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Preview this publication China’s Military and the U.S.-Japan Alliance in 2030: A Strategic Net Assessment

Michael D. Swaine, Mike M. Mochizuki, Michael L. Brown, Paul S. Giarra, Douglas H. Paal, Rachel Esplin Odell, Raymond Lu, Oliver Palmer, Xu Ren

May 3, 2013

Источник: http://carnegieendowment.org/2013/05/03/china-s-military-and-u.s.-japan-alliance-in-2030-strategic-net-assessment/i85g

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The emergence of the People’s Republic of China as an increasingly significant military power in the Western Pacific presents major implications for Japan, the U.S.-Japan alliance, and regional security. But a comprehensive assessment of the current and possible future impact of China’s military capabilities and foreign security policies on Tokyo and the alliance, along with a detailed examination of the capacity and willingness of both the United States and Japan to respond to this challenge, is missing from the current debate. Such an analysis is essential for Washington and Tokyo to better evaluate the best approaches for maintaining deterrence credibility and regional stability over the long term.

Key Findings

    • The most likely potential challenge to the U.S.-Japan alliance over the next fifteen to twenty years does not involve full-scale military conflict between China and Japan or the United States—for example, one originating from Chinese efforts to expel Washington from the region.
    • ƒƒ The likeliest challenge instead stems from Beijing’s growing coercive power—increasing Chinese military capabilities could enable Beijing to influence or attempt to resolve disputes with Tokyo in its favor short of military attack.
    • ƒƒ An increase in the People’s Liberation Army’s presence in airspace and waters near Japan and disputed territories could also heighten the risk of destabilizing political-military crises.
    • ƒƒ Significant absolute and possibly relative shifts in the military balance between China and the alliance in Japan’s vicinity are likely.
    • ƒƒ In the most probable future scenarios facing these three actors, the U.S.-Japan alliance will either only narrowly retain military superiority in the airspace and waters near Japan or the balance will become uncertain at best.
    • ƒƒ A significant drop in the potential threat posed by China is also possible if the Chinese economy falters and Beijing redirects its attention and resources toward maintaining internal stability.
  • ƒƒ More dramatic shifts in the strategic landscape are unlikely in the fifteen- to twenty-year time frame. Such shifts include an Asian cold war pitting a normalized U.S.-Japan alliance against a belligerent China and a major withdrawal of U.S. presence that heralds either the dawning of a Sino-centric Asia or the emergence of intense Sino-Japanese rivalry with Japanese nuclearization.

U.S. and Japanese Policy Responses

There are no “silver bullets.” No regional or alliance response can single-handedly deliver a stable military or political balance at minimal cost to all parties involved. Each of the major conceivable responses to these future challenges in the regional security environment will likely require painful trade-offs and, in some cases, the adoption of radically new ways of thinking about the roles and missions of both the U.S. and Japanese militaries.

Three general political-military responses offer viable ways to advance allied interests over the long term.

    • Robust Forward Presence: This deterrence-centered response is designed to retain unambiguous allied regional primacy through either highly ambitious and forward-deployment-based military concepts, such as Air-Sea Battle, or approaches more oriented toward long-range blockades, such as Offshore Control.
    • Conditional Offense/Defense: This primacy-oriented response nonetheless avoids both preemptive, deep strikes against the Chinese mainland or obvious containment-type blockades and stresses both deterrence and reassurance in a more equal manner.
  • Defensive Balancing: This response emphasizes mutual area denial, places a greater reliance on lower visibility and rear-deployed forces, and aims to establish a more genuinely balanced and cooperative power relationship with China in the Western Pacific.

These responses could be complicated by a number of factors.

    • Limits on the ability of Japan or other nations in the Asia-Pacific region to advance substantive security cooperation or embark on major security enhancements
    • ƒƒ Unwillingness in the U.S. military to alter doctrinal assumptions in operating in the Western Pacific ƒƒ China’s own suspicions of alliance efforts that might constrain the use of its growing capabilities
  • Low tolerance among stakeholders for uncertainty and even failure during political or diplomatic negotiations over vital security interests

The status quo is likely to prove unsustainable. Despite the potential complications, Washington and Tokyo must seriously evaluate these possible responses. Current economic and military trends in China, Japan, and the United States suggest that existing policies and strategies might fail to ensure a stable security environment conducive to U.S. and Japanese interests over the long term.

Advance Praise

“The Asia century is well under way, and with it the emerging challenges of a region in transition…. Any sound future policy will require a thorough assessment of China’s evolving military and foreign security capabilities and of the capacity and willingness of Tokyo and Washington to sustain their historic cooperation. There are no guarantees that the future will resemble the recent past, and the best approaches for continued deterrence credibility and regional stability will require careful consideration and thoughtful analysis.

To this end, the Carnegie Endowment has offered up an extraordinary contribution: China’s Military and the U.S.-Japan Alliance in 2030: A Strategic Net Assessment. The future security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region may very well be defined by the content of this assessment. But one thing is certain: the United States and Japan must recognize that in the future, status quo thinking is unlikely to guarantee a stable security environment that serves the long-term interests of the bilateral relationship or the region.”

—Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., former ambassador to China and former governor of Utah

“Michael Swaine and his co-authors have done an admirable job of thinking through the complex interactions of the U.S.-Japan-China relationship in the future. Using scenarios and trend projections, they go beyond simple predictions to examine the complex interactions of different developments and reactions among the three countries and different groups within them. While I do not agree with specific military and policy judgments in all the scenarios, I strongly endorse the effort to examine potential developments along with likely and possible reactions and counterreactions. The triangular interactive relations among these great Asian powers will determine both the overall future of the region and much of the futures of each of the individual countries.”

—Admiral Dennis Blair (U.S. Navy, retired), former director of national intelligence and former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command

“The U.S.-Japan alliance has long been crucial to the military balance in the Western Pacific. The balance of power in the region is now shifting toward China, and tensions between Asian states are rising concomitantly. Current trends suggest that the United States and Japan will not find it easy to sustain immunity from coercion as they seek to preserve stability, secure their national interests, and manage crises in the region over the coming years. This study is a remarkably timely, thoughtful, and meticulous examination of the drivers and choices the allies will face through 2030. It illuminates probable shifts in the strategic landscape of northeast Asia, their consequences, and the policy and resource allocation choices they pose. In this strategic net assessment, the scholars Carnegie assembled have given decisionmakers in Tokyo and Washington a uniquely insightful and thought-provoking policy-planning tool.”

—Ambassador Chas W. Freeman Jr. (U.S. Foreign Service, retired), former assistant secretary of defense

“There is nothing out there like this—a very important piece of work…. This is an elegantly framed study that systematically assesses the postures of China, Japan, and the United States and treats the dynamics between them. Obviously, this is tough to execute, but the authors have done an outstanding job. The report addresses a critical subject and offers empirically based suggestions…. There is nothing like it in terms of looking at the interactions between states to produce a set of possible future regional dynamics.”

—Eric Heginbotham, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation

The authors would like to thank the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces Research and Development Command NAT Project for translating the executive summary into Japanese.

Navigating a New U.S.-Japan Defense Technology Frontier

James L. Schoff

March 10, 2015

Источник: http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/03/10/navigating-new-u.s.-japan-defense-technology-frontier/i4b8


Deeper U.S.-Japan defense technology cooperation can enhance the allies’ military advantage beyond what either can accomplish alone while avoiding a regional arms race.


Japan’s government is overhauling the way it develops, procures, and exports defense equipment and technology in a series of bold steps begun in April 2014 that should open a new avenue of U.S.-Japan security cooperation. It could be the most significant change in this area since 1954, when Japan established and began supplying its own Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

Fortuitously, Japan’s effort coincides with a recent U.S. defense technology initiative aimed to “sustain and advance America’s military dominance for the 21st Century.” It was launched amid concerns that America’s qualitative advantage is eroding steadily.

The United States and Japan should be able to collaborate more closely on developing the next generation of military technologies for mutual benefit and to help undergird regional stability. The allies already have experience cooperating on missile defense, and both countries’ defense industries are currently exploring new business opportunities. But a higher level of strategic collaboration can be pursued. A good time to begin shaping this cooperation is at the expected rollout of new bilateral defense cooperation guidelines in April 2015.

There are, of course, challenges to deeper collaboration. Questions remain about how far Japan’s government and industry will push these new boundaries and whether or not the allies can identify significant practical benefit for new technology cooperation and manage it more effectively than they have in the past. In addition, emerging powers like China that are investing in their own military might feel compelled to keep pace with a major defense innovation push by the United States, and Japan’s involvement could complicate this dynamic.

In fact, a major objective of such U.S.-Japan cooperation is to make a regional arms race seem both unappealing and unnecessary to Beijing, by maintaining a comfortable military edge without threatening China. Ineptly pursued, however, this confluence of the two countries’ defense technology initiatives could exacerbate regional suspicion even as it fails to qualitatively improve the allies’ defense condition.

Still, the potential benefits of bilateral collaboration make it worth taking on these challenges. Success requires deft diplomacy and an element of restraint, along with smart investments in technological innovation.

A Turning Point for Japan’s Defense Industry

Japan’s move to begin participating in the global defense market is just one part of a new national security strategy unveiled in late 2013 by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Concerned with rising Chinese military spending and activity amid bilateral tensions over disputed islands in the East China Sea, as well as North Korea’s ongoing nuclear and missile programs, the Abe government took steps to strengthen its crisis management capability. It is also loosening legal restrictions on the SDF to allow the force to better defend the country and contribute more to regional stability.

Japan’s new security strategy includes enhancing its defense production and technological bases, in part by strengthening international competitiveness. Overall, Tokyo is approaching defense procurement reform as a two-level strategy to help domestic firms at the micro-level reach the highest international standards and to diversify Japan’s security relationships at the macro-level through broader and deeper defense equipment and technology cooperation with trusted partners.

Accomplishing this strategy involves policy moves designed to extract more value from Japan’s limited defense spending, to strengthen the country’s defense industrial sector (for both economic and national security benefits), and to bolster alliance cooperation with the United States and other partners (to enhance competitiveness and deterrence).

Tokyo started to implement the defense-industry component of the strategy by revising its principles on the transfer of defense equipment and technology in April 2014. Until this administration, Japanese governments since the end of World War II have effectively banned defense exports as a way to demonstrate the country’s commitment to peace and avoid foreign entanglements. This included items that contained any Japan-made content, which made Japanese firms undesirable business partners because a co-developed product could only be sold in Japan.

Tokyo allowed a few exceptions when the United States and Japan collaborated on certain missile defense and aircraft technologies, but this never opened the door to meaningful exports. Instead, Japan’s defense industry focused only on the domestic market, developing some sophisticated capabilities but in small quantities and at relatively high prices.

Under the new rules, Japan now allows defense transfers overseas in a variety of situations, including those that support peacekeeping and disaster relief efforts as well as “international cooperation.” Transfers are also permitted when they contribute to Japan’s national security, such as by implementing joint development projects or otherwise deepening defense cooperation with allies and partners. Tokyo will still abstain from arms sales if they violate treaty obligations or United Nations–backed sanctions, or if they would be sales to a country in a current conflict where the UN is trying to broker peace.

The new rules also allow follow-on sales to another country beyond the initial buyer (a so-called third-party transfer) when “appropriate control” of that technology is ensured, which widens the potential market further. The first export license Japan issued under the new rules was for a small gyroscope used by the United States in the Patriot missile defense system (to be sold to Qatar), but it will not be long before the government is issuing licenses for parts of a submarine sold directly by Japan to Australia or an entire patrol plane to India.

Japan followed up its revised principles for defense transfers by publishing a Strategy on Defense Production and Technological Bases in June 2014 that aims to help industry navigate both the greater competition and the opportunities expected from the new transfer policies. The strategy calls for forging long-term government and industry partnerships, doubling the upper limit for contract length out to ten years, promoting international joint development of certain technologies, formulating a research and development vision for the industry, and strengthening research cooperation with universities, among several other measures.

To lay the groundwork for international collaboration, Japan has negotiated a series of defense equipment cooperation agreements with Australia, France, India, and the United Kingdom (so far) to complement its existing pact with the United States. These agreements create legal frameworks for Japan to participate in joint research, development, and production of defense technologies with partners, and they establish joint committees to manage each relationship. This should create more opportunities for Japanese industry and could even facilitate trilateral cooperation in certain cases involving the United States, Japan, and one other partner. Early ideas being considered include Japan-UK collaboration on an improved air-to-air missile and Japan-U.S. cooperation on a new amphibious vehicle to sell in Japan and abroad. These are incremental steps, but they could become more ambitious over time.

The final major part of Japan’s process of shoring up its defense industry is the formation of a new agency to oversee the entire procurement process, from R&D and identifying military requirements all the way through selection, purchasing, and life-cycle management of the equipment.

Over the course of 2015, Japan will stand up an Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) under the minister of defense, consolidating functions that had been scattered around the ministry and the SDF branches and adding new capabilities to manage international collaboration and exports. Roughly 1,800 officials and SDF personnel will work in ATLA under an agency commissioner reporting directly to the defense minister (see figure). ATLA will be responsible for policy, R&D, testing and evaluation, project management, contracting, technology security, and other functions in close cooperation with the SDF, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), and the National Security Secretariat.

Deeper U.S.-Japan defense technology cooperation can enhance the allies’ military advantage beyond what either can accomplish alone while avoiding a regional arms race.


An Alliance Opportunity

If Japan took these policy steps a couple of decades ago amid lingering U.S.-Japan trade tensions, suspicion in Washington would have run high that Tokyo’s main goal was to seek to increase its market share at the expense of U.S. defense firms. Today, however, U.S. policymakers are welcoming Japan’s moves, in part for the opportunity to broaden the United States’ supplier network, improve cost efficiency, enhance alliance interoperability, and maintain an allied edge in certain military technologies where they fear other states are gaining.

As such, revised defense guidelines almost completed by the two governments will likely describe equipment and technology cooperation as a new bilateral enterprise. And large U.S. defense firms like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are currently upgrading their corporate presence in Japan to take advantage of these changes. This should lead to increased bilateral defense research and procurement collaboration in an almost organic or market-driven way, but the overall impact will be modest if there is not additional leadership on the issue and investment.

The allies have an opportunity to move beyond this incremental approach and take their cooperation to a higher level by involving Japan as a partner in executing the U.S. Defense Innovation Initiative. Also known as the Third Offset Strategy, this Defense Department effort harkens back to America’s Cold War military competition with the Soviet Union. It is being placed in a similar context as then president Dwight Eisenhower’s “New Look” of the 1950s and the second “offset strategy” developed in the 1970s and 1980s to address perceived defense gaps in the face of Soviet numerical or technological advantages.1 This time, China has joined Russia as a major concern, primarily due to its development of accurate long-range missiles and integrated air defense systems, its progress toward fielding fifth-generation fighter aircraft and well-equipped nuclear-powered submarines, and its significant cyberwarfare and space capabilities.2

China’s advances are expected to increase the vulnerability of U.S. bases in Asia and the United States’ most expensive weapons platforms. This vulnerability, in turn, could call into question America’s willingness to risk conflict escalation with China and thus undermine deterrence stability under certain circumstances. Many U.S. officials see foreign military investments by China, Russia, Iran, and others as designed to deter and defeat a regional intervention by the U.S. military, which is a concern to Japan as well.3

In response, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work has emphasized the need to provide U.S. military personnel a competitive advantage, “so that they will never find themselves evenly matched in a conflict.” He called this “the essence of deterrence and what will ultimately safeguard all of our interests.”4

An important aspect of this new U.S. initiative is a Long-Range Research and Development Planning Program to identify, develop, and field breakthrough technologies in the areas of space, undersea, air dominance and strike, and air and missile defense as well as a flexible basket of emerging technologies. The Defense Department organized small teams for each category, drawing on the best talent in the government and military, which will solicit and receive information from industry, academia, federal labs, think tanks, and others—including from other countries. The department wants early results completed in time for inputs to the fiscal year 2017 budget submission, but once initiated, these technology programs could carry on for years and possibly decades.

The Defense Department is placing particular emphasis on the fields of autonomous systems, miniaturization, big data, and advanced manufacturing. Japanese prowess in robotics, energy storage, artificial intelligence, and other U.S. focus areas make this a natural new avenue for bilateral cooperation, involving not only traditional Japanese defense firms but also off-the-shelf commercial technologies from Japan repurposed for defense application.

The defensive nature of many of these systems makes them good candidates for bilateral collaboration, given Japan’s political sensitivity to offensive arms exports. Such collaboration could make cheaper and more effective missile defenses (using electromagnetic rail guns or directed energy), for example, that could defeat Chinese cruise missiles without threatening China itself. Unmanned underwater vehicles might strengthen deterrence vis-à-vis Chinese or Russian submarine operations. Improving the resiliency of forward bases and space-based command-and-control systems are other priorities, and all should be within Japan’s political limits.

Still, although the potential benefits of collaboration are great, so are the challenges.

Obstacles and Dangers Ahead

Some of these challenges stem from a lack of clarity about how Japan will implement its revised policies, how Japan’s corporate culture will respond, and what steps the allies take to manage this unique kind of public-private sector cooperation. Navigating this new frontier will require patience, persistence, flexibility, and consistent leadership attention.

The United States and Japan share a sense of urgency about trying to take advantage of this opportunity, but old habits are hard to break, regardless of whether they reside in the government or private sectors. Many Japanese bureaucrats, for example, hoped that last year’s defense transfer relaxation would stimulate multiple corporate deals and export license applications in something of a market-driven dynamic, but companies have been cautious. Japanese firms in particular are looking for more guidance from the government regarding what kinds of collaboration will be supported, and it will take an accumulation of new applications and precedents to clarify what ventures will contribute to “peace,” “international cooperation,” or “Japan’s security.” Japanese executives note that simply making money is not a sufficient reason to receive export license approval, and many would feel more comfortable working within a government-to-government framework at this early stage.

A policy-driven approach to defense technology cooperation, however, will take time to coordinate between the allies. To start with, the United States and Japan have slightly different ways of managing the process. The Defense Policy Bureau in Japan has traditionally overseen the fulfillment of the SDF’s acquisition needs, but its U.S. counterpart only supports the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, who has the lead role in the United States. Additionally, there is a bilateral tool for coordinating government-to-government cooperation on defense-related R&D—the Systems and Technology Forum (S&TF)—but it was not designed to consider the wide range of cooperation options that now exist.

The recent introduction of a Capabilities Group to the S&TF is helping to bridge the gap between each country’s determination of technology requirements and how to acquire them, but it is possible that further adjustments will be needed if the allies are to take full advantage of the opportunity before them. The S&TF, for example, only involves the Ministry of Defense on the Japan side, but many of Japan’s technologies that interest Washington—energy storage, certain materials, and others—are not necessarily under the purview of the Defense Ministry. Consequently, the U.S. side will need to build linkages to the wider civilian-industry community in Japan, including in the space and cybersecurity arenas, via other ministries.

Another challenge is the legal confusion about what kinds of assurances Japan requires regarding third-party transfer. The lack of clarity in this area has added time-consuming procedures to gain approval for the few exports to date, so this needs to be streamlined. New legislation and regulation are also possible in Japan, perhaps in the form of a Defense Production Act to guarantee a reliable supply chain and/or new rules to protect Japan’s technology security. Accessing classified information in general is already a complex and expensive procedure for companies new to the process, and some believe that an industry annex to the bilateral agreement on securing military information might be required.

Japan’s revamped defense procurement agency should help address many of these challenges, but ATLA will not be fully operational until the fall of 2015, and it is not clear yet how effective and efficient it will be. Some in Japan already complain that the current ATLA plan leaves the agency understaffed and without sufficient funds to carry out all of its new responsibilities. This has the Defense Ministry looking for ways to leverage other parts of the Japanese government to assist, perhaps by conducting defense R&D in certain METI-funded laboratories that are already in operation or receiving marketing or financing help from other agencies currently providing this support to Japanese industry overall. The other ministries will cooperate to some extent, but their primary responsibilities are not in the defense arena.

On the U.S. side, Congress has put in place a variety of restrictions related to international defense procurement in general, and these cannot be sidestepped until Tokyo and Washington conclude a Reciprocal Defense Procurement memorandum of understanding. The U.S. government has signed these with several other partners, but doing so involves a review process that can take up to two years. Moreover, the U.S. defense technology and procurement structure is so expansive that it often defies a coherent process that moves predictably from the identification of requirements to R&D and then to acquisition, with a compatible disclosure policy that facilitates international participation. Industry representatives in both countries are actively exploring new opportunities and partnerships, but all of these uncertainties make them hesitant to consider major new investments.

Besides this bureaucratic or legal risk, Japanese firms also face an element of reputational risk. Defense-related sales often make up just a small percentage of a company’s total revenue, and many executives worry that high-profile arms exports might alienate the peace-loving Japanese public. Even if the defense operation is a separate division within a well-known Japanese electronics firm, for example, the business name might be tied to the weapons sales, which could generate more harm than good for the company overall. This is truer for companies considering a new entry into the defense industry supply chain. A few Japanese universities and science labs are beginning to collaborate on some research with defense applications, but this is politically sensitive for them as well.

Finally, the allies must also consider how neighboring countries might react to an allied push into the next generation of military technologies, especially one so clearly designed to counter recent Chinese advances. One country’s deterrent can always be another country’s perceived threat, which means the way in which Washington implements its new defense initiative will affect the security environment.

China’s response does not necessarily have to be negative, but that depends in part on whether or not Washington pursues its innovation initiative in ways that serve wider regional interests. The United States has a positive (though not perfect) track record when it possesses significant military advantages in support of public goods. Asia’s prosperity and relative stability since the end of the Cold War supports this observation. Japan, too, wants Washington to be confident in its ability to control escalation and discourage military adventurism in the region.

Early in the Defense Innovation Initiative, the Defense Department outlined multiple goals such as providing a significant warfighting advantage, disrupting and countering material investment strategies pursued by potential future adversaries, and imposing significant costs on future adversaries. This is sure to raise alarm bells in Beijing, and Moscow as well, but there are ways to dampen a potential arms race. If the allies can demonstrate an ability to develop new defense systems affordably, and if those new systems offer the allies military advantages to negate an opponent’s power projection without raising existential concerns, then this might actually foster restraint by making an effort to keep pace appear unsustainable and less necessary. The latter point can be strengthened by open-minded diplomacy and a focus on common interests.

Failure in this area, however, could foster mutual suspicion and a fruitless pursuit of total security and military dominance that would inevitably lead to greater defense investment by China (given its means), feeding into a vicious cycle. This will have expensive implications in terms of financial, human, and opportunity costs, echoing the Cold War experience. In that example, U.S. and Soviet defense budgets rose steadily through the 1970s and 1980s to reach about 6 percent and 30 percent of annual GDP, respectively, spending over $2 trillion combined on weapons procurement and R&D during that time.5 It was a tremendous waste, but it shows the lengths that countries will go to if they believe that their vital security interests are threatened.

Recommendations for a New Bilateral Enterprise

Investing time and money in U.S.-Japan defense technology cooperation can enhance the allies’ military advantage beyond what either can accomplish alone. Although it is not aimed foremost at reducing procurement costs, it might help in this regard, either through better manufacturing processes, more efficient sourcing, or improving such systems as missile defenses using directed energy instead of expensive missile interceptors. Cooperation can also facilitate breakthroughs that could be applied to other fields such as energy efficiency, protecting against terrorist threats, or mitigating environmental challenges and natural disasters.

Still, the main purpose of this new enterprise should be to reduce allied vulnerabilities and demonstrate clearly that military coercion or adventurism against their interests in the region cannot succeed. This will have to be combined with assurances and corresponding actions that show the interests of other stakeholders in the region will be respected, lest cooperation accelerate a costly security dilemma.

Until there is greater mutual agreement among the major nations in Asia regarding the region’s future, a concert of powers is unlikely to be harmonious and deterrence will remain vital. A Cold War redux should be avoidable in Asia given the absence of a true ideological struggle, growing economic interdependence, and many shared interests. The region’s nascent security architecture, however, is unable to prevent some countries from resorting to force to seize economic or military advantage, as they acquire the means and confidence to do so.

There is no single approach to successfully navigate this new defense technology frontier in alliance cooperation. The effort will be both driven by the market from the bottom up and guided—and occasionally subsidized—by top-down policymaking. Private firms will look to build partnerships and find ways to solve supply chain and technical problems, to make existing products more efficiently, and to develop innovative ways to satisfy evolving military requirements. The two governments, meanwhile, can also communicate and build an enabling environment for bilateral cooperation including opportunities for long-term R&D collaboration in key strategic areas.

The U.S. secretaries of defense and state plan to meet their Japanese counterparts this spring at a so-called 2+2 meeting ahead of a leaders’ summit in Washington between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Abe. As the two countries’ defense and foreign policy leaders roll out the revised defense cooperation guidelines at the meetings, they should highlight this new bilateral enterprise of defense technology cooperation and instruct alliance managers to clarify policy objectives and mobilize an interagency effort to make the most of this opportunity.

The first step is for leadership in both countries to endorse long-term bilateral technology cooperation in support of certain U.S. and allied military requirements, and to involve Japan in the U.S. Defense Innovation Initiative when advantageous. Implementing this collaboration will likely require supplementing or expanding the bilateral Systems and Technology Forum with civilian agency, private sector, and academic involvement to better assess long-term technology trends and consider options to address a wide range of security challenges.

Policymakers should also enhance current S&TF linkages to the ongoing alliance dialogues on bilateral planning and military roles, missions, and capabilities so that U.S.-Japan cooperation is truly responsive to warfighter needs. At the same time, foreign and defense policy leaders need to coordinate closely on a strategy to reassure neighboring countries, maintain sufficient transparency, and consider ways to avoid an arms race in the region.

In addition, the two countries can facilitate government-industry communication to identify and remove obstacles to bilateral cooperation without jeopardizing technology security. An early issue is expediting the conclusion of a Reciprocal Defense Procurement memorandum of understanding. Leaders can also provide modest additional defense funding for R&D and public-private partnerships in Japan and the United States to incentivize cooperation and contributions from industry, academia, and other government bodies.

Meanwhile, industry in both countries should move quickly with small-scale cooperative projects to help establish administrative precedents while the architects of Japan’s new policies are in their current positions. Now is the time to invest—even if modestly—in order to clarify regulatory parameters and deepen personal networks in these fields. Focusing on defensive systems like missile defense, sensors, and reconnaissance early on will make it easier to win public and diplomatic support.

Change is coming to U.S.-Japan defense technology cooperation, but the extent to which this change contributes to peace and stability in East Asia depends on how effectively the two governments can harness this potential. They must organize for success and draw on all of the talent at their disposal—public, private, military, and civilian—while balancing long-term ambition with practical problem solving and the efficient use of resources.

It is okay to start slowly but important to start now, building in time to review performance and make improvements along the way. A strong technology edge for the allies will serve them and the region well in the future, just as it has before.


1 Robert Martinage, Toward a New Offset Strategy: Exploiting U.S. Long-Term Advantages to Restore U.S. Global Power Projection Capability, (Washington: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2014), http://csbaonline.org/publications/2014/10/toward-a-new-offset-strategy-exploiting-u-s-long-term-advantages-to-restore-u-s-global-power-projection-capability/.

2 See The Role of Maritime and Air Power in DoD’s Third Offset Strategy, 113th Cong. (2014) (statement of David Ochmanek, senior defense analyst with Rand Corporation); or A Case for Reform: Improving DOD’s Ability to Respond to the Pace of Technological Change, 114th Cong. (2015) (statement of Frank Kendall, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics).

3 Kendall, 2015.

4 Claudette Roulo, “Offset Strategy Puts Advantage in Hands of U.S., Allies,” DoD News, January 28, 2015, http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128064.

5 Compiled by the author using the World Bank for U.S. GDP data, U.S. Office of Management and Budget for U.S. defense data, UN statistics for Soviet Union GDP data, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s “Comparison of Soviet and U.S. Defense Activities from 1973-1987,” (published July 1988) for Soviet Union defense data.


Advanced Conventional Weapons, Deterrence and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

By: Ariana N. Rowberry

December 2014

Источник: http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2015/01/advanced-conventional-weapons-deterrence-us-japan-alliance-rowberry

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In this report, Ariana Rowberry, a 2013-2014 Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow, analyzes the potential contribution of Japanese conventional strike systems and ballistic missile defense capabilities to strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance.

The report begins with an overview of the alliance, examining the various components of the extended deterrent, including nuclear, conventional and political deterrence. Next, it examines the evolving security environment in Northeast Asia and suggests that advanced conventional weapons could have an increased role in responding to the altered environment. The report then analyzes the costs and benefits of the potential contribution of Japanese conventional weapons systems to the U.S.-Japan alliance.

Rowberry concludes that the United States and Japan should engage in deeper consultation via existing consultative forums, and actively explore the potential role of advanced conventional weapons systems in the U.S.-Japan alliance. Presently, because of high political costs and technological challenges, she suggests that Japan should not consider developing an indigenous conventional strike capability. However, in the long-term, it could be advantageous for Japan to acquire a conventional strike capability, particularly if the security environment in Northeast Asia becomes increasingly unstable.

Rowberry recommends that the United States and Japan continue to strengthen coordination on ballistic missile defense. Should the Japanese government reinterpret the constitution to adopt collective self-defense, Tokyo could use its existing ballistic missile defense systems to protect U.S. bases in Northeast Asia. Finally, when political circumstances permit, the United States, Japan and South Korea should work to assuage old wounds and establish a formal mechanism to discuss military cooperation, and seek to cooperate on ballistic missile defense in the long-term.

Prime Minister Abe’s very good visit

By Brad Glosserman, Scott Snyder

May 4, 2015

Источник: http://csis.org/publication/pacnet-28-prime-minister-abes-very-good-visit


Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s trip to the United States last week was about as productive and positive as a state visit could hope to be. The trappings and status of the visit were second to none. It affirmed the importance of the US-Japan partnership. It produced critical, forward-looking documents to chart the course of the US-Japan relationship. Abe delivered remarks to enthusiastic and approving audiences. Significantly, there were no gaffes to muddy the message or the image he sought to present to the United States, Japan, and the rest of the world. Prime Minister Abe and his entourage should be delighted with the results.

The atmospherics were outstanding. The weather was good, Abe landed on the White House lawn to stand side by side with President Obama for his press conference, and most of the questions addressed relevant issues. Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to address a joint meeting of Congress and was given a state dinner with all of the associated buzz.

All statements, both scripted and informal, emphasized how the United States and Japan are in sync strategically and view the region and the world through the same lens. Both frame security challenges in the same way, are focused on the same sources of instability (without singling out any particular country), and back the same solutions to these problems. So, for example, Abe and Obama seek a strong international legal regime and protection for the international commons. They also see the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as not just a trade deal, but as a strategic tool to shape the Asia-Pacific region in both economic and security terms.

The visit produced landmark documents for the alliance. They include a Joint Vision Statement for the two countries that explains their desire “to build a strong rules-based international order, based on a commitment to rules, norms and institutions,” and that rests upon an “unshakeable Alliance that is the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and a platform for global cooperation.” It lays out a global agenda whose realization will more deeply integrate the two governments and their nations.

That same desire for deeper integration and partnership animates new US-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation, the first re-articulation of those guidelines in eighteen years. The guidelines help modernize the alliance, reinforce deterrence, and better prepare the two countries for new security challenges. They also call for an integrated whole-of-government approach to alliance cooperation and reaffirm the US commitment to a long-term presence in Japan. Abe took particular pleasure when Obama repeated his statement last year that the Senkaku Islands fall under the ambit of the Mutual Security Treaty.

While alliance issues consumed much of Abe’s visit (and are likely to have the most significance over time), his treatment of historical issues generated the most scrutiny. Abe is a conservative nationalist; some consider him to be historical revisionist, sympathetic to the Imperial Japanese regime. His speech in Washington, along with his address in Canberra earlier this year, is a window on his thinking about history. His remarks to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II may well define his administration and the way that history assesses him.

His speech to Congress was personal and sympathetic. Abe spoke “with deep repentance in my heart,” to “offer with profound respect my eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during World War II.” He didn’t say he was sorry but he noted that Japan’s “actions brought suffering to the peoples in Asian countries. We must not avert our eyes from that.” That formulation suggests that he understands a connection between Japan’s actions and the suffering that resulted; it implies responsibility. In addition, he explicitly said that he “will uphold the views expressed by the previous prime ministers in this regard,” a vow to honor the Murayama Statement and the Kono Statement that cannot be fudged. The speech was frequently interrupted by applause and Abe received a standing ovation more than ten times.

Some were not happy with the remarks; worryingly they spoke for groups that had the most at stake. Lester Tenney, a 94-year-old survivor of the Bataan Death March, acknowledged Abe’s comments about the deceased but dismissed as “disgraceful” the failure to address the feelings of those still alive. Jan Thompson, president of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society, decried the speech as “so vague. He didn’t give us one definitive sentence to send that message to us that he does know the true history.”

Those who had hoped that he would address the comfort women issue were also angered. Abe noted that, “Armed conflicts have always made women suffer the most. In our age, we must realize the kind of world where finally women are free from human rights abuses,” a statement that is both correct and anodyne. Reaction in South Korea in particular was bitter as he made no reference at any point – and he was asked directly about this in an appearance in Boston – to Japanese state responsibility for the comfort women.

That silence reflects a larger failure by Abe, one of three clouds on an otherwise spotless horizon. Abe didn’t take up Japan’s relations with South Korea in any substantive way during his visit. Of course, this visit was supposed to focus on the US-Japan relationship, but this partnership is increasingly the cornerstone of a larger network of US relations with the region. In the new US-Japan Defense Guidelines, the two countries promise to “promote and improve trilateral and multilateral security and defense cooperation.” Japan’s first National Security Strategy [pdf], published in December 2013, acknowledged Seoul as a potential strategic partner to Tokyo.

Abe shouldn’t have devoted his speech to US-Japan-ROK relations, but he missed an opportunity to transform this vital framework and lay the groundwork for a more substantial address later this summer. In advance of Abe’s arrival in the United States, National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Evan Medeiros said to reporters that “we always stress that it’s important to address history questions in an honest, constructive and forthright manner that promotes healing but also in a way that reaches a final resolution,” an unmistakable signal that the United States places importance not only on Japan’s steadfastness as an alliance partner, but also on Japan’s ability to work effectively with other allies including South Korea. A more forward-leaning approach by Abe would have given momentum to efforts underway to strengthen Japan–South Korea cooperation during this sensitive anniversary year, since a strong relationship between Japan and South Korea will strengthen Japan’s strategic position in Asia while bolstering the effectiveness of the US rebalance to Asia.

The second potential cloud is the reaction Abe’s words generate in Japan. Will there be explanations, qualifications, and clarifications by Abe or his entourage that undercut his message? This should not happen given the significance of his remarks – and the fact that all involved know that every word will be closely scrutinized – but even before Abe had returned home, the Asahi Shimbun reported that the statement to Congress, “I will uphold the views expressed by the previous prime ministers” – a key phrase – was rendered in Japanese as “I feel exactly the same way as the previous prime ministers.” The difference is striking.

Finally, there is the largest problem of all: Will there be continued attention to the alliance from now on or will last week prove to be nothing more than a blip on Washington schedules and a high-water mark on Abe’s travel schedule? The biggest issue for Abe, one that he acknowledged during his trip to Washington two years ago, is whether Japan will be a “first-tier country.” If he and his government make the joint vision statement real, the answer will be yes. The trick is turning the fine words and photo ops in to something more concrete. And that demands effort from both leaders, both governments, and both publics.

Japan Chair Platform: How Will the New U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines Affect Regional Security?

By John Hemmings

May 14, 2015

Источник: http://csis.org/publication/japan-chair-platform-how-will-new-us-japan-defense-guidelines-affect-regional-security


The new Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation were unveiled on April 27 in New York, coinciding with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington, D.C. The visit has been judged a major coup by many in the United States and a major success for the dynamic Japanese leader. If Abe’s goal was merely to bring the two Pacific powers into greater political alignment, then the trip was a remarkable success. The fact that alliance managers on both sides had worked hard to bring the two powers into greater military and security alignment added to that success. Both the prime minister’s U.S. visit and the U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines (herein called “the guidelines”) are a reaction to growing insecurity in the Asia-Pacific region and an attempt to reinvigorate and recalibrate the alliance’s functions. What many regional states will now be wondering is what impact the new guidelines will have on regional security.

Complementing and informing the 1960 U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the 2015 Defense Guidelines act as a policy framework, a way for the two militaries to know what is and isn’t permissible within the scope of the alliance, and to guide the evolution of that cooperation. This iteration—replacing the 1997 guidelines—is being called “historic” by many, though others have been more cautious, saying that while significant, the guidelines do too little to restore the growing imbalance of power in the region. Perhaps predictably, China—itself seen by many states in a 2014 Pew Poll as a source for the growing instability—blasted the guidelines as a “relic from the Cold War.” The irony was lost on few in the region, given the frenzy of island reclamation and militarization that Beijing has carried out over the past month in its effort to project power over sea-lanes vital to the region.

Why Now?

In answer to the question posed by many “why now.” alliance managers have answered that the security environment of the region has changed drastically from the late 1990s, when the guidelines were last written. Then, the guidelines emphasized Japan’s growing willingness to act regionally and burden share in areas like peacekeeping operations, maritime security, and essentially to more-than-defense-of-Japan duties. These changes seemed appropriate to a time when failed states and civil wars were the biggest challenges to the international community, and when the United States was searching for active partners. However, the changes made by the 2015 Guidelines are even more remarkable, with the alliance broadening its remit—geographically and to third-party countries—and deepening its functions—installing a new whole-of-government approach badly needed for operations other than war (OOTW). Then as now, the evolution of the alliance sees a growing equality between Washington and Tokyo, with greater burden sharing by the latter. Japan, it seems, may have arrived as a major security actor.

A Tougher Alliance, but How about Collective Self-Defense?

Regional actors will have noted that the guidelines have broadened previous geographical and functional limitations on the alliance. This simply brings the guidelines up to date with all that has occurred on the ground (or water) in terms of Japan’s growing involvement in international stability operations, from Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and the growing appetite for European-Japan security cooperation. The guidelines do not give Japan the remit to broaden its geographic scope; rather, they provide the space for Japanese politicians to resolve that remit domestically. Furthermore, Japanese and U.S. forces can now cooperate in more types of operations. U.S. alliance managers noted with approval that Japan has open space in the guidelines in the section covering ballistic missile cooperation for it to shoot down weapons headed toward the United States, a major issue when considering the threat from North Korea. In line with a Japanese cabinet decision made in July 2014, Japanese forces can now help any “foreign country that is in a close relationship with Japan,” on the condition that the attack “threatens Japan’s survival and poses a clear danger to fundamentally overturn (Japanese) people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” As senior Japanese officials made clear at a CSIS event on May 1, this remains a high threshold, open to interpretation.

For states like Vietnam and the Philippines, facing the brunt of Chinese assertiveness, this will remain a vague commitment. It does not guarantee that Japan will engage in third-country defense willy-nilly, but it does open the door to that possibility occurring in the future. For allies like Australia and South Korea, who have close working relationships with the Self-Defense Forces, this will be a provision to watch with interest in the coming years. This adds an element of realism to the growing interconnectedness between Japan and other U.S. allies and alliance networks and enables further evolution. A number of new domains, such as cyber, space, and small-scale attacks have been added, which also seek to deal with the growth of asymmetric, across-the-board attacks that Chinese tactical literature seems to favor. For U.S. allies in Europe, such as NATO member states, the development of cyber and intelligence cooperation with Japan became much more plausible with the advent of this limited form of collective self-defense.

Deterring and Strengthening

It will be interesting to see how China reacts to the tightening of the U.S.-Japan Alliance, perhaps giving them pause in their salami-slicing expansion into Japanese territorial waters. The Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM) reduces daylight between U.S. and Japan policymaking, institutionalizing policymaking among both military and civilian agencies. The bilateral planning component has also been strengthened and upgraded, again bringing in nonmilitary agencies into the process. The forces and government agencies will be more harmonized and better equipped to deal with operations other than war, noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO), and “gray zone” provocations. In dealing with any North Korean wartime or collapse scenario, these elements are essential. However, given the steady growth of Chinese naval assertiveness of the past few years, it may be Beijing rather than Pyongyang that triggers their need. How these functions look on paper is one thing; how they operate in practice, will be another.

One thing is certain: Chinese encroachment in the East China Sea will no longer find a surprised or passive alliance, as the guidelines put forward a range of proactive practices and institutions. The alliance will be more resilient: assets will be co-protected, while the addition of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) cooperation in the guidelines will enhance maritime and aerospace domain awareness, narrowing the possibility of surprise. And if surprises do come—and they invariably do in international relations—then the improved bilateral planning and policy coordination should better prepare U.S. and Japanese forces. The upshot of all this is likely to be a growing inability for China or North Korea to operate their forces “between the cracks of the alliance,” in the so-called safety of the gray zone. However, faced with such resilience, Beijing may pursue its options in other parts of the region. Frustrated in the East China Sea, Chinese expansionism may accelerate in the South China Sea. However, even there, the guidelines have developed a number of potential solutions. The primary one is that of capacity-building assistance; giving Southeast Asian states the wherewithal to protect or at least maintain their present maritime borders. A second, higher function is that of providing leadership for the region. The U.S.-Japan Alliance has long aspired to cement the region through its security partnerships. This has been apparent in its approach to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. These guidelines signal to other in the region Tokyo and Washington’s resolve to meet future challenges with firmness and may encourage growing solidarity with the alliance.

Forward the Alliance

It is difficult to predict how Beijing will react the new U.S.-Japan Alliance. Unfortunately, its track record isn’t the best. Wherever it has suffered resistance to its ambitions, it has denounced that resistance as “containment,” a useful communications strategy, which keeps adversaries on the back foot. The irony is that continuing its attempts to secure the waters of its neighbors may well one day push regional states into just such a policy. Hopefully, such an outcome can be avoided as the regional balance of power continues to evolve and to shift. It is still unclear how a potential Chinese economic slowdown could affect events, promoting either further assertiveness or perhaps new diplomatic overtures. Certainly, the guidelines and the overall inter-networking of U.S. and Western alliances will contribute to regional and global security, acting as a deterrent to those who would seek to reorder with force, in addition to dealing with issues of human security. One truism remains: the motives of political actors remain flexible and malleable; deterrence only has to fail once for disaster to ensue. However, the militaries of the United States and Japan are tasked with protecting other states with like-minded values, regional democracies that look to the alliance for security. The guidelines would certainly seem to be a step in the right direction, but if they are to deter and to protect, then the U.S.-Japan Alliance will have to bolster and grow its capabilities. Furthermore, the Japanese public will have to debate and support this new iteration of the alliance. Whether that will happen remains to be seen.

Southeast Asia’s Geopolitical Centrality and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

By Ernest Z. Bower, Murray Hiebert, Gregory B. Poling, Phuong Nguyen

Jun 11, 2015

Источник: http://csis.org/publication/southeast-asias-geopolitical-centrality-and-us-japan-alliance

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Building on a careful analysis of Southeast Asia’s recent history, politics, economics, and place within the Asia Pacific, this report looks forward two decades to anticipate the development of trends in the region and how they will impact the U.S.-Japan alliance. How will Southeast Asian states come to grips with the political and economic rise of China? How will they modernize their military forces and security relationships, and what role can the United States and Japan play? How will they manage their disputes in the South China Sea, and how will they pursue greater regional integration? These questions will prove critical in understanding Southeast Asia’s role in the Asia Pacific, and in the U.S.-Japan alliance, in the decades ahead.

US-Japan Defense Guidelines – well done, but only half done

By Grant Newsham

Aug 5, 2015

Источник: http://csis.org/publication/pacnet-45-us-japan-defense-guidelines-well-done-only-half-done


The US-Japan Defense Guidelines agreed to in April are well written and a timely nod to reality. Japan’s implicit promise to operate more closely with – and possibly even fight alongside – US forces injects a dose of equality into the bilateral relationship that potentially reduces Japan’s over-dependence on the United States and charges of ‘free-riding’ that threaten the relationship.

The negotiators deserve a moment of self-congratulation, but one might ask, ‘what now?’ An unnamed Japanese official suggested there’s no need to worry about difficult things like hardware and money since improved personal relationships between US and Japanese officers will strengthen the defense relationship.

Japanese officialdom has long preferred doing (and spending) the bare minimum for the services of the world’s most powerful military. However, cordial relationships don’t prevent or win wars. The Guidelines offer a rare opportunity to reshape US-Japan defense capabilities in practical terms and set precedents that allow even more progress in the future.

Prime Minister Abe did jump the gun in making a political commitment to the United States before passing corresponding legislation in the Diet. Although his security bills are expected to pass, it has proven far more contentious than he expected. Taking advantage of the Guidelines will require a deft hand, clear explanations to the Japanese public, and moving quickly.

Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM)

The Guidelines describe an ACM as the linking mechanism for improved defense ties, but don’t explain what it will look like. Hopefully, this will be more than a phone-tree list at US and Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) headquarters. JSDF and US forces can’t just ‘wing it’ in the event of trouble – as happened during Operation Tomodachi (the response to the March 11, 2011 triple disaster) with near disastrous results.

One option is a ‘PACOM forward’ in Tokyo with the mission of creating genuine operational linkages between US and Japanese forces. ‘PACOM forward’ would also be powerful evidence of commitment – both to Japan and the Indo-Pacific writ large. Japan also needs a counterpart organization, such as a Joint Force Headquarters.

Regardless of the ACM’s ultimate form, the test will be whether it makes US and JSDF forces better able to operate together, and is not merely a place to pass messages and arrange key-leader visits.

US-Japan interoperability and integration

The Guidelines call for a more integrated relationship between the two nations’ militaries. The US Navy and the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) have been integrated for the last 50 years and show what’s possible. Other services have too often operated in parallel, however, conducting an exercise routine in which both sides do their own thing followed by barbecues at which the forces are declared best of friends.

To better integrate, US-Japan forces need to plan like it matters – i.e., they are going to operate as one force – for a wider range of regional contingencies. Beyond general promises of support, US commanders need to be certain JSDF will provide specific resources and vice versa.

Besides planning, get out and do fully integrated joint operations. USN and MSDF again show how to do this – typified last fall when a Japanese destroyer seamlessly linked up with a 7th Fleet squadron in SE Asia. Do more of this. In particular, increased joint US-Japan patrols and exercises in the East China Sea and South China Sea – including ground and air forces – will give more substance to the relationship and have operational benefits, not to mention the political and deterrent effects of US and Japanese forces operating together.

Additionally, capitalize on Japan’s nascent amphibious capability and insert a Japanese amphibious ship with GSDF embarked into a 31st MEU/ARG patrol. Linked amphibious forces can be used for HA/DR training and actual humanitarian contingencies. Nothing builds a military relationship like shared operational experience and the joint nature of amphibious operations is the equivalent of ‘cross fit’ training, exercising sea, ground, and air capabilities simultaneously. An ‘amphibious RIMPAC’ exercise in the vicinity of Guam is also a useful longer term objective.

As the Guidelines recommend, look beyond the bilateral relationship. US forces and JSDF working together with partner nations such as Australia, India, Vietnam, ASEAN states, and others improves capabilities and operational relationships. The Talisman Sabre exercise is a good start. The Malabar exercises involving (for now) India, Japan, and the US are another useful opportunity. And one should always remember the political benefits of this sort of multilateral training.

Other areas for practical improvements in line with the Guidelines include:

Communications. If you can’t talk to each other it’s hard to be interoperable or even real allies. JSDF must first fix itself since the JSDF services can barely communicate with each other. And except for the two navies (as usual), bilateral communications capabilities between US and Japanese forces are astonishingly rudimentary.

Joint basing. The Futenma Replacement Facility at Henoko – if it is ever built – should be a joint base – or at least have a permanent GSDF presence. This is in line with the Guidelines’ spirit and will strengthen JSDF relationships with US forces – and have a favorable political effect.

Joint equipment development. Such joint development tends to change the way countries and militaries look at each other, especially if done with an eye toward operational benefits rather than just ensuring one’s defense industries get a share of the loot. One attractive opportunity is joint US-Japan cooperation on developing the next generation Amphibious Assault Vehicle.

Changed mindsets. As much as anything, changed mindsets are needed. Both sides must see each other as real allies and equals. The Japanese are too often standoffish and should open up fully to the US. Japan might note that these days Americans are as leery of being dragged into Japan’s wars as they are of being entrapped in US conflicts. Meanwhile, Americans need to regard the Japanese as genuine partners, the way they do the Australians, the British, and the Canadians.

Japan Spends More

Any commentary about Japan’s defense needs to stress that Japan must spend more for defense. $5 billion a year for five years will get things about right. Japan can afford it, and if it won’t spend money it ultimately is not serious unless one believes improved relationships between Japanese and US officers are enough to defend Japanese and US interests in East Asia. The US and Japanese Guidelines negotiating teams did a fine job. US and Japanese military staffs – and civilian leadership – now need to produce concrete improvements. If a year from now there is little or nothing to show, heads should roll for squandering a golden opportunity.