Saturday, May 23, 2009

U.S. Military Facilities and Areas

Occupation of land
Japan hosts 105 U.S. military bases, occupying more than 125 square miles. The largest concentration of bases is in Okinawa prefecture, where nearly 11 percent of the land area of the islands is taken by the U.S. military’s 38 facilities. These facilities are host to nearly 50,000 military personnel, including more than 27,000 soldiers – nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. military presence in Asia (Takazato, 2004; Cooley & Marten, 2006). Kadena Air Base, on the main island of Okinawa, is the largest U.S. military base in the Pacific, and hosts U.S. Marines for deployment and training (Karan, 2005).

Okinawa Island, the main island in the archipelago, surrenders 20 percent of its land to the military (Takazato, 2004). While Okinawa prefecture makes up only 0.6 percent of the land area of Japan (roughly the size of metropolitan Tokyo), 75% of the land area of Japan used by the U.S. military is located in the prefecture (Cooley & Marten, 2006; Sunagawa, 2004; Okinawa Prefecture, 2008).

So, aside from the argument that the American military presence violates human rights as established in the Japanese constitution, the unequal burden placed on Okinawa raises iss
ues of the disproportionate distribution of social, environmental, and economic costs of the U.S. military presence in Japan and should be viewed as a form of institutionalized discrimination (Mulgan, 2001).

Cooley, A., & Marten, K. (2006). Base Motives: The Political Economy of Okinawa’s Antimilitarism. Armed Forces and Society, 32, 566-583, Retrieved April 7, 2009, from Ebsco Electronic Journals Service.
Karan, P, P., (2005). Japan in The 21st Century: Environment, Economy, and Society: Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.
Mulgan, A, G., (2000). Managing the U.S. Base Issue in Okinawa: A Test for Japanese Democracy. Japanese Studies, 20, 159-177. Retrieved April 9, 2009 from Routledge.
Okinawa Prefecture Government of Military Base Affairs Division

Sunagawa, K. (2004). Environmental Problems Caused by U.S. Military Bases. U.S. military Bases in Japan, 14-15. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
Takazato, S. (2004). Violence Against Women Under Long-Term U.S. Military Station in Okinawa.
U.S. Military Bases in Japan, 11-13. Retrieved April 7, 2009.


  1. hi, Ako Yamakawa... i'm nimas from indonesia...i'm university student and i'm currently completing my thesis... my thesis discuss about why the U.S and Japan still maintain american millitary bases in Okinawa... this topic is very interesting for me... could you give me your opinion with these problem? or i would be very greatful if u give me the detailed data with american bases in Okinawa... :)
    your blog is very useful for me, keep writing about okinawa's problem,. :)

    thank you so much...

  2. please rep my comment to these email

    thanx.. :)