Alliance Adrift

Alliance Adrift

Alliance Adrift

Alliance Adrift

Synopsis

The US-Japan alliance is confronting its most critical test since its inception in 1951. It is facing a new evolutionary stage in a radically-changed context, with the rise of China, Asia's economic crisis, and Japan's economic deadline and political immobility.

Excerpt

The U.S.-Japan alliance, the cornerstone of East Asia’s evolving balance of power, has been shaped by broad political and economic trends over the past decade. After the end of the Cold War, economic and trade issues came to the fore while security issues were relegated to the background. As Washington became concerned about the growth of Chinese power, U.S.-Japanese security cooperation revived, culminating in the April 1996 agreement to enhance Japan’s role within the alliance. However, with Sino-American ties warming and Japan apparently unable to play a leadership role in rescuing Asia from its economic difficulties, the pendulum may have once again begun to swing in the other direction. the alliance is now confronting the most critical stage since its birth in 1951, with the emergence of rising China, Japan’s economic debilitation, Asia’s economic meltdown, and Russia’s free fall. Its viability as a “constant” is now being challenged in the changing political climate.

These broad transpacific current events are the result of the myriad actions and decisions of politicians, bureaucrats, and other individuals inside and outside the policy process, where history, geography, and political cultures are interwoven in the dynamics of security policy. in this insightful analysis, Yoichi Funabashi gives us a fly-on-the-wall account of the dynamics driving the alliance’s evolution at a time when political realignment in Tokyo, nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula, the rape of a Japanese schoolgirl in Okinawa, and tensions in the Taiwan straits have convulsed U.S.-Japanese relations. Funabashi takes us into the day-to-day world of the people and events that reshaped this indispensable alliance during the turbulent years of the mid-1990s.

Lawrence J. Korb Director of Studies Council on Foreign Relations . . .

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