If you read A Time-Series Analysis of Public Diplomacy Expenditure and News Sentiment, you'd learn three important things:
- Public diplomacy seeds positive sentiment in foreign nations through media, exchange schools, sister cities...
- Public diplomacy works.
- Japanese public diplomacy expenditure (with Japanese exports to the US) effects ~75.5% lift in news sentiment.
- Inversely, an increase in US news sentiment about Japan results in ~81.1% lift to Japanese public diplomacy expenditure.
- "Trade volume between countries is a significant factor to predict international news coverage."
Take Hajime no Ippo for example; this story of a boxing prodigy contains multiple, sentimental American fighters.
In immediate Post-WWII, an American G.I. crushes a Japanese opponent in Tokyo with dirty tactics (the rabbit punch), then tosses candy to the crowd, spreading hope to a defeated people.
Though Japanese viewed Americans as 100 years ahead in knowledge, evidenced by boxing skill, coaching ability, and physical stature, they were disgusted with ruthless individuals.
60 years later, an 'honorable' American boxer, equally refined by science and culture, appears- negative connotations from war gone.
Japanese opinion of Americans drastically changed over 60 years thanks to public diplomacy, specifically, repeated exposure to capitalist, individualist ideals.
On our side of the sea, anime like Hajime no Ippo showed how far ahead Japan is in art & culture. Improving sentiments brought trade. Trade brought phantasmagoric products like kimonos, bonsai trees, technological toilets, sushi, ramen, and sake!
All in all, Japan loves America and America loves Japan.
Thanks public diplomats.