Washington columnist Anderson (The Cambodia File, 1981, with Bill Pronzini; etc.)--famed and prized for his exposure of real-life evil political deeds--cooks up fictional thrills having to do with ruthless Japanese who still carry a grudge and have the billions in gold bullion to do something about it. As America's ill-advised, inexperienced President Walton (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) prepares to fly off to Osaka for a summit with the Japanese prime minister, pretty, ambitious, orphaned, young lawyeress Alison Carey and moody, insecure, but basically swell young lawyer Kevin Daulton--employees of a vastly powerful L.A.- D.C. law firm--slave over an immensely complex stock offering for a rabidly anti-Japanese conglomerateur. But what's this? Alison's first glimpse of her firm's ultrapowerful senior partner reveals him to be the same powerful manipulator she just happened to see secretly hobnobbing with even more ultrapowerful Japanese executives on a visit to her sister in, of all places, Guam. Wouldn't his loyalties be, you know, divided? At the same time, Elinor Woods--the kindly, attractive junior senator from California--gets an anonymous note on CIA letterhead urging her to ask the secretary of state what he knows about something called the ``O Fund,'' which she does, scaring the bejeebers out of the secretary and giving her committee chairman apoplexy. On the West Coast, the young lawyers look into the doings of their treacherous boss. On the East Coast, the senator and her dedicated Chicano chief of staff look into the ``O Fund,'' which has something to do with ill-gotten Manchurian gains. In Japan, a cabal of imperialist industrialists, gangsters, and politicians prepare to bring about the total collapse of the American financial system while President Walton is in Osaka suffering, as did his predecessor, from an upset stomach. It's all one big conspiracy. Heartstopping for foreign-policy wonks, who will, presumably, not be put off by bureaucratic dialogue (``Farrow grunted. `Gold was essential, of course' '').