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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10561/686

Title: The Futenma United States Marine Corps Base and Japan’s Foreign Policy
Author: 瀬端, 孝夫
Author's alias: SEBATA, Takao
Issue Date: 17-Dec-2010
Publisher: 長崎県立大学
Shimei: 研究紀要
Issue: 11
Start page: 259
End page: 272
ISSN: 1883-8111
Abstract: First of all, this paper discusses the problem of the relocation of the Futenma United States Marine Corps base from the viewpoint of a Chinese threat and the United States national interests. In 2010, Prime Minister Hatoyama was not able to keep his promise of moving the Futenma Marine Corps base out of Okinawa. As a result, he resigned giving in to the United States demands and an argument on deterrence advocated by the bureaucrats of the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs. However, I contend that maintaining status quo only benefits the United States and the Chinese threat is exaggerated. The paper also analyzes deterrence of the Marine Corps base in relation to the Senkaku Islands (Diayudao in China or the Pinnacle Islands). According to those who support the United States-Japan Security Treaty (hereafter referred to as the Security Treaty), if there were no Security Treaty, China would occupy the Senkaku Islands. In order for China to not do so, Japan maintains the Security Treaty and the Marine Corps troops in Okinawa. That is the essence of the Security Treaty, they argue. However, I propose that Japan cooperate with China and Taiwan to administer the Senkaku Islands to utilize ocean resources. China and Japan can keep peace by sharing ocean resources in the vicinities of the Senkaku Islands instead of Japan relying on the Security Treaty and the Marine Corps troops in Okinawa. I point out that today’s Marine Corps troops can be sent anywhere in the world by air, so there is little reason why they should stay in Okinawa. The United States forces would stay in Japan for indefinitely although no town or city in Japan welcomed Marine Corps troops as Hatoyama proved. The reason why the United States forces would not leave Japan is very simple: generous Japan’s host nation support. Therefore, I recommend that the Japanese Government immediately abolish the host nation support. In conclusion, I argue that Japan does not need the Marine Corps troops in Okinawa and United States forces should withdraw from Japan since they are not welcomed in Japan. Instead of relying on the Security Treaty and the Marine Corps troops, Japan should put emphasis on the diplomatic efforts that will enhance Japan’s security.
Keywords: Futenma, Okinawa, the United States Marine Corps, the United States forces and bases in Japan, Japan’s security, Deterrence
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10561/686
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