November 05, 2005
US-Japan Alliance: Cold War again?
In response to the report entitled "US-Japan alliance: For future reforms and regrouping" published at the end of last month, People's Daily, the most influential and authoritative Chinese newspaper, Saturday put the review "US-Japan military alliance reflects Cold War mentality" written by Jiang Xinfeng who is a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences and World Military Research Institute.
Jiang elevated sense of vigilance against accelerating Japan-US military integration and called it "full of Cold War mentality".
On October 29, Japan-US "2+2" Security Consultation Committee held a meeting in Washington, which reached an agreement on the adjustment of US troops stationed in Japan and the share of duties between Japan's Self-Defense Forces and US troops, and published the report entitled "US-Japan alliance: For future reforms and regrouping". Intensified Japan-US military alliance is manifested mainly in the following aspects:
First, accelerating Japan-US military integration, enhancing joint combat capability. The report points out that the headquarters of US troops stationed in Japan will set up a Japan-US joint combat command post at the Yokota Airport, move the US ground force first headquarters on the land of America to the Camp Zama and set up there a central quick reaction group headquarters of Japan's land Self-Defense Forces, move the aviation Self-Defense Forces headquarters located in Foochow to the Yokota Airport where the Fifth Air Force headquarters of the US army is located. This is aimed to establish a Japan-US emergency mechanism, strengthen coordinated command between Japanese and US headquarters, realize share of information and enhance ballistic missile defense capability, thereby speeding up the process of Japan-US military integration and improving Japan-US commanding and combating abilities. Military integration is also manifested in the shared use of US troops' facilities in Japan by the two countries. US troops in Japan and Japanese Self-Defense Forces can use civil airports and docks and harbors under emergency situations.
Second, ensuring the containing power of US troops in Japan when they tend to become more capable and flexible. The agreement focuses on adjusting US troops stationed in Okinawa. The Futenma Airport of US forces in Japan will be moved to Camp Schwab, at the same time, US 7,000-member marine corps in Okinawa will be reduced, the majority of which will be shifted to Guam. On the one hand, this can help lighten the burden on the Okinawa Base; on the other hand, it can make US Marine Corps cope with various situations more flexibly. In addition, although US Land Force First Headquarters to be shifted to Camp Zama does not have subordinated army units, once warfare breaks out in the area from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean under its jurisdiction, the headquarters can instantly dispatch crack troops from the US proper and other places to plunge into battles. Despite reduction in the number of US troops in Japan, due to strengthened commanding and controlling functions of US forces in Japan, the containing power of US troops has become stronger.
Third, the substantial upgrading of Japanese military role has made Japan the frontline of US Asian strategy. The report points out that Japan and the United States will strengthen cooperation in a dozen or so fields such as antiaircraft, ballistic missile defense, anti-proliferation and counter-terrorism, the two sides confirm the need to formulate a joint combat plan for dealing with contingencies and stress that Japan will give US troops "unceasing support". The United States regards Japan as a strong point for realizing its Asian strategy, and Japan, on its part, takes advantage of the opportunity to upgrade its military position and role, so as to take more and deeper participation in regional and global security affairs and raise its status in the international community, and thus accumulate capital for realizing its goal of becoming a political power.
Fourth, its intention to contain China and some other countries has become conspicuous. Japan and the United States have clearly regarded the Taiwan Straits and the Korean Peninsula as their common strategic goals in the Asian region. The present adjustment to US troops in Japan and various military cooperation measures of the two countries mainly aim to cope with armed conflicts possibly occur in the Taiwan Straits and the Korean Peninsula in the future, their intention to contain China is obvious.
Amidst the theme of the UN initiation for the establishment of a harmonious world, the act of the United States and Japan in presenting the new military cooperation agreement which is full of Cold War mentality entirely goes against the trend of the times featuring peace and development. It has not only met with severe criticisms from farsighted personages of Japan, but also has aroused the high vigilance of the surrounding countries. That Japan ties itself to the war chariot of the United States will not make itself more secure, but instead will harm its long-term national interests.
The author Jiang Xinfeng is research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences and World Military Research Institute; Translated by People's Daily Online
Posted November 5, 2005 12:32 PM
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