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Okinawans use kites to protest against Osprey aircraft

264 Comments
By Steven Simonitch

It’s easy to understand why residents of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa would be upset with the deployment of 12 new Osprey hybrid aircraft to the Futenma U.S. military base.

While the U.S. assures the Japanese government that the aircraft are safe, an accident in Morocco that killed two U.S. Marines in April and then another in Florida in June make them a hard sell for Okinawans, especially since the Futenma base is surrounded by crowded residential areas.

So it wasn’t surprising when hundreds of protesters raised banners and chanted outside Futenma this week to show their concern over the safety of the aircraft, the first six of which arrived at the base last Monday.

It was surprising, however, when, the next day, two groups of Okinawans gathered at a park near Futenma to protest the arrival of three new Osprey by flying kites near the aircraft as they attempted to land.

The protesters were members of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center, led by director Hiroji Yamashiro. Yamashiro came up with the idea to fly balloons or kites as a form of protest as a way to inspire Okinawans to action. “If the people of Okinawa take this problem seriously, we can stop the Osprey,” he said in an interview with Okinawa Times.

Yamashiro raised nearly 70,000 yen from 130 people to purchase the kites after sharing his idea with members at a local protest meeting.

Around 20 people, including police and local government officials, visited the park to watch Yamashiro and other volunteers fly kites along the fence located at the southern part of the base.

A U.S. military member leading a military dog warned the demonstrators from behind the fence to stop flying the kites and attempted to cut the kite string with a tree branch, but was unsuccessful.

Volunteers responded to the warnings by asking, “Tell us what is illegal about flying a kite,” and, “Have you ever seen Okinawan people charged with such anger?”

Another protester said, “Our anger over the past 67 years since the war ended is on the verge of exploding. This won’t end until the people of Okinawa are treated with honor.”

Photos of one of the kites flying close to an Osprey has drawn a wave criticism of Internet users, most of whom fear their actions will only exacerbate the situation. One points out, “Don’t complain about the safety of Osprey if you’re going to do something as dangerous this.” “It’s only a matter of time before they start launching fireworks as well,” quips another.

Source: Okinawa Times, U.S. Forces Japan

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264 Comments
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So they are so scare of one of these thing falling on them that they attempt to down an aircraft? Next we know they are blasting off bottle rockets, then model rockets, and finally anti-aircraft missiles.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Wow, human stupidity...the truest common denominator.

Incidentally, it is the turbine engines that have something to fear from kites. Rotor craft have little to no problems.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I don't like all those Main Land Japanese coming here and driving all dangerous like on our Okinawa roads.

Can I go to the Naha Airport and try and knockdown a JAL airliner with a kite? Pretty sure any one causing interference with an aircraft in flight is against the law (ask knuckleheads who use lasers) and should be carted away quickly.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

So they are endangering the lives of the pilots by flying these kites? Interesting. So much for peaceful - and yes, if they're so scared of these things falling out of the sky, perhaps they shouldn't do things like might make them fall out of the sky?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

“Have you ever seen Okinawan people charged with such anger?”

No, but now I've seen a few who've completely lost their friggin minds! What are these idiots thinking? Their actions are endangering LIVES of both the aircrews in the Osprey and the people who live in the area! Endangering an aircraft is a felony offense in the United States and most other civilized nations; they openly admitted their goal was to interfere with the flight. In Japan it seems to be cheap entertainment for morons and the fact that police and government officials "watched" proves their complete lack of common sense! If the kites are flown over the perimeter fence of the installation, it's considered criminal trespass and intrusion into controlled airspace. Maybe the j-stone cops should get off the butts and enforce some laws?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Be strong, people of Okinawa. Continue the protests. American "military intelligence" will continue to put and keep these dangerous aircraft over your area because no city in the USA wants them. Ask this question of your leaders: "What good is a slow flying plane that cannot out maneuver a heat seeking missile and can only reach Taipei or Fukuoka? Put these "planes" on Guam and see if the people enjoy these noisy aircraft flying over their area.

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

Us Americans are so fed up with countries that don't want our military in their country, and as soon as they need help because they can't defend themselves from another country then they beg for US Military help. If you don't like our military equipment and armed forces in your country kick us out and don't depend on us to help you in any way when you need help defending you from other countries. You people are the most ungrateful people....we Americans would like nothing more than to have our son's and daughters on American soil and let ungrateful countries defend themselves.

The only reason Japan continues provoking China is because Japan knows the US will back them up in case of a war with China and then you have these ungrateful protesters complaining about airplanes. I would love to see the US military leave Japan and never go back.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Insane, do these people have nothing better to do?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Sometimes civil disobedience is what the military needs to see. If a kite can endanger an Osprey, what would a real weapon do if it came from a simple fishing boat. Get the Osprey out of Okinawa and put some real flying machine in there. It is becoming more obvious every day; the USA military is right and it is going to make the Okinawa people accept it.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Ronald F Stark-Wow! Such one-sidedness in your comment. What about the Ospreys endagering the people of Okinawa? What about the common sense of both the U.S. and Japan? The Okinawan voice means nothing? Maybe both governments should get off thier butts and listen for once. Many of these protesters are demonstrating the Osprey...not the bases, not the Marines,...just the Ospreys.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Be strong, people of Okinawa. Continue the protests. American "military intelligence" will continue to put and keep these dangerous aircraft over your area because no city in the USA wants them. Ask this question of your leaders: "What good is a slow flying plane that cannot out maneuver a heat seeking missile and can only reach Taipei or Fukuoka? Put these "planes" on Guam and see if the people enjoy these noisy aircraft flying over their area.>

Then by all means kick us out of your country and let you fend for yourselves....

8 ( +14 / -6 )

You people are the most ungrateful people....

Dell, before you go off on a rant and call us ungrateful, maybe you ought to study up on a few things about the issue. First, this has nothing to do with military here. Just the Ofspeys.

"Here" refers to Okinawa, which is part of Japan, however, Okinawa is not all Japan. If you did a little bit of studying before you let you brains fall out of your mouth, you would understand this.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

This kite could indeed damage the Osprey's turbines. Causing one to crash with a kite would put the whole project in a very bad light...

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Get the Osprey out of Okinawa and put some real flying machine in there.

What did you have in mind?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The hypocrisy is unfathomable. SUPPOSEDLY their "ALLEGED" reason for protesting the Osprey is because they're afraid of crash-landings. And to show how afraid they are of it, they try to get in the way of it making a safe-landing? Are you seriously ****ing kidding me?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This kite could indeed damage the Osprey's turbines. Causing one to crash with a kite

What?! A kite can take down one of these? A real piece of Military equipment, there.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Dell, before you go off on a rant and call us ungrateful, maybe you ought to study up on a few things about the issue. First, this has nothing to do with military here. Just the Ofspeys. "Here" refers to Okinawa, which is part of Japan, however, Okinawa is not all Japan. If you did a little bit of studying before you let you brains fall out of your mouth, you would understand this.>

Let me explain something to you, I have been stationed here for 4 years and us Marines know first hand about how Japanese people treat us...especially when they think we don't speak Japanese and can understand every word they speak. Comments like "why are they even here"..."I wish they would leave our country"...they are ruining our country"....get the picture? I can go on and on about what we hear, so don't tell me it's just about planes....seems to me you need to study your own people...

4 ( +12 / -8 )

What?! A kite can take down one of these? A real piece of Military equipment, there>

Then why have us here if your equipment is superior? Like I posted earlier...by all means kick us off your island and fend for yourself...

7 ( +11 / -4 )

GurukunOct. 05, 2012 - 02:53PM JST

What?! A kite can take down one of these? A real piece of Military equipment, there.

Doubtful, but the other jet aircraft, hell yes. Ever seen what a sparrow does to a jet engine? Not pretty. A typical two foot wood kite would do far more damage.

Not to mention the likelihood of an injury to the kite handler if the line catches a blade and yanks the cord out of the protestor's hand at near the speed of sound.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Oh, now its "island?"

Let me explain something to you, I am my own people. And regardless of where we stand on the Osprey issue or the base issue, we dont treat the military servicemen and women with disrespect. So, no...I dont get the picture.

If I read the article right, it talks only about the Ospreys. Did I miss the anti base, anti military portion of the article somewhere?

Kick you off our island? Even if we wanted to, the Okinawan people have the power to do this? Now, Who needs to study?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

basroil...I was just being facetious. With all the protesting going on, I would hate these protesters to get information like that....if it was true, of course. I'm just praying that nothing will happen with these aircraft.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Then why have us here if your equipment is superior?

I apolgize. I missed where I said we had superior equipment.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Japanese have been learning hard way that peaceful demonstration or protesting at the gates would be meaningless to deter the fix-minded authorities from proceeding further.

Obstructing with kites - Dangerous maybe. But this kind of reporting, particularly in English media, would draw attentions of the people all over the world.

Combination of Osprey and kites are very effective indeed for that purpose.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Let me explain something to you, I am my own people. And regardless of where we stand on the Osprey issue or the base issue, we dont treat the military servicemen and women with disrespect.

Did you not read the part that I have been here for four years?...unless you are with us when we go out of the base you have no idea what we go thru with your people....the only reason we don't respond to comments about us is because we get in trouble with our government....

Kick you off our island? Even if we wanted to, the Okinawan people have the power to do this?

I could care less who has the power to kick us off your island...just kick us off.....

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So these fools are afraid of the safety of the Ospreys and their answer is to endanger the flights? If a kite causes damage to an Osprey and in turn makes it crash, will they instead of blaming themselves try to suggest it was because of the machinery?

Idiots, the lot of them. They complain about the dangers they help create.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

To the Okinawa protesters: I hate to be blunt but.. No government has listened to the Okinawan people for the past 40 years. Why would they start now? There's no point (as far as the governments are concerned) and they won't. Nothing's going to change regardless of your strong resentment, amount of demonstrations, or 'resilience.' It is just a fact of life on the island. Just go drink some Awamori and relax instead. It'll get better results than the pointless demonstrations.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The Japanese have nothing better to do just hate for the sake of hating? The US should call Japan's bluff and leave and let China take over Japan 1 island at a time, second being Okinawa.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Agreed. Being on the losing end of another war would be good for Japan.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

That is why China dont take Japan serious! Okinawa stop the childish nonsense!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If an Osprey does crash because some idiot does something childish like that, I hope the door gunner shoots them for attacking a military vehicle before it goes down.

With this stunt, the idiots have shown how childish they are, and childish people shouldn't have a say in adult things, like military agreements.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Another protester said, “Our anger over the past 67 years since the war ended is on the verge of exploding. This won’t end until the people of Okinawa are treated with honor.”

Well then act like you have honor, you dumb child!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Our anger over the past 67 years since the war ended is on the verge of exploding. This won’t end until the people of Okinawa are treated with honor.

Don't start a war if you don't like losing a war.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Dell 1957 LoL! you have been station on Okinawa I presume, for four years and you claim that the military gets treated with disrespect? I have to agree with gurukan on this one. Ive been here for over 20 years and prior military. I have never encountered what you have described above, nor have I ever seen it. As gurukan has stated, the issue here is the Osprey. Why do you insist on making this conversation about the military occupation of the island? They have every right to protest the safety of the Osprey, albeit flying kites into thier path is questionable. In closing, I also want to add that my wife is Okinawan as well, please do not label her, or many of the Okinawans as ungrateful based on your four years of being stationed here.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I still haven't heard anyone mention a Marine rotorcraft with a better safety record than the Osprey.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ringside: "As gurukan has stated, the issue here is the Osprey. Why do you insist on making this conversation about the military occupation of the island?"

No, the CURRENT issue is the Osprey, and before the Osprey it was moving the base, and before the more than six-year negotiations to move the base, it was the proximity of the residential areas to Futenma (which of course they built AROUND the base after the war to make some money and earn a living). Point is, they complain about everything -- until China steps up and they take a half-second to think about things before they forget again. They complain for the sake of complaining, and that's all. Now they are PHYSICALLY endangering craft they claim are dangerous.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Ringside no offense but perhaps the fact that your wife is okinawan makes you able to turn a blind eye to the hatred. It's there. All you had to do was read this article to see it "Another protester said, “Our anger over the past 67 years since the war ended is on the verge of exploding." "

And the fact that you only called the kites "questionable" is an affirmation of your bias. Any logical thinker would realize that endangering aircraft does not coincide AT ALL with their alleged goals. It's pure hatred and they're simply using the osprey as an excuse.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

cabadajeOct. 05, 2012 - 05:16PM JST

I still haven't heard anyone mention a Marine rotorcraft with a better safety record than the Osprey.

Doesn't exist, certainly not primary 20 year record, absolutely not 10 year from deployment record. I've stated, paraphrased, and simply quoted the fact that the osprey will REDUCE both accidents and air traffic noise compared to the current crafts that it replaces.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This started very simply. One American used far politer language than he should have and told them to 'go fly a kite!'

0 ( +2 / -2 )

smith, I understand what you are saying, however, most of the protesters outside the Futenma Gates are different protesters than the ones that were protesting everything else. Sure, some are infact the same protesters, however I know many that are pro military, but do not want the Osprey here due to its safety record. Nothing more, nothing less. My question is, if there is an accident in the near future, will these voices still be ignored by both governments? Being married to an Okinawan, I can understand both sides of the fence on the issue.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Flying kites, freeing pigeons & releasing smoke any other ideas ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sure, some are infact the same protesters, however I know many that are pro military, but do not want the Osprey here due to its safety record.

But do you consider closing the base to be a reasonable response to the incorrect claim that these craft are dangerous? If they are calling it dangerous, and the craft actually has the best safety record in the Marines, don't you think the problem is a bit deeper than just the aircraft?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cabadaje, closing the base? These protesters are not there to close the base, they just want the Osprey out. As a prior Marine, its hard to swallow the claim that the Osprey has the best safety record in the Marine Corps. Us old school Green Machines know damn well how we performed maintenance on aircraft. Not gonna get into that here. I honestly think that a majority of the people voicing thier opinions on the Osprey issue are pro military however, anti Osprey. After that US plane nailed an elementary school killing children and that helicopter that crashed into the college, can you really blame them for being concerned about an aircraft that has recently crashed twice? Is it that difficult to believe that the majority of the protesters only underlying problem is just the aircraft in this instance?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Dell_1957 May I ask who the US Military is protecting in Japan or around the world for that matter? I think its just American self interest. If you wish for America sons and daughters to go home by all means lobby / vote for someone who will withdraw troops from the world.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

These people have a privilege to watch so many different sophisticated war planes year in year out but they don't realise it !:-).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Dell_1957 You shoud consider yourself rather fortunate to be stationed in Japan, at least you'll return home in one piece.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is to all the people in Okinawa who oppose the bases and ospreys. If the U.S. military leaves the island, don't start complaining when the economy there is devastatingly affected by the withdrawal or if China decides to attack. The bases in Okinawa have been shutdown before for a few days and during that timeframe, the Okinawan economy suffered dramatically.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Kite vs Osprey - this sounds like a stunt inspired by the Sea Shepherd and that Watson bloke! Good luck to the mob but I think they don't stand a chance with the LDP and DPJ against their aims of kicking out the Yanks. The only option would be for Okinawa to break away from Japan - and I can't see the Japanese giving up Okinawa without a fight!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they really wanted US out of Okinawa, they would unite and strike against the bases, stop doing contracts for projects and services, stop seeking employment with anything related to the base, stop renting to base personnel, stop accepting americans at Japanese establishments, etc, etc. But this will not happen because their will and unity is not as strong as it seems.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So 1,000 dollars in kites is disabling to a 50,000,000 aircraft? Just how many kites are they flying?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think most people in Okinawa are aware of the importance of the presence of US military bases there. Its strategic defense importance and economic value. Particularly now at a time China is pushing its boundaries. Not everyone wants to admit it though and then there's a small minority that continues to openly oppose the presence of the marines and everything that connects to it. It's that minority that creates the most noise. Does the presence of foreign troops create a risk to the civilian population? Can't say it doesn't, but neither would the presence of domestic troops with their defense tools. This time the Osprey, and the bases, and their military are being abused politically by few and denied the little respect they deserve.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Stupid is only thing I can see about those people. WTF is wrong with them flying kites when the planes are trying to land? Are they intellectually challenged or something? GROW UP!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There is no need to so something that stupid as flying kites near those planes. You might just make an accident if you are not lucky. How dumb can you get? I used to kind of understand their feelings, but with actions like these, I want to remain insensitive to their plight.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

cabadaje, closing the base? These protesters are not there to close the base, they just want the Osprey out.

That's the part we disagree on. I believe that the Osprey is just the latest excuse. Protests around the bases are fairly regular things.

As a prior Marine, its hard to swallow the claim that the Osprey has the best safety record in the Marine Corps. Us old school Green Machines know damn well how we performed maintenance on aircraft. Not gonna get into that here.

I won't argue that the Osprey isn't a hanger queen, but we are talking about safety, not maintenance time. If you look at it's service history, only one down in combat and two losses altogether in the past ten years? The SeaKnight has crashed six times since 2001. Why aren't we hearing complaints about the SeaKnights?

I honestly think that a majority of the people voicing thier opinions on the Osprey issue are pro military however, anti Osprey. After that US plane nailed an elementary school killing children and that helicopter that crashed into the college, can you really blame them for being concerned about an aircraft that has recently crashed twice?

I can blame them for not looking into the subject they are protesting about, particularly when they go to the extent that they symbolically sabotage the flights.

Is it that difficult to believe that the majority of the protesters only underlying problem is just the aircraft in this instance?

Not really, however it is harder to believe that this isn't just a different facet of the same thing we have been seeing regularly over the years. It's a bit like asking whether it is so hard to believe that China really does want those specific islands returned to it, as opposed to there being a somewhat larger agenda on the table.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ghehforever, LOL!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Dell_1957

You people are the most ungrateful people....we Americans would like nothing more than to have our son's and daughters on American soil and let ungrateful countries defend themselves.

Couldn't agree with you more.... Or for that matter, The South Korean Defense Minister and what he recommended Japan needed to do....

Too many good American's gave their lives stopping Japan's War Machine 70 Years ago, then turned around and gave them, Freedom, Prosperity and Constitutional rights, that are better than the U.S. enjoys. Sorry, not one ounce of sympathy for these people... China, They're all yours, come and get em! We'll watch from Guam and Hawaii, and make sure Yuri is the first one take, since she (or he) seems to hate anything to do with the U.S. so much... LOL...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

There have also been many incidents reported and not officially reported pertaining to the safety of these Osprey. I remember a Ret. Major telling me that they scrapped a number of osprey after these unreported incidents. Bottom line is, I think the Okinawan people are justified in thier concerns. If the tables were turned and Japans military tried to station an aircraft with a record like the Osprey in my home town, Id be bitching too

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Okinawa people does have a certain point, on mainland USA the Osprey is not allowed low level flight over populated areas so why are they allowed in Okinawa?

These are some of the double standards that Okinawa people are fed up with. Place the same strict standards as in the US and they will complain less.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ch1n4Sailor actually you are very wrong, I LOVE a lot of things about Americans. They have more compassion than just about anyone. Americans think outside of the box and do the most amazing things. Americans do have a temper which they need to control.

They are flying a few kites off of the end of runway 06? Am surprised the Osprey aircraft are using it. There are other approach paths or just land them someplace else until a political solution can be found. It is hard to tell how close the kite is to the aircraft. My relatives on island say they have no time to look.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I say give Okinawa to the Taliban - they would clamp down on these kite flyers!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wow!!! I can't believe that JP cops didn't arrest those fools for flying kites near the Osprey. I bet if protesters tried that stunt at the airport with civil planes, they would have never been allowed to fly those big kites. The US should never have returned Okinawa to Japan and kept it under Occupation rules to use the islands as a giant aircraft carrier.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Ch1n4Sailor, OK...lets go off topic here as you desire. Think about what you just posted. There were many OKINAWANS that died in the hands of both Americans AND Japanese during those times. Why are your senseless comments directed toward the Okinawans? They only want to be heard...they have been forced to be thrown into the middle of everything without any say. Freedom...while people in Mainland Japan have enjoyed thier freedom due to the sacrifices of my military brothers and sisters, Okinawa has been forced to shoulder the majority of the bases for all of Japan for decades. And now an unsafe aircraft too? You wouldn't be a bit angry if the roles were reversed in your home town?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

the stupid leading the stupid Okinawa Peace Movement Center

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Perhaps if the Americans would follow the agreed rules for Osprey deployment. The Americans are breaking their agreement with Japan. So the people of Okinawa are increasing up their protests.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There have also been many incidents reported and not officially reported pertaining to the safety of these Osprey.

In other words, rumors.

I remember a Ret. Major telling me that they scrapped a number of osprey after these unreported incidents.

A retired Major told you they scrapped a number of $70 million dollar aircraft. As a former Marine mechanic, this didn't strike you as odd? You know that we label and categorize the living hell out of every nut, bolt, and can of oil we put into every machine. How many were scrapped, that no one noticed the sudden loss of several hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets? Or are we using the magical "It was covered up" excuse? Only 169 of these have been produced, and all are currently accounted for.

Bottom line is, I think the Okinawan people are justified in thier concerns.

They are justified in thinking that a rotorcraft that has only crashed twice in the last decade and has the best safety record per flight-hour in the military is more dangerous than the current rotorcraft that has crashed 6 times in the last decade, and has a worse record even though it has more than three times as many flight hours?

If the tables were turned and Japans military tried to station an aircraft with a record like the Osprey in my home town, Id be bitching too

And if you were bitching about wrong information, you would look as uninformed as the Japanese people who are bitching with wrong information.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The V-22 is not a pretty looking Aircraft and I certainly sympathize with the Okinawans concerns, but if you measure the lesser of 2 "dangers": Which of these concerns you more? A V-22 falling out of the sky (which is less than a fraction of a percent of happening)? Or a missile landing on one your towns from the Regimes of Communist China and or Communist North Korea? Which is of a bigger concern considering those 2 factors? I'd rather go with the V-22. BTW: I am surprised that this news site has not ran the story featured in "News On Japan" about the squadron of F-35's due to arrive in Japan. We thought that would be a nice House Warming Gift to Japan and a clear demonstration of "deference" to the latest Communist Agression that as been so arrogantly demonstrated by the Communist Regime of China over the incursion of the Sovereign Territory known as the Senkakku Islands.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's easy to understand why residents of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa would be upset with the deployment of 12 new Osprey hybrid aircraft to the Futenma U.S. military base.

Says Steven Simonitch at the top of this page.

If it's easy for him to understand it, I wonder why so many posters on this page seem unable to get it.

Ospreys are not allowed to take off and land in the U.S.A. in built up areas because they are unsafe.

So why is it OK for them to endanger the lives of people living in Ginowan?

Commercial airports that I know of, Naha, Haneda, Narita, Chitose, Osaka all have approaches over water.

Deploying an aircraft with a record like the Osprey in the middle of a city is the equivalent of the US military extending its middle finger. That is how the people here see it.

Making fun of the protesters for "trying to bring down Ospreys" is about as daft (stupid) as trying to cut a kite string with a tree branch. I seriously doubt that the kite fliers imagine that a kite would bring down one of these aircraft. I'm sure they just wanted to do something outrageous to be heard.

And it worked.

Also, I think that some of the posters here, who are obviously non-Okinawans, should have a little more respect for the country that is their unwilling host.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Bertie

Recheck the records of the osprey compared to any other comparable aircraft. If they didn't think flying their kites in the way of all osprey landings could potentially bring one down then clearly they're not worried in the first place. Recheck who is there to help who and which side should either be nothing but grateful or go straight back home.
-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Where can I donate for some kites with extra strong rope?

Sure it's unsafe but what do you think who will be blamed if one of those planes fall down even if it kills all of the demonstrators it will make a big headline how unsafe ospreys are not anymore about the stupid kids and teens who did not work and flew kites that day.

More like: Evil Osprey rammed kite and killed XXX amount of INNOCENT people.

Yes I'm "ungrateful" but I'm not local or Japanese nor American. America is only her as of self interest! I would love to kick you out but Okinawa and Tokyo government is not the same at all. Economically Okinawa's GDP currently only brings about 5% from the military while 20% of the landmass is occupied by bases so having all the space returned would be a good thing to for new businesses. They would have the freedom to poor concrete all over the place as they wish as it's there island.

Same as Americans have the freedom to shoot each other in the theater during the movies, either way the outcome is not optional but hey different culture and country.

I don't think china would invade and north Korea is a joke too. China currently is just diverting attention from other economical topics in there own country, from a second Lehman brothers, economical bubble will burst soon.

So in this sense I'm happy people do something whatever, and by the way: you will never see me flying a kite close there.

waiting for tums down ;-)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Incidentally, it is the turbine engines that have something to fear from kites. Rotor craft have little to no problems.

I guess you've never heard of "turboshaft engines"? A turbine engine drive shaft is connected to reduction gearing to spin a propeller at the slower speeds a propeller needs. These are the same design as jet turbines, the only difference is the power is converted into rotational force rather than jet exhaust. As was painfully made obvious during the Iranian Hostage Crisis in '79, even SAND can cause a turboshaft engine to fail. So kites are definitely a threat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turboshaft

The V-22 Osprey uses two Rolls Royce T406 turboshaft engines. While the engines are linked to a common transmission so that one engine can drive both propellers in case of an engine failure, why tempt fate? Okinawans are saying they're fearful of the planes crashing, then decide to protest by flying things in the way of the planes. Guess they're not as fearful as they are trying to make us believe, huh?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Enough is enough! if we have to eternally endure US bases in this country then the mainland must take more of the load!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

These Americans flying the Ospreys are terrorists and should be thrown away for interfering with and endangering Okinawan peoples lives.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Burakumin Des Americans have no authority over Japanese Nations and off base. However they still act like they own our island. That goes against international law and most of all is disrespectful. No the Okinawan people flying the kites are protesting and peaceful. The Ospreys can takeoff and land in the other direction but Americans have to have their own way 100 percent of the time. Again they have to follow their agreements on Osprey deployment. What they are doing now is giving the finger to the peaceful Okinawan people. The Chinese must be laughing themselves sick!

Lastly if kite flying is so effective to defer Osprey use, then all the Chinese fishing boats have to do is fly kites to keep the American Marines away. A what 100 dollar or less expense against so expensive a aircraft.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It's surprising. The Marine Corps Base Hawaii had to withdrew their plan to base the MV-22 Osprey at Kalaupapa Airport on Molokai Island and Upolu Airport on Hawaii Island in the face of local residents' opposition. The residents cited noise as one of their top concerns for the basing. Aerial photographs show both airports are located in uninhabited barrens. It seems the Marines are behaving well on their own soil and very understanding toward their own compatriots.

Look how unreasonably and exorbitantly they behave on foreign soil. They've brazenly deployed Ospreys at Futenma Air Base, that is located in a densely populated residential area, fully knowing Okinawans' strong opposition to the deployment. Washington obliges us Japanese taxpayers to shoulder most of the maintenance costs of Marine bases, among others, and is demanding to build new facilities for the Marines, which will certainly result in destroying pristine natural environment of lush forests at Takae and coral-rich coastal waters at Henoko, both in northern Okinawa.

Flying kites can be Okinawans' last resort to opposing Marines' arrogant and outrageous conduct on this beloved island of ours.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I dont even understand how that would deter the aircraft from landing. The basic principle is that air is sucked from above and shot down. Since the kite would be below the aircraft the kite would only be blown towards the ground and probably crash. Even if it did get caught in the propellers it wouldn't matter. a1/16th inch twine would be no issue for the massive rotor blades. Japanese people please think next time. Also fireworks would be a joke as well. Even a direct hit would bring no more damage to the aircraft than a burn mark against the heavy armor plating.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Obviously, Okinawans hate US soldiers and they don't regard US force as their protector but someone grasping their land. Actually Okinawans feel Mainland Japanese belittle them for long time so why should they sacrifice themselves for safety of Japanese! My Okinawa friends told me they want to recover indepedent Ryuku kingdom/ country but Japan don't have real democratic system to let them vote/ decide for themselves! My conclusion is this problem is between Okinawans and Japanese, not between Okinawans and US force. For long run Japanese don't know how to get along with other people even Okinawans already become part of japan for more than 100 years!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Here's the thing. As @voiceofokinawa points out, the Okinawans are treated differently than Americans on Hawaii. The US wants a shiny new base off the coast of Henoko, which would effectively extend the presence of the Marines for another 40 years (the life of the base). The US will do anything to make the Futenma base seem more unsafe so that those opposed to the Henoko plan will drop their opposition simply to shut down Futenma.

At the very least, this is the tactic of thugs and mobsters. But, because it is being used against the civilian population of a foreign nation, it fits the definition of terrorism. The Osprey is loud and has a shaky history of safety (the Marines have covered up how bad it is).

It is like blaring loud music at one's enemy, similar to what the US government did in Waco, Texas during the 90s. All of those people eventually died.

To Americans, the end justifies the means. The US hands in the Japanese government are equally guilty of this thuggish activity.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Do Okinawans believe they are rightfully under Japanese sovereignty or would most native descendants want autonomy?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"To Americans, the end justifies the means. The US hands in the Japanese government are equally guilty of this thuggish activity."

Shades of Commodore Perry and his Black Ships. Has history gone full circle?

The up side of having Japan as a defacto 51st state militarily is that US lives and hardware will protect Japan's sovereignty.

Japan is the PERFECT staging ground for war against China or Russia as it was then for the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lastly if kite flying is so effective to defer Osprey use, then all the Chinese fishing boats have to do is fly kites to keep the American Marines away. A what 100 dollar or less expense against so expensive a aircraft.

You're correct... as long as the Chinese fishing boats come up on shore and "dock" just outside the fence of the base the Ospreys are trying to take-off/land at. Otherwise the Osprey's only have to increase altitude to fly over the kites.

Ospreys aren't going to be doing too much fishing boat interdiction considering they're mainly a transport aircraft, so I don't see a situation where there will ever be a "fishing boat vs. Osprey" battle on the open sea.

It's time to dial-back the rhetoric and get a bit closer to reality, people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Osprey have proximity alarm radar, as do most aircraft to avoid mid-air collision's. The kite's where a nussiance, not a hinderance. Stupid is as stupid does. A sensation of unbearable, sudden heat seems to come out of nowhere... Non Lethal Military 'heat ray' for dispersing crowds would of been used if needed. A man with a dog? Not much of a deterent...Fly your kite's and protest. But it would be ironic if the very aircraft you protest to death, turn's and saves your honerable life...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The up side of having Japan as a defacto 51st state militarily is that US lives and hardware will protect Japan's sovereignty.

It would be difficult to describe Japan's state as one of being "sovereign" if it was indeed considered America's 51st state. However, such a statement could be reasonably argued given America's control over Japan's security, foreign policy, nuclear industry, and the affairs of the Japanese citizens of Okinawa. Throw in the currency policy of the US which has led to an economy-crippling strong yen and the argument is even stronger.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

T-Mack so you think the American military should attack a peaceful protest? They are not on the American base and doing such would make Japan rethink their security agreement with America. I do not think these aircraft are a benefit to Japanese security. What can they do that the current aircraft can not? What can they not do? Also when is America going to actually follow a agreement with Japan as they are breaking the agreement as par Osprey deployment.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

All I can say is Wow! Reading all the posts on the protests, kite flying, and other off topic remarks. A few things are not mentioned about Yamishiro and his followers is they have also released balloons, and others have been using lasers to distract the pilots at the same park. Protesting is one thing, but putting the pilot and local people lives in danger is totally a step beyond in protesting.

Looking at the international view point, it is funny how the protestors doing these things are making China and North Korea happy. Happy meaning that the less control the local governments have over potentially dangerous acts on their own people is just another win on their complaints against the Japanese people. Watching the news about the protestors biting the Japanese security at the protests probably had them laughing at Okinawa people.

I am all for the Okinawan's to protest, but I ask them to look at the big picture and act accordingly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Looking at the international view point, it is funny how the protestors doing these things are making China and North Korea happy.

Indeed. It would seem that the US and Japanese government would rather settle with the Okinawans than let this continue. In the end, the governments are the ones losing credibility abroad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@saidani, this is true, credibility is a major concern for everyone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ospreys are not allowed to take off and land in the U.S.A. in built up areas because they are unsafe.

Incorrect. They are not allowed to take off and land in built up areas because the locals believe they are not safe, and the base accommodated their incorrect beliefs.

I guess you've never heard of "turboshaft engines"?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They are not allowed to take off and land in built up areas because the locals believe they are not safe, and the base accommodated their incorrect beliefs.

And yet they accede to the wishes (demands) of the American population. Why not accord the Japanese the same consideration?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The only way the Okinawans will get rid of the bases is by becoming an independent nation again. So where is the Ryukyu Independence Party? The Okinawan people can vote for an independence party at the polls and force the Japanese government to act, this would be much more effective than non-stop moaning.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess you've never heard of "turboshaft engines"?

Yes, I have, and if you are as familiar with them as I, and didn't just Google the information, you know that a turboshaft turbine is much less susceptible to FOD due to the rotor blowing much of it outwards and to the lower rotational speed of the turbine itself, both in terms of lower velocity damage and in terms of less suction pulling the FOD in in the first place.

@Yuriotani:

The Ospreys can takeoff and land in the other direction but Americans have to have their own way 100 percent of the time.

Do you know that, or are you just assuming it and concluding the reason they don't is because Americans are asses?

The Americans are breaking their agreement with Japan.

What agreement are you referring to?

It's surprising. The Marine Corps Base Hawaii had to withdrew their plan to base the MV-22 Osprey at Kalaupapa Airport on Molokai Island and Upolu Airport on Hawaii Island in the face of local residents' opposition.

What's so surprising about that? The military of the American government has to work with the local governments of the Americans civilians. If the local Americans don't want the military to do something, they tell their government about it and their government does what it can to fix the situation. If the government refuses to do anything about it, the people protest the government.

What is surprising is that the Japanese locals are protesting the base, not the Japanese government, and are working under the assumption that it is the American military who independently decided, without consulting anyone, to move the Ospreys.

I dont even understand how that would deter the aircraft from landing.

It won't. This is mostly a symbolic sabotage. At a minimum, I sincerely doubt these people really do intend to bring down an aircraft.

Ospreys aren't going to be doing too much fishing boat interdiction considering they're mainly a transport aircraft, so I don't see a situation where there will ever be a "fishing boat vs. Osprey" battle on the open sea.

Mostly true. Actually, currently, completely true. There have been propositions to mount a Gatling on the nose of the Osprey, and the Osprey does allow rappel, however landing on ships, particularly tiny ocean vessels, is more a SEAL specialty than a Marine one. But that would require more of the mission creep that contributed to the already outrageous cost of the Osprey.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's an easy choice for Okinawa;

a/ US Marines and Ospreys b/ Chinese Marines and MiGs c/ North Korean Marines and death squads

I'm really getting sick of hteir selfish and unrealistic whining. Nobody told them to build houses so close to the US bases.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

so if I read these pro Osprey posts right, because of these 12 Osprey, its hindering an attack from China and Nkorea? They are Japans and Americas ultimate show of power? The Osprey are the ultimate weapon? LoL

0 ( +3 / -3 )

cabadaje

Incorrect. They are not allowed to take off and land in built up areas because the locals believe they are not safe, and the base accommodated their incorrect beliefs.

I guess you've never heard of "turboshaft engines"?

The type of engine does not have anything to do with it. Hypothetically during transision of engines from vertical to horizontal makes it inheritantly unbalanced. If you add the asymmetrical shape perpendicular to the engines they make it more unbalanced. Although there are probably many counter measure built-in to the plane, a strong up draft gust of wind may cause it to lose balance tipping it over. That is what you see in many videos before the Osprey crashes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

b/ Chinese Marines and MiGs c/ North Korean Marines and death squads

So, we are to assume that the Chinese will have no problem getting by the 7th Fleet and the 5th Air Force to get to Japan? Better still, the lesser armed North Koreans will have to defeat both the 7th Fleet and the 5th Air Force in addition to the 8th Army and the 7th Air Force stationed in South Korea. Oh, and not to forget the Japanese military which is rated as the 9th strongest in the world. Meanwhile, the only thing stopping them from even attempting that is a few thousand Marines and 12 Osprey on Okinawa? Doesn't say much about the bulk of the US military, does it? Or perhaps it says too much about the value of the Marine detachment on Okinawa.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

vast right wing, I wasn't aware that MCAS Futenma was there before the Okinawans.

Thanks for that piece of very important information

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator (Oct. 06, 2012 - 11:21AM JST):

Let me correct your ignorance of the fact. Futenma Air Base sits on private lands the invading U.S. forces usurped immediately after the Battle of Okinawa while area residents were herded into camps. The area was part of the Ginowan municipality consisting of 16 villages. The U.S. forces encroached upon 6 villages completely and a dozen other villages partially. That's the reason why there are family tombs here and there within the base along the fences. Can you imagine self-righteous freedom fighters encorached upon graveyards?

You say you are "sick of their selfish and unrealistic whining. Nobody told them to build houses so close to the US bases."

I would rather throw back these words to you by slightly changing the wording: "I'm sick of Americans' selfish and unrealistic extortion of lands and money. Nobody nor any international convention (See Article 46 of Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land) allowed them to confiscate private lands to build a huge air base on foreign soil, which has continued to exist to this day 67 years after the hostilities ended.

It's an easy choice for the Marines. Just pack up and go home to your own home ground in the U.S. A. Period.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

voiceofokinawa, well said! Im not for Okinawa being basefree, however your posts are always true and accurate.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

so if I read these pro Osprey posts right, because of these 12 Osprey, its hindering an attack from China and Nkorea? They are Japans and Americas ultimate show of power? The Osprey are the ultimate weapon? LoL

Not even close. You aren't even trying to understand the discussion. The Ospreys are nothing more than a safer and less expensive replacement to the aging Sea Knight.

The type of engine does not have anything to do with it.

In all fairness, the context was about FOD damage. Granted, he was still incorrectly implying the danger level would be equal, but still...

Otherwise, yes, the Osprey is a particularly difficult craft to fly because the pilot needs experience in both helicopter and plane to fly it, in addition to the transition time in between. Moreover, even though accidents are less likely to happen, recovery from those accidents is more difficult, in that a helicopter can autogyro down, but an Osprey cannot.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa Oct. 06, 2012 - 12:33PM JST

Thanks for reminding everyone about the history of Okinawa once again. It cannot be stated too often. Sadly, the mindset of many who support the Marines detachment on Okinawa, is enveloped in a hubris that does not allow them to understand or care. They claim that the Marines are there to assure the freedom of Okinawa without realizing Okinawa is not free under the current situation. They do not seem to have the capacity to put themselves and their families in the shoes of Okinawans. They are making enemies of their friends and don't seem to realize it or care.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Im understanding the conversation...what Im not understanding is how there are posters here turning the issue of the Osprey lnto the Okinawans are ungrateful, anti American, anti base rant. Albeit, there are protesters that have underlying reasons for joining this Osprey demonstration. I understand that completely. But how can posters here directly relate the Osprey to the things China are doing? Why is it that posters here are criticizing the Okinawan people for voicing thier opinions on the Osprey? Why must they get ready for the Chinese to take over protesting the Osprey? As mentioned above, Hawaii got the government to listen, why are the voices of Okinawa getting ignored once again.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

saldani, also well said. Unless you have lived here for many years, or have had interaction with the Okinawan people and thier distint history, its difficult to explain these things to people that never understand the hardships the island has gone through. Most of these people base thier opinions on only what they have heard or read. To understand the majority of the Okinawans, they need to understand the feelings of the Okinawans which go much deeper than any history book can relay

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@VoO

Thanks for the message. It sucks to lose a war. It sucks even more that the people who defeated you are now defending you. I understand how that must hurt the pride of Okinawans.

The city built up around the base. The population was less than 10.000 after the war, but is 90,000 now. Used to be ruined village and farmland. Nobody was forced to build their homes beside the base. It's like building your house next to a railroad station, then complaining about the noise.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

and with the bases taking up over twenty percent of the land mass, where are they supposed to build thier homes and schools...don't see any weight in your post

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It sucks to lose a war.

We see this from time to time. The truth is that many Americans do not see Japan as an ally but the defeated enemy. As such, they have no rights, no freedom of will, except that allowed by their conquerors. Your argument is not with Okinawans who suffered as much from Japanese forces as Americans.

Regardless, in this enlightened age, when America represents the shining light on the hill, you want the grandchildren of those who lived on Okinawa to continue to pay for their ancestors alleged sins. Such compassion and empathy from the world's leader in peace and human rights.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

and why are you deciding on where an Okinawan can build, or cant build a home?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Vast wing, Okinawa never lost the war, the island was invaded by both the Japanese and American forces. Many Okinawans lost thier lives to both forces.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@ringside, sorry late post. Pretty interesting items you are bringing up in your last few posts. I have lived in Okinawa 11 years and mainland for four years. My wife is Okinawan and I do interact with the locals a lot. I have seen a lot of interesting things happen over the years and fully respect everyone's freedom of speech. You mentioned China and the Ospreys. Directly there is no real connection, but indirectly there is a lot going on. With the issues China is having with Japan and their way of adding to their political conversations anything that will show Japan is still a violent country (some actions of the protestors at Futenma) against foreigners. The big picture relates to the situations that happened in between 1935 and 1945 with the Japanese occupation in China and how any small item happening in Japan against Japan is fuel for them to use to steer any negotiations to their advantage.

Going back to the original topic with the Ospreys and Hiroji Yamashiro. Wasn't he the same person that went to Guam in 2007 to persuade the Chamorros to turn the US Marines away and that his movement's goal is to get all American bases out of Japan. I am not sure but a person leading the Members of the Forum for Peace, Human Rights and Environment had the same name and persistent attitude against the US military/equipment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

martyman, the thing that irritates me is that everytime a topic comes up about one subject that deals the military, people turn the thread into a anti or pro military issue. As my wife is Okinawan. and from Ginowan as well, I understand her, her families, and the other residents that live in the Ginowan areas concerns. Her family is not hostile towards me because I am a former Marine even though they are standing at the gate as I am typing this. They understand that thier are sacrifices to be made for freedom. But these sacrifices are always being forced on the Okinawans. How many more sacrifices does the governments expect the Okinawans to make. I really pray that there are no fatal Osprey accidents in the near future. What will the pro Osprey posters say then? Its a piece of machinery, its expected to breakdown someday? Even with this crash, it still has the safest record in the Marine Corps? Will a deep bow and an apology from the military be enough then?

Just throwing out some questions, I love America, I love this island and the people here. Im just wishing that the Okinawans get. heard for once

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is utter foolishness and extremely dangerous. The individuals flying the kites, if indeed the kites are flown inside the airfield's controlled airspace, should be given a warning to desist and arrested if they do not comply. The same goes if they launch any balloons. You'd think that these idiots are intentionally trying to FOD one of the Ospreys and bring it down. Unbelievable.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

idiots

Sure to win over all of those in the opposition. Does your CO know that you make statements like this?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

saidani

Irrelevant. What I post off duty on a public forum as a private citizen, not as a named uniformed representative, is none of his business. On a more relevant note, do you not agree that any individuals purposefully flying kites in the vicinity of an airport in order to endanger approaching/departing aircraft, any aircraft be they military or civilian, are idiots? What word would you use to describe them?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Ringside

I'm NOT deciding where Okinawans can or can't build their homes. Just saying that their choice to build next to an airfield has consequences.

The whole Ospery situation is just another thinly veiled jab at the American military. Those protesting need to shut up, and thank God almighty that their islands weren't given to China after the war.

Either they have the bases, or they pay for their OWN defense. And THAT would be expensive. Do you think Okinawans want to see their taxes raised by 20-30% to pay for the cost of Japan's SDF taking over the responsibility of protecting them?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ringside, the freedom of speech the Okinawans have is priceless. Do you think in North Korea or in China protestors would be handled as kindly as they are being treated at Futenma? I believe everyone thinks the same way that there are no accidents involving the Ospreys. But as everyone knows, we don't know the future. A commercial airliner or JSDAF jet coming into Naha airport may have a crash into the industrial area east of the run way injuring 100's. Is there going to be a protest to move the Japanese military or commercial airport? No One knows the future.

Didn't the land owners of Futenma base just negotiate for higher lease payments on their land? I think they may be benefiting from the protests from behind the scenes. Maybe off topic a bit, but true Okinawa has gone through some changes and survived or benefited from them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

right wlng, Id like to pose the same question gurukan posted on a different thread that I thought was brilliant.

Is the military on Okinawa to protect Okinawa? Or, Japan as a whole? I think I know your answer. If so, shouldn't all of Japan share the burden of many of the bases and the Osprey as well? Being an old school military man myself, I have seen the unparalleled advancement of todays military equipment and aircraft. We can get to any part of this world in a matter of hours. Wouldn't it be fair to spread some of these bases to mainland Japan? After the war, Okinawa was a prime location as a logistics stepping stone for America based on the technology we had back then. As I stated, I cant see this many bases and troops concentrated on one tiny island with todays technology....to include the Osprey

1 ( +3 / -2 )

martyman, agreed that no one can predict the future, however, I feel that both governments jumped the gun on stationing the Osprey at a base in the middle of a densely populated city. The osprey cant even fly over populated areas in the States. The American government halted Osprey training at two airsrips in Hawaii do to the citizens complaining of noise. If the protesters here mentioned noise, do you think it would make a difference? Okinawans getting ignored again?

Im not sure on the landowner subject you mentioned....they are another beef with me for another thread. LoL

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Obviously the kite fliers need to be kept under control. Perhaps the Taliban can help out here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is the military on Okinawa to protect Okinawa?

Nope. Been answered many times.

Or, Japan as a whole? I think I know your answer.

Nope. Been answered many times as well.

The purpose of American bases in Japan is to establish a presence in that region. The presence may cause some disturbance in limited, local, areas, but the overall benefits on the entire region serve to stabilize the region in which America has a vested interest in keeping stable to protect its assets (which include its allies).

If so, shouldn't all of Japan share the burden of many of the bases and the Osprey as well?

Regardless of yes or no, the Osprey is the replacement for the SeaKnight. Eventually, it is going to be everywhere, all over the world. Japan is just the current phase of deployment.

Being an old school military man myself, I have seen the unparalleled advancement of todays military equipment and aircraft. We can get to any part of this world in a matter of hours.

You've mentioned being an old school military man twice now. In the old school, did they talk much about rapid deployment and extraction? Did they mention that the reason so many military bases in foreign countries were being established was so that in the future, we would be able to get to any part of the world in a matter of hours?

Wouldn't it be fair to spread some of these bases to mainland Japan?

Fair? Are you sure you're old school military? War strategy isn't about fair. It's about having your assets in the best place possible, with the most useful places being the highest priority.

After the war, Okinawa was a prime location as a logistics stepping stone for America based on the technology we had back then. As I stated, I cant see this many bases and troops concentrated on one tiny island with todays technology....to include the Osprey

That's understandable. Marines have always had the tendency to regard themselves as the tip of the spear, and forget the entire support structure that makes their jobs possible. Don't forget the importance of your supply lines, old school.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

so basically, its screw the Okinawans...again

2 ( +4 / -2 )

On a more relevant note, do you not agree that any individuals purposefully flying kites in the vicinity of an airport in order to endanger approaching/departing aircraft, any aircraft be they military or civilian, are idiots? What word would you use to describe them?

Actually, no. I believe that they are trying to say something and everyone is ignoring them. If you want to arrest them, arrest them for endangering the flight operations or ground the planes to ensure their safety. However, belittling the marginalizing people who seem sincere and dedicated - and obviously frustrated - is simply thuggish. No good end will come from it.

The government needs to end this situation soon before it gets ugly. It should not expect the people to just simply go away. But be careful....the military can lose a lot of face depending on how it is handled.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator (Oct. 06, 2012 - 01:44PM JST),

It sucks to lose a war? So you are talking to us as a conqueror and not as a "good neighbor," "guest" or "tomodachi." If Futenma and all other U.S. bases in Okinawa are war spoils, as you insinuate, then omoiyari yosan or the sympathy budged Japan pays to the U.S. coffers as a host-nation support for the upkeep of those bases and facilities is nothing but war spoils also.

By the way, here's some more precise statistics about Ginowan City.

In 1944, Ginowan Village consisting of 22 districts (villages), that is the predecessor of today's Ginowan City, had a population of 13,636. By 2012, it has increased to 1.360,830, about a 10-fold increase. That means housing lot is in acute shortage especially because 33.3% of all the land area of the city (19.69 sq. km) is taken up by the Marines' Futenma Air Base.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

saidani

So to cut through the crap, you advocate the endangering of lives (in this case those of the pilots and the civilians around the base) because you feel these protesters are being marginalized? That's what you're saying right? I personally could care less what they protest and how as long as it's done safely. These people are intentionally interfering with safe flight operations as part of their protest which is built on the premise that the Osprey and any flight ops at Futenma are unsafe. You don't see the irony in that? It would be laughable if it wasn't so potentially dangerous.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

USNinJapan2 Oct. 06, 2012 - 11:08PM JST

I don't advocate endangering anyone's life. Where did I say that? I said do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the flights. My issue with you is your attitude of assumed greater intelligence by belittling those with whom you don't agree instead of trying to understand their motives and concerns. The US/Japanese governments have many ways to settle this issue and maintain safety of everyone. That they continue to allow the situation to grow is not to their credits.

That said, and since you obviously have an opinion, what are your solutions to the base and Osprey issues?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Voiceofokinawa, so by any chance do you think that increase of population has anything to do with the jobs available around the base and ion the base? A little common sense. Don't bite the hand that feeds you. In terms of Ginowan, that would be the hand of the US that is feeding them.

Okinawa is already the ass end of Japan - lowest wages, highest unemployment, worst education test scores... If the US moves out, Okinawa should actually be asking the Chinese to look after them as Japan obviously doesn't care about them...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Actually, Saidani, it does sound a lot like you have no problem with endangering lives to get attention. You probably don't mean it that way, and certainly you may not advocate it, but it is sounding like that when you say people should do whatever it takes to get political attention.

There is still very much a chance, minor though it is, of endangering any aircraft in the area through an unexpected mishap. By extension, the lives in those aircraft are put at risk. This is a symbolic sabotage, and there is really not much of a problem with that, in the same way that there isn't too much of a problem with animal rights activists splashing paint on people wearing fur, however the cost of failure in the case of an airport accident is much, much higher. Much like the Chinese reaction to the change in title of the Sankaku Islands, or the Muslim reaction to cartoons or Facebook posting, the more the reaction to a given issue drastically outweighs a reasonable reaction, the less likely it is that people are going to pay attention to the whatever message is attempting to be sent.

Personally, had I been there for the planning stages, I would have called the airfield PR office and asked where the safest location for the event was, and given them my number to call in the event of an emergency, such as an unexpected flight coming through that area. No base likes or wants protests, however, if they are going to happen, they would rather be in control of them. Since my goal is a photo op, and not to actually endanger anyone, any place where the base is clearly visible and identifiable, and I can get a good shot of the kites flying high seemingly over the airfield, would serve my purposes just as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't bite the hand that feeds you. In terms of Ginowan, that would be the hand of the US that is feeding them.

It is not up to the US to determine the future of Okinawa or continue to oppress its citizens by claiming they would be worse off without the US. Despite an obviously prevalent view among some Americans, Okinawans are not children who need the kind subsidence and guidance of the US. America is supposed to represent the freedom of opportunity in life. They do not show this in Okinawa.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Actually, Saidani, it does sound a lot like you have no problem with endangering lives to get attention. You probably don't mean it that way, and certainly you may not advocate it, but it is sounding like that when you say people should do whatever it takes to get political attention.

You are putting words in my mouth and then lecturing me about those words. This particular protest represents the failure of the US and Japanese government to deal with a decades-long problem that has reached a tipping point. You put the burden of right action on the protesters, not the governments which seem satisfied to allow this thing to simmer. One would almost believe that the inaction of the governments to deal with the situation is purposeful, perhaps to incite an incidence which would allow them to use force.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

saidani

Then in turn I'd like you to show me where in my posts above where I have belittled the motives and concerns of these protesters? I said not a word about why they are out there doing what they do because it's immaterial. All I am concerned with and all I commented on is the total lack of concern for human life that these protesters are showing by doing this. A person who intentionally flies kites or launches balloons in the paths of taking off or landing aircraft is an idiot plain and simple and a dangerous one at that. I don't care how he's politically motivated, he's still an idiot.

That said, and since you obviously have an opinion, what are your solutions to the base and Osprey issues?

Execute the Futenma to Henoko move as agreed upon and limit flight paths to over-water departures and approaches as much as possible. If they're not happy with that, then they need to express their dissatisfaction to their elected government in Tokyo. Oh but I forgot that they're marginalized, so I guess they'll just have to settle for flying kites and balloons around the airfield so it make flight operations more hazardous and possibly cause a fatal mishap that kills some innocent Okinawan civilians. Yeah, that's rational. As for the Osprey issue? An aircraft that's newer and safer than the one it's replacing isn't an issue in my book. There will be mishaps of varying severity because it's not perfect like all machines, but not any warranting the hysteria conveniently adopted by the anti-base folks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

saidani

You put the burden of right action on the protesters...

There you go again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You are putting words in my mouth and then lecturing me about those words.

No, the words are yours: "I believe that they are trying to say something and everyone is ignoring them.", "I said do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the flights."

Like I said, whether you meant it that way or not, that is what it is sounding like.

You put the burden of right action on the protesters,

I put the burden of right action on everybody. I do not advocate people taking wrong actions; that's just silly.

not the governments which seem satisfied to allow this thing to simmer.

Ahh, so you are not actually talking about "burden; You are actually talking about "blame".

I don't do the blame game. I care less about what people say, and more about their behavior. When all is said and done, it is the actions speak louder than words; just make sure that what you are saying loudly is what you mean to say.

One would almost believe that the inaction of the governments to deal with the situation is purposeful, perhaps to incite an incidence which would allow them to use force.

Only if one presupposes that the government would like to use for for some unimaginable purpose.

Alternatively, the inaction of the government, much like the inaction of the government over China's disputes, is simply how the central Japanese government does business.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

USNinJapan2 Oct. 07, 2012 - 12:09AM JST

Your justification for calling people idiots stands for itself.

As for the Osprey, if it is so safe, why have US officers been relieved for falsifying maintenance and accident records. Additionally, why has the military acceded to the demands of Hawaiians who have the same concerns as Okinawans and why aren't the Okinawans accorded the same policy?

As for the Henoko plan, why would Okinawans agree to let the US turn yet another area of their beautiful island into a military dump with all of its associated buildup when the value of the Marine detachment for the protection of Japan is questionable? In the 67 years of occupation by the Marines, when have they ever been deployed to protect Japan from invasion? Even DOD analysts and US congressmen have questioned the continued presence of this force.

One would think that the 7th Fleet and the 5th Air Force, along with the nuclear umbrella, is sufficient to deter aggression against Japan and yet the US sits on its hands while the Chinese surround the Senkakus. Conflict of interests?

Finally, telling Okinawans to look to Tokyo for answers is specious given the massive influence of the US on the Japanese government. It is a dodge. The issue is between Okinawans and the US, Tokyo has made itself irrelevant. Everyone knows that Washington decides the fate of Okinawa.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"I believe that they are trying to say something and everyone is ignoring them.", "I said do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the flights."

How is this advocating dangerous activity? The first explains the reasons the protesters took this action, the second is a clear statement to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the flights including, from my earlier comment, to arrest the protesters.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I can explain it to you, but it doesn't really sound like you are interested.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There you go again.

Sounds horrible, doesn't it. Especially when you take it out of context.

You put the burden of right action on the protesters, not the governments which seem satisfied to allow this thing to simmer.

There are two sides to every issue. The government is doing nothing to mitigate the problem or stop it. You assume that inaction on the part of the government is also "right" action.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can explain it to you, but it doesn't really sound like you are interested.

In fact, you can't. Nothing about those statements advocates for dangerous activity, try as you might to make it seem so.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Lets not let the terrorists know that a kite can down an military aircraft...shhhhhhhh....not so loud...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

cabadaje

USNinJapan2

It's been fun guys. Our disagreements are somewhat a microcosm of the issues on Okinawa and why neither side of the issue will likely ever be happy while occupying the same small island.

You presented your side well. You are everything one would expect for years of government training.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Okinawans are not children who need the kind subsidence and guidance of the US.

But they sure do need the money that the US bases create, right? If those bases are gone, where is the money and jobs coming from? Certainly not Tokyo because they demonstrated time and time again that they don't care about Okinawa. If they did, it would have the issues I pointed out so nicely in my other post.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

tmarie, we do not need the jobs the bases "create". The strong yen has killed sales by the troops and their dependents. These people are paid in depreciated dollars and not yen. They will buy most of their needs on base. So the base impact is already lower and it will continue to get lower. Not all of the base workers are paid by the government of Japan. As this happens they will replace Japanese with dependents. All of the Burger King employees and the like will be Americans.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

But they sure do need the money that the US bases create, right?

You make the assumption that the Marine Corp economy is the best use of Okinawa land and labor. I doubt you can back that up with any reasonable argument.

If they did, it would have the issues I pointed out so nicely in my other post.

You understand that you are patting yourself on the back for pointing out the negative effects of hosting the US military on Okinawa, don't you? Think of all the tourism dollars that would come to Okinawa if tourists didn't have to put up with the US troops everywhere they go. It's not as if the US military has the same wonderful reputation globally that it enjoys in the patriotic states. A lot of non-Americans would rather not encounter them on their vacations.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Dell_1957OCT. 05, 2012 - 02:36PM JST

Us Americans are so fed up with countries that don't want our military in their country, and as soon as they need help because they can't defend themselves from another country then they beg for US Military help.

I understand how you feel. I really do not like this at all and potentially a kite could jeopardize the safety for operations there. But before anyone jump to the conclusion like this opinion. Please think some situations below. I really hate this action whoever committed this crime. I do not want to any American think this is what Japan thinks.

1)There are about 128,000,000 people live in Japan. The people who act this extreme are about less than 100 people.This action is not the manifestation of how the majority of Japaneses.

2)I live in Tokyo. I always have a sympathy for the people in Okinawa because 70% of the US bases there. We rely on them too much. We have to share the burden. I live in Tokyo but near Yokota Air Force base, I understand the noise issue and safety issue. The base in Okinawa is right next to the residential area. Even Donald Henry Rumsfeld was shocked when he went to see the situation and actual accidents happened in past. The worst one is F100D hit Miyamori elementary school and 210 kids suffered and 17 died. after that CH 53D Helli-copter hit Okinawa Internatinal collge in 2004, accidents has been happening and unfortunately , this kind of public places.

3)in WW2, Japan could not defend well people in Okinawa. 100,000 civilians died (with the solders, totally 250,000) and how that happened to them, still the memory is raw for some people. It is not for any particular countries but the war it self.

4) Some unfortunate crimes have been happening. The worst one I am sure Okinawans remember is that 3 men from the base kidnapped a 12 year old girl and raped her. Actually many things are happening. So some people near the base might have a negative feeling. But the majority Japaneses never judge based on these criminals to think as the whole manifestation of the men and women in uniform. So the same way, I wish you did not judge Japan based on the person who used a kite as the manifestation of Japan

5) In Japan, we call Omoiyari yosan ( Courtesy contribution from our tax money) All the utility fee such as electric, gas,water,,for 94,127 people include their family members is paid by Japan.

6) The treaty between US and Japan is based on our mutual one. Your comment sounded the US is giving a protection because Japan can not defend it self. That is a deviation from the spirit of the treaty. Because Japan promulgated the constitution of Japan in 1946, we technically could not poses any military AKA renunciation of war. It made sense at that time and some sense still makes some sense. Japan should not intimidate our neighboring countries to refrain from full rearming. We have Defense Force but a lot of systems are lawfully and technically limited for defense only. That is why even we do not have an air carrier.

7) The US get a lot of benefit as well. Especially the during cold war, Japan was considered as NO SINKING AIR CARRIER for the US defense. Even now, the US could set the base in Japan, sure Japan is protected, but US is protecting them self as well. It is already write too much, I would not list the reason why US get tons of inconspicuous benefits from having the bases in Japan strategically for defending the US main land.

Any way, the US Japan treaty should be treated and not swayed by this kite incident. The US and Japan must keep a larger picture. This is not only the US for Japan,but based on our mutual interest.

I do not know how many Americans know how much Japan has been paying to America since 1960. One example, in 2014, over 9000 US Marine people will move to Guam from Okinawa,and Japan is requested by US gov. to pay $7,200,000,000 for the cost.Which country can think to pay other country’s moving cost besides Japan? The during a Gulf war, who pay more than any one else, Japan paid more than any one else to support. (Kuwait paid also because it was their problem, but Japan paid the SAME amount as Kuwait and the war finished much sooner that we all expected, as a result money wise, Japan paid more than US. Of course the men and women in uniform who devoted their life which is incalculable and I do respect.)

What I want to say is Japan has showing our determination to be a problem solver along with the US despite the fact of Article#9 in the US make Japanese constitution.

Dell_1957, I understand what you are saying personally, so I think it is about time to review the treaty it self with the set of modifying the constitution of Japan so that Japan will be be ready to defend it self. One day and Japan could reduce the burden on America. Your kind of opinion, I take it as a signal from the US that is saying, ‘’ Japan, it is about time to take care of your own defense’’ Then make the US Japan treaty more economic unity than military obligation each other.

But till the next stage, the US Japan treaty is important as a deterrent power, so that we can prevent a war at Far East. I do not believe THE PEACE yet. One day, Yes, but still we all are stupid. So I believe that a War or an order. In order to keep the order. Japan and America should work together as a real allies. I was born in Japan and educated in Japan in 50s and 60s. I even did not speak English till the age of 35. But now I can subscribe to the point of view of founding Father's seeking spirit for MORE PERFECT union in the US Constitution with this awkward English expression.

Please do not see US Japan relationship with near sited way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tmarie, we do not need the jobs the bases "create".

@Yuri, YOU don't need them because YOU don't live here, but tell that to the literally THOUSANDS of people who work on base and whose livelihoods depend upon the income they receive. If the bases were gone there is NO way they all could find jobs that paid the same amount of money. Unemployment only lasts for a few months too.

Working for 600 or 700 yen at JUSCO aint going to cut it either, so where are all these thousands of higher paying jobs going to come from when the bases disappear?

Are YOU going to pay me $3,000.00 or more per month to support my family?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Think of all the tourism dollars that would come to Okinawa if tourists didn't have to put up with the US troops everywhere they go

If you've ever been here to Okinawa you would intimately know that THIS is not a problem.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

tmarie (Oct. 06, 2012 - 11:48PM JST),

Yes, I agree with you in that jobs attract people from one place to another. But do you know how many Ginowan citizens are working for U.S. bases represented by Futenma Air Base? The number is a mere 175. With this figure at hand can you say, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you"?

Oh, by the way, the revenues deriving from the U.S. military presence for Okinawa, as a whole, is about 5% today. And I must remind you that there were many private company owners and their employees, the most conservative elements in Okinawan society in favor of the Japan-U.S. military alliance, who took part in the September 9 rally against Osprey deployment at Futenma.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As for the Osprey, if it is so safe, why have US officers been relieved for falsifying maintenance and accident records. Additionally, why has the military acceded to the demands of Hawaiians who have the same concerns as Okinawans and why aren't the Okinawans accorded the same policy?

Misleading and Inaccurate. Falsification of data occurred on a test aircraft many years ago – and those individuals were held accountable. The opposition to the MV-22 at Kaneohe MCAS is strictly due to noise, not safety.

As for the Henoko plan, why would Okinawans agree to let the US turn yet another area of their beautiful island into a military dump with all of its associated buildup when the value of the Marine detachment for the protection of Japan is questionable? In the 67 years of occupation by the Marines, when have they ever been deployed to protect Japan from invasion? Even DOD analysts and US congressmen have questioned the continued presence of this force.

Factually incorrect. Implementation of the 2006 ATARA agreement would result in closure and return of Futenma, Kinser, Lester and portions of Foster/Butler and the movement of 10000 military members and 15000 family members to Guam. If the elites in Okinawa had implemented this plan as outlined, the Ospreys wouldn’t even be at Futenma now, they would be at the new off-shore facility at Camp Schwab, a much safer and more remote area, and Futenma would be closed.

One would think that the 7th Fleet and the 5th Air Force, along with the nuclear umbrella, is sufficient to deter aggression against Japan and yet the US sits on its hands while the Chinese surround the Senkakus. Conflict of interests?

Preposterous. Please provide us your qualifications as a military strategist and planner. The Marines are currently the only force capable of landing on the Senkakus and either securing it, or repelling a force already there. The JSDF are only now training on amphibious operations and must rely on the JMSDF to get them there – a joint operation the JSDF have never practiced.

Finally, telling Okinawans to look to Tokyo for answers is specious given the massive influence of the US on the Japanese government. It is a dodge. The issue is between Okinawans and the US, Tokyo has made itself irrelevant..

A “cop out”. Blame the US for it’s “massive influence” and you relieve yourself of undertaking civic action with the Govt of Japan to make the change you desire. The US-Japan Security Treaty is between Washington and Tokyo – not Okinawa.

Everyone knows that Washington decides the fate of Okinawa

If by everyone you mean all the far left wing media, academics and politicians on Okinawa that derive their income and status by opposing meaningful reductions in the US military presence, then yes, I would quite agree....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

A few months ago some American diplomat was hauled over the coals for saying that the Okinawans are experts at using anything for emotional blackmail, if I remember correctly. At the time, myself and many other people thought he was really out of line, but with this incident ...

Personally I'd love it if the U.S. pulled out of Japan/Okinawa and left them to fend for themselves. Since the end of the war Japan hasn't been attacked, but does that it won't be in the future?

I honestly couldn't care less if that base is noisy, any airport is the same. And I couldn't care less how many accidents the Osprey has had in the past, it's new technology and very worthwhile. The Osprey can carry its troops further and faster than helicopters can, which makes it safer for the men who go to war. And lastly those bases need to go somewhere, can't place them in the middle of nowhere so they won't inconvenience people but still expect to function as needed.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I can explain it to you, but it doesn't really sound like you are interested.

In fact, you can't. Nothing about those statements advocates for dangerous activity, try as you might to make it seem so

And so, having utterly convinced yourself that your opinion is correct, you logically conclude that anyone who does not agree with you must be incorrect, to the point that any criticisms are dismissed by default as impossible, and any opposition as deliberate or even malicious.

That is referred to as being close-minded.

There are two sides to every issue.

And, ideally, one understands both sides. Paying lip service to this cliche defeats the purpose.

You put the burden of right action on the protesters, not the governments which seem satisfied to allow this thing to simmer.

The government is doing nothing to mitigate the problem or stop it. You assume that inaction on the part of the government is also "right" action.

It is certainly a valid option. Whether or not that is what the government is doing, and whether or not it is a "right" action, depends on the perspective of the government, not yours. Understanding both sides of the story isn't about judging others based on your point of view; It's about judging them based on theirs.

Oh, and when you have gotten to the point that you are supporting your position by quoting yourself...you really need to consider that your message isn't getting through in quite the way you would like.

You presented your side well. You are everything one would expect for years of government training.

Hmm...

My issue with you is your attitude of assumed greater intelligence by belittling those with whom you don't agree instead of trying to understand their motives and concerns.

If irony where strawberries, we would all be drinking smoothies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Lets not let the terrorists know that a kite can down an military aircraft...shhhhhhhh....not so loud...

You...don't even bother reading responses, do you?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, please keep the discussion civil or your posts will be removed.

@ voice of Okinawa Oct. 06, 2012 - 11:48PM JST

True, there maybe only 175 Ginowan people that work on Futenma, but that is a small number in comparison to the 100's of business in Ginowan that have partially rely on U.S. associated customers that come from Futenma that eat at the restaurant, shop at the stores, buy cars, get JCI's, etc.. The other numbers benefiting not included is the business's that have or had contracts to perform services on Futenma or other bases. I am not trying to counter your post, but putting things more in perspective.

You mention 5% revenues, for practical purposes, that is actually a very big percentage for any area. If it was a fraction of a percent, that would be a different story. The private company owners and employees that attended the rally did so because of the culture of the proud Okinawan's. They will participate in many events to show a unity of people. Unfortunately, these items are great items for another post, but are not relevant to the Kites and Ospreys topic

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What if a kite brought down an Osprey and one or more protestors were killed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

martyman so why would you go off base to shop? It costs $30 for a small steak at Sams by the Sea or $35 for a larger one. A small bowl of beef bowl is $4.00. So what do Americans buy off base? You can get a cheaper car on the Lemon lot on base. Your auto inspection is done on base, you pay for the JCI on base and for less. At Camp Zama the base garage does it for you. Food is much cheaper on base at the commissary.

Yubaru I have a college degree, working at the base food court is beneath me. Working at a club is a no no and do not clean for a living. What good jobs are at MCAS Futenma for locals?

lincon man, MCAS Kaneohe has clean approaches to its runways over water. True runway 4 would require a fixed wing aircraft to fly over sparse community. My point is the base is on a peninsula away from built up areas. While Futenma is in the middle of a city. The noise and safety issues are much less especially since such a nimble helicopter never needs fly over any built up area. So tell me the real reasons.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

lincolnman Oct. 07, 2012 - 08:51AM JST

You seem stuck in your own political bias. This is not a left-wing/right-wing issue except in your mind. If you cannot accept that the US government and the US military are not always correct, then there is no help for you.

The opposition to the MV-22 at Kaneohe MCAS is strictly due to noise, not safety.

Whether noise or safety, why are Okinawans not given the same consideration? Does the Osprey not make the same noise in Okinawa as Hawaii? It would seem that Okinawa has the better case. People are worried both about safety and noise.

As for the base relocation, while it is common for everyone to blame Nakaima and the local opposition in Okinawa for the failure of the plan, a plan which has been around in one form or another since the 60s, one only needs to review the following Congressional Research Service review of the situation in East Asia to understand that the US government has been all over the map and cannot agree on what to do. Budgetary issues, alone, are massive and highly political. In fact, the failure to meet the 2014 deadline for implementation has little to do with Okinawans.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS22570.pdf

One does not have to be Sun-Tzu to know that the Marine component on Okinawa is not vital for the defense of Japan, the most common reason given to Okinawans to explain their presence. In fact, one analyst funded by the DoD makes this clear.

"People are going to take a hard look at the Marines and say, 'Well, I don't know why they are even there,'" says Jeffrey Hornung, associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, a Defense Department-sponsored think tank in Honolulu (Hornung says his views are his own). "Given how much problems this is causing in Okinawa, it's finally time to re-think things."

"What are the Marines on Okinawa for? If you say they are there for deterrence, then you have to ask, deterrence from what? If you are talking about China, then that would be the 7th Fleet. If you are talking about North Korea, then I would say it's the troops who are (based) in Korea," Hornung says. "If you pull the Marines out, is that going to hurt Japanese national security or US national security? I don't think so."

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/01/13/marines-on-okinawa-time-to-leave/#ixzz28ZfIPuco

The overarching reason that the Marines are in Okinawa is simply because the US wants them there and the Japanese government is willing to pay them to be there. The question of strategic or tactical necessity is uncertain at best.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And so, having utterly convinced yourself that your opinion is correct, you logically conclude that anyone who does not agree with you must be incorrect, to the point that any criticisms are dismissed by default as impossible, and any opposition as deliberate or even malicious.

I am utterly convinced that I never advocated for dangerous actions by protestors. That you persist in pushing this point only means that you would rather demagogue me than discuss the issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Readers, last warning. Keep the discussion polite or your posts will be removed.

It is certainly a valid option. Whether or not that is what the government is doing, and whether or not it is a "right" action, depends on the perspective of the government, not yours. Understanding both sides of the story isn't about judging others based on your point of view; It's about judging them based on theirs.

And so, does that go for the actions of the protestors as well?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Think of all the tourism dollars that would come to Okinawa if tourists didn't have to put up with the US troops everywhere they go.

That's a joke right? Do you think anyone thinks "I won't go to Okinawa because the US military is there". I do know a lot of people who go BECAUSE the military is there and they want to see friends and family.

And sorry but the US has zero impact on the poor education and test results - that's the Japanese government, not the US. If the US were to leave, unemployment would go up, crimes would go up... Okinawa has a lot to offer but with the nickle and diming it does for everything, it is one reason why I don't bother visiting anymore.

Yuri, if the US leaves Okinawa who is going to pay the Okinawans right now who would lose their jobs? You think the Japanese government is going to spend money and develop Okinawa more? Laughable.

The number is a mere 175. With this figure at hand can you say, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you"?

And how many business OFF base cater the military? You ever been to the area? MANY would be without business if the US packed up and left.

I 100% understand that the Okinawans are fed up - I don't blame them. However, their anger is misdirected. They need to be screaming at Tokyo for all of this, not the US. Thing is, Tokyo doesn't want the US to leave. Imagine having to pay and defend Japan on their own. Heck, little Ms Yuri is always screaming she wants the US gone but when "red China" steps up, she's the first one crying for the US to step in and do something. Hand that feeds....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The sad truth is Hawaii or Guam refuse to accept the Ospreys. They are on Okinawa not to defend but to train Marine pilots. The entire Marine base structure is all about training on bases paid for by the government of Japan. Kadena AFB has aircraft, White Beach can support ships. Tori station is for communications. They should of rebuilt the Elephant cage there instead of Hansen. I say close all of the Marine bases, no relocation within Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

tmarie Oct. 07, 2012 - 11:15AM JST

The point is that you can not predict the economic impact of the Marines leaving Okinawa. But the fact is, it should be left up to the Okinawans to decide, not a foreign government.

Everyone says that Okinawa should leave the US military alone and go protest Tokyo, but that absolutely fails to recognize the integrated influence between the two governments in which Okinawa is not invited to participate. The US lives in Okinawa's front yard and has at least as much culpability for the problems of Okinawans as the Japanese government. To deny that is to deny reality.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

tmarie, I only want the Marine bases to close for now. The other bases can stay for now. Though I think Kadena can be smaller and Tori Station relocated within it. Camp Swab would make a lovely resort. Anyhow the Marines can not defend Senkaku with 12 Ospreys and the small number of combat troops on Okinawa.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"I only want the Marine bases to close for now. The other bases can stay for now."

Why should the other bases stay? lol.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Think of all the tourism dollars that would come to Okinawa if tourists didn't have to put up with the US troops everywhere they go.

That's a joke right? Do you think anyone thinks "I won't go to Okinawa because the US military is there".

It's no joke. I love holidaying in Okinawa, love the seas, the coral, the natural environment.....but we won't be visiting for example the area around the Tonan Botanical Gardens there again after the ear-splitting din from military flyovers we were subjected to last time we were there. And when driving the short distance from A to B involves a detour through C, D, E and F because the green vastness of a military base dotted with houses surrounded with spacious gardens is in the way and out of bounds, I'm less likely to consider going to B in the first place.

Having the US military in Okinawa isn't going to stop me going there, but I'd likely go more often and drop more money there if the military wasn't there.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Anyhow the Marines can not defend Senkaku with 12 Ospreys and the small number of combat troops on Okinawa.

Actually, tiny little place like Senkaku, yeah, 12 Ospreys and a base full of Marine would be serious over-kill. So much so that they wouldn't even be there for defense; their mere presence on the island would deter any but the most hardcore and strategically idiotic commanders to try and take the island. And actual defense of the island would be done before any invading group even got close enough to disembark.

I think you are looking at the military in way too much of a business perspective. That's not how the military operates.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The point is that you can not predict the economic impact of the Marines leaving Okinawa. But the fact is, it should be left up to the Okinawans to decide, not a foreign government.

It ISN'T the US deciding. It is the JAPANESE government calling the shots here. Which is why I'm saying the anger is misdirected. And you can make predictions - cost analysis and the like. Why not ask the Philippines how they're making out in the areas the US bases left. It aren't pretty. If Japan demanded the US leave, I think they would - thing is, Japan won't. They know they need the US to defend it - ask Yuri about this. She goes on and on about it enough...

Having the US military in Okinawa isn't going to stop me going there, but I'd likely go more often and drop more money there if the military wasn't there.

So in the end, you agree with exactly what I said. Do you think it would be any different is the US packed up and moved? Nope. The Japanese SDF would move in - and probably make a heck of a lot more noise.

And having grown up on bases and at the end of runways, it really isn't as bad as some of you - and the Okinawans - make of it. If they don't like it, don't live in the area. Picture when the bases started and now - someone put a lot of houses right next to the base and I don't think you can blame the US for that....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

martyman (Oct. 07, 2012 - 10:17AM JST),

True, there may be some businesses catering to U.S. bases and service members: restaurants, repairing shops, bars and what not. One may call revenues directly coming from such businesses "direct base revenues." But the percentage of direct revenues that occupy in the whole economy of Ginowan City is minuscule -- certainly, not big enough to support, either partially or wholy, the livelihoods of the whole population of 1.360,830 of Ginowan City.

Aren't there shopping centers, repairing shops, restaurants, bars and recreation facilities where military personnel and their dependants can spend less and enjoy more than just going out of base compounds in these days of dollar-devalued global economy, as one poster, YuriOtani, gives us the glimpse of the picture of a base?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And actual defense of the island would be done before any invading group even got close enough to disembark.

Would that be defense by the 7th Fleet and the 5th Air Force, those "support" arms of the Marines?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tmarie if the Japanese government demanded the Americans leave there would be a coup against it. The operatives of the CIA would make them history just like they did President Diem of South Vietnam. When they found out they were talking to the North about peace, they organized the assassination. Same with the Osprey deployment, the USA is forcing Japan to accept them. While they would not kill the PM they will use their minions to force him from office just like Kan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It ISN'T the US deciding. It is the JAPANESE government calling the shots here

Like with the Osprey deployment?

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Monday that Japan will have to accept the deployment of 24 U.S. MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the Futenma air base in August.

Speaking on a TV program, Noda said the planned deployment is part of the U.S. government's defense policy which the Japanese government has no say in, NHK reported.

And then there is this which would seem to indicate the Japanese government's inability or unwillingness to say no while fully willing to deceive the Japanese people on Okinawa.

A draft version of the 1996 report by a Japan-U.S. defense panel that confirmed the relocation of U.S. base facilities in Okinawa included a plan to deploy the MV-22 Osprey aircraft, which has had a history of accidents, but references to the plane were deleted in the final report in the face of Japan's opposition, according to U.S. documents and a U.S. negotiator in the talks.

While the Japanese government has said it has not received any response from Washington on whether a specific decision to deploy the Osprey tilt-rotor vertical takeoff and landing aircraft has been made, the documents support the view that its deployment in Okinawa has been in the pipeline since 1996.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While they would not kill the PM they will use their minions to force him from office just like Kan.

Kan got dumped because of his anti-nuclear stance. Hatoyama was ousted because of Okinawa.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

saidani yea you are right too many Japanese PM's lately it is easy to get confused! So change Kan to Hatoyama, it is the principle that remains the same.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

someone please explain to me how the closing of the Maki Housing Area hurt the economy? With the booming business of the Shintoshin area, I cant see how closing a base would hurt the Okinawa economy.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Yuri, I highly doubt it. The main thing is here is that Japan does want the US to leave. Period. You can make suggestions about what would happen IF the US was asked to leave but let's be honest. Your government doesn't want them to leave.

And frankly, no on around Japan wants the US to leave. The rest of Asia doesn't trust Japan and having the US here does give a little sense of Japan being under thumb. Get rid of the US and you've got a whole bunch of very touchy countries looking at Japan (and China and wondering what the heck is going to happen.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

For those of you who claim that Okinawa will be just fine economically without the US military presence, think again. The rent for property leased for the bases, salaries paid to Japanese MLC and IHA workers on bases, and the direct sales of merchandise and services to the base population by local businesses is only part of the equation. The GOJ constantly economically assists the prefecture of Okinawa at a rate significantly higher than the other prefectyures in order to compensate for the military 'burden' it bears. The following are only a few examples of the national government's aid to Okinawa compared to the average for the rest of the 46 prefectures:

Building and maintaining roads: Okinawa - 95% , Other 46 - 70% Building and maintaining public schools: Okinawa - 85%, Other 46 - 50% Building and maintaining fishing ports/facilities: Okinawa - 90%, Other 46 - 66% Building and maintaining municipal housing: Okinawa - 75%, Other 46 - 50% Building and maintaining water supply network and sewage system: Okinawa - 75%, Other 46 - 33% Building and maintaining airports and civil aviation facilities: Okinawa 95%, Other 46 - 66% Sales tax on gasoline is on the average 7 Yen/liter lower than the mainland. Tax on aviation fuel for Naha-Haneda routes are almost half that of other non-Okinawa routes. Naha Bunka Tenbusu, Okinawa Kodomo No Kuni (Kododomo Miraikan), Chatan Nirai Center, Kadena City Mizukama-cho Municipal Housing, Kadena-cho Multimedia center, Okianawa City Koza Music Town - all built using GOJ funds budgeted for US military-related projects.

The benefits from these examples are felt not only by citizens in the immediate vicinity of the bases but by everyone prefecture wide, especially in the cases of the higher government aid supporting prefectural infrastructure. These significant benefits need to be factored in before people claim that Okinawa can make ends meet with the US military gone. With us gone, these benefits courtesy of the GOJ will also cease and simply put Okinawa would have an extremely difficult time staying solvent if it has to pay as much for its ports, roads, sewers, etc. as the other prefectures do.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

saidani OCT. 07, 2012 - 01:05AM JST

cabadaje, USNinJapan2 You presented your side well. You are everything one would expect for years of government training.

Are we supposed to be offended by this? Or just be surprised by the lack of maturity it demonstrates? Being ignorant government-trained automatons we're not sure...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

USNinJapan2 (Oct. 07, 2012 - 03:02PM JST),

It's true that Okinawa Prefecture receives the highest amount of tax money allocated by the central government among all 48 prefectures. But if you think that is the merit of the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, you are completely wrong. Tokyo allocates the highest amount of the tax money to Okinawa because it considers it's necessary. A foreigner, whose country doesn't pay rentals for the bases they use (88 in all; 33 in Okinawa) but instead coerces Japanese taxpayers, Okinawans included, of course, to pay much of maintenance costs for the upkeep of these bases, cannot dip into Japan's internal policy, brazenly suggesting that Okinawa host U.S. bases for another one hundred years or more because of the merit of this tax money allocation.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Would that be defense by the 7th Fleet and the 5th Air Force, those "support" arms of the Marines?

Correct.

Again, you seem to be under the impression that "support" is somehow less of some undefined quality. Be assured, the wingman is no less dangerous than the pointman.

Like with the Osprey deployment?

And then there is this which would seem to indicate the Japanese government's inability or unwillingness to say no while fully willing to deceive the Japanese people on Okinawa.

One of the most difficult things I have to teach my Japanese negotiators is that "No" is just a phase of the negotiation, and should never be considered a final answer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone ever considered another angle where the US(Boeing) wants to sell a civilian version of this vehicle and the only way they can do this is to scrap off the fear from the public which takes time.

Japan secretly wants to station these on the new Heli carrier that is being built so Boeing and Japanese government has a common goal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are we supposed to be offended by this? Or just be surprised by the lack of maturity it demonstrates? Being ignorant government-trained automatons we're not sure...

I'm out. I've been tagged enough times to not make taking the time to make diplomatic responses worthwhile anymore. Bad evolutionary practice.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Flying kites can be Okinawans' last resort to pry open Washington's deaf ears and stop Marines' arrogant and outrageous conduct on this beloved island of ours.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru I have a college degree, working at the base food court is beneath me. Working at a club is a no no and do not clean for a living. What good jobs are at MCAS Futenma for locals?

Food court and club positions are not what I am referring to. Those positions are sub-contracted out and those Japanese employees are NOT paid by the Japanese gov.

You have no idea how you sound when you comment that a position is beneath you or not. There are plenty of people that take those positions because they have families to feed and there are no other jobs available.

You live in America so it's understandable to a degree that you don't know the reality of what the jobs situation here is like NOW. Tengu da na!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa

Flying kites can be Okinawans' last resort...

I hope it is their last resort as it's already dangerous as it is. If it isn't what's the next step if they escalate their protest? Lasers to blind the pilots? Releasing flocks of birds to cause a bird strike? After all, their point won't be made until a few innocent Okinawan lives are lost in support of the cause right?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

T Marie on the issue of (Osprey) noise:

And having grown up on bases and at the end of runways, it really isn't as bad as some of you - and the Okinawans - make of it.

I've seen farms right beside some of the world's major airports. The animals don't flinch when a 747 roars overhead. Ignorance is bliss. Peace and quiet would probably terrify these animals, and maybe even T Marie with her noise conditioning.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yubaru, are you saying that just because you have a job on base, you let that cloud what you would be deciding if were not working on base? Because you work on base, you would say anything to keep the base you work on here?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

and Food Court employees are Regular Part Time employees of AAFES. Their salaries are paid by the Japanese government for now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

USNinJapan (2Oct. 07, 2012 - 08:16PM JST),

Which is more to blame, flying kites or the Osprey?

If flying kites is so dangerous, why wouldn't Washington sincerely listen to our voice and retract the already started deployment of the Osprey. It must also stop treating Okinawa as if it were booties the U.S. forces won by war even though the war ended 67 years ago. One poster on this thread (apparently, an American, and a typical one at that) betrayed his true feelings by saying, "It sucks to lose a war."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Corrrection:

USNinJapan (2Oct. 07, 2012 - 08:16PM JST),

Which is more to blame, flying kites or the Osprey?

If flying kites is so dangerous, why wouldn't Washington sincerely listen to our voice and retract the already started deployment of the Osprey? It must also stop treating Okinawa as if it were booties the U.S. forces won by war even though the war ended 67 years ago. One poster on this thread (apparently, an American, and a typical jingoistic one at that) betrayed his true feelings by saying, "It sucks to lose a war."

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

yubaru, are you saying that just because you have a job on base, you let that cloud what you would be deciding if were not working on base? Because you work on base, you would say anything to keep the base you work on here?

Look feeding my family comes first, and btw I never said I worked on base, so don't try to put words into my mouth or assume something either.

Like Yuri and now YOU too, you going to pay to put food on the table for the families that would lose their jobs because of Okinawan's who are nearsighted and dont realize their place as a part of Japan? Put your money where your mouth is.

I have CONSTANTLY said that Futenma needs to be moved.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@VoiceofOkinawa;

It was me who said "it sucks to lose a war". Do you deny that it's true?

Oh, and I'm not American. Sorry to burst your stereotype.

The basis question isn't a choice between Ospreys or no aircraft. It is a choice between Ospreys or 40 year old helicopters. Anyone with a lick of sense would see that the choice is obvious. But, that's not what the Okinawan rabble rousers want. They just want to be left alone. Well, that's unfortunately not an option. Okinawa has the misfortune to be located in a strategically vital area. There WILL be military bases there. There WILL be aircraft there. Any sensible person who loves their children and worries about their safety would be grateful to see modern aircraft replacing obsolete ones.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa

In case you haven't noticed, the safety record of the Osprey and the Marine Corps' ability to operate it safely, particularly at MCAS Futenma is a hotly debated and controversial issue with little consensus.

In contrast, intentionally flying kites, balloons or placing any debris in the path or vicinity of an airborne aircraft, especially one powered by turbojet or turboshaft engines is extremely dangerous and puts lives at risk. This is not a controversial issue that's debated because it's a fact that is understood by those who have common sense. Based on some of the preceding posts though a few JT posters are evidently not included in this category.

Nothing can justify what these protesters are doing - knowingly doing something that places others' lives, both military and civilian, in danger for their cause, so your question whether you should blame the kite flyers or the military more is irrelevant. What these particular protesters are doing is sensational for sure but it is also selfish, irresponsible, and clearly dangerous and would be utterly counterproductive if they were to result in a fatal mishap. What effect do you think a few dead Marine aviators and local school children killed by a FODed Osprey would have on sympathies for the anti-Futenma cause? I think it's appalling that these protesters evidently justify the potential loss of life as an acceptable (perhaps even calculated) risk. Why you don't think there's anything wrong with what they're doing here, not their cause in general or other safe forms of protests but specifically what's reported in this article, is quite beyond me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It bugs the heck out of me to see people here make comments about Okinawa and the bases without their ever stepping foot on the island, nor knowing anything about the people or the economic situation that affects everyone.

Even people who live here, and are either anti-American or anti-military talk about "getting rid of the bases" but fail miserably to consider the livelihoods of the thousands of workers and their families that would be greatly affected by any move of the bases. They all talk about, "Oh let's build more hotels" (There are too many as it is NOW and the people owning them and working there as well are NOT doing well at all, the "government" said build more hotels to help with unemployment, but the rooms are 50% to 60% EMPTY) "Build more JUSCO's (AEON)" Yeah right, low paying service orientated jobs with profits heading off somewhere besides Okinawa.

Put down CONCRETE ideas! Concrete PLANS! Show your financing, what you are going to do, or please shut up!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

USNinJapan2 (Oct. 07, 2012 - 11:16PM JST),

Flying kites with an intention to crash an aircraft is terrorism withou a doubt. But flying kites to stop an aircraft with faulty safety records from flying over a densely populated civilian area is heroism, not terrorism, I think. How do you respond?

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator (Oct. 07, 2012 - 11:00PM JST)

Sorry I made a blunder about your identity. Now, I'm very much interested to know about who you are or what nationality you have. Judging from your code name, probably, a self-proclaimed right-winger from Japan?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Voice

What part of endangering the lives of the pilots and passengers of the aircraft is 'heroism'? 'Heroism' would be joining the JSDF and becoming a pilot. Being part of the solution, not the problem.

As for the safety record, how does the Osprey compare to the aircraft it is replacing- better, worse, or the same?

As for my nationality, it's not important. Not Japanese, though. My name is a joke on a stupid remark Hillary Clinton made a number of years ago. She claimed there was a "vast right wing conspiracy" that was targeting President Clinton. If only it were true......

Actually, I tend more libertarian than right wing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

VoO

Flying kites with an intention to crash an aircraft is terrorism withou a doubt. But flying kites to stop an aircraft with faulty safety records from flying over a densely populated civilian area is heroism, not terrorism, I think. How do you respond?

I won't. It's obvious you subscribe to the idea that two wrongs make a right and if at this juncture you don't see the glaring fallacy in your logic I'm not going to waste any time on it. Good luck.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If a kite can endanger an Osprey, what would a real weapon do if it came from a simple fishing boat. Get the Osprey out of Okinawa and put some real flying machine in there.

You mean like a Boeing 747 or a 737 that be brought down with a single Canadian goose entering the jet engine?

Flying kites with an intention to crash an aircraft is terrorism withou a doubt. But flying kites to stop an aircraft with faulty safety records from flying over a densely populated civilian area is heroism, not terrorism, I think. How do you respond?

Easy, they are safer than the SeaKings they are replacing. Actually the Osprey has one of the safest safety records out of all military aircraft in the past 12 years. Perhaps if you did your research you would know that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa, Vast Right-Wing Conspirator is a right wing tea party Republican. That means he is an American and probably a soldier. The phrase was made in the 90,s by Hillary Clinton.

So it continues the USA moves Osprey aircraft to Okinawa because they are not allowed in most American bases. It must really bother the Americans that they can not bust up these peaceful demonstrations. So "it sucks to lose a war", hmm I hope you remember that when the USA loses a war.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Ospreys are not allowed to take off and land in the U.S.A. in built up areas because they are unsafe.

Actually V-22's are allowed to take off and land in the USA at military bases where the areas are built up.

Perhaps you could prove me wrong and show me the regulation where they are not allowed to do that in the US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Noliving depends on where in the USA. No rule works for all situations. In their rust belt and many places any job is a good job. They are willing to take their chances. Unlike Japan the USG does not have someone else to do their dirty work. If the people around a base would not want they deployed they will not be deployed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good for the Okinawa. I guess the Marines want everyone to lay down and do what they are told.One day Uncle Sam and his goons (see comments above) will realize that making the world your enemy is not a good idea. If the Chinese would just stop loaning Uncle Sammy money the world would be a better place.Try Peace

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It bugs the heck out of me to see people here make comments about Okinawa and the bases without their ever stepping foot on the island, nor knowing anything about the people or the economic situation that affects everyone.

Kind of like how non teachers complain about teachers, movie goers who have never made a movie comment....

Yuri,

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator is a right wing tea party Republican. That means he is an American and probably a soldier. The phrase was made in the 90,s by Hillary Clinton.

Thanks for the laugh. You are so far off the mark. If anyone here is a war hungry, right winger, it would be you. Always calling for war, always stating "red China", always complaining about the US and then wanting them to defend you...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Noliving depends on where in the USA.

So that would be a no.

In their rust belt and many places any job is a good job. They are willing to take their chances.

Ok so according to you most american bases don't allow v-22's, what is the portion of bases that doesn't allow? Is it 55%? 65%? 89%?

I would like for you to prove the quoted above statement, show me a community in the US saying they are accepting the risk of the v-22 because they need a good job.

The truth of the matter is that v-22's are safer than the SeaKnights they are replacing. They are just as safe if not as safe as black hawks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To all posters on this thread:

The Marines withdrew their plan to base the MV-22 Osprey at Kalaupapa Airport on Molokai Island and Upolu Airport on Hawaii Island in the face of local residents' opposition. The local people cited noise as one of their top concerns for the basing.

Here, in Okinawa, the Marines are adamantly insisting to deploy the aircraft at Futenma Air Base, reputed to be the world's most dangerous air base because of its location in a densely populated residential area. Okinawa has been demanding its closure for years. In 1996, Washington promised to return it but with a heavy string attached. It demanded a new, more advanced facility be built on reclaimed land in coastal waters of Henoko in northern Okinawa.

A blueprint for constructing a new air base at Henoko had already been designed by the Marines in the 1960's but it didn't materialize because U.S. Congress didn't approve the plan due to mounting expenditures for the Vietnam War.

In 1992, the Pentagon decided to deploy the Osprey to Futenma Air Base in Okinawa. But the aircraft had had a history of fatal accidents killing more than 30 people by that time. You cannot deploy such aircraft to an air base like Futenma. So the Pentagon searched for a new location for Futenma and had an eye on Henoko once again. This time, the costs for building a new base will be shouldered by Tokyo because Tokyo took the initiative in this return matter.

With all this in mind, Washington agreed to return Futenma in 1996. Very generous on the part of Washington but very tricky and greedy. That's how we see the Futenma and Osprey issues.

Flying kites is nothing if compared with a more vicious conspiracy that's been going on.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Good job Okinawans. Real classy move. You protestors need to get serious and start lighting yourselves on fire. Maybe then you could force the Americans out. Oh wait you can't. Remember the whole unconditional surrender thing?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Flying kites with an intention to crash an aircraft is terrorism withou a doubt. But flying kites to stop an aircraft with faulty safety records from flying over a densely populated civilian area is heroism, not terrorism, I think. How do you respond?

While this wasn't directed towards me I have one comment to make.

The people flying the kites in the path of the Ospreys obviously have one goal in mind.

They WANT an accident, they WANT people to die, because in their minds it's the only way to get the Osprey's out of Okinawa.

I reiterate myself here; Move Futenma and the Ospreys will move with them and be gone. It's that simple. Refocus the demonstrations towards the Japanese Government and get the base moved.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Chiketah the surrender was over 67 years before and we did not become the slaves of the Americans. If the American aircraft can not get around a few kites they need to be withdrawn from service. It must really irritate the most powerful country in the world to be opposed from the descendants of farmers and fishermen. The Americans doing is a slap to the face of the proud Okinawa people. This is all about our freedom from tyrants. Our home is still under an occupation while not as harsh as before still occupied. The Americans using the spineless are our masters. The Ospreys are the symbol of their control over our beloved island. The kites are the symbol of our resolve to liberate our home.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

In 1992, the Pentagon decided to deploy the Osprey to Futenma Air Base in Okinawa. But the aircraft had had a history of fatal accidents killing more than 30 people by that time. You cannot deploy such aircraft to an air base like Futenma. So the Pentagon searched for a new location for Futenma and had an eye on Henoko once again. This time, the costs for building a new base will be shouldered by Tokyo because Tokyo took the initiative in this return matter.

1992 is 20 years ago. Accidents unfortunately occur with airplanes that are under development, but to use that as the basis for protesting today is downright ludicrous.

Tokyo didnt take the initiative, get your history right. The US has known for decades that Futenma is an accident waiting to happen. And according to the US Security agreement they have the right to expect Japan to keep it's end of the bargain. Want to renegotiate? That''s a totally different story.

The TWO governments JOINTLY agreed to the return of Futenma with the express agreement that a replacement facility, per the agreement, be found FIRST! http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/96saco2.html

Japan can be blamed for this not happening!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yuriotani and everyone else, the Osprey can get around the kites with no problem. I believe we demonstrated that this week. They just fly into the airfield from another direction. I guarantee you that JMSDF aircraft have crashed more than the Osprey. I guarantee you that all those commercial planes taking out of Naha have crashed more than the Osprey. I thought the Japanese were really good at math but yet they cant get statistics of the Osprey right. If you are protesting Americans being here fine. But at least do it with accurate statements.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And now boys and girls, it's time to play Fact Check!

According to voiceofokinawa from his OCT. 08, 2012 - 08:40AM JST post:

In 1992, the Pentagon decided to deploy the Osprey to Futenma Air Base in Okinawa. But the aircraft had had a history of fatal accidents killing more than 30 people by that time.You cannot deploy such aircraft to an air base like Futenma. So the Pentagon searched for a new location for Futenma and had an eye on Henoko once again.

Verdict: FICTION!

FACT: In 1992 the Osprey was still in test stages with the DOD and was not in service with the USMC nor was it a deployable aircraft. The pentagon didn't even approve production for the Osprey until 2005 let alone decide on a plan to deploy it to a specific OCONUS forward base 13 years earlier. The first operational Osprey wasn't delivered to the Marine Corps until the end of 2005 and the first squadron didn't begin transitioning from CH-46s to MV-22s until 2007. The plan to relocate Futenma to Henoko didn't take shape until 2006 and had absolutely nothing to do with the Osprey which didn't have a 30+ fatality count by then. In 1992, the total number of fatalities caused by a mishap involving Ospreys was SEVEN, all from a single crash during a demonstration that same year involving a pre-production bird. The next fatality didn't come until eight years later in 2000.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Toyota vehicles have killed more people than the Osprey.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

SoftBank doesn't want the military to go away.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Unemployment would skyrocket if the military left okinawa

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I get a laugh when I read people talk about the "proud Okinawan people". What part of that pride allows them to be so heavily subsidized from Tokyo and a national government they claim to despise? 95% subsidies on public works projects? Give me a break.

As to moving the airbase... which was there first, the airbase or the urban sprawl butting up against it?

But never mind. Facts never have been a part of the whole Okinawa/US Military debate. It used to be about occasional isolated crimes committed by military personnel, now it is about an aircraft that has yet to have any trouble in Okinawa whatsoever. It's an emotional argument.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator well give us back our land and watch us go! When I was born 1/2 or more of our island was an American base. I will move home to Okinawa and want my families land back. This is our home not yours. The remark about losing sucks, it sounds very Japanese who were never very forgiving. America is the shinning city on the hill, the aspirations of others.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It's an emotional argument.

And that's the final answer!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More excuses from Yuri. Okinawa already has benefits and subsidies that other prefectures only can dream of. You won't get your family's land back, any more than I will get my family's land back that used to be part of Germany and now is part of Poland. Time to look forwards and not backwards.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This is our home not yours.

I do believe it's just as much MY home as yours. In fact chances are that I have been living here longer than you ever did. At least where you are in the US people consider you for who you are and not as a foreigner and treat you the same as all other American's.

However that can not be said for people like me who make Okinawa their home. You will never accept us gaijin as being a part of Okinawa, yet you are accepted in America. Double standard right? It is what it is, but don't sit here and preach about what "we" should be doing when we are here living it day by day, and you are THERE.

You say America is the "shining city on the hill" but you constantly put it down, and put down the people that made it so and protect YOUR right to say what you want.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I wonder how many of the protesters would be prepared to pay the extra tax required to replace the U.S. defence of Japan.... But then again, the Okinawans are, as a group, effectively living on Japanese benefits and so they might not understand the concept of actually paying anything.

Joking apart, I suspect that while all Okinawans want the Americans out, none of them want the total destruction of the local economy that such a move would entail. Hence, the noisy minority are allowed to carry on with daft stunts such as this, with everyone safe in the knowledge that it will never actually result in any change.

Yours cynically

FnC

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To USNinJapan2, an arbitrator

Certainly, the operational deployment of the Osprey started in 2007. Therefore, in 1992, the tilt-rotor aircraft was in testing stages as USNinJapan2 asserts. Even so, decision can be made as to when and where it can be deployed.

USNinJapan2 says that "the plan to relocate Futenma to Henoko didn't take shape until 2006" and had absolutely nothing to do with the Osprey..." He is wrong. On September 9, 1997, the Okinawa Marine reported that the Osprey would be deployed in Okinawa. On September 29, 1997, the Pentagon set forth its final plan to deploy 36 Ospreys to a new air base to be constructed in coastal waters off Henoko.

Let me chronicle Osprey accidents below to straighten out a little bit of my short memory because of which USNinJapan2 accuses me of posting a fiction on this thread.

7/1992 Crashed at the Potomac River in Virginia. Casualties: 7. 4/2000 Crashed in Arizona. Casualties: 19. 12/2000 Crashed in North Carolina. Casualties: 4. 4/2007 Crashed in Afghanistan. Casualties: 4. 4/2012 Crashed in Morocco. Casualties: 2; Serious injuries: 2.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Addenda:

Am I writing a fiction, USNinJapan2?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So,what you are saying is that the Oprey has only been involved in 2 crashes in the past 10 years. By the hysteria emenating from the professional whining class in Okinawa, one would assume they were plunging burning from the skies on a daily basis, crashing into orphanages and nunneries.

Good job in putting to rest for good any semblance of reality or sanity in the anti-Osprey camp.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

USNinJapan2 says that "the plan to relocate Futenma to Henoko didn't take shape until 2006" and had absolutely nothing to do with the Osprey..." He is wrong. On September 9, 1997, the Okinawa Marine reported that the Osprey would be deployed in Okinawa. On September 29, 1997, the Pentagon set forth its final plan to deploy 36 Ospreys to a new air base to be constructed in coastal waters off Henoko.

If what you write here is to be taken at face value and accepted for the argument as true, then pray tell why didn't the Okinawan politicians and anti-base crowd start protesting against it's deployment here in Okinawa back then?

Seems to me if what you wrote is true that they would have had at least 15 YEARS to get their point across and not wait until the last minute to say anything? Go figure huh?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

VoO

Are you writing a work if fiction? Absolutely.

In 1992, the Pentagon decided to deploy the Osprey to Futenma Air Base in Okinawa. But the aircraft had had a history of fatal accidents killing more than 30 people by that time.You cannot deploy such aircraft to an air base like Futenma. So the Pentagon searched for a new location for Futenma and had an eye on Henoko once again...With all this in mind, Washington agreed to return Futenma in 1996.

7/1992 Crashed at the Potomac River in Virginia. Casualties: 7. 4/2000 Crashed in Arizona. Casualties: 19. 12/2000 Crashed in North Carolina. Casualties: 4. 4/2007 Crashed in Afghanistan. Casualties: 4. 4/2012 Crashed in Morocco. Casualties: 2; Serious injuries: 2.

According to your history lesson the move to Henoko was devised and the decision to return Futenma to Japan made in 1996 because 30+ people had been killed in Ospreys by that year. According to the dates/casualties which you yourself just posted above, there were only 7 casualties during that period. How many times do you have to have your inaccuracies pointed out? Face it, you claimed that 30+ people had died in Osprey mishaps by 1992/1996 driving the decision to close Futenma and move to Henoko when in reality there were only 7 fatalities. You're exaggerating, sensationalizing or just simply ignorant or uninformed of the facts. Either way, it speaks volumes to the integrity of your 'historical lesson' you so patronizingly posted for us. Just show me where and when more than 30 people had been killed in Osprey mishaps prior to 1996 as you claimed. Should be easy if it's true right?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just to add to USNin's comment. the decision to return Futenma was based upon a brutal rape of a 12 year old girl by three members of the US Military. Futenma is a sticking point BECAUSE of it's location, everyone knows it, with the exception it seems of Okinawan politicians who continue to fight against it being moved within the prefecture.

But you know what, if it (Futenma) had been moved as agreed upon back then, we wouldnt be having this discussion today over 15 years later.

Pretty stubborn and obstinate these Okinawan politicians are, they want time to stop while technology and the rest of the world moves on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chiketah the surrender was over 67 years before and we did not become the slaves of the Americans. If the American aircraft can not get around a few kites they need to be withdrawn from service. It must really irritate the most powerful country in the world to be opposed from the descendants of farmers and fishermen. The Americans doing is a slap to the face of the proud Okinawa people. This is all about our freedom from tyrants. Our home is still under an occupation while not as harsh as before still occupied. The Americans using the spineless are our masters. The Ospreys are the symbol of their control over our beloved island. The kites are the symbol of our resolve to liberate our home.

Slaves? Nope. You're the lap dog. Again, if you want to be ticked off at anyone, be angry at Tokyo. Hawaii got them moved because of outcry and a government who listens to them. Guess who isn't listening to Okinawa... Tokyo. If Tokyo wanted them gone, they would be. Tokyo doesn't listen because Okinawa cries so much about everything - wah! The noise! Wah! The GIs off base! Wah! Osprey! Wah wah wah! Can't figure out what they are so angry about.

And as said, proud Yuri? Since when is taking handouts from taxpayers anything to be proud about?

Indeed, you home IS occupied. By the Japanese. Again, you seem to forget you put you in this mess.

Freedom from tyrants and yet you live in the US... Which is it Yuri? Are they tyrants holding you captive or are you more than happy to live there and I assume, make a decent living - which is something many Okinawans don't seem capable off.

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator well give us back our land and watch us go! When I was born 1/2 or more of our island was an American base. I will move home to Okinawa and want my families land back. This is our home not yours. The remark about losing sucks, it sounds very Japanese who were never very forgiving. America is the shinning city on the hill, the aspirations of others.

Watch you go where? To Hello Work to ask for more handouts? You've still got plenty of land on Okinawa that isn't developed. And anything that is is nickle and dime for even beach access, parking... This is our home, not yours? How would you feel is a bunch of Americans said that to you? You talk a lot of talk. Why not put your money where your mouth is? If you feel so strongly, why not come back and help your people rather sit in a tyrant country who is holding your people down? Oh right, because obviously you don't care that much.

The shinning city? The tyrants?? Make up your mind.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

USNinJapan2 (Oct. 08, 2012 - 03:27PM JST),

I must admit I made a mistake in my post dated Oct. 08, 2012 - 08:40AM JST by writing that "the aircraft had had a history of fatal accidents killing more than 30 people by that time." In order to correct my error and be more precise, I chronicled fatal accidents involving the Osprey from 1992 until this year. With this correction, does USNinJapan2 still consider my post to be a fiction?

The Osprey project started in 1982. During its long development period, accidents occurred many times. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a defense secretary under the George W. H. Bush administration, said the program was a "turkey" and even called for its termination four times.

So the Pentagon's Osprey project staff must have been unsure themselves of the safety of the aircraft at the time its deployment to Futenma was decided on in 1992.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Tokyo doesn't listen because Okinawa cries so much about everything - wah! The noise! Wah! The GIs off base! Wah! Osprey! Wah wah wah! Can't figure out what they are so angry about.

Marie please, please, please, codify your remarks. It's the Okinawan politicians and folks from mainland that stir up this kind of trouble. While many people, including myself, believe that Futenma needs to be relocated, that doesnt mean the rest of the bases have to move.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry Yubaru, I just get so sick of seeing Okinawians on TV most weeks protesting about something or other that they blame the white devils for when really it is Tokyo they should be screaming at.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's cool really, and I can't blame folks who only see what they do on the news.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru,

Here's my response to your post dated Oct. 08, 2012 - 03:12PM JST.

Okinawans don't read Okinawa Marine, an English gazette circulated exclusively for the Marines. The Pentagon's plan to deploy 36 Ospreys to a new air base in coastal waters off Henoko was set forth only in their internal document and was not publicly announced.

At Diet, lawmakers from Okinawa districts, at least twice as far as I know, questioned heads of the Ministry of Defense (formally Defense Agency) if the government knew about the Pentagon's plan to deploy the Osprey to Okinawa. Their answer was always the government knew nothing about such plan. Of course, we had some inkling of it through various sources. We knew the 6 sites at Takae in northern Okinawa which were publicised as helipads were not for conventional helicopters but for the Osprey because of their sizes and shapes. So when it was officially announced 12 Ospreys were to be transported to Okinawa and deployed at Futenma, Okinawa's outrage knew no bounds. 

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Okinawans don't read Okinawa Marine, an English gazette circulated exclusively for the Marines. The Pentagon's plan to deploy 36 Ospreys to a new air base in coastal waters off Henoko was set forth only in their internal document and was not publicly announced

.This is NOT true, I know for a FACT that there are members of the prefectural assembly that read the OkiMar and all other military or military related publications. OkiMar is available off base and is also read by many Japanese too.

Try again....,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I support free speech. But it must be accurate speech. I honestly would not have a problem with the protestors if they wouldn't exaggerate and sensationalize everything. They claim there were 100000 people at the protest on sep 9th. The police have reported only 25000. They also say things like the osprey will fall on their heads and futenma is the most dangerous airfield in the world. I don't know what the stats are but I can think of at least four crashes at NAS Kingsville in the past two or three years. Futenma hasn't had one in 8 years. In all honesty, these statements diminish your credibility and essentially marginalize you to crying wolf. So when you say the Osprey is the most dangerous aircraft, when its not, frustrations over your false statements erupt and you end up with the comments above. Like I said, I don't mind the protestors. As a service member,I fight for people's freedom of speech. But at least have some decency to make accurate statements.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yubaru (Oct. 09, 2012 - 05:25AM JST),

I didn't know there were prefectural assemly members who read Okinawa Marine. Do you want to say because they knew about the Osprey deployment, they should have imformed that fact to the general public and that a rally like the one held on September 9 should have been held much earlier?

If you live in Okinawa, you must have been to Takae Village in northern Okinawa. There you see people sitting in to protest the construction of the so-called "helipads," being fully aware that the 6 facilities around the village are for Ospreys' landing and take-off training. The sit-in has been going on for 5 years.

Also, in Henoko, villagers and their supporters have been sitting in for 8 long years, protesting against the construction of what we were initially told it was for helicopters and thus dubbed as "marine heliport."

Okinawa's hearts are with them but most people, including myself, cannot physically participate in the sit-ins. The official announcement by Washington to deploy the Osprey to Futenma worked as a catalyst for the general public to wake up and come to the September 9 rally against the deployment.

But how many protests and rallies had been held to appeal to reduce the burden of hosting this excessive U.S. military presence before that? Oftentimes, demonstration has taken the form of a human chain ringing bases. You should come to such a demonstration and a rally. There were quite a few American participants in the September 9 rally also.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Oftentimes, demonstration has taken the form of a human chain ringing bases.

Those protest chains belong around a certain building located at 1-7-1 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, not the bases.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

USNinJapan2 (Oct. 09, 2012 - 09:33AM JST),

Is that all you can say about the Osprey issue and demonstrations? You call my writing a fiction, a dubious criticism. But as a hack writer you stand most salient, excelling all others.

The Kadena Air Base was encircled by a human ring 4 times: in 1987, 1990, 2000 and 2007. The Futenma Air Base 5 times, the last two held in 2004 and in 2010.

In concert with the September 9 rally held in Ginowan City, Okinawa, there was a demonstration in Tokyo also with about 10,000 participants encircling the Diet building at 1-7-1 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku. USNinJapan2 uses this Tokyo demonstration as his only source for writing the cheap novel. Good for him.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My knights and I had a little round table discussion on this current hot potato and having quaffed at least a gallon of hot honied mead, Lancelot came up with this very funny joke and I quote thus, "When is an airplane not a helicopter ? When it`s an Osprey". We all had a long guffaw at this incredibly dull joke. But when it comes to war, Lancelot knows what he is doing and recommends that the big boys be left alone to do the job, as they have been doing, since the end of WW2. If such an onerous task is not appreciated, then the big boys should politely leave and let the local knights get on with it !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

typical USA. do what the bloody hell they like, total disregard for every body else, and there fellings and religious belefes, and just carry on with what they want to do... Arogance in the first degree! no wounder there dissliked every where they go in the world. I can sympathise with the people in Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The article is based upon using kites to protest having Ospreys based in Okinawa. The primary issue behind that was the "safety" factor.

The issues behind that are 1) dislike of Japan bases used by the USA forces in Okinawa 2) building of such bases in so called "undesirable" areas on Okinawa 3) the negative economic impact on certain areas of Okinawa < because it impacts one area positively and other areas negatively> 4) the negative impact of sound and other inconveniences to Okinawan people 5) the "feeling" that Okinawa was singled out and abandoned by Japan at the end of the war and again after the war by allowing "unwanted" USA military forces on Okinawa soil. Some of the issues are directed at getting back at the Japanese government for what Okinawans feel are mishandling it all without the Okinawan people's input. Some of the issues are in en effort to direct more economic and other support from Japan and the USA for it all.

Regardless... the issue here is the kites. It is dangerous just the same for those flying them and for the Ospreys.

All it will take is one major accident and injury or death to make this entire effort a meaningless one. It can be an actual accident or an intentional one by some "deranged" person. So nothing justifies such action.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

kazetsukai (Oct. 09, 2012 - 04:36PM JST):

Flying kites with an ill intention to crash an aircraft is terrorism. No doubt about that. But do you think flying kites to prevent an aircraft with faulty safety records from taking off and train over densely populated residential areas day and night terrorism also? I think you do because you call such a person "deranged."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

voiceofokinawaOct. 09, 2012 - 06:26PM JST

But do you think flying kites to prevent an aircraft with faulty safety records from taking off and train over densely populated residential areas day and night terrorism also?

Yes, stopping the CH46 from landing is the same as assault on the pilot, who already have stressful enough lives considering the CH46 has caused hundreds of deaths. Good thing the marines are replacing that unsafe 1960s design with a hybrid craft with a proven safety record like the MV-22. The only danger with kites and the MV-22 is cutting the kite holder's hands off (if they are stupid, crazy, or just downright insane enough to use steel cable or heavy fishing line instead of low breaking strength nylon strings).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yaburu, so what brings you to Okinawa? Do you really understand what the Okinawa people are protesting? About not being an Okinawan well it does not bother me or my friends. The kites are a symbol of protest and not meant to harm aircraft. A bit of a nuisance but the Osprey need not take off or land over them. They just need to adjust their flight paths. A know a CH-46 can do it, have some experience with them :) The USA should of made new upgraded versions of the proven design.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

N Korean soldier shoots officers, defects to South

Yuri you better go tell him he's running the wrong way.... LOL....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The kites are a symbol of protest and not meant to harm aircraft.

What? Then why use something so dangerous?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tmarie, kites are not dangerous. Unlike fixed wing aircraft the Osprey can easily get around them. Even it they hit them it would mean a destroyed kite. Think the aircraft has screens so it would not be ingested into one of the engines. Birds are much more of a problem than kites. Do you know what a big Canadian Goose can do to a plane?

About "white devils", you can not have mine have dibs on him! Oh we meet in Tempe AZ not Okinawa.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

basroil (Oct. 10, 2012 - 12:27AM JST),

When did the Pentagon or the Marines decide to replace the CH 46 with the Osprey? Wasn't it in 1992? By that time, the aircraft had earned the inglorious nickname of "widow maker" because it had caused so many accidents including fatal ones.

Let me repeat the chronicle of Osprey accidents I listed on my post dated Oct. 08, 2012 - 02:57PM JST in case you didn't read it.

7/1992: Crashed at the Potomac River in Virginia. Casualties: 7. 4/2000: Crashed in Arizona. Casualties: 19. 12/2000: Crashed in North Carolina. Casualties: 4. 4/2007: Crashed in Afghanistan. Casualties: 4. 4/2012: Crashed in Morocco. Casualties: 2; Serious injuries: 2.

The mass production of the Osprey started in 2006. From 2006 until 2012, a total 58 accidents occurred involving the Osprey aircraft. You say the MV-22 Osprey has "a proven safety record." But when did the V-22 Osprey become MV-22? Isn't it only a fluke that the renamed MV-22 has "a proven safety record"?

Regardless of MV-22 Osprey, CH-46 Sea Knight or C-130 Hercules, flight training day and night over densely populated residential areas to improve novice pilots' flight skills must be prohibited. ABSOLUTELY. The U.S. has no legal or moral right to use the land it illegally confiscated from private citizens. That's what Futenma is.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Yuri,

Do you really understand what the Okinawa people are protesting?

Better than you it seems. You have a chip on your shoulder that's been there for years because your family, not you personally, lost land. However your family is generously compensated yearly for that land. Sure you want it back to go back into poverty, but it's the smybolism of it that bugs you.

That aside here, remember that it's only some Okinawan's that protest the US Military. I give credit to the one's that are pragmatic. They are silent, but only in public.

Oh and for your information, I will not respond further to any posts you make directed to me until you learn to write my handle correctly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

10 Good| Bad Dell_1957Oct. 05, 2012 - 02:41PM JST

Be strong, people of Okinawa. Continue the protests. American "military intelligence" will continue to put and keep these dangerous aircraft over your area because no city in the USA wants them. Ask this question of your leaders: "What good is a slow flying plane that cannot out maneuver a heat seeking missile and can only reach Taipei or Fukuoka? Put these "planes" on Guam and see if the people enjoy these noisy aircraft flying over their area.>

Then by all means kick us out of your country and let you fend for yourselves....

This person does not represent a majority opinion in Japan or Okinawa. The press just magnifies the few trouble makers and thats about it.
0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry dude misspelled it, so Yubaru san why should my family be forced to lease our land to the Americans? Having the Government of Japan give us chump change for our land does not make it right. The land has been in my family for hundreds of years. Longer much longer than there has been a United States. Flying the kites is a protest against the Ospreys and the continued military occupation of our land. I can only suppose you are a SOFA American and benefit from the bases. You do not pay taxes and get big discounts on base. As an American you do not know what it is like to have land. Americans really only rent it.

Again pardon me for calling you to tear it was a misspelling. Maybe I should import some barrage balloons to Okinawa. Place them over schools to protect them like the old days.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

CNN reports: "Even though the Army doesn't want them, (USA) lawmakers are pressing the Pentagon to accept production of more M-1 Abrams tanks. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 gather dust at an Army depot in a California desert" Does this sound like what this article is reporting? The military complains about budget cuts but it has the tank and Osprey surplus problem. How many other means of war are not needed? Out of sight is not out of mind, and a tank or Osprey are definitely OBVIOUS. Good luck to the people of Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is now a whole lot of uninhabited land further north, move the bases there. No reason why the bases need to be in Okinawa. Let them play with their toys away from others.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yuri, if aircraft has to divert its flight path because of these kites, they are indeed dangerous. And yes, we'll aware what any kind of bird can do. Unlike you, I grew up ON airbases - which is why I roll my eyes at the crying of noise and the like.

And go back and reread my other post - I wasn't asking about your partner.

And land lease? Wouldn't your lease be to the j government who then allows it to be used by the US? Again, your anger is misdirected.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

voiceofokinawaOct. 10, 2012 - 08:31AM JST

. The U.S. has no legal or moral right to use the land it illegally confiscated from private citizens. That's what Futenma is

alloveritOct. 10, 2012 - 12:34PM JST

There is now a whole lot of uninhabited land further north, move the bases there. No reason why the bases need to be in Okinawa.

China would be glad to help you kick out the US. Just not sure if they will be as kind as the US forces in leaving you alone though.

Until then, stop trying to crash planes with kites, they are the dumbest thing that Okinawan's can do, especially when China is now declaring that Okinawa belongs to Senkaku chain and therefore is part of China.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru san why should my family be forced to lease our land to the Americans? Having the Government of Japan give us chump change for our land does not make it right.

Look, it's the Japanese government that now controls the issue. Have your family take it up with them. Chump-change? Hardly, unless your family only owns one or two tsubo.

The land has been in my family for hundreds of years. Longer much longer than there has been a United States

One Japan lost the war, Okinawa was one of the spoils of war. If Japan had won, I suppose this discussion might be going the other direction, although I doubt it.

I can only suppose you are a SOFA American and benefit from the bases. You do not pay taxes and get big discounts on base. As an American you do not know what it is like to have land. Americans really only rent it.

Don't assume anything Yuri. One I am not SOFA, I pay more in taxes here in Japan than you do, or ever have, since you live in the US. I OWN LAND in Okinawa too.

Again pardon me for calling you to tear it was a misspelling. Maybe I should import some barrage balloons to Okinawa. Place them over schools to protect them like the old days.

It's not the first time either, in fact it happens so often that one has to think it was on purpose. Go ahead and fly some barge balloons, would not make a difference to me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I was referring to the bases moving to the vacant land in Tohoku. Let them play with their military toys away from the public.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Flying kites with an ill intention to crash an aircraft is terrorism. No doubt about that. But do you think flying kites to prevent an aircraft with faulty safety records from taking off and train over densely populated residential areas day and night terrorism also? I think you do because you call such a person "deranged."

I’d call it terrorism and criminal, and so would the Japanese government, as referenced in their Aviation Security Law, which cities any act that could impact the safety of air travel as a criminal infraction. Don’t believe me, go fly a kite off the departure end of Naha Airport and see how fast you’ll be sitting in the back seat of a patrol car. And while we’ve mentioned kites and balloons, I haven’t seen any reference to lasers, which were also pointed and aimed at the cockpits of the MV-22s upon arrival by the protestors – extremely dangerous and also a criminal act.

I’d also call it hypocritical - acts such as kite or balloon flying can cause foreign object damage to any aircraft – protesting against a supposedly unsafe aircraft by taking an irresponsible and dangerous action that increases the potential for an accident is the height of hypocrisy – and clearly highlights the protestors lack any credibility.

I’d also call it doubly-hypocritical – protesting the MV-22 because it is supposedly unsafe to operate at Futenma, but at the same time opposing the closure of Futenma and movement of its functions to a much safer and remote area in Henoko.

But as we’ve seen with all US military issues on Okinawa, when it comes to the anti-US, anti-base advocates, common sense and logic don’t apply – it all boils down to influence, self-importance, and that one key factor they never want to admit – money…….

0 ( +2 / -2 )

lincolnman

You couldn't be more correct but really, you're wasting your time, particularly addressing the individual you've quoted...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Flying a kite near an airport is idiotic,, inconsiderate, rude, insensitive and just plain dangerous. Not caring that the kite flyer is putting other peoples lives at risk make them a sociopath.

And what is with "Us American"? That is not English. Its the wrong part of speech, please go back to school.

To me, the NV-22 is a badly designed, inelegant aircraft and reflects the design process of the 1980's. Yes, it flies and it is safe enough. Still, it needs a major design up.

Nothing that flies is safe, but the Osprey is safe enough. The aircraft is just a pretense to protest the US bases. However, the base are never going away. Even if the US leaves, the bases will stay. It is needed. If you think it's bad under the US, what do you it will be like under a Japanese military. The Japanese government does not want to pay for a military currently so use the excuse of the Constitution which can be easily changed to have the US here; same in Germany, England, etc. Yes, those countries have military but they are not trying to kick out the US Military. It's cheaper to keep the US than do it on their own.

Why are there US troops in S. Korea? To prevent a military move from N. Korea. South Korea can not nor do they want to bring up a force that is ready to fight N. Korea. Having the US personnel there, means that the US will need to react if something happens. Same for Okinawa and Japan in that if some country attacks, Okinawa will be the first battleground.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

lincolnman (Oct. 10, 2012 - 08:14PM JST),

How dare you say:

"I'd also call it doubly-hypocritical -- protesting the MV-22 because it is supposedly unsafe to operate at Futenma, but at the same time opposing the closure of Futenma and movement of its functions to a much safer and remote area in Henoko. "

Your argument is no different from mobsters telling local people in their turf that "our presence may be dangerous but it's necessary because we're protecting you from attacks by other mobs. Be thankful to us and harbor no grudge. But if you still have a complaint, you should find a replacement building for us in another place. It's "doubly hypocritical" (to borrow your modifier) to blame our presence in the area and at the same time to not build the new safe house we've been asking you."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Dell_1957OCT. 05, 2012 - 02:41PM JST Then by all means kick us out of your country and let you fend for yourselves....

they have been trying, year after year. it's just some 'muricans are adamant in staying. kinda like a stain that won't go away.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wasn't aware that MCAS Futenma was there before the Okinawans.

The area now known as MCAS Futenma was an Imperial Japanese airstrip that the American forces took over. Photos exist of what it looked like then -- a barren bluff with one or two quonset huts and not much else in sight. I've seen them. Ask someone at The Japan Times who was working there around the time of the infamous rape of the young girl. The photos are in their archive.

The city grew around the base. And people just like these kite-flyers built a schoolhouse at the end of the primary runway even though the U.S. military pleaded with them not to. This kite business isn't "civil disobedience" as someone said, it's an attempt to endanger an aircraft flight, which could get someone killed. And escalation to more lethal tactics is indeed a danger until these protesters are arrested by Japanese police.

The Ospreys are there to confound the Chinese strategy. That's why Tokyo allowed the deployment to go forward. And yes, the threat of low-flying, air-refuelable Ospreys inserting plane-loads of first-wave Marines is a serious one for China.

This thread is out of control.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Jeff Ogrisseg(Oct. 11, 2012 - 01:48PM JST)

Time and again, persons with the same mistaken notion as you come and go one after another and I must repeat addressing their mistaken notion. What a chore!

Read my post dated Oct. 06, 2012 - 12:33PM JST on this thread, part of which I re-post below:

Let me correct your ignorance of the fact. Futenma Air Base sits on private lands the invading U.S. forces usurped immediately after the Battle of Okinawa while area residents were herded into camps. The area was part of the Ginowan municipality consisting of 16 villages. The U.S. forces encroached upon 6 villages completely and a dozen other villages partially. That's the reason why there are family tombs here and there within the base along the fences. Can you imagine the self-proclaimed freedom fighters encroached upon even graveyards and school yards?

Kadena Air Base has more or less the same history. But the U.S. forces expanded it from the Imperial Japanese Army's small air strip called Naka Hikojo (Central Air Field) by ten times.

Today, Futenma occupies 33% of the land area of Ginowan City, and Kadena 83% of Kadena Township, 53.5% of Chatan Township and 34.4% of Okinawa City (formerly Koza City).

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Voice: I see. Which part do you think you are correcting me on?

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Jeff Ogrisseg,

On the history part, of course. As for the kite thing, you should read all my posts on this thread.

Don't you think that, regardless of MV-22 Osprey, CH-46 Sea Knight or C-130 Hercules, flight training day and night over densely populated residential areas to improve novice pilots' flight skills is more dangerous and life-threatening for citizens living under it? The U.S. has no legal or moral right to use the land it illegally confiscated from private citizens (See Article 46 of Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land). That's what Futenma is.

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Voice: OK, I'll take the history lesson into consideration. It seems there may be a stack of miscaptioned photos in the JT archives. Too bad for them.

On the second part, yeah, I know. Okinawans were royally screwed over and they have been getting a totally crap deal for way too long and Tokyo has done jack and keeps dragging its feet instead of trying to rectify the situation. We all get it. But do you really believe that intentionally trying to endanger an aircraft in flight is a valid and justified means of protest? What possible good could come from the deaths of airmen or innocent people on the ground?

The apathetic American public can barely look up from Dancing With the Stars and Project Runway long enough to care, even when their "brave sons and daughters in uniform" get killed overseas. The event would be called a Terrorist Attack and Tokyo would denounce it further as increasing the threat from China, who apparently wouldn't mind taking Okinawa along with the Senkaku Islands. (I doubt that the Chinese would care much about Article 46, but I've been wrong before.)

Nothing is going to improve in Okinawa until the protests are taken to the gates of the Diet, because yelling at the U.S. military and throwing things at them doesn't seem to be producing the desired results.

If the Osprey is so unsafe, one will crash on its own error before too long. But trying to cause one to crash is attempted murder.

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Jeff Ogrisseg,

Flying kites with an ill intention to crash an aircraft is terrorism. But flying kites to prevent an unwelcome foreign aircraft from taking off and flying over densely populated residential areas may not be. What would trigger-happy Americans do if the situation was reversed.

If flying kites is so dangerous an act, which I didn't know until I saw a hyper-reaction from some posters here, then the Marines should stop practicing such flight training immediately. That's the message Okinawa wants to communicate to Washington. We have come to realize merely holding anti-Osprey rallies one after another can't pry open Washington deaf ears. Or do you have any good idea about how to get Washington to seriously listen to our voice?

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and the mayor leading the protest is naturalized japanese...He is from mainland china.

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Yubaru, am sure I pay more in taxes. While I am spending the majority of my time in America for the next few years. I have a considerable income in Japan. I still think your income comes from the Marine bases.

The kites are not a real threat to the Osprey. Then if they are the Osprey is very substitutable to FOD (foreign object damage) and not very maneuverable. My flight experience is in other aircraft. What the Marines need to do is to fly around or over the kites. Another thing would be to deploy a cutter in front of them. Put it on the nose and practice precision flying. There are other things they could do as well. They need to think outside of the box.

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YuriOtani Oct. 12, 2012 - 07:13AM JST The kites are not a real threat to the Osprey. What the Marines need to do is to fly around or over the kites.

It's not any different than pointing a laser light to the airplanes. The U.S. military and Okinawa goverment should crack down on anyone caught intentionally releasing a kite or baloon on any aircraft path. It's a problem that's getting a lot worse and the military and goverment should send a strong message.

This is a serious issue. They don't respect putting the people that are on the aircraft in danger. The U.S. military are fed up with people who may not be terrorists, but whose actions can temporarily create a danger to a pilot. There are tough penalties and we would do all that we could to make sure that people understand that there are serious consequences. The crack down is needed in any way to reduce the hazard.

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