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Japan America Military Agreement

For decades, U.S. Marines have been stationed in Okinawa Prefecture, home to the majority of japan`s approximately fifty-four thousand U.S. military personnel. Thirty-one of Japan`s four-five U.S. military establishments are located in Okinawa, although it is the poorest and one of the smallest prefectures in Japan. Bilateral discussions on the revision of the 1951 Treaty began in 1959 and the new Treaty on Mutual Cooperation and Security was signed in Washington on 19 January 1960. When the pact was submitted for ratification by japan`s parliament on Feb. 5, it was the subject of fierce debate over Japan-U.S. relations and led to violence in an attempt by the left to prevent its passage. The treaty was finally approved by Japan`s House of Representatives on May 20. Members of the Japanese Socialist Party boycotted the House of Commons meeting, tried to prevent Liberal Democratic Party MPs from entering the Chamber and were violently removed by the police. This was followed by massive demonstrations and riots by students and trade unions. The outbreaks prevented a planned visit by U.S.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Japan and led to the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, but not before the treaty was passed by default on June 19, when the House of Representatives could not vote on the matter within 30 days of the treaty`s approval by the House of Representatives. The opposition relied heavily on the argument that Article 6 of the treaty threatens Japan`s sovereign power, since it contains, as explained below, a status-of-forces agreement allowing the United States to use armed forces and facilities deployed in Japan for combat other than those of Japan. The case of the Soviet Union led the Allies to adopt new guidelines in 1997 that stretched where the Japanese military could operate, from its home islands to the « surrounding regions. » Some felt this approach, such as Japan, which is assuming greater responsibility in its own defence. The agreed protocol of the treaty stated that the Japanese government should be consulted before any major changes to the use of U.S. forces in Japan or the use of Japanese bases for combat, except to defend Japan itself. The boundaries of the two countries` jurisdiction over crimes committed in Japan by U.S. military personnel were also covered. The 1954 Mutual Security Assistance Pact initially provided for a military aid program for the purchase of funds, equipment and services from Japan for the country`s essential defense. .

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