U.S. State Department Geographic Bureaus: East Asia and Pacific Bureau

U.S.-Japan Relations

Fact sheet released by the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs,
U.S. Department of State, July 28, 1997.

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The United States' close and cooperative relationship with Japan is the cornerstone of U.S. policy in Asia and the basis of a strong, productive partnership in addressing global issues. Despite different social and cultural traditions, Japan and the United States have much in common. Both have open, democratic societies, high literacy rates, freedom of expression, multiparty political systems, universal suffrage, and open elections. In addition, both are highly developed free-market industrial economies, and both favor an open and active international trading system. The United States supports Japan's goal of obtaining a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance lies at the core of stability and prosperity in the Pacific region. The 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security provides the basis for a close relationship between the two governments and their defense establishments. Today, there are approximately 100,000 U.S. military personnel deployed in the Pacific region, and over 40,000 are in Japan, including about 28,000 in Okinawa. Under the terms of the Security Treaty, these troops contribute to the defense of Japan and to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region.

The United States and Japan are the two largest economies in the world, comprising about 30% of global output. The U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship is strong, mature, and increasingly interdependent, based on heavy flows of trade, investment and finance. The relationship is firmly rooted in the responsibility of the U.S. and Japan to promote global growth, open markets, and a vital world trading system.

As a result of the two countries' combined economic and technological impact on the world, the U.S.-Japan relationship has become global in scope. The two governments have developed a strong partnership to address shared priorities. An example of that partnership is the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda, a set of global initiatives in areas such as the environment, technology, development and health. The two governments cooperate on issues as diverse as environmental protection, children's vaccines, narcotics demand reduction, and the role of women in development.

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