White’s thoughts on Japan’s growing ‘nationalism’ provides some clear arguments as to why Japan won’t pursue a unilateral, expansionist security policy (should it choose to modify its constitution), and that a more ‘normal’ Japan is far more preferable to one still beholden to the US for its defence. One question though; if a more independent Japan decides that forming a separate alliance with regional partners is a key to its security, would Australia sign or, like the current Japan, still rely on the US for most of its security needs?
For those who do need a quick revision of Hugh White’s overall thesis on US-China relations, see here. White is not an apologist for China, despite claims to the contrary. Labelling his views as pro-China, anti-US misses the point of his central thesis, which is; the strategic map of Asia is changing, and incumbent powers must either choose to share power with a rising China or risk war to maintain their hegemony. White does not state that the US should simply surrender to China's whims, and indeed says that should China try to unilaterally change the strategic balance of the region then it should be met with force. Yet by seeking to deny China any influence beyond its immediate borders, the US risks a retaliation from China which does not share the US's vision for the region.