Essay Example on The US Japan relationship since the end of World War II








Intro The US Japan relationship since the end of World War II has been intimate and complex The formal structure supporting the relationship has been the US Japan security alliance however the bilateral relationship encompasses no only the military alliance but also close and complex economic and political ties Since the US is a military and political superpower with both military and economic advantages over Japan the asymmetry between the two nations caused the abnormal status of the US Japan relations and as a result it is recognized as a one sided relation The world changed a lot since the late 20th century During the Cold War era the former Soviet Union had been the main threat to Japan's security After the collapse of the USSR instead other potential danger spots in Southeast Asia events on the Korean peninsula and even China Japan s largest neighboring country A series of provocation by North Korea and increasingly aggressive maritime operations by China since 2010 appeared to have set the relationship back on course Also changing policies due to unstable leadership eg The election of Trump also slowed some bilateral security initiatives In my opinion both the United States and Japan face constraints on their ability to enhance the alliance and they will need new strategies in finding a new guiding rationale in shaping the environment for China's rise Goals The United States has struggled for a century to define and redefine its strategic relationship with China and Japan From the beginning of the twentieth century until the latter part of the Cold War in the 1970s the United States never simultaneously had good relations with China and Japan As the 21st century begins the US again faces strategic choices in Asia Now China is the rising power therefore the U S Japan alliance remains as strong as ever indeed perhaps even stronger Russia cannot be counted out but it is now a weakened regional player despite its continuing arms sales to North Korea and China

And since the Trump administration seems to be more economically oriented opening markets in Japan will still be an important goal for the US Means For eight years President Obama s foreign policy doctrine has been rooted in a belief of multilateralism while President Trump has promoted the America First agenda and shifted his focus to bilateralism Economically Trump's protectionist policies such as the border tax and U S withdrawal from the TPP may have significant implications for major powers including Japan Politically US s traditional allies in Asia including Japan and South Korea are still playing important roles on the region s security and stability On the other hand the several missile tests launched by North Korea became an opportunity for the US to export its weapons to Japan and Korea eg The THAAD system Policies and Priorities Since the rising of China most countries in the Asia Pacific region followed the option of trying to integrate China into existing and new regional and global institutions such as the RCEP or ASEAN plus The US under Trump administration has been explicitly rebalancing its international posture toward Asia and China The US Japan alliance is becoming less important than before given the fact that this bilateral relation depends heavily on the Sino US relations and the instability of the Korean peninsula However there is currently no prospect of China and the US becoming strategic allies but in contrast Japan is a key American security and political ally in Asia and In addition Japan contributes about 5 billion annually to underwrite the cost of maintaining U S forces there 

On the other hand unlike China Japan shares core democratic values and institutions with the United States As a result it is still important for the US to maintain the US Japan alliance while facing the challenge of a rising China Implications Trump s bilateral approach to foreign relations might lead to decreasing influence of the US in Asia Though after withdrawing from the TPP the renewed CPTPP negotiations went on promptly the ASEAN China leading RCEP and the One Belt One Road Initiative launched by China seemed to declare a new era of globalization without the US participation And all the dramas between Donald Trump and Kim Jung Un also led to a concern of a less stable security environment in Asia On the other hand the instability of the Korean peninsula might also lead to the normalization or even re militarization of Japan which the US and the rest of the world won't be happy to see Conclusion In the near future the present security relationship will continue with no doubt perhaps with Japan taking a more active role in its own defense but not militarization As China starts to take on a larger and larger role in regional and global affairs the United States will also have to modify its relations with China Japan and Asia I will make the following suggestions for the future of the US Japan relations 1 The United States cannot afford to become isolationist It must balance the reduction of U S forces in Japan and Asia with an increased diplomatic and economic presence 2 While the United States should continue to support Japan's development of a UN peacekeeping role for Japanese troops it should make it clear that a remilitarized Japan is not in the best interests of either Japan or Asia 3 To continue to play an effective role in Asia the US government must gain a deeper understanding of Asian politics economics and culture In order to maintain the respect of its allies it will be necessary to move toward an equal political relationship

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