At the time of writing, Dower observed mounting tension in U.S.-Japan relations. He identified two factors as contributing to mutual fear: differences in capitalism on national and international levels, and stereotypical perceptions based on racial phobias. The author describes major characteristics inducing pessimism based on rational fears concerning economic well-being, national pride, and "cultural values." While densely intertwined economically, financially, militarily, and personally, both actors' abiding suspicion of one another has created a sense of impending crisis.
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