Barbarians at Japan’s gates

On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy sailed into Tokyo Bay with four warships. The American show of force ended 200 years of self-imposed isolation for Japan, compelling it to end its strict limits on foreign traders and open up to commercial and political exchange with the outside world.

More than a century and half later, foreigners are once again banging on Japan’s door. Instead of seamen in their "black ships," the latest invaders are investors in grey suits trying to break down the closed portals of Japanese companies.

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