Fears Of US-Japan Alliance

In an editorial in the Japan Times, the newspaper expressed concern about proposed sharing of missile and military information between the United States and Japan. “Given Mr. Abe’s (Prime Minister) eagerness to revise the Constitution and readiness to change the constitution-based long-standing government position that Japan cannot exercise the right to collective defense, citizens will fear that Japan’s ties with the U.S. are becoming too military oriented and that the Self-Defense Forces may circumvent constitutional restraints in expanding their overseas activities.

The statement of the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee that ‘North Korean provocations, including missile launches in July and a nuclear test in October 2006, serve as a stark reminder of the importance of transforming the U.S.-Japan Alliance to ensure the continued effectiveness in an ever-changing security environment.’ It reaffirms the US offer of deterrence by saying ‘the full range of U.S. military capabilities—both nuclear and non-nuclear strike forces and defensive capabilities—form the core of extended deterrence and support U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan.’

The statement advocates ballistic missile defense as an apparent way to cope with North Korean threats. But both the U.S. and Japan must consider the possibility that North Korea, which dreads the U.S.’ overwhelming military power, may feel threatened by the BMD and act irrationally. Moreover, in the long run, the strengthening of BMD in and around Japan could give the wrong signal to China and Russia that the US and Japan regard them as untrustworthy nuclear powers. Their reaction could destabilize regional security.”
Information from Japan Times

Unfortunately, Prime Minister Abe of Japan in his haste to be the good buddy of George Bush is pushing his nation toward policies that might well destabilize peace in Asia. This is not a time to threaten a frightened North Korea with policies that talk about missiles and emphasizing the power of American military capabilities. We’ve had enough of Bush rhetoric. Now we need calm, wise diplomatic actions to resolve problems, not threats of bombing.