Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Japan-U.S. Security Treaty turns 50 years old!

Japan Society couldn't let such an important date pass by with dedicating an event to it. On January 19th, we hosted an entire panel of experts (including Hugh Patrick, the Director of the Center on Japanese Economy and Business and Ryo Sahashi from the University of Tokyo). The group represented the next generation of Japan-U.S. relationship thinkers, along with U.S. Japan watchers, who shared some really interesting perspectives on the state of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

You can watch the entire event via our webcast.

Tobias Harris of MIT was also supposed to be one of our panelists too but he unfortunately fell ill at the last minute. However, he did write an insightful article on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty for East Asia Forum, which is definitely worth a read. Here's a short excerpt:

"To a certain extent, the position is the same as it has been for decades and can be summarized in a single word: more. As a superpower that is facing burdens and challenges that will increasingly overwhelm its capabilities, the U.S. needs allies like Japan to share the load now more than yesterday, and tomorrow more than today. More can be greater military spending or new military capabilities, constitution revision or reinterpretation, higher levels of foreign aid, or greater involvement in peacekeeping...Without substantial economic reform Japan may not be able to commit the material resources the U.S. would prefer — and without serious economic reform the Japanese people will continue to have little or no interest in constitution revision."

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