My Book

Book Cover

Protests Against U.S. Military Base Policy in Asia: Persuasion and Its Limits

Stanford University Press, April 2015

Since the end of World War II, protests against U.S. military bases and related policies have occurred in several Asian host countries. How much influence have these protests had on the policy regarding U.S. military bases? What conditions make protests more likely to influence policy? Protests Against U.S. Military Base Policy in Asia answers these questions by examining state response to twelve major protests in Asia since the end of World War II—in the Philippines, Okinawa, and South Korea.

I lay out the conditions under which protesters’ normative arguments can and cannot persuade policy-makers to change base policy, and how protests can still generate some political or military incentives for policy-makers to adjust policy when persuasion fails. I also show that when policymakers decide not to change policy, they can offer symbolic concessions to appear norm-abiding and to secure a smoother implementation of policies that protesters oppose. While the findings will be of considerable interest to academics and students, perhaps their largest impact will be on policy makers and activists, for whom I offer recommendations for their future decision-making and actions.


“A novel, far-reaching, and important comparative assessment of Asian opposition to U.S. forward deployment policies across the post-war period. Contains concrete and useful suggestions for American policy response as well.”

—Kent Calder, Director, Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS/Johns Hopkins University

“Yuko Kawato’s meticulous book explores the conditions under which protestors persuade policymakers to pursue policy changes related to the US overseas military presence. This thoughtful study greatly advances our understanding of the varieties and political power of base-related norms, shedding new light on how local protest actually impacts US alliance politics.”

—Alexander Cooley, Barnard College, Columbia University

“Murders, rapes, deadly accidents, environmental destruction and land seizures by U.S. forces based in Asian countries for more than half a century have fueled the protest movements this book describes and evaluates for their effectiveness. Kawato provides a thorough, yet concise history of the U.S. military presence in the three countries and a cogent analysis of how governments respond to organized protests over the problems it causes.”

—Steve Rabson, Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies, Brown University

Also reviewed in Survival (volume 57, issue 5).



Chapter 1:  Response to Protests in Okinawa Under the U.S. Administration, 19451972 

Chapter 2:  Response to Protests in Okinawa, 19951996 and 20092010

Chapter 3:  Response to Protests in South Korea, 20002007

Chapter 4:  Response to Protests in the Philippines, 19641965 and 19721979 

Chapter 5:  Persuasion and the Closure of U.S. Military Bases in the Philippines, 1991 


The book is available on .

Link to Stanford University Press is here.