A Japanese View of Americans

Smith, Jennie

"When Yoshio Sakurauchi, the Speaker of the Lower House of the Japanese Diet, spoke of the inferiority of American labor, a strange chemical behavior plagued Americans, as if the remark had been a long-awaited confirmation of weekly news opinion polls. Americans seem to feel the loss of Japanese respect as gravely as any economic loss. While radical groups in other nations may burn the US flag daily, Americans focus on the condescension of one Japanese politician. This heightened sensitivity to the opinions of the Japanese may reflect a fear that the Japanese will deprive US citizens of the post-occupation status enjoyed for so long in this country. Americans enjoy Japanese deference to their customs, industries, culture, military influence, and civilian presence. During a year of living in Japanese homes, attending a Japanese high school, and struggling with traditions I still do not understand, I found that the Japanese populace holds Americans in high regard, even if that respect is not voiced by the political elite."--from page 6

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The Journal of Politics and Society

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Helvidius Group
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
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February 14, 2014