Japanese Security Legislation: Impact on Japan-US Ties

Japanese Security Legislation: Impact on Japan-US Ties

Question: Security legislation put forth by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has just moved closer to becoming a law as the lower house of the Parliament has approved it. Discuss how this legislation will impact Japan-US bilateral relations.

About the Security Legislation

- The security legislation has been announced by the Abe administration and recently approved by the lower house of the Parliament

- Bill seeks to reorient Japan’s post war pacifist security stand

- It has now been placed before the upper house

- Now the security policy will shift to collective self defence enabling Japanese to send troops for rescuing allies in attacks

- The legislation has had its fair share of critics and controversies

- Two interconnected factors have led Japan to undertake revision of the security doctrine

- Japan and the US have recently announced new security guidelines which allow Tokyo to be more responsible for bilateral security arrangement

- Nationalist security policy aims to check China’s rise. The strategic diamond of 4 maritime democracies-Japan, US, Australia and India will counter Chinese influence in the Pacific

Impact on US-Japan Bilateral Relations

- Major features of the legislation as judged by independent experts have said that peace constitution specially no war has been violated , specifically Article 9.

- The doctrine of collective self defence is crucial to the US Japan relations and strategies of the US Pentagon aimed at integrating Japanese armed forces into US strategies, plans and operations around the world

- Japan will combat side by side with the US to indirectly as well as directly impact Japanese interests

- However, despite the Diet’s vote, many Japanese do not understand the latest Japanese initiative nor its urgency

- American commanders are battling the war on terror in which Japan will no longer remain uninvolved

- Opponents hold that this bill will undermine 7 decades of Japanese pacifism

- Viable and independent defence capabilities will prevent downgrading or even abrogation of the US Japan defence alliance

- It will also allow the nation to be able to pursue armed neutrality or co equal power position within the regional security framework with respect to the US

Facts and Stats

- Over 70 years, Japan’s security policy had focused on self defence

- As per a recently held poll, only 1/4th of the Japanese population has provided support for this legislation
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