national

Japan sets up military post on western island

38 Comments
By Nobuhiro Kubo

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
Login to comment

I just can't stop picturing in my mind F Troop. They should call it Fort Courage.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Soon, Japan will be able to defend itself.......again.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Soon, if not already, the chinese will come out with a freshly inked "ancient" map laying claim to the island. Japan should put a post on the main Senkaku island as well.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

China protests in 3...2...1...Now

The only concern I have about this post is that it might have a negative effect on Yonaguni's local economy. Then again, maybe it'll have a positive effect. We'll see. Certainly, it is the right move, given China's blatant aggression. After Russia annexed Crimea, there's little doubt that China, fuelled by its Oedipus Complex and its ego, will attempt to copy Mother Russia. Psh!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Soon, Japan will be able to defend itself.......again.

Japan already can defend itself.

-8 ( +4 / -13 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to put troops there shows Japan’s concerns about the vulnerability of its thousands of islands

Thousands of islands ..... Makes me wonder why folks were saying Where would the Evacuees go from the Fukushima No Go Zone.....

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

just giving my " 2 cents " here. I know the majority of the everyday good level headed, rational, mature, open minded, and educated Chinese citizens don't want war. So its okay for Communist China govt / communist Chinese military to increase its military manpower, military equipment/ weaponry, and up its military spending budget. While China stated its bad if Japan does it as well ! Do I sense the Chinese govt / Chinese military is being a hypocrite here. Double standards and contradictions here. Its okay for China to do it but its not good if our local Asian neighbors ( South Korea, Japan , Taiwan, Philippines, and Vietnam ) do it. ~ _ ~ . It's like if U.S. said to Great Britain hey you can't have nuclear weapons but its okay for U.S. have to have nuclear weapons.

11 ( +11 / -1 )

Becoming a target is a legitimate concern. What a wonderful democracy that the people there got no vote on the issue.

Japan's primary concern should be the safety and security of its people, not defense of some rocks and dirt. We all know this is about China and the Senkakus and this will annoy China.

I know some will cry "give an inch, take a mile" but I wonder which is more likely? War with China for just giving them the Senakaus back, or war with China for building up a military presence on and around it? Considering the tensions started the moment Japan nationalize the islands, I would believe its option 2. War with China will not be worth it for either side. And no, the Japanese people won't be voting on any of it.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

I said it before and I'll say it again. Even if the US leave Okinawa, a military presence will still be there, only it'll be Japan's own. Okinawans will be happier I'm sure, but they'll still be a military target. Expansionism doesn't stop and War is good business for many.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

History is at its best when it's erased, ignored, and repeated I guess.

If you are trained as a military person, you are trained for war. That's the superbowl or the Olympics for military folks. If you go through your whole career without war, it's a cryin' shame.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I said it before and I'll say it again. Even if the US leave Okinawa, a military presence will still be there, only it'll be Japan's own.

I'm sure the people of Okinawa would rather have their own military there than an occupying force.

1 ( +6 / -6 )

Soon, Japan will be able to defend itself.......again.

Not exactly. The long term plans of the U.S. is to move 80% of their Navy into the pacific. To "contain" the growing Chinese "threat."

Japan is just playing along with their master's plans.

In reality, there's little that the Japanese do that aren't first approved by the global elite.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Not really surprising Abe demands Obama reiterate his defense support for Japan, given this kind of antagonism.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

JoshuYaki

Your analogy is a crying sh@me since all military people are the ones that desire peace since it will be their life on the line first when war breaks out.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Do you number 2 think you are?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

History never repeats?.....soon maybe Japan will walk away from the League of Nations. And begin to free Asian Nations from their Western masters.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Unfortunately, the Chinese Communist Party are forcing the hand of China's neighbours by their words and deeds, and Japan is no different in this respect aside from the fact that China harbours a special penchant for revenge for WW2 with Japan, so is particularly sensitive to what Japan says and does.

Japan are doing what most countries would do in the same situation. It seems sensible, if not sad.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

all military people are the ones that desire peace since it will be their life on the line first when war breaks out.

High rank officers are basically not at risk. Many foot soldiers joined precisely because they love war. Many have risked their lives for even lesser passions, such as sailing around the world and jet suiting. No, don't try to tell us that military are not willing to risk their lives for the excitement of battle and a "hero's" welcome home, complete with general gratitude, respect and deference whether deserved or not, for the rest of their lives.

But you know just the act of trying to declare that all military people think alike about anything is offensive to reason.

I am sure there are plenty of Japanese military men who would love to have a war with China and welcome this installation as a potential beginning to more actual bases in the region and all a source of tension that could spark a war. I should think that these all volunteer forces are hardly filled with a majority of war haters. Its the draftees you can bet are mostly true peace lovers, not the guys who volunteered.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

JoshuYaki

If you are trained as a military person, you are trained for war. That's the superbowl or the Olympics for military folks. If you go through your whole career without war, it's a cryin' shame.

I sincerely hope that you have never been in the military or ever have been. Your ignorance would then be somewhat excusable.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ganbare Japan ! Now lets connect them from Yonaguni Island, Japan to "Okinotori atoll, Japan -(Douglas Reef) all the way to the Philippine Island of (Batanes) via X-Band radar and Surveillance Sonar Sensors.

Batanes Island, the Philippines will have ASW p3-Orion on standby 24-7 that can work hand in hand with the JMSDF. Pending donation for allied country the Philippines of 2-3 Shiretoko class patrol vessel for coast guard will boost the eyes and ears for any encroaching Submarine Pirates coming from the Island of Hainan China.

Domo arigatou

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ Yathink

There does seem to be a fair number of G.I. Joe types on these threads that seem to be chafing at the bit for some kind of conflict. 'Peace is a constant ifght' type of rationales...' that ultimately lean heavy on the fight and less on the peace.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What? No strong protest lodging yet from China?? Maybe they are too busy printing their new passports which already includes a map of all (claimed) annexed sea zones.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is its own nation. It does not need the US to approve of what it does. This is a fine and good move. I am so glad that Japan is showing such determination and rational intelligence in this matter. China is acting like a mixture of a bully and a spoiled child who wants to make the world in its own fantasy image. Sorry, reality is different and reality is that China can NOT grab whatever territory it wants in the Pacific by just doing it. It wont happen. Not now and not ever again. They had their time in the sun as an empire. those days are gone.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am sure there are plenty of Japanese military men who would love to have a war with China and welcome this installation as a potential beginning to more actual bases in the region and all a source of tension that could spark a war.

The only ones wanting war are the ones that posts agreements in their armchairs.

JSDF personnel are going to fight only to defend Japanese territory and protect human lives not because they want to or crave to but because it is their duty to do so. I believe it's called patriotism.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The people who actually live on this Island are spit down the middle, half of them want this simply for economic issues, while the other half feel it's potentially a dangerous move. It sounds like no one on this island wants this because they're feeling threatened by China's actions. Does anyone believe this move will stop the Chinese Coast Guard from entering disputed water or jets from restricted airspace? So far no one has been attacked but it appears that both sides are taking actions that will increase the chances of deadly military reactions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

StrangerLand, Mainlad Japanese ARE an Occupying force.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

. Sorry, reality is different and reality is that China can NOT grab whatever territory it wants in the Pacific by just doing it. It wont happen. Not now and not ever again. They had their time in the sun as an empire. those days are gone

That second statement could be used to accurately describe Japan also.

The question is if Japan grabbed this land once before is it really so wrong for China to grab it back? I would say yes, if it's likely to result in WW3. Why not work together to jointly develop/admin the disputed zones?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The question is if Japan grabbed this land once before is it really so wrong for China to grab it back?

David, if you really think that Yonaguni can be taken "back" by China (i.e., that this island was once Chinese), then the CCP propaganda has reached a new level. Like the Senkaku islands, Yonaguni has never been inhabited by Chinese. Its people were independent Okinawans for centuries until the Satsuma conquest of 1609-1611. Until 1903, the Japanese overlords took "head taxes" from the islanders in a situation that differed little from slavery. (There's a sign in the northern Yonaguni village of Sonai which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the abolition of this tax.)

The PRC has been pulling this nonsense with the never-inhabited Senkaku islands for a while, but never with Yonaguni. This is a new low for them.

That said, a Japanese "Self-Defense" base on this island is as much or more of an oppressor, given Japan's pre-WWII occupying behavior, than a US base would be. I guarantee you that Yonagunians over about 70 years old don't see a mainland-Japan army as a protector of their freedom.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the radar base and the 100 troops who will man it

... military post? Technically, sure, but face it, this isn't military expansionism or anything like it. This is an early warning system that extends Japan's ability to see and react to incoming Chinese jets/missiles/boats. It isn't a missile station or anything like it. And 100 "troops"? Again, you've got to be kidding me. At least half of those "troops" will be technicians, and the remainder will probably coast guards.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

'the act of trying to declare that all military people think alike about anything is offensive to reason'.

Very true...Imagine if all military people thought like the guys at Abu Ghraib? And I'm sure that there are some people in the miltiary for noble reasons and others for disturbing reasons. Look at the recent news about the Japanese police force. Not very good, which not to say all of them are bad, but ultimately why is it realistic to expect the armed forces to be significantly different. Human nature is multi-faceted and there are no certainties or absolutes regardless of training. Motivations will always be different.

There is a fine line between patriotism and nationalism. I'm sure the Chinese call their nationalism patriotism too and therein lies the problem.

An inability to go beyond the self-aggrandizment of ones own national identity is at the source of most conflict in the world. To see the world in stark contrasts consisting of 'They're wrong-we're right' shows a profound lack of evolution. How can one country be right about everything consistently? How can one be wrong consistently? To make such claims is deluded. There is no such thing as perfection in a person, so why should there be in the countless millions that constitute a nation?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

David, if you really think that Yonaguni can be taken "back" by China (i.e., that this island was once Chinese), then the CCP propaganda has reached a new level. Like the Senkaku islands

My statement was in reference to this outpost helping Japan hang on to disputed territory they'd conquered more recently, not speifically that the land this base is on is fair game (apologies if this wasn't clear).

Although if one accepts the logic behind Japan's claims (and to some extent China); 'might is right', either now or at some stage in the past.

The only redeeming is that these guys are limiting themselves to squabbling over historical boundaries. Of course if WW3 were declared this would mean nought.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have no idea why a fox, a shrewd one maybe, keeps poking at a gauche and ruthless lion without realizing there could be a huge risk that a mad lion may pounce at it. When that happens, Size does matter and worse, the expected rescues may be not there for the overconfident fox.

Speaking of overconfidence, Japan was stunned by ICJ's ruling.(the whole country was expecting a favorable result) Somehow you would think Japan might have learned a lesson, but the fresh evidences point the other direction.

The world is swooshing to bypass Japan, yet it sill lives in an arrogant and presumptuous past.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@EthanWilber: China isn't a lion, it's a big red dog that needs putting down. You know the saying about the quick brown fox and the lazy dog right? If China wants to try pouncing, Japan will jump over and bite China's flank. But I doubt they'd be that stupid. Still, they'll give this new military post a workout as they fly and sail as close to it as they dare.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm sure the people of Okinawa would rather have their own military there than an occupying force.

The anti-military folks here in Okinawa are against their "own" as well. They are naive in their beliefs that Okinawa can be military-free.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

David ElsonApr. 21, 2014 - 06:28AM JST

I suppose you are talking about Senkakus rather than Yonaguni.

The Senkakus were occupied by the US in 1945 during WW2. The US returned them to Japan in 1972 with the rest of Okinawa Islands. Since then, Japan has kept possession of them.

Before the WW2, about 100 Japanese lived on the Senkakus.

The Senkakus first become Japanese territory in 1895. The question is if they were ever Chinese territory before 1895. The international laws say that a country that first established effective control of an area gets the territorial rights of the area. No Chinese lived on the Senkakus. The name, Tiaoyu is recorded in old Chinese navigation books, along with a lot of cities in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan. If any city recorded in old Chinese navigation books were deemed Chinese territory, most cities on or in the West Pacific would belong to China. The record may prove Chinese knew the Senkakus, directly or indirectly from Japanese sailors, but that does not prove China established effective control of the Senkakus.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fox Cloud Lelean, Your comments as well as your attitude would demonstrate exactly. what I talked about - overconfidence,

I am assuming you are aware that without American military might behind Japan, the security situation would be complete different story for Japan. In my humble opinion, underestimating Japan’s opponent would be put Japan (which we both care about it) in great danger. That is not even funny.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

overconfidence

That is not an issue I have. I have been carrying out research into the armed forces of China and the Self Defence Forces of Japan. In terms of technology, assets, personnel and training, Japan has the edge on all counts. China's sole advantages are the size of its army (which history has shown repeatedly means nothing in actuality), and its nuclear weaponry. The only underestimation here is your underestimation of Japan's defensive capabilities. People keep trying to say that Japan would be screwed without America, but that just isn't true. Japan is capable of holding its own against China. It may not secure victory, but it won't be defeated. Even in a war of attrition, Japan can and will endure. I don't make comments lightly. I know that Japan is more than capable of protecting its territory from China, with or without US assistance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

David, CH3CHO has already made the point I wanted to clarify after reading your post:

this outpost helping Japan hang on to disputed territory they'd conquered more recently

There isn't any disputed territory that Japan has conquered more recently. None. All of conquered mainland China went back to China after WWII. Conquered Taiwan became an independent nation after WWII. China is conflating WWII and pre-WWII invasions of genuine Chinese territory with much older invasions that have nothing at all to do with China.

Nobody ever conquered the Senkaku Islands because nobody ever lived there except for the employees of the fishing company who erected buildings there in the early 20th century.

The only conquering in Okinawa was in the 17th century when the daimyo from Kyushu semi-enslaved the Okinawans, particularly the people on the outlying islands, and that's between them and mainland Japan.

Somehow China has warped this into thinking that some of the westernmost islands are "an integral part of China" because the uninhabited ones were known about by China and the inhabited ones would trade freely with China.

The PRC's strategy seems to be to make absolutely ridiculous self-aggrandizing claims and then settle for phrases like "in dispute" when in fact there's no historical dispute at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites