You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Shinzo Abe defends US military alliance in rebuff to Trump

Tokyo's alliance with Washington has been the bedrock of its defence since the end of World War II

Topics
Shinzo Abe

AFP/PTI  |  Tokyo 

Shinzo Abe defends US military alliance in rebuff to Trump

US military bases remain essential to Japan's security, Prime Minister said on Wednesday, as he brushed off comments by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that Tokyo should be left to defend itself.

Japan's alliance with Washington has been the bedrock of its defence since the end of World War II, and the country still hosts 47,000 US troops.

"I cannot conceive of any situation within the foreseeable future when the US presence wouldn't be necessary," Abe told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Abe has vowed to boost Japan's military but he sidestepped a question on whether Japan would play a bigger role in its own defence, saying Tokyo would strengthen its relationship with Washington.

"By strengthening the Japan-US alliance, we'll strengthen deterrence and that will contribute to peace and stability in the region, not just Japan," Abe said in the interview with The WSJ, conducted in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Abe also said he wanted to push through a huge trans-Pacific trade deal that has been attacked by both Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

"This is the birth of an economic zone that has 40 per cent of the world's [gross domestic product], one that is protected by free and fair rules,' Abe told The WSJ, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive multi-nation deal of which Japan and the US are the key players.

"Through it, the US, Japan and the other countries participating in TPP will achieve great profit and gain chances for growth."


Abe's comments come after Trump said that US alliances with countries such as Japan and South Korea cost too much to maintain and that they should be responsible for their own defence -- unless they bear more of the cost burden.

Trump has also suggested that they could develop their own nuclear weapons, a stance particularly controversial in Japan, which is the only country in the world to be attacked with atomic bombs.

Asked at a press conference last week about comments by Trump, Abe said that the alliance with the US remains strong and will not change after the US presidential election in November, comments he reiterated in the interview.

"No matter who will be the next president, the Japan-US alliance is the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy," he said.

Japan, which is constitutionally barred from waging offensive war, last year passed new laws that could, under certain circumstances, see its troops fight abroad for the first time since the end of World War II.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, April 06 2016. 14:05 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.