Five recent articles touching on the U.S. military presence in Japan — past, present and future:
- Japan and the U.S. have broadly agreed to extend the current deal covering Tokyo’s costs for hosting American troops for another year, Kyodo reported last week. Former U.S. President Donald Trump had pressured Tokyo to vastly increase its payments, but a long-term deal never materialized.
- After 20 years of silence over the Ehime Maru affair, the former captain of the U.S. Navy sub that collided with a Japanese high school fishing training boat off Hawaii has made public his letter of apology to the families of those killed in the incident. “I have carried the shame, sorrow, burden, and remorse every day since then and will do so until the day I die,” he said.
- The plan was to build a “dream town” for city residents on a leveled mountain in Iwakuni. But now U.S. military personnel live there. The Chugoku Shimbun reports on the tail end of a disastrous decadeslong development project in Yamaguchi that has sown local opposition to the U.S. military presence.
- Last month, a city mayor opposed to the use of a local island for U.S. military drills won re-election in Kagoshima Prefecture, beating a candidate supported by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. His victory could impact the central government’s plan for uninhabited Mage Island, Kyodo reports.
- Seventy years ago, Thurgood Marshall — a leading U.S. civil rights lawyer who would go on to become the first Black Supreme Court justice — arrived in Japan for what he called “the most important mission thus far of my career.” As Robert D. Eldridge reports, what he found was evidence of deep-seated prejudice within the U.S. military toward African American servicemen.