Japan fears repercussions of US halting military exercises with South Korea: Glee in Russia

Japan fears repercussions of US halting military exercises with South Korea: Glee in Russia

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Japan is in a flux after President Donald Trump of America announced curtailing military exercises with South Korea. Trump uttered this after the meeting with the leader of North Korea went better than expected. Therefore, Japan is paying the price of over-reliance on America because once more this nation wasn’t consulted to any major degree.

After the groundbreaking meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, the majority of nations in Northeast Asia felt a sigh of relief. This fact was expressed by China and other nations in this strategic part of the world. Hence, the joint statement stipulated, “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

However, the one regional nation that didn’t greet the announcement that the United States would curtail military exercises in South Korea positively was Japan. Indeed, Japan is extremely worried that the abduction issue and not being consulted to the full by the Trump administration highlights a lack of respect. Therefore, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump having a good personal relationship, this fact isn’t bearing results in the realm of geopolitics and economics at the moment.

Itsunori Onodera, the Defense Minister of Japan, uttered, The US-South Korean exercises, as well as the US military contingent in South Korea, play an important role in maintaining security in Northeast Asia.”

Yet, Trump, stated strongly that America would halt military exercises based on not wanting to provoke North Korea and the financial factor. Trump said, We will be saving a tremendous amount of money. Plus, it is very provocative.”

In truth, China and the Russian Federation have equally stressed a “freeze for freeze” approach to the crisis. In other words, US and South Korea military exercises are halted in return for North Korea suspending its long-range missile and nuclear tests. Therefore, for Trump and Kim, this is a very reasonable approach despite political and military elites in Japan expressing serious doubts.

Onodera stipulated strongly, “While North Korea may have pledged to denuclearize, it has not yet made any specific moves toward that goal, so we have no intention of changing our current surveillance structure.” 

However, Japan can’t really complain because this nation sidelined itself by being over-reliant on America. Of course, relations will remain strong between America and Japan despite the lack of respect being shown to the Abe administration. Therefore, the Russian Federation will be looking on with a certain degree of pleasure because political elites in Moscow want to see a more independent Japan – hence, President Vladimir Putin will seek to move closer to Japan by reaching out in the realm of geopolitics.


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