Nishiyama, H. (2022). Base borders: Militarisation and (post-)colonial bordering in Okinawa. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 40(8), 1627–1642. https://doi.org/10.1177/23996544221097232
Base borders : militarisation and (post-)colonial bordering in Okinawa
1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2022051234920
|Publish Date:|| 2022-05-12
This article builds on the political geography of islands and emerging research on the relationship between island, border and sovereignty. Today, islands are recognised as crucial sites for the understanding of contemporary border controls. Military bases that were built during earlier colonial periods are increasingly used for transnational migrant detention practices. This article aims to offer another important insight to the politics of borders from an island perspective. Drawing from the case of Okinawa, the article shows how bases on islands themselves produce borders. Fences and lines that encircle the US bases on Okinawa Island cannot be reduced to conventional military off-limits boundaries. They are particular kinds of borders, which I would call ‘base borders’, that continue to divide the island into military and public spaces and demarcate two seemingly territorially bound sovereignties. Base borders are, however, more than the manifestation of extraterritoriality. While they regulate the mobility of local residents, base borders enable military servicemembers to enjoy extraterritorial rights, including the right to avoid being held responsible for a crime they committed outside the bases. In addition to this uneven mobility control, base borders have a function to control local resistance movements through the criminalisation of the base border crossing by protesters and the authorisation of the use of force by security guards. This article closely investigates how base borders function and are used in reality, and in doing so, it uncovers multiple ways in which base borders reproduce colonial relations between the US military (in coordination with Japan) and Okinawa.
Environment and planning. C, Politics and space
|Pages:||1627 - 1642|
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
517 Political science
519 Social and economic geography
This research was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant number 321755).
|Academy of Finland Grant Number:||
321755 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
© The Author(s) 2022. Article reuse guidelines: sagepub.com/journals-permissions. The final authenticated version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1177/23996544221097232.