I have been reading an article from The Atlantic which was published in 1989, on the question of whether Japan enjoys a "free ride" with regards to defence spending. This is a topic which has evidently been recurring in American politics for years.
I'd like to know if there's any American acknowledgement of the fact that Japan has neither a large military nor nuclear weapons as a direct consequence of America's desire to suppress Japanese military capability after the Second World War? I have not noticed this point being made by either American politicians or pundits.
The Allied occupation imposed strict limits upon the military capabilities of Japan and Germany, and also attempted to move Japanese and German culture away from militarism. Gradually successive American governments encouraged the Japanese and German states to develop some military capability, but this was always in a limited and subservient capacity within an American-led alliance.
Given the success of Allied efforts to encourage pacifism amongst German and Japanese people, it seems odd that American political discourse should expect either nation to suddenly become an equal partner militarily, given that this pacifism was an American imposition.
Furthermore, I'd like to know if at the time of American occupation after the war, there was any debate within the American government about the cost of effectively replacing Japanese military capability? Was this a factor at the time?
Simply: Do any American politicians acknowledge that Japanese and German timidity is America's doing? And was the future cost effectiveness or fair sharing of defence burden a consideration for policy makers during the Allied occupation of Japan and Germany?