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A Japanese Card?

Michael Pillsbury
Foreign Policy
No. 33 (Winter, 1978-1979), pp. 3-30
DOI: 10.2307/1148458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1148458
Page Count: 28
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Japanese Card?
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Abstract

Whether-and if so, how-to play what has come to be called the "China card" has figured large in recent discussion of U. S. policy in Asia. Three years ago, when the term was still a gleam in a geopolitician's eye, Michael Pillsbury, then an analyst at the Rand Corporation, contributed to FOREIGN POLICY 20 (Fall 1975) an article provocatively entitled "U. S.-Chinese Military Ties?" He suggested that the United States, perhaps acting first through its allies in Europe and Japan, should encourage selected military sales to the People's Republic of China. His article attracted great attention; in various quarters it was considered unrealistic and even dangerous. Yet much of what he proposed is now happening. In the article below, written after a month's trip to Japan, South Korea, and China as a member of the Senate Budget Committee staff, Pillsbury reports on the potential arrival of a new card on the Asian table. Japanese attitudes toward military issues are changing substantially, he says, and in China there is unprecedented interest in closer military ties among the United States, Japan, and the People's Republic. Past American thinking on defense policy has tended to treat the Far East in isolation from issues such as SALT or European defense. That perspective, Pillsbury suggests, is no longer tenable.

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