This paper examines macroeconomic policy coordination between Japan and the United States under the locomotive strategy from 1977 to 1979. Previous studies have described the strategy as a fiasco because of its negative economic impact. In fact, the Japanese government, after two years of stimulus packages, quit trying to be a locomotive bringing other developed countries out of their economic difficulties and the u.s. government admitted it in 1979. On the other hand, as this article shows, bilateral cooperation with the United States under this strategy expanded the roles and burdens of Japan, an emerging economic superpower, in international economic policy coordination. Japan’s efforts to implement the strategy made the u.s. government believe that Tokyo would continue to respond to its request to bear larger international responsibilities, while it also increased awareness of Japan’s global role in Tokyo. These bilateral perceptual changes paved the way for subsequent policy coordination and Japan’s assumption of greater burdens, notably the adoption of large-scale stimulus packages under belt-tightening budgets.
Kenneth B. PyleJapan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (New York: PublicAffairs2007) 256–58; Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol “‘Managing from the Top’: Globalisation and the Rise of Regular Summitry Mid-1970s-early 1980s” Diplomacy & Statecraft 23 no. 4 (December 2012): 679–703.
Putnam and Henning“The Bonn Summit of 1978” pp. 20–27; Ōba Tomomitsu “Oiru manē to sekai keizai” [“Oil Money and World Economy”] Zaisei Kinyū Tokei Geppō [Ministry of Finance Statistics Monthly] 278 (June 1975) http://www.mof.go.jp/pri/publication/zaikin_geppo/hyou/g278/278_a.pdf (accessed 17 March 2014).
The Library of Congress“Interview with Henry D. Owen,” in Frontline Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Traininghttp://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/diplomacy/index.html (accessed 21 May 2014); Zbigniew Brzezinski Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser 1977–1981(New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux1983) 60–61; Biven Jimmy Carter’s Economy pp. 111–12; Burton I. Kaufman The Carter Years (New York: Facts on File 2006) 461–63.