The U.S-Japan alliance was the cornerstone for U.S. strategic posture in the Asia-Pacific and the regions peace and' security during the Cold War. However, success bred complacency, as alliance became adrift. The end of the Cold War, heightened bilateral trade frictions, and new security challenges, such as a rising China, a nuclear-armed North Korea, and terrorism necessitated a reevaluation of this important relationship. This article examines the redefined U.S-Japan alliance and especially the implications of the 1997 Revised Guidelines for the U.S-Japan Defense Cooperation and the 2005 "Two Plus Two" Talks for a military contingency in the Taiwan Strait. It will examine the special role that Okinawa plays in the US. security strategy in the region.

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Copyright © 2005, Tamkang University's College of International Studies. This article first appeared in Tamkang Journal of International Affairs: 9:2 (2005), 1-50.

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