TOKYO -- On April 29, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe quoted his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi when he addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress. In June 1957, Kishi highlighted Japan's firm "belief in democratic principles and ideals" in his own speech to Congress as prime minister.
Abe reiterated Japan's belief in those principles and ideals, and called the Japan-U.S. relationship an "alliance of hope." That alliance is now looking to expand its defense cooperation to cover the Asia-Pacific and beyond. This shift is occurring out of necessity. Both countries agree that it is impossible to maintain stability in Japan and the rest of the Asia-Pacific without regionwide cooperation. Looming in the background: an increasingly assertive China.