After failing to change U.S. global security policy by clandestinely providing secret nuclear technology to Japan, former Secretary of Defense Sewall Travers has barely avoided a Congressional inquiry. He has resettled in New York and established himself as a hedge fund manager. The stain of the so-called Stealth affair has begun to fade in most memories, but Travers continues to feel the shame and disgrace of the event. So when he is unexpectedly called by the director of a small non-profit organization and invited to act as a private negotiator to reduce the tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, he reacts positively in the hope and expectation that a success could restore his reputation and good name. Travers flies to Tokyo under the cover of an investor seeking opportunities in prospective undersea petroleum deposits near the islands. In Tokyo, his interest in Japanese ceramics leads him to visit the Matahachi gallery, where he meets the owner, Mieko Matahachi. They make an immediate romantic connection, and their relationship develops rapidly. Meanwhile, he contacts the official in Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is responsible for the Senkaku/Diaoyu issue, Chiaki Matsumura. They meet to discuss his intention to open a dialogue and begin negotiations with the Chinese authorities. He also meets Kazuko Sumida, an investigative reporter who is interested in helping to find a resolution of the dispute. Kazuko does some research on Ms. Matsumura’s background, and finds that she was born to a woman in the family Travers stayed with during a summer internship in Japan during his high school years. Given the name of the mother and dates of his stay, Travers begins to understand there is a possibility that Chiaki Matsumura could be his daughter. The story moves on to Beijing, where Travers and Matsumura meet with the Chinese, and then to Taiwan where they arrange with the commander of a military air unit to be helicoptered to the site of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. The plot thickens!