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A Bill to Take Troops Out of Japan and Send Them to South Koread (Aff)

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A Bill to Remove Marines from Japan to be relocated to South Korea (Affirmative)

Two factors have driven the debate over the planned U.S. military realignment in Japan: campaign pledges made by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and complaints from Okinawans about the presence of the U.S. military. These factors have had a particularly strong impact on efforts to preserve the Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa.

However, other critical factors—national interests, regional threats, and the U.S.–Japan alliance’s military requirements—are absent from the discussion over the station’s scheduled relocation from Futenma to a more remote locale. As a result of this lopsided debate, a number of military fallacies have taken hold in both the Japanese and the American publics.

Reason #1: The U.S. Marine presence is a tangible sign of America’s commitment to defend Asia.
U.S. forward-deployed forces in Asia are indisputable signals of Washington’s commitment to the obligations of its 1960 security treaty with Japan to defend its allies and maintain peace and stability in Asia. The U.S. Marines on Okinawa are an indispensable component of any U.S. response to an Asian crisis.
The Marine presence is also a clear rebuttal to perceptions of waning United States resolve in the face of a rising and assertive China. Withdrawing the U.S. Marines from Okinawa would only affirm that perception and lead Asian nations to accommodate themselves to Chinese pressure. As a senior U.S. military officer commented, “U.S. dominance is not a given. You have to be on the court to be in the game.”

Reason #8: The U.S. Marine presence helps the U.S. to conduct humanitarian operations.
The Okinawa Marines have routinely been the primary responders to major natural disasters in Asia, such as the 2004 Asian tsunami, mudslides in the Philippines, and the typhoon in Taiwan. The Marines have…...

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