Asia pivot

The US and Japan: An Alliance, Redefined
Defense ties deepen in face of a growing Chinese threat

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seen during a joint meeting of Congress in 2015, has deepened Japan's defense ties with the U.S. as he seeks a greater leadership role for his country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

TOKYO — President Barack Obama traveled to Japan this week for the G-7 summit and a landmark visit to Hiroshima, but the trip also came at a fragile time in the 70-year-old alliance between the two countries. The partnership finds itself under greater scrutiny amid the Asia-Pacific region’s shifting geopolitics.  

In his first term, Obama outlined what he said would be the United States’ strategic pivot to Asia, home to four the top 10 U.S. trade partners and nearly two-thirds of global economic growth. It was to be a rebalancing of U.S. interests in the new century. And now, as China lays claim to disputed territory in the South China Sea and North Korea continues its nuclear weapon threats, the world will see if the U.S. rebalance is up to the challenge.  

Ep. 9: Why Japan Fears Trump More Than It Does China
The Big Story
In Vietnam, Obama Sends Signals to McConnell, China
President lauds deepening U.S.-Vietnamese ties, Trans-Pacific trade deal

President Barack Obama with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang during his visit to the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Monday. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama laced his Tuesday remarks to the Vietnamese people with subtle messages for key U.S. lawmakers and Chinese leaders.  

Obama reflected on the two countries’ past, including the Vietnam War , and hailed their cooperation in the decades since that have made them “partners.” He extolled deepening U.S.-Vietnamese work on trade, education and security, saying Washington hopes to normalize relations with its former foe.