Think Tank Urges Dual Use of Yokota

The United States and Japan should consider making Yokota Air Base, northwest of Tokyo, open for civilian aviation, while still preserving its military readiness and enhancing its capacity for military operations, according to a new report by the Center for a New American Security. Utilizing the base, which is home to the 374th Airlift Wing, in a dual role could lead to new infrastructure development, help to solve airport shortage issues for the Japanese, and potentially open the door for expanding US military access to civilian aviation facilities across Japan, states the report, issued on Oct. 24. A “dispersed approach to military operations is well suited to current security challenges and could effectively serve the interests of both allies,” write the study authors. Further, it would set a “valuable precedent” for other bases in the Asia-Pacific region, they assert.