Toward a True Alliance

Restructuring U.S.-Japan Security Relations

Mike M. Mochizuki
Release Date: August 19, 1997

The Asia-Pacific region is enjoying an unprecedented era of growth and stability. But continuing uncertainties about North Korea and growing tensions over the fate of Taiwan demonstrate that the security of the region is precarious at best. And recent incidents involving U.S. servicemen have weakened the willingness of the Japanese people to host American military bases.

Toward a True Alliance examines how the current alliance might be redefined–and even restructured–to respond more effectively to the changing security environment in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mike Mochizuki and Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution and Satoshi Morimoto and Takuma Takahashi from the Nomura Research Institute in Tokyo explore the critical factors of a successful U.S.-Japan security alliance. Their chapters are based on a series of intense discussions, as well as the views of Asian and American security and policy experts.

The book analyzes the motivations, process, and results of both countries’ official reviews of the current relationship; examines the strategic context for redefining the alliance, including the region’s evolving security environment; and addresses ways to improve bilateral defense cooperation, including changes in the U.S. force structure in Japan. Finally, the authors make sweeping policy recommendations for strengthening the U.S.-Japan security relationship, enhancing Japan’s contribution to Asia-Pacific security, integrating China into the regional community, and reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula and across the Taiwan strait.