Japan’s decision to send troops to Iraq is being billed as a major expression of the alliance between America and Japan. That it is. But China sees this move a bit differently. For China, this is the first indication of a decision by Japan to become a regional military power. China may be right. With Chinese power growing, and the United States stretched thin, it seems very likely that Japan will have to militarize to protect itself. Europe may be able to delude itself into thinking that it can get away with minimum military expenditures. But with its proximity to China, not to mention the Korean threat, Japan’s disarmed state may no longer be tenable.