3 September 2017
Author: Fumiaki Kubo, University of Tokyo
Japan was stunned and scared on 9 November 2016 to find that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States.
During the campaign, Trump had expressed a very different view of Japan from those of his predecessors. He argued that the current Japan–US Security Treaty was unfair because the United States alone was obliged to defend Japan. Trump urged Japan to take charge of its own defence, including arming itself with nuclear weapons.
Worse, the isolationist US candidate’s victory happened precisely when Japan faced its most serious national security crisis since the end of World War II — a turning point in its own defence policy.