February 25, 2013

Japan: America's Newest Headache

Patrick Smith, The Fiscal Times

AP Photo

Japan is back.” That was the message Shinzo Abe, the new Japanese prime minister, delivered to President Barack Obama at the White House a few days ago. Obama, in turn, made nice, praising the US–Japan alliance as “the central foundation for our regional security.” All very cozy. Except for one thing. The timing of Abe’s leap onto the stage could scarcely be worse from Washington’s point of view. A militarily resurgent Japan, which is a big part of what Abe is talking about, is certain to provoke China, undermine Washington’s claim to be a “balancer” in the region, and make it more difficult than it already is for the US to come to workable terms with China as a regional power. Remember, that alliance obliges the US to aid Japan in any security-related engagement.

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TAGGED: Shinzo Abe, United States, America, Japan

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