Discontent over US military bases in Japanï¿½s Okinawa prefecture has long been a prominent ï¿½thorn in the sideï¿½ of USï¿½Japan relations. But what exactly has been the effect of Okinawaï¿½s base politics on the management of the alliance?We examine Okinawaï¿½s significance on the USï¿½Japan allianceï¿½the ï¿½Okinawa effectï¿½ï¿½in terms of the allianceï¿½s strategic coherence. Through an examination of the postï¿½Cold War history of the base issue, we argue that, while there little to suggest that the Okinawa issue has undermined the allianceï¿½s strategic effectiveness, alliance efficiency in dealing with burden sharing problems has been diminished, at times substantially. While reduced efficiency may often be inevitable in alliances between democracies, this persistent inability to resolve burden sharing disputes in the Okinawan case means that there is still potential for deteriorating efficiency to eventually undermine the allianceï¿½s solidarity and effectiveness.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|