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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 November 16 - 22  > Top 4 US overseas bases with highest asset value are located in Japan
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2022 November 16 - 22 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Top 4 US overseas bases with highest asset value are located in Japan

November 21, 2022

The top four U.S. overseas bases with the highest asset value are located in Japan. This was revealed in the FY2022 Base Structure Report that the U.S. Department of Defense recently released.

The report shows that the Kadena Air Base (Okinawa Pref.) comes top with about 19.7 billion dollars (about 2.8 trillion yen) in asset value followed by the Yokosuka Naval Base (Kanagawa Pref.), the Iwakuni Air Station (Yamaguchi Pref.), and the Misawa Air Base (Aomori Pref.). The Yokota Air Base (Tokyo) ranked sixth.

The total asset value of U.S. military installations in Japan amounts to about 147.4 billion dollars (about 20.6 trillion yen), equivalent to about three times the total value of U.S. military facilities in Germany and about four times of that in South Korea.

According to the report, 489 or about 90% of the 544 U.S. military installations abroad are categorized as small-scale bases whose property appraisal values are not high. Out of the 35 large-scale bases whose properties are worth more than about 2.4 billion dollars (about 338.1 billion yen), 16 facilities (almost half) are in Japan.

After WWII, the United States as a victor country installed bases abroad, building a global base network. However, since many countries regarded the stationing of foreign military in peacetime as an infringement of their sovereignty, the U.S. administration significantly scaled down the number of its bases abroad.

In contrast, the Japanese government believes that the U.S. military in Japan plays a role as a deterrent and that it is indispensable for Japan to maintain the U.S. bases. Japan pays the costs needed for the maintenance and improvement of the U.S. bases in Japan and even for the relocation of part of Okinawa-based U.S. Marines to Guam with the use of the so-called "sympathy budget".

Now that strike capabilities of surrounding states, including China, have improved, Japan is within missile strike range. If a military conflict involving the U.S. military occurs in East Asia, U.S. military bases in Japan will become targets.

The Japanese government should be aware that continuing to use taxpayers' money to host U.S. bases constitutes a renunciation of its sovereignty and puts Japanese land and people at heightened risk.
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