Rising Sun Page 45


But they haven\'t succeeded by doing things our way. Japan is not a Western industrial state;it is organized quite differently. And the Japanese have invented a new kind of trade - adversarial trade, trade like war, trade intended to wipe out the competition - which America has failed to understand for several decades. The United States keeps insisting the Japanese do things our way. But increasingly, their response is to ask, why should we change? We\'re doing better than you are. And indeed they are.

What should the American response be? It is absurd to blame Japan for successful behavior, or to suggest that they slow down. The Japanese consider such American reactions childish whining, and they are right. It is more appropriate for the United States to wake up, to see Japan clearly, and to act realistically.

In the end, that will mean major changes in the United States, but it is inevitably the task of the weaker partner to adjust to the demands of a relationship. And the United States is now without question the weaker partner in any economic discussion with Japan.

A century ago, when Admiral Perry\'s American fleet opened the nation, Japan was a feudal society. The Japanese realized they had to change, and they did. Starting in the 1860s, they brought in thousands of Western specialists to advise them on how to change their government and their industries. The entire society underwent a revolution. There was a second convulsion, equally dramatic, after World War II.

But in both cases, the Japanese faced the challenge squarely, and met it. They didn\'t say, let the Americans buy our land and our institutions and hope they will teach us to do things better. Not at all. The Japanese invited thousands of experts to visit - and then sent them home again. We would do well to take the same approach. The Japanese are not our saviors. They are our competitors. We should not forget it.


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