The February Plan, by James Hall Roberts, was first published in 1967. It tells the story of Phillip Corman, a famous author who travels to Japan to investigate the mysterious death of his son, a lieutenant in the military. Accompanied by his beautiful secretary (of course), Corman plunges into the murky world of Asian politics.
Corman's investigation of his son's death leads him into direct conflict with a cabal of hard-line American patriots, who are determined to wipe out the budding Chinese threat by nuking a scientific conference. Although these hard-liners first try to dissuade Corman through indirect means, it quickly spirals into violent action.
The February Plan has the trappings of a dated thriller. Corman's relationship Finley (his secretary) is painfully misogynistic and his isolation from New York, a key part of the thriller, seems prehistoric in the era of the cell phone, internet and 8 hour flight. The Japanese, as expected, are merely quiet plot devices - there to provide a bit of information, a car ride or the occasional hot meal. All substantial interactions take place between the half-dozen Americans in the book.