Is a Stronger Japan Good for the World?
The Japanese government says it seeks to build a stronger military and exert more influence abroad. What are the implications of this policy?
After its traumatic defeat in the Second World War, Japan turned its back on military power and concentrated instead on economic growth. Japan’s alliance with the US was enough to protect it from threats in the Cold War. But times have changed. China has now overtaken Japan in both economic growth and military spending. And while China flexes new found muscles, Japan’s watches as North Korean missiles fly over its territory. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced last month that Tokyo would be seeking a greater role in world affairs, including boosting its military. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quick to establish a relationship with Donald Trump. But is the anti-globalist and America-first President a solid ally? This week on Newshour Extra Owen Bennett Jones and his guests looks at how Japan is responding to threats – and how a tougher new posture might affect the world.
(Photo: Ships sail in formation behind the flag of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force during a naval fleet review. Credit: Getty Images)
Richard McGregor - Author of Asia's Reckoning
Sheila Smith - Author, based at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington
Andrew Oros - Professor at Washington College, Maryland,
Howard Zang - Head of the BBC's Chinese service