US Strategic Reassurance Lives On
Washington's commitment to Asianallies remains strong and representa cornerstone of US's strategytoward the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia pivot will build on thosealliances and partnerships andfoster a new Pax Americana.
EDITOR’S NOTE - TIAGO MAURÍCIO
Researcher at Kyoto University and Orient Institute
The Japanese Ground Self-DefenceForces (JGSDF) have recently marched inthe capital Tokyo in order to exercise itscapabilities to operate in an urbanenvironment. The controversial decision bythe new Defence Minister to give theexercise the green light, just days after hisnomination, questioned the changing roleof the SDF in contemporary Japanesesociety.The exercise caused a mixed reaction.More left-wing and paciﬁst voices decriedthe move by conservative Defence MinisterMorimoto, denouncing attempts to easesome of the constitutional restraints ofﬂexing the MOD's muscle in plain sight,whereas more right-wing, conservativeforces came out saying this is a necessaryelement of Japan's constant quest toachieve preparedness and efﬁciency whenusing the JGSDF in its many missions.The truth is that such an exercise hadnot taken place in more than 40 years. Butit remains questionable whether clear right-left divisions within the Diet provide asufﬁcient explanation of the impact oftroops marching in the districts of Tokyo.There are important undercurrents inJapanese public opinion and politicalculture that demand discretion andmoderation. That the deployment of troopsallows for an interesting assessment ofKasumigaseki's decision-making processand overall guidelines in its relationshipwith public opinion, that it certainly does.