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The Pacific as our future, viewed from the West and Australia.

The Pacific as our future, viewed from the West and Australia

The continuing economic growth of the Pacific Rim is no surprise to Westerners. For many years, immigrants from around the Pacific Basin have enriched and vitalized our lives.

Sunset's roots go deep into the region--our registered name declares us "The Pacific Monthly." In 1952, we were a founding member of the Pacific Area Travel Association, an organization that promotes tourism and cultural exchange. Since our first issue, in 1898, we've been reporting trends and ideas from throughout the Pacific Basin. We also publish books on Pacific travel and food.

Our former publisher, Bill Lame, is on leave and serving as U.S. Chief of Mission and Ambassador to Australia and Nauru. He plans to return to Sunset full-time at the end of his appointment. Like his brother. Mel, and their father before them, Bill Lame has had a long-term interest in Pacific affairs. During a recent visit, he shared some thoughts:

"When Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands during his third voyage, in January 1778, not even the most farsighted thinkers of the day could have predicted that the Pacific nations would someday become the world's most dynamic region.

"Yet, that is exactly what has happened. As an observer from both sides of the Pacific, I'm more convinced than ever that the Pacific Basin will continue to be the world's fastest-changing international community.

"Of course, the U.S. is very much a major participant in this emerging region. The Pacific area is potentially a gigantic market for our exports. Five Western states touch the Pacific and serve as gateways--for tourism and cultural exchange as well as for trade. Ideas from Asia and the South Pacific are not only changing the world economy but influencing our entire way of life, from the buildings we live in to the foods we eat.

"No small indication of the importance of this influence is the location of recent World Expositions--Tsukuba, Japan; Vancouver, British Columbia; and now Brisbane, Australia (see page 114 of the April 1988 Sunset). These cities are all on the very rim of the Pacific. The fairs' themes--Science and Technology, Transportation, and, in Brisbane, Leisure in the Age of Technology--speak to the future of all nations.

"The Pacific's cultural influence is being felt from many directions. Japan is the most important example, and this doesn't mean just home electronics or sushi bars. Japanese arts are increasingly in demand, and some of our most striking new buildings have been designed by Japanese architects, including Arata Isozaki's Museum of Contemporary Art, In Los Angeles.

"Korea is becoming a formidable competitor. Increasing quantities of its manufactured goods--including home electronics, clothing, even automobiles--are entering North American Markets. And this summer, when the Olympics come to Seoul, the world will get a close look at Koreans and their culture.

"Australia represents itself most immediately, to many Americans, through the artistic and box-office success of its growing film industry. 'G'day, mate' has become part of our own vocabulary. And Australia's wines, competitively priced, are challenging California's in some tastings. As the land down under celebrates its own bicentennial, it has opened its doors to the world through the Brisbane Expo.

"More than any other single factor, travel has been--and will continue to be--the basis of this Pacific exchange of ideas and culture. As traffic throughout the region grows, it is increasingly flowing both ways. While U.S. travel to the Pacific has increased about 9 percent over the last five years, travel from nine Pacific nations to the U.S. has increased by 15 percent.

"At the time of Cook's discoveries, nobody could have predicted the events that would make such a coherent modern community of the Pacific Basin nations. Now this community--with its diversity of culture and heritage, its innovative technology, its economic vitality--is coming of age. The 1990s may be the dawning of the age of the Pacific, and Americans have special and important opportunities in this new era."

Photo: Ambassador Bill Lane has a bit of the Old West in his Canberra office. At left, he rides in the Australian Outback with his brother, Mel, Sunset's chairman and publisher
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Lane, Bill
Date:May 1, 1988
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