Japan needs to think strategically and hold dialogue with the United States in that light if it wants to be a true ally, according to a former deputy chief of the Defense Agency.

"Would the U.S. even think of asking Japan's opinion about its strategy for global security problems?" asks Masahiro Akiyama.

"The U.S. merely expects Japan's support and would never imagine it acting against U.S. policy. For Japan to become a true partner of the U.S., it should offer harsh advice when necessary," said Akiyama, who is now a special visiting professor at Gakushuin University.