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The Enduring Relevance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance

By James J. Przystup Strategic Forum 300

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The Enduring Relevance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance
The Enduring Relevance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance
By James J. Przystup
Photo By: NDU Press
VIRIN: 190724-D-BD104-005

Key Points 

  • The U.S.-Japan relationship is multifaceted in nature, with rich cultural and educational exchanges, marketbased economies, and shared political values. At its core, however, the relationship is strategic, anchored in the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States and Japan, a key pillar of the post–World War II international order.
  • The significant bilateral trade frictions of 2017–2018 have not adversely affected the alliance to date. Faced with an ongoing period of global instability and uncertainty, the alliance has continued to evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Today, the alliance enjoys broad popular support in both countries, and both governments have been updating and upgrading key elements of this partnership.
  • President Donald Trump's December 2017 National Security Strategy reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the alliance. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken steps to enhance Japan’s defense capabilities to allow the country to deal more effectively with the serious security challenges posed by North Korea and China, as well as to allow Japan to address the broadening challenges to the existing rules-based international economic and security order.

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