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  • Author: Taro Hayashi
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Sixty years ago, Japan and the United States signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security marking the beginning of the Japan-US Alliance as we know it today. The two countries have made a commitment to core values such as democracy, respect for human rights, and a rules-based international order. The Alliance has played an integral role in ensuring the peace and security of the two countries as well as realizing their shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific through security cooperation.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Economy, Alliance, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Russia and China’s relationship is increasingly strengthened by arms sales, joint military exercises, and mutual diplomatic support. With growing frequency, the two countries hare expressing joint concern towards “threatening” U.S. military capabilities and security policies. China’s growing ability to deny foreign navies access to waters and airspace is connected to the sophisticated defense platforms provided by Russia. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are seeking a closer defense partnership, which could take the form of integrated military operations, collaboration on battlefield technology, or a joint missile defense system. Through joint military exercises, China is learning from Russia’s military experience in Crimea, gaining operational knowledge on expeditionary logistics and how to protect military bases in foreign countries. In 2021, the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship expires. Its renewal could introduce new dynamics to the China-Russian relationship, and the possible inclusion of collective defense provisions like those between the U.S. and Japan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, National Security, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Arthur Herman
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The key to strengthening and deepening the U.S.-Japan alliance in order to better meet regional threats is to increase defense trade and defense industrial cooperation between the two countries. A Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty (DTCT), a formal agreement between two countries which exempts their trade in certain specified defense and defense-related articles from the arms export regulations of both nations, would be an important way to achieve that goal.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Trade
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Seth Cropsey, Jun Isomura
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The alliance between the United States and Japan, born at the end of the Second World War, continues to play a vital role in the defense of the Japanese Islands and in U.S. regional Indo-Pacific strategy. The People’s Republic of China is challenging the U.S.-Japan alliance in the Indo-Pacific Region. China has greatly increased its defense budget, expanded and modernized its navy, and increased operations that challenge the region’s status quo—including in the East China Sea, where the PRC regularly violates Japan’s territorial waters, in the vicinity of the contested Senkaku Islands. China’s belligerent behavior poses a strategic threat to Japan’s domestic security and will continue to encroach on Japanese and U.S. interests in the region. The PRC’s threatening behavior and an aggressive nuclear-armed North Korea are testing the U.S.-Japan bilateral alliance as it has not been tested since the Cold War. The United States continues to serve as a guarantor of Japan’s national security. The U.S. military has stationed naval, air force, army, and amphibious forces in Japan as a strategic deterrent against would be aggressors. With U.S. forces in Japan as a deterrent, Japan has developed a pacifist strategy based on non-aggression and security limited to self-defense. The Japanese constitution’s Article 9 enshrined this principle into law. Japan’s regional strategy has paid dividends through political, diplomatic, and economic engagement with Indo-Pacific countries. This includes Japan’s increasing defensive security cooperation in the region. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces have participated alongside the United States and such neighboring states as South Korea in bilateral and multilateral exercises that build both capabilities and security relationships. Beyond diplomatic and soft power engagement, Japan has in recent years increased its defensive capabilities. To counter Chinese and North Korean missile threats, Japan has worked with the United States to build an advanced ballistic missile defense. In addition, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces have acquired medium-range cruise missiles for its air forces to deter potential adversaries from launching attacks. Tokyo has expanded its defense to counter challenges below the threshold of war against Japan’s outlying islands. Improved intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and the establishment of amphibious forces contribute to this defense.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, National Security, Bilateral Relations, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Seth Cropsey, Jun Isomura
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Japan’s southwest island chain, an archipelago of 1,200 kilometers (750 miles), is known as the Ryukyu Islands. Along with Taiwan and the Philippines, it comprises what the People’s Republic of China (PRC) perceives as the first of three strategic island chains. To China, these island chains represent geostrategic impediments to Pacific Ocean expansion and power projection, which its adversaries—including the United States and Japan—might use to counter Chinese aggression in a conflict. In particular, the first island chain represents the first geostrategic hurdle for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) as it seeks access to sea lanes in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Two of China’s three PLAN fleet bases are located on the East China Sea. To reach the South China Sea and the Pacific, ships or aircraft from these bases must transit through the choke points of the Taiwan or Miyako Straits, the latter passage through the Ryukyus. Japan’s southwest islands pose a significant strategic and operational challenge for China, and thus their defense is equally strategically and operationally important for Japan. China, to achieve its goal of global superpower status by the mid-twenty-first century, has sought to contest and change the status quo across the Indo-Pacific region by constructing and arming islands from the South China Sea to the East China Sea and beyond. As part of this effort, the PRC has expanded and modernized its armed forces. The immediate objective is to neutralize what Chinese rulers regard as the threat of the first island chain. This has included building a larger and more advanced surface fleet and air force, including the country’s first aircraft carrier, as well as advanced destroyers and more advanced aircraft. It also involves developing and expanding China’s amphibious assault capabilities by means of a larger and more capable PLAN Marine Corps, along with more amphibious warships, amphibious aircraft, and amphibious assault vehicles. In the PRC’s crosshairs is not only Taiwan, the keystone of the first island chain and a vigorous democracy, but also the Senkaku Islands of Japan, whose sovereignty the PRC contests, and the Ryukyu Islands. Any Chinese invasion of Taiwan or military attempt to assert sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands runs the risk of drawing the United States and Japan into a conflict with the PRC. The U.S.-Japan alliance obliges the United States to defend Japan and its sovereign islands. Both countries maintain a security presence in the Ryukyus, principally on the island of Okinawa, where the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) maintains a nineteen-thousand-strong force, alongside U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy units. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and Coast Guard also maintain ground, maritime, and aviation elements on Okinawa and conduct regular air and sea patrols throughout Japan’s southwest islands. In keeping with constitutional restrictions that limit Japan’s security forces to self-defense, Japan’s Ministry of Defense has also recently sought to bolster the country’s amphibious capabilities to counter potential Chinese aggression. In the face of a rising PRC challenge, the United States and Japan have in recent years streamlined and strengthened their security cooperation. This has included participation in bilateral and multilateral exercises to improve interoperability at tactical and operational levels. In addition, the 2015 creation of an alliance coordination mechanism (ACM) provides guidelines for the U.S. and Japanese governments to coordinate defense cooperation, including the defense of Japan’s outlying islands, at a policy level. However, the two countries still lack an integrated means—at the bilateral or multilateral level—to coordinate operations in response to regional contingencies.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Arthur Herman
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: There is certainly no denying that, in terms of trade and investment alone, the burgeoning economic partnership between Israel and China has at least the potential of transforming not only Israel itself but also Israel’s position vis-à-vis the rest of the Middle East—and most notably vis-à-vis Iran, which happens to be Beijing’s other key partner in the region. Inevitably, it could also have an impact on Israel’s relations with the United States. But is this a marriage made in heaven? Or is it something else? Weighing the answer to that question involves probing beneath the two countries’ currently successful dynamic of trade and commercial transactions to their respective geopolitical agendas. When it comes to Israel, the acknowledged junior partner, it also requires examining whether and how the relationship with China could become a dependency. Such a change might please Beijing, but it would impose on Israeli national security a new kind of vulnerability, one very different from the challenges it has faced successfully in the past.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, National Security, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Geopolitics, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Asia