politics

Mattis reaffirms U.S. alliance with Japan 'for years to come'

22 Comments
By Phil Stewart and Nobuhiro Kubo

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He appeared eager to reassure Japan of U.S. resolve, after a 2016 election campaign in which Trump suggested both South Korea and Japan were benefiting from a U.S. security umbrella without sharing enough of the costs.

Please explain how the stronger partner in the alliance is going to come across as "eager?" Seems to me that it's Abe who is the eager one trying to appease Trump. Not the other way around.

Ahhh...I see, a Japanese author, that explains it.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

for years.... definitely months.... absolutely weeks....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

America will use Japan for as long as it possibly can, or until it's not worth it to do so.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“As our alliance grows, it will be important for both our nations to continue investing in our defense personnel and capabilities.”

Green light for Nippon Kaigi.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

...will last forever !

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And ever!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

With Bannon bragging about how there will be a war in South-East Asia within a few years there's no doubt they know how much they need Japan to take the first nukes so they have a bit more time to strike.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Some call it alliance, others call it a Vassal State.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

N Korea will attack USA. US needs alliance. PM Abe, please be with us. He is begging

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

toshiko: "N Korea will attack USA. US needs alliance. PM Abe, please be with us. He is begging"

You can't possibly be serious. NK doesn't have the ability to hit the Continental US, even if they brag otherwise, and even then they couldn't do much. Their only option is to strike vested interests, like in South Korea and Japan. They have the added "bonus", in their mind likely, that since they hate Japan and Japan doesn't even atone for history that their primary targets beyond conventional weapons aimed at Seoul would be Japan. Why do you think they launch satellites and test missiles in Japan's direction, toshiko?

In any case, it's not Trump running over here to invest the US pension in Japan and beg that the Japan treat them favorably; it's Abe running to the US next week, hat in hand, bending over to kiss Trump's feet. Face it, Japan canNOT say "no" to Trump, and if anyone needs this alliance it is Japan, which has spent the last few years making more of an enemy of China and NK than ever. Just in case you think that needs further proving, again, look at just the THREAT of a chance in the alliance and how mad Japan has been scrambling to prevent it, and how relieved they are at Mattis' words.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"Some call it alliance, others call it a Vassal State."

And some call it keeping Japan out of trouble.

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it is Japan, which has spent the last few years making more of an enemy of China and NK than eve

Perhaps you could attempt to explain just how Japan has made more of an enemy of North Korea? Before you do that, look at this:

Abe staked a considerable amount of diplomatic capital on resolving the abductions issue and extended an olive branch to the North in 2014 with the relaxation of unilateral sanctions in return for Pyongyang's agreement to launch an official inquiry into the matter. Tokyo also loosened regulations against North Korean ships entering Japan's ports and promoted the exchange of humanitarian aid. There was even some talk that Abe might visit North Korea, if a breakthrough could be achieved.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/03/japan-track-north-korea-policy-shambles-160314073442444.html

Yes, Abe did have a hawkish stance when it came to NK's nuclear ambitions, but he also left the options for NK receiving humanitarian aid on the table. I think a susccessful argument can be made for that Abe's position was much less hawkish than either South Korea or the US.

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Excellent

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BackScratcher: I have just posted that lovely article from Aljazeera on FB. Kinda' LEGITIMIZES ANYthing the USA is doing in RESPONSE to the North (and this comes straight from Aljazeera). Hope you all know where your closest "Fallout" Shelter is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There were only two questions to be answered for Japan:

(1) Does Trump's "America First" policy mean a retreat from US-Japan alliance, particularly concerning Senkaku Islands?

(2) Will Trump ask Japan to pay more for US military forces in Japan in spite of the fact that Japan has been paying already very large percentage of its cost (Does Trump really know the fact)?

It turned out that answers for both questions were negative, a good news for Japan.

Regarding Senkaku Island, Mr. Mattis explicitly told

"I made clear that our longstanding policy on the Senkaku Islands stands — the U.S. will continue to recognize Japanese administration of the islands. And as such, Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty applies.” (NY Times)

Regarding military cost sharing, he said surprisingly that Japan is "a model for other countries to follow," and request for further cost bearing was never on the table. Comparing to Germany (30%), Korea (40%), Japan pays 75-85% of the cost.

So, it was a good day for Japan - nothing really changed.

To confirm it was a good day for Japan, China expressed anger.

China reacted with strong displeasure on Saturday to a promise by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that the United States would defend two uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that Japan controls but China also claims as its own. (NY Times)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

both countries benefit from the alliance in some way.

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@smkth NK lard ed it will attack USA.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hope you all know where your closest "Fallout" Shelter is.

I hope no one evers needs one.

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toshiko: "@smkth NK lard ed it will attack USA."

If they do it will be through US interests in Japan and elsewhere. They will attack places US troops are centered. China will first take Taiwan. If that doesn't trigger it all out they will strike Japan, starting with areas with US bases and the population centers. Japan won't survive any first strike if it's all out war. Period. No one is begging Japan here; it's vice-versa. You don't see the US sighing with relief that Abe wants them to stay. You DO see Japan sighing with relief over the Senkakus and the alliance.

"Mattis also repeated that Trump’s administration would adhere to Washington’s commitment to defend disputed East China Sea islands that are under Japanese control but claimed also by China, an assurance that Tokyo has been keen to hear."

TOKYO has been 'keen to hear'. Without these words Japan would be pooping its pants even more.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Smith you are talking about a nuclear war. It is the only way for China to knock out Japan in a single blow. The US would strike back at China with nuclear weapons to destroy theirs on the ground. China would strike back at the US with its remaining weapons or launch on warning. End result all parties lose including those not in the war. The best we could hope for is that some sort of "civilization" or some people will live. What you write about is pure madness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yuri Otani

If China nuked Japan, America would let loose with a bunch of nukes to fry China...

Are you sure about that? Cause I am not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China would never attack business partner Japan. Chinese tourists are crazily in love with the 'Land of the Rising Sun' !

They would topple their government if it lifts a finger vs Hokkaido and Kyoto!

Only the military industrial complex are breathing war.

Hope honest Abe is not their captive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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