By Eric Sayers. Mr. Sayers is a graduate student in political science at the University of Western Ontario, and is an editorial assistant at the Center for Security Policy.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, leaders in Washington and Tokyo questioned the continued viability of the US-Japan alliance. Washingtons desire to benefit from the newfound “peace dividend” led many in Tokyo to fear that the United States would discontinue its security commitments to Japan. In analyzing the relationship between the US and Japan, this paper will attempt to demonstrate how a convergence of interests since the mid-1990s in relation to the threat from rogue states and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the rise of China have forced the two nations to reformulate their strategic relationship into a more “normal” alliance that can effectively cope with the challenges of the 21st century.