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PacNet #19 – Breaking Point for the Alliance?

Now I’m worried. In November, amateurism and confusion from the new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government were to be expected. The first opposition party win in 50 years was bound to produce a messy transition. But five months later, those initial glitches should have been worked out – or at least identified and minimized. A recent visit to Japan highlighted the continuing drift in Tokyo. The US-Japan alliance may be in trouble, but not for the reasons most people suspect. The real risk is from the US: It looks like the new Japanese government is taking the alliance for granted and that could trigger a backlash.