2014年12月08日

Reinterpretation of Article 9 and Japan’s Security Destination 3

Understanding the U.S. Strategy for Asia-Pacific Region

The critical question that Japan must ask itself is, which path leads Japan to a safer place? Should Japan maintain an international profile as a pacifist nation by keeping the original interpretation of Article 9 intact or strengthen its tie with the U.S. by reinterpreting Article 9 and expanding military option.

Before answering to the question, Japan must assess the security environment in region and understand Japans position and how it interacts with all the moving pieces associated with the U.S. and China. Over the several decades of LDP control, the Japanese people have been led to believe the U.S. military must stay in Japan to protect Japan. Many Japanese are realizing this has been a myth.

It has been said that the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is the foundation of the security in Asia-Pacific region. While this statement has a truth, Article 6 of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty contains a “Status of Forces Agreement” that allows the U.S. to use military forces and facilities deployed in Japan for combat bases for military operations beyond the defense of Japan. U.S. military in Japan, in a bigger picture, is part of the U.S. strategy for the Asia-Pacific region. Hence, the questions really becomes, what is the U.S. strategy in this region?

Over the past several years, the Obama administration used the phrase “pivot to Asia” or “rebalancing” to describe their focus on Asia. Keeping Asia-Pacific region in order is critically important for the U.S. not only because Asia is the largest growing market but also because China’s political, economical, and military influence on Asia is seen as a threat to U.S. interests. The U.S. strategy includes the “containment” of China by strengthening the bonds with its allies throughout the region including Philippine, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. Similar to Japan, some of these countries that have territorial issues with China seek stronger ties with the U.S. hoping the U.S.’s “deterrent mechanism” will keep them safe.

At the same time, the U.S. has been actively talking with China’s President, Xi Jinping. As the two major powers of the world, they are seeking ways to cooperate and share responsibilities rather than confrontation where no one will benefit. The outcome of the meeting of two leaders at Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held this past November in Beijing, was phenomenal. They agreed to work on together several global issues including the stabilization of economy, maintaining peace in Asia-Pacific Region, and establishing landmark policy to reduce anthropogenic impacts to the global environment.

There is no doubt, however, that the U.S. will continue to hold its alliances in the region tight to keep them from coming under China’s influence. It certainly is not the U.S.’s best interest for China to meddle with existing balance and order in the region. This makes the territorial disputes that some of those countries have with China to be a very convenient source of friction that fuels U.S.’s argument that its allies should remain cautious of China and hold tight as an ally. As academic discussions have coined this as “Off-Shore Balancing”, it is the U.S.’s underlying strategy to retain influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Off-Shore Balancing is the strategy that was described in the Obama administration’s 2012 New Defense Strategic Guidance , which was written as a response to the fact that the U.S. had experienced significant economic decline coupled with a major shift of world wealth and the power from the U.S. to Asia.  Off-shore Balancing is essentially a policy where the U.S. takes advantage of its Pacific allies to keep China in check without using its own resources. Through this policy the U.S. can shift military burden and resources away from the U.S. to its allies while the U.S. maintains its interests in the region and at the same time, avoids direct conflict with China.

Continue to read Irrational action will cost Japan




posted by Oceanlove at 18:34| 日本の政治 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
×

この広告は180日以上新しい記事の投稿がないブログに表示されております。