Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan, which outlines the military arrangement between the two nations. Although it’s hard to think of two countries that have had a closer and more successful relationship than the United States and Japan over the past five decades, some new challenges have cropped up recently. Prime Minister Hatoyama’s government is trying to negotiate moving the large Futenma air base in Okinawa somewhere else, perhaps to Guam, which is likely to be a logistical nightmare for the U.S. military. The government recently ended its refueling mission for U.S. warships in the Indian Ocean, a condition set by the minority Social Democratic Party which makes up part of the current ruling coalition, and there’s currently a lot of discussion about what would happen if China offers to take over the refueling instead. Japan could find itself passed by in world affairs, with less influence in the future.
The U.S.-Japan security treaty turns 50 years old.