A bland, cautious survey of Japanese foreign policy from 1945 to the future, with emphasis on East Asian relations and contingencies. Hellman acknowledges that in fact no Japanese foreign policy has existed independently of the guidelines of Japan's mentor, America, which has served as ""a kind of political-cultural stepfather."" He points out that, in implementing the U.S.-Japanese stands, the Japanese governing class has aroused opposition from left-leaning parties, but, he adds (rather enviously) that the government has been immune from or impervious to mass opinion and mob passions on international matters. Hellman discusses aid and trade relations with East Asians, but the book is outdated insofar as the recession and trade slack now growing in Japan will decisively affect such relations; and Hellman's treatment of rivalry with China, though carefully hedged, does not take full notice of the Sino-American rapprochement and its potential consequences for the Japanese. Hellman may be right in saying that ""the pressures on Tokyo to 'go nuclear' will be substantial,"" but the arguments need updating (cf. Axelbank's Black Star Over Japan, above). A sort of State Department brief for specialists, rather than a developed prognostication.