Mushahid Hussain Khan
When Trump was a running a campaign for the office of the President, he posed a strong and stern behavior towards the Washington’s policy towards Japan. He kind of tried to deal the things or see them with the perspective of a businessman.
But after embracing the president’s office, with in hundred days Trump had realized he had to go with the flow. He will have to follow the already existing pattern of American foreign policy towards Japan.
The question may surface why this sudden shift in the behavior of Mr. Trump. If we go in further we will come to know America can never take risk to lose its key ally is Asia.
If we try to build reasons in favor of this narrative, we can find quite a good number of reasons to support this argument.
China is rising in the world. It has already proved itself as an economic giant and apparently there is no possibility of losing this position soon. Now China is moving towards posing a great strategic challenge to the United States of America. And on the other hand in the same region, North Korea is also posing a great threat to the great threat to American security. Such conditions undoubtedly enhance the importance of this U.S-JAPAN alliance.
Trump is a typical business minded person. He tries to calculate every relation in terms of economics. Like his statement, we are protecting Japan, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Now it’s time for them time to pay for this.
But the close aides and advisors of Mr. Trump understand this situation really well. They know that Japan is really necessary for the American interests, so it can engage the china and North Korea from a position of gaining strength.
The question may surface whether Japan needs America more or vice versa. With the rapid emergence of China and South Korea in the region and now South Korea posing a security threat to America, in my view now America is in more need of maintaining Japan-America relations.
Now, we can clearly say that America cannot make a mistake of considering Japan a liability, as a matter of fact now it has to consider it has to consider Japan as its asset.
Now moving further, we will see how Japan is seeing all these things. Although Trump has changed its narrative towards Japan yet Japan knows the tables can be turned any time.
To understand this thing we will have to see what foreign policy choices Japan keeps.
Mr. Abe, Japanese prime minister has dealt trump till now in an appreciable manner. He was the first head of the state to visit Trump after winning the election and second to meet him after taking oath as the president of America.
Trump is really a vulnerable person. His hatred towards China and inclination towards Russia is in favor of Japan to some extent, but if the situation occurs where America goes in direct confrontation with China this might cause problems for Japan, as it will have to support America and act as an active combatant.
So keeping all these things in mind Prime Minister Abe is reconstructing the security structure of Japan. It is moving towards revising its defense posture as well. It is trying to create Japan as an independent power in East Asia. He has created a national security council. And most importantly he has overhauled legislation to permit the exercise of collective self-defense. This enables Japan to take part in overseas conflicts, to defend its allies, when they are under threat.
Abe has done exceptional work to repair its relations with South Korea, over the comfort women issue. In 2015 two governments concluded an agreement to end this dispute, although the issue has flared up again and again the efforts of Abe needs to be appreciated.
But here is the question is can Japan come out of American influence so easily and make its influence in the region so easily.
If it tries to do so it will cause its conflict with America, which Japan cannot afford right now. So for this purpose, first of all, it will have to resolve its old historical regional issues with its neighboring powers. Now we should see what might help Japan in this. This is a globalized world. Economic power is undoubtedly the main power in this era. As we all know Japan is one of the strongest economies of the world. So this economic alluring can pave way for Japan and its other major regional powers to go for cooperation.
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