Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
INSPECTOR GENERAL DEPT OF DEFENSE ARLINGTON VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Japan is a significant partner for the United States in a number of foreign policy areas, particularly in U.S. security priorities, which range from hedging against Chinese military modernization to countering threats from North Korea. The post-World War II alliance has long been an anchor of the U.S. security role in Asia. The alliance facilitates the forward deployment of about 50,000 U.S. troops and other U.S. military assets based in Japan. In addition, Japan s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership TPP talks could enhance the credibility and viability of the proposed trade pact, which could be a core component of Administration efforts to rebalance U.S. foreign policy priorities toward the Asia-Pacific region. After years of turmoil, Japanese politics has entered a period of stability with the December 2012 election victory of current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party LDP. New elections are not required to be held until 2016. The LDP s recent election wins have given it control over both chambers, thereby giving Abe more political room to pursue controversial initiatives that the United States has encouraged such as joining the proposed TPP trade pact and increasing the Japanese military s capabilities and flexibility. The political continuity in Tokyo has allowed Abe to reinforce his agenda of revitalizing the Japanese economy and boosting the U.S.-Japan alliance, both goals that the Obama Administration has actively supported.
- Government and Political Science