In late 1991, AKIO MORITA, a colleague on the Trilateral Commission and a longtime friend, told me he was concerned about the state of U.S.-Japanese relations. In the wake of a series of high-profile acquisitions of American properties, including Rockefeller Center, by Japanese companies, Japan bashing had become somewhat of a national sport in the U.S., and a tone of superiority had crept into many public pronouncements emanating from Tokyo. Akio proposed that the two of us attempt to counter this trend through "dialogue" that would be taped for TV and then published in Japan. His purpose was to remind his...

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