The Times reports on Confidence Lost:
U.S. Response to Crimea Worries Japan’s Leaders
TOKYO — When President Bill Clinton signed a 1994 agreement promising to “respect” the territorial integrity of Ukraine if it gave up its nuclear weapons, there was little thought then of how that obscure diplomatic pact — called the Budapest Memorandum — might affect the long-running defense partnership between the United States and Japan.
But now, as American officials have distanced themselves from the Budapest Memorandum in light of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, calling promises made in Budapest “nonbinding,” the United States is being forced at the same time to make reassurances in Asia. Japanese officials, a senior American military official said, “keep asking, ‘Are you going to do the same thing to us when something happens?’ ”
Good question. The US response of sending lawyers, money but no guns is not something the Japanese want to experience as they scuffle with China.