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Japan begins seawall work for controversial new U.S. base in Okinawa

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The rest of Japan will never allow expansion of US bases so Okinawa will always get the short end. Didn't know prefectures were so powerless against the central gov though

7 ( +13 / -6 )

wtfjapan- So what you are saying is that it is perfectly acceptable for you to seize whatever land you want from the Okinawans, even if its their personnel private property or something they consider sacred.

They're actually not seizing any land at all but reclaiming ocean floor that is in the location of an existing base. The majority of the area was prohibited to fishing vessels already and no one even fished in Oura Bay anyways. To the contrary of your statement, the reclamation of seafloor is being done in order to return private property and sacred land that is within MCAS Futenma.

What's the point of being governor of Okinawa if he is just ignored by the central government? Onaga is fulfilling his job description and representing his people. At the very least, there should be a referendum to firmly establish Okinawan opinion.

He's representing a minority portion of his people in regards to this case. I really hope there is a referendum so when there isn't an anti-base majority we can finally put this ridiculously overhyped story to bed.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

At least the most important request by Okinawan people has been granted: moving all flying gears out of the mid-city Futenma base. It is unfortunate that Okinawa is located in such an important strategic place today than ever with increasing Chinese expansionism.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Even if the US were to leave the SDF would simply take their place, the locations is far to strategic to Japanese interests.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Note, however, that the Yokota Air Base and Atsugi Naval Air Base in Metropolitan Tokyo are both surrounded by densely-populated residential areas also, so that according to the central government's theory both bases must be closed and relocated somewhere else. But would they remove these bases to some other place? Why aren't Yokota and Atsugi subject to relocation while Futenma is? The government's explanation for Futenma's relocation is nothing but shenanigans.

Yokota is basically in the suburbs and is in much more open space and nearly all operations of Atsugi are being relocated to Iwakuni.. Ginowan is far more densely populated than both mentioned locations.

Can anyone give reasonable answers to these questions? 

Everyone has given you answers on the operational and logisitical impacts that hinder US response capabilities. You just choose to ignore them.

You think the 'natural environment' around Naha Airport is equivalent to that around Henoko? Or that 'returning' a piece of land that has for decades been subject to US military shenanigans (=heavy pollution) makes up for destroying a pristine sea area?

Do you live in Okinawa? It's much of the same type of coral reef that is being crushed to build the second runway at Naha International so its basically the same thing. It's laughable that we continuously point the finger at the US military about pollution in Okinawa when red clay runoff from construction sites and farm sites are killing far more coral than military bases. Shoot, individual actions are worse, I don't know how many neighbors I've seen draining oil form the mini trucks into drainages that run 100m right into the sea.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"New Base" is just propaganda, similar to any other brainwashed person would say who has no ability to think for themselves. If the press says it, it's gotta be true!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

 It is unfortunate that Okinawa is located in such an important strategic place today than ever with increasing Chinese expansionism.

Don't you see the irony in that statement? How is this better than what the Chinese are doing? If anything, an "extension" of an already ineffective base that makes the locals even more angry is doing China's bidding to be honest.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@voiceofokinawa the military has always been in Okinawa, and frankly Okinawa has a small population with very little political influence in Japan so it will not change soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What's the point of being governor of Okinawa if he is just ignored by the central government? Onaga is fulfilling his job description and representing his people. At the very least, there should be a referendum to firmly establish Okinawan opinion.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Unfortunately, the central gov't doesn't care at all about Okinawan opinion.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

What "new base"? They are expanding the current base at Camp Schwab not building a new U.S. base.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

trait would matter where the base is built a certain group would still claim sacred land , endangered coral sea creatures, birds etc etc. Fact is the new location while not perfect is far better than its current location. Japanese all over Japan have had to relocate to different areas du to new highways, trains rezoning etc Short of a civil war the base will be built, if Okinawans dont like it then they can move to a prefecture that doesnt have US bases. Onaga new lawsuit will fail again "act of violence" when all legal avenues are exhausted what will he do then , instigate violence to stop the contruction!?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@Tiger....Exactly! Everyone likes to have collective amnesia regarding the facts, there is no land being taken, it's being returned, no one fishes at Oura Bay, and no one cared anything about the "environment" until the base extension started moving forward.

With all that construction going on - massive amounts of sand from all over Japan - huge construction project - massive disruption of wild life, it is a NEW BASE. Let's not mince words. The propaganda is that "It's just an extension to an already existing base."

Anyone who uses this argument to justify their stance is being a hypocrite!

Just take a look at "massive amounts of sand" "huge construction project" (It's just a runway extension).....

Oh I am not talking about Henoko....it's Naha Airport. Same thing! Oh the hypocrisy!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Has everyone really given answers to the questions I posed? 

here is a simple answer to all of your questions, Okinawa is not important or influential enough nationally for anyone to care

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One cannot discuss the Henoko relocation issue and Naha airport issue on the same table, saying both involves land reclamation of sea beds. The former is concerned with the realignment of a foreign army, that occupies Okinawa as if it were their own territory while the latter is totally a domestic issue.

Once again, obfuscating the issue, from an environmental standpoint, which nearly ALL the people protesting here are about, it's one and the same, the environment is being destroyed.

The rest is nonsense, as the state does not dictate to the country, it's defense needs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

voiceofoikinawa: "The former is concerned with the realignment of a foreign army, that occupies Okinawa as if it were their own territory while the latter is totally a domestic issue."

Wrong. Defence is a national issue, under the care of the national government. Period. The national government has agreed upon the relocation and decided on the restart. "domestic" means Japan, which is under the national government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan,

Who can deny your contention that "Defense is a national issue, under the care of the national government"?

But suppose the national government's policy were dictated by a dominant third country which forced the sycophantic national government to implement the agreed-on policy by all means albeit strong opposition by the locality that would be most harmfully affected by that agreement.

Is this the democracy the U.S. is trying to teach and propagate all over the world?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I say defense matters Japan agrees with the U.S. are dictated by the U.S. side, I'm not saying it based on my fancy. Kurt Campbell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under the Obama administration, attests to this unatural bilateral relationship when he said that "for years the United States made most of the decisions on security matters while Japan only acted as the U.S. dictated.” (See "Clinton 'accepts' Abe's dealings with Russia: ex-U.S. official" run on Japan Today: Oct. 6, 2016)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For the sake of preciseness, I revise the wording in my post above and re-post it. To my regret, the page of the article cannot be found any longer because of time limit.

When I say defense matters Japan agrees with the U.S. are dictated by the U.S. side, I'm not saying it based on my fancy. Kurt Campbell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under the Obama administration, attests to this unnatural bilateral relationship when he said that for years the United States made most of the decisions on security matters with Japan "quite content with that." (See "Clinton 'accepts' Abe's dealings with Russia: ex-U.S. official" run on Japan Today: Oct. 6, 2016)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With all that construction going on - massive amounts of sand from all over Japan - huge construction project - massive disruption of wild life, it is a NEW BASE. Let's not mince words. The propaganda is that "It's just an extension to an already existing base."

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Obey your master!!!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If there are moderators here: Please recommend a back to top page button that can be clicked on for after posting a comment. Thanks

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yubaru: Bang on with the hypocrisy. Also with the "selective amnesia" comment.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Naha Airport has been an airport since before the war, which the U.S. occupation forces (the U.S. Air Force) took over in 1945 and expanded extensively by expropriating neighboring private land. The control of the airport was transferred to the JASDF in 1972 when Okinawa's administrative right was returned to Japan. The airport is used jointly today by the JASDF and private sectors. With the increase of tourists, domestic and foreign, the airport has become acutely perilous due to the congestion of air traffic. Thus, there occurred needs to construct another runway off the coast.

People are opposed to the reclamation of waters off the coast to build another runway. If the situation of air traffic had become acute because of the joint military and civilian use of it, then the JASDF should relocate to Kadena Air Base to relieve the congested air traffic.

 One cannot discuss the Henoko relocation issue and Naha airport issue on the same table, saying both involves land reclamation of sea beds. The former is concerned with the realignment of a foreign army, that occupies Okinawa as if it were their own territory while the latter is totally a domestic issue.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru,

Once again, obfuscating the issue, from an environmental standpoint, which nearly ALL the people protesting here are about, it's one and the same, the environment is being destroyed.

No, there's no obfuscation about the issue on my part. The point at issue is whether a foreign military can demand a replacement be built for a dilapidated military facility by forcing the host country to reclaim the sea bed. This whole process betrays Washington's hidden intention to continue using Okinawa as its permanent military colony. No forgiving if that's true.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wtfjapan- So what you are saying is that it is perfectly acceptable for you to seize whatever land you want from the Okinawans, even if its their personnel private property or something they consider sacred.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

CyburneticTiger,

Everyone has given you answers on the operational and logisitical impacts that hinder US response capabilities. You just choose to ignore them.

 Has everyone really given answers to the questions I posed? Have you? Sorry, but I have to make trouble for you to answer pertinently to why Futenma's function must be maintained in Okinawa, so that you can say Henoko is the only solution fro the Futenma issue.

Answer:

Does the removal of the Marine base outside Okinawa fundamentally affect the overall deterrence of the U.S. military in Japan? Is Okinawa the only place where the Marines can train their combat skills in jungle and amphibious warfare with Ospreys mobilized? What's the reason why the Osprey's pilot must train for mid-air refueling in Okinawa?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

CyburneticTiger,

Yokota is basically in the suburbs and is in much more open space and nearly all operations of Atsugi are being relocated to Iwakuni.. Ginowan is far more densely populated than both mentioned locations.

Have you ever seen aerial photos of Yokota Air Base and Atsugi Naval Air Base? And the Futenma Air Station? They are strikingly similar in that all three sit in the middle of densely-populated residential areas, with schools and hospitals being located nearby or in the direction of runways.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The state has maintained that the construction of the relocation facility in the Henoko area is "the only solution" to address the problems of the current site in a densely populated residential zone while maintaining the deterrent capability of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

 

The central government insists that the Henoko relocation is "the only solution" to eliminate the hazards posed by the current air field that is located in a densely-populated residential area and at the same time to maintain the deterrent capability.

 

Note, however, that the Yokota Air Base and Atsugi Naval Air Base in Metropolitan Tokyo are both surrounded by densely-populated residential areas also, so that according to the central government's theory both bases must be closed and relocated somewhere else. But would they remove these bases to some other place? Why aren't Yokota and Atsugi subject to relocation while Futenma is? The government's explanation for Futenma's relocation is nothing but shenanigans.

 

Does the removal of the Marine base outside Okinawa fundamentally affect the overall deterrence of the U.S. military in Japan? Is Okinawa the only place where the Marines can train their combat skills in jungle and amphibious warfare with Ospreys mobilized? What's the reason why the Osprey's pilot must train for mid-air refueling in Okinawa?

 

Can anyone give reasonable answers to these questions? 

 

This new base is a white elephant. The construction is all nonsense -- waste of money and destruction of pristine natural environment, but, above all, it means selling the nation's sovereignty and territory to a foreign country, making Okinawa a permanent U.S. military colony.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Build The Wall!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

NEW BASE. Let's not mince words.  yes its a bew base to replace Futenma which the land will be returned to the local governement. Okinawans make it sound like more land is being stolen from them when the fact remains more land will be returned than what the new base covers. When the new base is complete it will inconvenience far less people than the Futenma base. Okinawans just have to live with tha fact that the new base will be built and no amount of disruption either legal or vocal will change this.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

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