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The Japan-South Korea relationship is continuing its downward spiral. Both sides appear to be glancing sideways at the United States in the hope and expectation that Washington will step in and help remedy the situation. This circumstance accentuates the importance of the U.S. maintaining unbreakable relationships of trust with each of its two treaty allies, both of whom are critical partners in contending with a resurgent China and a recalcitrant North Korea.

Against this backdrop, the timing seems awkward for questions about the utility of the U.S.-Japan alliance to be arising on the Washington policy circuit.

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