Japan and the U.S. released a joint report on construction methods of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma if it is moved to Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa, leaving two options unsettled for the relevant runway construction method. One option, which is favored by the U.S. government, is building V-shaped runways, and the other, which is advocated by the Japanese government, is building a single runway, both on reclaimed land in the coastal area off Henoko partially striding over Camp Schwab.
But V-shaped or not, there should be no reclamation of Henoko's pristine coastal waters. The air base should be moved out of Okinawa outright, now and forever. Period. That's Okinawa's consensus.
The Marines are here merely to hone their combat skills in invasion and engagement in faraway countries like Iraq and Afghanistan at present, and Vietnam in the past. They are functionally powerless to protect Japan from missile attacks and bombardment from the sea and the air. As an expeditionary or invading force, their number of 15,000 would be no match for North Korea's regular army of 1.2 million troops or China's 1.6 million troops in case of emergencies in Korean Peninsula or in the Taiwan Straits.
Such doubt about the Marine Corps' stationing in Japan is gaining a strong foothold in the U.S. Congress as well. Massachusetts Democratic Rep Barney Frank, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee chairman, told National Public Radio, "We don't need 15,000 Marines in Okinawa," adding "they are hang-over from a war that ended 65 years ago."
If the U.S. Marines are stationed in Okinawa only to train, then they should move out of Okinawa to the U.S. mainland where C-130 transport aircraft and helicopter pilots can improve their flight skills and ground troops hone their combat skills in terrain as vast as one prefecture of Japan without worrying too much about noise pollution and bullet ricochets over and into adjacent villages.
Note that the idea of V-shaped runways was conceived to reduce noise pollution in nearby villages, one runway used only for take-offs and the other only for landings depending on wind directions. But the idea is a sheer nonsense because C-130 Hercules pilots cannot change the runways by sleight of hand when engaging in a touch-and-go flight practice, their routine at Futenma day and night.
Washington's explanation of necessity for the Marine base to be moved to Henoko is a sham. They should know the Marines' decades-old design since the 1960s to functionally integrate it with Camp Schwab, Camp Hansen, central and northern training areas, complete with new port facilities, thus solidifying and strengthening the function of those bases and also snugly expediting Washington's policy to perpetuate the U.S. military presence here, has completely failed.© Japan Today