American influence on Japan - Politics | PoFo

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The balance of power of Japan and China has changed markedly over the past decades. In 2010, China’s Gross domestic product exceeded that of Japan. One can hardly recall how, just two decades ago, many Americans were afraid that Japan, and not China, would overtake them. However, under the administration of President Bill Clinton, the United States reaffirmed its military alliance with Japan, simultaneously reconciling with the rise of China.
However, some analysts are wondering if Trump’s actions will not make him move closer to China. The alliance with the United States remains for Japan the best option, unless, of course, Trump decides to go much further. Especially after Trump's statement when he said that “America is first and foremost.” However, so far this alliance is still strong. Abe and Trump's relations allowed the Pentagon to maintain close cooperation between the two countries in security matters. The situation with North Korea helped to focus the attention of the alliance and gave Trump a chance to assure Japan that the United States supports her "at 100%."
Also, Abe and Trump advocated a strategy of “maximum pressure” on the DPRK, actively working to ensure international support for the UN sanctions regime. At the same time, Japan announced large-scale new investments in missile defense and took part in its joint creation. If the United States and Japan maintain their alliance, they will be able to determine the situation in which China is located, and diminish its growing strength. However, this result depends on whether the Trump administration can successfully support the alliance of the USA and Japan.
It should be recalled, that since November 2018, Japan and the United States have been developing a joint response plan for their armed forces in the event of a threat from China in the area of the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The plan will be completed by March 2019. And after developing a joint response plan in Tokyo, they are counting on more active US support in a territorial dispute.
Earlier, Tokyo and Washington confirmed that 5th Article of the US-Japan Treaty on Mutual Cooperation and Security Guarantees, which was signed on January 19, 1960, extends to the Senkaku Islands, which Japan considers its own, and that the United States opposes any unilateral steps to change the status quo there.
According to the Japanese newspaper "Tokyo Shimbun", the Administration of US President Donald Trump said that the United States is obliged to protect Japan under a security treaty in the event of an armed attack. America, having a great influence on Japan, could put pressure on the Japanese leadership to provoke China into retaliation. At the same time, the United States immediately indicated that they did not take any position on the issue of sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, a territorial dispute between the PRC and Japan. Japan hopes that their American ally will play a more constructive role in resolving the dispute in favor of Japan.

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