How Strong Is the U.S.-Japan Relationship? – Foreign Policy
At the same time, the alliance between Japan and America is under He has also been trying to improve relations with Russia, despite. Almost half of Americans want a stronger relationship with Japan in the face of a rising China. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long was alone on an anchored military seaplane in the middle of a bay across the island from Pearl Harbor when Japanese.
U.S.-Japan relations - The Japan Times
Moon also has continued to participate in a ROK-Japan military intelligence-sharing agreement, which the United States helped to broker, but trilateral defense cooperation has flagged. Even when official relations are steady, historical grievances are just beneath the surface and can flare unexpectedly. In early Octoberthe Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force pulled out of an international fleet review in South Korea after the hosts asked Japan to refrain from hoisting its ensign, which is identical to Japan's pre-World War II imperial "rising sun" flag.
In addition, Moon has suggested that his government plans to shut down the foundation established to oversee compensating comfort women after the agreement was signed, likely in response to public opinion that is critical of the arrangement. Recently, Abe has emphasized publicly that he wants to improve ties with South Korea, possibly reflecting the central role that Seoul has taken in driving international diplomacy with North Korea. The warming of relations between North and South Korea since early presents additional challenges to the relationship between the two U.
The North Korean threat has traditionally driven closer U. Japan is wary of Seoul's outreach to North Korea and Pyongyang's "smile diplomacy," however, particularly if it is not accompanied by significant tangible reductions in North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities. Map of Japan Source: Japan Country Data Population: Percentage of Population over Japan's Foreign Policy and U.
After Trump's victory, Abe was the first foreign leader to visit the President-Elect, and the second leader to visit the White House after the U.
Abe and Trump displayed a strong personal rapport and issued a joint statement that echoed many of the previous tenets of the bilateral alliance. However, Trump's long-standing wariness of Japan's trade practices and skepticism of the value of U. With Abe's political position ensured, he has looked to hedge against Japan's strong dependency on the United States by championing regional trade deals, stabilizing relations with China, and reaching out to other partners such as Russia, India, Australia, and the European Union.
Japan remains committed to the alliance with the United States, and security cooperation at the working level continues to be robust. In some ways, U. The Japanese public remains somewhat wary of moving away from a strictly self-defense armed force, as well as of altering Japan's constitution to allow for more offensive capabilities. As a baseline, the Trump Administration has reaffirmed several key statements seen as crucial to Japan.
Tokyo was likely reassured by the joint statement from the leaders' first summit, in February The United States provided a three-fold affirmation on the Senkaku Islands the small islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan, and known as Diaoyu and Diaoyutai, respectively: The Secretaries of State and Defense further affirmed the United States' "steadfast commitment" to Japan, and President Trump called the alliance "the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Pacific region.
Internationally, the two countries traditionally have cooperated on scores of multilateral issues, from nuclear nonproliferation to climate change to pandemics. Japan is a firm supporter of the United Nations as a forum for dealing with international disputes and concerns.
The shared sense of working together to forge a rules- and norms-based international order has long been a key component of the bilateral relationship. The Trump Administration, however, has expressed skepticism of multilateral organizations. To cite one example, several Japanese cabinet members expressed disappointment in the Trump Administration's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Donald Trump Statements on Japan as a Presidential Candidate "But right now we're protecting, we're basically protecting Japan, and we are, every time North Korea raises its head, you know, we get calls from Japan and we get calls from everybody else, and 'Do something.
Now, does that mean nuclear? It could mean nuclear And, would I rather have North Korea have them with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if that's the case.
If they're attacked, we have to go out with full force That's a pretty one-sided agreement, right there And that is a, that's a real problem. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that.
Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes. But many of them are simply not doing so We have spent trillions of dollars over time—on planes, missiles, ships, equipment—building up our military to provide a strong defense for Europe and Asia. The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense—and, if not, the U. After his first stint as premier inAbe led the conservative LDP back into power in late following a six-year period in which six different prime ministers served.
Since then, he appears to have stabilized Japanese politics and emphasized strong defense ties with the United States. Under Abe's leadership, the government increased the defense budget after a decade of decline, passed a set of controversial bills that are reforming Japanese security policies, and won approval from a previous Okinawan governor for the construction of a new U. Marine Corps base on Okinawa. Abe and Historical Issues Historical issues have long colored Japan's relationships with its neighbors, particularly China and South Korea, which argue that the Japanese government has neither sufficiently "atoned" for nor adequately compensated them for Japan's occupation and belligerence in the first half of the 20th century.
Abe's selections for his cabinet posts over the years include a number of politicians known for advocating nationalist, and in some cases ultra-nationalist, views that many argue appear to glorify Imperial Japan's actions. Some of Abe's positions—such as changing the interpretation of Japan's constitution to allow for Japanese participation in collective self-defense—largely have been welcomed by U. And three-quarters of Japanese share a similar degree of trust of the United States, though their intensity is somewhat less 10 percent a great deal, 65 percent a fair amount.
There is a gender gap in how the two publics see each other. American men 76 percent are more trusting of Japan than American women 59 percentjust as Japanese men 82 percent voice greater trust in the United States than do Japanese women 68 percent. But there is no significant partisan difference in how Americans see Japan. Looking ahead, Americans generally support keeping the U. When asked whether they would prefer the United States to be closer to Japan, less close, or about as close to Japan as it has been in recent years, 38 percent say closer, 45 percent say about as close, and only 13 percent would like to distance the United States from Japan.
There is, however, a generation gap in viewing the future of the relationship: And there is partisan disagreement on the trajectory of the relationship with Japan: Democrats 41 percent are more likely than Republicans 30 percent to support closer ties.
China looms large in the minds of both Americans and Japanese in their consideration of the U. Only 30 percent of Americans and just 7 percent of Japanese trust China. One reason Americans may trust China more is that only 16 percent say they have heard a lot about territorial disputes between China and neighboring countries.
Americans are somewhat divided on whether the United States should be focusing more on Japan or on China when it comes to developing strong economic ties. Overall, a slightly larger share of Americans 43 percent name China as the more important economic partner than Japan 36 percent.
About one in eight Americans 12 percent volunteered an alternative: In particular, young Americans believe it is more important to have a strong economic relationship with China: The economic issues tended to stem from the ever-widening United States trade and payments deficits with Japan, which began in when Japan reversed its imbalance in trade with the United States and, for the first time, achieved an export surplus. The United States withdrawal from Indochina in and the end of the Second Indochina War meant that the question of Japan's role in the security of East Asia and its contributions to its own defense became central topics in the dialogue between the two countries.
United States dissatisfaction with Japanese defense efforts began to surface in when Secretary of Defense James A. Schlesinger publicly stigmatized Japan as a passive defense partner. United States pressures continued and intensified, particularly as events in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East after caused the United States to relocate more than 50 percent of its naval strength from East Asian waters to the Indian Ocean.
Japan was repeatedly pressed not only to increase its defense expenditures and build up its antisubmarine and naval patrol capabilities but also to play a more active and positive security role generally.
The Japanese government, constrained by constitutional limitations and strongly pacifist public opinion, responded slowly to pressures for a more rapid buildup of its Self-Defense Forces SDF.
It steadily increased its budgetary outlays for those forces, however, and indicated its willingness to shoulder more of the cost of maintaining the United States military bases in Japan. In the United States and Japan formally established a subcommittee for defense cooperation, in the framework of a bilateral Security Consultative Committee provided for under the security treaty.
This subcommittee, in turn, drew up new Guidelines for Japan-United States Defense Cooperation, under which military planners of the two countries have conducted studies relating to joint military action in the event of an armed attack on Japan.
On the economic front, Japan sought to ease trade frictions by agreeing to Orderly Marketing Arrangements, which limited exports on products whose influx into the United States was creating political problems. In an Orderly Marketing Arrangement limiting Japanese color television exports to the United States was signed, following the pattern of an earlier disposition of the textile problem.
Steel exports to the United States were also curtailed, but the problems continued as disputes flared over United States restrictions on Japanese development of nuclear fuel- reprocessing facilities, Japanese restrictions on certain agricultural imports, such as beef and oranges, and liberalization of capital investment and government procurement within Japan.
To respond to the call, from its allies and from within the country as well, for a greater and more responsible role in the world, Japan developed what Ohira Masayoshi, after he became prime minister in Decembercalled a "comprehensive security and defense strategy to safeguard peace. This policy was put to the test in Novemberwhen radical Iranians seized the United States embassy in Tehran, taking sixty hostages. Japan reacted by condemning the action as a violation of international law.
At the same time, Japanese trading firms and oil companies reportedly purchased Iranian oil that had become available when the United States banned oil imported from Iran. This action brought sharp criticism from the United States of Japanese government "insensitivity" for allowing the oil purchases and led to a Japanese apology and agreement to participate in sanctions against Iran in concert with other United States allies.
Following that incident, the Japanese government took greater care to support United States international policies designed to preserve stability and promote prosperity. Japan was prompt and effective in announcing and implementing sanctions against the Soviet Union following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December Inin response to United States requests, it accepted greater responsibility for defense of seas around Japan, pledged greater support for United States forces in Japan, and persisted with a steady buildup of the SDF.
A qualitatively new stage of Japan-United States cooperation in world affairs appeared to be reached in late with the election of Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro. Officials of the Ronald Reagan administration worked closely with their Japanese counterparts to develop a personal relationship between the two leaders based on their common security and international outlook. Nakasone reassured United States leaders of Japan's determination against the Soviet threat, closely coordinated policies with the United States toward such Asian trouble spots as the Korean Peninsula and Southeast Asia, and worked cooperatively with the United States in developing China policy.
The Japanese government welcomed the increase of United States forces in Japan and the western Pacific, continued the steady buildup of the SDF, and positioned Japan firmly on the side of the United States against the threat of Soviet international expansion.
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress - klokkenluideronline.info
Japan continued to cooperate closely with United States policy in these areas following Nakasone's term of office, although the political leadership scandals in Japan in the late s made it difficult for newly elected President George Bush to establish the same kind of close personal ties that marked the Reagan years. A specific example of Japan's close cooperation with the United States included its quick response to the United States call for greater host nation support from Japan following the rapid realignment of Japan-United States currencies in the mids.
The currency realignment resulted in a rapid rise of United States costs in Japan, which the Japanese government, upon United States request, was willing to offset. Another set of examples was provided by Japan's willingness to respond to United States requests for foreign assistance to countries considered of strategic importance to the West.
During the s, United States officials voiced appreciation for Japan's "strategic aid" to countries such as Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, and Jamaica. Prime Minister Kaifu Toshiki's pledges of support for East European and Middle Eastern countries in fit the pattern of Japan's willingness to share greater responsibility for world stability. Despite complaints from some Japanese businesses and diplomats, the Japanese government remained in basic agreement with United States policy toward China and Indochina.
The government held back from large-scale aid efforts until conditions in China and Indochina were seen as more compatible with Japanese and United States interests. Of course, there also were instances of limited Japanese cooperation. Japan's response to the United States decision to help to protect tankers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War was subject to mixed reviews. Some United States officials stressed the positive, noting that Japan was unable to send military forces because of constitutional reasons but compensated by supporting the construction of a navigation system in the Persian Gulf, providing greater host nation support for United States forces in Japan, and providing loans to Oman and Jordan.
Japan's refusal to join even in a mine-sweeping effort in the Persian Gulf was an indication to some United States officials of Tokyo's unwillingness to cooperate with the United States in areas of sensitivity to Japanese leaders at home or abroad. The main area of noncooperation with the United States in the s was Japanese resistance to repeated United States efforts to get Japan to open its market more to foreign goods and to change other economic practices seen as adverse to United States economic interests.
A common pattern was followed. The Japanese government was sensitive to political pressures from important domestic constituencies that would be hurt by greater openness. In general, these constituencies were of two types--those representing inefficient or "declining" producers, manufacturers, and distributors, who could not compete if faced with full foreign competition; and those up-and-coming industries that the Japanese government wished to protect from foreign competition until they could compete effectively on world markets.
To deal with domestic pressures while trying to avoid a break with the United States, the Japanese government engaged in protracted negotiations.
This tactic bought time for declining industries to restructure themselves and new industries to grow stronger.
Agreements reached dealt with some aspects of the problems, but it was common for trade or economic issues to be dragged out in talks over several years, involving more than one market-opening agreement. Such agreements were sometimes vague and subject to conflicting interpretations in Japan and the United States.