As the second largest economic power in the world, it shall be their course to politely part ways with the Americans and have the US remove its troops. They then, like a "normal nation" will go about engaing in the work to be completely responsible for their own defense.
Since they respect power, they will embark on this course when they see less and less power by the United States in Asia, they see an ascendent China, and they will decide for themselves at the end of the day they are not a vassal state of the USA, and hence will rearm to the fullest.
It will surprise a lot of people.
But it is coming.
Five it five years.
They’ve been on about it for awhile haven’t they? Saw something about two years ago the Japanese were trying to change something, had to do with airspace or airports and sovereignty. Sorry it was awhile back so not sure on the specifics.
I agree that Japan will become increasingly independent. However, I can’t imagine them cozying up with communist china. The threat of Red Chinese Nationalism and retribution is too great for the Japanese to kick us out completely.