Asia Security Initiative Nonresident Senior Fellow Roger Cliff writes for The National Interest on the steps Japan needs to take to become a major contributor to East Asian security:

Security challenges in East Asia are becoming increasingly serious. North Korea is developing a missile-deliverable nuclear weapon, and the long-term stability of the Pyongyang regime is questionableTaiwan, which Beijing claims as part of Chinese territory, is about to have a presidential election in which a candidate from a pro-independence party is the front-runner.China has also become increasingly assertive in its territorial disputes with Japan and several Southeast Asian countries.

The United States has long taken responsibility for ensuring the security of East Asia, providing the military muscle for everything from deterring North Korean aggression to providing humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters. The challenges in East Asia, however, are now such that the region can longer rely on the United States to take the lead in responding to every event. Other countries need to play a greater role in contributing to the security and stability of the region. No country is more important in this regard than Japan. With the world’s third-largest economy, one of the region’s most capable militaries, and as a democracy whose international behavior has been completely peaceful for over 70 years, Japan has a unique potential to be a force for peace, security, and human rights in the region.

Read the full article here.

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