Razio Yamata is one of Japan's most influential industrialists, and part of a relatively small group of authority who wield tremendous authority in the Pacific Rim's economic powerhouse.
He has devised a plan to cripple the American greatness, humble the US military, and elevate Japan to a position of dominance on the world stage.
Yamata's motivation lies in his desire to pay off a Debt of Honor to his parents and to the country he feels is responsible for their deaths--America. All he needs is a catalyst to set his plan in motion.
When the faulty gas tank on one Tennessee family's car leads to their fiery death, an opportunistic U. S. congressman uses the occasion to rush a new trade law through the system. The law is designed to squeeze Japan economically. Instead, it provides Yamata with the leverage he needs to put his plan into action.
As Yamata's plan begins to unfold, it becomes clear to the world that someone is launching a fully-integrated operation against the United States. There's only one man to find out who the culprit is--Jack Ryan, the new President's National Security Advisor.
Jack Ryan, now the President's National Security Adviser, finds himself embroiled in the buildup to a new world war-one in which the stock market and national economic policy are as critical as advanced weaponry. A power-hungry Japanese financier, still blaming America for his parents' deaths in WWII, plans to use his immense wealth to purchase his revenge. A fatal auto accident in the U.S., caused by faulty gas tanks in two Japanese cars, leads to the breakdown of U.S.-Japanese trade agreements. Spies track each other; nuclear weapons are built and hidden; Ryan and an assortment of his old colleagues maneuver ships, planes and spies into harm's way. As always, the author of Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger spins out story threads in a rich but bewildering tangle of plot and setting, then vigorously weaves them together. Here, the heart-stopping climax is unexpected, but oddly appropriate. As always, Clancy instructs (sometimes didactically) as he entertains, teaching us about currency trading, Asian business etiquette and the daily life of an American politician. Without taking up Japan-bashing, as Michael Crichton did in Rising Sun, or partisan politics, Clancy warns that recent downsizing in the defense establishment has so depleted our military resources that the country is vulnerable to aggression that can arise anywhere, anytime. 2 million first printing; BOMC selection. (Aug.)
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Disappointing
Posted April 08, 2012 by TYL , CerritosThe writing style is very different from the early Clancy books. Poor and confusing organization.
July 31, 1995
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Excerpt from Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan Series: #7) by Tom Clancy
In retrospect, it would seem an odd way to start a war. Only one of the participants knew what was really happening, and even that was a coincidence. The property settlement had been moved up on the calendar due to a death in the attorney's family, and so the attorney was scheduled for a redeye flight, two hours from now, to Hawaii.
It was Mr. Yamata's first property closing on American soil. Though he owned many properties in the continental United States, the actual title transfer had always been handled by other attorneys, invariably American citizens, who had done precisely what they had been paid to do, generally with oversight by one of Mr. Yamata's employees. But not this time. There were several reasons for it. One was that the purchase was personal and not corporate. Another was that it was close, only two hours by private jet from his home. Mr. Yamata had told the settlement attorney that the property would be used for a weekend getaway house. With the astronomical price of real estate in Tokyo, he could buy several hundred acres for the price of a modestly large penthouse apartment in his city of residence. The view from the house he planned to build on the promontory would be breathtaking, a vista of the blue Pacific, other islands of the Marianas Archipelago in the distance, air as clean as any on the face of the earth. For all those reasons Mr. Yamata had offered a princely fee, and done so with a charming smile.
And for one reason more.
The various documents slid clockwise around the circular table, stopping at each chair so that signatures could be affixed at the proper place, marked with yellow Post-it notes, and then it was time for Mr. Yamata to reach into his coat pocket and withdraw an envelope. He took out the check and handed it to the attorney.
"Thank you, sir," the lawyer said in a respectful voice, as Americans always did when money was on the table. It was remarkable how money made them do anything. Until three years before, the purchase of land here by a Japanese citizen would have been illegal, but the right lawyer, and the right case, and the right amount of money had fixed that, too. "The title transfer will be recorded this afternoon."
Yamata looked at the seller with a polite smile and a nod, then he rose and left the building. A car was waiting outside. Yamata got in the front passenger seat and motioned peremptorily for the driver to head off. The settlement was complete, and with it the need for charm.
Like most Pacific islands, Saipan is of volcanic origin. Immediately to the east is the Marianas Trench, a chasm fully seven miles deep where one geological plate dives under another. The result is a collection of towering coneshaped mountains, of which the islands themselves are merely the tips. The Toyota Land Cruiser followed a moderately smooth road north, winding around Mount Achugao and the Mariana Country Club toward Marpi Point. There it stopped.
Yamata alighted from the vehicle, his gaze resting on some farm structures that would soon be erased, but instead of walking to the building site for his new house, he headed toward the rocky edge of the cliff. Though a man in his early sixties, his stride was strong and purposeful as he moved across the uneven field. If it had been a farm, then it had been a poor one, he saw, inhospitable to life. As this place had been, more than once, and from more than one cause.
His face was impassive as he reached the edge of what the locals called Banzai Cliff. An onshore wind was blowing, and he could see and hear the waves marching in their endless ranks to smash against the rocks at the base of the cliff -- the same rocks that had smashed the bodies of his parents and siblings after they, and so many others, had jumped off to evade capture by the advancing U.S. Marines. The sight had horrified the Marines, but Mr. Yamata would never appreciate or acknowledge that.
The businessman clapped his hands once and bowed his head, both to call the attention of the lingering spirits to his presence and to show proper obeisance to their influence over his destiny. It was fitting, he thought, that his purchase of this parcel of land now meant that 50.016% of the real estate on Saipan was again in Japanese hands, more than fifty years since his family's death at American hands.
He felt a sudden chill, and ascribed it to the emotion of the moment, or perhaps the nearness of his ancestors' spirits. Though their bodies had been swept away in the endless surf, surely their kami had never left this place, and awaited his return. He shuddered, and buttoned his coat. Yes, he'd build here, but only after he'd done what was necessary first.