Ex-US intelligence official says Japan-US alliance unbalanced

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Washington, Feb 8 (Kyodo) Japan should review itswar-renouncing Constitution to bring more balance to itssecurity alliance with the US, a former top Americanintelligence has said.

Dennis Blair, former director of National Intelligence,said he was opposed of the current form of the securityalliance under which the United States "would do all of themilitary work and Japan would simply pay...host nation supportand provide some bases."

Noting that the Japan-US relationship has been "thelinchpin for both countries," Blair said the existingbilateral security alliance arrangement may have been "okay in1955, but it''s not okay in 2011."

The 64-year-old retired US Navy admiral said the twocountries must "develop a much more mature relationship whereJapan plays much more of an equal role" than it did during theyears following World War II.

"I''m all in favor of changing the Japanese Constitution,developing Japanese military capability so that they can takepart in things like international peacekeeping and extendedself-defense," he added.

Japan takes the position that it cannot exercise theright to collective self-defense, or aiding an ally underenemy attack, due to limitations in its Constitution.

Commenting on the "Yoshida Doctrine," which was namedafter postwar Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida and placespriority on economic development while depending on the UnitedStates for military defense, Blair said he has "always thought(it) was a little unhealthy now and in the future."

Touching on a potential missile threat against the UnitedStates, Blair said, "It would be a great mistake if, forinstance, North Korea shot a missile that was coming at theUnited States and Japan did not participate in providing itsradar data or its missile data to the United States becausethat''s forbidden under the Constitution."

"That''s just nonsense," he said. "I think we need anormal alliance (in) which both sides have obligations thatare relatively balanced."

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned in January thatNorth Korea could pose a direct threat to the United Stateswithin five years if it continues to develop intercontinentalballistic missiles and expand its nuclear weapons capability.

But Blair, who was commander in chief of the US PacificCommand for three years from 1999 and served as director ofNational Intelligence from January 2009 to May 2010, said,"I''m not that worried about it."

He noted that although North Korea is capable ofattacking US military bases in Japan or South Korea, it wouldnot do so for fear of retaliation by the US forces.

"Right now, they can threaten American troops in (South)Korea...they can shoot missiles that will hit anywhere inJapan, including US forces. But they know that if they were todo anything as foolish as that, they would just beobliterated," Blair said. (Kyodo)

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