print PRINT

POLITICS

Leveraging the TPP for regional security and greater deterrence against China

  • 2015-11-19 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation
  • ,

(Sankei: November 19, 2015 – p. 2)

 

 By Kazuyuki Sakamoto in Manila

 

 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama exchanged a solid handshake on Nov. 18 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) summit meeting in the Philippines. The TPP will not only strengthen the alliance between Japan and the United States, which have spearheaded the negotiations; it will also play a major role in terms of security because the strong economic ties formed [under the TPP] will promote stability in the region. The Japanese government values this as it wants to put the brakes on China, which is aiming to expand its hegemony through aggressive maritime actions.

 

 At the meeting, Prime Minister Abe described the significance of the TPP to his counterparts as follows: “Increasing economic interdependence and expanding the circle of such ties will contribute to the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.”

 

 TPP member countries will support each other as people, goods, and funds flow throughout the region and administrative rules are unified under the trade pact. “Even if security issues were to arise among the TPP member countries, they would place priority on their economies and aim for a peaceful process,” a diplomatic source said. Stable sea lanes, which are indispensable for trade, will benefit all nations. TPP members can join hands and foster an international consensus to check countries exerting military pressure, such as China.

 

 In this way, the TPP will also strengthen wide-area deterrence through the “Asian Security Diamond” advocated by PM Abe, a strategic concept which links Japan, the U.S. State of Hawaii, Australia, and India in a diamond shape. China has repeatedly intruded into Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands (Ishigaki City, Okinawa) in the East China Sea, and it is also developing military installations in the South China Sea. According to a former U.S. Department of State official, “The reality is that we have no effective means for stopping China from expanding its dominance.” For this reason, the Japanese government envisions joining hands with the United States to raise international pressure on China and involving China in the TPP, thereby forcing China to adopt a more conciliatory stance.

  • Ambassador
  • Ukraine
  • OPINION POLLS
  • COVID-19
  • Trending Japan