Here’s an article at Foreign Policy, Naval Gazing in Asia. Don’t count the U.S. – Japan alliance out, it says, because a rising China will make both sides see the continuing need for it.

The article’s good, pointing out that in some respects, relations between Japan and China have never been better. It then goes on to list the recent tensions that have occurred between the two countries, and possible reasons for them.

This quote lays out what I’ve been thinking for the past few days:

China is now asserting that it, not Japan, is the preeminent Asian power and that both the Chinese people and the masses of Asia must acknowledge China’s new preeminence.” He notes that many of the recent Chinese maneuverings have taken place in waters near those islands that are claimed by both China and Japan. The Chinese, he says, are testing to see how far the Americans are really prepared to stand up for Japan’s side of the argument. “China is probing the U.S.-Japan alliance for fissures.”

Japan would do well to settle these territorial disputes with China before there is a confrontation over them. Japan should take note that in the recently revived tensions between the U.K. and Argentina over the Falkland Islands, the U.S. refused to endorse British sovereignty for the Falklands, despite strong U.S. support during the 1982 war. Although the American public has highly favorable opinions of both the U.K. and Japan, there is little public support for getting drawn into the territorial disputes of allies.

Note: apologies for the typos in this post earlier. They’ve been corrected.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch