Three decades ago the Japanese were alone as the only Asian nation with appreciable technological prowess to counter-balance the tech-savvy Americans in several areas -- like household appliances and front-wheel-drive autos.
As a defeated nation solely dependent on the Americans for military support, the Japanese couldn't resist the latter's bullying tactics and had to sign the Plaza Accord in 1985, resulting in their lackluster economy for the next thirty years.
Ironically, Japan's sworn enemy China now has the financial clout to do the Japanese some good in her new trading talks with the U.S.
The same team which negotiated the Plaza Accord in 1985 hasn't been able to repeat the same feat during the current round of trading talks with the Japanese.
Ask yourself why that is the case and what's the big difference this time.
Obviously China's rapidly-growing strength and her resistance stance set a good example and provided indirect support for Japan.
In short, China's rise serves Japan well and acts as a bulwark against America's unilateral demands in the trade talks.