Quel avenir pour l’alliance nippo-américaine ?

CAMBRIDGE – L’année prochaine marquera le 50ème anniversaire de la signature du Traité de sécurité entre le Japon et les Etats-Unis, la pierre angulaire de la stabilité en Asie de l’Est depuis un demi-siècle. Mais aujourd’hui, dans un contexte de plus grande incertitude politique au plan intérieur et d’essais et de tirs de missiles nucléaires par la Corée du Nord, autre facteur d’anxiété, le Japon envisagera-t-il de revenir sur sa décision de longue date de ne pas se doter d’une capacité de dissuasion nucléaire ? L’alliance nippo-américaine tire-t-elle à sa fin ?

Au début des années 1990, le Japon était perçu comme une menace économique par de nombreux Américains. Certaines personnes – dans les deux pays – voyaient le Traité de sécurité comme une relique de la Guerre froide qui devait être mise au rebut.

Cette tendance a été inversée par le « Rapport sur la stratégie pour l’Asie de l’Est » de l’administration Clinton en 1995. La Déclaration Clinton-Hashimoto de 1996 stipulait que le Traité de sécurité nippo-américain était la fondation de la stabilité et qu’il garantissait la croissance et la prospérité de l’Asie de l’Est dans un monde post-Guerre froide. Aux Etats-Unis, les différentes administrations, démocrates ou républicaines, ont conservé cette position, tandis qu’au Japon les sondages montrent que l’opinion est favorable à cette approche. La plupart des observateurs s’accordent pour dire que l’alliance nippo-américaine est aujourd’hui plus vigoureuse qu’elle ne l’était il y a quinze ans.

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