RealNews

US pushes Japan to be base for forces slated for the Middle East

The United States is pushing Japan to become a base for a force that can deploy to the Middle East, a move that exceeds the bounds of their current security alliance, a report said. The realignment plan would make Japan a host for command bases for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps that could deploy to “the arc of instability” from Africa and the Balkans through the Middle East to Southeast Asia, the Asahi Shimbun reported, citing government officials. Working-level talks on the plan started in November after Washington announced a global military realignment plan, the paper said. Tokyo has been reluctant to adopt a plan it sees as going beyond the scope of the Japan-US Security Treaty, which says American troops are stationed in the country to maintain peace and stability in Japan and the Far East. “In order to make the US plan happen, we must revise the bilateral security treaty or change our interpretation of it. But we can’t do that,” the Asahi quoted a senior government official as saying. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi discussed US plans for military realignment with President George W. Bush in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. During the talks, Bush said Washington aimed to make its deterrent force based in Japan more effective but reduce the burden on local communities, the Japan Broadcasting Corp. and Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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