With Re-Acceptance of Marines on Okinawa, Time to Look Ahead
Mending the U.S.–Japan alliance will not be easy. The DPJ’s coalition partners, as well as factions within the DPJ itself, will feel betrayed by Hatoyama’s Futenma decision. The DPJ has not yet articulated its security and foreign policies, nor has it defined its vision for Japan’s global security role. Despite clamoring for an “equal alliance” with the U.S., the DPJ has failed to define its terms or display a willingness to assume greater responsibilities commensurate with such a role. The U.S.–Japan alliance remains critical to maintaining peace and stability in Asia as well as guaranteeing shared values of freedom and democracy. It is essential that the two administrations step up public diplomacy efforts to better explain the benefits of the alliance as well as the necessity of forward-deployed U.S. military forces.