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Japan is gradually building such capabilities. The only partner able to help Japan balance China or facilitate its military cooperation with Koreais the United States. But, the American ability singlehandedly to ensure immunity from Chinese coercion is in relative decline. Notwithstanding the reinvigorated U.S. presence imagined by the so-far largely invisible “rebalance to Asia,” the maintenance of a stable balance in the Indo-Pacific will depend increasingly on politico-military contributions from Japan and other regional powers. Japan must acquirethe ability not just to defend itself but to undertake a region-wide defense role. Japan, like other countries in the region, wants to hedge against China’s possible abuse of its rising power while accommodating that power. Japan now faces an awkward choice between continued politico-military subordination to an increasingly erratic United States and submissive deference to a rising China. In either case, Japan must acquire independent military capabilities that supplement those of the United States and link it to other Asian powers. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution is not compatible with these requirements. Nor is the one-sided and unequal relationship embodied in the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. To sustain stable relations between Japan, the United States, and China and regional balance, the United States must now accept Japan as its partner – not subordinate – in regional diplomacy and security policy. Japan must cease to be a protectorate of the United States. It must make its own contributionsto the balance of military power in the Indo-Pacific alongside American forces and those of others in the region.For this to happen, Japan must change in ways that will disturb its neighbors and Americans must think beyond our present obsession with perpetuating a privileged role of dominance in the Western Pacific.Changed circumstances have rendered Japan's and our previous roles both obsolete and unsustainable. As always, the failure to yield gracefully to ineluctable change is the surest way to strategic ruin.
Comprehensive, bindingconsultation at every level of implementation’skey – the permutation still hasthe US move firstand ask later, which decks relations MOD, 2014, (Article released by the Ministry of Defense for Japan)"Section 2 Initiatives to Strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance" No Publication, -2-2_1st_0730.pdf //ALB○Actions in Response to Armed Attack against Japan Bilateral actions in response to an armed attack against Japan remain a core aspect of Japan–U.S. defense cooperation. The SDF will primarily conduct defensive operations2 while the U.S. Forces conduct operations to supplement and support the SDF’s operations. Both parties will respond based on respective concepts of operations in a coordinated manner. ○Cooperation in Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan The Governments of both Japan and the