U.S.-Japan Relations in a Changing World

Article excerpt


Reviews by Steven H. Lee

University of British Columbia

Edited by Steven K. Vogel

Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2002, x, 286pp, US$46.50 cloth (ISBN 0-8157-0630-8), US$18.95 paper (ISBN 0-8157-0629-4)

This volume provides a two-part evaluation of the 50-year history of the United States-Japan relationship. First, it surveys eight dimensions of the bilateral relationship: politico-military and macroeconomic relations, domestic-international political linkages, and the roles of the media and international organizations, as well as financial affairs and technological competition. These eight empirical chapters are informative for general readers and refreshing for academic readers as they attempt to elaborate causal analyses. There is, however, a surprising lack of full and coherent treatment of trade issues (although a few chapters deal with them in passing) - surprising because of the long record of United States-Japanese trade disputes. There is also a surprising lack of Japanese perspectives: all the authors are American (although Japanese scholars were consulted) and only three chapters cite Japanese-language sources extensively.

This 'American flavour' is partly a reflection of current American concerns: not trade, but the strategic bargain struck in 1951 when Japan signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the United States-Japan Security Treaty. …


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