Kidnappings, Missiles, and Nukes!: Outlooks and recommendations for the next President to make sure our strongest ally in East Asia...stays our strongest ally.
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Japan has been, and continues to be, the United States? strongest ally in East Asia. In spite of significant constitutional restrictions and domestic opposition, Japan has actively contributed to America?s counter-terrorism efforts, providing rear end support for US operations in Afghanistan, and even deploying peacekeepers to Iraq. The US-Japan Relationship, while being one of the closest in the world, is often overlooked and taken for granted. It will be in the interest of the next president to prevent this relationship from deteriorating. This current election has been more closely watched by foreign countries than any other election in recent history. Countries want to know what will be the effect of the next President?s policies. Most of the speculation has been centered on specific issues, such as the Iraq War, or high profile countries such as Russia or China. Japan, for its part as an economic and technological powerhouse, receives little of this coverage. I looked at both John McCain and Barack Obama to see if their positions on certain issues would either help, or hurt the US-Japan alliance. While there are definitely many aspects of the US-Japan relationship, North Korea, Missile Defense, and the Environment most assuredly rank among the top. I also paid particular attention to the candidates' advisers since they are the ones who will be holding the senior foreign policy positions in the next administration. I also assigned each candidate and adviser a letter grade based on how I felt they would affect US-Japan relations.