The concentration of troops in the small Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is a central theme of the ongoing debate on the U.S. military presence. U.S. military bases cover about one-fifth of Okinawa and account for about 75% of U.S. forces in Japan (Packard, 2010, Sumida, 2009). This has given many Okinavanis the feeling that the security agreement could be beneficial for the United States and Japan as a whole, but it is painful for the inhabitants of the small subtropical island. [Notice] According to a 2007 Survey by the Okinawa Times, 73.4% of Japanese believed that the mutual security contract with the United States and the presence of U.S. forces.  Recognizing that the defence assistance agreement between Japan and the United States of America, signed in Tokyo on 8 March 1954, and the agreements reached there allowed for the reciprocal exchange of defence information, despite Okinawan`s strong opposition to the US military presence on the island, the agreement also received strong support. Fear of a new imperialist Japan led its legislators to be barred from maintaining more than one self-defense force when they designed the post-war constitution. As a result, Japan has never spent more than 1% of its GDP on military spending (Englehardt, 2010).
In exchange for authorizing the U.S. military presence in Japan, the United States agreed to defend Japan against foreign opponents such as North Korea. The Mutual Defense Assistance Office (MDAO) is a joint service organization that facilitates the exchange of defense and technology products between governments and industries in Japan and the United States. In concrete terms, under the 1954 Mutual Security Assistance Pact, it was primarily a military aid programme that provided for Japan`s acquisition of funds, equipment and services for the country`s essential defence. Although Japan no longer received assistance from the United States in the 1960s, the agreement continued to serve as the basis for purchase and licensing agreements guaranteeing the interoperability of the two nations` weapons and the disclosure to Japan of secret data, including international intelligence reports and secret technical information. When the treaty was first signed, it contained provisions allowing the United States to act to maintain peace in East Asia and even exercise its power over Japan`s internal disputes. The latter part was removed in the revised version of the treaty. The amended treaty included articles in the 1952 treaty that included mutual defence obligations and U.S. obligations to inform Japan prior to the mobilization of U.S. forces to mitigate unequal status.  In a 2006 agreement between George W.