We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

60 years on, alliance with U.S. still Japan’s best option

17 1 1

BEPPU, OITA PREF. – The 60th anniversary of the revised Japan-U.S. security treaty fell on Jan. 19. When it was revised in 1960, popular protests against the treaty gathered momentum. Massive demonstrations surrounded the Diet day after day, and a female student was crushed to death in the disturbance. Even though the revised treaty was eventually approved by the Diet, Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi was forced to resign and a scheduled visit by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower was canceled.

What happened 60 years ago may appear to belong to another age, but it’s still worthwhile to get a general overview of Japan’s national security challenges from a historical perspective.

Since ancient times, governments have made enormous efforts to ensure the safety of their societies, mainly through the buildup of military power and the development of alliances.

World War I, however, proved that such a policy alone cannot prevent war. This led to the creation of the League of Nations and the birth of the concept of collective security. But the League of Nations had fundamental defects, the foremost of which was the refusal of the United States — then rising to become the greatest power in the world — to join. The end result was that the body was unable to prevent World War II.

The United Nations was established after the Second World War with more powerful functions. But since its five most powerful participants — the permanent members of the Security Council — failed to act in concert as the Cold War erupted, the collective security system under the U.N. did not function as intended — and still does not even........

© The Japan Times