The U.S.-Japan alliance is confronting its most critical test since its inception in 1951, a new evolutionary stage in a radically changed context, with the rise of China, Asia's economic crisis, and Japan's economic decline and political immobility.
Alliance Adrift offers a dynamic and informative overview of this process of "redefining" the U.S.-Japan alliance. It presents four specific case studies: the impact of macroeconomic and trade frictions on the alliance; the effect suspicions about North Korea's nuclear program has on the alliance's functions; the vehement protests against the alliance triggered by the rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl by U.S. servicemen in 1995; and the challenges to the alliance posed by the strains put on Sino-American relations by Taiwan and the 1996 Chinese missile tests that prompted the U.S. decision to dispatch an aircraft carrier to the region. These events were all part of the "redefining" process, which continues to this day and is likely to continue.
"It seems almost unbelievable that someone could write such an articulate history of events still in progress. This is a first-class work of contemporary history. Moreover, this is a history of international relations written not only from a Japanese perspective but also from a Chinese and American point of view." —Dr. Makoto Iokibe, professor of the University of Kobe (Mainichi Shimbun)
Yoichi Funabashi is a columnist and chief diplomatic correspondent of the Asahi Shimbum.
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Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
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