Geopolitics

Japan a US Chess Piece in the New Cold War Against China

By Vijay Prashad, LA Progressive

In early December 2021, Japan’s Self-Defense Force joined the U.S. Armed Forces for Resolute Dragon 2021, which the U.S. Marines called the “largest bilateral training exercise of the year.” Major General Jay Bargeron of the U.S. 3rd Marine Division said at the start of the exercise that the United States is “ready to fight and win if called upon.”

Resolute Dragon 2022 followed the resumption in September of trilateral military drills by Japan, South Korea, and the United States off the Korean peninsula; these drills had been suspended as the former South Korean government attempted a policy of rapprochement with North Korea.

These military maneuvers take place in the context of heightened tension between the United States and China, with the most recent U.S. National Security Strategy identifying China as the “only competitor” of the United States in the world and therefore in need of being constrained by the United States and its allies (which, in the region, are Japan and South Korea). This U.S. posture comes despite repeated denials by China—including by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on November 1, 2022—that it will “never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism.”

These military exercises, therefore, place Japan center-stage in the New Cold War being prosecuted by the United States against China.

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Categories: Geopolitics

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