- What is the significance of the U.S. continuing to station its forces in Japan now that the Cold War is over?
Even though the Cold War is now over, a number of destabilizing factors and unpredictability still remain within East Asia and the international community at large. In addition to the existence of massive military forces, including nuclear arsenals, the Asia-Pacific region shows the fastest growth in military spending in the world. In addition, there exist problems in the region such as the issues of nuclear weapons development by North Korea and conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea. Peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region benefit the security interests of the United States and Japan, and the important role played by the U.S. presence in the region is a stabilizing factor for which there is no substitute.
The ASEAN member and other countries in the region also welcome this U.S. presence and hope it to continue.
The U.S. Government states in the East Asian Security Report (EASR) published in February last year:
- "If the American presence in Asia were removed, the security of Asia would be imperiled, with consequences for Asia and America alike. Our ability to affect the course of events would be constrained, our markets and our interests would be jeopardized. To benefit from the growth and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, the United States must remain fully engaged economically, diplomatically, and militarily."
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