II. The Japan-US Alliance as a Maritime Alliance


by
 Iokibe Makoto
Professor
Kobe University

1. Introduction

    In the first two decades of the 20th century, the Japanese Empire concluded a maritime alliance with Great Britain and pursued cooperation with the US under the Washington Conference system as the fundamental axis of its foreign policy. Although the Japanese Empire was during this time strongly oriented towards maritime alliances, in the end it chose to follow the path of becoming a continental empire. For a while it was possible for Japan to pursue a foreign policy running on two rails, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Russo-Japanese Entente. However, in considering the defense of the Empire, the Army envisioned Russia as the greatest potential adversary and the Navy saw the US in the same light, the result bringing about tragic results. Maintaining good relations with these two major powers would be a diplomatic asset, but becoming enemies with both would not only place an unbearable burden on Japan but also drive it to schizophrenia. However, viewing as potential adversaries one of the world's largest continental nations and one of the world’s most formidable maritime nations, the Japanese Empire followed a path of simultaneously becoming a confidential empire and a maritime empire. It would only be a matter of time before Japan would derail, as each rail was pointed in different directions.
    The Japanese Empire though, was not the only power torn between becoming a maritime nation and a continental nation. Indeed, it may be considered normal for any country to contain a combination of both orientations and to see fierce internal discord between them. The US, for example, is a continental nation, having the independence and the will to dominate one might expect of such a country, and yet it has come to reign over the 20th century world as a champion maritime nation. Maintaining relations with this giant, full of contradictions and paradoxes, has always been quite vexing for Japan. By contrast, Great Britain is purely a maritime nation, with little or no hint at all of the characteristics of a continental nation. For this reason, this paper will first examine the ideal maritime nation, to Great Britain, and will then discuss the Anglo-Japanese and Japan-US maritime alliances.

2. Great Britain as an Ideal Maritime Nation

    The key to the defense of the island nation of Great Britain is not permitting an enemy to land on its shores, for it would be nearly impossible to fight off an enemy once he had succeeded in doing so. Control of the seas in the modern era has become a matter of life and death for Great Britain, a precondition of its existence, in preventing successful invasions such as those by Julius Caesar and the Normans. The tiny island of Great Britain can only muster rather limited land forces, and thus naval power and command of the seas are the ultimate means of ensuring the nation's survival. However, it is important that nations pursue a foreign policy, that does not bring about dire situations requiring the ultimate means in ensuring the survival of the state.
    Whenever a particular country acquires the power to bring the European continent under its exclusive control, it always begins to consider an invasion of Great Britain. Threats to the safety of island nations generally begin with the emergence of a powerful empire on the neighboring continent. To forestall such invasions, Great Britain to a certain point in its history, directly intervened on the continent, as seen in the Hundred Years' War, or it has held territory on the continent opposite to its own shores. These physical measures have, however, become rather unpractical in the modern era. This being the case, the security of Britain has required it to gather intelligence in order to discover early on any signs that a particular country is seeking to achieve sole domination of the continent. Britain meets moves towards this aim by making use of its diplomatic prowess. Against Napoleon, for instance, the British formed anti-French alliances on three separate occasions. Analyzing a broad range of information, Britain then employed its creative diplomatic skills to counter the potential threat. This proved, along with naval power, to be of extreme importance as an approach to ensure security. Britain succeeded in gaining allies among many of the smaller nations of Europe. Exclusive domination of the continent by a single country did pose a threat to Britain, but the threat to the existence of these smaller nations was even more profound. By supporting these many nations in ensuring their independence, Britain exhibited its diplomatic skills by making allies. In this sense, the maritime nation of Great Britain espoused a multi-dimensional international system, and in fact sat at its controls.
    Being surrounded by the sea not only provides Great Britain with a natural defense but also led to its securing of trade routes through its naval supremacy. It could, therefore, trade freely with the rest of the world, fostering its own industrial capabilities and making possible the global projection of its industrial might. In this way, Britain began actively taking advantage of the fact that it was an insular nation. One can recognize here Great Britain undergoing a metamorphosis from an "insular nation" and to a "maritime nation."
    Great Britain provides a very apt illustration of a "maritime nation" as one having at its disposal naval power, intelligence capabilities, diplomatic skills, industrial might, and commercial strength. Such a nation demands freedom of the seas, supports free trade and conceives an international order wherein dramatic changes in balance can be avoided. A staunch advocate of freedom of commerce, it is disposed towards a multi-dimensional, flexible, and open international order that tolerates the existence of smaller countries. In Great Britain, then, we see the ideal form of a maritime nation.

3. The Japanese Empire - Maritime Nation or Continental Nation?

 A. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance as a Maritime Alliance

    Japan concluded the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1902, as the continental empire of Russia was expanding southward in the Far East in an attempt to establish sole domination over Manchuria and the rest of Northeast Asia. Just as it was undesirable that Napoleon or Hitler gain exclusive control on the European continent, the exclusive control by a single country of the Far East also did not favor British interests or the international order it envisioned. Domination of the Asian continent by Russia would also be a threat to the very existence of the newly emerged nation of Japan. With these common interests, Japan and Britain concluded a maritime alliance.
    Stretching across Eurasia, Russia had always been a continental power, but its Baltic and Far East Fleets also boasted a combined naval strength which, of course, was not only greater than that of Japan, but placed Russia on the verge of becoming one of the world's great naval powers. The turn of the century saw the rise of Japan and Russia, together with Germany and the US, as naval powers, threatening Britain's overwhelming supremacy. Russia was just then exploring the possibility of becoming both a continental nation and a maritime nation, but its hopes were dashed with the destruction of both of its fleets in the Russo-Japanese War. In the last days of the Cold War too, just as the Soviet Union was building the aircraft carrier Minsk and endeavoring to become a maritime power, the Communist system collapsed. Thus, on more than one occasion, Russia has begun to demonstrate its strength as a maritime nation, only to see its efforts fail.
    Since the Meiji Era, Japanese foreign policy has been steered along a course of "expansion onto the Asian continent within a framework of cooperation with the Western powers." Unless it cooperated with these powers, Japan would be unable to amend the "unfair treaties" and would continue to meet with such bitter experiences as the Tripartite Intervention. It was thus essential to cooperate with the imperialist powers of the West. Nevertheless, expansion onto the Asian continent remained a long-term issue for modern Japan. Cooperation with the Western powers focused above all on Great Britain and the US in what was known as "Kasumigaseki orthodox diplomacy," with Kasumigaseki (i.e., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) placed in charge thereof. Expansion onto the Asian continent was the jealously guarded province of Miyakezaka (i.e., Army Headquarters), and this division of labor provides a rough outline of the situation in Japan prior to World War II.
    The Anglo-Japanese Alliance was not the only step taken to break Russia's hold over East Asia. Advocating an open door policy in Manchuria, the US supported the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and provided assistance to Japan, the pinnacle of which was the Portsmouth Peace negotiations. Japan was rescued at the very conclusion of a major offensive. While Japan did manage to achieve a costly victory at the Battle of Mukden, it would almost certainly have lost the war had one more battle been fought at Changchun. Japan was a boxer about to collapse from exhaustion when declared the winner by TKO. The Army as well as the Navy was thus able to claim itself victorious in the Russo-Japanese War. Behind this victory lay the framework of a Japan-Great Britain-US alliance - a tripartite maritime alliance of Asia, Europe, and America - formed at the beginning of the 20th century to block the continental nation of Russia from establishing sole mastery over Asia.
    Not long thereafter, though, the situation reversed itself. First, Foreign Minister Komura Jutaro returned home from the peace conference and scrapped the Katsura-Harriman Agreement. Harriman's dream of using American capital to fund the construction of a railway beginning in Manchuria and circling the globe thus came to naught. Japan, with the Army in the forefront, then moved to claim for itself sole control over Manchuria. Thus, Japan rejecting the open door policy, which had been the official reason for the maritime alliance through which Britain and the US had supported it, replaced Russia in moving to bring Asia under its own dominion. Elder statesmen such as Ito Hirobumi were extremely concerned about this development, and they held a "Conference on the Manchurian Issue" in May 1906 and resolutely put a halt to this course. It was, however, no easy matter to keep the Army, emboldened by their "victory," in check. Public sentiment was also on the side of the Army. Symbolic of this was the shocking use of a black frame, a practice used only for obituaries, to enclose articles on the Treaty of Portsmouth in a certain newspaper. The black frame had been added to express a deluded sense of victimhood at Japan having sacrificed the lives of 150,000 of its sons only to be cheated of its just rewards by the international community. The Japanese public wanted at the very least some form of tangible and readily understandable "spoils of war" such as territory on the continent. Unfortunately, this is an objective characteristic of a continental nation. Were Japan truly a maritime nation, it would have been satisfied with fewer tangible spoils and would have taken a more subtle approach in the post-war construction of stable international relations so as to enhance Japan's credibility and influence. A maritime nation that places greater priority on intelligence gathering, diplomatic skill, and the ability to devise creative approaches to issues is not one easily comprehensible, however, even to its own people. Grasping these concepts requires a mature public and the ability among foreign policy decision-makers to convincingly and widely explain policies to the populace. The absence of either of these will simply produce more bewildering accounts framed in black. The absence of both in this case led to the Hibiya Incendiary Incident, wherein police boxes were burned down, Tokyo's streetcars were overturned, and mobs demonstrated around the US Embassy. This seemed to the US to be a case of biting the hand that feeds it, of repaying a favor with spite, President Theodore Roosevelt even muttered that Japan had gone mad.
    Despite the fact that Japan had been opened to the outside world in a rather belligerent fashion by Commodore Perry's "black ships", Japan and the US had continued, during the early stages up to that point, to enjoy amicable relations. The more advanced US served as a teacher in helping the development of Japan, its attentive student. While the US' involvement as a nation was not that immense, Dr. William Clark and other o-yatoi gaijin ("hired foreigners") as well as men of religion and social workers, aided Japan in its modernization efforts. These initially friendly relations peaked with the Portsmouth Peace Conference. This conference marked a turning point, after which Japan-US relations were characterized by a combination of cooperation and confrontation. In a certain sense, this might well be regarded as the normal state of affairs between nations. Nations do not always walk hand-in-hand, but neither do they always stand shaking their fists at each other. Normal relations generally consist of a firm dose of confrontation even in the midst of cooperation, and a share of cooperation even in the midst of confrontation. The two countries in question, though, had the immaturity of still-growing young boys, and both felt to a point that they had been betrayed. Thus, their relationship was one of cooperation and confrontation amidst very trying and unstable circumstances.
    Following World War I, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance was dissolved in favor of the Washington Treaty system. The US saw the Washington Treaty system as a means of "containing Japan through cooperation," not at all unlike the policy of "engagement" towards China at present. For its part, Japan in its participation in the Washington Treaty system under Prime Minister Hara Takashi stressed cooperation with the US and restraint in forceful expansion onto the Asian continent, in accord with the "Shidehara diplomacy." Japan declared its respect for the ideas of non-interference in internal affairs and the self-determination of peoples, and its desire to seek the support and cooperation of the US in maintaining the international order in the Pacific. If one defines the enhancement of Japan's national interests in terms of the physical expansion of Japan's territory on the continent, then the course pursued by Hara and Shidehara might be seen as treachery. Advocates of Japan becoming a continental nation likely saw this policy as overly concerned with the opinions and reactions of the US and as being weak-kneed and hesitant in pursuing the manifest objective of the Japanese Empire to expand onto the Asian continent. Those in favor of Japan developing into a maritime nation, however, felt that more important than territorial expansion were the fulfillment of Japan's global responsibilities within the international order established by the Washington Treaty system and the creation of an international environment for promoting commerce. Although the 5-5-3 and the 10-10-7 capital-ship strength ratio arrangements made at the naval disarmament talks in Washington and London were considered unfair, the moment allowed one a glimpse at the possibilities of a tripartite maritime alliance among Great Britain, the US, and Japan.

 B. Japan's Turn towards Continental Power

    Looking at the broader picture, however, the Japanese Empire never completely joined a maritime alliance in the prewar period. Quite on the contrary, it moved instead to transform itself into a continental empire. Helping prod Japan in this direction was the doctrine put forth by Yamagata Aritomo in 1890 involving a "line of sovereignty" and a "line of interest." The "line of interest" was defined as those important areas whose loss would imperil the "line of sovereignty," meaning the defense of the homeland. At the time this "line of interest" ran through the Korean peninsula. Were the Korean peninsula to become hostile, Japan would have a danger hanging precariously over its head. It was thus considered necessary to ensure that Japan enjoyed a position of advantage on the Korean peninsula, and Japan even embarked on two wars - the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War - in order to protect this position. Once the Korean peninsula was firmly in its grasp, Japan moved on Manchuria, seized it, and then advanced into northern China, all with no debate on redefining Japan's national interests. The Japanese Empire and its subjects clung to a foot soldier's perspective on national defense. To illustrate the issue in British terms, the "line of sovereignty" was, of course, the survival of the island nation and defense of the homeland, while the "line of interest" was command of the sea and naval power. The British model of a maritime nation next called for utilizing intelligence capabilities and diplomatic prowess in managing international affairs so that the continent would not fall under the exclusive domination of a single country. In Japan's case, however, a large segment of the military and the general public were obsessed with coercion as a means of extending the "line of interest" beyond influence on the Korean peninsula - that part of the continent directly across the sea from Japan - to direct rule of the same, and marching on from there, as befits a foot soldier's view of national defense, to adjacent regions; The national opinion became fixated on this concept, and officials vied to outdo each other in contributing to this cause. Once the rail had been laid, the government, the military, and the bureaucracy all proudly took turns in pushing the country further and further along it. In the midst of these unified efforts and the diligent wholesale charge ahead, there was almost no fundamental examination whatsoever from the standpoint of broader national interests of what lay ahead on the rail.
    The Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars occurred in an imperia list age where the logic behind "lines of sovereignty" and "lines of interest" appeared convincing and proper. The momentum that victory in these wars generated, however, determined the destiny of modern Japan. Had Japan followed its victory at the Battle of Mukden with a subsequent loss at Changchun, Japan might have become a maritime nation and escaped the fate that awaited it. It might not have been able to protect its continental holdings, but its victories at sea might have steered into towards using its command of the sea to become a merchant nation. The "fortunate" timing of the Portsmouth Peace Conference, which gave Japan a victory without a battle at Changchun, gave the Army under Yamagata Aritomo a say in matters that could no longer be checked; even efforts at self-restraint by the military failed. Japan surged ahead on a dark rail without a headlight.
    It was certainly not true that there were no proponents of molding modern Japan into a maritime nation. Early on, Sakamoto Ryoma put forth Senchu Hassaku(an Eight-point Plan) in this regard. As depicted so vividly by Shiba Ryotaro, Sakamoto did not aspire to become a member of any new government that might be formed, but rather yearned to lead a fleet of merchant vessels on commercial voyages to all parts of the world. There were also the views put forth by Ishibashi Tanzan on a "small Japan" and by Kiyosawa Kiyoshi on free trade, and the view that maintaining friendly relations with the US was in Japan's utmost national interest did continue to have followers among the people.
    On a somewhat different topic, a matter of unusual interest within the government at the time was the publication of A Historical Treatise on the Defense of the Empire by Vice-Admiral Sato Tetsutaro. Sato compiled a thick volume of 700 pages based on lecture records from the Naval Academy. His national defense doctrine clearly followed the British model, and he argued that the English had first displayed skill in diplomacy and foreign strategy only after they had lost their territory on the European continent in 1066. While they had held territory in Normandy, the English were weak in diplomacy, hindered by their attention on scattered territories. Once they had lost their territory in northern France, however, they were able to view the political situation in Europe as a whole and, through diplomacy, to take a leading role in directing political affairs in Europe. For that reason, Sato passionately asserted that "Japan, too, should discard Korea and Manchuria, for while it holds onto these, its freedom of action is restricted. We must give more consideration to moving ahead as a maritime nation." Naturally, the idea of withdrawing from Korea and Manchuria was not one to be found in lecture notes from the Naval Academy, but it was clearly proposed in other books published in the civilian sector. The Army viewed such suggestions as simply serving the particular interests of the Navy, and it did not budge from its conviction that continental concerns must take precedence over maritime affairs.
    After the Manchurian Incident, Japan set off down the road towards becoming a continental nation and a major military power. In 1940, as the onslaught by Hitler's forces appeared unstoppable, thoughts ran prematurely to a global partitioning of the Eurasian continent, and the Triple Axis was concluded as an anti-Anglo-Saxon continental alliance which even envisioned a division of the world among the Axis powers. The idea driving this alliance was the desire to "repudiate Pax Britannica and Pax Americana," a wish expressed by Konoe Fumimaro during World War I. Japan lost sight of the path leading to co-existence with Great Britain and the US as a maritime nation, and instead looked towards a continental alliance to upset the status quo.

4. The US as Heir to the Concept of a "Maritime Nation"

 A. Maritime Nations in the 20th Century

    The US, itself an enormous continental nation, succeeded Great Britain as a great maritime nation and became a principal actor in world affairs in the 20th century. As is well known, the US in its earliest years took an introverted and defensive stance towards the European powers of the Old World, striving to define itself in universalist terms such as "the New World" and "a republic of ideals." George Washington, the first US President, warned in his farewell address against the country becoming involved in European political affairs, so that American society could devote itself to improving its own situation independent of Europe and free from outside intervention. After the War of 1812, the US adopted a policy that amounted to an unwritten alliance in which it sought to avoid future wars with Great Britain. The American fleet at that time was still far from mature, while the British fleet was in its heyday. The US, therefore, elected to use Britain's Royal Navy as a shield, behind which it could pursue growth, integration, and economic development as a continental nation. It was thus free to turn its attentions to internal matters, including a civil war. This period bears a striking resemblance to that of economic development achieved by Japan under the Japan-US Security Treaty after World War II.
    Making remarkable progress in industrialization during the second half of the 19th century, the US under President Theodore Roosevelt took inspiration from the sea power theory of Alfred T. Mahan and constructed the Great White Fleet; it then went on to fight in two world wars later in the 20th century. Its late entry into these wars only after fighting between the countries of Europe had dragged on for some time does resemble Britain's continental policy, but there are some slight differences. The US has available to it the resources of a vast continental nation, giving it the power to conduct an all-out war on its own. Being as a result overconfident in its own power, the US has also been more inclined than Britain to engage too often in self-righteous intervention. Yet another difference is that US is a republic of ideals, and the causes it fought for during World War I were freedom of the seas and democracy. It extols such universal values even more than Britain. Unlike the prudence seen in the British Foreign Office, which seeks to dispassionately separate popular sentiment and foreign policy, the US as a republic of ideals is continually trying to advance its values, and at times - for example, the Spanish-American War - its foreign policy has been set in the heat of public passions. The US certainly differs from Britain in the high degree to which it favors universal values and a foreign policy rooted in popular democracy, and in the self-confidence and capabilities that stem from its superior domestic resources. Its viewpoint when observing developments in Europe and Asia across the ocean, though, does allow one to think that the US has inherited from Britain its fundamental perspectives on foreign policy and international order.

 B. The Three Elements of the US' Far East Policy

    The US' Far East policy can be broken down into three important principles. The first of these is security and geopolitics, on which the US attitude is much like that of Britain regarding the European continent: the maintenance of a balance of power to avoid exclusive domination by any single country. This has been a traditional feature of the foreign policy of Republicans since the time of Theodore Roosevelt, stemming from an awareness of power. In peacetime, friendly relations based on trade are pursued on a bilateral basis. Not even in peacetime, however, are all countries deemed equally important, and priorities are assigned. At times the US even considers assembling coalitions internationally to counter potential threats. An emphasis on the balance of power and notable proficiency in protecting national interests in the arena of international politics have also been traditional aspects of Republican foreign policy. Theodore Roosevelt endeavored to balance Russia's growing dominance in the Far East by supporting Japan. When Japan later followed Russia's example by trying to establish sole control over Asia, Japan-US relations became quite treacherous. Especially in the 1930s, as Japan worked frantically to impose its rule on Asia, the US offered assistance to China and in the end, roused by the shock of Pearl Harbor, itself dealt a crushing defeat to Japan. The geopolitical need to prevent the Asian continent from falling under the sway of any single country was one thoroughly recognized in the US.
    The second element, even more constant than the first, is an emphasis on economic interests in US foreign policy. The essence of the US' open door policy was the demand for equal commercial opportunities. While this policy varied widely enough at times to include investment and even territorial security, the core remained the US' demand that it be ensured economic opportunities. This element has been a universal part of US foreign policy, regardless of the era or administration.
    The third element is that of universal values. The US has never ceased to be a "republic of ideals." While the essence of the open door policy it declared internationally was, as mentioned above, a demand for equal economic and commercial opportunity, US foreign policy has appealed, and been received, domestically in the context of fighting for noble causes in the international political arena. The American people place tremendous emphasis on universal concepts. This became a traditional part of the liberal foreign policy of the Democratic Party from the time of Woodrow Wilson. Liberal Democrats have not simply discussed these universal values in abstract terms, but have endeavored seriously to pursue them through the creation of international systems such as the League of Nations. In this regard, liberals in Japan leave something to be desired. Be it Takemura Masayoshi, Kan Naoto, or Hatoyama Yukio, Japanese liberals may offer forth flowery pronouncements echoing public opinion, but follow-up efforts to undertake the difficult task of creating an international system in accordance with these pronouncements are nowhere to be seen. Their views on international affairs are expressed in nothing but abstract remarks, and, apparently ignorant of the world outside Japan, they do not even appear to have given such matters much thought. In the US, liberals in the Democratic Party have toiled hard in formulating international systems. Wilson's efforts ended in failure, which prompted Franklin Roosevelt to take more practical approaches during World War II to realize his ideas on international systems. He sought to pair realism with idealism, a point which liberals in Japan would do well to learn.
    What, then, is the relationship among these three values? For example, Clinton's Democratic administration has pursued all three. Clinton first brandished the value of human rights, bluntly warning China that it would be denied Most Favored Nation (MFN) status and economic benefits unless it improved its human rights record. In the face of sharp opposition, from within and without economic circles, questioning the wisdom of forfeiting the Chinese market, Clinton did not go so far as to abandon universal values and human rights, but he did de-link these issues from economic matters. Every year since, China's MFN status has been renewed, and the emphasis has shifted to practical economic relations.
    Clinton’s administration was the first after the end of the Cold War, and he has therefore placed far more importance on economic matters than on strategic issues, to the extent of creating an economic security council. He has insisted on "outcome-based assessments" and "numerical targets" in dealings with Japan and pressured the country to conform to US views. Although he considers economic interests paramount, he did dispatch two aircraft carrier battle groups during the Taiwan missile crisis. When a clear and present danger to security arises, other matters are temporarily switched off. All other issues receive a stop signal while the security crisis is being managed. These steps are taken to counter threats to the safety and survival of the nation, where security is given top precedence, and are implemented in exceptional circumstances, where a crisis or incident has occurred. On a normal day-to-day basis, however, economic interests form the basis for policy making and, in this regard, there is little difference between Democratic administrations and Republican ones. The Democratic Party does tend to give considerable emphasis to universal values. These values are somewhat like Moses' Ten Commandments and are universal in nature, but to err is human, and by no means should every violation of a commandment be punished with death; there are times when a simple act of penitence is sufficient. The absence of any set provisions for punishment, however, should not lead one to casually dismiss the idealistic concepts held by the US. Nor should one disregard those values that the US has espoused since Wilson and since the advent of the open door policy. After all, it is only after being told time and time again by the US that Japan is still not as open as it should be and even now has many non-tariff barriers to trade, that Japan has gradually begun adopting global standards.

5. The Japan-US Alliance as a Maritime Alliance

 A. The Cold War

    One can view the Cold War as having been a rivalry between a "maritime alliance" centered on the US and a "continental alliance" formed by the Soviet bloc. When China became a communist nation, the Japan-US alliance sought in the context of conventional geopolitics to prevent domination of the Asian continent by the forces of communism in accordance with the first of the traditional elements described above. The hope that the US had long held for an open door policy in mainland China was utterly shattered. Not only was the US shut off from economic opportunities there, but the very survival of the ideals of freedom and democracy that it held out as universal values was being threatened in Asia as well. "The loss of China" was seen as a threat to American-style civilization. Though having geopolitical motives at heart, the US' participation in the Korean War, the whirlwind phenomenon of McCarthyism, and US involvement during the Vietnam War were in a sense battles in a war for the defense of the society and civilization founded on the values held by the US. America did bear in mind the importance of not losing the characteristics of a maritime alliance. To borrow George Kennan's expression, the US took care in opposing the Soviet communist system in order "not to become just like our enemies," for the struggle would lose all meaning were the US to become an authoritarian state like the Soviet Union under Communism. The US and the West must not move away from building a strong economy and a sound society as well as maintaining their liberal democratic principles. In opposing its enemies, the US must nevertheless hold to a broad view of national interests, as demonstrated in the Marshall Plan and the aid to Japan. It must seek freedom and order while staying true to the character of a maritime nation. While it was a matter of course that hostilities involving NATO would entail a land war, in Asia, the Japan-US security alliance was even more clearly a maritime alliance directed towards the continent.

 B. Yoshida Shigeru's Choices

    Yoshida Shigeru's top priority was that of reviving post-war Japan as an economic-oriented merchant nation. This attitude can be attributed to the influence of his merchant father, to the time he spent in Great Britain, to his views on the US, to his war experiences, or perhaps to some combination of all of these. John Foster Dulles, however, persistently urged Japan at the start of the Korean War to remilitarize and to "contribute to the free world." Yoshida remained adamant that Japan would not remilitarize during the post-war peace talks, regardless of what it might ultimately decide to do. Refusing to remilitarize even as a crisis boiled over nearby was a choice made of Japan's own volition. In that sense, the maintenance of only a minimal defensive capability, an anti-militaristic stance, and an economic-oriented national policy were also voluntary choices made by post-war Japan and not necessarily ideas forced upon it by the victorious Allies. This is, surprisingly enough, not something well understood worldwide. The argument is continually made that once the "cork is out of the bottle," Japan will choose immediately to become a military power. Subsequent to Yoshida's policy choices, the Japanese economy achieved rapid growth in the 1960s. In the recently published "A History of Post-War Japanese Diplomacy," Professor Tadokoro Masayuki, who contributed the section on the 1960s, pointed out that it was this rapid growth in the 1960s that brought to life the possibilities of the "Japanese model." While it certainly had the necessary economic and technological capabilities, Japan made the bold choices not to develop its own arsenal of nuclear weapons and not to become a military power, and in doing so illustrated through its own policies the "Japanese model." The model was of considerable significance as one approach to living in the postwar world until the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998.
    Postwar Japan pursued a fundamental policy of achieving rapid economic growth within a framework of cooperation with the US. Its pre-war policy had been "expansion onto the Asian continent within a framework of cooperation with the Western powers," but following World War II the basic concept of the Yoshida Doctrine -- "economic development within a framework of cooperation with the US" -- became the conservative mainstream. This marked a restoration and development of Kasumigaseki orthodox foreign policy.
    The first "Diplomatic Bluebook" released in 1957 listed three key principles for Japanese foreign policy: diplomacy centered on the United Nations, membership in the Asian community, and maintenance of Japan's position in the free world. Actual postwar Japanese foreign policy, however, casts some doubt on Japan's adherence to these principles, which perhaps speak more to hope than reality. The truth is that most -- say, around 60% -- of Japan's postwar foreign policy has centered on the US. Second, within this major US-oriented framework, Japan has fervently wished to get along with all the countries of the world; its UN-centered diplomacy is one expression of this wish, its ODA another. Third, Japan is extremely committed to a non-militaristic economic-focused approach to foreign policy. It is these three principles that might rightfully be said to have served as the basis for Japan's foreign policy in the postwar period. One gets the feeling that those principles given in the "Diplomatic Bluebook" were laid down for the express purpose of improving the government's image by declaring to domestic critics of Japan's US-oriented foreign policy that the country's leaders are truly engaged in efforts outside this framework.

C. Balance Sheet for the Japan-US Alliance

    The Japan-US security alliance is often said to be a swap of material for manpower, i.e., Japan provides military bases in exchange for US military protection. In terms of gains, Japan acquires security while the US acquires control. If this is indeed a security-for-control transaction, then Japan would seem to be offering up its independence as the price of its security. In his memoirs, Yoshida, who was favorably disposed toward Great Britain and the US, looked at the broader picture and noted that neither of these countries was trying to take away Japan's independence and that they approved of Japan having multi-faceted freedom of action. Unlike the countries of Eastern Europe, who had to toe the Soviet line, Japan retained its freedom of action in innumerable areas. This is why Yoshida was resolute in transforming Japan into an economic-oriented merchant nation operating within a system of free trade presided over by the US. Some observers have even suggested that Japan use the US as its guard dog, but this hardly seems realistic.
    In the book MacArthur's Japan is a story of one GI's experience titled "Only Akiko." Akiko worked as a prostitute under a railroad overpass during the Occupation to support her family. A woman who favored one particular GI from among the nameless multitude of her customers and moved into his apartment as his local wife was known as an "only," and Akiko, too, was the "only" of a certain GI with whom she had become friendly. The GI was overjoyed. "Are there really women this wonderful anywhere else in the world? I'd always thought of the Japanese as just colored people, but they really are kind and wonderful," he said blissfully. Akiko very charmingly coaxed him for help: "I am very happy, but my family doesn't even have blankets. They don't even have any chocolate. They don't have anything." Her kind-hearted GI boyfriend showered her with presents, but before long, normally available items were just not good enough any more. He then started dealing in the black market, which he continued to do in order to help out Akiko's family - "anything for you, sweetheart" - until he was finally arrested and thrown in jail.
    Visiting the prison, Akiko told her boyfriend, "I'm so sorry. I know you did it for me," to which the GI replied, "It's all right. This is just a little slap on the wrist for show. I'll be getting out of here soon and going back to America. I want you to come with me to America so we can start a new life together. America is a wonderful place." Her eyes filled with tears and, hanging her head, she stood there, unable to reply. Later, when the time came for the GI to head back to the US, he invited Akiko once more to come with him. She refused, telling him, "I'm sorry. I'm a bad girl. I have a family." The jilted GI returned home a very lonely man.
    One interpretation given this story is that America controlled Japan and did as it wished with the country. The Japanese were very good at being controlled, and the US was very pleased with the relationship, until it came to the realization one day that in fact it was the one that had been used. America's feelings towards Japan upon this discovery were expressed in, for example, the 1985 book The Danger from Japan by Theodore White. The US found itself in the 1980s under pressure in its trade relations with Japan and, unable to restore its competitiveness versus Japan even after urging it to exercise a little self-restraint, the US no doubt felt much the same way as the GI betrayed by Akiko.
    At one time during the 1950s, an "anti-Yoshida" sentiment did drive conservative politics. Traditional nationalists such as Hatoyama Ichiro and Kishi Nobusuke returned to top positions in the government and proposed that Japan revise its constitution and rearm. The Yoshida Doctrine was subverted in the latter part of the 1950s, and there did appear a possibility that Japan would seek to become a traditional sovereign power and place its continental interests above its interests as a maritime nation. Both the reformists and the general public had a strong loathing for military power, though, and in the end this move to reform the constitution and rearm Japan ended in failure and the ratification of the 1960 Japan-US Security Treaty. A comprehensive look at even this anti-Yoshida era of politics of the late 1950s shows the "Yoshida Doctrine without Yoshida" gaining a firm footing in the political mindset of Japan. The Yoshida Doctrine, which focused on the economy and which rejected the idea of giving chief consideration to military affairs, not only survived the second half of the 1950s, but, under the administration of Ikeda Hayato of the early 1960s, also gained tremendously in popularity and came to define the very image of Japan as a nation. During this period, in which revision of the 1960 Security Treaty was completed, the Japan-US alliance supported Japan's playing an active role on the world stage as an economic-oriented nation. On the enthusiastic recommendation on the US, Japan was given the opportunity to play a positive part in such international economic organizations as GATT, IMF, and the OECD as a full member. Prime Minister Ikeda identified Japan as one of the "three pillars" of the free world, with the US, Europe, and Japan responsible for maintaining an open and free economic order that radiated like a fan from the US and that was similar in character to a maritime alliance. One important feature of the Japan-US alliance was its connection of Japan to this order.
    The turning point in postwar Japan-US relations came at the beginning of the 1970s with the reversion of Okinawa. Just as the Portsmouth Peace Talks had marked the high point of the amicable relations during the pre-war period, so did the reversion of Okinawa represent the pinnacle of Japan-US relations in the postwar period. A decision, quite rare history, was made to amicably return to a country, territory it had lost in war. This decision was linked, however, with trade disputes over textiles, leading to a long period of economic friction between Japan and the US. In other words, the pastoral friendly relations that Japan and the US enjoyed early on developed into the normal relations of "cooperation and confrontation" between rivals. As the reversion of Okinawa was proceeding, Prime Minister Sato Eisaku announced in Washington his intention to have Japan bear a greater share of the burden for its own security. Did this spur Japan to transform itself into a self-reliant military power? No, it did not, and again Japan returned to the policy of having only a limited defensive capability within a framework of cooperation. Kubo Takuya of the Defense Agency thought that Japan should build up no more than a "basic defensive capability" and should ensure domestic support of this policy, while Professor Kosaka Masataka argued that Japan should be content with the capability to repulse foes rather than the greater capability needed to deter them. In the 1970s, he arrived at the conclusion that Japan needed only a limited military capability within the international cooperative framework of the Japan-US guidelines. International acceptance of the Japan-US security alliance grew during this period. China took a more flexible attitude towards the Japan-US security alliance in light of its own anti-Soviet and anti-hegemony stance, agreeing with Nixon and Kissinger that the Japan-US alliance helped keep the "cork in the bottle" in preventing Japan from becoming an independent military power. A change can be perceived from this time, with the Japan-US alliance transforming from a partnership to fight a "common enemy" into an instrument of regional security.
    This metamorphosis became even clearer after the Cold War ended, when there was no longer a "common enemy". The historical missions of NATO and the Japan-US security alliance had been accomplished, and numerous debates arose over whether to retire them or to keep them on station for future contingencies. The result was that both were reevaluated as apparatuses for dealing with destabilizing elements in their respective zones of coverage. In NATO's case, recognition of this new role came during the Gulf War and the Yugoslavian civil war. The re-appraisement of the Japan-US security alliance was made conclusive by developments in North Korea and by the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait missile crisis. There was some antagonism towards this alliance within Japan, as seen in the outcry surrounding the rape of a young girl in Okinawa, the amenities demanded by communities near US bases, and the opposition to the encroachment of huge military bases in the area. China also expressed its opposition to an increase in the functions and areas covered by the Japan-US Security Treaty.
    However, the international community as a whole was well disposed towards the Japan-US security alliance. Crises in the 1990s involving North Korea and China have again confirmed that Japan cannot possibly deal with such matters alone, despite the fact that Japan is part of East Asia and the largest country after China in the region and that it has historically remained independent from China. The other countries of East Asia have a stronger sense of misgiving towards China. Their absorption into the Qin Empire (221 BC - 202 BC) offered the prototype for an international order in East Asia. East Asia is looking to establish a new historical situation transcending this pattern as it moves into the 21st century. With survival their key national interest, the smaller countries of Asia abhor the idea of submitting to a sole dominant power controlling Asia, and many of the region's countries and people welcome with open arms the presence of a maritime nation working to build an open and pluralistic international system. Perhaps even the people of China could discover greater happiness through joining an open international economic system and promoting democratization. New Guidelines have been established and the Japan-US security alliance redefined so that America's overwhelming might can be used to provide structure to the international order in the Asia-Pacific region, so that Japan can help the US maintain its military presence in the region, and so that this presence can be controlled and utilized as effectively as possible.
    The characterization of the Japan-US alliance as a means of supporting the framework for an international order in the Asia-Pacific region, which first emerged in the 1970s, will become even more valid in future. Even if just for the protection of Japan's own security, the need for this alliance is illustrated convincingly by such minor incidents as the 1998 Taep'o-dong rocket test by North Korea. However, no attempt must be made by any party to change the status quo in the Asia-Pacific region by force. The Japan-US alliance as a maritime alliance has quietly served as an instrument of stabilization in building a loosely knit Asia-Pacific community through the development of free trade as well as through exchange and commerce in a context of diversity. It appears that the Japan-US alliance will continue to play a significant part well into the first third of the 21st century. One might even say it will function as a backbone for Pacific civilization.