America’s Decreased Involvement

From the December 2001 Trumpet Print Edition

Japan’s rise in nationalism and militarism is occurring just as the U.S. is stepping back from Asia. The U.S. is asking Japan be more responsible for policing the region so the U.S. can remain more isolated yet still keep tabs on China, North Korea and other security concerns in the East.

At the end of World War ii, the U.S. had set up in Japan nearly 3,000 military bases, populated by 260,000 military personnel. Today, nearly 50,000 military personnel are installed in nearly 100 facilities on the Japanese islands.

Last January, the local government in Chatan, Okinawa, passed resolutions demanding withdrawal of all Marines on the island, expressing outrage at the actions of military personnel there: arson, hit-and-run accidents, brawling, even child molestation and rape. Okinawa is home for the largest deployment of Marines outside the U.S. The prefectural lawmakers (the equivalent of a provincial or state government) passed a resolution calling for a reduction in the number of Marines on Okinawa, though not a complete pull-out.

The past few decades have shown Japan, with U.S. permission and encouragement, taking back more control of its country. Soon U.S. presence in Japan (militarily and politically) will be next to obsolete.