Why Japan Needs The US (and why we need Japan)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005 3:29 pm by cyclops

According to Fox News, Japan scrambled fighter jets 30 times in the last 6 months to turn away Chinese jets approaching Japanese airspace. Given its history and its thuggish neighborhood, it is not surprising that Japan is a steadfast ally of the United States. The Japanese have good reason to fear communist China. The Chinese suffered atrocious casualties at the hands of the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War, including the infamous rape of Nanking (which included plenty of murder, torture, arson and theft to go along with the thousands of rapes), with rapprochement between the two countries not occurring until 1972. The Chinese have long memories, and these wounds will not be healed anytime soon.

And, of course, Japan also has to worry about a nuclear North Korea, whose maniacal leader seems to thoroughly enjoy antagonizing the Japanese by launching long-range missiles over the island nation occasionally.

Fortunately for the Japanese, the US Pacific Command (USPACOM) continues to have a huge presence in Asia and is the oldest and largest of the US’ unified commands, comprising approximately 300,000 military personnel. USPACOM is impressive, but so is its area of responsibility, comprising over half of the earth’s surface and almost 60 percent of its population. Japan is aided by the huge deterrent value of the US military, and USPACOM is better able to complete its mission by having a strong presence in Japan. It’s a win-win relationship, which I predict will only grow stronger as China’s military continues to strengthen and modernize.

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