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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 February 2 - 8  > Japan provides top 3 US bases in asset value outside US
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2022 February 2 - 8 [US FORCES]

Japan provides top 3 US bases in asset value outside US

February 6, 2022
Out of all the U.S. military bases located outside the United States, the top three bases in terms of the value of assets, excluding the land, are in Japan amounting to a total of about 135 billion dollars or about 15.5 trillion yen.

According to the 2020 financial report (tentative report) recently released by the U.S. Department of Defense, the most valuable base is the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture assessed at about 15 billion dollars followed by the Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture and the Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The total value of assets of U.S. military installations in Japan correspond to 2.77 times and 4.17 times of that in Germany and South Korea, respectively.

The Japanese government every year constructs new U.S. military facilities and renovates the existing facilities with the use of the so-called "sympathy budget", which automatically increases the estimated value of the U.S. bases in Japan. In addition, Japan is bearing the cost of constructing a state-of-the-art U.S. base in Nago City's Henoko in Okinawa Prefecture, and Japan's financial burdens continue to increase in association with the U.S. military buildup.

As pointed out by the Brookings Institute, there are many experts in the United States who acknowledge that "it is cheaper" to locate bases in Japan than anywhere else because of Japan's "generosity".

The total area of U.S. bases in Okinawa (about 45,065 acres) reaches about 1.5 times of that in South Korea, which hosts the largest number of U.S. bases after Germany and Japan.

The total land area of Okinawa is about one forty-fourth of South Korea, and the U.S. bases occupy about 15% of the area of Okinawa's main island. However, the land area of Okinawa accounts for only 0.6% of the rest of Japan. The aberrant situation in Okinawa where U.S. bases are concentrated has again been brought into stark relief.
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