Wird das US-japanische Bündnis überleben?

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: Im kommenden Jahr feiert der Sicherheitsvertrag zwischen den USA und Japan, ein zentrales Merkmal der Stabilität innerhalb Ostasiens seit nunmehr einem halben Jahrhundert, sein 50-jähriges Bestehen. Heute freilich, da die Japaner eine Phase innenpolitischer Unsicherheit durchleben und die nordkoreanischen Atom- und Raketentests ihre Nervosität verstärken, stellt sich die Frage, ob Japan seine langjährige Entscheidung umkehren wird, selbst keine Fähigkeit zur nuklearen Abschreckung anzustreben. Geht das US-japanische Bündnis seinem Ende entgegen?

In den frühen 1990er Jahren betrachteten viele Amerikaner Japan als wirtschaftliche Bedrohung. Einige Menschen, und zwar in beiden Ländern, sahen das Sicherheitsbündnis als Relikt des Kalten Krieges an, das ausrangiert werden müsse.

Diese Trends wurden durch den „East Asia Strategy Report“ der Regierung Clinton aus dem Jahre 1995 umgekehrt. Die Clinton-Hashimoto-Erklärung von 1996 bezeichnete das US-japanische Sicherheitsbündnis als die Stabilitätsgrundlage, die nach dem Kalten Krieg wachsenden Wohlstand in Ostasien ermöglichen würde. Dieser Ansatz wird in den USA nach wie vor von beiden großen Parteien vertreten, und Meinungsumfragen zeigen, dass er auch in Japan weiter breite Zustimmung genießt. Die meisten mit der Situation vertrauten Beobachter stimmen überein, dass das US-japanische Bündnis heute in deutlich besserem Zustand ist als vor 15 Jahren.

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