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Gov't resumes work on controversial U.S. base in Okinawa

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And so the "game" continues.

Reports added Onaga also immediately condemned the resumption, saying: “It was extremely regrettable. I will not let (the central government) build a new base in Henoko by any means.”

By ANY Means? OK, Onaga-san, your move. What will you do to stop it?

All sides agree that Futenma’s current site—in the middle of a crowded urban area where its aircraft are a nuisance to thousands of locals—is not appropriate, but the US will not close it until a replacement facility is ready.

What utter nonsense. If the Japanese central government wanted it closed, it could get it closed. Even without a replacement facility. As if the US could insist on Futenma staying open until a replacement facility is ready. I know there are those that believe Japan is just helpless pawn of the U.S. government, but anyone that believes that is absolving the Japanese central government of its responsibility and, indeed, its own desire not to "rock the boat"

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Onaga and the opposition groups are demanding not only Henoko but also all the U.S. bases out of Okinawa. Their claims are not different from commies. Onaga is saying the problem at Futenma originates in the forceful takeover the land by U.S. Occupation Forces after the war. His opinion resembles those of China and Korea reviving history in their advantages. The central government should not yield to their demands.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

The direct catalysis of the Henoko issue was a gang rape in 1995 by three U.S. service members of a 12-year-old Okinawa girl and the resultant anti-U.S. base sentiments among Okinawans. Strong anti-U.S. base movements surged Okinawan society once again wherefore U.S. policymakers must have been worried about what might become of the hitherto stable and secure use of the bases.

Their answer was a SACO agreement in 1996 that Futenma would be returned. We were enthralled to hear the news, giving a short shrift to the fact that there was a catch in it: its replacement must be provided within Okinawa.

The Marines had already had a blueprint to build a new base off the coast of Henoko in 1960's which they submitted to U.S. Congress for approval. The plan was not sanctioned, however, for budgetary and other reasons (Note: the Vietnam war was in a quagmire). There's no denying that the U.S. side had Henoko in mind from the beginning when the 1996 SACO agreement was signed. Subsequent events all point to that direction.

Now, both Tokyo and Washington insist that Henoko is "the only solution." However, all we see here is nothing but a conspiracy and a farce.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

"controversial new U.S. military base in southern Okinawa" What new base down south, they are closing all bases past Camp Foster. They are making Camp Schwab bigger for the move of MCCS Futenma. Is it the new port in Urasoe?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Okinawan people have a right to determine whether they want a base or not and their answer is a resounding no.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Gov't resumes work on controversial U.S. base in Okinawa

If ANYONE actually thought the outcome of the one month moratorium on construction was going to be anything different they are certainly disappointed I am sure.

Onaga better watch out as part of the message coming from Tokyo is that if he keeps on fighting against the base the prefecture is facing a major loss of money in it's budget. Many projects and programs potentially could be cut. Onaga keeps saying that the base issue and budget have to be kept separate in the discussions yet Suga keeps on referring to it, which is a message in and of itself.

Once the extension of Camp Schwab is completed and Futenma is closed there are going to be some very happy people in the Ginowan area. Lost in all this noise about Henoko is the people who live around Futenma, they are the one's who are in danger daily.

The national government is not going to move the base to mainland or any other outlying island either.

What utter nonsense. If the Japanese central government wanted it closed, it could get it closed. Even without a replacement facility.

Read the security agreement first, enlighten yourself, it is not as black and white as you seem to think.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

They are a prefecture, not a nation. Their right to reject the bases are proportional to their representation in the nation as a whole, modified by laws enhancing or diluting their votes based on location of residence.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

As if the US could insist on Futenma staying open until a replacement facility is ready.

OK, can you remind us what cards Japan has that would allow such a thing to happen without disproportionate cost to Japan?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki,

OK, can you remind us what cards Japan has that would allow such a thing to happen without disproportionate cost to Japan?

One single card. Japan is a sovereign nation. The U.S. forces are in Japan at the pleasure of the Japanese government/the Japanese people. The presence of U.S. forces is made possible because of the agreements in place between Japan and the U.S. Japan could insist on the closing of the base, without any replacement facility, and if the U.S. refused, it could terminate the agreements in place and the U.S. would have no choice but to leave. Consider the Philippines. Consider Iraq.

Now, if you are saying that such a choice would create disproportionate costs to Japan, that is a different question. I would ask you what those costs are. And if there are "disproportionate costs", then what you are saying is that there is value to having the U.S. forces in Japan, value that outweighs their removal.

Again, if that is the question, fair enough. But that is for the Japanese people and the Japanese government to decide. It is not that they don't have a choice. And if they are refusing to make the tough choices, then that is a reflection on the government and the people, not on the U.S. military.

And if the people of Okinawa cannot convince the rest of the country of this in order to get the national government to carry out whatever they want, then they have to consider their options. Those back in the '50s and '60s did not stand idly by. The actions they took were aggressive and convinced the U.S. there was no option but to return Okinawa to Japanese control.

Again, sometimes people and nations can only be victims if they allow themselves to be.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And if the people of Okinawa cannot convince the rest of the country of this in order to get the national government to carry out whatever they want, then they have to consider their options. Those back in the '50s and '60s did not stand idly by. The actions they took were aggressive and convinced the U.S. there was no option but to return Okinawa to Japanese control.

If you think it was the Okinawan's that got the US to return it to Japanese control you are sadly mistaken.

Japan could insist on the closing of the base, without any replacement facility, and if the U.S. refused, it could terminate the agreements in place and the U.S. would have no choice but to leave. Consider the Philippines. Consider Iraq.

Could but WONT. THe reality for Japan is that having the US here saves them money and problems in the longer run and it is cheaper economically and politically for them to stay.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Once again is the central government ignoring the will of the Okinawan people, but unfortunately that is no surprise at all as this is the usual pattern of discrimination Okinawans have experienced so many times.

I believe Onagas only choice will be to retract the landfill permission and force the central government to go through a legislative process, which would be really difficult as the constitution doesn't allow for a legislation to be specifically directed at one prefecture.

The budget cut threat is also a well known measure for Okianwans as Tokyo has been trying to rule Okinawa like this for decades. It is a highly anti-democratic way of trying to force policies upon citizens and would further expose the LDP's real state of mind.

Anyway this time Okinawans seem quite determined to not cave into such sleazy policies of repression and whoever claims to be upholding humanistic values should support their strive for justice, equality and democratic self-determination.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan could insist on the closing of the base, without any replacement facility, and if the U.S. refused, it could terminate the agreements in place and the U.S. would have no choice but to leave.

The very point of treaties and other agreements is that they involve voluntary relinquishment of parts of your sovereignty in exchange for a restriction on the other side that you need. So the sovereignty argument is weak.

And the treaty says, the US has the right to have troops in bases. Certainly, there is a renewal clause, and Japan can choose to not renew it. But that cuts off all the US bases.

How about the loss of deterrent capacity as "disproportionate loss"? Just the forces in Japan all or most of the time represent a resource investment that Japan cannot match without at least doubling its defence budget, and that's not counting everything else the US can throw onto the party. Countless things, not just a base in Okinawa, are tolerated for this last.

So certainly there is a choice, but not one that any rational government, considering all the factors, can really make.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Yubaru,

If you think it was the Okinawan's that got the US to return it to Japanese control you are sadly mistaken.

An interesting view. One that I would love to discuss further with you, but my guess is that would get into the "off topic" realm here! :-)

Could but WONT. THe reality for Japan is that having the US here saves them money and problems in the longer run and it is cheaper economically and politically for them to stay.

I am sure there are those that would disagree with you. Not me, necessarily. However, again, that is a CHOICE by Japan. And if they so choose, it would be at the expense of Okinawa, many base closure proponents would argue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I were Okinawan I'd start studying up on speaking Chinese and or Russian. Its in their future.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The reason Tokyo and Washington are forcing this new U.S. Military facility onto Okinawans has absolutely nothing to do with deterrence, but is all about the U.S. military's convenience.

And as Onaga rightly insists the current status quo is a direct result of a history of discrimination and repression of the Okinawan people.

For deterrence it doesn't matter at all whether there are some 1000 more or less marines on Okinawa, or whether there is one more military airport or one less. What matters for deterrence is whether the U.S. is committed to protecting Japan or not.

I have to repeat it again and again, the struggle of the Okinawan people against the Futenma relocation to Henoko is about self-determination and dignity. It goes far beyond the one-more-or-one-less military facility discussion and touches the very basics values of democracy and human rights.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I think the large protests against the bases by the Okinawans before reversion while not being fully responsible for bringing about reversion, did play a part. There were a lot of people in the U.S. Government who did not want to return Okinawa but once the U.S. starting negotiating with Japan and realized how easy the Japanese were and that they were willing to allow the U.S. to have whatever they wanted and do whatever they wanted on Okinawa then the U.S. realized that reversion would be best for them because they could keep on doing whatever they wanted to do on Okinawa without having to deal with the people of Okinawa themselves.

According to the local press, Gov. Onaga will probably announce tomorrow that he is rescinding the Landfill Agreement and this is what the people who elected him want him to do. The people of Okinawa have been fighting these bases for over 70 years and it looks like they still have some fight left in them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think the US is mostly working with an elected govn't and that is from Tokyo regarding issues like this. And because the gov't only choice seems to be no-where else but Okinawa, then that gonna put the US entangled with such tensions.

I don't know why the US never consider pulling out of Okinawa, there seems to be calm waters around Asia these days I think, except for few round of checkups around unused rocks. Maybe Asia is also still mostly childish politically because of the US presence -- how about leaving them alone for a while and see if they will not be able to solve problems themselves (diplomatically).

There might be a fear of US isolation, as that was the case early 1900s, and the result was catastrophic. But who knows maybe that will not be the case while information now flows rapidly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okinawa - the abused step child of Tokyo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Okinawan people have a right to determine whether they want a base or not and their answer is a resounding no. Okinawa accounts for about 1% of the population , they can protest all they like these bases will be built and the US will be here for many years to come. thumb me down until the cows come home these are the facts. Okinawa cant really play the independance card, without Japan they go bankrupt within a month. Okinawa just doesnt have the population or votes to make the changes they want Sorry Japan and the US gov know that having bases in Japan is a big advantage in response times compared to being based in Guam.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@ wtfjapan SEP. 13, 2015 - 01:29PM JST

You are wrong here wtfjapan. Legally Okinawans have the right to say no as they can deny the landfill.

For very obvious reasons the prefectural governments in Japan have the right to decide on large-scale long-term interventions in the prefecture.

This is a democratic standard in almost all democratic nations. Neither in the US nor in European nations would it be possible for the central government to ignore the will of a whole prefecture, state or region. A village or a small town might be forced to swallow central governmental policies, but not a whole prefecture.

If Onaga retracts the landfill permission we will have to see how Tokyo reacts.

Basically there are two scenarios:

... one is to change the national legislation in a way that Tokyo can go on with the landfill without prefectural permission, which would mean a very profound change of the overall political balance between Tokyo and the prefectures towards an authoritarian system,

... and another scenario would be to just harass Okinawans by ignoring the decision, unfortunately something quite possible given the history of discrimination towards the Okinawan people.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@zones2surf “

If the Japanese central government wanted it closed, it could get it closed

.”

More precisely; “If the Japanese central government wanted it closed, the administration is immediately overthrown.”

You may not know what happened to Hatoyama and Ozawa in 2010 . Please don’t say that my country is protected by the US military. Read the security treaty and find there are no such words anywhere. The US military protects their bases as long as they are necessary, American elite living in Japan and various interests the US obtained after the war. This is what the defeat in war means even 70 years later. Don’t be mistaken.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The US has 662 military bases in 38 foreign countries, how many foreign military bases are allowed in the US? None. Doesn't anyone find that to be hypocritical? If the citizens of those countries want foreign military bases, that's fine, but that's not the case in Okinawa.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Everyone knows "normal" japanese look down on Okinawans and this just goes to prove it even more. Just noise nothing will change.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have to repeat it again and again, the struggle of the Okinawan people against the Futenma relocation to Henoko is about self-determination and dignity

Pardon me? You seem to think that Okinawa is a sovereign country, it is not. Keep in mind that Okinawa is one prefecture in Japan, it is not autonomous.

Okinawa sits in a strategic location, if nothing else, that alone would enough to maintain a military presence here.

Quit thinking like this is some "civil rights" issue, it isnt,

Legally Okinawans have the right to say no as they can deny the landfill.

Your are wrong they do not. The governor alone has that right, not the people. The nuance is probably lost on you but there is a huge difference. Nakaima approved it, now Onaga will renege on the promise. Typical political horse manure.

If Onaga retracts the landfill permission we will have to see how Tokyo reacts

Again wrong, it isnt Tokyo, it's Abe. The 15 million or so residents in Tokyo are apathetic to the bases anyway.It's already a forgone conclusion. If you use your head the answer is already out there.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Gov. Onaga and people in Okinawa wants to transfer the problem of US military bases elsewhere, specifically from Okinawa to the rest of Japan or elsewhere. Even though it is the Japanese government that desires U.S. military bases, there is not a single example anywhere in Japan where residential areas are burdened by bases and civilians live adjacent to shooting range and runways as there is in Okinawa. If the J-government desires the US-Japan Security Treaty along with the stationing of the U.S. military, that is fine. If the purpose of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is to protect the peace of all Japanese nationals, then it is only natural that this is recognized by having the burden of the treaty shared by the entire people of Japan. Every Japanese person, whether of a rightist or leftist beliefs shares the same benefits that result from forcing U.S. military bases onto Okinawans. Are these people in Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, or Hokkaido not guilty when they oppose relocation of U.S. military bases to Japan, thereby protecting their own interests?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Gov. Onaga and people in Okinawa wants to transfer the problem of US military bases elsewhere,

Be careful about generalizing here, Onaga was not elected by a majority of the voters here, only by a majority of those who voted.

Do not think for one second that the "people in Okinawa" all agree with Onaga that is a huge mistake.

U.S. military bases, there is not a single example anywhere in Japan where residential areas are burdened by bases

Now you really put your foot in your mouth Before talking like you "know" do a little research and you'll save yourself some embarrassment.

Atsugi in Kanagawa is surrounded by a residential area, Check out the housing around Iwakuni, How about the city around Yokota.

You comment like you think you know, but you are ignorant about the facts.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Pardon me? You seem to think that Okinawa is a sovereign country, it is not.

Self-determination and dignity are basic human rights at least theoretically guaranteed by UN covenants.

Article 1 in the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) reads: "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

Quit thinking like this is some "civil rights" issue, it isnt,

For a majority of Okinawans this is an issue concerning their basic democratic rights as citizens and luckily you are not in the position to tell anybody what they ought to think and what not.

Your are wrong they do not. The governor alone has that right, not the people. The nuance is probably lost on you but there is a huge difference.

I think you are the one who seems to have difficulties understanding basic democratic principles. Of course in a representative democracy it is the elected representative of the people who acts on behalf of the people.

Because Nakaima betrayed the people and broke his promise he was elected out of office and Onaga, who promised to strictly stick to his promises in regard to preventing the Futenma relocation to Henoko, was elected into office.

If Onaga retracts the landfill permission he will do this clearly in the name of the Okinawan people as their representative.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

YubaruS EP. 13, 2015 - 04:12PM JST Now you really put your foot in your mouth Before talking like you "know" do a little research and you'll save yourself some embarrassment.

When you have half the U.S. bases of Japan in little Okinawa, there is a problem. I know you don't understand.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The 1996 SACO agreement between Tokyo and Washington that Futenma would be returned in seven years was partly in response to Okinawa's demand to reduce the U.S. military's exorbitant footprint, saying serious crimes such as the one in 1995 derive from this state of affairs.

The U.S. promised Futenma's return but only in exchange for its replacement to be built somewhere else in Okinawa. And the would-be replacement in Henoko is said to have many new facilities and installations the original base, Futenma, didn't have. For example, port facilities to berth the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship with the displacement of 40,358 tons. Ospreys would be based there, too, and, functionally integrated with adjacent Camp Schwab, Camp Hansen and the Northern Training Area, the new air base would certainly be a hub of the U.S. Marine complex in Okinawa.

The placards of "Osprey Out," "No Henoko Relocation" or "No War" carried by protesters are all part of Okinawa's campaign against the expansion, and therefore the virtual increment, of U.S. bases and their function. Where in the world is there any reduction of Okinawa's burden of hosting so many U.S. bases? And we all know the Marines are stationed here not for the defense of Japan but to protect their own vested interests.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It should read “The Japanese government on Saturday resumed work on a controversial expansion of the U.S. military base in northern Okinawa following a month-long suspension, officials said, even as talks with local officials opposed to the project remained deadlocked.” New: not old : recently born, built, or created; not used by anyone else previously; recently bought, rented, etc. Expand: to increase in extent, size, volume, scope, etc.; to spread or stretch out; unfold, to express in fuller form or greater detail Because Camp Schwab already exist it is not a new base, but expanding the current base and adding new runways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Be careful about generalizing here, Onaga was not elected by a majority of the voters here, only by a majority of those who voted.

Onaga won 51.7% of the vote on a 64.13% turnout, which gives him a slightly greater backing than either Abe, whose party got 48.1% of a 52.66% turnout or Obama, who got 51.1% of a 54.9% turnout at the last election.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Yubaru,

Sorry, meant to query you on something you said to me in in one of your first posts.

Read the security agreement first, enlighten yourself, it is not as black and white as you seem to think.

I have read the Treaty and the SOFA and was wondering what you meant by the above.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That's funny, two down votes and no reply for simply stating facts. It's a FACT that the US has 662 military bases in 38 foreign countries. It's a FACT that the US doesn't allow a single, foreign military base in America. Hypocritical? Yes it is, it's a FACT, by defintion of the word. Lastly, it's a FACT that the majority of Okinawa's citizens, DONT want this base. Who will debate those facts?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good grief. Four fifths of Okinawa was returned to Japan, which stole it from the Ryuku Kingdom, in 1972.

A tiny minority of Japanese are opposed to the relocation of Futenma. Just do it already, lol.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Tyranny of the majority is most certainly NOT democracy.

Every town and city should have a vote on whether they want a base. Those that don't want bases, should not have any.

If no town or city wants one, or those that do don't have the space, there are places in Japan where open land can obtained while putting out far fewer people. Land is obviously too scarce in Okinawa to have these sprawling American Empire bases there, holding back commercial expansion that is vital to the economy of Okinawa. These country club resembling bases are nothing but a scam of robber barons.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When you have half the U.S. bases of Japan in little Okinawa, there is a problem. I know you don't understand.

Nice try you made this assertion and it is 100% wrong. Other bases in Japan are in populated areas. Again nice try but you are off the mark.

here is not a single example anywhere in Japan where residential areas are burdened by bases

@zones

I have read the Treaty and the SOFA and was wondering what you meant by the above.

The problem is that within the agreement is wording that requires "replacement in kind", putting it simply there. When the Awase golf course was returned, well prior to return, another facility in kind was appropriated for military use, in Gushikawa. Naha Port...Urasoe, or possibly Tengan. Futenma,...Henoko. Us Naval Hospital, a better facility on CampFoster.

The Gov of Okinawa is barking up the wrong tree. He has to force, on way or another, the national government, to renegotiate this part of the treaty.

He is wrong by going to Washington or the UN. Okinawa is NOT a sovereign nation, and while there may be people sympathetic to his cause there is NOTHING anyone can do but politely agree. No one can pressure the Japanese government other than the US and they want the base extension at Schwab.

Onaga SHOULD be taking his case to the Japanese people. But he isnt, and he is wrong for taking the issue out of country. Japanese dont like having foreign intervention in their internal policies, and Onaga is doing just that. He is making things worse. for himself. He will lose this.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Let Onaga whine all he wants about the new base. Until it's built, the old one will stay right where it is, so the people upset about it being there have the Governor to thank.

Just wait for a couple more Chinese subs to go through Okinawan waters and they'll be quiet for a while again.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

@voiceofokinawa,

wow many argue that the case of U.S. Navy sailors convicted in Okinawa rape, in October 2012. perhaps was the "straw that broke the camels back"

refs: http://www.rt.com/usa/sailors-rape-japan-navy-696/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/01/us-navy-sailors-okinawa-rape/1955873/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

let's put the base in your backyard, no not appealing?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@DavnetcatSEP. 13, 2015 - 11:26AM JST If I were Okinawan I'd start studying up on speaking Chinese and or Russian. Its in their future

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

I suggest you learn kanbun and one of Ainu language or hougen where you live in Japan.You already invaded to Japan? Is this why you are suggesting? So you have credidential in linguistic?.

.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Yubaru,

The problem is that within the agreement is wording that requires "replacement in kind", putting it simply there. When the Awase golf course was returned, well prior to return, another facility in kind was appropriated for military use, in Gushikawa. Naha Port...Urasoe, or possibly Tengan. Futenma,...Henoko. Us Naval Hospital, a better facility on CampFoster.

OK, I think you are referring to the SOFA rather than the Treaty. In the SOFA, not sure which article specifically refers to replacement in kind, although I know that the determination of being no longer needed rests with the U.S. military and therefore, if they deem it necessary, then the only way they will relinquish it is if they are satisfied that there is an acceptable alternative.

However, this all assumes that Japan operates under the current SOFA and does not call its fundamental basis and the fundamental basis of the Treaty into question. Which is what the U.S. government believes at the outset, that Japan will never terminate the Treaty and, therefore, if they don't terminate the Treaty, their ability to demand changes to the SOFA is limited. And the Japanese national government does nothing to dissuade them of this notion. And may not want to. My personal view? The U.S. government takes the Japanese government and Japan for granted and plays them for chumps. Doesn't mean I may not agree with the strategic objectives, but it is clear that the U.S. looks at Japan this way... because Japan behaves in such a manner to reinforce the notion that they will be subservient to the U.S.

If this is going to change, Japan will have to change their stance. Which is unlikely with the current government. Which means that Okinawa has no hope of effecting change, whether through the Japanese government or by appealing to the U.S

HOWEVER, there is one avenue open to Okinawa that could bypass the national government and escalate matters with the U.S. government. And, no, it is not some Okinawa government delegation to the U.S. No, it is a simple matter of making things ugly for the U.S. military in Okinawa. The kind of stuff that will attract the international press to Okinawa to cover the issue. Shutting down traffic in and out of the bases, civilians scaling the fences and invading the bases, hunger strikes, or even more aggressive actions. Destroying supply vehicles supplying the bases. Targeting off-base housing. Etc. etc. This is the kind of stuff that will escalate matters and force the hands of those in Washington and Tokyo and potentially change the equation.

Otherwise, this is a lost cause for opponents in Okinawa. The facilities will get built and it will be a done deal. Right or wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most of the land taken up by U.S. Facilities on Okinawa has nothing to do with the defense of Japan but is used for dependent housing, dependent schools and leisure facilities. The U.S. Military made these bases without any consideration to how the people of Okinawa had to live their lives. If U.S. bases are required on Okinawa then make Okinawa an unaccompanied military tour of duty and return all of the land that is currently used because of all of the dependents back to local use. People on JT are always talking about all of the Okinawans who are employed on the bases but there are just as many if not more dependents and U.S. civilians working on the bases than Okinawans. If the U.S. Military and Japanese Govt. wants U.S. bases on Okinawa for the defense of Japan then fine and most Okinawans are willing to accept some bases but do not try to insult the intelligence of people by saying that all of the U.S. facilities on Okinawa in their current form are absolutely necessary for the defense of Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@DavnetcatSEP. 13, 2015 - 11:26AM JST If I were Okinawan I'd start studying up on speaking Chinese and or Russian. Its in their future

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

i now realize you don't know where is Russia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If I were governor of Okinawa, I would have the prefecture police start harassing all Y tags immedately. Every Y tag car coming out of all gates would get tickets for something, relentlessly, day after day. Anyone living off bases would be hit with huge "adminstrative taxes."

Tokyo and Washington are both bullies. You can't negotiate with a bully.

Only a naive child would blindly following the mantra that the US is "protecting" Okinawa and Japan. The US is in Japan for its own purposes and doesn't give a crap about "defending" Japan.

The same idiots said that The Philippines would be defenseless and invaded by China after they kicked the US military out 25 years ago.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

People on JT are always talking about all of the Okinawans who are employed on the bases but there are just as many if not more dependents and U.S. civilians working on the bases than Okinawans

You claim there are more dependents and contractors than Japanese employees on the bases? Show some facts before you start throwing out baseless garbage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are approximately 20,000 US military dependents on Okinawa and another 2,500 civilian employees. In addition, there are civilian contractors.

There are approximately 8,000 local Okinawan employees.

The garbage is not baseless. The bases are the garbage.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan paid Omoiyari Fund $ 3 billion to US last year. Seems US is now sure to get the same amount next year for this year's stay in Japan now. No reduction thatof tenant payment to landlord.

s

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo and Washington are both bullies.

Yep. And their supporters are some of the most paranoid people to ever cower upon the Earth.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

By ANY Means? OK, Onaga-san, your move. What will you do to stop it?

um, declare the desire for independence...

They are a prefecture, not a nation.

that could change

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If I was an Okinawan, I'd seriously be pushing for independence right about now. They have made their wishes clear. They have elected a governor who actually represents their wishes, unlike the LDP leadership in Tokyo. Time for both Mr Abe and the US to start listening

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There was another post between my two posts above claiming that it was was "baseless garbage" that there are less Okinawa employees than dependents or contractors. My play on words was lost in the shuffle.

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, then it is only natural that this is recognized by having the burden of the treaty shared by the entire people of Japan

Seems reasonable

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HOWEVER, there is one avenue open to Okinawa that could bypass the national government and escalate matters with the U.S. government. And, no, it is not some Okinawa government delegation to the U.S. No, it is a simple matter of making things ugly for the U.S. military in Okinawa. The kind of stuff that will attract the international press to Okinawa to cover the issue. Shutting down traffic in and out of the bases, civilians scaling the fences and invading the bases, hunger strikes, or even more aggressive actions. Destroying supply vehicles supplying the bases. Targeting off-base housing. Etc. etc. This is the kind of stuff that will escalate matters and force the hands of those in Washington and Tokyo and potentially change the equation

If I were governor of Okinawa, I would have the prefecture police start harassing all Y tags immedately. Every Y tag car coming out of all gates would get tickets for something, relentlessly, day after day. Anyone living off bases would be hit with huge "adminstrative taxes."

Interesting idea. You can play crappy little games. The problem is, so can the Americans. How about window-blowout supersonic flypasses every day? They'll even pay for your windows, but they break them every day. Ospreys right over the schoolyards? Exercises every night? All stuff within their technical rights as per the SOFA. Who do you think will cry Uncle first?

Yes, you can call in the media, but here we run into the problem of American dominance of the worldwide media. Its big and most people speak English while few speak Japanese. There might be some sympathy in the States for Okinawans right now, but let them start harassing the soldiers that are there and things can turn ugly quickly. It wouldn't take a lot of media effort to call these attempts hooliganism. The most likely outcome is that the Japanese government will play the bad guy and suppress the things themselves before the US find a suitable pretext to do it for them.

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