THE ALLIANCE OF JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATESA. INTRODUCTION After World WarII, Japan suffered a defeat that resulted in Japan’s situation became veryworse in various things such as in the economic sector and also the military.As it is known that at the time before and until World War II, the Japanesepower centered on military power. However, after the defeat, the Japanesemilitary force was paralyzed to avoid a Japanese revival. After Japan’s powerwas no longer centered on military power, after World War II Japanese powerthen centered on economic power where Japan wants to increase their economiclevel because as it is known that when Japan suffered therein Japan’s economicsituation also slumped. In addition, the Japanese government not only wants to increasetheir strength in the economic sector but also wants to increase thedevelopment of the social aspect and national stability (Vogel, 2006).The revival of Japan in this economic sector received special attention fromthe United States government so that today the United States became Japan’s allianceas a supporter of Japan’s needs to improve and raise the spirit of Japanesesociety. The economic system that generated by Japan today is more directed tothe liberal economic system with a purpose to increasing competition and laborstability as well as increasing the financial and market products.
On the otherhand, the United States provides assistance by providing re-education toJapanese society by participating in improving health standards, minimizingcriminality in Japan, and providing re-education on how to improve the economiclevel for Japanese society.B. CONTENTTheAlliance of Japan and United State under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe The relationshipbetween the United States and Japan has three main aspects of security,political, and economic security. Japan is one of the countries where theUnited States wants to build an alliance with Japan in order to maintain itsmilitary and strategic status in the Asia and Pacific region, as we know thatJapan is a country considered a hegemony contender in the Asia Pacific regionby the United States. Therefore, after the World War II, the United Statesemphasized its military activities in Japan with a purpose to creating securityand democratization in Japan. We know that the alliance between Japan and theUnited States has been established since 1858, but at that time therelationship between the two countries decreased because, during World War II,Japan was an enemy to the United States. However, after Japan suffered thedefeat in World War II, Japan’s relationship with the United States wasre-cemented in 1945. The relationship between Japan and the United States alliancesis one way to revive Japan by relying on economic strength and military resilience.
The alliance’s relationship with those two countries has become formidablesecurity cooperation and a pillar for the stability of the region. In 1951,there is an emerged the San Francisco Agreement indicating that Japan hadbecome an independent and sovereign nation and Japan began to take on the roleof the international community. At the same time, Japan also signed the UnitedStates-Japan Security Treaty as an independent State and has a purpose torebuild Japan and United State relations in the military by allowing the UnitedStates to place its military in Japan. Both agreements are known as the SanFrancisco System which brings the relations between Japan and the United Statesinto the interdependent relationships or interdependent alliance relationships (Wang, 2011). However, in 1952the Mutual Security Pact was established and then the United States-JapanSecurity Treaty was renewed into Treaty Mutual Cooperation and Security in1960, where in the agreement there are four main points on which securityagreements are based, such as the United States and Japan are aware of theexistence of joint military threats, considering cooperation in the aspect ofsecurity, considers that political and economic freedom should be protected,and also to support that consideration of both countries must agree that theUnited States will be responsible and bear the obligation to protect Japan’ssecurity from external threats. In addition, during the cold war, Japan was on the rightside as Communism Breakwater and then became the center of a global strategy for the United States wherethe United States considers that the center of the Asia-Pacific community isthe relationship between the United States and Japan. After the Cold War, theEast Asian region began to be marked by regional conflicts and internationalproblems that attracted a number of world public concerns, particularly onsecurity issues that have embraced the military capabilities of countries inthe region, such as Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea and Taiwan. Thedevelopment of military capability East Asian countries such as China and NorthKorea make Japan feel threatened.
This condition requires Japan to maintain itspeace with international collaboration as the basis of national securitythrough the stabilization of people’s livesand build defense capability and cooperation with the United States. Inaddition, several other national defense policies of Japan are promotingexclusive defense policies, not being a military force that can threaten theworld, not developing nuclear weapons, intensifying security cooperation withthe United States and building defensive capabilities within certain limits. However, after the end of the cold war also sparked adebate on the security alliance between Japan and the United States. This debatearose because some Asian countries, American liberals, and Japanese pacifistscriticized that the alliance between Japan and the United States was deemedunfavorable in the post-Cold War era. It can be evidenced by the Gulf War II whichhas given lessons to Japan’s position on international security issues,especially in relation to the United States. With the debate, the Japanesesociety stated that this is the right time for Japan to dissolve itself fromthe United States alliance and become a normal State.
However, the Japanesegovernment remains convinced to continue its alliance with the United Statesbecause Japan feels that its security is not completely secure and there aresome threats that Japan may disrupt security in the Pacific region such as increasingChina’s military capabilities, problems in the Korean Peninsula and nuclearweapons development by North Korea, claims against several States over theSpratly Islands, and the latter is a claim of the northern archipelago of Japanby Russia. Then, to maintain Japanese security, Japan has a choiceof remaining dependent on the United States security guarantees under thealliance or disbanding. If Japan decides to withdraw from the alliance thenJapan should increase its military capability, because the United States has nomore commitment to protect Japan from possible aggression. Re-militarizationwill allow Japan both to defend itself and to develop independent foreignpolicy.
However, the suspicion of Asian countries due to trauma to the politicsof Greater East Asia and the sensitivity of Pacific Japan is also a barrier forJapan to strengthen its military posture. Besides that, if Japan chooses tocontinue the alliance, then Japan often has to submit to the United States. TheJapanese government is aware that at this time Japan has no alternative, in addition, to continuingthe alliance with the United States because it is believed to still beeffective as a deterrent factor for pacific peace in the Pacific region.JapanesePolicy toward United States Alliance After we know about the relationship between Japanese andthe United States alliances that started from post-World War II until post-Cold War, Japan finally chose to depend onthe United States for its security guarantees. Therefore, Japan under thegovernment of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe applied several policies to keep tryingto make its country become a normal country. However, the condition was verycontrary to what was expected so that with all of the Japan worries, Japancontinued its alliance with the United States. In this sub-chapter, I willdescribe the various policies that have been made by Japan during the reign ofPrime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Japan’s defense policy changed during the Gulf War in1990-1991, in which the United States and its allies encouraged Japan tocontribute to providing assistance in the form of military personnel, funds,and equipment in the crisis. However, Japan only provides aid in the form offunds because the delivery of Japanese SDF troops did not get support inParliament. In addition, after the Gulf War ended was followed by a crisis onthe Korean Peninsula in 1993 that warned that Japan had failed to respond tothe U.S. calls for aid.
This can undermine the trust of each other in thealliance of Japan and the United States. However, day by day has been passed socan encourage Japan to re-strengthen its security alliance with the UnitedStates. Japan’s defense policy has been based on Article 9 of aConstitution that published in 1947 where the constitution was made after WorldWar II by the Supreme Allied Command Force which limits the role of the SelfDefense Force by having only minimum strength to defend themselves and aimed atJapan no longer have the potential to start a war and to prevent the use ofmilitary force in resolving conflicts internationally so that it can result inJapan’s security depends only on US security guarantees. In addition, with theTreaty of Mutual and Cooperation and Security stating that the United Statesprovides assurance of protection and also security against Japan from external threatsresulted in an unbalance experienced by Japan because Japan is in a morepassive position where the Japanese cannot do anything if the alliance of theUnited States is attacked by the State or other forces. Japanese policy during the reign of Prime Minister ShinzoAbe is divided into two policies such as in the economy and military aspects. Forthe economy is divided into three policies, such as monetary policy, fiscalpolicy, and structural reform.
Japan has their own interests in the economicaspect that Japan wants to easily get into the Chinese market to invest ininvestment that will provide in the long-term effects on the Japanese economy.With Japan’s interests, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and ChinesePresident Xi Jinping agreed to hold a bilateral meeting between the twocountries. Meanwhile, in the military policy, there is Basic Defense ForceConcept which was later changed to Dynamic Defense Force in 1976. NationalDefense Program Guidelines build Japanese military power in order to respondeffectively against various military threats such as from China and NorthKorea. Factors that are pushing towards the change of Japanesedefense policy are the increasing ability of Japanese economy, nuclear andmissile North Korea posed a threat, and China’s military increase. Meanwhile,the United States interest in promoting Japan’s defense and security policy isthe stability of the East Asian region and extended the United State Deterrenceagainst the military forces of China and North Korea, and the safeguarding ofUS trade routes in East Asia (Heming, 1998).
On the other hand, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts inimproving Japan’s defense are divided into three; first is make a cooperatewith ASEAN to reduce China’s influence in the region by making efforts tostrengthen Asian diplomacy by first visiting countries such as Vietnam,Thailand, and Indonesia. The diplomatic efforts undertaken by Japan inSoutheast Asia and Australia are illustrating the economic and strategicimportance of the new government in Tokyo. Japan also wants to stem the rise ofChina marked by the rise of the military and its economic influence inSoutheast Asia. Second, the reinterpretation of the Article 9 of the Constitutionin which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the leader of the Liberal DemocraticParty strives to conduct a campaign in Japanese politics and society that Japanneeds to build adequate defense force to deal with changes in securityconditions in the region (Ayu, 2015). The effort wasfruitful and in July 2014, the Japanese Cabinet ratified the reinterpretationof the 9th article by increasing the openness of the Asia Pacificeconomy to boost regional economic growth. Some countries such as Australia,India, Philippines, and Vietnam have started to cooperate in the aspect ofJapanese defense industry.
Based on the efforts that made by Prime MinisterShinzo Abe, then Shinzo Abe has produced a policy during his reign. One ofJapan’s efforts to increase economic openness in the Asia Pacific region, incooperation with ASEAN, and reinterpretation of Article 9, then Japan duringthe reign of Shinzo Abe is a Japanese policy to protect its national security,so this Japanese effort gave birth to a policy that Japan expected to achieve itsnational interest and security.C. CONCLUSION In conclusion, we know that the history of Japanpost-World War II cannot be separated from the role and control of the UnitedStates. Security, political and economic security are the three major aspectsof the relationship between the United States and Japan. With the win of theUnited States in World War II and the Cold War, the United States intends torebuild Japan and its country system and introduce post-war democracy by makingthe United States as an alliance that helps Japan, which at that time Japan’sposition is very bad. Japan has several agreements and policies security withthe United States. One of them is the San Francisco Agreement which is a formof security cooperation post-World War II so that Japan does not return as amilitary force and more concerned with the development of its war-torn economy.
Inaddition, Japan is suspected as a local stone for the United States incontrolling security, stability, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region. TheUnited States then also held extensive cooperation and coordinated action with Japan on several global issues. So, eventhough Japan was the enemy of the United States in the World War II, but thenboth turned into a powerful alliance.
After the Cold War, the alliance betweenJapan and the United States causing debate in which Japan was in a confusing positioneven Japan should choose to sever relations with the United States or tocontinue its relations. As is Japan’s concerns about its security that are notcompletely secure and there are some threats that Japan may disrupt thesecurity of the Pacific region, Japan has decided to continue its alliance withthe United States. The suspicion of Asian countries due to trauma to thepolitics of Greater East Asia and the sensitivity of Pacific Japan is also oneof the reasons for Japan to continue its alliance with the United States.