Revisiting Negative Externalities of U.S. Military Bases: The Case of Okinawa

38 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2020 Last revised: 22 Jun 2021

See all articles by Takako Hikotani

Takako Hikotani

Columbia University

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Atsushi Tago

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics

Date Written: June 22, 2021

Abstract

In a recently published article, Allen et al. (2020) argue that U.S. military deployments nurture favorable attitudes toward the U.S. among foreign citizens. Their claim is based on social contact and economic compensation theories, applied to a large-scale cross-national survey project funded by the U.S. government. However, their analysis disregards the geographical concentration of U.S. military facilities within the host countries. To examine the relevance of geography and assess both positive and negative externalities, we focus on Japan---a crucial case given its status as the country hosting the largest number of U.S. military personnel in the world. We show that residents of Okinawa, a small prefecture hosting 70% of U.S. military facilities within Japan, have considerably unfavorable attitudes toward the U.S. military presence in their prefecture. They hold this negative sentiment specifically toward the bases in Okinawa regardless of their contact with Americans and economic benefits and their general support for the U.S. military presence within Japan. Our findings support an alternative theory of Not- In-My-Backyard (NIMBY). They also shed light on the importance of local foreign public opinion for foreign policy analysis and call for a more balanced scholarly debate on the externalities of the global U.S. military presence.

Keywords: alliance, military bases, contact theory, economic compensation, NIMBY, Japan

JEL Classification: D72, D74, F51, F52, F53, H56

Suggested Citation

Hikotani, Takako and Horiuchi, Yusaku and Tago, Atsushi, Revisiting Negative Externalities of U.S. Military Bases: The Case of Okinawa (June 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720527 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3720527

Takako Hikotani

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://horiuchi.org

Atsushi Tago

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishiwaseda
Shinkuku
Tokyo
Japan

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