Critical bibliography research project Essay Example


USA opening of Japan



Earliest Japanese trading relationships were considerably restructured. Crucial to that restructuring in Japan was United States of America. Many practical studies have been
investigated about the relationship between U.S. and Japan; these studies have indicated that the relationship was based on dominant trading activities. However, concerning the explanation of that trade relation, it differs among various sources. I analyze sources below that have different arguments. The study focuses on global context through which USA opened up Japan, specifically the interest that United States of America had in Japan (Krauss and Pempel 235).

Enomoto and Chinen (2001) argue that for a long period ranging from 1990 and 1999, there was a reduced trade between United States of America and Japan. It was because the markets of Japan did not readily accept goods from U.S. while the American market accepted goods from Japan. The main causes in deficits of trade were a strong American dollar, high budget deficits in America, increasing incomes in United States of America, a low rate of saving in U.S. and a recession in Japan.

Since previous leaders in United States of America such as Clinton and Bush tried to use various initiatives to solve the problem without succeeding, different strategies of trade were bargained from early 1993 to late 1996. It was resolved that both nations should take necessary measures to open up their trade markets, eliminate barriers of trade and promote and encourage free trade in their countries to ease bargaining in future.

The Japanese had prevented imports of American products in its market. For instance, baseball bats from America were excluded from the market of Japan. Moreover, products from America were required to undergo a long documentation and were delayed at the customs of Japan. In 1992, the Japanese agreed to distribute American made cars in Japan.

Glenn et al (2011), states that this resource is useful in providing on international relations of Japan. The author has given concise and clear information on essential aspects of the role of Japan in international economy growth in the previous centuries. It discusses modern key issues of international relations of Japan. These include the rise of Japan, the Japanese reaction to ancient financial and global economic crisis, and the proactive role of Japan after trade deficits. Various issues affected the international relations of Japan. Some of them indicated in this book include its concern regarding the economy of United States, the opening of the first Japanese aircraft carrier in China, the delayed the national crisis about the Fukushima nuclear reactions, return of North Korea to “the Six Party Talks”, improved interest of Japan in local institutions, and Japanese political instability.

Japanese international relations give the complicated political views surrounding international trade. East Asia has been depicted as the fastest moving region with the prospective of solving its global challenges and eliminating disparaging conflicts. The foreign policy of Japan has been shifting since 1990. The involvement of America in Middle East and Central Asia wars is confronting policymakers of Japan. Novices and experts in Japan are expected to perform serious analysis on those issues.

However, in Schroeder (1952), the author has argued that the relationship of Japan and United States after World War II was based on security role of the United States of America in East Asia. The study shows that the relation facilitated the operation of military assets and troops of the United States in Asia-Pacific region. For Japan, the relation and the nuclear umbrella by the United States gave the room of dealing with Japanese neighbors, principally North Korea and China.

The author indicates that in the administration of Bush, Washington and Tokyo helped in increasing Japan and U.S. strategic support. That made Japan to have an active role on global issues. Even after the attacks by terrorists in 2001, Japan deployed military to support America in Afghanistan. In addition, Tokyo sent troops to Iraq in 2004. Thereafter, Japan and the United States agreed to reinforce their military collaboration in mid 2005. The arrangement made U.S. troops to be trained again and Japan to maintain global as well as regional security. In 2007, divided government and political commotion in Tokyo reduced the military collaboration, hence stalling the relations in security. Currently, Japan is the second economic partner of America. Most firms in Japan form the second overseas direct investment in America. Investors of Japan assist in financing the trade deficit in U.S.

Schonberger (2005), Japan had trade relations with Vietnam as early as 8th century. In 1852, the United States requested Japan to sign a trade treaty. The author of this book indicates that the treaty was rejected in Tokyo. The trade was only limited to be carried out with the Dutch. The person who was carrying the trade treaty could not leave without the Japanese signature. Because of his weapons on his four ships, he threatened the Japanese forces. His attempt to use force worked and the government of Japan agreed to sign it.

Afraid of naval bombardment, the government of Japan ordered its military to allow him to enter the shore. The man with the treaty managed to land at the current Yokosuka in mid 1852 to give the treaty to present Japanese delegates before leaving. The same person came back in 1854 with eight already armed ships. By good luck, the man realized that the Japanese delegates had signed the treaty complying with all the American demands. The man signed his part two the following month in 1854. Before the 16th century, Japan traded with Chinese. Because of piracy in Japan, China stopped trading with them in the Ming dynasty. American trade was launched in the 1500’s.

According to Akhter, Syed, Hamada, & Toshikazu (1995), the main interest of United States of America in Japan was to increase its markets to Japan. America also wanted to invest in Japanese markets. Furthermore, the United States of America wanted to encourage restructuring of its economic growth in Japan. Not only was the interest of United States of America in Japan was to improve the environment of its investors Japan, but also to raise the living standards of Japan and its own. Their interest developed further to increase its international relation with Japan. Presently, the bilateral economic association between Japan and United States is strongly based on huge investment, trade and financial activities.

Further, the relationship is rooted firmly in the shared responsibility and interest of Japan and the United States to open markets, support global growth and promoting an international trading system.

Japan was the main marketer for various products from United States of America such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, music and films, aircraft parts, plastics, nonferrous metals as well as supplies of scientific and medical needs. Japan also forms the biggest foreign marketer for agricultural products from United States. For example, in 2010, the total imports of agricultural products from United States of America were $11.8 billion. On the other hand, in 2008, the Japanese tourism profit from United States was valued at $14.6 billion.


In summary, sources discussed above show that during the episode of after World War II, Japan and the U.S. developed a mutual relationship that was beneficial to both of them. The relationship served the trading interests of United States of America the same way it did provide for interests of citizens of Japan. The people of Japan recognized a transformed society that introduced them to the democratization ideals in a safe and peaceful way. Good trading relationships were encouraged and the life and status of Japanese were preserved due to that trading relationship.

Works Cited

Akhter, Syed H, Hamada, & Toshikazu. Japanese attitudes toward American business

involvement in Japan: An empirical investigation. The Journal of Consumer Marketing. 1995. Vol. 12, Iss. 3; pg. 56

Carl and Chinen,
Kenichiro. Public perceptions of U.S.-Japan trade relations in the

1990s. Multinational Business Review; New Jersey: Spring publications, 2001; 9, 1; pg 15.

Hook, Glenn et al. Japan’s International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security. New York:

Rutledge publishing, 2011. Print.

Krauss, Ellis and Pempel, John. Beyond Bilateralism: U.S.-Japan Relations in the New Asia-

Pacific (Contemporary Issues in Asia and Pacific). London: Stanford University Press, 2004.

Schonberger, Howard. Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945-1952.

London: Kent State University Press, 2005.

. London: Oxford The Axis Alliance and Japanese-American Relations, 1941Schroeder, Paul.

University Press, 1952. Print.