Japan-US relations, which had been drifting in the late 1990s, were given a new lease of life by the new administrations of US President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro, both of whom argued for strengthening the alliance. This paper argues that, although the new sense of cooperation extended through to beyond the September 11th events, the US designation of an ‘axis of evil’ has paradoxically caused some divergence in the relationship. Japanese policies towards all three constituents countries of the ‘axis of evil’, Iraq, North Korea and Iran, differ in emphasis and nature from those of the Bush administration. Even though Japan has come out in support of the US attacks on Iraq, it has subtly different concerns and interests with Iraq and the other two named states which place the Koizumi administration in a dilemma about how far to follow the US lead.
Bridges, B. (2003). US-Japan relations : convergence and divergence in the post-September 11th world (CAPS Working Paper Series No.136). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: http://commons.ln.edu.hk/capswp/19