This thesis sets out to explain what at least to Japan and Australia, is a very significant bilateral trade flow. As it developed, the study assumed a wider perspective, for economic relations between Japan and Australia are, after all, only one aspect of economic relations between Japan, Australia, and the rest of the world.
Thus, I was encouraged to search out a new approach to the analysis of bilateral trade. Whilst the focal point of my interest and the study remain the international political economy of Japan and Australia, it is hoped that my enquiry into the analysis of bilateral trade has general relevance.
Little work has been done in some of the fields into which I had wondered. The theory of bilateral trade was virtually non-existent. The economic history and analysis of Australia’s trade and industrial transformation was largely unexplored. Fortunately, much good work was available in Japan.
Four main tasks presented themselves: to disentangle the theoretical issues involved in the study of bilateral trade; to come to grips with essential facts and causes of Japanese trade and economic experience; to attempt the same task for Australian trade and economic experience; and finally, to weld them together so as to explain the Japanese and Australian economies in their bilateral trade.