The world’s oceans today are fraught with disturbing factors which seriously destabilize the maritime security environment in the world. Among such factors are unconventional threats of piracy and maritime terrorism; interstate disputes over marine resources and sovereignty of islands; the maritime order failing to prevail as betrayed by recent jurisdictional disputes over the Arctic Sea; increasing difficulties in control and regulation over the shipping sector because of a larger number of business alliances that transcend national borders and the prevalence of FOC ships; overfishing and marine resources depletion; the delayed environmental assessment of emerging exploitation of seabed resources; the deteriorating marine environment caused by pollution and climate changes, besides traditional state-to-state conflicts.
The United States and Japan as maritime nations should establish a new sea power of the 21st century by forging a maritime state alliance; take the lead in solving diverse ocean-related issues, and make strenuous efforts toward the creation of a new world maritime order. Needless to say, the United States-Japan Alliance is the strongest partnership in the Asia-Pacific region. Apprehension, however, is growing over its “fraying around the edges.” As the maritime order emerges as a foremost concern, such efforts as to build up a matured bilateral relationship afresh in the maritime sphere would give a great stimulus to invigorate the humdrum discussion of the two nations’ alliance.