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Do the positives of U.S. bases in Japan outweigh the negatives?

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Japan is host to eight American military bases, and all face trouble integrating with the locals. The most famous example of this is in Okinawa, where protests have been regularly happening since the end of World War 2. Because of local pressure and the struggle to expand on such a small island, the U.S. military have begun moving troops to their second largest base in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture. While some say this is helping reduce the negative feelings many Okinwans have, it could be creating a whole new problem somewhere else.

Iwakuni air base is the second largest base in Japan, home to 15,000 personnel and over 60 aircraft. An additional 61 jets will be moved to Iwakuni from the Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture, bringing the total number of troops to about 19,000. With the U.S. plans to reduce Kadena air base in Okinawa, this could make Iwakuni the largest base in Japan.

Unfortunately there is already a rift between the two groups in Iwakuni. I have had the opportunity to see these issues first hand and found blame on both sides.

For the past year, I have lived in Iwakuni, and have had both pleasant and unpleasant........

© Japan Today