Japan is America’s key ally in the Asia-Pacific, with the US–Japan alliance the foundation of America’s role as a ‘Pacific’ power. Indeed, the United States ‘has no better friend in the world than Japan’. This important alliance emerged from Japan’s defeat in World War II and the subsequent American-led occupation, but especially from America’s shifting global strategy in the early Cold War. Increasingly tense relations with the Soviet Union, the communist victory in China and the Korean War pushed the United States to secure Japan within the Western bloc. The resulting strategic bargain between the two countries was for the United States to provide security for Japan, with Japan offering bases for the US military in return. The arrangement established Japan for the United States as a dependent security partner; however, it also allowed Japan to focus on the important postwar task of economic redevelopment.