U.S. Military Should Not Be in My Backyard: A Case of Okinawa

55 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2020

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: November 2, 2020

Abstract

In an article recently published in the American Political Science Review, Allen et al. (2020) argue that citizens in U.S. allies are more likely to nurture favorable attitudes toward the U.S. government, American people, and American troops because they have inter-personal contact with Americans and receive economic benefits associated with the U.S. military presence. However, their analysis of surveys fielded in fourteen U.S. allies disregards the geographical concentration of U.S. military facilities within the host countries. To examine this relevance of geography, we focus on Okinawa, a small Japanese prefecture constituting only 0.6% of Japan's surface land but hosting 70% of U.S. military facilities within Japan. Based on a national sample and a targeted sample from Okinawa, we replicate their survey. We also administer an original conjoint experiment on Japanese citizens' attitudes toward the Osprey deployment in Japan. The results show strong Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) sentiment among Japanese people, particularly among Okinawans, toward the military presence, regardless of their contact with Americans and economic benefits. Our study sheds light on the importance of local foreign public opinion for foreign policy analysis and contributes to the debate on the U.S. military presence in the world.

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

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

Suggested Citation

Hikotani, Takako and Horiuchi, Yusaku and Tago, Atsushi, U.S. Military Should Not Be in My Backyard: A Case of Okinawa (November 2, 2020). 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://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

Atsushi Tago

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

1-6-1 Nishiwaseda
Shinkuku
Tokyo
Japan

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