Japanese Communist Party
The Japanese Communist Party is a political party in Japan and is one of the largest non-governing communist parties in the world. The JCP advocates the establishment of a society based on socialism, democracy and opposition to militarism, it proposes to achieve its objectives by working within a democratic framework in order to achieve its goals while struggling against what it describes as "imperialism and its subordinate ally, monopoly capital". The party does not advocate violent revolution, instead it proposes a "democratic revolution" to achieve "democratic change in politics and the economy" and "the complete restoration of Japan's national sovereignty", which it sees as infringed by Japan's security alliance with the United States, although it defends Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution due to its opposition of the re-militarization of Japan. Following the most recent councillors election held on 10 July 2016, the party holds 14 seats in the House of Councillors. Following the most recent general election held on 22 October 2017, the party holds 12 seats in the House of Representatives.
The JCP is one of the largest non-ruling communist parties in the world, with 305,000 members belonging to 20,000 branches. In the wake of the Sino-Soviet split, the party began to distance itself from the Eastern Bloc from the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the JCP released a press statement titled: "We welcome the end of a party which embodied the historical evil of Great power chauvinism and hegemonism", while at the same time criticizing Eastern European countries for abandoning socialism, describing it as a "reversal of history"; the party has not suffered an internal crisis as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, nor has it considered disbanding or changing its name or fundamental objectives, as many other Communist parties have done. It polled 11.3% of the vote in 2000, 8.2% in 2003, 7.3% in 2005, 7.0% in the August 2009 election and 6.2% in 2012. In recent years its support has accrued, but as of the 2014 General Election it won 21 seats, up from eight in the previous general election.
The JCP took 7,040,130 votes in 6,062,962 in the party lists. This continues a new wave of support, evident in the 2013 Tokyo metropolitan election where the party doubled its representation. Fighting on a platform directly opposed to neoliberalism, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, attempts to rewrite the constitution, U. S. military bases on Japanese soil and nuclear power, the JCP tapped into a minority current that seeks an alternative to Japan's rightward direction. In January 2014, the JCP had 320,000 members. Following the party's advancement in the 2013 Tokyo prefectural election, there had been an increase in membership growth, with over 1,000 people joining in each of the final three months of 2013. 20% of new members during this period were aged 20–40, showing a higher ratio of young people joining the party than in the past. In 2016, membership was reported to be around 305,000; the JCP was founded on 15 July 1922 as an underground political association. Outlawed at once under the Peace Preservation Law, the JCP was subjected to repression and persecution by the military and police of Imperial Japan.
The party was legalised during the American occupation of Japan in 1945 and since has been a legal political party able to contest elections. In 1949, the party made unprecedented gains by winning 10 percent of the vote and sent 35 representatives to the Diet, but early in 1950 the Soviet Union criticized the JCP's parliamentary strategy. Stalin insisted that the JCP pursue more militant violent, actions; the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers seized this occasion to engineer the Red Purge, which forced the party leaders underground. After the Korean War broke out, the party staged some acts of terrorism or sabotage, which resulted in a loss of popular confidence. Through the end of the decade, it never won more than three percent of the votes or two seats in the Diet. So, its strong support among many intellectuals gave it a greater importance than these numbers suggest; the party did not take sides during the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. In the mid-1960s, the United States Department of State estimated the party membership to be 120,000.
Lam Peng Er argued in Pacific Affairs in 1996 that "the JCP's viability is crucial to the health of Japanese democracy" and says this is because: It is the only established party in parliament that has not been coopted by the conservative parties. It performs the watchdog role against the ruling parties without favor. More the JCP offers the only opposition candidate in prefectural governorship, city mayoral and other local elections. Despite the ostensible differences between the non-Communist parties at the national level, they support a joint candidate for governor or mayor so that all parties are assured of being part of the ruling coalition. If the JCP did not offer a candidate, there would be a walkover and Japanese voters would be offered a fait accompli without an electoral avenue of protest. Promoting women candidates in elections to win women's votes is another characteristic of the party. More women are elected under the Communist label than other political parties in Japan. In 2008, foreign media recorded an increase in support for the party due to the effect of the global financial crisis on Japanese workers.
However, the party failed to increase its number of seats in the 2009 general election. Subsequently, the projected decline of the party was halted, with the J
War Memorial Opera House
The War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, United States of America is located on the western side of Van Ness Avenue across from the westside/rear facade of the San Francisco City Hall. It is part of Performing Arts Center, it has been the home of the San Francisco Opera since opening night in 1932. It was the historic groundbreaking site for the organizing assembly San Francisco Conference for the new United Nations Organization in April 1945, inspired by deceased 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt, following World War II, to replace the previous faltering League of Nations, from the Versailles Treaty and Paris Peace Conference, ending World War I in 1919, inspired by 28th President Woodrow Wilson. In 1927, $4 million in municipal bonds were issued to finance the design and construction of the first municipally owned opera house in the United States; the architects of the building complex were Arthur Brown Jr. who had designed the adjacent San Francisco City Hall between 1912 and 1916, G. Albert Lansburgh, a theater designer responsible for San Francisco's Orpheum and the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Completed in 1932, it is one of the last Beaux-Arts / Classical Revival style structures erected in the United States and employs the classic Roman Doric order in a reserved and sober form appropriate to its function commemorating all those who served in World War I. A colonnade of paired columns screens colossal arch-headed windows above a severe rusticated basement, a scheme that owes something to Claude Perrault's severe East front of the Louvre; the interior contains a grand entrance hall with a high barrel vaulted and coffered ceiling parallel to the street, with overlooks from staircase landings at each end. The theater space is dominated by a massive aluminum and glass panel chandelier under a blue vault, the proscenium arch is decorated with gilded figurative sculpture; the theater has 3,146 seats plus standing room for 200 behind the balcony sections. This is smaller than the Metropolitan Opera and the Chicago Lyric Opera, but it follows the trend of larger capacity in American opera houses than the main European opera houses of the 19th century.
The San Francisco Symphony performed most of its concerts in the house, from 1932 to 1980. RCA Victor recorded the orchestra here, under the direction of Pierre Monteux, from 1941 to 1952 and in a special stereophonic session in January 1960; the orchestra made a few recordings for RCA with Enrique Jorda in 1957 and 1958. In years, the orchestra used a special acoustical shell, placed around the musicians enhancing acoustics for concerts; the orchestra's final concert in the house was an all-Beethoven concert, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, in June 1980. After the Japanese attack and bombing of Pearl Harbor, marking the American entry into World War II in December 1941, the households was blacked out and performances were monitored by air raid wardens. In spring of 1945, the United Nations had its San Francisco Conference first organizing assembly there; the UN Charter was drafted and signed in the Herbst Theatre next door. Six years in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco, declaring peace with Japan was drafted and signed here and in the Herbst Theatre.
During the years of Kurt Herbert Adler's general directorship, the inadequacies of the house became apparent as the season was expanded. In particular, there was a lack of rehearsal space. In 1974, The Pointer Sisters were the first pop act to perform at the theatre. In 1979 the backstage area was extended, followed in 1981 by the opening of a new wing built onto the house on the Franklin Street side; this gave spaces for sets and dancers as well as more administrative space. At the same time, the nearby Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall, with a stage the same size as that of the Opera House, was opened as part of the complex which included the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. In 1989, the powerful Loma Prieta earthquake that shook the Bay Area caused major damage to the Opera House; the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and the theatrical consulting firm of Auerbach and Associates were retained in 1992 to oversee the building's technical renovation and a seismic retrofit. At this time additional private donations were raised for extensive technical improvements.
These include: State-of-the-art lighting system – which at the time, made it one of the most extensive and sophisticated systems in the world Replacement of chambers for a never-installed organ with modern restrooms, sorely needed since the original construction. The organ is not needed with the completion of the nearby Davies Symphony Hall. An underground extension below the neighboring plaza to accommodate additional dressing rooms and backstage facilities. Tilman, Jeffrey T. Arthur Brown, Jr.: Progressive Classicist. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006 San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center Opera House photos "Restoring a Beaux-Arts beauty"
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma or MCAS Futenma A is a United States Marine Corps base located in Ginowan, Japan, 5 NM northeastB of Naha, on the island of Okinawa. It is home to 3,000 Marines of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and other units, has been a U. S. military airbase since the defeat of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Marine Corps pilots and aircrew are assigned to the base for training and providing air support to other land and sea-based Marines in Okinawa and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. MCAS Futenma is part of the Marine Corps Installations Pacific command. MCAS Futenma is situated in Ginowan City; the base includes a 2,740 by 45 m A runway at 75 meters elevation, as well as extensive barracks and logistical facilities. The air station is tasked with operating a variety of fixed wing, rotary wing and tilt rotor aircraft in support of the III Marine Expeditionary Force, the Japan U. S. defense alliance and many allies and treaty partners in the region.
The base is used as a United Nations air distribution hub facility for response to disaster or other crisis requiring air supplies due to the length of the runway and elevation. For years, the relocation of the base has been a major political issue for Okinawa and the US military and diplomacy in Asia. Futenma Airfield was constructed by the US military following the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. According to Ginowan City records, the joint population of what was Ginowan Village was 12,994 in 1944, it was allocated for Eighth Air Force use to station B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers in the planned Invasion of Japan. With the end of the war, the airfield became a United States Air Force Far East Air Force installation known as Futenma Air Base, was used as a support airfield for the nearby Kadena Air Base, hosting fighter-interceptor squadrons as part of the air defense of the Ryukyu Islands; the base was transferred to the United States Navy on 30 June 1957 and was subsequently developed into a United States Marine Corps air station.
Each year, MCAS Futenma opens its gates for the Futenma Flight Line Fair, which includes U. S. band performances, static displays of all aircraft, military vehicles and demonstrations. In 2013, more than 70,000 people attended the open base event, the most popular aircraft on display were the MV-22 Ospreys. Futenma's 75 m elevation provides a safe and effective location to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the event of a tsunami, which would render the sea-level Naha international airport inoperable; the 9,000 ft. runway gives the capability of safely landing the largest commercial and military cargo planes in the world, including the Antonov An-124 Ruslan, which has landed at Futenma multiple times. Futenma has a high record of safety with well established procedures; the airbase has become a focal point of various political controversies in recent years. Due to population growth and encroachment around the base, concerns surrounding flights over residential areas causing noise, air pollution and endangering public safety became controversial issues in Ginowan City.
Safety concerns were raised after the August 2004 crash of a Marine Corps CH-53D transport helicopter on the campus of Okinawa International University after the aircraft suffered mechanical issues. Three crew members had minor injuries; the Guardian has stated that the location of MCAS Futenma in Ginowan "would be like having F22s landing in Hyde Park."Local residents became concerned over pollution and ground water and soil contamination caused by the base's activities: for example, Lt. Col. Kris Roberts told The Japan Times that his base maintenance team unearthed leaking barrels of Agent Orange at the base in 1981; the U. S. Department of Defense states that Agent Orange was never present on Okinawa, an investigation commissioned by the DoD found no evidence that Agent Orange was on Okinawa Special interest groups, including supporters and protestors gather outside the gates of Futenma. Local Okinawan citizens weekly clean debris left by protest groups. Mayor Atsushi Sakima of Ginowan City and Col. James G. Flynn, commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, signed a bilateral agreement 26 June 2013 at MCAS Futenma specifying procedures for the evacuation of Okinawa residents in the event a natural disaster and provisions for evacuation drills to maintain readiness.
Before, during or following a natural disaster a tsunami, MCAS Futenma can use the procedures to open one or more of the station’s gates to allow evacuees immediate and direct passage to higher ground or shelter. This agreement comes after thorough collaboration between Ginowan City and MCAS Futenma and signifies the importance that the city and air station place on mutual safety and cooperation, said officials; the base, along with its impact on families living nearby and local cultural heritage, are the subject of the short story collection To Futenma by Okinawan author Tatsuhiro Oshiro. There have been various plans to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma base—first off the island and within the island—however, as of November 2014 the future of any relocation is uncertain with the election of base-opponent Onaga as Okinawa governor. Onaga won against the incumbent Nakaima who had earlier approved landfill work to move the base to Camp Schwab in Henoko. However, Onaga has promised to veto the landfill work needed for the new base to be built and insisted Futenma
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
The National Diet is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house called the House of Representatives, an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under parallel voting systems. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister; the Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet in 1889 as a result of adopting the Meiji Constitution. The Diet took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the post-war constitution, which considers it the highest organ of state power; the National Diet Building is in Nagatachō, Tokyo. The houses of the Diet are both elected under parallel voting systems; this means that the seats to be filled in any given election are divided into two groups, each elected by a different method. Voters are asked to cast two votes: one for an individual candidate in a constituency, one for a party list. Any national of Japan at least 18 years of age may vote in these elections.
The age of 18 replaced 20 in 2016. Japan's parallel voting system is not to be confused with the Additional Member System used in many other nations; the Constitution of Japan does not specify the number of members of each house of the Diet, the voting system, or the necessary qualifications of those who may vote or be returned in parliamentary elections, thus allowing all of these things to be determined by law. However it does guarantee universal adult suffrage and a secret ballot, it insists that the electoral law must not discriminate in terms of "race, sex, social status, family origin, property or income". The election of Diet members is controlled by statutes passed by the Diet; this is a source of contention concerning re-apportionment of prefectures' seats in response to changes of population distribution. For example, the Liberal Democratic Party had controlled Japan for most of its post-war history, it gained much of its support from rural areas. During the post-war era, large numbers of people were relocating to the urban centers in the seeking of wealth.
The Supreme Court of Japan began exercising judicial review of apportionment laws following the Kurokawa decision of 1976, invalidating an election in which one district in Hyōgo Prefecture received five times the representation of another district in Osaka Prefecture. The Supreme Court has since indicated that the highest electoral imbalance permissible under Japanese law is 3:1, that any greater imbalance between any two districts is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. In recent elections the malapportionment ratio amounted to 4.8 in the House of Councillors and 2.3 in the House of Representatives. Candidates for the lower house must be 25 years old or older and 30 years or older for the upper house. All candidates must be Japanese nationals. Under Article 49 of Japan's Constitution, Diet members are paid about ¥1.3 million a month in salary. Each lawmaker is entitled to employ three secretaries with taxpayer funds, free Shinkansen tickets, four round-trip airplane tickets a month to enable them to travel back and forth to their home districts.
Article 41 of the Constitution describes the National Diet as "the highest organ of State power" and "the sole law-making organ of the State". This statement is in forceful contrast to the Meiji Constitution, which described the Emperor as the one who exercised legislative power with the consent of the Diet; the Diet's responsibilities include not only the making of laws but the approval of the annual national budget that the government submits and the ratification of treaties. It can initiate draft constitutional amendments, which, if approved, must be presented to the people in a referendum; the Diet may conduct "investigations in relation to government". The Prime Minister must be designated by Diet resolution, establishing the principle of legislative supremacy over executive government agencies; the government can be dissolved by the Diet if it passes a motion of no confidence introduced by fifty members of the House of Representatives. Government officials, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet members, are required to appear before Diet investigative committees and answer inquiries.
The Diet has the power to impeach judges convicted of criminal or irregular conduct. In most circumstances, in order to become law a bill must be first passed by both houses of the Diet and promulgated by the Emperor; this role of the Emperor is similar to the Royal Assent in some other nations. The House of Representatives is the more powerful chamber of the Diet. While the House of Representatives cannot overrule the House of Councillors on a bill, the House of Councillors can only delay the adoption of a budget or a treaty, approved by the House of Representatives, the House of Councillors has no power at all to prevent the lower house from selecting any Prime Minister it wishes. Furthermore, once appointed it is the confidence of the House of Representatives alone that the Prime Minister must enjoy in order to continue in office; the House of Representatives can overrule the upper house in the following circumstances: If a bill is adopted by the House of Representatives and either rejected, amended or not approved within 60 days by th
Kadena Air Base
Kadena Air Base is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena and Chatan and the city of Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is referred to as the “Keystone of the Pacific”. Kadena Air Base is home to the USAF's 18th Wing, the 353d Special Operations Group, reconnaissance units, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery, a variety of associated units. Over 20,000 American servicemembers, family members, Japanese employees live or work aboard Kadena Air Base, it is the largest and most active US Air Force base in the Far East. Kadena Air Base's history dates back to just before the 1 April 1945, Battle of Okinawa, when a local construction firm completed a small airfield named Yara Hikojo near the island's village of Kadena; the airfield, used by Imperial Japanese warplanes, was one of the first targets of the Tenth United States Army 7th Infantry Division. The United States seized it from the Japanese during the battle. What the Americans captured was a 4,600 feet strip of badly-damaged coral runway.
Army engineers from the 13th Combat Engineer Battalion, 7th U. S. Infantry Division made repairs and, by nightfall the same day, the runway could accept emergency landings. Eight days and after some 6 inches of coral were added, the airfield was declared operational and put into immediate service by artillery spotting aircraft when the runway became serviceable on 6 April. Additional construction was performed by the 807th Engineering Aviation Battalion to improve the airfield for USAAF fighter and bomber use with fuel tank farms, a new 6,500 feet bituminous runway, a 7,500 feet runway for bomber aircraft, by August. Kadena airfield was under the control of Seventh Air Force, however on 16 July 1945, Headquarters Eighth Air Force was transferred, without personnel, equipment, or combat elements to the town of Sakugawa, near Kadena from RAF High Wycombe England. Upon reassignment, its headquarters element absorbed the command staff of the inactivated XX Bomber Command. Kadena was used by the headquarters staff for administrative flying requirements.
Upon its reassignment to the Pacific Theater, Eighth Air Force was assigned to the U. S. Army Strategic Air Forces with a mission to train new B-29 Superfortress bomber groups arriving from the United States for combat missions against Japan. In the planned invasion of Japan, the mission of Eighth Air Force would be to conduct strategic bombing raids from Okinawa. However, the atomic bombings of Japan led to the Japanese surrender before Eighth Air Force saw action in the Pacific theater; the surrender of Japanese forces in the Ryukyu Islands came on 7 September. General Joseph Stilwell accepted the surrender in an area that would become Kadena's Stearley Heights housing area. Known World War II units assigned to Kadena were: 319th Bombardment Group Assigned to Seventh Air Force and flew missions to Japan and China, attacking airdromes, marshalling yards, industrial centers, other objectives. 317th Troop Carrier Group Assigned to Seventh Air Force in the Philippines. Deployed aircraft to Kadena and flew courier and passenger routes to Japan, Guam and the Philippines, transported freight and personnel in the area.
333d Bombardment Group Assigned to Eighth Air Force for planned invasion of Japan. Operations terminated. For a time after the war the group ferried Allied prisoners of war from Japan to the Philippines. Inactivated May 1946. 346th Bombardment Group Assigned to Eighth Air Force for planned invasion of Japan. Operations terminated. After the war the group participated in several show-of-force missions over Japan and for a time ferried Allied prisoners of war from Okinawa to the Philippines. Inactivated June 1946. 316th Bombardment Wing Assigned to Eighth Air Force for planned invasion of Japan. Operations terminated. Reassigned to U. S. Far East Air Forces January 1946. Redesignated as 316th Composite Wing in January 1946, 316th Bombardment Wing in May 1946. Inactivated June 1948. 413th Fighter Group Assigned to Eighth Air Force and served as a part of the air defense and occupation force for the Ryukyu Islands after the war. Inactivated October 1946. On 7 June 1946, Headquarters Eighth Air Force moved without personnel or equipment to MacDill AAF, Florida.
It was replaced by the 1st Air Division which directed fighter reconnaissance, bomber organizations and provided air defense for the Ryukyu Islands until December 1948. Twentieth Air Force became the command and control organization for Kadena on 16 May 1949; the Korean War emphasized the need for maintaining a naval presence on Okinawa. On 15 February 1951, the US Naval Facility, was activated and became commissioned on 18 April. Commander Fleet Activities, Ryukyus was commissioned on 8 March 1957. On 15 May 1972, upon reversion of Okinawa to Japanese administration, the two organizations were combined to form Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa. With the relocations of Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa to Kadena Air Base on 7 May 1975, the title became Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa/US Naval Air Facility, Kadena. Twentieth Air Force was inactivated in March 1955. Fifth Air Force became the control organization for Kadena. Known major postwar USAAF/USAF units assigned to Kadena have been: 6th Bombardment Group Participated in show-of-force flights over Japan an