Japanese-American security system occupies a very important position in the post-war relations between Japan and the United States. It lays the cornerstone of relations between Japan and the United States and is the pillar and foundation of the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Japanese-American security system shaped in the early 1950's, and has lasted for half a century so far. Through the modification in the early 1960s and the re-definition in the mid-1990s, the rules and regulations of this system has been constantly improved, with the fields and the involved geographical scope of the bilateral cooperation expanded, the content enriched, and the level of cooperation advanced; Thus Japanese-American security system becomes the only one bilateral security regime that keeps the Cold War pattern and is unprecedentedly strengthened. In the era when significant changes take place, this system is not weakened, but strengthened. This does arouse people's strong concern.
Starting with the analysis of the definition of security regime, this paper argues that the so-called Japanese-American security system is the bilateral security regime existing between Japan and the United States, and systematically discusses the establishment, development and strengthening of Japanese- American security system from the perspective of security regime.
First, the paper deals mainly with the establishment of Japanese- American security system. Based on the study on the formation of security regime of the foreign experts, the paper generalizes the three factors forming the security regime. Combining these three factors and the background of the cold war, the paper analyses the historical factors of the establishment of Japanese-American security system. Those three main factors are as followings: (1) The United States, through the Second World War, thoroughly defeated Japan, the rivalry in the Far East, and fully controlled Japan after the war. It is the hegemony of the United States that played the leading role in forming Japanese-American security system. (2)The interests and mutual needs of United States and Japan under the cold war became the motive to establish such a system. (3) Making peace had Japan and the United States converge in the interest on security issues. This is the basis for the final establishment of this system.
Japanese-American security system is the product of the cold war featuring the confrontation of the United States and Soviet Union. Through the creation of bilateral security regime, Japan obtains security protection offered by the United States, while the United States achieves the legal rights to maintain military and military bases in Japan and the purpose to contain the socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union by making use of Japan. The regime prescribed the rights and obligations to the security cooperation for the United States and Japan, thus the United States and Japan security cooperation was institutionalized. Moreover, the Japanese-American Security system determines the nature of the relationship and the standard of behavior between the Japan and the United States and becomes the political and diplomatic framework of the two countries.
Then, the paper deals mainly with the modification of Japanese- American security system. Security regime is not rigid. As the contrast of power between the participants and international and domestic situation change, so will security regime accordingly. Due to the inequities of the system, Japan's sovereignty was seriously harmed, hence the inner damage to the instability of the regime. Therefore, when the Japanese economy recovered, international status raised, and defense capability recuperated, Japan would require the commensurate rights and obligations. Because of the importance of the system, the United States had to address the restoration of the power of Japan and to revise the Japanese-American security system together with Japan at the beginning of the 1960s. The modification involved the deletion of the inequality items in Japanese-American Security Treaty. It also clarified the obligations of the United States to defense Japan, and prescribed the valid term and relevant procedures of the new security system. Hence, Japan’s status rose in the Japan-U.S relationship to some extent. Japan-U.S. cooperation was also expended to the economic field.
The modification did not touch the substance of Japanese-American security system, but met Japan’s demand of equal status to the United States to some extent, and helped balance the inner factors and strengthened the effectiveness and stability of Japanese-American security system.
Last, the paper discusses the re-definition and the transformation of Japanese-American security system. In the early 1990s, with the end of the cold war and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Japanese-American security system lost the foundation for its existence immediately. At the same time, the effect of the end of the cold war on the domestic policies of both sides and on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region combining Japan's powerful economy and political aspiration made both sides question about the existence of the Japanese-American security system. Obviously, in the circumstance in which various international and domestic situations changed dramatically, the original cooperation regime of Japanese-American security system could not fully reflect the true status and interests of the two sides and could not ensure the interests of both sides.
At the turning point in history, Japanese-American security system showed its great elasticity. After five years of long dialogue about security issue, Japan and the United States ultimately agreed that the existence of Japanese-American security system is of great significance towards both sides and that it would become the pillar of the security in Asia-Pacific region in the coming 21st century. Thus, basing on the international situation in the post-cold-war world, Japan and the United States re-defined Japanese-American security system in order to make it adapt to the post-cold war era. The redefined system reaffirmed the importance of the bilateral military cooperation, expanded the content and geographical scope of the cooperation, advanced the level of the cooperation, all that have Japan-American security system regained the stability. Thus this system became the only one security regime forming in cold war that has strengthened. The Japanese-American security system has undergone substantial changes. Its strategic intentions shifted from containment of the Soviet-led socialist camp’s "expansion" into concerning the security of the Asia-Pacific region, and the realization of the hegemony of Japan and America in the Asia-Pacific region.
By discussing the evolution of Japan-American security system, the paper notes that the security interest of Japan and the United States adjusts and converge constantly through this system, hence, Japan and U.S. establish a exclusive bilateral security regime. This security regime fully meets the security requirements of both sides at all stages, and i is constantly strengthened with every modification, all that shows its considerable stability and elasticity. Accordingly, the redefined Japanese-American security system may have a long term of steady development in the globalization.