December 16, 2005

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US Bases in Japan

Rant begins-> An idiotic weekly men's magazine, Flash, has had the gall of saying that the value of all the land occupied by US bases in Japan would be enough to buy up New York City. It is apparently 'outraged' by Japan's blind obedience to the United States, and for allowing it 312 million square meters to be 'occupied', worth a total of more than 14 trillion yen.

The nationalism in Japan knows no bounds. I shall pass on the fact that the land grants occurred when Japan was hardly in any kind of negotiating position, and focus instead on the fact that Japan saves that much annual on defense by having America there in its place. <-Rant over.

posted by HK Dave on 12.16.05 at 03:11 PM in the Japan category.


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I'm assuming that the article fails to mention that the people who's land has been taken are compensated with rent money correct? If it was truly overly nationalist, it would point that out, and that it is Japan, not America, who pays that rent money, along will 5 Billion USD a year in protection money.

posted by: Darin ten Bruggencate on 12.16.05 at 03:24 PM [permalink]

I just wanted to point this out too:
"Ground around Yokota Air Base is strong and able to withstand earthquakes, which makes it really good for housing. Other popular residential areas like Tokorozawa and Sagamihara are also homes to U.S. bases,"
Um, the ground is strong? I'm pretty sure with the exception of sand traps, ground is ground.
As for Sagamihara... Sagamihara is a hole in the ground. No one lives there because they like it, they live there because it's the most inconvenient place to live in all of Japan, therefore cheap. There's a base there? Somehow I missed that when living there for 1 year, must be a real huge base huh? Checked into it, not really too big. Consists of command centers, and homes.
And Tokorozawa, I like, good place. Cheap like Sagamihara, short ride to Ikebukuru and any place in the world from there, but not a dump. Somehow I missed the base there too, not saying it isn't there, but didn't know about it. So I checked.. Yup, not much of a base, it's a communications center. Looks troublesome.
Not saying that it's okay for this land to be occupied, I'm just saying that the article is a bit misleading. If it wants to get sympathy, it really needs to talk about Okinawa where 75% of all the American bases are, and where actual good land (all land is good land when you're talking about tiny islands) is being used.

posted by: Darin ten Bruggencate on 12.16.05 at 03:40 PM [permalink]

I suppose this is like Korea where there is just a groundswell of feeling froma certain quarter of the population that Americans and their military are surplus to requirements. I think though that in Japan this takes on a more simister undertone given that that feeling is occurring at the same time as nostalgia for Japan's good old days of militaristic nationalism.

posted by: HK Dave on 12.18.05 at 08:56 AM [permalink]

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