In this paper I am looking at what has happened in the relationship between the United States and Japan. It has been argued that the United States has not taken a firm stand against China’s assertive behavior in the South China Sea, whereas in the past there have been threats issued against Japan by China over the islands there. The United States has in fact made some statements about its displeasure with Chinese behaviour in this area but the diplomatic tone has been relatively restrained. For now, Japan is in a fix.
China has obviously underestimated the effect of the US-led military exercises FMA in the Taiwan Straits on Taiwan and the risks there for Japan. On the other hand, the Japanese Government has also underestimated the impact of the US-led exercises in Australia and the threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Both governments realize that China cannot be ignored. But there is also an uncertainty about how much the United States will actually do and how much it can do to protect Japan from the possible repercussions of China’s aggressive strategy of buying islands in the vicinity of Japan. What exactly is the United States’ position vis-a-vis Japan?
There are many issues in international relations which need to be discussed including geostrategy, which is the study of politics and power in the interaction of nations. Geostrategy can be used to understand the relationships among major countries. Asia has been the center of American global ambitions for the past century. Japan must realize that if it tries to ignore China and push its own interests, the US will be prepared to defend Japan against Chinese pressure.