Ocean Apart: Explaining Three Decades of U.S.-Japanese Trade Frictions

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Closing a critical gap in the literature examining the strained relationship between the U.S. and Japan, this book synthesizes the economic, political, historical, and cultural factors that have led these two nations, both practitioners of capitalism, along quite different paths in search of different goals. Taking an objective, multidisciplinary approach, the author argues that there is no single explanation for Japan's domestic economic or foreign trade successes. Rather, his analysis points to a systemic mismatch that has been misdiagnosed and treated with inadequate corrective measures. This systemic mismatch in the corporate strategy, economic policies, and attitudes of the U.S. and Japan created and is perpetuating three decades of bilateral economic frictions and disequilibria.

As long as both the U.S. and Japan deal more with symptoms than causes, bilateral problems will persist. This book's unique analysis will encourage a better understanding on both sides of the Pacific of what has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen if corporate executives and policymakers in the two countries do not better realize the extent of their differences and adopt better corrective measures.

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Editorial Reviews

Seeking more order in the understanding of long-running trade strains and hopefully more enlightened policy responses, Cohen international relations, American U., Washington, DC examines the multifaceted encounters among government policy makers, corporations, and consumers both between the US and Japan and within each country. He argues that explanations focusing on a few narrow factors are insufficient, and offers a broad and integrating thesis. He predicts new trade problems and persistent Japanese bilateral trade surpluses in the future unless at least one of the countries breaks all tradition and addresses the causes rather than the symptoms. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275956868
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/30/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN D. COHEN is Professor of International Relations at the American University's School of International Service in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

I What Happened
1 Defining the Nature and Causes of Structural Problems in U.S.-Japanese Trade Relations
2 A History of Contemporary Bilateral Trade Relations
3 An Uncompromising Japanese Interpretation of Trade Frictions
4 An Uncompromising U.S. Interpretation of Trade Frictions
5 How Not to Explain Bilateral Trade Problems: Myths, Distortions, and Half-Truths
II Why it Happened
6 The Domestic Foundations of Japan's Foreign Trade Performance
7 The Domestic Foundations of U.S. Foreign Trade Performance
8 Divergent International Economic Policy Strategies
9 The Asymmetrical Bilateral Negotiating Process
III Conclusions
10 Synthesizing the Arguments
11 Minimizing U.S.-Japanese Trade Frictions in the Future
Selected Bibliography
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