After the horrors of World War II in Asia - not least the systematic appalling mistreatment of Allied prisoners-of-war by the Japanese military - few would have predicted that Britain's relationship with Japan would flourish into a booming partnership of economic interdependence by the start of the twenty-first century. This ambitious examination of Anglo-Japanese relations over the course of the 20th century charts the fascinating history of how both nations overcame many years of prejudice and bitter conflict to form a bond fused by financial, political and military cooperation. British bankers and industrialists underestimated Japan and wounded its pride in the first half of the 20th Century. In the 1930s, many Japanese became convinced that their exports were being kept out of India by British tariffs. The Imperial Japanese Army responded to this perception by convincing Emperor Hirohito and the political elite that Japan needed its own Empire to free Asia from Western influence - resulting in the disastrous Asia-Pacific War. It was not until the 1980s that the British government fully accepted the futility of any protectionist impulse and encouraged Japanese companies to invest in Britain. Today each country not only assists the other economically but also no longer blames the other for its own domestic problems. Britain and Japan in the Twentieth Century elucidates how both nations have struggled to achieve stability and harmony in their relations with each other in the face of contrasting cultural identities.
Britain and Japan in the Twentieth Century
One Hundred Years of Trade and Prejudice