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Expert view on UH election: Japan is at the front of U.S.-China tensions

  • July 1, 2022
  • , Nikkei , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

By Watanabe Tsuneo, senior research fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation

 

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s military buildup in mind, holding concrete discussions on foreign and national security is indispensable for the ruling and opposition parties.

 

The United States no longer possess overwhelming power on either the economic or military fronts. With East Asia facing a more dire security environment, Japan needs to assume many of public goods provided by the U.S. for the stability of Japan and the area surrounding it.

 

Japan must acknowledge that it is at the front of escalating tensions between the U.S. and China. China is looking for an opportunity to decouple Japan and the U.S. Self-Defense Force bases may come under attack if Japan supports the U.S. in the event of a contingency.

 

But if Japan withdraws, the Japan-U.S. alliance would effectively vanish. To prevent this from happening, it is essential for Japan, on the one hand, to strengthen its deterrence with the U.S. and its response capabilities and, on the other hand, to continue dialogue with China.

 

The economic security promotion legislation has been passed into law. The next issue that Japan needs to address is export controls. From the standpoint of national security, Japan needs to prevent the outflow of new technology to China. I would like politicians to engage in active discussions on measures that need to be put in place.

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