Transparency Will Mean Security in Asia

If Asia is to build trust and avoid a regional arms race, a framework under which the region's governments publicly disclose their military budgets needs to be established. More broadly, keeping military expansion in check and improving mutual understanding among national defense authorities are the paramount issues now facing Asia.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force escort ship Kurama (L) sails during their 2012 navy fleet review off Sagami Bay, Japan's Kanagawa prefecture on October 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/GettyImages)
Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force escort ship Kurama (L) sails during their 2012 navy fleet review off Sagami Bay, Japan's Kanagawa prefecture on October 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/GettyImages)

From Project Syndicate

TOKYO -- We have all heard the saying, "Sunshine is the best disinfectant." That is particularly true where Asian security is concerned. Indeed, I believe that a framework under which Asian governments publicly disclose their military budgets needs to be established if we are to build trust and avoid a regional arms race.

More broadly, keeping military expansion in check, enlarging the number of countries that conclude the Arms Trade Treaty, and improving mutual understanding among national defense authorities are now the paramount issues facing Asia. They should be the focus of the East Asia Summit, which in turn should become the premier forum for taking up regional security issues and ensuring that stability is maintained.

Continue reading here.