The coming Trump administration is one that will overcome the limitations of politics, but it also means that many factors are still unknown. The world is watching to see how the administration will be run.
On the 9th of December, Trump’s security advisor Pete Hoekstra spoke at a conference in Tokyo on the ‘U.S.-Japan relationship under the Trump administration’. The other key speaker was Commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission F. Scott Kieff.
Trump Wants Partner Countries to Become Great Too
Below is a summary of Hoekstra’s speech:
The U.S. foreign policies of the last 8 years were failures. As a result, U.S.-partner countries have come to doubt American foreign policy. A good example is the U.S. Middle East policy. Hoekstra was an intelligence specialist who has been dealing with the problem of Islamic extremists in the Middle East for 15 years. His observation is this: the annual number of people who lose their lives due to Islamic extremist terrorism has increased since 9/11, and this is because of the bankruptcy of Syria, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan.
Until now, regardless of the disapproval of Western Europe, Iraq, Syria and Libya had been properly following the law and order of their central government. But these countries have now become a shelter for those who attack the countries that value freedom, human rights and democracy. The cause of all this is insufficient leadership from the U.S.
Hoekstra’s personal opinion is that America will once again become a country that will lead the world. He never again wants to hear the words uttered by current President Obama: “lead from behind”.
Under Trump’s leadership, the U.S. will become closer and more cooperative with its partners, and work towards a clear goal. The U.S. will lead the world, but wants partner countries to become reliable equals in defense and security.
The U.S. asks Japan to revise their national security. What is important is for Japan and the U.S. to each fulfill its own responsibility, and demand and expect of each other without fear. Trump is thinking that this will strengthen partnerships and increase activity.
Trump not only wants to make America Great Again, he wants partner countries to become great too: all to make the world a safer place.
Japan Must Change!
The Liberty Magazine interviewed Hoekstra after his speech: “China has made drastic changes without a penalty. The U.S.-China relationship has to change in response to China’s increasingly aggressive hegemony.”
The U.S. is asking Asian partners and NATO members to shoulder a suitable burden: this includes Japan. Now Japan should triumph over the current embarrassing position, and make the effort to become a country that can demand and expect from the U.S. as equals.
When Trump argued that Japan should pay the full costs of having the U.S. military stationed within its borders, defenders claimed that the cost of US$4.4 billion that Japan currently pays is already much higher than for Germany and South Korea. But for the U.S., the stationing fee for the total of approximately 800 international bases, in over 170 countries, amounts to U.S. $19.25 billion.
Article 9 in the Constitution of Japan is the materialization of the ‘allergy for military matters’ that is making the people of Japan continue to want the U.S. to protect them. But it is common sense for a country to have to protect itself.
With the establishment of the Trump administration and its intent on rebuilding the nation to become world leaders once more, Japan has to change also. 2017 is another year of possibilities for reform in Japan.