Food for thought

Nagashima Akihisa, international security policy expert and DPJ member of the Lower House, delivered questions in plenary session of the Lower House concerning the government’s recently submitted bill on the realignment of US forces (discussed in this post).

Nagashima’s remarks, posted here at his blog (in Japanese), constitute a long explanation of the need for a more independent Japanese security policy, in which the traditional division of “US bearing the costs in wartime, Japan bearing the costs in peacetime” is broken down in favor of a more equitable division of labor.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with Nagashima’s vision — Japan should be able to defend itself and play a greater role in regional security — but the ends of Japan’s normalization must be explained clearly to Japan’s neighbors, and, of course, to the US. The region is fraught with tension, and if Japan moves too quickly it risks exacerbating Asia’s antagonisms.

Read the whole thing, if you can.

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