China is sure to notice this strengthened alliance, and not in a good way. It suggests that should China continue on its current path over the Senkaku Islands, then it will surely lead to a direct confrontation with the US. If China was confused before, now it is not.
Given China’s historical strategy of using offense as defense and the heavy use of preemption, the strengthened US-Japan alliance suggests that China may prepare for a “bolt out of the blue” attack on the US. China’s hostility to Japan based on historical grievances probably means that it cannot step backwards, and can only go forward in its dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands. If going forward means a confrontation with the US, then the best option is a “bolt out of the blue” attack.
Japan and the US have agreed to strengthen their alliance to address threats to regional security from North Korea’s missile program and China’s increasingly robust claims to disputed island territories, in the first broadening of the two powers’ military alliance in nearly two decades.
In a speech in the US last week, Mr. Abe said Japan should no longer be a “weak link” in global security, and should play a more active role in its alliance with the US.