chapter  42
EC—Japan: Past, Present and Future Lodge (ed) (1989)
Pages 7

WHEN THE LEADERS of six West European states signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957 Japan had virtually no place in their political and economic consciousness. Since 1949 the United States had provided their military shield, and Marshall aid had sustained their economic reconstruction. Equally significant had been the encouragement which Washington had given to the beginnings of West European integration. Then, as now, the United States was the most powerful and positive element in the EC’s external relations. In contrast, a negative force, the Soviet Union, was of almost equal significance. Moscow’s military power, and her control of Eastern Europe, had culminated in the re-invasion of Hungary in 1956, and a steady stream of refugees from the East frequently reminded Western Europeans of the austerity and inhumanity of life in the People’s Democracies.