Geographical Review of Japan
Online ISSN : 2185-1727
Print ISSN : 1347-9555
ISSN-L : 1347-9555
Creation of the Military Harbor Image by the Sasebo City Administration
Movements against the Entry of US Nuclear-powered Vessels into Sasebo Port in the 1960s
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2005 Volume 78 Issue 10 Pages 634-648


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the local administration of Sasebo city, Nagasaki Prefecture, has been involved in the creation of images of the military harbor to promote its acceptance by local residents. It primarily considers the contradictory aspects of the military harbor. In the postwar period in Japan, the US Navy and Japanese Self-Defence Forces have been said to be in conflict with Article 9 of the Constitution, which decreed that Japan should have no armed forces. Particularly, in Sasebo, protest movements against the entry of US nuclear-powered vessels into Sasebo Port in the 1960s made local residents aware of the conflict between the military harbor and the concept of “peace” in Article 9. This paper focuses on the time and place involved in those movements and investigates the images of the military harbor recreated by the local administration.
This is shown by an analysis of local administrative documents and of urban facilities constructed by administrative policies. The city office handbooks reveal that the image of the military harbor has undergone various changes over time in the postwar period. In the 1960s, when the protest movements occurred, the image of the military harbor was composed of only the Japanese Self-Defence Forces, which played the role of maintaining local public security. This can be interpreted to be the result of the Sasebo city administration's decision to exclude the US Navy from the military harbor image, judging that the agents of protest movements and local residents had an aversion to not the Self-Defence Forces, but to the US Navy.
In the area around the military harbor, where the protests mainly took place, the local administration built urban structures such as monuments to peace and a bridge as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the USA. Thus the local administration attempted to make the landscape surrounding the militaryy harbor appear peaceful. The created landscape implies the idea that peace must be defended by military power. This type of peace is different from that mentioned in Article 9.
In conclusion, since military installations in Japan have involved contradictory aspects, the local administration of Sasebo has attempted to recreate the image of the military installations to cover up one aspect through the use of various rhetorical devices.

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