Japan-U.S. Security Treaty 50 Years On ) recently wrote a fascinating article on Japan's foreign policy strategy for East Asia Forum.
He poses the question, "What are the implications for the Japan-US alliance and relations given Japan’s new political situation?" and comes to a thoughtful conclusion that's definitely worth taking a look at.
Here's a short excerpt from the full article:
"Alternative conceptions of Japan’s foreign policy interests are grounded on two assumptions. First, economic dependence and social interaction within Asia is on the rise. An aging Japanese society needs the strength of Asia’s growth to underpin its future welfare. Second, policies for military protection against the uncertainty in the regional security environment can be separated from other policy agendas, since, unlike during the Cold War period, economic and social interdependence in the region are now deepening. These assumptions lead to a Japanese diplomacy based on strategic hedging — maintaining the alliance with the U.S. and simultaneously increasing efforts to nest into the growth of China and Asia."