The U.S. Military Presence in Okinawa and the Futenma Base Controversy

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It seems it is time for a reevaluation of the real threats to American national security in the region. The most immediate and dangerous threat is North Korea and its nuclear weapons.

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When the threat is nuclear, the number of stationed troops is of far lesser priority. Addressing this economic crisis should be the chief concern for the U. Any potential military conflict can be effectively dealt with from other American bases in Japan or nearby countries. Under modern circumstances, it does not seem necessary to station tens of thousands of military personnel in Okinawa.

The Ryukyu Kingdom

Nonetheless, this election will serve as a major turning point in U. Considering the ballooning costs and growing resentment from local residents, it seems like an appropriate time to reconsider priorities. Perceived threats can be addressed more efficiently. Perhaps a joint security alliance between Japan and neighboring countries, such as South Korea, could be established with the support of the U.

The Fate of Futenma

Instead of arming allies with American troops, the U. American presence in allied Asian countries will realistically continue into the foreseeable future, but in light of public outrage and resentment, such as the situation in Okinawa, perhaps the U. The people of Okinawa will remain hostile and financial costs for the U. Without any real benefit aside from occasional training exercises, there is no reason to keep so many soldiers stationed permanently in Okinawa.

The Futenma Base and the U.S.-Japan Controversy: an Okinawan perspective 普天間基地と日米論争——沖繩の一視点

This is not to say, however, that American military presence in Japan should be dissolved entirely. Kadena, Sasebo, and Iwakuni, three other bases in Japan, would provide adequate support in any worst-case scenario. There is no need for the U. In any case, endangering the U.

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  6. With such widespread resistance from local citizens, relocation of the Marine Corps base in Okinawa is clearly not a reasonable option. It has been more than 10 years since this issue first arose, and now the leader of the opposition, Onaga, has died. This is a perfect opportunity to move toward a solution.

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    Furthermore, the Abe administration must face reality and negotiate with the U. As for the U.

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    There needs to be a realization that modern war is not just of military force, but often takes the form of other means, such as economic or political manipulation. Both the U. Bases as Okinawa Governor, Dies at August 09, August 22, July 26, August 31, August 3, Page 9.

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    August 12, August 8, May 24, August 25, January 02, August 18, July 27, On May 16th, the Cambodian government conducted a raid of Kratie Province, located in northeast Cambodia. The differences centered on the determination of the government to build a U.

    Tensions in Okinawa Reveal Problems in the U.S.-Japan Alliance |

    Marine air station off the northeastern coast near a major U. Marine base, Camp Schwab, and the equal determination of clearly a majority of the people of Okinawa to stop construction. Opposition to the Henoko project bears a certain similarity to the ruckus raised over construction of the Korean navy base on the southern coast of Jeju.

    The comparison, of course, is flawed. The base at Henoko, unlike that on Jeju, would be for aircraft, not ships, and it would be a U. Still, the emotions generated by what is seen as an intrusion on local society and culture reminds a visitor of the ongoing protest on Jeju.

    He does not really oppose the presence of Kadena Air Base, one of the largest U. Air Force bases anywhere, and he is not calling for the Marines to go home.

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    Maybe, he said, they could relocate elsewhere on Okinawa, somewhere near Kadena. The U. Navy base at Yokosuka and the air base at Yokota, both fairly near Tokyo, are vital, but Japanese oppose having more U. For old people on Okinawa, the worst nightmare is the battle for Okinawa in the spring of when more than , died, more than half of them local citizens.

    The Okinawan people suffered far more. There is no doubt, if the confrontation between North and South Korea goes on, that Okinawa would be a crucial rear-base area.