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Only people in their late 60s and older remember the turmoil that raged in Japan in 1960 between the proponents and opponents of ratifying the revised security treaty with the United States. As these generations have aged, the security alliance between the two nations itself has grown somewhat antiquated while the whole world has undergone unprecedented change.

When asked whether the slogan of “strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance” has not become too simple and too old, Shigeru Ishiba, former defense minister and currently policy affairs chief of the Liberal Democratic Party, said “strengthening” is devoid of anything substantial. Indeed, past administrations have done very little to implement this slogan and have failed to deepen discussions on security-related issues.

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