Post-World War Governance in Okinawa: Normalizing U.S. Military Exceptionalism
This study aims to investigate how the U.S. military presence has become possible and why the U.S. military bases have concentrated in Okinawa. Since 1945, the U.S. military and the Japanese government have maintained U.S. military bases in Okinawa. U.S. military accidents and soldiers’ crimes have been serious problems in Okinawa. Moreover, Okinawans have not been protected from military violence by adequate judicial measures for over a half century. I employ the analytical insights of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben to analyze archival and secondary documents and investigate historical and current U.S. military problems in Okinawa. Foucault’s insight allows me to analyze American rationalizing discourses and power relations that have contributed to the U.S. military presence and concentration on the Okinawa islands. The analytical insight of Giorgio Agamben is a useful reference to investigate juridical contradictions of U.S. military presence in Okinawa. I argue that the U.S. military and the Japanese government have attempted to make the American military presence in Okinawa legitimate through multiple tactics of governance. Given Okinawans’ persistent resistance against the U.S. military and the Japanese government, the U.S. military base presence does not seem wholly accepted in Okinawa. Nevertheless, the military burden has been imposed on Okinawans who are represented and treated by the U.S. military and the Japanese government as the insignificant “Other.” I argue that the analytical approaches that I develop in this study can be applicable to grasp patterns of modern domination in other cases of governance wherein political elites realize their interests by suspending the juridical rights of minority groups.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeSomerville, Kara; Zong, Li; Julien, Richard
Copyright DateNovember 2014
State of Exception