The Eagle and the Rising Sun
IN THIS SUMMARY
The authors trace the history of relations between the two countries, beginning with the series of efforts by the United States to open Japan to trade, which finally succeeded in 1854. The two countries moved closer together until the end of the century, when these two major Pacific powers began to discover some conflicts of interest. The main issue was China, and this remained at the center of their conflict until Japan was defeated in World War II. A discussion of developments that led up to Pearl Harbor focuses on mistaken judgments each country made about the other: The United States misunderstood Japan's sense of desperation - "an explosion which became a kind of Japanese national seppuku" (a warrior's suicide)---and Japan underestimated America's willingness to fight a long war after receiving such a devastating blow. Japan's defeat was almost inevitable and, when it came, complete. It was so devastated that it was relatively easy to impose a new constitution and political system on the war-weary people.The historical relationship between the United States and Japan has been marked by both harmony and rivalry. It began when Admiral Perry threatened a naval bombardment, today, the United States threatens protectionism. The alliance that already exists can serve as the basis for continuing friendship and mutual support and growth.