Bush Draws US Closer to Japan ; New White House Sees Japan as the Crux of US Security Arrangements in Northeast Asia

By Ilene R. Prusher writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 31, 2001 | Go to article overview

Bush Draws US Closer to Japan ; New White House Sees Japan as the Crux of US Security Arrangements in Northeast Asia


Ilene R. Prusher writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


When the Bush administration gazes east, it sees a different view of the globe than its predecessors did.

The new team largely sees the world in terms of threats posed to American interests - and one ripe with opportunities to minimize those threats while fortifying ties with Washington's traditional post-World War II allies.

That is a welcome change of tone for some in Asia, particularly here in Japan. But for others, it raises concerns that the new president's hawkish line on security issues will spark tensions with China, and possibly put the breaks on the process of detente with North Korea.

The Japanese, as one analyst put it, were "vicariously voting for Bush" in the hope that they would rediscover their role as a more valuable player on the president's international team.

President Bush's election is being warmly welcomed in Tokyo, motivated in part by nostalgia for a time when Japan registered far higher on Washington's radar screen. That sentiment was especially felt in the last years of President Clinton's tenure. His deletion of a planned "stopover" in Tokyo during one Asia trip was seen here as symbolic of what relations with Japan seemed to have become: optional and taken for granted, like distant relatives one visits only when necessary.

Last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell invited Foreign Minister Yohei Kono for a three-hour meeting and working lunch, making him the first foreign minister from overseas to visit his State Department, bested only by next-door Canada. "It signifies the Bush administration's decision to place priority on Japan-US relations," says Yasuhisa Kawamura, the director of the international press division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That Japan found such a keen welcome committee just four days into Bush's tenure was viewed as a harbinger of much closer ties.

"Mr. Powell said the alliance with Japan is the cornerstone of US- East Asian policy, and this is really substantiated," says Mr. Kawamura.

The refocusing of priorities is indicative of the extent to which the emphasis is expected to shift from economic engagement to no- nonsense security, especially with so many former military officials riding into the State Department on General Powell's coattails.

"The cold warriors who are coming back into the Bush Administration see the world in threat terms," says Ronald A. Morse, an expert in Japan-US relations at Reitaku University in Tokyo. In that analysis, however, Japan is mostly viewed as a way to check the growth of Chinese power. With some 97,000 US troops stationed around the region, Japan is the crux of US security arrangements in Northeast Asia.

But if the Bush administration decides to push ahead with proposals to build a national missile-defense system (NMD) - some say that will only drive China into a contest to catch up, fueling a new arms race. China has expressed vehement opposition to NMD, threatening to multiply its nuclear stockpile tenfold if the US pursues such plans. "This attempt to ensure security may, in fact, undermine it," wrote David Shambaugh recently in Foreign Affairs.

Other quandaries abound.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bush Draws US Closer to Japan ; New White House Sees Japan as the Crux of US Security Arrangements in Northeast Asia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.