News / USA

New Security Policy Fosters US-Japan Alliance

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives for a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo, July 1, 2014.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives for a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo, July 1, 2014.
Victor Beattie

The United States has welcomed Japan’s decision to adopt a new policy of "collective self-defense," allowing its military to engage in a wider range of operations.  Despite criticism from China and South Korea, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman sees the policy revision as fostering the U.S. "re-balance" to the Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf Tuesday welcomed the new policy announcement, saying Washington has followed the extensive discussions within Japan in defending allies and participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations.

"As you know, the U.S./Japan alliance is one of our most important security partnerships.  And, we value efforts by Japan to strengthen that security cooperation and also value Japan’s efforts to maintain openness and transparency throughout this decision-making process that’s left up to this new policy," said Harf.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called it an important step for Japan as it seeks to make a greater contribution to regional and global peace and security.  The new policy, he said, also complements our ongoing efforts to modernize our alliance through the revision of bilateral guidelines for defense cooperation.  

Last October, both countries agreed to revise 1997 guidelines with the goal Hagel said of a “more balanced and effective alliance, where our two militaries are full partners working side-by-side…and with regional partners to enhance peace and security.”

Japan has been operating under a U.S.-drafted postwar constitution that includes Article 9, which renounces war and the threat, and use, of force to settle disputes, and states that land, sea and air forces, along with war potential, will never been maintained.

China, which is involved in a territorial dispute with Japan, said Tokyo is challenging the post-war order and raising regional tensions.  The move is also opposed by some in South Korea, which, along with China, was a major victim of Japanese colonial aggression in the 20th century.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said Tuesday there is no concern the move will inflame tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Now, there is a lot of work left to do inside the Japanese government on this, on this policy change that they’re seeking.  It’s a democracy.  They’ve got a Diet [parliament] that needs to vote on this.  I mean, there’s a lot of work left to do," Kirby reiterated.

"We, frankly, think it’s a very, encouraging sign and will help inform the revision of the defense guidelines, a bilateral defense guidelines that we have with Japan.  So, it helps inform that process, which as you know is ongoing.  So, for us, we find it very, very helpful. And there is not going to be, there is no reason from our perspective to believe or to worry that it would, that it’d make tensions worse.  And, quite the contrary, we think it will help with security and stability in the region."

Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum security analysis think tank, says in no way is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe turning away from Japan’s commitment to what they call "proactive pacifism:"
"The Japanese position is very much that this is a much-needed change that will allow them to more actively contribute to regional security and to work with allies and partners in a very narrowly constrained set of circumstances. And it’s always conditioned legally, politically and, I think, most importantly publicly.  By no means is Japan making a radical shift in its policies," he noted.

Glosserman said the United States has pressed Japan for decades to do more in the context of regional security.  He said Japan has been reluctant to do so given its postwar constitution and skepticism of military force for anything other than defense of the homeland.

He said the United States faces many new threats:

"And, I think we’ve recognized that our partners are capable of contributing more than they have in the past, not because the U.S. is disengaging, but again because I think the Japanese, the Koreans, the Australians are far more capable and have they own abilities to respond to certain threats," stated Glosserman. "And we would be remiss and, frankly, foolish to not try to tap those abilities in ways that make the most sense and are the most efficient."

Glosserman said the U.S. re-balance to Asia-Pacific is premised on strengthening relations with allies."This, actually, is a form of the re-balance.  It is an attempt to modernize and update the Japan/US alliance.  So, it fits very much within the framework of the re-balance generally," he said.

China’s state-run People’s Daily calls the Japanese policy change a "dangerous move that will lead to security worries for other Asian countries."  The New York Times quotes analysts who say the policy change will make it easier for Japan to forge new military alliances with nations like the Philippines, who have similar territorial disputes with China.

You May Like

Multimedia Baltimore 'Victory Rally' Follows Charges in Detainee Death

Baltimore mayor says "my goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary." More

UN Denies Child Sex Abuse Cover Up in CAR

UNHCR says senior official suspected of leaking report suspended for breaching rules More

Nepal Officials Slammed Over Aid Response

VOA News has compiled from various organizations complaints from across Nepal of bottlenecks at customs, repeated harassing inspections of aid convoys and seizure of goods More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: CNNReader4
July 02, 2014 4:57 PM
Americans will get backfire. They forget that British and French used to militarize Nazi Germany to attack Soviet Union. The result? Nazi Germany occupied France and bombed Britain first.
Japanese scholars told me Japan's real enemy is U.S. but not China. China did nothing in history to harm Japan except expelling Japanese invasion out of Korea(Failures of Japanese invasion of Korea in 7th & 16th century) . But it is Americans who:
1.invaded Japan in 19th century
2.nuked Japan and bombed almost a million Japanese
3.colonizing Japan, running puppet Japanese Government of U.S's interest and manipulate Japanese officials and congressmen, kicked out Japanese official who don't obey Americans' order
4.strangled Japanese economy in 1980s by forcing Japan to sign Plaza Accord and cause Japanese economic recession for more than one decade
5.deployed large army in Japan and keep raping Japanese women in the streets in broad daylight for more than 60 years, and protect American rapists from the punishment of Japanese law
Americans wishfully think that Japan is U.S.'s "ally'' without realizing Japan is forced to be U.S. "ally" just because U.S. army occupies Japan and U.S. controls Japanese government. Japanese bury their hatred against U.S. deep inside hearts, wait for the day to be free from U.S. and retaliate. That's why the Japanese worship the war criminals in Yasukuni Shrine and Kamikaze pilots against Americans, and the victims nuked by U.S.
Japanese take every chance to loose the control of U.S., push American army out of Japan little by little, step by step. On the day when Japan is finally freed of U.S control, the first country Japan is going to nuke is: U.S. !!!

by: toben crosse from: california
July 02, 2014 3:27 PM
Japan is one of the success stories of the 19th and 20th centuries. bombed into oblivion millions of its citizens killed both civilian and military. making tin toys in late forties and fifties.
with the help of its former enemy, the united states the country was rebuilt and soon was flourishing soon to become a modern and productive society. it shows that the u.s.a. can forgive a once hated country to help it become productive and prosperous. japan needed the u.s. military to secure its homeland at one time but now japan can survive on its own.
it is the irrational fears of china and korea both north and south that japan will resume its old ways and try to conquer them if japan becomes a strong military presence in japan and in alliances with other nearby nations. it is a very different world we live in today far removed from the closed society that japan was 50 60 70 100 years ago. the imperial japan from history will never materialize in such blind devotion again.
any way that's my opinion

by: meanbill from: USA
July 02, 2014 11:49 AM
The US again interferes in the politics of the Asian countries, by supporting and promoting the rearming of the little island of the rising sun, that once was the empire of the rising sun?.... Let the little island of the rising sun rearm, so their ancestors will quit spinning in their graves, listening to the whining and crying, of the little islanders....

PS; The little island of the rising sun, (because of the horrible atrocities they committed), has no friends or allies in Asia, (and they'll never have any, except business partners), and if not for the US, they'd be defenseless.... The lonely little friendless island of the rising sun?.... that once was?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs