Okinawa and the U.S. Military in Northeast Asia

By Shorrock, Tim | Foreign Policy in Focus, July 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

Okinawa and the U.S. Military in Northeast Asia


Shorrock, Tim, Foreign Policy in Focus


Nowhere in East Asia is the U.S. military presence as evident as it is in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan. Okinawa, a small island with a population of 1.2 million, has been occupied by U.S. forces since the end of World War II, when the island was the scene of a horrific, three-month battle that killed 160,000 people. For centuries, until it was annexed by Japan in 1865, it was an independent, peaceful kingdom (known as Ryukyu) with its own language and culture. The Japanese forced the Okinawans to join their battle against the Americans. According to Okinawa's current governor, "The combat destroyed everything, including more than 200,000 invaluable civilians."

Although the U.S. officially turned over the island to Japan in 1972, Okinawa has remained a massive U.S. military base--a "cold war island" in the words of Chalmers Johnson, an expert on Japanese economics and politics who has written widely on Okinawa. In 1945, U.S. troops started building military bases on lands forcibly confiscated from thousands of Okinawans; not one piece of land has ever been returned. When landlords and farmers who lost their land challenged U.S. control several years ago, the Japanese courts ruled that Japan has no jurisdiction over U.S. military operations.

Constituting only 0.6% of Japan's land mass, Okinawa houses 26,000 of the 47,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan on 39 bases--one of the largest concentrations of U.S. forces anywhere in the world. The heart of U.S. operations there is Kadena Air Base, the largest U.S. military facility outside of the continental U.S., occupying 83% of the territory of Kadena, a city of 30,000. Japan's support for U.S. forces, according to the Pentagon, is the most generous of any U.S. ally, averaging about $5 billion each year in what the Japanese call "sympathy payments."

In 1994 the brutal rape of a 12-year-old girl by three U.S. Marines sparked massive protests from Okinawans demanding the removal of the U.S. bases. Many Okinawans believe the 1994 rape was just the tip of the iceberg. Since 1988, Navy and Marine Corps bases in Japan (almost all of them in Okinawa) have registered the highest number--169--of court-martial cases for sexual assault of all U.S. military bases worldwide. And despite attempts by the Pentagon to control its soldiers, the violence against women continues. In early July 2000, the island was again in an uproar after a U.S. Marine was accused of molesting a 14-year-old schoolgirl after having snuck into her unlocked apartment in Okinawa City.

The visit by President Clinton to Okinawa to attend the July 2000 meeting of the G8 (a group of the world's most industrialized nations founded in 1975) focused international attention on the U.S. military's presence. Partly in response to a major demonstration against the continued U.S. military presence, President Clinton delivered a speech to the Okinawan people, promising to "reduce our footprint on this island" by completing a 27-step process of consolidating the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Okinawa and the U.S. Military in Northeast Asia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.