QUOTE(dance_NRG @ Jul 12 2007, 03:16 AM) [snapback]3054846[/snapback]
Japan's elites have effectively merged with America's. The troop relocation and any funding dispute are really semantics. The recent defense minister's comments about a-bombs reflect the new combined party line. In time (think generations), you will see this propaganda as the norm or the whole nuke episode downplayed significantly even in Japan's own history books. History won't be allowed get in the way of the alliance.
I would trust Japan to look after its own interest. Fundamentally, I believe Japan seeks equality, acceptance and leadership at pinnacle of the Big Game across all spectrums - economic, political, military, and cultural influence. Partnering with US is one way to do it, possibly. It is a dangerous tightrope though. America's insidious cultural incursion/domination has many pitfalls and unwanted effects for Japan. Perception can become reality. The cliche "Becareful what you wish for. You may just get it." Imitate another so completely, and you risk losing your identity completely without even knowing it. Japan isn't alone in facing this risk, but they are at the bleeding edge of it for at least the last 20 years.
I'm sorry but what exactly is the Japanese identity that's so in danger of being overtaken by American culture? I will say horrible American brand names like McDonalds and horrible diets invading the country is what's troubling. You simply can't stop what's going on. The only reason it hasn't happened to China is because their Government and Freedom is the $hitz and it took the LONG ENOUGH to get to where they're going.