Nationalism in Okinawa: Futenma and the future of base politics

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Extant scholarship has primarily tackled the MCAS Futenma base relocation case on Okinawa from specific scientific and economic disciplines, such as International Relations (IR) and Policymaking Studies. This paper, however. provides new research into the relationship between nationalism and localism, offering an original perspective that explains the combined interactive influences affecting the key issues. These include: the constraints and opportunities of the international system, the rhetoric used by political, commercial and societal stakeholders involved in policy direction, and the societal norms that embed shifting national and local interests into the policymaking process. Concretely, it explicates to what extent intersecting key actors disputing the Futenma relocation issue on Okinawa adhere to Japan's national norms of (US_allied) bilateralism, (anti)militarism and developmentalism - and how policy is shaped in accordance with such. The research findings offer a deeper understanding of how Japan's domestic and foreign policies stem from the development and change of intersecting nationalist and localised discourses. The article focuses specifically on how nationalism is used as a means of articulating power in governance at local and national levels. Additional explanatory power is also provided through a refined explication of how nationalism itself undergoes processes of contestation in order to be utilized politically. Insights gained from the project provide an aid to policy creation and opposition in specific response to the pressing issues associated with construction of the new base at Henoko, as well as developing academic research beyond its established theoretical and empirical parameter
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-44
JournalInternational Review of Ryukyuan and Okinawan Studies
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2016

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