With the continuing drama in the U.S. House of Representative paired with the upcoming presidential elections in America and continued speculation of a snap election bubbling under the surface in Japan, politics will continue to capture the headlines through at least 2024.

But let’s not take the bait, at least not all the time. In the midst of domestic and global politics, there is something that’s even more important to keep in mind in U.S.-Japan relations — the enduring resiliency and value of Japan’s unique soft power and as a cultural superpower that is often underappreciated in America.

In 1983, then-Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone was interviewed for a special issue of Time Magazine in August of 1983 titled, "Japan: A Nation in Search of Itself," that stated: "Japan may be a bit like sugar or salt: unless one tries to taste it, one may never be able to understand Japan. In the past, we have been lacking in our efforts to publicize Japan culturally. We have done quite well in exporting products. But from now on, we must make greater efforts in exporting cultural information."