Japan, Europe, USA: April 2011

4. April 2011

Japan, Europe and The Dangerous Fantasy of American Leadership

Karel van Wolferen

The peculiar and unique U.S.-Japan relationship has entered a new phase, in which its future is shrouded in mist. While few Americans can be bothered ever to think about it, in the back of many Japanese minds it is something as generally accepted as a fact of nature, but at the same time a permanent complication that is recently showing sharp and irritating edges. Quite a few have begun to think that they should shake themselves out of the habit of taking it so much for granted. The author reviews the history of the alliances and explores this new relationship through analysis of the nature of the American empire and the Japanese state-society relationship.

This is a revised and expanded version of an article that appeared in Bungei Shunju in the March and April issues of 2011.

Karel van Wolferen is a Dutch journalist, writer and Emeritus University Professor of Comparative Political and Economic Institutions at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of The Enigma of Japanese Power .

Recommended citation: Karel van Wolferen, "Japan, Europe and the Dangerous Fantasy of American Leadership," The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 14 No 1, April 4, 2011.

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