Intersecting Risks and Governing Okinawa: American Bases and the Unfinished War

May 21, 2010 - 17:15 - 18:45
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
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Professor Glenn Hook
CEU contact person: 
Stela Garaz
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Professor Glenn Hook

The presentation will focus on the internal risks posed by US military installations to the inhabitants of Okinawa, a small island making up 0.6 per cent of Japanese land but hosting 75 per cent of US military installations. This is as a result of the security policy adopted by the government to deal with the external risks and specific threats faced by the government and people. Although these outposts of US power are viewed by supporters of the alliance as beneficial to the security of Japan, their existence and operation pose risks to the Okinawan population, whether in terms of crimes, noise and environmental pollution, or the erosion of solidarity amongst the population due to the divisive role foreign bases play. A key concern is how the risks of the bases are articulated by the inhabitants and mediated by the state as part of the national governing system of Japan. This system of governance allocates, distributes and locates the bases unequally, exposing Okinawa to disproportionate dangers and hazards, but offers compensation as a way to deal with the problems their existence and operation pose.

Glenn D. Hook is Chair of Japanese Politics and International Relations and Director of the Graduate School of East Asian Studies, the University of Sheffield, UK. From 2006 he has been the inaugural Director, National Institute of Japanese Studies, an international centre of excellence with the University of Leeds funded by the British authorities as part of the White Rose East Asia Centre ( He has published numerous books, articles and chapters on Japanese politics and international relations in Japanese as well as English, especially in relation to security and risk in East Asia. He served as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies, 2000-3.