U.S.-Japan Relations: ‘The Anchor in the East’?
The north Pacific is a region that is vigorously contested by four of the world's five great powers, the United States, Russia, China, and Japan. 1 It is no exaggeration to suggest that the stability of the international system in the early twenty-first century will be principally determined by these powers. The position of Japan and the United States in this quadrangle is unique. For Japan, the alliance with the United States is an 'axis of Japan's foreign policy' (Diplomatic Bluebook, 1998: 18). For the United States, the bilateral 'security alliance with Japan is the linchpin of its security policy in Asia and is key to many U.S. global objectives' (W.S. Cohen, 1999).