International Humanity

A Blog Started to Record my thoughts on International News events

U.S. Commitment to Extended Deterrence for Japan

Posted by alexfrancis on May 2, 2007

Currently, the United States is the most powerful state in the international system. However, there is a continual struggle in international politics for a balance of relative power among states. Security is a major concern of states, especially from a realist perspective that would argue a self-help system. One such attempt to balance relative differences in military strength is to form bilateral or multilateral alliances among states.

Japan and the United States agreed on May 1st to conclude a treaty that will allow the two states to share information concerning ballistic missile defense and other military data. This agreement was the result of a series of information leaks involving Japanese Self-Defense Forces members.

The U.S. and Japan agreed that this new alliance will be consistent and complimentary to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in contributing to world peace and stability. Furthermore, Japan agreed to achieve broader cooperation with NATO in the future.

The underlying motivation behind this decision is the desire to be able to respond more effectively to emerging security challenges and to further protect classified materials. This can be seen in the ministers’ agreement to establish a task force on chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear defense so that Japanese and U.S. forces can swiftly respond to such attacks.

In this way, Japan is being a very intelligent state in international politics. Not only is the Japanese economy heavily integrated with other economies throughout the world, Japan is also allying itself with the strongest military power in the world in order to advance the nation of Japan. From the perspective of the United States as well, having strong ties with a state such as Japan in East Asia has a number of benefits. Japan is a highly industrialized, technologically advanced, democratic, cooperative state that shares many of the same values as the Western United States such as human rights, peace, and liberal trade. It is only natural that these two states would want to cooperate in every way possible, to the extent that they can trust and rely on one another. Thus, international institutions such as NATO and the United Nations are essential in maintaining a political regime of principles, norms, and rules that the two states can agree upon.


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3 Responses to “U.S. Commitment to Extended Deterrence for Japan”

  1. […] an interesting security dilemma with the growth of China and uncertainty about North Korea.  U.S. Commitment to Extended Deterrence for Japan « International Humanity Currently, the United States is the most powerful state in the international system. However, […]

  2. palps88 said

    Although this new agreement between the United States and Japan seems to be a way to promote the security for the US and Japan, this NATO like agreement could very well lead to a security dilemma. According to Kegley and Raymond the current power distribution among states is moving toward a multipolar system, just as the situation was in 1914 in Europe. My major concern is if the world is indeed moving toward a multipolar system then ridged alliances that could come out of agreements like the one you describe may lead major security issues. Kegley and Raymond also see the possibility for the world to clump itself into strategic clumps, and this would lead to a major war. Fortunately as you express in your blog that globalization may be the force that saves us from creating a system as ridged as the triple alliance and entente. As we have learned form Kegley, Raymond, and Tom Friedmen, states that are integrated don’t declare war against other states as heavily integrated. Hopefully our alliance does not create more security dilemmas than it solves.

  3. Indeed, you are correct to say that states who are heavily enmeshed in global supply chains are unlikely to go to war against each other – the cost of doing so would simply be too high. Going to war would disrupt the closely knit economies of SE Asia, the United States, the European Union and other democratic, capitalistic states. Yet, the fear of a rigid security alliance you mention does seem valid. The more that prosperous, capitalistic countries continue to benefit from globalization, the more deprived and humiliated people will feel in countries like N. Korea or areas of South Africa and Latin and South America that simply aren’t as integrated. Economic alliances are creating a rigid economic environment that is benefitting only a few countries while ignoring the rest. These neglected countries could eventually be the bane of globalization by being the birthplace of terrorists, nuclear development, pandemic influenzas, countless refugees and possible guerilla warfare. In this way, you are right, the alliance of the U.S. and Japan has the negative side of excluding others which could backlash against the two nations.

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