||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (April 2011)|
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Anti-Japanese_sentiment. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2011.|
The term Japan bashing, or Japan-bashing, is a term referring to anti-Japanese sentiment.
The term was first coined in the early 1980s by Robert C. Angel, a paid lobbyist for the Japanese government. At the time, Angel was president of the Washington-based Japan Economic Institute, an organization financed and overseen by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Wanting to counter growing US protectionism and suspicion at the time about the growing Japanese economy and their rapid entry into consumer electronics, the US automotive market and buying of number of high profile US companies and buildings, Angel searched for a way to discredit Japan critics by insinuating their criticism was based on racism and xenophobia. "I looked around for a phrase to use to discredit Japan's critics," Angel later said. "And I hoped to be able to discredit those most effective critics by lumping them together with the people who weren't informed and who as critics were an embarrassment to everybody else."
He tried out the term "anti-Japanism" in speeches and interviews, but it did not catch on. Then he tried "Japan bashing". The term quickly caught on and gained widespread popularity. "The first people to pick up on it were the Japanese press," Angel said. "However, within a year the American press began to use the term." The term became a weapon in the public relations war being waged in Washington over trade policy and U.S.-Japanese economic relations.
Angel, who says he is now embarrassed by his triumph, commented, "I view that modest public relations success with some shame and disappointment." And added, "Those people who use (the term) have the distinction of being my intellectual dupes."
- Columbia Journalism Review, December, 1992