After World War II, gratitude and true affection for the United States was at an all-time high throughout Asia. Conversely, strong resentment bordering on hatred was directed at Japan. There was never a greater opportunity for American business to capture economically a vast and intrinsically rich market for our goods and services.

Today, American-inspired dress designs are worn everywhere in Asia to the sound of American music. Our soft drinks and fast-food outlets abound. Asians like our culture and want to share in it, but one is hard-pressed to see an American automobile. Why did Coca Cola pursue this market and General Motors elect to ignore it? Obviously, it was a deliberate decision of management.

There are, of course, important exceptions. American farms established Asian programs without which our trade balance would be substantially worsened.

Key industry took the position if Asians wanted to purchase our products, they must accept the American version which was too frequently not suitable. Product design to accommodate the market was not initiated, for an opinion pervaded that what was right for America was right for Asia.

The Japanese understood products must be tailored for different markets. With thoroughness and patience with long-term results, they have captured economically what they lost militarily.

On my first visit to Jakarta, I saw many strange looking vehicles. They looked like a child's coaster; but, of course, larger. With seats in front and open carrying space behind, they were run by a low-powered engine ... funny looking by our standards but handsome by Indonesia's need for inexpensive transportation. These were manufactured by the Japanese exclusively for this market, one America didn't try to accommodate.

Frequently expressed by American industry was the U.S. market alone was sufficient to achieve satisfactory sales and profit. Overlooked was that Asian products would invade America with outstanding success, and the U.S. industry's share of the domestic market would seriously erode without the offset of greater foreign sales.