Robert Hartley, Travelled extensively, mainly Europe and Far East
During the 30 to 40 year period after the Second World War - the 1950s to 1970s - the US was clearly the pre-emminent nation on the planet. It remains so in military terms - the US spends massively more on its military than any other country or bloc. More than is required, probably, but this seems to be supported generally by the US population and is a very subjective issue - what is the military for, after all?

第二次世界大战后的30至40年间,即上世纪50年代至70年代,美国显然是地球上最强大的国家,就军事而言,现在仍然如此——美国在军事上的开支比其它任何国家或集团都要大得多,可能完全超出了需要,但这似乎得到了美国民众的普遍支持,而且是一个非常主观的问题——毕竟,要这么多军队有什么用 ?

However, in terms of its political influence and the overall prosperity of its people, one can see decline. This cannot all be laid at the door of Donald Trump, although his presidency has perhaps brought into sharp relief what was previously overlooked by many.


The spending on the military has been at the expense of spending on infrastructure and you only have to travel around the world to see how Europe and large parts of Asia have overtaken the US.


Right-wing politicians, supported by a tame media, have been able to conceal from many Americans how their country has fallen behind many other countries (for example in western Europe) in terms of economic development for the majority of the population. The gap between rich and poor in the US is far greater than in Europe. It is difficult to see this situation continuing indefinitely. History shows us that eventually a populace will reject excessive inequality.

目前的 " 黑人的生命很重要 "抗议活动表明,美国民众对此深感愤怒,然而,贫穷的美国白人也在受苦。

The current ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests show that there is a deep anger in the US. However, poor white Americans are also suffering. Populist politicians like Trump have so far managed to direct their anger at other segments of the US population. At some point I wonder if poor white Americans will realise that they actually have a lot in common with poor black and hispanic Americans?


Tracy Greenwood, Living in Japan on and off since 1990
I can only speak about Japan. Many times, when I say Japan, I actually mean Tokyo.
In Japan, they view the US as a very puzzling country.


Incredibly powerful in terms of military, but when you visit US cities there is an obesity crisis.
America is seen as a country that is able to solve big problems. But we can’t solve our homelessness, obesity, and education issues. That’s puzzling.


US companies come up with technology like the iPhone. The US is home to technology companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Instagram, Facebook, and Tesla. But when you visit a US city things are really retro. In Tokyo, almost every building you visit has automatic doors. Every convenience store, every department store, every grocery store. I just don’t see them as often in the US.

美国公司能发明 iPhone 这样的高技术产品,美国是苹果、亚马逊、谷歌、 Instagram、 Facebook 和特斯拉等科技公司的大本营,但是当你参观一个美国城市的时候,你会发现美国真的很老旧,在东京,你参观的几乎每个建筑物都有自动门,每一家便利店,每一家百货公司,每一家杂货店几乎都有,这在美国可是很少见。

Going back to iPhones, connectivity in Tokyo is amazing. I can stream music on my iPhone while riding the subway. When I lived in Southern California, there were dead spots. There was a corner on my way to work, and every time I turned at that corner, phone calls dropped.

东京的网络非常普遍,我可以在坐地铁的时候用 iPhone 播放音乐,我在南加州呆过,那里很多地方都有网络死角,在我上班的路上有一个拐角,每次我转过那个拐角,电话就会掉线。

The funny thing is that the top lawyers at the Big5 Japanese firms all want to go to Harvard or another Ivy League school to get an LLM. And many University students still want to go to the US to get a degree. They do not think the degree makes them a better job candidate, but they are able to make contacts and improve their English.


Recently, after the death of George Floyd and the resulting demonstrations and riots, I have asked Japanese friends and colleagues If they know what’s going on. I find that most people have no idea what is going on. They are really not concerned with day to day events in the US. After the 80’s bubble burst, Japanese have become much more focused on what happens inside of Japan. There will always be people who follow the news very closely, but they are the minority in my experience.

最近,在乔治 · 弗洛伊德的死以及随之而来的示威和骚乱之后,我问过日本的朋友和同事,他们是否知道发生了什么,我发现大多数人都不知道发生了什么,他们真的不关心美国的日常事务。