Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bilateral Relations: America's most important ally - Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso had the honor to become the first foreign leader to have met President Obama in Washington. The US-led policy in the Middle East has been extremely unsuccessful recently, the gap between the United States and Europe has been growing, and Latin America has been going out of control. Barack Obama needs to celebrate success, or at least a portion of visible success. Japan can come in handy at this point.

It was the first international meeting for the US president in the Oval Office, but it can become the last meeting for the prime minister of Japan. Over 70 percent of the Japanese want Taro Aso to step down.

The top meeting, which took place on February 25, showed that the US administration wanted its Japanese counterparts to understand that Tokyo still remained Washington’s key ally. Obama stressed out the significance of allied links with Japan. The two leaders discussed the issues of the world financial crisis, the nuclear program of North Korea and the assistance which Japan could provide to Afghanistan.

The USA entrusts an honorable mission to Japan in the 21st century. Japan is the most important and the most reliable ally of the United States. Japan allows US troops to use its civil airdromes and sea ports. The county also lets the USA inspect foreign civil vessels traveling along its coast during the period of economic sanctions, not to mention the fact that US military weapons are deployed in Japan too.

The contingent of Japanese ground troops, including armored vehicles, was used in 2004 to support the US occupation of Iraq . Japan also sent its warships – for the first time since 1944 – to the Indian Ocean.

Nowadays, the government of Japan says that it would be ready to turn its Self-Defense Forces into a full-scale army the power of which could be used for the solution of geopolitical problems. Japan already participates in the US missile defense system and conducts the modernization of its armed forces with the agreement of the United States.

This protection, which violates a number of international agreements, stipulates a certain payment, of course. That is why, Aso promised to conduct a close cooperation with the USA in terms of six-sided talks devoted to North Korea’s nuclear program. Obama set out a hope that Japan would play the leading role in increasing the security level and boosting the economic development of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Vladimir Anokhin - Pravda
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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