Japan, US alliances' strength Confirmed

Monday, January 20, 2020

Tokyo-(PanOrient News) Calling their alliance "stronger, broader, and more essential today than ever,” Japan and the U.S. marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the two nations in a joint statement released Jan. 17.

“As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of this Treaty and look back at the 75 years of friendship and trust between the two nations since the end of World War II, we pay tribute to our predecessors for their wisdom, courage, and vision,” said the statement from the top foreign affairs and defense officials from both countries.

The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the U.S. was signed Jan. 19, 1960 and established much of the foundation for the alliance between the countries, which is often seen as a balance to Russia and China’s power in the region.

The treaty grants the U.S. the right to maintain military bases in Japan in exchange for promising to come to the defense of Japan should it be attacked. Japan’s constitution prohibits it from maintain its own military, although it has a defense force.

“Rooted in our unwavering commitment to values such as democracy, respect for human rights, and a rules-based international order, our Alliance has played and will continue to play an integral role in ensuring the peace and security of our two countries, while realizing our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific including through regional security cooperation,” said the statement. “Our Alliance is stronger, broader, and more essential today than ever.”

American President Donald Trump, who has in the past expressed doubt about the value of the treaty to the U.S., released a separate statement on Jan. 18 calling for the further strengthening of the alliance.

“Over the past six decades, the rock-solid Alliance between our two great nations has been essential to peace, security, and prosperity for the United States, Japan, the Indo-Pacific region, and the entire world,” said Trump in his statement.

The defense arrangement is not without critics, however. Some in Japan would like to see the closing of American bases there, while nationalist-leaning Japanese tend to support the idea of Japan having its own military. But for the moment, political leaders of both countries appear to be showing support for the treaty.

“While honoring the achievements of the past 60 years, we reiterate our unshakeable commitment to strengthen the Alliance and to uphold our common values and principles towards the future,” said the joint statement. (PanOrient News)

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