Time for a change in the U.S.-Japan security relationship?
Ashford, Russell P.
Buss, Claude A.
Olsen, Edward A.
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The United States - Japan Security relationship continues to exist in its present form because both sides have become used to it, and are wary to let it die in the face of future uncertainties. Without a threat of the proportions the Soviet Union once posed, Japanese and American officials are unable to find a solid strategic foundation upon which to justify the current level of military integration. Yet, the "Japan - United States Joint Delcaration on Security" made by President Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto in April 1996 talks about reaffirming and deepening these ties based on the need to maintain regional stability. At the same time neither side is willing to outline what changes in the current security environment are required to obviate the need for such a relationship. The problems with deepening the level of security cooperation between the United States and Japan are manifest. Even when a clear, common threat served as the basis for their coordinated efforts during the Cold War, the Japanese did not view their security relationship with the United States as a full fledged alliance. During that period, Japanese policy makers were careful to avoid any increased military commitment, or foreign policy alignment with the United States that was not absolutely essential to the maintenance of the relationship. Now, both coutries require more flexibility in dealing with other Asian countries than their current bilateral relationship allows. In a multipolar world, both Japan and the United States must individually decide how to defend their interests as they are challenged. This thesis examines both the origins and current status of the United States - Japan security relationship. It also appraises the relationships and conflicts of interests that both nations have with other powers in the Asian arena. The ultimate purpose of this thesis is to provide some insight into the making of the current and future policies of both Japan and the United States.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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