søndag 11. april 2021

Biden puts Japan at the center of US policy in Asia

The late Harvard professor Ezra Vogel wrote a widely influential book titled Japan as Number One, which sought to extrapolate lessons from Japan's postwar economic success for the U.S. To borrow Vogel's title, Japan appears to be very much number one in terms of the Biden administration's initial foreign policy priorities. Not only will Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga be the first foreign visitor to the White House, Washington seems to be embracing Japanese strategic concepts and concerns.

Consider first U.S. strategic messaging. With the Defense Department conducting a China review and a global force posture review, and the White House conducting a review of the national security strategy, the Biden administration could have chosen to revisit its Indo-Pacific engagement strategy, but it did not. Instead, it continues the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy used by the Trump administration. The recent U.S.-Japan 2+2 statement reiterated the U.S. commitment to FOIP, as did the Quad leaders' joint statement.