John Pilcher's appointment as HM Ambassador to Japan in the autumn of 1967, three years after the widely acclaimed Tokyo Olympics, was to be that of a bridge-builder between Japan and Britain following the early post-war years of disenchantment, distrust and detachment that had earlier marked the relationship between the two countries. Pilcher brought to his role a particular understanding of Japanese civilization and a critical analysis of Japanese attitudes and way of life. He had had the good fortune to spend time as a language student in Kyoto before the war. There he came to appreciate Japanese culture at its best but as a junior consular official he also came to see other less attractive aspects of Japan. In this volume Sir Hugh Cortazzi, who was to follow in John Pilcher's footsteps, has compiled the defining reports to Whitehall from Pilcher's time and as such they offer a valuable record of Japan's progress at this important point in her post-war history, as well as providing unique insights into the activities, hopes and expectations of the British government in her dealings with Japan.