Business & Policy

Ultimate Alliance: The History of U.S.-Japan Economic Relations since 1945

This year, in commemoration of the 70 years marking the end of World War II, it has come time to evaluate the history of U.S.-Japan economic ties since 1945. Jointly accounting for over 30% of global domestic product, the countries are major economic powers, to the point where economic conditions within these countries influence market conditions worldwide. The bilateral relationship, while both mutually advantageous and strong, is being affected by current trends such as the rise of China and other emerging economic powers, and Japan’s struggle to achieve sustained economic recovery. Other events have come to pass that have directly affected relations between the countries, such as the signing of the Plaza Accord of 1985 in New York City, the burst of Japan’s “bubble economy,” and the Asian Currency Crisis of 1997, which contributed to the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble, the immediate trigger for the Financial Crisis of 2007-08. But as history suggests, this is one economic relationship that has endured the test of time. In this program, Paul Volcker and Toyoo Gyohten, co-authors of “Changing Fortunes: The World’s Money and the Threat to American Leadership,” discuss the importance of U.S.-Japan relations, encompassing several decades, and share their respective visions for the future of international monetary affairs between the two nations.

Paul A. Volcker, Chairman, The Volcker Alliance; Former Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Toyoo Gyohten, President, The Institute for International Monetary Affairs; former Japanese Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs

Jacob Schlesinger, Editor, Financial Regulation, The Wall Street Journal 

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March 2018

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