Uncharted Territory


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Moneyball America?


Time’s Running Out for America to Figure Out Its Role in the World

TIMEのカバーストーリーにもなったIan BremmerのSuperpowerを読みました。米軍の削減やイランとの核合意、キューバとの国交回復など、米国の外交政策の方向性は介入などはしない方向にいくのかとこの本を読んで思いました。まあ、10年以上も戦争をしてきて財政的にも厳しいでしょうから2016年に誰が大統領になってもこのような方向性なのかもしれません。


This situation could become much more dangerous, however, because Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced plans to “reinterpret” Japan’s constitution to allow Japan to move its security policy beyond self-defense. This increases the long-term odds that China and Japan will more often confront one another in the East China Sea, and the threat that Japan might become more active in the South China Sea on behalf of its allies will set Chinas military leaders on edge. The governments of the world’s second and third largest economies will work hard to avoid a military confrontation, but neither is deaf to domestic public demand for an uncompromising stand when tempers are flare. If China one day becomes unstable, China, Japan and America might quickly find themselves on a collision course through uncharted waters.


If the United States is to maintain a firm and open-ended commitment to the security of Japan, Washington must do it without making conflict with China inevitable. It’s reasonable to ask Japan’s government and its people to make the security alliance a true partnership by spending more on their own defense and by extending Japan’s military reach well beyond its territorial waters. But Washington must also persuade Beijing that this shift is not meant to stunt the natural growth of the China’s influence, by making clear to both sides that America will not support needlessly provocative Japanese behavior toward China.

Or if Americans decided that Asia’s powers must learn to live together without the US military to keep them from fighting, Washington will have to make that clear for Japan, which will then need time to make the transition today entirely to new reality. If Washington expects Tokyo to take responsibility for its own security, Japanese voters must see clearly that they have no choice but to spend the money, build the defense, and rethink the future of relations with China. US plans can’t remain ambiguous if Japan’s leaders are to persuade Japan’s voters that there’s no other way forward.