Recently, as of 2008, in Japan and South Korea, most anti-American sentiment is believed to have been focused upon the presence and behavior of American military personnel, aggravated especially by high-profile crimes committed by U.S. servicemembers, such as the 1995 Okinawan rape incident. The on-going U.S. military presence in Okinawa remains a contentious issue in Japan.
While protests have arisen over specific incidents, they are often reflective of deeper historical resentments. Robert Hathaway, director of the Wilson Center's Asia program, suggests: "the growth of anti-American sentiment in both Japan and South Korea must be seen not simply as a response to American policies and actions, but as reflective of deeper domestic trends and developments within these Asian countries." In Japan, a variety of threads have contributed to anti-Americanism in the post-war era, including pacifism on the political left, nationalism on the right, and opportunistic worries over American influence in Japanese economic life.
Korean anti-Americanism after the war was fueled by American occupation and support for authoritarian rule, a fact still evident during the country's democratic transition in the 1980s. Speaking to the Wilson Center, Katherine Moon notes that while the majority of South Koreans support the American alliance "anti-Americanism also represents the collective venting of accumulated grievances that in many instances have lain hidden for decades."
Such anti-Americanism is reflected in Korean popular culture. The monster film The Host (2006) was in part inspired by an incident in 2000 in which a mortician working for the U.S. military in Seoul dumped a large amount of formaldehyde down the drain. In it, a horrible mutated monster from the river menaces the inhabitants of Seoul. "Fucking USA" is an anti-American protest song written by South Korean singer and activist Yoon Min-suk. Strongly anti-US Foreign policy and anti-Bush, the song was written in 2002 at a time when, following the Apolo Ohno Olympic controversy and an incident in which two Korean middle school students were killed under the wheels of a U.S. Army vehicle, anti-American sentiment in South Korea reached high levels.
In a poll taken by the Reader's Digest with 1000 Australians, 15 per cent of Australians described themselves as anti-American. Another 67 per cent held neutral views of America, and 17 per cent said they were pro-American.