Regarding the May 8 article “Trump proposals for Japan will not become U.S. policy, expert says,” Donald Trump has thrown a stone to make ripples on the seemingly waveless waters of the Japan-U.S. military alliance.

Trump says that U.S. troops stationed in Japan should pack up and go home if Japan does not pay more or wholly for the maintenance of U.S. bases here.

It’s interesting to see how the Washington establishment reacts to this Trump whirlwind. Michael Green, a former senior director for Asian affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, for example, says Trump’s suggestions will never become U.S. foreign policy even if he wins.

Maybe so, but, if so, it means that the U.S. military is stationed in Japan not necessarily to defend Japan but largely to defend its own interests and, as the U.S. Forces in Japan brass blurt out every once in a while, not to let the genie out of the bottle. If so, then there’s no meaning at all for Japanese taxpayers to shoulder so much of the maintenance costs of those U.S. bases, 55 in mainland Japan and 33 in Okinawa. Trump’s suggestion that Japan shoulder the whole cost is absolutely out of the question.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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