Japan Table of Contents
The 1952 Mutual Security Assistance Pact provided the initial basis for the nation's security relations with the United States (see World War II and the Occupation, 1941-52 , ch. 1; Relations with the United States , ch. 7). The pact was replaced in 1960 by the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, which declares that both nations will maintain and develop their capacities to resist armed attack in common and that each recognizes that an armed attack on either one in territories administered by Japan will be considered dangerous to the safety of the other. The Agreed Minutes to the treaty specified that the Japanese government must be consulted prior to major changes in United States force deployment in Japan or to the use of Japanese bases for combat operations other than in defense of Japan itself. However, Japan was relieved by its constitutional prohibition of participating in external military operations from any obligation to defend the United States if it were attacked outside of Japanese territories. In 1990 the Japanese government expressed its intention to continue to rely on the treaty's arrangements to guarantee national security.
The Agreed Minutes under Article 6 of the 1960 treaty contain a status-of-forces agreement on the stationing of United States forces in Japan, with specifics on the provision of facilities and areas for their use and on the administration of Japanese citizens employed in the facilities. Also covered are the limits of the two countries' jurisdictions over crimes committed in Japan by United States military personnel.
The Mutual Security Assistance Pact of 1952 initially involved a military aid program that provided for Japan's acquisition of funds, matériel, and services for the nation's essential defense. Although Japan no longer received any aid from the United States by the 1960s, the agreement continued to serve as the basis for purchase and licensing agreements ensuring interoperability of the two nations' weapons and for the release of classified data to Japan, including both international intelligence reports and classified technical information.
A major issue for military relations between the two nations was resolved in 1972 when the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, reverted to Japanese control and the provisions of the 1960 security treaty were extended to cover them. The United States retained the right to station forces on these islands. In 1990 about 30,000 United States troops still occupied 20 percent of Okinawa's land, a source of friction with the local population. Military relations improved after the mid-1970s. In 1960 the Security Consultative Committee, with representatives from both countries, was set up under the 1960 security treaty to discuss and coordinate security matters concerning both nations. In 1976 a subcommittee of that body prepared the Guidelines for Japan-United States Defense Cooperation that were approved by the full committee in 1978 and later approved by the National Defense Council and cabinet. The guidelines authorized unprecedented activities in joint defense planning, response to an armed attack on Japan, and cooperation on situations in Asia and the Pacific region that could affect Japan's security.
Under the framework of the guidelines, Japan's Joint Staff Council and the commander of United States Forces, Japan, drew up a long-range program for joint exercises to encompass all three services of both nations. Every year during the 1980s, the GSDF conducted command post and field-training exercises involving units from each of the regional armies in combined training with United States forces. Although the MSDF had participated in exercises with the United States Navy since 1955, in 1980 Japan, in an unprecedented move, permitted a task force of ships and aircraft to train in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) comprehensive naval exercise with naval forces from the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Japan also participated in RIMPAC '88 with eight destroyers and frigates, one submarine, eight P-3C antisubmarine aircraft, and one supply ship. The ASDF also conducted numerous air defense, fighter, rescue, and command post training exercises with United States Air Force units.
In 1992 more than 50,000 members of the United States Armed Forces were stationed in Japan, including 21,300 marines, 10,300 air force personnel, 5,500 navy personnel, and 2,200 army personnel, who were deployed at several locations on Honshu, Kyushu, and Okinawa. These numbers represented a substantial decrease from the 1990 level.
Data as of January 1994
Japan Table of Contents