What Japan and the Europeans really want is to outsource their defense to somebody else, that is, the United States. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:
Tokyo wants Europe to do more about China. But neither Japan nor the E.U. pull their own weight.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told European leaders that they should increase the continent’s military presence in Asia to help Tokyo put “tremendous pressure” on the People’s Republic of China. In return Kishi proposed sending two armored divisions to Europe to help face down a revived Russian Federation.
Hah, hah, hah! Only kidding about the latter. Japan isn’t in the armored division business. Or inclined to send Japanese troops overseas. Or even to do that much to constrain Beijing. After all, Tokyo believes that confronting China is primarily America’s job. However, the minister would like Europe to join America in helping to defend Japan. Such a deal!
Kishi testified before the European Parliament’s committee on security and defense. He urged the European Union to “continue and expand” security cooperation with Japan in the “Indo-Pacific region.” He advocated cooperation “against authoritarianism,” telling the panel that “I highly commend the point that the EU strategy sets out the strengthening of presence and action in the Indo-Pacific.” An unnamed Japanese official told the South China Morning Post: “Japan hopes to use this opportunity to get more involvement from the EU in the region.”
Apparently, Tokyo isn’t satisfied with the defense welfare that it receives from the U.S. Now it hopes the Europeans, who have been as shameless as the Japanese in forever cheap-riding on Washington, to “visibly increase their military presence” in the Indo-Pacific. If Europe went along with his proposal, Japan would become a double-dipper, a notable achievement since it long has devoted less effort to the military even than the Europeans!