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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 November 7 - 13  > Gov’t aims to strengthen alliance with US after Obama’s reelection
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2012 November 7 - 13 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Gov’t aims to strengthen alliance with US after Obama’s reelection

November 10, 2012
Immediately after Obama was reelected as the U.S. President, the Noda Cabinet is accelerating the move to strengthen the military alliance with America through revising the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines.

Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko stated at the plenary session of the House of Representatives on November 8 that the Japan-U.S. alliance is a basis for Japan’s foreign policy and security policies. He will have talks with Obama on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit meeting scheduled to be held from November 18 in Cambodia.

The focus of strengthening the bilateral alliance is to revise the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines. The guidelines, which were revised in 1997, allow the Self-Defense Forces to back up the U.S. forces as well as permit the American forces to use Japan’s civil airports and harbor facilities in case of “emergencies around Japan” that have nothing to do with the defense of Japan.

Defense Minister Morimoto Satoshi stated at a news conference on November 9 that the government intends to modify the current guidelines in accordance with the U.S. strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, noting that China is intensifying its activities in the East China Sea amid the territorial disputes.

Morimoto also said, “How to deal with the right to collective self-defense may become an actual issue in the future.” The exercise of the right will violate the Japanese Constitution which prohibits Japan from taking joint military actions abroad.

Following Obama’s reelection, it has become a hot issue again whether Japan will participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

The Obama Administration has been promoting the free trade pact. In a statement on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) Chairman Yonekura Hiromasa stated that he expects the U.S. to support Japan’s entry into the TPP talks. It is possible that PM Noda will relay to Obama his intention to take part in the negotiations at the meeting.
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