Now that the cold war is over, it seems Americans have found a new country to vent their frustrations toward—Japan.
Waves of Japan-bashing can be heard all over the United States while many Americans are worried about their jobs. The anti-Japan sentiment didn’t improve any last week, when Japanese House Speaker Yoshio Sakurauchi said American workers are “lazy and illiterate.” Later in the week, Shintaro Ishihara, a former transportation minister, said the quality of American business managers is inferior.
Part of the reason for this new sentiment is the fault of politicians, such as President George Bush’s re-election campaign trip to Japan earlier this month. Asking that the Japanese buy more American products, Bush was admitting the fault was not that of the Japanese, but of the U.S.
Democratic presidential challengers were also blaming trade problems on other countries. What all of these politicians won’t admit is that the quality of American products has gone down. When was the last time there was a really good American car?
If Americans start building better quality products, there will be a better demand for them and more Americans will buy the products. While people in their right conscience should “Buy American,” most aren’t going to unless they think the product is worth their hard earned dollars. Instead of bashing Japan, we should concentrate on turning our economy around.