International Relations of the Asia-Pacific

February 2004 (Volume 4, No. 1)


The birth of ANZUS: America's attempt to create a defense linkage between Northeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific
by Hiroyuki Umetsu


This article discusses the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and the United States) security treaty negotiations, with special emphasis on the 1951 Canberra talks, and examines why the US entered into a formal security alliance with Australia and New Zealand. It argues that the US concluded the security treaty with Australia and New Zealand in order to obtain their political support for a proposed American peace treaty with Japan, which would allow unconditional revitalization of Japanese military power. It is also the argument of this article that the US created ANZUS as a means of consolidating its own strategic position in Northeast Asia by committing Australia and New Zealand to the defense of US bases and forces stationed on the Japanese islands.