Nov 23, 2007

Kevin Duffy on hubris in Japan (1989)

Much has been said about the complacency of American business, but little is mentioned today about Japan’s rising self-confidence which borders on arrogance. It is not uncommon for Japanese hosts to lecture American visitors on what is wrong with the United States. Magazine articles berate American high-tech products as garbage. Japan increasingly sees itself propping up the U.S., which has become a spendthrift society.

A new book, titled A Japan That Can Say ‘No’, has broken new ground in Japanese style America-bashing. Co-written by Sony chairman Akio Morita and Diet member Shintaro Ishihara, the book proclaims that Japanese technology already dominates the world and should be used to influence international relations.

The United States and Japan have a history of underestimating each other. Today, it is the Japanese who underrate their American competitors.

~ Kevin Duffy, "America's Decline vs. Japan's Rise," October 1989

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