The Sino-Japanese competition for influence in Asia is often overlooked by Western observers. While the US-Japan Alliance has been the cornerstone of security in East Asia for over a half-century, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has modernized its military, steadily enhanced it regional activities, and deepened relations with countries around the region. Economically, as well, Tokyo has offered a counterpart to Chinese investment and development aid. The alliance with the United States is a indispensable element in Japan's regional strategy, one which Beijing would like to disrupt. How has China pursued its goal of driving a wedge between Tokyo and Washington? From military buildup, through pressure in the East China Sea, to diplomatic initiatives, Beijing has sought to raise the perceived risk to both Japan and the United States of maintaining their unique relationship. What are the prospects for the future of the US-Japan alliance, especially in the post-Abe era?
Michael Auslin is the Payson J. Treat Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A historian by training, he specializes in contemporary and historical U.S. policy in Asia and political and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region. A best-selling author, Dr. Auslin’s latest book is The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region (Yale). He is a longtime contributor to the Wall Street Journal and National Review, and his writing appears in other leading publications, including The Atlantic, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and Politico. He comments regularly for U.S. and foreign print and broadcast media. Previously, Dr. Auslin was an associate professor of history at Yale University, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, among other honors, and serves on the board of the Wilton Park USA Foundation. He received a BSc from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and his PhD in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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