Ezra Vogel is research professor at Harvard University and author of Japan as Number One.
Japanese representatives bring to the negotiating table a distinctive mind-set and behavioral style, one that’s largely free of gamesmanship and histrionics but that’s nonetheless frequently exasperating.
This volume explores four recent U.S.–Japanese negotiations—two over trade, two over security-related issues—looking for patterns in Japan’s approach and behavior. In the first three cases, veteran Japanologist Michael Blaker finds the same fundamental style—coping. “Coping captures the go-with-the-flow essence of the Japanese bargaining approach”: cautious, methodical, low key, resistant, apprehensive, and above all defensive. In the fourth case, Ezra Vogel and Paul Giarra recount how the United States and Japan fashioned a new security framework for their relationship in the 1990s. Vogel and Giarra show that close personal relationships, mutual trust, and a common purpose can foster flexible, fast, and fruitful negotiations.
Each case study explains the cultural as well as political, institutional, and personal factors and assesses their influence. A concluding chapter draws out common threads from the four studies, suggests how U.S. negotiators can maximize negotiating efficacy, and points the way toward a new and clearer understanding of Japanese bargaining behavior.
History has left many scars in the Asia-Pacific. Injuries inflicted generations ago are still fresh in the collective memories of the peoples of the region, hobbling efforts to repair relationships between old adversaries. But recently the spirit of reconciliation seems to have acquired new life. From Korea to Japan to China, longtime enemies are trading apologies and looking ahead.
In this remarkably timely volume, Yoichi Funabashi, one of Japan's most influential journalists, and seven authors from throughout the Asia-Pacific shine the spotlight on the prospects for reconciliation in the region. Looking at instances of inter-ethnic as well as international strife, this book lays out the background to each case, analyzes the impact of unresolved and sometimes unacknowledged grievances, and weighs the prospects for overcoming the burden of history.
Not all the cases inspire optimism, at least in the short term, for bitter memories have burrowed deep into society and are intertwined with issues of political power and ethnic identity. But in some parts of the region, palpable progress toward reconciliation is being made. In his conclusion, Funabashi identifies the key steps that governments and publics must take if they are to come to terms with the past.