Japan Is the New Leader of Asia’s Liberal Order

Washington Must Learn to Follow Its Longtime Ally in the Indo-Pacific

Over the last decade, and especially over the last four years, Japan has emerged as a quiet leader in the Indo-Pacific. While the United States abandoned its allies and succumbed to illiberal populism under President Donald Trump, Japan remained a stalwart of the liberal, rules-based international order. It deepened ties with its neighbors, expanded multilateral initiatives, and set the regional agenda on trade and digital governance, among other issues. Through a combination of good timing, clear-eyed leadership, and innovative domestic reform, the island nation has proved not only a reliable partner to the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific but an architect of the region’s emerging liberal order.

In an era of Chinese bellicosity, North Korean provocations, and a raging pandemic, Japan’s inconspicuous ascent to regional leadership has gone mostly unnoticed. But as the administration of President Joe Biden seeks to repair frayed alliances, Japan has become the key to restoring American credibility in Asia. Only by solidifying relations with its longtime Asian ally and collaborating on multilateral efforts can the United States repair its damaged reputation in the Indo-Pacific and regain a foothold in the region’s future.

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Πηγή: foreignaffairs.com

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