New Delhi, July 25 : The Japan-US alliance should be expanded with inclusion of countries like India, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea for better strategic and economic safety and better coordination in the fight against terrorism, a Japanese scholar has said.
The suggestion came from Professor Robert D Eldridge, Director of the US-Japan Alliance Affairs Division, Center for International Security Studies and Policy, Osaka University, while delivering a talk on "The Japan-US Alliance in Asia: Challenges and Prospects" at Observer Research Foundation, a public policy think tank based in New Delhi.
Prof. Eldridge said China also may be provided entry but with conditions, like transparency in its military budget, respect for human rights, introduction of democracy, etc.
"Unconditional entry to China will have serious implications. Theirs is a one-party rule system with no transparency at all. No one knows what is their military budget? What are their intentions and plans?" he said.
Prof. Eldridge said it was time to expand the US-Japan alliance, which was originally based on security concerns under the then existing cold war conditions.
He said with the world conditions changing and India and China emerging leading global powers, there was a need to look at the new world environment and build a new alliance, expanding the US-Japan alliance.
He said the triangular nature of Japan's contributions to the alliance consisted of personnel, financial and bases. Currently, roughly 135 facilities and training areas in Japan are used by the US.
Prof. Eldridge said 77 percent people think that there is a danger of Japan being involved in a war while 17 per cent think the alliance is in danger of being involved in a war.
He, however, completely ruled out chances of Japan amending its Constitution and becoming a Nuclear Weapon State.
Veteran diplomat A.N. Ram commented that with the change in the geo-politics in Asia, the role of the US in Asia would diminish with the emergence of India, China, Australia along with Japan.
Prof. Kesavan, head of the Japan Studies Programme at ORF, also noted in his opening remarks that time has come for changes in the US-Japan alliance which was set up during the cold war days.