The US-Japan alliance has been the lynchpin of Tokyo's security policy for decades, but worries have simmered in recent years as to whether Washington will continue to be willing and able to defend its key Asian ally. Comments from the Republican Party frontrunner have done little to allay those fears.
               
"If somebody attacks Japan, we have to immediately go and start World War III, okay? If we get attacked, Japan doesn't have to help us," Trump said at a campaign speech late last year. "Somehow, that doesn't sound so fair."
               
Trump has also accused Japan of stealing jobs and criticised the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that Tokyo sees as vital for strategic as well as economic reasons.      
               
"If you listen to his comments (on security), the United States would become isolated so I think there is great anxiety for allied countries," Itsunori Onodera, who served as defence minister under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told a news agency.

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