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Okinawa governor rejects U.S. Osprey deployment

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YuriOtaniJul. 04, 2012 - 05:03AM JST

We complain all of the time to the government in Tokyo. If we declared independence,

Let me finish your sentence properly, "would get overrun within two days since Okinawa has no army". Lets also add that the first thing the "government" of Okinawa would do is attack the US bases there, and probably be calmed down and willing to return to the status quo before Japan even has time to send JSDF.

Even if US and Japan don't take the opportunity, China will, and the Daiyou islands will be theirs, along with as many other islands as they can take before Okinawa returns to Japan.

Lets not forget that tiny province is way beyond it's support limit, without trade from the mainland, economy will collapse and food shortages will ensue.

Regardless, the MV22 is a good upgrade for the marines there, they will prevent many more crashes than the half century old CH46 design that STILL has problems.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

In Japan's post-war history the contradictions between the Constitution and the Security Treaty have been a constant question, but now the question is at a stage which is more serious than it has ever been. Is Japan a U.S. colony or can Japan be called a Sovereign Country? Why is the J-government so obedient to the U.S? Can you imagine that a normal, independent country should have to bear so many bases in its land and burden for over half century?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We complain all of the time to the government in Tokyo. If we declared independence, American troops would arrest all of the "traitors". Then they would resume their "administration" until a new government can be elected. People would be so scared it would be full of "brown nose". It is not possible for Okinawa to be independent from Japan unless both Japan and America agree. Myself think it is fool hardy. Okinawa is too small for a country, too large for an insane asylum! Oh sfip330, the Americans had already agreed to the Philippines independence before the war!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I wonder if Nakaima would have a change of attitude if an Osprey crew rescued him or his loved ones.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Aaaargh! There are terrorists everywhere!

Look!

There's one right now behind that clump of grass!

Oh no!

It's an Osprey!

Or maybe it's a North Korean!

They are about to fire another polystyrene missile!

I see someone lighting the blue touch paper as we speak!

The Russians are attacking!

They are disputing the islands off Hokkaido!

Or is it the Chinese?

We're all going to be murdered in our beds!

Will someone protect us from all of this?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I believe Okinawa bagged 300 billion Yen just this year in 'developmental aid' to use at their discretion.

First of all, the U.S. Marines or the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, to be more specific, are stationed in Okinawa not to defend Japan as ballyhooed but simply to hone their assault skills in preparation for combat elsewhere. It's a cozy and easy place to train, with Tokyo providing prodigious financial aid, which Washington demands in the name of “host nation support.” I liken it to turf dues exacted by an organized crime syndicate, which offers protection from rival gangs.

Secondly, in 2003, for example, Japan's direct "host nation support" amounted to $3,228.43 million or $4,411.34 million if indirect support is added. Compare these figures with Germany's and Korea's support. Germany's direct host nation support in the same year was $28.7 million (1/112th that of Japan) and indirect support $1.535.22 million. Korea's direct host nation support in that same year was $486.31 million (about 1/7th that of Japan) and indirect support $356.5 million.

Thirdle, for ten years from 2001 through 2010, Japan shouldered an average annual sum of $2,274 million for host nation support, which incidentally is known as "sympathy budget" as if Japan were voluntarily doling out money out of compassion for those U.S. service members who are deployed in this far-away country. The amount Japan has financed to support USF Japan operations since the system started in 1978 totals an astounding $30 billion.

That the Marines are based in Okinawa not to defend Japan but mainly to strengthen U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific and beyond is widely recognized, as the following quotation from GlobalSecurity.org suggests:

“The Regiment (3rd Battalion 6th Marines) continues to support the defense of the Nation by maintaining forces in readiness in support of contingency operations and unit deployments to the Mediterranean, Pacific rim and around the globe.”

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Star-vikingJul. 03, 2012 - 05:55PM JST

“We have no choice but to reject it if they forcibly bring in something which is questioned over its safety,” Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima told Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, according to Japanese media.

He then went on to say he was qualified to speak on the safety of the Osprey, as he had extensive experience in aviation safety, and was not just a know-nothing politician.

When questioned about the risks of the US Marines continuing to use the aging Sea Knight helicopter that the Osprey was slated to replace he told the inquiring reporter to be silent, as questioning an elected official was an insult to the people of Okinawa.

I'll give it to him that he got an engineering degree from Todai, but I can't seem to find in what. Considering he worked for Okinawa Electric for a long time, and only held political positions after that, he probably was an electrical engineer. I bet the closest he got to airplanes was escaping US air raids in Osaka. I have yet to see his full history, but I haven't seen anything related to aviation safety,

Considering he quipped about the Sea Knight (CH-46), it's probably because he knows how many more crashes the CH-46 had, including an incident this year. Lets not even talk about the CH-53 then, since that's the one that REALLY DID FALL on an Okinawan university, and is also scheduled to be replaced by the MV-22.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom! You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall! You need me on that wall! We use words like "honor", "code", "loyalty". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "Thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

What does this piece of insanity have to do with Ospreys?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The saddest part is that if the US military left Japan, as Nakaima and posters on here want, they would have nothing to whine about except the lack of US military presence. Kind of reminds me of Karzai in Afghanistan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

star-viking: "...as questioning an elected official was an insult to the people of Okinawa."

Thank you for that. Sounds a lot like Ishihara -- who calls everyone who questions his methods a 'gaijin' and tells them to shut up. Pretty clear Nakaima doesn't want his vested interests questioned.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“We have no choice but to reject it if they forcibly bring in something which is questioned over its safety,” Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima told Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, according to Japanese media.

He then went on to say he was qualified to speak on the safety of the Osprey, as he had extensive experience in aviation safety, and was not just a know-nothing politician.

When questioned about the risks of the US Marines continuing to use the aging Sea Knight helicopter that the Osprey was slated to replace he told the inquiring reporter to be silent, as questioning an elected official was an insult to the people of Okinawa.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Anyway the first ship carrying 12 Ospreys has already left California, heading for Iwakuni, according to today's J TV news.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So they are still going to come he can reject all he wants too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani

So what "good" have the Marines done for Okinawa?

The Marines aren't the boyscouts Yuri. They're not there to do anything for Okinawa. Their presence benefits Japan as a whole. Once you can comprehend the fact that they are stationed on Okinawa out of (national) necessity and not as a public relations effort you can perhaps start to contribute meaningfully to these discussions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

USNinJapan, you are right about Operation Tomodachi but most of the relief force can from Navy Ships. Think the Marines sent six frogs from Okinawa. Second not sure how well the Osprey would work in rescue operations. The crashes have happened during hover. So what "good" have the Marines done for Okinawa? Rent money and MLC salaries are paid for by the Japanese government.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

YuriOtani

As usual you have no clue as to our military strategy and have a one-track mind when it comes to the role of the Marines deployed to Okinawa. They are not there simply to fight off bad guys crawling up Onna Beach, although they can do that too. They are there as part of a region-wide first response strategy (both combat and HADR) that focuses not just on Japan but most of the surrounding Asian nations and the littoral area and open sea that surround them. Their response capability promotes stability in the region which directly benefits Japan both strategically and economically and minimizes the likelihood of ever actually having to execute the Defense of Japan part of USFJ's mission. It behooves you to adopt a 1000 ft. perspective when talking about the US military's presence in Japan instead of being fixated on one small aspect of it (Futenma) as you usually do.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtani

the American Marines with their Osprey do not protect Japan from North Korea or China.

Yes they do.

Do not protect Okinawa from Invasion.

Yes they can.

They do not protect the sea lanes.

Yes they do.

Most of the time the base is used a a forward base for America's wars.

Really? The last time the Marines on Okinawa deployed off island operationally for combat was to Iraq in '04-'05 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since then, fortunately, everything they have done has been for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.

'06 - HADR response to mudslides in the Phillipines.

'08 - Operation Caring Response: HADR response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar

'09 - HADR response to Typhoons Ketsana and Parma in Phillipines and earthquake in Indonesia

'10 - HADR response to Super Typhoon Megi in Phillipines

'11 - Opertion Tomodachi: HADR response to Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

If the V22 Osprey had been deployed earlier to HMM 265, which transports the 31st MEU, it would have been flying all of the CH-46 missions in the deployments/operations listed above. They would have been the aircraft of choice ferrying water, food, doctors, medicine, blankets, etc. to the afflicted areas in Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

smithinjapan - I do like to kind of imagine you as some 1920's gangster, with the amount of times you're accused of being a "mobster". Tommy gun hidden under a suit etc ;)

As for your comment, "It's certainly not the few people whining in Okinawa. Just tell a few of them they can make a pretty penny off it and they'll move to an area around the bases if they're not already there" - I think you'll find the nail was hit firmly on the thread there and that pretty much sums everything up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawaJul. 03, 2012 - 07:13AM JST

Does it make any sense? That's a virtual, fanciful kind of "defense" you are talking about.

Then stop defending the Daiyou islands!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@YuriOtani That's only your interpretation of what "Protection" is. You clearly don't understand "Military Strategy". Time for to go back and read Sun Tsu Bing Fa = The Art of War again.

Read this!

Jessup: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom! You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall! You need me on that wall! We use words like "honor", "code", "loyalty". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "Thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

USNinJapan2 the American Marines with their Osprey do not protect Japan from North Korea or China. Do not protect Okinawa from Invasion. They do not protect the sea lanes. Most of the time the base is used a a forward base for America's wars. Bases that are paid for by the Japanese taxpayer and have no value to the defense of Japan. A hint the Marines training would be even cheaper in America. I can see Kadena AFB and almost white beach and Tori Station. However there are not enough Marines on Okinawa to prevent invasion from China. Kadena AFB is plenty of base for Okinawa. Without the Marines, there would be no Osprey. To the mods I do not appreciate your removal of my posts.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

sfjp330

In theory it would indeed be fairer for the bases to be distributed evenly throughout the country. However this can only be done at a strategic cost as there is no place in Japan more strategically optimal for the US military's two primary missions: 1) Stability in the East Asia/Pacific AOR and protection of open commercial sea lanes, and 2) Defense of Japan. Needless to say, #1 is a prerequisite for #2. Scattering US military forces across the country so that the prefectures can more equitably share the 'burden' will degrade our military capability and effectiveness and will also increase the cost of operations/training.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa Jul. 03, 2012 - 07:13AM JSTI then asked: What kind of role can the marines play in a high tech conflict in East Asia if there ever occurred one here? And your answer is "for defense in case that happens." Does it make any sense? That's a virtual, fanciful kind of "defense" you are talking about. In other words, such defense has no room to exist in the real world and therefore there is no need for the Marines to be stationed in Okinawa.

Many are asking the same questions. For many decades after WWII, the Marines have been a centerpiece of U.S. strategy in the Pacific. From Okinawa, Marines are only a few days sailing time from Taiwan, the Korean peninsula or other potential trouble spots. U.S. Marine task force just over the horizon was considered a powerful deterrent in the East Asia region. However, time has changed with soaring costs, local opposition and the changing military environment, as well as budget cuts and force structure changes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Many might think of the base issue in Okinawa as an all-or-nothing equation, you either have the bases and enjoy their benefits, or you close them up and every soldier leaves. The majority of people in Okinawa do not want U.S. bases on their island. The majority of Japanese people, however, want U.S. bases somewhere in Japan, preferably just not near where they live. The J-government wants to keep good relations with the U.S. and do its best to honor the security alliance the two countries have, and this is one of the reasons why the Okinawa base issue has become so thorny and delicate. Okinawa becomes the warehouse for quite a few things that the J-government and people don’t want to admit to or deal with.

If the people of Japan do want this security alliance and do want U.S. bases somewhere in Japan, shouldn’t they be all over the country instead of all in one place? Shouldn’t more communities experience part of this burden instead of one community taking on close to all of it? It is a clear example of the Japanese wanting their cake and eating it too. Every excuse that you could make for why bases should stay in Okinawa, and not be moved to mainland Japan, can be easily reversed. All the money that Okinawa gets? Why not offer it to any other prefecture that wants to take them instead. The bases are good for Japan and fine where they are? If this were true, why would other prefectures not want to share in that hosting? If the bases are so excellent, why does only Okinawa get the honor of hosting so many?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

smithinjapan (Jul. 02, 2012 - 04:08PM JST),

My "if" is a big "if" -- meaning that there is almost no possibility that such a conflict will ever occur. I then asked: What kind of role can the marines play in a high tech conflict in East Asia if there ever occurred one here? And your answer is "for defense in case that happens."

Does it make any sense? That's a virtual, fanciful kind of "defense" you are talking about. In other words, such defense has no room to exist in the real world and therefore there is no need for the Marines to be stationed in Okinawa.

How do you respond?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You too Clemens.

Aren't you forgetting the significant amount of thinly disguised consolation money that Tokyo shells out to Okinawa every year? I believe Okinawa bagged 300 billion Yen just this year in 'developmental aid' to use at their discretion. That's billion with a B. Do you really think that the real estate the bases occupy (at higher-than market rent) can generate this much cash? With affordable hotels? Not in a million years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Governor, show your displeasure by turning off utilities to the bases.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

johninnaha: "The non-US military government people of Okinawa are the VAST majority."

No, the people who are anti-US base are a visible minority of whiners, led by Nakaima -- the biggest whiner of the group, who still accepts Tokyo handouts while playing the victim card for points by the people he dupes. The bases are there to stay, so just suck it up. They would be moving away from the city that built itself around the base to profit from it except that the Japanese government keeps going back on its word on the relocation plan. So, they'll stay put, and add what aircraft they like under central government orders, which Nakaima has no choice but to obey.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Shame on you and your country!

No no. Shame on the American government and military. They are not the country. This American is against the Osprey deployment simply because so many Okinawans are against it and its them that has to worry about it. It is stupid to have the people you say you are protecting more afraid of your aircraft than say, North Korea. Just outrageously dumb.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

johninnaha

Aren't you forgetting the significant amount of thinly disguised consolation money that Tokyo shells out to Okinawa every year? I believe Okinawa bagged 300 billion Yen just this year in 'developmental aid' to use at their discretion. That's billion with a B. Do you really think that the real estate the bases occupy (at higher-than market rent) can generate this much cash? Not in a million years john.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I hope you aren't one of the 5% who have no job and their families are going on welfare because they all lost their jobs.

OK. Let's do the math.

If 5% is correct, then 95% of Okinawans would be unaffected by a total US withdrawal.

95% is a sizable majority.

And better, peaceful use could be put to the land the US military now occupy.

The Osprey is the tip of the iceberg. The small part that shows above the surface.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It is strange the Governors of the mainland prefectures have to approve atomic restart but the Governor of Okinawa has no say on the use of Okinawa soil.

Huh? For one that claims to be from Okinawa you should know better. If this was true MCAS Futenma would have been moved to Henoko years ago. It's held up BECAUSE the governor has repeatedly stated he will not sign off on the landfill project.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Okinawan prefectural govt, and for that matter not even the Japaese Defense Minstry has any say in the US deployment of specific transport aircraft on US bases.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That only accounts for about 5% of Okinawa's revenue.

So yes! On your way. Bye bye.

I hope you aren't one of the 5% who have no job and their families are going on welfare because they all lost their jobs.

It's easy to point fingers when the finger doesn't come back at yourself.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

mikemcfly (87Jul. 02, 2012 - 03:00PM JST),

What you mentioned may have been true in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korean Peninsular and in Okinawa during WWII. "The Air Force/Navy will take out sophisticated targets from the air, paving the way for Army and Marines" to invade the enemy land and engage in ground warfare. But remember those "enemies" were like sitting ducks for the U.S. Air Force and Navy to attack with their overwhelming fire power and resources.

Do you think China's 2 million-strong People's Liberation Army will wait for the U.S. Air Force and Navy to bombard them into annihilation and allow a few thousand Okinawa-stationed marines to invade their land and engage in search operations?

Of course, you may have hundreds of thousands of ground troops stationed in Okinawa if such a conflict should occur. But that means it takes months or even a year to gather them as the Iraq War demonstrated. That also means the Marines' training bases are not necessarily planted in Okinawa. They could easily be planted in U.S. mainland where they can train their combat skills freely without inflicting physical damages upon people and the natural environment. There were no Marine training bases near Iraq when they invaded the country.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The number of Okinawans employed by the US bases is tiny and their salaries, correct me if I'm wrong, are paid for by the Japanese government. The only direct income the bases provide is from the shops around the bases

It's not tiny by any means, and the money spent off base is more money that you will see in your lifetime. It isnt just the shops around the bases by any stretch of the imagination, there is literally hundreds of millions if not billions spent in housing, utilities, and other areas that make the bases an important part of their communities.

Even the Mayor of Okinawa City which houses part of Kadena Air Base, complains out of one side of her mouth about the bases, yet sticks her hand out to the national government asking for more contracts for base work.

Futenma needs to be closed yes, but until the national government can make up it's mind what to do, the deployment of the Osprey is going to happen.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's only the non-U.S. military government employees who are anti-military base.

Actually this is not true. There are two unions on the bases for the Japanese workers, Zenchuro and Okichuro.

Okichuro has a smaller membership but was started because they take a pragmatic view of the bases and work to support their Japanese members and the bases themselves.

Zenchuro however wants the bases gone. However, they want ALL of their members to get GIANT golden parachutes if and when any base gets closed. Idiots as I see it, biting the hand that feeds them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nakaima is the leopard that changed his spots. If anyone has ever seen him address the prefectural assembly live, or on TV, it's embarrassing to see. He is an old man that needs to be put out to pasture right quick.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The majority of the people of Okinawa are not anti-military base. It's only the non-U.S. military government employees who are anti-military base.

Maybe you need to get out more, Tom.

The non-US military government people of Okinawa are the VAST majority.

The number of Okinawans employed by the US bases is tiny and their salaries, correct me if I'm wrong, are paid for by the Japanese government. The only direct income the bases provide is from the shops around the bases.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The majority of the people of Okinawa are not anti-military base. It's only the non-U.S. military government employees who are anti-military base. The have no need to learn English nor do they have a need for the bases. Most of the other people of Okinawa are okay. That said, there aren't as many Okinawans against the bases as you may think, which explains why they recruit young naive high school girls during these protests. Honestly, what does a naive high school know about this? Their brains are not fully developed yet and yet they are being recruited during these protests. What a cheap shot!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's pretty insensitive of the US Department of Defence people to just completely ignore the wishes of their hosts in Okinawa.

On Friday, Washington had formally informed Tokyo it would go ahead with the planned deployment of Osprey at the marine corps airbase of Futenma near Naha in October.

Look at that... it informed the J-Gov it was doing it... not requesting permission, but just going ahead. Arrogance personified.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

voiceofokinawa: "How dare you say there are no strings attached to the return of Futenma site to Okinawa?"

My apologies, what I meant to say was there are "NOT no strings attached", in other words the are ALWAYS strings attached. For some reason my iPhone erased the second 'not'.

"What kind of role can the marines, whose reason d'etre is just invade enemy land and fight a ground warfare there, play in a high tech conflict in East Asia if there ever occurred one here? Please answer in concrete terms."

You answered your own question; you said 'If' a conflict ever occurred here, which means they are here for defense in case that happens. Glad you can admit it, finally.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Now the problem is Ospreys.

Before that there was the helicopter crash.

And the three US servicemen who gang raped a 12 year old Okinawan girl.

And a whole lot of other stuff.

When will this end?

When the US military leaves.

Bye!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

As I always say the National government and American government have no respect to the people of Okinawa

@ yuriOtani

Strange............since all parties US, Japan, and Okinawa agree that the Futenma base is dangerous and having been trying to move it for 2 decades now........ If the Governor of Okinawa cared about the people he would have backed any option to move this base out of this area...... Its simple MOVE this base out of this area (Governor of Okinawa is stopping it) ASAP to anywhere that is safer (probably still on Okinawa maybe to other bases) and then you can work on getting the number of bases reduced while the people around futenma don't have to worry about aircraft crashing into their houses...... the Kadena plan would have been a good short term fix, but wait the OPG opposes this plan "as it could enhance the base." After 20 years of trying to move the base and now scared about the MV-22 going to the Futenma and Okinawans wonder why its seems like no one is sympathetic......

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What kind of role can the marines, whose reason d'etre is just invade enemy land and fight a ground warfare there, play in a high tech conflict in East Asia if there ever occurred one here?

They play exacly the role you make them out to. The Air Force/Navy will take out sophisticated targets from the air, paving the way for Army and Marines. These two entities will then proceed to take out the sophiscicated targets that are probably underground as well as the ground forces that will inevitabley make their way to any other country that an enemy wants. That's how warfare works in this technological era. The same as it has been since the conception of the flying machine. The Air Force will then continue to maintain air superiority until the end. Just has it ALWAYS has. You cannot simply bomb an enemy and claim the conflict is over. You need troops on the ground. And this MV-22 will take the Marines there. That's their purpose, troop transport. That's how all this ties together.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@smithinjapan

you are a fxxx american, aren't you? Shame on you and your country!

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

smithinjapan (Jul. 02, 2012 - 12:40PM JST),

How dare you say there are no strings attached to the return of Futenma site to Okinawa? For years your government has persisted in saying that Futenma won't be returned unless its replacement is built on reclaimed land off the coast of Henoko, Nago, complete with military port facilities facing the deep Oura Bay. The relocation cost shouldered by Japanese taxpayers is expected to amount to 8.6 billion US dollars, including a $3.1 billion cash commitment from Japan for the move of marines to Guam as well as for developing joint training ranges on Guam and on Tinian and Pagan Islands.

Did you know that the Marines had drawn similar blueprints way back in the late 1960's and had submitted them to U.S. Congress for approval? But that U.S. Congress had voted down the requests because of mounting expenditures for the Vietnam War? I say the current U.S. government's demand for Japan to build a replacement for Futenma at Henoko and share 3.1 billion for developing ranges on those islands is nothing but an extortion practiced by gangsters.

When you argue something, don't base your argument on your sheer fancy and imagination. Don't make a "fearful" straw man and insist Futenma's function is necessary to scare off that straw man. What kind of role can the marines, whose reason d'etre is just invade enemy land and fight a ground warfare there, play in a high tech conflict in East Asia if there ever occurred one here? Please answer in concrete terms.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

smithinjapan, the government of Okinawa does not have to blindly follow the orders of Tokyo and Washington. Everything to stop the base is being done in a legal fashion. The new airfield is being blocked by law.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

YuriOtani: "The Governor of Okinawa represents the people of Okinawa and not the Japanese National government or American government."

Shame the governor of Okinawa is part of the Central Government, then, I guess. As such, he must abide by its laws.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The Governor of Okinawa represents the people of Okinawa and not the Japanese National government or American government. The people of Okinawa want MCAS Futenma gone. It is strange the Governors of the mainland prefectures have to approve atomic restart but the Governor of Okinawa has no say on the use of Okinawa soil. As I always say the National government and American government have no respect to the people of Okinawa.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

voiceofokinawaJul. 02, 2012 - 12:26PM JST

Can't you understand the problem resolves right then and there only if you decide to leave the area without any string attached?

Can't you understand that the postdam declaration means Okinawa could easily be speaking english and using US passports if it wasn't for the kindness if the government you so hate?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This thing is never ending. That is one of the reasons I would like to see the US just take the base and ALL troops away. Who is going to replace that something billion dollars of revenue that the base brings to Okinawa? Who is going to replace all the businesses and jobs that will disappear?

That only accounts for about 5% of Okinawa's revenue.

So yes! On your way. Bye bye.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

This thing is never ending. That is one of the reasons I would like to see the US just take the base and ALL troops away. Who is going to replace that something billion dollars of revenue that the base brings to Okinawa? Who is going to replace all the businesses and jobs that will disappear?

But then the blame for the money loss and job loss will be put on the JP gov.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“We have no choice but to reject it if they forcibly bring in something which is questioned over its safety,”

Good call.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

voiceofokinawa: One more thing, my friend, you're not the 'voice of Okinawa' any more than Ishihara in Tokyo is the voice of Japan. Right-wingers who designate themselves as spokespeople for everyone else is the true problem in Okinawa, and Nakaima is one of those -- but the saddest part is that he probably doesn't even believe in what he's saying. He just wants the cash from the central government that he gets as an elected official, so he chirps to right-wingers what they want to hear.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

voiceofokinawa: "Again, you are arguing the problem like a mobster."

Not at all, I am merely presenting the facts. But to a person whose handle is what yours is, I know you will refuse to listen.

"Can't you understand the problem resolves right then and there only if you decide to leave the area without any string attached?"

Can't YOU understand that there are not any strings attached? The problem is with the governor of Okinawa, and the few whiners who have benefitted from the military presence but refuse to acknowledge it. If the US military left they would go elsewhere, giving a massive boon to another nation, which Okinawans would then whine about, and leave the islands up to the threat of the Chinese and other nations who would simply love to see Japan suffer for its past. You should be BEGGING for them to not only stay, but deploy their latest arsenal for your continued protection.

The only problem that would be resolved by the US suddenly leaving would be the whiners couldn't keep blaming them for all their woes.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

smithinjapan (Jul. 02, 2012 - 10:22AM JST),

Again, you are arguing the problem like a mobster. You argue that "if you want a peaceful environment, you must do as we tell you. Build a replacement for the aged hideout office building in a less populated suburban area. I say your local chief doesn't care about you people a farthing because our very presence in the area is very dangerous. You know, we practice live-ammunition maneuvers in case of attacks by other rival syndicates."

Can't you understand the problem resolves right then and there only if you decide to leave the area without any string attached?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Nobody complains about the noise here... And it's really noisy..... It'll scare the shit out of you on an early morning slumber... really..... Same stuff JF15 sounds exactly like its Korean, Canadian or US counterpart.... It's not about the noise, is it?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Osprey will be deployed regardless of public opinion. We need them for the security of Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hey! Any of you folks live around a Japanese SDF base? It's just as noisy.... Plus, we have Kawasaki Heavy Industries doing tests of combat helicopters all the time.... Anybody wanna guess where I live?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

paulinusaJul. 02, 2012 - 10:10AM JST

It doesn't matter whether the Osprey is safe, he would have rejected it anyway.

And his rejection would be thrown in the suggestion box and burned anyway. He has no authority to reject deployment, simply to strongly oppose it. Once again, AFP forgets to check the meaning of the words they right.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Kristianna ThomasJul. 02, 2012 - 11:09AM JST

Iraq War the military came out with Du weapons and Iraq Vets started suffering from the effects of handling Depleted Uranium poising.

First off, has nothing to do with the osprey as it's gun emplacements use standard rounds, if it even has them which the Okinawa ones likely don't.

Second off, DU weapons have been used extensively since the 1970s. In fact, the A10 Thunderbolt uses them almost exclusively since it's production in 1977. While DU can cause poisoning, it is due to the fact it's a heavy metal, much like lead. In fact, lead also causes all of the same issues and nobody ever says to stop using lead bullets.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

the United States on Friday told Japan the aircraft will be delivered to the Futenma base but will be grounded until their safety is confirmed by reports into two recent accidents. (Japan Times)

Sounds to me like the US isn't just pushing its way............... maybe Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima didn't get the memo or A US that would ground the V-22 in Okinawa until safety is confirmed wouldn't help his party in elections as much as making statements like these would....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

During the Vietnam war there were many who suffered from the effect of contact with chemical Agent Orange and the syndrome it produced. How many Vietnam Vets have died due to their handling of Agent Orange. It is strange that no one seems to remember those suffered and died from this stuff. During the Iraq War the military came out with Du weapons and Iraq Vets started suffering from the effects of handling Depleted Uranium poising.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Maybe japan can bring back the economy and save hundreds of peoples livelyhoods and make a huge military. With a 42billion dollar military buget and 3 billion going to washington to keep get ride of 9k troops from okinawa. I say pay your people and make a peace keeping army. A good country can not be dictated to by others.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

We in the US want to see ourselves as the newest extension of the Roman and British Empires, where our armies can go anywhere and do anything we damn well please; and if you don't like it you should stop whining. i don't think most American would like it if there were Japanese bases in New York city (Brooklyn) next to the Navy Yards. How about a Japanese military test facility in San Diego? We whine about loss of jobs that have been going oversees, thanks to corporate greed and the creation of the "free enterprise" zones that support low wages and higher profits, but we throw our weight around when it comes to our military. We are the only country that has military installations all over the globe, we don't see our selves as the global police, for the purpose of our military is to protect our corporate interests (Big oil, Agribusiness, Wall Street, Steel, Auto, Textile, Electronics) . So when the military brass wants to test out their new birds in Japan, it is done for the military industrial complex and the tons of corporate profits this lame duck will milk out of tax payers pockets to test fly a plane it would not test in its own country.

example: When the pesticide DDT was band in the states, the manufactures just sent it overseas to the non-industrial countries for use. Note on the fact that Agent Orange was a less harmful substitute for DDT.

Robo-cop. "Who cares whether it works or not. There is money to be made of this piece of crap."

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

The base was there Futenma, long before the area build up with homes. In recent years because of complaints many area homes were given new sound proof windows. I live about 150 yards from on of the take off strips. Ginowan. You become use to the sounds or you find another place to live. By the way there are many Japanese who march in the protests and chants slogans against the Americans military who also work on the bases or have companies doing business with the bases. In the okinawa prefecture of Japan the people look for something to complain about and while doing so also put money from the bases into their pocket. Work, collecting high rents, bar business, Taxi cabs and large contract companies with Military contracts. Just a few incomes that come from the bases. Why is it that in Yokota there is a peacefulness around the area? Same type of base in Okinawa with the same sounds coming from it. Maybe even louder.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I think that the United States should be very sensitive to the Okinawa's problems and inconveniences. True, the United States have all the right in the world to be there - We don't want a repeat of Pearl Harbor - but the Japanese people are our friends and allies now. So, lets have patience and sensitivity, please. I am sure that if we show the Okinawa's that we are listening to their problems and concerns, they will respond positively.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Okinawa governor rejects U.S. _____ deployment

Same sh#t different day. You can fill in the blank with anything and use it as a headline.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Nakamia should be a wine maker, so much comes from his mouth, it souds louder than the wine from the planes.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

johninnaha: "And I wonder who tells the Japanese government what to do?"

It's certainly not the few people whining in Okinawa. Just tell a few of them they can make a pretty penny off it and they'll move to an area around the bases if they're not already there.

Anyway, Nakaima has proven time and again that he doesn't care about the people, just about the points. There is no way he would have approved of the Osprey deployment even if they were proven safer than the aircraft presently deployed -- the guy just wants to make the headlines by 'standing up' to the central government and the US that helps keep him and you safe.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It doesn't matter whether the Osprey is safe, he would have rejected it anyway.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Is it naiive to assume the US would not use an aircraft they themselves would not be fully comfortable when the same risks should also apply to their own men using it? Does anyone know whether similar safety concerns have bee raised within the US in the past over the aircraft?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@johninnaha

I did not say he is a dictator. I said he looks like it if......

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Most Okinawan people are clearly opposing the Osprey deployment as their residences are too close to the base. The US should listen to them. It really doesn't matter whether Osprey are safe aircraft or not. The US president looks like some kinda dictator if they have to do it whatever.

No, Kwatt-san, the president of the U.S.A. isn't a dictator, he's a puppet, just like PM Noddy in Japan.

These days the dictators have gone into hiding.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

It's a shame he has no choice. Okinawa is part of Japan, and it's up to the Japanese government (central, not local) to decide on matters of national defense.

And I wonder who tells the Japanese government what to do?

It doesn't look like it's the people of Japan, does it?

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

It's a shame he has no choice. Okinawa is part of Japan, and it's up to the Japanese government (central, not local) to decide on matters of national defense.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Two brilliant decisions. Restarting the nuclear reactor to protect Japan's way of life and the rejection of the the flying death machines. The next decision is to have the Yanks come home as soon as possible so that Japan can start to be a TWENTIETH century nation.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Most Okinawan people are clearly opposing the Osprey deployment as their residences are too close to the base. The US should listen to them. It really doesn't matter whether Osprey are safe aircraft or not. The US president looks like some kinda dictator if they have to do it whatever.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Although local governments in Japan have no legal grounds to reject a U.S. deployment plan

Guess that no matter what they are going to do it anyways.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Politics is such a fun topic isn't it.

Yesterday, I was riding against you, today, I've found a reason to support you. Even if it's a temporary pact.

After the new Internet law and the restarting of the nuclear reactors I'd love to see Noda gone. This is a Prime Minister who is also a corporate puppet. Raising taxes as well.

I don't think this will stop the deployment of the Osprey unfortunately. However if your cause is to have any success you definitely need to remove Noda.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A huge US military presence in Okinawa, accounting for around half of the 47,000 troops Washington has in Japan, has angered islanders there.

Has angered, has inconvenienced and still continues to anger and inconvenience.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

And in related news, I have no choice but to reject gravity and financial constraints as they are not in accordance with reality as I would like it to be.

Sorry, but questions about NATIONAL security are made at the NATIONAL level.

You may now feel free to vent your rightous indignation....

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Way to go Nakaima!

Representing your prefecture's wishes.

Futenma is much too built up an area to have any kind of aircraft taking off and landing in it.

Let alone an aircraft with a poor safety record.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

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