The USA is used to dealing with its negative image in the world today
The USA faces too many problems in its international policies nowadays. However, American diplomats seem to be very good at creating more problems even with their staunchest allies. The USA and Japan have recently come to a serious confrontation regarding the issue of deploying US army bases on the Japanese territory.
The USA has been the central country to guarantee the national security of Japan since the end of WWII. A lot of experts believe that the Japanese economic miracle occurred owing to the USA's help. The military presence of the USA gave more stability and safety to Japan, which helped the latter improve the investment climate too.
The Japanese budget was relieved of security spending for decades, even during the arms race and the Cold War period. However, American politicians are currently trying to make the Japanese leadership understand that this can not go on forever. The Japanese economy was developing and growing with the help of the US defensive protection, ousting American companies from the local market.
The state of affairs started changing at the end of the Cold War. Japanese concerns found themselves involved (forcibly or not) in expensive defense projects; Japan's financial participation increased in peacemaking operations conducted all over the globe. It seemed years ago that Washington and Tokyo have a bright perspective of cooperation in the field of security.
However, the incident, which took place in 1995, revealed the true colours of the US military presence on the Japanese islands. When three US military men raped a Japanese schoolgirl on Okinawa, massive actions of protest swept across all over Japan. The incident exposed an extensive list of transgressions committed by US citizens in several bases deployed both on Okinawa and on other islands too.
In addition to numerous crimes, the list included ecological damage, as well as the well-known American likeness to scandals and their undue familiarity. These factors are absolutely unacceptable for Japan, which is known for its profound respect to traditions and conservatism.
As a result, the USA and Japan agreed to cut the US military presence in Japan after the above-mentioned incident on Okinawa. The officials agreed to relocate the Futenma (Marine Corps Air Station) on Okinawa by 2003. However, the question still remains open.
It is an open secret that the US government decided to restructure the organization of American military bases deployed on the territories of foreign states, to make it more adjustable to new threats and dangers. However, the talks about the redeployment of the Futenma air base ended in a stalemate. The sides hope to reach an agreement by the end of October: George W. Bush is set to visit Tokyo in the middle of November.
Most likely, the USA will have to make certain concession to Japan and eventually withdraw up to 5,000 military men from Japan. The latter will have to pay the price too: Japanese self-defense forces will have to become more active in auxiliary anti-terrorist and rescuing operations all over the world. Such a deal is not capable of improving the USA's image, of course, especially in Japan. However, the USA is used to dealing with its negative image in the world today.
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