Trump wins big, Japan raises concerns over future of U.S. alliance
As Trump’s victory became clear, Japanese government officials quickly highlighted the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance under which the United States is granted the use of military bases in Japan for the purpose of maintaining regional security and international peace in Far East
Donald Trump claiming his place on last Wednesday as America’s 45th president, let Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulate newly elected president on his victory, describing Japan and the United States as “unwavering allies” despite concerns of a potential rift in the two countries’ alliance.
“I look forward to working closely with President-elect Trump to further strengthen the bonds of the Japan-U.S. alliance and to together play a leadership role in ensuring peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Abe shortly stated after Trump’s victory.
With quite contrast, republican party lawmaker indicated earlier this year that U.S. military deployment in Japan that amounts to 50,000 troops might cause a financial problem to US and would require more financial contribution from Japanese side if they want to keep US forces.
Even tough Japan pays a great sum of money to US for it’s military support, it is quite possible that the Japanese will have to pull out more money off their pockets.
As senior Japanese official puts it earlier this year, Japan’s financial support to US forces has been “more than enough” pointing at the outlays amounting to 200 Billion yen (US$ 1.95 Billion) annually.
Despite Japan’s outlook to assure of it’s peaceful nature within the Asia Pacific region, a controversial policy was passed recently by Abe’s government in order to ensure deeper military links with US.
Despite massive public protests in March, a new legislation has been passed amending constitution article 9 with regards to collective – self defense, where Japan has to defend its allies even if Japan wasn’t attacked first.
This creates less peaceful portrayal of Japan to it’s neighbors since its first interpretation in 1947, outlawing war as a means to settle international disputes involving the state.
As the economical rise of China continues, Japan becomes more and more concerned about it’s own security especially after Trump’s campaign claims of considering withdrawal of forces from Japan and Korea which are back yards of China and North Korea that share painful memories of Japan’s past WW2 war efforts.
The author is an E15 weekly correspondent