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Comparative Study of Base Community Relations in Japan
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
Pagination or Media Count:
U.S. military bases in Japan have dealt with differing levels of controversy since the end of World War II. Since the mid-1990s, this has been especially true of Okinawa. After the 1995 rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl, protests aimed at closing the Marine Corps Air Station MCAS at Futenma have received an unprecedented amount of media attention. This thesis examines the relative level of controversy at four different U.S. installations in Japan MCAS Futenma, Kadena Air Base, Naval Station Yokosuka, and MCAS Iwakuni. The thesis identifies five causal factors underlying the controversies historical anti-militarism, major crimes, civil nuisance, aviation safety, and community profile. The author assesses the impact of these factors at the four installations and assigns a relative level of controversy to each one. The results show that Futenma is the most controversial U.S. installation in Japan. It is followed closely by its neighbor, Kadena. Next, due to its nature as an aviation facility, is Iwakuni. Yokosuka is, by a fairly wide margin, the least controversial of the four installations. The historical anti-militarism endemic to Okinawa is the primary driver of controversy in Japanese base politics, while aviation safety concerns and community profile also are significant. Major crimes, despite the media focus on them, generate little controversy by themselves.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE