US military bases remain essential to Japan’s security, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an interview on Wednesday, as he brushed off comments by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that Tokyo should be left to defend itself.
Japan’s alliance with Washington has been the bedrock of its defense since the end of World War II, and the country still hosts 47,000 US troops.
“I cannot conceive of any situation within the foreseeable future when the US presence wouldn’t be necessary,” Abe told The Wall Street Journal.
Abe has vowed to boost Japan’s military but he sidestepped a question on whether Japan would play a bigger role in its own defense, saying Tokyo would strengthen its relationship with Washington.
“By strengthening the Japan-US alliance, we’ll strengthen deterrence and that will contribute to peace and stability in the region, not just Japan,” Abe said in the interview with the WSJ, conducted in Tokyo on Tuesday. Read More