More Important Than Ever

Renewing the U.S.-Japan Alliance for the 21st Century


In light of the mounting challenges facing the U.S.-Japan alliance, Ambassador Richard L. Armitage and Professor Joseph S. Nye conducted a bi-partisan study on the future of the U.S.-Japan alliance (study group members included Kara Bue, Zack Cooper, Victor Cha, Matthew Goodman, Michael Green, Kevin Nealer, and Sheila Smith). Their study finds that the United States has no better ally than Japan, and today the alliance is more important than ever. Due to the allies’ many strengths—which include shared values, robust democracies, innovative economies, geopolitical influence, and substantial military capabilities—the U.S.-Japan alliance is often labeled the cornerstone of regional peace and security. Yet, cracks are starting to show in the alliance. Renewing the U.S.-Japan alliance for the decades ahead will require tough decisions and sustained implementation. This report puts forward an ambitious but attainable agenda to better prepare the alliance—and the world—for the remainder of the twenty-first century.

This report is made possible by general support to CSIS. No direct sponsorship contributed to this report.


Joseph S. Nye Jr.
University Distinguished Service Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Victor Cha
Senior Vice President for Asia and Korea Chair