Just some tidying-up thoughts.
IMHO, in consideration to the great majority of the people in Asia, I think the American bases in Japan is perhaps still the best solution to a bad problem. If we militarized again, it would make Asia collectively terribly sick it would be catastrophic to the region. And a huge part of the problem is the Japanese government's refusal to state our invasions and massacres in our history textbooks. (Though truthfully, I don't believe kids don't know about these incidents just because they are not in their hisotry books.) By the same token, I wished the GIs would behave more civilly, and for the Japanese government to take stronger stands against crimes committed by the boys, and girls, I suppose.
Our Scottish friend Sheila once told us she begrudged the fact that though England got bombed just as severely as Germany and Japan, World Bank didn't help them pay to rebuild, though we perpetrators got plenty of assistance. Point taken! Oh, yeah!
However, she also blamed the cheap Japanese textiles for decimating the British textile industry. What goes around comes around, and now the Chinese textiles are killing Japanese silk. I'm a little sketchy on details, but I once read a newsletter from a Japanese silk mill that in the year 1990 or '92, there were 90 silk mills in Japan; the year the newsletter was written, '98 or'99, there were three left, with two seriously considering, or in the process of, closing down. In the same decade, inexpensive but adequate-to-superb quality silks and cashmeres from China saturated the Japanese market, and you know, the consumers were not displeased. Now anyone can wear these textiles.
Sheila's husband Tony was a member of the Kiwi contingent, part of the greater Post War Occupation Forces in Japan. He was "adopted" by one family and he speaks fondly of his years there. I never meant to say all GIs are bad, but I do wonder why in the world Tony and his group was stationed out in the boondocks, away from any city, port, or strategic point!!
Lastly, I can't fathom anyone becoming a soldier without being conscripted. Wars last for a generation or two after it's officially closed, and it appears to me, a large part of the Western world's forces offend more than defend. OK, OK, I know there's Peace Keepers and a great many Kiwis do just that. But I feel terribly uneasy about separating soldiers and their not-always collective actions, or worshiping medals and celebrate victories. I just don't get it and it is just me. I'm for commiserating with former enemies.