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PacNet #28 – With Clinton in Japan, a Chance to Show the Alliance’s Strength

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s trip through Tokyo comes at an auspicious moment in the US-Japan alliance. Hope remains that an agreement on basing is within reach, though it is clear that Okinawan officials remain opposed to any continued US military presence in the prefecture. At best, the alliance will probably be left with an agreement largely similar to that finalized in 2006 – one that is acceptable to Washington and Tokyo, but cannot be implemented due to local-level opposition. The festering disagreement about basing, and disappointment about the behavior of both sides, has left several analysts wondering if the alliance is in drift or, worse, in decline.