States and Japan and offer a policy prescription for responding to the challenges of the future.

Excerpt

This book is the outgrowth of a joint project on the former Indochina states inaugurated at a meeting in New York in 1990 of the ten authors here presented, together with selected other scholars and officials from Japan, the United States, and various Southeast Asian countries. At that time Cambodia was bogged down in a devastating civil war. Vietnam was grappling with ways to transform itself that were little understood abroad. and the two most influential countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan and the United States, appeared to be moving down different tracks.

Japan recognized the Sihanouk-led government of the three opposition factions in Cambodia and sustained its long-time relations with the government in Vietnam. the United States, on the other hand, refused to recognize either Cambodian government and, with Vietnam, refused to permit even commercial or humanitarian contact. While Japan and the United States were exchanging views with each other and showing some understanding of each other's interests and perceptions, the United States worked inside the circle of the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council; Japan, outside.

It seemed obvious to the group assembled in New York that unless Japan and the United States could come to a more common understanding of the situation in this area and achieve a greater harmony of views, they were in danger of frustrating positive developments there. They were in danger also of weakening their own partnership and impeding the development of the broader Asia-Pacific community both desired.

Was there something that concerned citizens could do to help ward off these possibilities? the Research Institute on Peace and Security, an independent research center in Tokyo, and the Pacific Basin Studies Program, a teaching and research program of the East Asian Institute and the Center on Japanese Economy and Business of Columbia University in New York, decided to try.

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