Opinion: Tokyo’s New Military Guidelines Leave U.S. Defending Japan


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This is an opinion piece from the libertarian CATO Institute.

Tokyo’s New Military Guidelines Leave U.S. Defending Japan

By Doug Bando
May 4, 2015

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Washington he brought plans for a more expansive international role for his country. But the military burden of defending Japan will continue to fall disproportionately on America.

As occupying power, the U.S. imposed the “peace constitution” on Tokyo, with Article Nine banning possession of a military. As the Cold War developed, however, Washington recognized that a rearmed Japan could play an important security role.

However, Japan’s governments hid between the amendment to cap military outlays and limit the Self-Defense Forces’ role, ensuring American protection. That approach also suited Tokyo’s neighbors, which had suffered under Imperial Japan’s brutal occupation.

In recent years Japanese sentiment has shifted toward a more vigorous role out of fear of North Korea and China. This changing environment generated new bilateral defense “guidelines.”

Yet the focus is Japanese, not American security. In essence, the new standards affirm what should have been obvious all along—Japan will help America defend Japan. In contrast, there is nothing about Tokyo supporting U.S. defense other than as part of “cooperation for regional and global peace and security.”

This approach was evident in the Prime Minister Abe’s speech to Congress, when he emphasized that Tokyo’s responsibility is to “fortify the U.S.-Japan alliance.” He said Japan would “take yet more responsibility for the peace and stability in the world,” but as examples mostly cited humanitarian and peace-keeping operations.

Worse, Japan’s military outlays were essentially flat over the last decade while Washington, and more ominously for Japan, the People’s Republic of China, dramatically increased military expenditures. The U.S. is expected to fill the widening gap.

Read the full article at http://www.cato.org/blog/tokyos-new-military-guidelines-leave-us-defending-japan?


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Our tax dollars at work. This includes all income taxes, excise taxes, and inflation taxes.


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Considering all the "allies" that the US has been (can't think of a polite word for here) lately you would think that Japan would read the writing on the wall and see about building up their own defenses.


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By the WW2 treaty Japan could not have a military. My understanding is that they still can't. I wonder if they will let our nuclear powered ships in Japanese ports now that they have nuclear power? Japan could pay for part of our military support though.