Tenses a little astray - The Japanese were modern and motivated - as were we.
What’s your beef about Panama?
Because you've skipped over the bits where the US supported a tyrant (Noriega was a CIA informant) and then jumped in and invaded a country when he became less than convenient.
Like some other country that's in the news a bit recently.
And they reserved the right to invade Panama again to protect their security interests. Which could be translated as 'run your canal the way we want or we'll take over it again'.
But you've rightly reminded me of another reason why the US suddenly finds morals crossing over with foreign policy. We can add 'The Panana Canal' to 'Oil'.