Both countries are facing a similar period of uncertainty. Both Japan and the United States are deeply embedded in a globalizing economy and a political environment where the destinies of nations are interwoven and predictions of the future are difficult. Unlimited growth and prosperity is no longer a reality for either of the societies. Many of the traditional values that once seemed to unite a large portion of society no longer seem applicable, yet nothing comparable has arisen to replace them. Both societies are also experiencing fundamental changes, such as shifting gender roles, in central areas of people's lives.