Search Results for ‘39’

39 – The Disabling Pacific ‘Alliance’ (15 Oct 2012)

Amid news and pundit references about an alleged ‘tilt’ in American foreign policy toward Asia and the Pacific, it is useful to take a closer look at the badly under-reported story of Washington’s relations with what is habitually referred to as its number one ally in the Pacific. That focus furthermore sharpens the contours of the Sino-Japanese dispute over islands in the East China Sea. The label ‘ally’ is a misnomer. No Japanese government ever had a choice. Two further conditions before a bilateral relationships can be called an alliance are also absent: shared long-term objectives and consultation about how to achieve them. The same can be said, to at least some extent, with the post-Cold-War NATO alliance. But the US-Japan relationship represents an extreme case. In fact, since nothing quite like it has ever existed, we do not have commonly understood terminology ready to describe that relationship. Japan is not a colony, although a growing number of its exasperated thinkers like to use that term, and it is only very partially occupied territory. ‘Protectorate’ serves to some extent, except that Washington does not have the kind of leverage over Japanese domestic arrangements normally associated with that...

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