Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The post-World War II U.S.-Japan alliance has long been an anchor of the U.S. security role in East Asia. The alliance, with its access to bases in Japan, where about 53,000 U.S. troops are stationed, facilitates the forward deployment of U.S. military forces in the Asia-Pacific, thereby undergirding U.S. national security strategy. For Japan, the alliance and the U.S. nuclear umbrella provide maneuvering room in dealing with its neighbors, particularly China and North Korea. The Bush Administration initially made significant strides in its goals of broadening U.S.-Japan strategic cooperation and encouraging Japan to assume a more active international role. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Japan made its first-ever military deployments in noncombat support of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan. In 2004 Tokyo sent noncombat troops to Iraq, despite considerable domestic opposition. In 2005 the United States and Japan announced a sweeping new agreement to strengthen military cooperation. The plan calls for U.S. forces to be realigned and Japan to take on a more active noncombat role in maintaining regional and global security. The ruling partys historic defeat in Upper House elections in July 2007 may slow some of this cooperation. Japan is one of the United States most important economic partners. Outside of North America, it is the United States largest export market and second-largest source of imports. Japanese firms are the United States second-largest source of foreign direct investment and Japanese investors are by far the largest foreign holders of U.S. treasuries, helping to finance the U.S. deficit and reduce upward pressure on U.S. interest rates. Bilateral trade friction has decreased in recent years, partly because U.S. concern about the trade deficit with Japan has been replaced by concern about a much larger deficit with China.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations