The military community of mainland Japan
Editor’s note: The U.S. military community on mainland Japan is well over 75,000 strong, including active duty, family members, Defense Department civilians and local national employees. Comprised of all branches of service, this is your community and we’re here to help you get to know it a little better. It’s part of the Stars and Stripes mission. After all, this is also the Stripes Japan community.
Marine Corp Air Station Iwakuni
Marine Corp Air Station Iwakuni is on the main island of Honshu, 300 miles west of Osaka and 30 miles southwest of Hiroshima in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Situated between the inland Seto Sea and Otake City, this base is home to Marine Aircraft Group 12, VMFA(AW)-242, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 and Marine Wing Support Squadron 171.
MCAS Iwakuni is home to about half of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing that is headquartered on Okinawa, elements of the 3rd Force Service Support Group, Fleet Air Wing 31 and other units of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The station has about 15,000 personnel, including Japanese national employees.
Sasebo Naval Base
Sasebo Naval Base, home of Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS), is located on Kyushu Island, about 45 miles from Nagasaki and 78 miles from Fukuoka, the island’s largest. Home to the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious ready group, the instillation is composed of 11 separate areas near Sasebo Harbor, including three off-base housing areas.
The base is home port to USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD6), USS Denver (LPD9), USS Germantown (LSD42), USS Ashland (LSD48), USS Avenger (MCM1), USS Defender (MCM2), USS Patriot (MCM7) and USS Warrior (MCM10).
Major shore commands that call Sasebo home include Afloat Training Group Western Pacific, Sasebo Branch Health Clinic Sasebo Defense Distribution Depot Yokosuka and Sasebo Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka detachments. The population of Sasebo is roughly 7,000 including active-duty personnel, family members and other civilians.
Bordering the Kanto Plain some 2,250 feet above sea level at the eastern base of Mount Fuji, Camp Fuji is home to the Combined Arms Training Center (CATC). The former training grounds of samurai warriors, it is the U.S. Marines’ premier training facility in the Pacific. Fuji is in Nakabata, Gotemba City, Kanagawa Prefecture, about two hours’ drive from Tokyo.
The base’s live-fire ranges and maneuver areas are jointly used by U.S. forces and the Japan Ground Self Defense Force, which has a facility, Takigahara Garrison, across the street. While Camp Fuji may host any number of personnel for training at any given time, it is home to about 150 Marines, typically on one-year, dependent-restricted tours.
Misawa Air Base
Misawa Air Base is about 400 miles north of Tokyo, adjacent to Misawa City in Aomori Prefecture near the northern tip of Honshu, Japan’s largest island. Located on the shores of Lake Ogawara, this is the only combined, joint-service installation in the Western Pacific. All four U.S. services are here, as well as the Japan Air Self Defense Force.
The 35th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Misawa. Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa is an associate command. There are about 5,200 U.S. military personnel assigned to Misawa, along with 300 U.S. civilian employees and 900 local national employees. The Navy presence comprises about 20 percent of the base’s population.
Yokota Air Base
Yokota Air Base is located on the island of Honshu on the Kanto Plain, 28 miles northwest of downtown Tokyo, at the foothills of the Okutama Mountains. The base lies within the political boundaries of Akishima, Fussa, Hamura, Mizuho, Musashi-Murayama, and Tachikawa cities. As one of the most modern bases in the Air Force, it is the primary U.S. military aerial port on mainland Japan.
Yokota is home to the 374th Airlift Wing and several tenant units, including the 515th Air Mobility Group and the Japanese Air Defense Command. Yokota is also home to the joint-service headquarters, U.S. Forces Japan. Roughly 3,400 military personnel and 4,100 family members and civilians reside here.
Hardy Barracks / Akasaka Press Center
Hardy Barracks Recreation Lodging offers 23 suites and 1 single rooms to eligible U.S. government ID cardholders in the heart of Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood. The U.S. Army Moral, Welfare and Recreation-run facility’s rooms include such amenities as towels, coffee maker and coffee, television, refrigerator, microwave, air conditioner and free continental breakfast. Laundry and an ATM are also available.
The adjacent Akasaka Press Center is home to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global Tokyo, which seeks to promote science and technology collaboration between the U.S. and researchers in the Far East. The center also houses the Tokyo office of Stars and Stripes, including the newspaper’s print production facilities.
The New Sanno Hotel
U.S. Naval Joint Services Activity, New Sanno Hotel is in the heart of downtown Tokyo’s Azabu residential area. It has 149 luxurious rooms with rates graduated by scale according to grade or rank. In addition to six different types of rooms, New Sanno offers eligible U.S. government ID cardholders a full range of amenities and services, including five restaurants, a lounge, indoor swimming pool, conference facilities, Jacuzzi, sauna, fitness center, shops as well as a bank, post office and Navy Exchange.
Yokosuka Naval Base
Yokosuka Naval Base, home of Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka (CFAY), is 43 miles south of Japan’s capital, at Tokyo Bay and 18 miles south of Yokohama on Honshu’s Miura peninsula. The largest overseas U.S. Naval installation in the world, the Yokosuka community includes Ikego Housing Area in nearby Zushi City and Negishi Housing Area in Yokohama.
As home of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, Yokosuka hosts more than 50 shore commands such as U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC), Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistic Center Yokosuka and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East.
Yokosuka is also home to several afloat commands, including the USS George Washington, (CVN 73), USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and the USS Mustin (DDG 89).
Yokosuka’s population numbers about 25,000, including active duty personnel, their families, retirees, civilian employees and others.
Camp Zama is home to both Headquarters U.S. Army Japan (HQ USARJ) and U.S. Army Garrison Japan (USAG-J) whose area of responsibility spans 1,500 miles from north to south of Japan. The base is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Tokyo, straddling the cities of Zama and Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The Camp Zama community is comprised of three main housing areas on mainland Japan: Camp Zama, Sagamihara Housing Area and Sagami Depot. All three are located in Kanagawa. Mainland Japan has roughly 4,000 soldiers, civilians, contractors and family members assigned to different areas with slightly higher numbers of civilians and contractors than military. The Camp Zama population is roughly 1,800.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi
Naval Air Facility Atsugi is co-located with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force in Ayase City, Kanagawa Prefecture, about 10 miles west of Yokohama and 22 miles southwest of Tokyo. The Base is divided into two areas: Individual mission operating areas for exclusive use by each nation, and a joint area for administrative functions.
Home to Carrier Air Wing Five, NAF Atsugi is the only naval installation supporting an entire air wing. The Atsugi community includes about 10,000 persons, including more than 3,000 U.S. service personnel and about 2,000 Japanese military members as well as U.S. Defense Department civilians, family members and local national employees.