Robert D. Blackwill, Ashley J. Tellis

No other U.S. relationship approaches that with Japan in maintaining the current balance in Asia and dealing with the rise of Chinese power. Indeed, without close and enduring U.S.-Japan security cooperation, it is difficult to see how the United States could maintain its present power and influence in Asia. Thus, as Japan continues to emerge from its post–World War II self-imposed security constraints, the United States should continually support this crucial alliance partner by

  • substantially expanding its security relationship with Japan, encompassing all of Asia;
  • helping upgrade the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), including Japan’s capabilities for joint/combined-arms/amphibious operations;
  • aligning concepts such as air-sea battle and dynamic defense through a dialogue with Japan on roles, missions, and capabilities;
  • reinvigorating an extended deterrence dialogue with Japan;
  • intensifying ballistic missile defense (BMD) cooperation with Japan;
  • signaling more often that Japan remains fully and reliably under a U.S. security umbrella;
  • supporting Japan’s cooperation with Vietnam, Australia, India, and other nations concerned with the rise of Chinese power; and
  • allowing liquefied natural gas exports to Japan.

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