Japan: Reluctant Asian Counterweight to…

With a power vacuum growing across the Asia Pacific as US President Donald Trump pulls away from the US’s post WWII role as guarantor of security in the region, can Japan replace the United States as the region’s principal counterbalance to China? In the immediate future, troubles at home and in the North Pacific neighbourhood are likely to take up the major part of Japan’s energies and resources. However, as seen in last year’s deployment of the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, Japan’s biggest ship in the post-World War II era, and its sister ship, the JS Kaga this year to the South China Sea and the wider Indian Ocean region, Tokyo seems to be sending a message that it is a growing part of the Great Game in the Indo-Pacific.

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