This study aims to identify the determinants of trust in other countries, focusing on US citizens' trust in Japan. The analysis of the data of the national Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2015 examines the determining influence of theoretical correlates, which draw from extant studies of international trust, including national images, goal compatibility, issue awareness, and historical memories. Images of the Japanese people as honest, inventive, and hardworking increase trust in Japan. US perceptions of historically inimical events in US-Japan relations do not influence current trust, and the comprehensive regression of trust in Japan on diverse correlates does not demonstrate a predicted cross-generational difference due to experiential distance from such events. A higher level of trust in Japan is observed among US citizens who think that Japan, despite its declining economy, should play a more active military role in the Asia-Pacific region. These US citizens tend to see Japan as a trustworthy partner, given the economic and military rise of China and the resulting goal compatibility (due to dealing with a common threat) between the United States and Japan.


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pp. 145-175
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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