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Gov't overrides protests; resumes work on U.S. base transfer

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Go for it. I respect peoples right to fair and unbiased protest against the base, but under representation by the other side supporting the base jobs and economic support it provides has been an unfair tactic of the OPG. This generation of US and Japanese government personnel understand the need to reduce through relocation of personnel and equipment and it starts with Henoko. Good luck in building a new Okinawa.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

To put it in a nutshell, the locals have been stiffed yet again. While I agree with the premise of the US-Japan Security Alliance (if only to act as a brake on the rightwing of Japanese politics), I don't agree with the intimidation and strong-arming of the local population down in Okinawa. They have been shafted too often and for too long. Indeed, it is time to consider a reloction of these bases to the mainland. What about the 4th District of Yamaguchi Prefecture, which has a wonderful port at Shimoseki. Surely the local member, one S. Abe, would not object. Tottori No. 1 is another contender, the local MP would be so enthusiastic he would probably lay out his tongue as a red carpet for Uncle Sam.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sounds like Narita airport all over again, government just taking from the people in the name of progress and lining their own pockets

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I've said it all along, Futenma needs to move. It's happening.

This is a time to be happy in many ways for the people of Ginowan, they should begin to see the end to the 2 decades of waiting for it to close.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Yes, Futenma should be moved... Outside of Okinawa.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Others might call it schadenfreude...

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

how do the people around ginowa feel about this? i'm sure they are all for the move to henoko bay. but i guess their rights don't matter much here. but moving the base, and others, out of okinawa is a nonstarter for the central gov't and for the US. too many case of NIMBY to deal with.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Interestingly local governments sign off on opening nuclear power plants (recently at Misaki in Ehime). But the central government overrides local government on these base issues.

Before I get crucified by the national-security-requirements school of thought, I just wish to wonder aloud as to what is the point of local governments? Besides local welfare and maintenance for the community.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Interestingly local governments sign off on opening nuclear power plants (recently at Misaki in Ehime). But the central government overrides local government on these base issues.

Why is this "interesting"? The national government WANTS the nuclear reactors restarted, and the local governments are in agreement, so no problem. This is a totally different case.

Before I get crucified by the national-security-requirements school of thought, I just wish to wonder aloud as to what is the point of local governments? Besides local welfare and maintenance for the community.

Please dont think that this is the norm, it isn't, it IS a very unique case in and of itself. But one has to look at the national security requirements that the national government has deemed it needs, that can not be taken out of the equation.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The same Japanese Govt. that thinks this facility is a requirement for national security also thinks that building golf courses and other leisure facilities for the U.S. Military is a requirement for national security and that paying the salaries of the Japanese workers at the on-base Military Clubs, PX`s, and Burger Kings is a requirement for national security. I would like to see both the J-Govt. and U.S. Military have to fully explain how this facility is essential to national security and why it is absolutely necessary to be on Okinawa.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@japan4life

While I agree with the crux of your argument that military facilities should be MUCH more spartan and space-efficient than they are, keep in mind that the bulk of those luxury recreational/family support facilities are on Kadena and Foster. Futenma has no golf course, in fact it has almost no recreational facilities to speak of: just an officer's club, an enlisted club, the USO, a library, a gym, and a shopette. And I'd consider those a minimum on any long-term installation.

Henoko, being a USMC facility, will probably be equally spartan. It's the Air Force that wastes ridiculous sums of taxpayer dollars filling the gigantic Kadena Air Base with little slices of America. For example, Kadena Air Base has not one but TWO Chilis restaurants. WTF.... And then they complain that there is no space to share the Air Base with additional Marine Aviation assets....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Henoko, being a USMC facility, will probably be equally spartan. It's the Air Force that wastes ridiculous sums of taxpayer dollars filling the gigantic Kadena Air Base with little slices of America. For example, Kadena Air Base has not one but TWO Chilis restaurants. WTF.... And then they complain that there is no space to share the Air Base with additional Marine Aviation assets....

Marine Bases are typically spartan, even stateside one's as well, and Kadena is the "hog" when it comes to space too.

Kadena could very well have taken the assets from Futenma and while it is already a joint services facility (Navy is there too) it is TOTALLY an inter-service rivalry ,

Let's not forget too that the CG of Kadena is lower ranking than the MC Generals on Okinawa too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Over 300billion yen was given to Okinawa(the gubment) for this deal(strategy) to go forward,it will happen,regardless of how many people protest.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

inkochi:

To draw a comparison for local govt, the US is a federal system which means that if the national govt wanted to put a base in say Arizona, the Arizonan governor and legislature would have to approve. The US and all federations are not federal at all levels, however. Arizona could put the base right smack in the middle of phoenix without needing approval from city council or mayor. Detroit recently had an emergency manager appointed by the state governor rather than elected due to the city's bankruptcy. If the state of Michigan went bankrupt though, the US president could not appoint an emergency governor. That being said, I don't agree with overriding popular sovereignty, especially at the local level.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Noble713: The Marines do have their own 18 hole golf course which was just built for them in the Uruma City Area to replace the old Awase Meadows Golf Course. You are correct about MCAS Futenma being spartan as is Camp Hansen and Camp Schwab because there is no dependent housing there and people who do have their families with them live in other areas like Courtney, Mctureous, Foster and Kinser. Kadena Air Force and Camp Foster are basically American Cities on Okinawa and if you stay on them for an hour you can almost forget you are on Okinawa. My problem with the J-Govt. is that they are not tough negotiators when it comes to downsizing the bases on Okinawa. There is a base called Camp Shields outside of K.A.B. and it is a large facility that is home to about 200 Navy Seabees. Now the Navy Seabees have no real mission on Okinawa and even if the U.S. wants to keep them here, they could easily be moved to the Navy Base at White Beach and that area could be returned to local use. I think if Japan would take a little tougher stance with the U.S. and and show the people of Okinawa that the facilities that are here are absolutely necessary for National Security you would get more understanding from the local people. The majority of people of Okinawa are not against some U.S. bases on the island, but the J-Govt. and the U.S. needs to make sure that the facilities make efficient use of the land and are actually necessary for the security of Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Marine Bases are typically spartan, even stateside one's as well

Oh that is very true. Camp Pendleton was very spartan-like. It's all business tho. Marines can hop on the 5 FWY, north or south, and plenty of R&R.

Let's not forget too that the CG of Kadena is lower ranking than the MC Generals on Okinawa too

Devil Dog Yubaru sure knows his stuff!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan's democracy joke.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

One of CNN displayed one sentence on boyyo,. It stated protested because environment will be damaged.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Okinawans are so unified in opposing the new Henoko facility because they fear that this will cement the massive US military presence in Okinawa for another some decades and this is a very real fear.

While Henoko might seem like a betterment it is in fact a way to secure the massive US military's foothold in Okinawas central and northern part for the time being. It will make it much more difficult for Okinawans to get rid of the larger part of the US military.

For Okinawans it is absolutely crucial to stop this relocation, in order to regain democratic control of their island and to achieve a drastic reduction of US military on their own terms.

This is not about one US base more or less, but about being able to decide on ones future and about whether an anti-democratic Japanese government going berserk against its own citizens can be stopped by the people.

If Okinawans are not able to stop Henoko it will create a dangerous precedent for forceful suppression of peaceful popular movements and this will have serious repercussions in all of Japan. On the contrary, if Okinawans manage to stop this ignorant arrogant government it would give democratic spirit in Japan a very positive stimulus.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Democracy sucks when you are not the majority. All the those who do not want so called bad man America to have its military in Japan is to have the sitting government give notice that the Defense deal is over. That's about it. It can end whenever the Japanese people elect a government that wants it to end. Until then, like in most federal republics, the collective defense will be worked out by the national government and the includes the location for the military bases. Those that feel that Okinawa should have the final word here DO NOT CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY or the views of the majority of Japanese citizens

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"overriding vigorous protests by local residents."

That's how Narita Airport got built too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Okinawans are so unified in opposing the new Henoko facility

No they are not....maybe one day grasshopper you will learn.

That's how Narita Airport got built too.

Yup

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“It’s totally dictatorial,” Gov Takeshi Onaga, told reporters. “I will firmly fight against this.”

To hear that the Abe regime is a dictatorship is pretty amazing, seeing how it is coming from a Governor of a prefecture.

He should declare an independence referandum same as Scotland. If for no other reason than to send a message to Abe: you cant keep pushing us around.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"He should declare an independence referandum same as Scotland. If for no other reason than to send a message to Abe: you cant keep pushing us around."

UN elections officials should be present so there is no question on whether voters were bullied into voting for independence or of fraud.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"He should declare an independence referandum same as Scotland. If for no other reason than to send a message to Abe: you cant keep pushing us around."

Sorry but you really have no idea of the politics nor demographics of Okinawa to even suggest this. The people of Okinawa have no desire to be independent (contrary to the views of the "fringe-nuts" and academic types, not to mention that they population as a whole is not totally "ethnic" Okinawan either.

Okinawan's ARE Japanese as citizens, ethnically and culturally different yes, but Okinawa can NOT survive as an independent nation, and it is fantasy to think otherwise. There really is no comparison to Scotland, which is in effect an independent country, although a part of the UK.

Okinawa is a prefecture or state of Japan, and that will not change.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ notasap OCT. 30, 2015 - 03:16AM JST

Those that feel that Okinawa should have the final word here DO NOT CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY or the views of the majority of Japanese citizens

It seems as if you get your ideas about democracy from a rather outdated information source. Actually so outdated that even the first US constitution from 1781 seems more advanced.

Please not that in all modern democracies there are provisions that prevent a simple "dictatorship of the majority". So it is not possible that a national majority could dictate policies specifically to one regional minority and this is for very good reasons.

Imagine 49 US states agreeing on 1 state as the best place to dispose all contaminated garbage. Ridiculous idea that wouldn't be compatible with the constitution. Even if national security is concerned does the US federal government need the consent of the states and can not just dictate policies to specific states.

In Japan the constitutional right which guarantees this is called "local self-government".

But what is happening with Okinawa is a constant violation of this right of local self-government.

Why is this possible? Because the US had made a military colony out of Okinawa and when the prefecture was returned to Japan it was occupied by US military and between the US and Tokyo it was agreed on that Okinawa would not enjoy equal rights with other prefectures.

Of course there are provisions like "eminent domain" to force individuals to provide land for important public projects, but it would never be possible to build a US base through "eminent domain" in Japan.

And one final mistake in your assumptions. It is not at all a majority view in Japan that Okinawa should shoulder such an disproportional burden. The Japanese people have never been directly asked about such decisions and even they were not directly addressed during national elections.

Actually there are a number of polls that indicate that a majority of Japanese sympathize with Okinawans and find it unjust what is happening there. As I said before anybody with a normal sense of justice can understand that the situation in Okinawa is appallingly unjust.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually there are a number of polls that indicate that a majority of Japanese sympathize with Okinawans and find it unjust what is happening there.

Polling data should always be taken with a grain of salt for obvious reasons.

However the very same people that feel so sorry for Okinawan's are always unwilling to have the bases in their backyard so dont try to make it sound like all Japanese are against it, they aint.

You still have much to learn about this, but your judgement is clouded, hence being unable to see the three sides to this story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Polling data should always be taken with a grain of salt for obvious reasons.

Yes, polling is surely not something to rely on without proper judgement, but if polls are conducted and interpreted in a scientific manner they are seen as factual evidence.

And this is even more true if there is more then one poll conducted on the same topic, but asking in different ways.

However the very same people that feel so sorry for Okinawan's are always unwilling to have the bases in their backyard so dont try to make it sound like all Japanese are against it, they aint.

Sure, NIMBY is a wide spread phenomena.

We can only guess how Japanese would decide if directly asked to vote on the Okinawan situation - of course such a scenario would directly go against the Japanese constitution and for that reason could never be realized - but I'm very sure that even they won't want to have the US military mess in their backyard won't ever directly vote for discriminating the Okinawan people. I do so much believe in the healthy sense of justice of the Japanese people.

You still have much to learn about this, but your judgement is clouded, hence being unable to see the three sides to this story.

Yubaru, I believe it would better help your case if you'd stick to bringing up arguments based on something objectifiable instead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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