The US and Japan must reinforce their alliance to ensure regional stability. But with both countries facing serious financial difficulties, the time may have come to delegate
Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe told a conference on regional security in Taipei yesterday that the March 11 earthquake and tsunami marked a “turning point” in the US-Japanese alliance and warned that if both countries did not find ways to resolve their financial difficulties, they would have no choice but to cut their defense budgets.
In a keynote speech at the International Symposium on Regional Security of the Asia-Pacific and Peace in the Taiwan Strait (亞太區域安全與臺海和平), Abe said the damage from the tsunami was comparable to that caused by war.
The symposium was organized by the Taiwan National Security Institute and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
While the financial crisis in the US has already forced Washington to cut defense spending, Japan, which is also facing financial problems in the wake of the disaster in March, could also be compelled to do so and that would have a negative impact on troop morale and Japan’s ability to modernize its armed forces, Abe said, referring to such a scenario as a “national security crisis.”
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.