THE the Japanese power centered on military power.



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            After World War
II, Japan suffered a defeat that resulted in Japan’s situation became very
worse in various things such as in the economic sector and also the military.
As it is known that at the time before and until World War II, the Japanese
power centered on military power. However, after the defeat, the Japanese
military force was paralyzed to avoid a Japanese revival. After Japan’s power
was no longer centered on military power, after World War II Japanese power
then centered on economic power where Japan wants to increase their economic
level because as it is known that when Japan suffered therein Japan’s economic
situation also slumped. In addition, the Japanese government not only wants to increase
their strength in the economic sector but also wants to increase the
development of the social aspect and national stability (Vogel, 2006).
The revival of Japan in this economic sector received special attention from
the United States government so that today the United States became Japan’s alliance
as a supporter of Japan’s needs to improve and raise the spirit of Japanese
society. The economic system that generated by Japan today is more directed to
the liberal economic system with a purpose to increasing competition and labor
stability as well as increasing the financial and market products. On the other
hand, the United States provides assistance by providing re-education to
Japanese society by participating in improving health standards, minimizing
criminality in Japan, and providing re-education on how to improve the economic
level for Japanese society.


Alliance of Japan and United State under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

            The relationship
between the United States and Japan has three main aspects of security,
political, and economic security. Japan is one of the countries where the
United States wants to build an alliance with Japan in order to maintain its
military and strategic status in the Asia and Pacific region, as we know that
Japan is a country considered a hegemony contender in the Asia Pacific region
by the United States. Therefore, after the World War II, the United States
emphasized its military activities in Japan with a purpose to creating security
and democratization in Japan. We know that the alliance between Japan and the
United States has been established since 1858, but at that time the
relationship between the two countries decreased because, during World War II,
Japan was an enemy to the United States. However, after Japan suffered the
defeat in World War II, Japan’s relationship with the United States was
re-cemented in 1945.

            The relationship between Japan and the United States alliances
is one way to revive Japan by relying on economic strength and military resilience.
The alliance’s relationship with those two countries has become formidable
security cooperation and a pillar for the stability of the region. In 1951,
there is an emerged the San Francisco Agreement indicating that Japan had
become an independent and sovereign nation and Japan began to take on the role
of the international community. At the same time, Japan also signed the United
States-Japan Security Treaty as an independent State and has a purpose to
rebuild Japan and United State relations in the military by allowing the United
States to place its military in Japan. Both agreements are known as the San
Francisco System which brings the relations between Japan and the United States
into the interdependent relationships or interdependent alliance relationships (Wang, 2011). However, in 1952
the Mutual Security Pact was established and then the United States-Japan
Security Treaty was renewed into Treaty Mutual Cooperation and Security in
1960, where in the agreement there are four main points on which security
agreements are based, such as the United States and Japan are aware of the
existence of joint military threats, considering cooperation in the aspect of
security, considers that political and economic freedom should be protected,
and also to support that consideration of both countries must agree that the
United States will be responsible and bear the obligation to protect Japan’s
security from external threats.

            In addition, during the cold war, Japan was on the right
side as Communism Breakwater and then became the center of a global strategy for the United States where
the United States considers that the center of the Asia-Pacific community is
the relationship between the United States and Japan. After the Cold War, the
East Asian region began to be marked by regional conflicts and international
problems that attracted a number of world public concerns, particularly on
security issues that have embraced the military capabilities of countries in
the region, such as Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea and Taiwan. The
development of military capability East Asian countries such as China and North
Korea make Japan feel threatened. This condition requires Japan to maintain its
peace with international collaboration as the basis of national security
through the stabilization of people’s lives
and build defense capability and cooperation with the United States. In
addition, several other national defense policies of Japan are promoting
exclusive defense policies, not being a military force that can threaten the
world, not developing nuclear weapons, intensifying security cooperation with
the United States and building defensive capabilities within certain limits.

            However, after the end of the cold war also sparked a
debate on the security alliance between Japan and the United States. This debate
arose because some Asian countries, American liberals, and Japanese pacifists
criticized that the alliance between Japan and the United States was deemed
unfavorable in the post-Cold War era. It can be evidenced by the Gulf War II which
has given lessons to Japan’s position on international security issues,
especially in relation to the United States. With the debate, the Japanese
society stated that this is the right time for Japan to dissolve itself from
the United States alliance and become a normal State. However, the Japanese
government remains convinced to continue its alliance with the United States
because Japan feels that its security is not completely secure and there are
some threats that Japan may disrupt security in the Pacific region such as increasing
China’s military capabilities, problems in the Korean Peninsula and nuclear
weapons development by North Korea, claims against several States over the
Spratly Islands, and the latter is a claim of the northern archipelago of Japan
by Russia.

            Then, to maintain Japanese security, Japan has a choice
of remaining dependent on the United States security guarantees under the
alliance or disbanding. If Japan decides to withdraw from the alliance then
Japan should increase its military capability, because the United States has no
more commitment to protect Japan from possible aggression. Re-militarization
will allow Japan both to defend itself and to develop independent foreign
policy. However, the suspicion of Asian countries due to trauma to the politics
of Greater East Asia and the sensitivity of Pacific Japan is also a barrier for
Japan to strengthen its military posture. Besides that, if Japan chooses to
continue the alliance, then Japan often has to submit to the United States. The
Japanese government is aware that at this time Japan has no alternative, in addition, to continuing
the alliance with the United States because it is believed to still be
effective as a deterrent factor for pacific peace in the Pacific region.

Policy toward United States Alliance

            After we know about the relationship between Japanese and
the United States alliances that started from post-World War II until post-Cold War, Japan finally chose to depend on
the United States for its security guarantees. Therefore, Japan under the
government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe applied several policies to keep trying
to make its country become a normal country. However, the condition was very
contrary to what was expected so that with all of the Japan worries, Japan
continued its alliance with the United States. In this sub-chapter, I will
describe the various policies that have been made by Japan during the reign of
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

            Japan’s defense policy changed during the Gulf War in
1990-1991, in which the United States and its allies encouraged Japan to
contribute to providing assistance in the form of military personnel, funds,
and equipment in the crisis. However, Japan only provides aid in the form of
funds because the delivery of Japanese SDF troops did not get support in
Parliament. In addition, after the Gulf War ended was followed by a crisis on
the Korean Peninsula in 1993 that warned that Japan had failed to respond to
the U.S. calls for aid. This can undermine the trust of each other in the
alliance of Japan and the United States. However, day by day has been passed so
can encourage Japan to re-strengthen its security alliance with the United

            Japan’s defense policy has been based on Article 9 of a
Constitution that published in 1947 where the constitution was made after World
War II by the Supreme Allied Command Force which limits the role of the Self
Defense Force by having only minimum strength to defend themselves and aimed at
Japan no longer have the potential to start a war and to prevent the use of
military force in resolving conflicts internationally so that it can result in
Japan’s security depends only on US security guarantees. In addition, with the
Treaty of Mutual and Cooperation and Security stating that the United States
provides assurance of protection and also security against Japan from external threats
resulted in an unbalance experienced by Japan because Japan is in a more
passive position where the Japanese cannot do anything if the alliance of the
United States is attacked by the State or other forces.

            Japanese policy during the reign of Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe is divided into two policies such as in the economy and military aspects. For
the economy is divided into three policies, such as monetary policy, fiscal
policy, and structural reform. Japan has their own interests in the economic
aspect that Japan wants to easily get into the Chinese market to invest in
investment that will provide in the long-term effects on the Japanese economy.
With Japan’s interests, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese
President Xi Jinping agreed to hold a bilateral meeting between the two
countries. Meanwhile, in the military policy, there is Basic Defense Force
Concept which was later changed to Dynamic Defense Force in 1976. National
Defense Program Guidelines build Japanese military power in order to respond
effectively against various military threats such as from China and North

            Factors that are pushing towards the change of Japanese
defense policy are the increasing ability of Japanese economy, nuclear and
missile North Korea posed a threat, and China’s military increase. Meanwhile,
the United States interest in promoting Japan’s defense and security policy is
the stability of the East Asian region and extended the United State Deterrence
against the military forces of China and North Korea, and the safeguarding of
US trade routes in East Asia (Heming, 1998).

            On the other hand, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts in
improving Japan’s defense are divided into three; first is make a cooperate
with ASEAN to reduce China’s influence in the region by making efforts to
strengthen Asian diplomacy by first visiting countries such as Vietnam,
Thailand, and Indonesia. The diplomatic efforts undertaken by Japan in
Southeast Asia and Australia are illustrating the economic and strategic
importance of the new government in Tokyo. Japan also wants to stem the rise of
China marked by the rise of the military and its economic influence in
Southeast Asia. Second, the reinterpretation of the Article 9 of the Constitution
in which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the leader of the Liberal Democratic
Party strives to conduct a campaign in Japanese politics and society that Japan
needs to build adequate defense force to deal with changes in security
conditions in the region (Ayu, 2015). The effort was
fruitful and in July 2014, the Japanese Cabinet ratified the reinterpretation
of the 9th article by increasing the openness of the Asia Pacific
economy to boost regional economic growth. Some countries such as Australia,
India, Philippines, and Vietnam have started to cooperate in the aspect of
Japanese defense industry. Based on the efforts that made by Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe, then Shinzo Abe has produced a policy during his reign. One of
Japan’s efforts to increase economic openness in the Asia Pacific region, in
cooperation with ASEAN, and reinterpretation of Article 9, then Japan during
the reign of Shinzo Abe is a Japanese policy to protect its national security,
so this Japanese effort gave birth to a policy that Japan expected to achieve its
national interest and security.


            In conclusion, we know that the history of Japan
post-World War II cannot be separated from the role and control of the United
States. Security, political and economic security are the three major aspects
of the relationship between the United States and Japan. With the win of the
United States in World War II and the Cold War, the United States intends to
rebuild Japan and its country system and introduce post-war democracy by making
the United States as an alliance that helps Japan, which at that time Japan’s
position is very bad. Japan has several agreements and policies security with
the United States. One of them is the San Francisco Agreement which is a form
of security cooperation post-World War II so that Japan does not return as a
military force and more concerned with the development of its war-torn economy.

addition, Japan is suspected as a local stone for the United States in
controlling security, stability, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region. The
United States then also held extensive cooperation and coordinated action with Japan on several global issues. So, even
though Japan was the enemy of the United States in the World War II, but then
both turned into a powerful alliance. After the Cold War, the alliance between
Japan and the United States causing debate in which Japan was in a confusing position
even Japan should choose to sever relations with the United States or to
continue its relations. As is Japan’s concerns about its security that are not
completely secure and there are some threats that Japan may disrupt the
security of the Pacific region, Japan has decided to continue its alliance with
the United States. The suspicion of Asian countries due to trauma to the
politics of Greater East Asia and the sensitivity of Pacific Japan is also one
of the reasons for Japan to continue its alliance with the United States.