Provost Colloquium Explores Asian Diplomacy

By Richard MacTough
Staff Writer

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un exchanged heated words with each other over the past few months.

Professor Ko Mishima was pleased with the global news coverage of the two leaders’ exchanges because he believes the packed audience in the first provost colloquium of the spring semester, may have otherwise not been interested.

The colloquium series now continues into its fourth semester.

“We would like for the opportunity to engage our students in intellectual discussions outside of the classroom,” said East Stroudsburg University Provost Joanne Bruno.

Mishima presented “US-Japan Security Alliance and Peace in Asia,” on Valentine’s Day in Beers Lecture Hall.

He joked by thanking “rocket man,” a nickname Trump used in describing the North Korean leader.

“Now, the United States and Japan security alliance has become a mainstream topic because of that man [Kim Jung-Un] and the exchanges between our president,” said Mishima.

Mishima opened the lecture with an explanation of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan signed into law back in 1952.

The same treaty is still in effect.

The U.S. agreed to help with the defense of Japan in exchange of hosting American soldiers on their soil.

Japan has the largest U.S. military deployment as a host country. The deployment is ahead of other countries such as Germany and Afghanistan.

In 2016, Over thirty-eight thousand deployments were recorded in Japan. The country has at least two-hundred thousand U.S. soldiers stationed. There are members of the Navy and Marine Corps stationed. Every branch is stationed there except the coast guard. There are seventy-eight military bases across the Asian country.

“The most popular base in Japan is Yokosuka and holds the United States Seventh Fleet,” said Mishima.

The Japan Self-Defense Forces was established back in 1954.

They are the seventh most powerful national army with a military budget just over $46 billion. The first is the United States followed by Russia and China.

It has been argued by government officials over the years if the JSDF is a violation of the Japanese Constitution.

“No War Clause of Article 9 states the Japanese people denounce war against other countries as means of settling international disputes.

Land, sea and air forces as well as other war potential will never be maintained,” said Mishima.

He disputed the article can be dismissed in special circumstances such as maintaining national security.

Mishima explained there is no supreme power of government globally. Japan reinterpreted the article back in 2014 and decided their forces could defend allies in case war was declared on them.

“Historically speaking Article 9 was an important factor in the start of the United States-Japan security alliance,” Mishima continued.

Japan assisted the United States in war against the Soviet Union and worked closely with America after the start of the treaty.

They used a containment strategy preventing the Soviet Union from spreading communism across other countries during the Cold War.

Alliances reach is now globalized and the schemes of military cooperation are deepened with Japan carrying more operational burdens. Trump described the country as “freeriding” of the American security.

Japan covers a portion of the costs of hosting the U.S. military in their country abiding by Article 6 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty.

Mishima also spoke of the current issues with North Korea and its leader Kim Jung-Un. He stated possible solutions as diplomacy, airstrikes or committing ground troops. He believes diplomacy is the most likely and no county can endure a war that is costly.

The audience applauded with the conclusion of Dr. Mishima’s presentation. Bruno provided Valentine’s Day treats for the audience and thanked them for being in attendance.

The Provost Colloquium series continues Feb. 28 with a presentation from Dr. Rob McKenzie about studying abroad in Sweden.

Email Richard at:
rmactough@live.esu.edu

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