Popular designation for a number of policy changes announced in the summer of 1971 by US President Richard Nixon without prior notification to the Japanese government. The first "shock" occurred in July 1971 when Nixon announced his plan to visit the People's Republic of China. The second came a month later when Nixon announced his New Economic Program, which included the abandonement of the gold standard. This move brought a major increase in the international value of the yen. The incidents signaled the beginning of a new stage in US-Japan relations, with the US indicating that Japan could no longer expect to receive preferential treatment and Japan embarking on a more independent foreign policy. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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