U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question from a reporter during a news conference in Osaka on Saturday. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS
politics

Trump says U.S.-Japan security pact has to be changed

43 Comments

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that a decades-old security treaty between their countries must be changed, reiterating his criticism of the pact as unfair.

Trump said he was not planning to withdraw from the treaty, which the partners have long called a linchpin of Asia-Pacific stability, but that it placed too great a burden on the United States.

"I told him, we'll have to change it," Trump told a news conference after a two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Japan's western city of Osaka.

"I said, look, if someone attacks Japan, we go after them and we are in a battle, full force, in effect," he added. "If somebody should attack the United States, they don't have to do that. That's unfair."

The treaty, signed after Japan's surrender in World War Two, commits the United States to defend Japan.

In return, Japan provides military bases that Washington uses to project power deep into Asia, including the biggest concentration of U.S. Marines overseas on Okinawa, and the forward deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group at the Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo.

An end to the security pact is widely seen as raising the risk of forcing Washington to withdraw a major portion of its military forces from Asia at a time when China’s military power is growing.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

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43 Comments
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"Japan security pact has to be changed" - DMZ Trump - Un "summit"

something is not good.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"I said, look, if someone attacks Japan, we go after them and we are in a battle, full force, in effect," he added. "If somebody should attack the United States, they don't have to do that. That's unfair."

So what exactly is Trump expecting in return? By his logic, Japan should now have bases in the United States, to support the US when it is attacked by Canada?

14 ( +17 / -3 )

The dumbest POTUS we've ever had in history. How about getting a Secretary of Defense appointed first before going around disrupting our global strategic posture?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Overall, I support Trump but damn he needs to shut up about this. He has no idea how stupid he looks every time he brings this up. This and backing off the Iran deal are the only two things I disagree with him on.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"I said, look, if someone attacks Japan, we go after them and we are in a battle, full force, in effect," he added. "If somebody should attack the United States, they don't have to do that. That's unfair."

As I mentioned on another post, this is absolutely incorrect. If Mattis, Kelly, or McMaster were around they'd be able to tell him but all the adults have bailed or been let go - they couldn't take "crazytown" anymore. It's just kindergartners left now.

Japan enacted legislation in 2015 that broadened its ability to perform collective self defense, to include ballistic Missile Defense for the US and protection of US ships at sea.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000143304.pdf

More importantly, Japan's "host nation support" for US military facilities is the most generous of all our allies. The Navy concluded due to Japan subsidizing basing costs, it's cheaper to station an aircraft carrier battle group in Yokosuka than San Diego. And that's just one example.

He's either helping Abe shore up support for a revision of Art 9 or he's just stupid. I vote for the latter.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Trump still trying to tell other nations what to do.

How about the US minding its own business, leaving other nations alone and there may not need to be so much spent on defence. Thank God the days of US domination are coming to an end.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

America wrote and imposed the Japanese constitution.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

@Zichi - I see so they own this in perpetuity no matter how much it actually emasculates Japan?

Japan needs to become a country on a par with China and should be able to project its power and leadership unfettered by the US.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Trump still trying to tell other nations what to do.

Unless JAPAN changes “Article 9” then to an extent, yes.

How about the US minding its own business,

Tell JAPAN to change its “Article 9” I think that would be a fantastic idea, although Japan really wouldn’t have a functioning army because a lot of people in this country don’t want war and wouldn’t enlist, so until then, it’s us.

leaving other nations alone and there may not need to be so much spent on defence. Thank God the days of US domination are coming to an end.

I don’t know who told you that one, 3 years ago, it really looked like it, but now, the rebuilding has begun.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Well, that helps the folks who want bases off Okinawa, since it implies that the US won’t be helping with any problems. On the other side, it helps PM Abe argue for a military buildup. What other relatively stable agreements in the world can we mess up, I wonder?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yeah I have to agree, Trump should leave this one alone. Im sure many J nationalist nut jobs are cheering him on; they want nothing more than to revamp the military some more. Now as far as reducing the swamp as it pertains to US civilians working on bases in Japan, agreed. Could use more US military and less civilian homesteaders who do nothing but utilize the base golf course and swimming pools.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yes. The pact needs to be changed in two ways. 1) Get out. 2) Stay out.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Unless JAPAN changes “Article 9” then to an extent, yes.

It was America which wrote the Article 9 and all the rest.

So how about America changing the 2nd amendment, after all it's only an amendment?

a lot of people in this country don’t want war and wouldn’t enlist, so until then, it’s us.

will your own children enlist when required?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The dumbest POTUS we've ever had in history. 

No, that would br GW Bush Jr, closely followed by Obama.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Seriously though, I would like to know what Trump has in mind here. Removing the bases is an impossibility if the US wants to project power in Asia and be "tough" on China. Japan is already paying the US billions for the bases every year. Any permanent overseas Japanese military presence is a non-starter politically both inside and outside of Japan.

That doesn't leave much. Trump could demand more cash from Japan, or some guarantee from Japan that they will participate in whatever military misadventure John Bolton thinks of next, but that will end as soon as Japanese troops start coming home in body bags.

I suppose Trump could squeeze few more billions out of Japan, and then call that a victory, but it's still not going to change the fundamental structure of the alliance.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So how about America changing the 2nd amendment, after all it's only an amendment?

Because Tokyo doesn’t want to.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Trump doesn't realise that the current state of affairs was put in place to keep Japan relatively weak militarily and also to provide a buffer against communist expansion in the east, with its guarantee of US protection and it's bases.

It may appear prima facie to be a bit one-sided by a simpleton like Trump, but he overlooks that it is very much in the USA's long-term strategic interests.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The dumbest POTUS we've ever had in history.

Hmmm...

Trump said he was not planning to withdraw from the treaty, which the partners have long called a linchpin of Asia-Pacific stability, but that it placed too great a burden on the United States.

"I told him, we'll have to change it," Trump told a news conference after a two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Japan's western city of Osaka.

"I said, look, if someone attacks Japan, we go after them and we are in a battle, full force, in effect," he added. "If somebody should attack the United States, they don't have to do that. That's unfair."

True. So much for dumbest POTUS we've ever had in history argument.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

There are more Japanese who want to see a change to the American 2nd amendment than they would changing their own Article 9.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The US will never give up the bases in Japan. Even if Japan wanted the US out it wouldn’t be able to do so. Having bases in Asia is a huge advantage for the US. This will not change. The only way to remove the US military from Japan would be through war with the US, and Japan will have to do what the Filipinos did and revolt Not happening.

Don’t mind about your sovereignty Japan. On the surface you are an independent country but in reality you don’t have the choice of kicking the US out not to mention it isn’t in your interest to do so. The current set up is the best set up for both the US and Japan and Asia in terms of the balance of powers

There will always be bases in Okinawa. Even if the US leaves - which won’t happen - the bases will remain and Japan’s military will use it. And even if Okinawa somehow declares independence - which also won’t happen - Okinawa will need the bases. Even if a foreign power occupies Okinawa, they’ll have to have bases there. Okinawa will have bases permanently. This has nothing to do with the US but where Okinawa lies in its strategic location

Trump just wants to squeeze more out of Abe and Japan. Japan will only have to wait it out if it desires no change. The US Japan Secutiy Pact is here to stay. Only how much contribution monetarily and militarily will be tweaked.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

quercetumToday  10:26 pm JST

The US will never give up the bases in Japan. Even if Japan wanted the US out it wouldn’t be able to do so.

The only way to remove the US military from Japan would be through war with the US, and Japan will have to do what the Filipinos did and revolt Not happening.

Have you ever read Article X of the subject Japan-US Security Treaty?

"after the Treaty has been in force for ten years, either Party may give notice to the other Party of its intention to terminate the Treaty, in which case the Treaty shall terminate one year after such notice has been given."

https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/q&a/ref/1.html

BTW, The Phillipines did not "revolt" they simply did not sign a new Treaty, resulting in the US-Philippines Security Treaty being suspended from 1991 to 2011, after which it has been reinstated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Which has zero to do with the Secobd Amemdment to the US constitution.

No, it has everything to do with it, the point is, Japan will never, at least not in the foreseeable future. So the US will be protecting JAPAN, like it or not, that won’t change..

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

It is up to the Japanese people to elect a government that values Japanese sovereignty, a government with the spine to tell the US its days of occupation are over. Give it any name you like but it comes back to OCCUPATION.

While the US maintains their bases in Japan, it is a target; the threat to Japan is a direct result of its support for the US. Japanese should from stronger relations with other nations.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It is up to the Japanese people to elect a government that values Japanese sovereignty, a government with the spine to tell the US its days of occupation are over.

I agree, I never said it wasn’t, I just said, it won’t happen, at least not in the foreseeable future.

Give it any name you like but it comes back to OCCUPATION. 

if you think so, you can call it that, but if that were true, this place would be saturated with Dunkin Donuts, but alas....

While the US maintains their bases in Japan, it is a target; the threat to Japan is a direct result of its support for the US.

If the US weren’t here, NK, China and maybe to a far, far lesser extent would crush this country, don’t kid yourself.

Japanese should from stronger relations with other nations.

Maybe one day it could happen.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

BTW, The Phillipines did not "revolt" they simply did not sign a new Treaty, resulting in the US-Philippines Security Treaty being suspended from 1991 to 2011, after which it has been reinstated.

I am referring to the revolt against colonialism. Japan is occupied no matter how you read Article X. I dont believe the US will ever relinquish its bases and to remove the US completely from Japan will take war, which Japan does not have the ability to do so.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If the US weren’t here, NK, China and maybe to a far, far lesser extent would crush this country, don’t kid yourself.

No, I don’t see the Chinese doing that at all. Just look at their history. The only two times of aggression and expansion were the Mongols and the Manchus, both non-Chinese. China fought in the Korean War because MacArthur requested a transfer of nuclear weapons to be used on the peninsula and Chinese cities.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the US weren’t here, NK, China and maybe to a far, far lesser extent would crush this country, don’t kid yourself.

Like most imperialists you've bought the BS and convinced yourself that your presence is here to protect the locals. The Romans, British, Germans ran the same propoganda. Name an empire, they did it. It still works on the weak minded flag huggers. Let's not pretend that US forces are here for the benefit of anyone apart from the US.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Then except a two year phased withdrawal with all the geopolitical consequences......The Government and people of japan can deal with the change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The current occupant of the White House is, as usual , wrong.

Do to his lack of intellect and knowledge, he wants to destroy this alliance. In a few weeks he will announce he has a bright idea and will “allow” the alliance to survive.

In addition, we must remember this is being done for U.S. political purposes as his base must be reminded of what a brilliant negotiator and strategist he is.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Like most imperialists you've bought the BS and convinced yourself that your presence is here to protect the locals.

JAPAN hasn’t been attacked not once since we remained, thank you.

The Romans, British, Germans ran the same propoganda.

Those countries were trying to control and installation needs a few people can’t wait to confiscate land in to expand it territory and change the culture and the language of any ethnic group they encountered. Anyway the flu trying to come to Japan everybody be speaking perfect English and English would be available everywhere. Oh, well....I guess we didn’t do a good job.

Name an empire, they did it. It still works on the weak minded flag huggers. Let's not pretend that US forces are here for the benefit of anyone apart from the US.

Relax, I have nooo idea what you’re talking about about.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I can't believe how anyone can take this idiot seriously anymore, if they ever did. 'Make America Great Again' my butt.

With the laws and employment 3.2% since World War II, I would say that is better than great. Economy is booming, I would say that’s great, even my grades from South and Central America trying to get into the country because they know this economy is good, and I don’t blame them, they just need to do it legally.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Komeito Party would never agree to any change of Article 9.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How about this? Let the troops leave and Japan declare itself a neutral country like Costa Rica and Switzerland.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How about this? Let the troops leave and Japan declare itself a neutral country like Costa Rica and Switzerland.

Great idea. And when China bullies and pushes Japan around then what? Costa Rica and Switzerland are not analogous to Japan’s defense situation. Switzerland is surrounded by NATO nations and the stability they have created. Costa Rica is a backwater that no one cares about.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

About time. The treaty need to be changed or close down the US military bases in Japan and bring the boys home.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

quercetumJune 29  11:58 pm JST

BTW, The Phillipines did not "revolt" they simply did not sign a new Treaty, resulting in the US-Philippines Security Treaty being suspended from 1991 to 2011, after which it has been reinstated.

I am referring to the revolt against colonialism. Japan is occupied no matter how you read Article X. I dont believe the US will ever relinquish its bases and to remove the US completely from Japan will take war, which Japan does not have the ability to do so.

The Phillippines did not become free of colonialism and independent by "revolting" against Spain, the U.S., Japan, and again the U.S.

What you believe is incongruous with the terms of the US-Japan defense treaty. Even suggesting a war between Japan and the U.S., which is impossible under the first paragraph of Article 9 (which I also suggest you try reading) is ridiculous. You clearly have no idea as to the extent that US military and JSDF are integrated. The U.S. bases in Japan will terminate only when the mutual benefits for both nations no longer exists. And for that to occur we need to see changes on the part of China, Russia and North Korea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No, that would br GW Bush Jr, closely followed by Obama.

Agreed. GW had to be the worst of the worst, dont know why he got such a free pass, I guess due to papas legacy. Obama just meddled along, pushing his social agenda which gave us Trump. I knew Trump would disrupt allot of things..just didnt know it would be this much...) but I still think he should get a 2nd term. This new generation of Dems...oh boy..talk about coo coos...this Warren takes the prize followed by Sanders.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let the troops leave and Japan declare itself a neutral country like Costa Rica and Switzerland.

Yes! Disband the SDF too! Save A LOT of money! Free ice cream for everyone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel I understand your point that the Security Agreement is mutual and terminable. I do not think that you understand my point in that the Agreement by the letter and by the spirit are not the same; Japan in reality does not have the power to terminate the agreement.

I wouldn’t be commenting if I haven’t read the constitution, and no the Philippines did not succeed in their revolution. In short, the US will leave Japan when ”Donkeys fly.” Your response is “that is impossible and ridiculous, donkeys can’t fly.”

You clearly have no idea as to the extent that US military and JSDF are integrated. The U.S. bases in Japan will terminate only when the mutual benefits for both nations no longer exists. *

That is the standard, “Tatemae,” way of looking at it but beneath the surface Japan is de facto occupied. I differentiate between occupied and collaborate. Japan will not be able to get rid of the US easily.

And for that to occur we need to see changes on the part of China, Russia and North Korea.

That is again the standard rhetoric. My opinion is that the US presence in Japan is for the benefit of the US first and foremost. It is wishful thinking to believe that the US military will leave Japan once Japan no longer needs their protection. The US is here to protect US interests.

There is what you tell the masses and what you keep to yourself.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi Today 03:43 am JST

Komeito Party would never agree to any change of Article 9.

Actually Komeito always said that he would support a change in Article 9. Provided that all major parties in the Diet, reach a broad consensus to change it.

In a nutshell. When left-wing political parties such as: Japan's Constitutional Democratic Party, The Democratic Party and the Communist Party accept that the necessary change.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dougthehead13

Actually Komeito always said that he would support a change in Article 9. Provided that all major parties in the Diet, reach a broad consensus to change it.

I don't think that is correct. Komeito have always opposed a change in Article 9

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20171005/p2a/00m/0na/014000c

and also

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180925/p2a/00m/0na/011000c

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You all are failing to see the opportunity Trump/Abe offers.

President Trump suggestions to changing the Japan-U.S. defense treaties and PM Abe's desired changes to Japan Constitution Article 9 (specifically paragraph 2) offers the opportunity to negate the necessity of U.S. military forces and base presence on mainland Japan and Okinawa.

So long as these restrictions (that disallows Japan to have and sustain a land, sea and air military force and any offensive-capability armament) remains, Japan has to rely on the U.S. for security and allow (per the 1951 Security Treaty) the U.S. to maintain armed forces of its own in and about Japan as they deem necessary .

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/japan001.asp

When these restrictions are removed and Japan can expand its military forces capability, Japan military forces can replace U.S. military forces on mainland Japan and Okinawa, enabling the U.S. to withdraw and relocate to anywhere outside Japan and Okinawa (which is what you all want, right?).

Furthermore, if Japan wants to keep the Chinese and Russian Navy from acting aggressively in the region that potentially threatens Japan's security and stability, then it will have to take responsibility with a more offensive-capable Navy and Air Force. (Of course that means Japan military forces will occupy the former U.S. military bases on Okinawa. Will Okinawa accept Japanese military occupation once again?)

Japan has two choices: maintain the status quo (i.e, no changes and allow U.S. presence in Japan and Okinawa) or make the necessary changes Trump and Abe desires that can enable removal of the U.S. military presence without compromising Japanese security or stability in the Pacific region.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

President Trump forgets the matter of Okinawa. Of course Okinawa is Japanese territory. But 20% of Okinawa area is U.S.camp. And Japanese people has paid 75% of the cost to run it. Is there any other country's military camp in The U.S.?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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