U.S. Military Should Not Be in My Backyard: The Case of Okinawa
56 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2020 Last revised: 26 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 25, 2021
In an article recently published in this journal, Allen et al. (2020) argue that U.S. military deployments nurture favorable attitudes toward the U.S. among foreign citizens. However, their analysis 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 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 U.S. military presence, regardless of their contact with Americans and economic benefits. Our study not only refutes the findings of Allen et al.’s study but also opens new academic debates in the literature on alliance politics and civil-military relations.
Keywords: alliance, military bases, contact theory, economic compensation, NIMBY, Japan, conjoint analysis
JEL Classification: D72, D74, F51, F52, F53, H56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation