Third, Japan must work more closely with the US, South Korea, Australia and other like-minded democracies throughout the region.
With an oblique reference to Japan’s dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands — known in Taiwan as the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — the prime minister said: “No one should ever doubt the robustness of the Japan-US alliance.”
The US-Japan security treaty obliges the US to help defend Japan, which administers the islands claimed by China.
“Looking back, it is remarkable that the bond developed between Japan and the US has weathered bad days and good, to have lasted for well more than one-fourth of the entire history of the US,” Abe said.
“Yet, that should not surprise anyone,” he added. “The US, the oldest and the biggest maritime democracy, and Japan, Asia’s most experienced and biggest liberal democracy, which is also an ocean-goer, are a natural fit. They have been so for many decades, and they will remain so for many more to come.”
Richard Halloran is a commentator in Hawaii.