US-Japan alliance key to US power projections and East Asian Security.
Yukio Okamoto president of Okamoto Associates, Inc and special adviser to the cabinet and chairman of the Japanese prime minister's Task Force on Foreign Relations. 2002. The Washington Quarterly. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/washington_quarterly/v025/25.2okamoto.html).
Fifty years have passed since Japan and the United States signed the original security treaty and more than 40 years have passed since the current 1960 treaty came into force. Neither Japan nor the United States has a desire to alter the treaty obligations, much less abrogate the alliance. Nevertheless, exploring potential alternatives to the alliance is worthwhile, if only to illuminate [End Page 71] why it is likely to survive. For Japan, treaty abrogation would result in a security vacuum that could be filled in only one of three ways. The first is armed neutrality, which would mean the development of a Japan ready to repel any threat, including the region's existing and incipient nuclear forces. The second is to establish a regional collective security arrangement. This option would require that the major powers in Asia accept a reduction of their troop strengths down to Japanese levels and accept a common political culture--democracy. Neither of these conditions is likely to be met for decades. The third option, the one outlined in the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, is for Japan's security to be the responsibility of a permanent UN military force, ready to deploy at a moment's notice to preserve peace and stability in the region. Such a force, of course, does not yet exist. None of the three possible replacements for the Japan-U.S. alliance is realistic. The alternatives also seem certain to increase the likelihood of war in the region, not decrease it--the only reason that Japan would want to leave the U.S.-Japan alliance. An overview of aftereffects on the United States of an abrogation of the alliance runs along similar lines. In the absence of a robust, UN-based security system, relations between the giant countries of Asia would become uncertain and competitive--too precarious a situation for the United States and the world. The United States would lose access to the facilities on which it relies for power projection in the region. Much more importantly, it would also lose a friend--a wealthy, mature, and loyal friend. Given the magnitude of the danger that an end of the alliance would pose to both Japan and the United States, both sides will likely want to maintain their security relationship for many years to come. A completely new world would have to emerge for Japan and the United States to no longer need each other. Despite frictions over trade, supposed Japanese passivity, purported U.S. arrogance, and the myriad overwrought "threats to the alliance," the truth is that this military alliance between two democratic states is well-nigh unbreakable--because there are no acceptable alternatives.
Japan Link – China
US – Japan Alliance key to avoid Chinese aggression over Taiwan
Yukio Okamoto president of Okamoto Associates, Inc and special adviser to the cabinet and chairman of the Japanese prime minister's Task Force on Foreign Relations. 2002. The Washington Quarterly. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/washington_quarterly/v025/25.2okamoto.html).
Regardless of whether China's development takes the bright path or the fearful one, however, reason for concern exists on one issue: the resolution of the status of Taiwan. Chinese citizens from all walks of life have an attachment to the reunification of Taiwan and the mainland that transcends reason. The U.S.-Japan alliance represents a significant hope for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan problem. Both Japan and the United States have clearly stated that they oppose reunification by force. When China conducted provocative missile tests in the waters around Taiwan in 1996, the United States sent two aircraft carrier groups into nearby waters as a sign of its disapproval of China's belligerent act. Japan seconded the U.S. action, raising in Chinese minds the possibility that Japan might offer logistical and other support to its ally in the event of hostilities. Even though intervention is only a possibility, a strong and close tie between Japanese and U.S. security interests guarantees that the Chinese leadership cannot afford to miscalculate the consequences of an unprovoked attack on Taiwan. The alliance backs up Japan's basic stance that the two sides need to come to a negotiated solution.
US-Japan Alliance key to long term hegemony
WILLIAM E. RAPP, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. Council on Foreign Relations- Hitachi International Affairs Fellow at the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo. Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations) from Stanford University. January 2004. Strategic Studies Institute for the Military. http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub367.pdf.
Currently in Northeast Asia there is considerable uncertainty about the future for all countries involved in the region. The nuclear ambitions of an increasingly desperate North Korea have led to serious ruptures in the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance and greatly enhanced security fears in Japan. The global war on terrorism and widely perceived unilateralism on the part of the United States has, ironically, enhanced the confidence of China to portray itself as a multidimensional leader in Asia. The growing strength of the Kuomintang in Taiwanese politics and its agenda to build a closer relationship or even confederation with mainland China after the presidential elections of March 2004 may upend the security assumptions of the region.1 Operation IRAQI FREEDOM has reinforced the concepts of transformation and power projection from a more limited number of forward bases advocated so strongly by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, while at the same time highlighting America’s need for allies in the war on terrorism. It is a region awash in uncertainly, but one in which the United States must remain firmly engaged to protect its vital interests. In the breadth of its reach and influence, the United States is often described by others as hegemonic and the world’s sole superpower. This is a very clumsy caricature, however. Colin Powell recently quipped, “We are so multilateral it keeps me up 24 hours a day checking on everybody.”2 The extent of that reach and the means necessary for achieving American interests around the world depend greatly on cooperative efforts with other like-minded nations, if only in “coalitions of the willing” built by the United States for ad hoc purposes. In Northeast Asia, the United States has two vital alliances―with Japan and South Korea―already in place. Although the American relationship with the Republic of Korea (ROK) is undeniably critical to security on this strategically important peninsula, the relationship is very narrow in its scope and its future in some doubt.3 The relationship with Japan, however, offers greater potential to achieve American interests in the long run in Asia, beyond simply the defense of Japan. Being off the shores of mainland Asia and combining the two biggest economies in the world,4 this alliance offers significant long-term opportunities to more actively promote peace, prosperity, and liberal values in the region.
Advanced technology at Okinawa key to fight China and North Korea.
David Axe - independent military correspondent, staff writer for The Diplomat. 06/28/2010. The Diplomat. http://the-diplomat.com/2010/06/28/why-allies-need-okinawa-base/.
Without its 2 Okinawan air bases and their 3 roughly 10,000-foot runways, the US military—and by extension, US allies—would depend almost entirely on a handful of US aircraft carriers for bringing to bear aerial firepower in East Asia. That might be a realistic option, except that China has lately deployed several new classes of anti-ship weaponry specifically meant for sinking US carriers, including the widely-feared DF-21 ballistic missile and a flotilla of stealthy fast-attack vessels. In recognition of Okinawa’s growing importance, the Pentagon has spent billions of dollars in the past decade modernizing forces and facilities on the island. The US Army deployed Patriot air-defence missiles capable of shooting down enemy aircraft as well as ballistic missiles, a favourite weapon of both China and North Korea. Kadena got extensive new storage bunkers for bombs, missiles and spare parts, allowing the base to support potentially hundreds of aircraft flown in from the United States during an emergency. In 2007, the US Air Force began stationing Global Hawk long-range spy drones and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters at Kadena. The Raptors represent perhaps the greatest improvement. Indeed, in the minds of US planners, in many ways Okinawa’s most important function is to support the F-22s. In a 2009 study examining a simulated air war pitting the United States and Taiwan against China, the California-based think-tank RAND concluded that a wing of F-22s could shoot down 27 Chinese fighters for every Raptor lost in the air. F-22s flying from Okinawa could also clear the way for air strikes on ground targets in China or North Korea, according to Lieutenant Colonel Wade Tolliver, commander of the 27th Fighter Squadron, an F-22 unit based in Virginia that routinely sends Raptors to Kadena. ‘There are a lot of countries out there that have developed highly integrated air-defence systems,’ Tolliver says. ‘What we need to do is take some of our assets that have special capabilities…and we need to roll back those integrated air defence systems so we can bring in our joint forces.’ The base’s ability to host F-22s and follow-on aircraft is ‘probably the most important thing about Kadena,’ Monroe says. ‘Because of our capability to stage forces out of here—this is a huge runway—we do believe we have unmatched air power.’
Forward deployment in Okinawa key to deter Chinese and North Korean aggression, only U.S. marine presence can ensure Asian stability
Richard C. Bush, director at the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, March 10, 2010, Brookings Institute, “Okinawa and Security in East Asia,” http://www.brookings.edu/speeches/2010/0310_japan_politics_bush.aspx, ) SM
The threat environment in Northeast Asia is not benign. North Korea’s WMD capabilities are a matter of concern but will hopefully be a medium-term problem. More attention, however, is focused on China which has gradually developed a full spectrum of capabilities, including nuclear weapons. Their current emphasis is on power projection and their immediate goal is to create a strategic buffer in at least the first island chain. Although Taiwan is the driver for these efforts, they affect Japan. Of course, capabilities are not intentions. However, how will Japan feel as the conventional U.S.-China balance deteriorates and a new equilibrium is reached, especially knowing that China has nuclear weapons? There are also specific points of friction within Northeast Asia such as the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, the East China Sea, North Korea, and Taiwan, some of which involve and concern more than one government. Although we can hope that China will not seek to dominate East Asia at the U.S. and Japan’s expense, we can’t be sure of their intentions either. Hope is not a policy.
The most sensible strategy—for both the U.S. and Japan—is to try to shape China’s intentions over time so that they move in a benign direction; so that it has more to gain from cooperation than a challenge. This has been the U.S. and Japan’s strategy since the early 1970s. The strategy has a good foundation in economic interdependence. However, it is easier said than done and is one of the biggest challenges of this century. The strategy requires at least two elements: engaging and incorporating China as much as possible, and maintaining the strength and willingness to define limits. This combination of elements is important because engagement without strength would lead China to exploit our good will while strength without engagement would lead China to suspect that our intentions are not benign. If engagement-plus-strength is the proper strategy for the U.S. and Japan each to cope with a rising China, it only makes sense that Japan and the United States will be more effective if they work together, complementing each other’s respective abilities. The strength side of this equation almost requires Japan to rely on the alliance since history suggests that it will not build up sufficiently on its own. An important part of strength is positioning your power in the right places. That is why forward deployment of U.S. forces in Japan has always been important. That is why our presence on Okinawa is important. Lieutenant General Keith Stalder, commanding general of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, recently spoke in Japan about the importance of Okinawa for the mission of the Marines. Among other things, he said that the U.S. Marine Corps is the emergency response force in East Asia. He explained that “The fundamental Marine Corps organizational structure is the Marine Air Ground Task Force, in which war fighting elements of aviation forces, ground combat forces, and logistics forces all operate under a single commander.” The Marine ground forces must train consistently with the helicopters that support them. Lieutenant General Stalder illustrated his point by saying that the “Marine Air Ground Task Force is a lot like a baseball team. It does not do you any good to have the outfielders practicing in one town, the catcher in another, and the third baseman somewhere else. They need to practice together, as a unit.” He went on to say that Okinawa is very important because it is relatively close to mainland Japan, to Korea, to the South China Sea, and to the Strait of Malacca. This geographic location is why, he said, “There is probably nowhere better in the world from which to dispatch Marines to natural disasters” than Okinawa. This importance of Okinawa is another reason why finding a solution to the realignment issue is essential. Any solution to the Okinawa problem should meet four conditions: efficiency of operations, safety, local interests, and permanence. Resolving the situation is also important because, as Lieutenant General Stalder pointed out, other nations are “watching to see whether the United States-Japan Alliance is strong enough to find a solution to the current issues.” Of course, our two countries and China are not the only ones concerned with the alliance. South Korea has important stakes involved in the presence of U.S. forces in the Western Pacific. In the event of a conventional attack by North Korea, South Korea has a very strong military, but it also depends on the ability of the United States to move forces quickly to the Korean peninsula. It depends on those U.S. forces, including Marines, to dissuade and deter North Korea from even considering an attack. South Korea is comfortable with the relocation of 8,000 marines to Guam, in part because there are already other U.S. troops on the peninsula and in Japan, and also because moving Marines from Guam by air doesn’t take long. However, South Korea would likely be concerned by signs that the U.S.-Japan alliance was slowly dissolving. If U.S. troops were to be removed from, first, Okinawa and, then, the home islands, it would likely weaken deterrence. Taiwan also has concerns. The Marines on Okinawa, plus the U.S. air force, serve to strengthen deterrence in the event of aggression by China against Taiwan. China will be less likely to mount an attack because the U.S. has both ground troops and an air base on Okinawa. If China attacked U.S. installations on Okinawa, that almost ensures a serious conflict. The bases act as a tripwire. demands. As previously mentioned, the public supports the alliance, but it has increasing doubts about DPJ leadership, in part because of Futenma. So, where the political logic of 2009 led the DPJ coalition to demand a lot on Okinawa, the political logic of 2010 appears to encourage Mr. Ozawa and Mr. Hatoyama to settle for what they can get.
U.S. military presence in Okinawa prevents Japanese rearmament and arms races
Eric, Vogel, Prof. @ Harvard U, 2003 Asian Studies Newsletter http://www.aasianst.org/Viewpoints/Vogel.htm) SM
Why is the Tokyo government ready to pay the support for the housing of U.S. troops in Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan? Because Japan’s alternatives to a security pact with the United States, developing an independent military capacity to defend themselves or engaging in unarmed neutrality, are less attractive. An independent Japanese military capacity is likely to unnerve the Chinese and Koreans, and the prospects of an arms race between Japan on the one hand and China or Korea on the other, would be high; most Japanese would prefer to have better relations with China and Korea. Unarmed neutrality would leave Japan open to the intimidation of neighbors, including North Korea, something the Japanese public is not likely to tolerate in the long run. Given the alternatives, thoughtful people in the Diet and elsewhere in Japanese policy circles prefer an alliance with the United States. Japanese political leaders who need cooperation from other parties in Japan take a low posture and tone down their proclamations on controversial issues, but when the crunch comes they vote to keep the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance. And that is why so many Japanese politicians support the Guidelines worked out between defense specialists in Japan and the United States to specify what Japan could do to respond in case of emergencies. What is the new role of the U.S.-Japan Security alliance after the end of the cold War? It is to be ready to respond in case of emergencies and to help keep a stable environment so that Japan, China, and Korea do not feel the need to start an arms race in order for each to achieve security. Regional stability is sufficiently important that the United States, having learned the cost of isolationism in 1914 and 1941, is willing to play a considerable role in guaranteeing regional security. Chalmers Johnson wants U.S. troops to pull out of Okinawa but he wants Japan and the United States to keep their treaty alliance. Unfortunately it is not possible to do both. If the United States is to respond quickly to emergencies in places like the Korean peninsula it needs to have troops and supplies readily on hand. The North and South Koreans both know that U.S. troops would defend South Korea if the North attacks because U.S. troops are in Korea and would be affected. Most Japanese believe that U.S. troops would fight to defend Japan. But if U.S. troops were not in Japan, many more Japanese would doubt the U.S. willingness to defend them, and the temptations to develop their own military capacity would be very real; Korea and China would be unlikely to stand idly by. The United States does not negotiate with Okinawa; it negotiates with the government of Japan, in Tokyo, and the Japanese government has chosen to keep bases in Okinawa. U.S. military officials in Okinawa have worked hard and continue to work hard to keep good relations with civilians in Okinawa and to keep incidents to a minimum. We do not live in an ideal dream world where everyone would be perfectly happy. But preserving security in Asia and avoiding a new arms race and regional conflict is too important to the lives of all Asians to be cavalier about advocating U.S. troop withdrawal from Japan without carefully considering the consequences.
Marine presence in Okinawa acts as a key deterrent against enemy attacks and maintains Japan security
Bruce, Klingner, a Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.
May 28, 2010, The Heritage Foundation, “With Re-Acceptance of Marines on Okinawa, Time to Look Ahead,”http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/05/With-Re-Acceptance-of-Marines-on-Okinawa-Time-to-Look-Ahead) SM
The DPJ policy reversal is the result of senior Japanese officials having a belated epiphany on geostrategic realities. They now realize that the Marines on Okinawa are an indispensable and irreplaceable element of any U.S. response to an Asian crisis. Foreign Minister Okada affirmed that “the presence of U.S. Marines on Okinawa is necessary for Japan’s national security [since they] are a powerful deterrent against possible enemy attacks and should be stationed in Japan.”
Prime Minister Hatoyama now admits that after coming to power he came to better understand the importance of the U.S.–Japan alliance in light of the northeast Asian security environment. He commented, “As I learned more about the situation, I’ve come to realize that [the Marines] are all linked up as a package to maintain deterrence.” Japanese officials also remarked that rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula—triggered by North Korea’s sinking of a South Korean naval ship—made clear to Japan that it lives in a dangerous neighborhood and should not undermine U.S. deterrence and defense capabilities.
Withdrawal from Okinawa undermines US hegemony and supports China’s rise
Justyna Szczudlik-Tatar, The Polish Institute of International Affairs, "The Issue of the Futenma Base on Okinawa in the Japan–US Relations", 4/28/10, Google Docs)
The US treats its bases on Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan as strategic points in the Pacific. With China, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan within their range, the presence of US forces is meant to ensure security in Asia. The reduction of US forces on Okinawa or their withdrawal from the island would amount―even if chiefly on the symbolic level―to the weakening of the US’s position as the guarantor of security in Asia, a scenario that would benefit China the most.
South Korea Link
Troops in South Korea are the linchpin of US power projection—withdrawal causes a destabilizing power vacuum
Lee Byong-Chul is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Peace and Cooperation in Seoul, "Reshaping the South Korea-US alliance", 3/4/10, AsiaSentinel, http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2328&Itemid=182
With the Americans having now agreed to hand back control at Roh's insistence, South Korea under Lee has started having second thoughts. Conservatives are concerned that the command changes could presage a US move to reduce the American security commitment on the peninsula, an eventuality that could give North Korean adventurism new opportunities and tip the security balance at a time of growing Chinese power. Some people point out that a series of diplomatic conflicts between the US and Japan over military bases and between the US and China over arms sales to Taiwan, not to mention the Google cyber security issue in China, underlines South Korea as Washington's solid and reliable friend in the region. Far beyond the troublesome North Korean nuclear issues, and beyond the question of the alliance, however, lies a still more fundamental issue: what exactly is the nature of the military alliance facing North Korea as a nuclear state and how would American power be projected if necessary? As soon as Lee took office in 2008, he started seeking to convince his US counterparts-- George W Bush included prior to Obama's ascendancy-- how crucial the ROK-U.S. alliance should be to regional stability in Northeast Asia, not only because of North Korea's adventurism but because the rise of China is becoming an unavoidable challenge to American hegemony in the region. In short, the conservative president at least acknowledges that America's role should be bigger than that of China in the course of making an eventual Korean unification happen. It is thus no wonder that from an alliance perspective of the conservatives, Obama's easy-to-remember comments about South Korea's economic and educational achievements can be regarded as perhaps more promising than they actually are to bolster conservatives' concerns in favor of delaying the transfer of wartime operational control. On cue, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young reportedly said on Feb. 24 that "the US-led defense scheme will remain further, given the North Korean nuclear and missile threat." The four-star general-turned-minister also insinuated that the government might renegotiate with the US over the transition of operational control that Seoul and Washington agreed in 2007. Roh must be turning in his grave. In terms of substance, yet some of what Kim had to say was unsurprising. It is correct that the Lee government's possible volte-face must give away many things, as the minister remarked. The overarching question is whether operational control of South Korean troops during wartime should indeed pass from the US to Korean commanders. Today, many military experts embrace a different view of South Korea's self-defense capability against the communist North, but the reality is that the transition of wartime operational control is entirely based on US military strategy that South Korea-based US troops could be temporarily pulled out of the peninsula at any time in consideration of US national interests. Washington may feel it has a winning hand in the bargaining as operational control is considered more important to South Korea than to the US. As the US has already confirmed publicly several times that the controversial authority would not be altered, it may be quietly scoffing at Seoul's goal. It is clear that America cannot forever bankroll the security of South Korea. South Korean military policy-makers should examine the American military strategies as they are, not as they want them to be. That will be a reality of the 21st century between the two countries. In the broadest sense, most government leaders, regardless of whether they want to obtain wartime operational control as scheduled, share the same goals in South Korea. At the same time, each wants South Korea's defense capabilities to remain independent and is watching cautiously as North Korea, a de facto nuclear state, seeks direct negotiations with the US over the denuclearization of the communist regime that would fundamentally reshape the political geography of the peninsula. Each is also worried about insecurity, as the US and Japan are much concerned about the whereabouts of the nuclear weapons in North Korea, as well as the possibility that China could be the fastest to cross into its neighbor state in case a serious confrontation takes place. China says that the sanctions the US is seeking in themselves are not an end as the US and other member states of the six-party talks try to harness support for them. As the US's ultimate likely successor for dominion in Asia, China is getting tougher and tougher on the world stage. Inevitably, South Korea is paying close attention to what many China analysts consider to be newfound Chinese activism across the globe. Expanding Chinese influence in North Korea would be especially alarming to policy decision-makers in Washington, given that Beijing and Pyongyang share a long and robust blood bondage. US estimates are that China lost 400,000 dead defending North Korea. That said, China has always considered North Korea to be its backyard, albeit not being a kind of Taiwan, the self-governing island that China views as a 'renegade province.' Beijing regards Pyongyang, no matter how weak, as an essential buffer against the west on its eastern flank. From America's perspective, the Korean peninsula's geopolitical significance can be in no way ignored, because North Korea has already gone nuclear. Likewise, the peninsula has emerged as a crucial site where America's global strategies could potentially be embarrassed on North Korea's foolhardy nuclear weapons program.