Elements of the cultural anxiety and mind-set that pervaded Japanese-American relations in the 1980s have left some curious lingering relics. In his 1996 Reform Party bid for the Presidency, Ross Perot chose as his running mate author Pat Choate, who had made his name for books harshly critical of Japanese trade policy. In 1992, Choate might have been a shrewd choice (certainly far more so than the hapless Admiral Stockdale), but in the renewed prosperity of 1996, his message of alarm fell on deaf ears. Another cultural relic was a long-running advertisement that was being still being aired on CNN in 1998. The ad, by General Electric, called attention to the purchase of a GE power generator system by the Tokyo power company, and featured such scenes as American and Japanese engineers bowing to one another. The intended message was clear: America, as personified by GE, could indeed win the respect of the Japanese; Americans were not after all fat, lazy, hapless failures.
gely to changes in their respective economic positions -- or, perhaps even more, to changes in the American (if not Japanese) perception of those positions.
Smith, P. (1998). "Remembering Japan: A Bilateral History." Washington Quarterly (Winter, 1998), 121-36.
With some understatement, the writer goes on to note that "Perhaps understandably, Japan's political leaders are loath to do what needs to be done and take offense at the sometimes blunt advice from Washington." In fact, as was suggested earlier, the calls for Japanese reform, on both sides of the Pacific, not infrequently seem driven by particular agendas. Thus, for example, the quotation from former Prime Minister Miyazawa, cited above, is followed by an enumeration of reforms that amounts to a sweeping wish list for economic deregulation (Miyazawa, et al., 1998, 149-53). Even more revealing in this regard, perhaps, is the program offered by a so-called US-Japan 21st Century Committee. This program, like Miyazawa's,