In a message that appeared directed at a wary Japan, Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton offered reassurances that as president she would honor security commitments in Asia as she faced off against Republican nominee Donald Trump in their first presidential debate Monday in New York.

Yet the barbs exchanged during the heated debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, underscored that Japan, for better or worse, will need to recalibrate its security and economic policies depending on the winner of the Nov. 8 election.

Unlike previous presidential elections, which have traditionally focused on the economy and other domestic issues, this year's campaign has involved issues that are also critically important to Tokyo.