cover image The Coming War with Japan

The Coming War with Japan

George Friedman. St. Martin's Press, $24.95 (429pp) ISBN 978-0-312-05836-4

This disturbing book offers an original, penetrating analysis of the future of U.S.-Japanese relations. The authors argue that with the collapse of the Cold War and with the Soviet Union in disarray, the U.S. will no longer endure Japan's economic encroachments. Japan, meanwhile, in order to ensure the influx of raw materials and to secure an export market it can dominate politically, will solidify its trading bloc in Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, while challenging U.S. hegemony in the Pacific Basin. As the U.S. converts its global military supremacy into economic leverage, America and a rearmed Japan will be set on a collision course; the rivalry between them could well spill over into a ``hot war,'' the authors maintain. Friedman, a political science professor at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and freelance writer LeBard sometimes overstate their thesis, yet their scenario is plausible and is buttressed by an appraisal of the two nations' conflicting imperial ambitions from the 1890s to the present. (May)