I've got to admire the Japanese for wheedling a reaffirmation of the U.S. nuclear umbrella out of Condaleezza Rice. Is she a complete amateur?
Japan can assemble and launch a 20 megaton nuke on 48 hours notice, and scan the bubbling puddle of North Korean glass from space as the blast goes off, but no, that's our job! For one thing, every trade agreement by every zaibatsu in Japan goes down the toilet in 3° Kelvin if Japan rearms — from Moscow to Beijing to Melbourne and beyond, instantly, just like that. Japan must keep milking Macarthur's legacy (Japan's pacifist Constitution) for R&D advantage as long as possible, so forever and always it's our guns, and their butter.
Brilliant diplomacy, and my hat is off to Edo. Rice got screwed, but truth to tell, she had no options from Washington either. The nuclear umbrella makes perfectly good sense to Bush (either one), because that kind of manly role fits the prevailing faith-based faqs.