By ending construction of this base, the United States can atone for its past conduct, take into consideration the democratic desires of Okinawans, and begin to think more broadly about peace in the East China Sea and beyond.
The United States military has a staggering 883 military bases in 183 countries, Russia has 8, China 1. There is no country with a military footprint that replicates that of the United States. The bases create instability rather than peace.
Here is a critical discussion of Okinawa’s role in serving American and Japanese strategic interests. The interplay of overseas bases and U.S. foreign policy is a crucial dimension of the global projection of American power. This essay offers reflections on this reality, as well as the linkage between the network of foreign military bases and the emergence of the first global state in history, a new political phenomenon that distinguishes it from ‘empires' of the past.
Located in the center of Okinawa Island, Kadena Air Base is the largest United States Air Force installation in Asia. Documents obtained under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act reveal how years of accidents and neglect have polluted local land and water with hazardous chemicals including arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and dioxin.
A 26 person delegation from the All Okinawa Council visited Washington, DC November 19 and 20 to ask members of the U.S. Congress to use their power to stop the construction of runway for the U.S. Marine base at Henoko into the pristine waters of the South China Sea. The delegation is concerned about the environmental impact of the new facilities and the continued militarization of their island.
The U.S. has Beijing surrounded by 200 bases lining the East China Sea, it has already caused the beginning of an arms race. For the first time in many years, China is increasing its military budget at the same time the U.S. continues to spend more than China and the next 11 highest-spending countries. The U.S. is depriving its own people of money that could be used to fund scientific research, healthcare, education; it is also backing China into a corner.