August 5, 2008
Despite a historic strengthening of the U.S.-Japan security alliance throughout the last decade, new strains are emerging in this relationship. A series of developments has triggered concerns in Tokyo about the U.S. commitment to Japan’s defense. The U.S. readiness to move forward with relations with North Korea, despite a lack of progress in Japan-North Korea relations, has stirred fears of abandonment. Washington’s readiness to work with Beijing to achieve shared objectives revives memories of "Japan passing." For U.S. strategists, these doubts make no sense. The U.S. commitment to Japan remains robust, firmly rooted in common values, interests, and a long and enduring history.