national

Blast destroys warehouse at U.S. military base in Sagamihara

138 Comments

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

© The Associated Press/AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

138 Comments
Login to comment

A blast ripped through a U.S. military base.................

That's a little over the top considering the fire and explosion are confined to one building.

29 ( +29 / -2 )

Lady witness said it smelled like gun powder, i wonder how she knew how gun powder smells like. It's good no one got hurt and had the situation under control. Accidents happen, just be more careful.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I saw some videos and read other news, it's a big disaster probably involving chemical stuff but some people here are minimizing!

-30 ( +5 / -35 )

, i wonder how she knew how gun powder smells like

Have you never used fireworks?

28 ( +29 / -2 )

According to other sources tha Americans said to the Japanese firefighters that they can't use water, this means chemical stuff is involved. Why they keep such dangerous stuff in a populated area?

-21 ( +7 / -28 )

I also read that witness "didn't see smoke" bit on NHK and thought it a bit strange when billowing clouds were so obvious from all the pictures.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

" ...this means chemical stuff is involved. Why they keep such dangerous stuff in a populated area?"

I'd venture a guess there are plenty of Japanese made chemicals being stored in or around Tokyo.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

But this is military stuff! At least this kind of crap should be kept far from populated areas, in my opinion. Some guys here sound like if they were from Tepco..."accidents happen, just be more careful, but everything is under control". Sure...this is why they can't use water.

-29 ( +5 / -34 )

All sorts of things are stored at Depot. Munitions, trucks, etc. It holds war supplies. Also things not being used by the base schools are also there. It is a neat place to explore.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Have you never used fireworks?

Modern gun powder and explosives do not smell like fireworks, but burning trash does. Black powder, used a century ago and before does smell like fireworks. I have fired a gun many thousands of times, and am familiar with the smell.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The most absurd thing according to this article is that the US side doesn't know what is inside? Are they kidding?

-26 ( +5 / -31 )

“We have not poured water (on the warehouse) because it could make the situation worse, depending on what is inside,”

Sounds like Tianjin.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Indeed it sounds like Tianjin, horrible.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/huge-explosions-army-base-japan-6306696

Here you can find a video of it. It sounds like ammunition. I used to live right near there at Fuchinobe, they store a lot of stuff there.

I hope it's all resolved safely.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

OK, seriously, "it sounds like Tianjin"?? That's a little over the top, isn't it?? Considering that no one has been reported hurt or killed and that the incident appears confined to one building, comparing this to Tianjin is a little ridiculous. Just because the Tianjin incident just happened doesn't mean these two incidents have any similarity. Other than an explosion/fire occurring in a populated area.

I am not trying to minimise the incident. I am just saying that we should all be a little measured in our comments, particularly given that the known facts are limited at this point.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

On a military base, any incident such as this is a significant matter to consider: from disgruntle staff to sabotage to even calculated warning of some sort. At a location of significance and in Japan, within a foreign military compound, where "control", safety and security, is imperative, this explosion is of Japanese national security issue. Putting "politics" aside, given the timing and the world scenario, nothing can be left out of speculation and investigative search.

As usual Japanese politicians and activists will refer to this and water the investigation down by distracting from the real issues, pointing fingers and blaming everything and everyone else except themselves. The the media will dwell upon this with their own so called investigative reporting.

We can only wait and see where this goes.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

OK, seriously, "it sounds like Tianjin"?? That's a little over the top, isn't it?? Considering that no one has been reported hurt or killed and that the incident appears confined to one building, comparing this to Tianjin is a little ridiculous. Just because the Tianjin incident just happened doesn't mean these two incidents have any similarity. Other than an explosion/fire occurring in a populated area.

Three cheers. The many U.S.-haters on JT will use any excuse to bash us any chance they get. Even when the size and scale of tow incidents are not even close.

It sounds like Tianjin because of the lack of trasparency and the fact chemical stuff is apparently involved since they can't use water.

Again, pure nonsense. Tianjin was a public area -- a major Japanese port in a densely populated area. This is one building on a restricted U.S. base. Get aggrip Alex.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's a little over the top considering the fire and explosion are confined to one building.

Consider the source.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Guys debating it's location and how safe it is.... Get off your chair and visit it, no seriously!

I passed this base on multiple occasions as it was my local suburb... Like 5 minutes bike ride.

It's surrounded by a tall barbed wire fence with guards. Has lots of grasses clearance from the fence to the warehouses too. It's a perfectly safe distance from houses.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Glad to know that nobody was hurt.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wow. Like they don't know what is in there? Come on. I bet they know down to the number of dustballs.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Footage shown on the morning news shows a large number of tanks both inside the building (seen through a hole in the roof) as well as some scattered around outside that were apparently tossed by the explosion. That's tanks as in the type used to hold propane gas or oxygen. Fire etc was limited to just one warehouse type building. J firefighters said they could not use water because the U.S. side had not/could not tell them what was in the building.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'@sangetsu03

Have you never used fireworks?

Modern gun powder and explosives do not smell like fireworks

It doesn't give the lady's age - and I was about to make the same remark - fireworks do/did smell like gunpowder.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is a difference between the Americans saying they don't what is inside and the Japanese fire department saying that they are waiting to hear what is inside. Nothing in the article and in the Japanese fire department's statement indicates that the American's don't know what is inside. Just because the Japanese fire department did not have that information at the time they made their statement does not mean the Americans don't know.

Keep in mind that, under the Status of Forces Agreement, primary responsibility for responding to incidents on base facilities rests with the U.S. military. We can debate whether that is OK or not another day. For now, it is just a fact. And the U.S. military does have resources on base to deal with these incidents. Of course, if they need support from the Japanese civilian resources, I believe there are mechanisms in place to facilitate that and they would provide the necessary information.

In this case, I would venture to say that the first responders would be the base emergency services and they most certainly would be advised as to the contents of that depot/warehouse/facility. That is standard protocol.

One thing I would note, which @Cortes has also alluded to. We all know that the military tends to protect operational details, for obvious reasons. However, when it comes to handling explosive materials, they tend to have strict procedures in place these days. Also, I would imagine that they have done risk assessments regarding the materials stored in this depot to ensure that, in the event of an incident, the incident can be confined within the space that is designed to house the materials. Obviously if I were a journalist and there was a press conference, I would ask this question of the military to confirm, but that would be standard protocol, I would assume.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Heard these explosions in Machida early this morning. Sounded like thunder.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Munitions are not stored there.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/08/23/explosion-reported-at-us-military-facility-in-japan/

Three explosions linked to a left-wing extremist group were reported in the vicinity of the base in April, according to the Wall Street Journal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Alex80 "at least this kind of crap should be kept far from populated areas" At least this kind of crap should be kept somewhere in the USA.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

According to Wikipedia usage of term "depot" varies in English-speaking countries.

However, the base under discussion is American, and USA is calling it a depot:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagami_General_Depot

Sagami General Depot (相模総合補給廠 Sagami Sōgō Hokyūshō?) is a United States Army post located in the city of Sagamihara, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Tokyo.

For example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logistics_center

A logistics center, or depot, is a facility dedicated to logistical operations. A logistics center might be a warehouse, freight forwarder, or a repair depot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's take this a step further. At this time the origin of the explosions are not known. If it happens to be an act of sabotage, what does that say about the infamous secretly conceived US-JAPAN Security Pact?

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

“We have not poured water (on the warehouse) because it could make the situation worse, depending on what is inside,” he said.

A little tasteless barb at China here...........come on enough with the tacky reporting, we say plenty of this crap with the recent ferry fire, a LOT of not so subtle hints how it wasn't like the Korean ferry disaster, GROW UP!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It sounds like Tianjin because of the lack of trasparency and the fact chemical stuff is apparently involved since they can't use water! LOL Japanese companies store much more toxic chemicals both cuastic and radioactive that have done more damage to Japans people and enviroment and ever will, compared to what the US military bases in Japan store, by far.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Has anyone from the Japanese government revealed what their "concerns" are?

Official releases from, and what the media covers often differs from what is of real concern.

This will definitely bring local outcry, especially negative ones. So the government as with the police are digging deep to find the answers. If they do find, it will be interesting to see and hear what they reveal and how they reveal it.

The official position by both governments and that of the media will be of much concern for strategists in our neighboring countries.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I saw it on the news seems like the storage for welding gas bottles, and the damage was only to one side of the building, so i assume that they were not all full.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@wtfjapan"Japanese companies store much more toxic chemicals"

Japanese companies are located on japanese soil. They aren't foreign occupants.

-18 ( +3 / -21 )

What about the Japanese that live close to the base? The fire may be emitting dangerous fumes. The USA is not disclosing what was in the building for what reason? I just hope the civilian authorities are taking air samples and if need be start an evacuation of the civilian population that is under possible threat. Japanese press is reporting the base has storage for petroleum products and ammunition. An American Commander said that the warehouse contains oxide cylinders. Then again like any Okinawa person believe the US military is constantly lying. The Japanese civilian authorities have a need to know exactly what was in that warehouse.

-20 ( +1 / -21 )

A Depot is not a Base it is a storage area. You never use water on a gasoline or electrical Fires.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

this means chemical stuff is involved. Why they keep such dangerous stuff in a populated area?"

they didn't use water with THE POSSIBILITY of certain chemicals being stored there. it was a wise decision (compared to what just happened in China recently).

Munitions are not stored there

right. whenever they use munitions for exercise and stuff, they actually bring it from munitions depot.

it was the Oxygen that made the big explosion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“We have not poured water (on the warehouse) because it could make the situation worse, depending on what is inside,” he said.

Time for a little basic Damage Control (DC) training I learned a long time ago in the Navy.

Class D fires consist of combustible metals such as magnesium, potassium, titanium, and zirconium. You don't put them out using water since water and other common firefighting materials can excite metal fires and make them worse. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that metal fires be fought with dry powder extinguishing agents.

So depending on what was stored there, the fire fighters made the right call. The base fire department was well aware of what was being stored there. Keep in mind, that the civilian fire fighters that are assigned to all the bases in Japan are Japanese MLC employees, who are well aware of the Japanese fire codes. There are only a few US citizen supervisors, but the fire fighters are all MLC.

We mustn't get too "excited" about the word "chemical" in this case. The chemicals could be some very common ones like magnesium or sodium or some other industrial chemicals, that are found everywhere in Japan outside the bases. I am sure that there have been other warehouse fires in Japan, but in this case, the facility is owned by the US government, which makes it news worthy.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@Alphaape:

MLC = Master Labor Contract, yes? For us not familiar, just wanted to confirm.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@YuriOtani "What about the Japanese that live closer to the base?"

You should believe Americans.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Japanese companies are located on japanese soil. They aren't foreign occupants. lol actually American military bases are legally American soil, just as foreign embassies in Japan arnt Japanese soil. You American military haters just need to live with the fact that American military bases will be in Japan for many many years to come. if you dont like it become a J politition and make the changes yourself and stop bitching about it

3 ( +10 / -7 )

https://youtu.be/3YzatlBl0aQ

I don't know what burned, but some of it went off like fireworks. Maybe it was fireworks? Have a look and see what you think.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@wtfjapan"American military bases are legally American soil".

You have no idea what "legally" means. There is nothing "legal" of American on Japanese mainland. Sooner or later you will be kicked out, just like Kyrgyzstan has recently did it.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Alex 80AUG. 24, 2015 - 07:28AM JST Why they keep such dangerous stuff in a populated area?

Because all substances are made of chemicals (even you and me. Even burning wood is a chemical reaction.) and there is no clear dividing line between safe and unsafe chemicals. For example, you would seem to be suggesting that a chemical fire that can be extinguished with water is a "safe" chemical, but go to the arid woodlands in the American Southwest where wild fires burn every summer and see how safe wood combustion chemical reactions are.

The simple fact is that modern life requires chemicals, some of which are novel and not understood by non-chemists. In a country with dense populations like Japan, it's inevitable that these things must be stored in populated areas. What you need to make it work is transparency and information, at least with the fire-fighting crews. Let's wait for the evening news before we jump to conclusions about how much transparency there is going on here. Remember, only a couple years ago there was a magnesium fire in a civilian Japanese factory in roughly the same area. These things happen, and thankfully, in most countries people have procedures in place to keep civilian casualties to a minimum.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

yamashi I am use to the deception of the American military as a person from Okinawa and as an Officer in the Maritime Self Defense Force. I do not expect that the Americans will ever disclose the danger they have placed the Japanese civilian population.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Accidents happen.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Alex80... Apparently you don't know the procedures of firefighting a fire. Firefighters like to know whats in a building before they starting pouring water into it. Many metals (i.e. magnesium) and chemicals (many sulfates) react violently to water. Also not knowing what is in the building, they wouldn't know what hazards are draining out of the building with the water or if the electrical power had been secured. This is the job of the on scene commander who in this case was probably on the American fire fighting team. That is why it is very important to have MSDS forms filed!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japanese Fire Departments are in control of all base fire brigades. There might be a US Military Chief...I do not remember, but everything is done by the Japanese.

That base is huge by the way.

Best stuff I ever found there was all this chemistry glass and chemicals. Was pretty cool. Looked like a Frankenstein Lab.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is the job of the on scene commander who in this case was probably on the American fire fighting team. That is why it is very important to have MSDS forms filed!

Probably the only American fire fighter on the scene was the fire chief on duty at the time. Also, depending on his language ability, there probably was a senior MLC (Japanese base employee) fire fighter who was actually doing the On scene work and coordinating with the off base response of the local fire department. The base fire departments and local Japanese fire departments do drills all the time, it's not like they are strangers to each other hampered by language, since the base fire fighters are all Japanese.

I doubt if they had that much explosive (i.e. ammunition) stored in that warehouse. There is a long and tedious process the Dept. of Defense goes through in order to enable a building to house ammunition. That stuff is normally stored in different types of bunkers and facilities. And if it was, as long as the maximum allowances have been met to ensure that if a fire did happen it would not cause too much damage to the surrounding areas that is one of the reasons why the damage was confined to just the warehouse.

You have no idea what "legally" means. There is nothing "legal" of American on Japanese mainland. Sooner or later you will be kicked out, just like Kyrgyzstan has recently did it.

@ yamashi: You don't know what "legally" means. Yes the US bases in Kyrgyzstan are gone, but it was because the government there told us that we were no longer needed, and due to the "legal treaty" we both signed we had to obey their wishes and move out. Japan has the right to ask us to move if the government really wanted us to, look at Okinawa for example. Yes the facilities on Japanese land are considered US territory, but we can't just pull up the land and take it back to the USA. When the government of Japan says that they want us out and have followed the provision set forth in the treaty between the two nations, all done "legally" we will leave. Don't let emotion cloud the facts.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It looks like a maintenance storage building burned down. The most dangerous items stored were bottles of acetylene and oxygen, plus the usual cleaners and solvents, no weapon snot explosives.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

You don't have to believe the American side if you don't want to, but independent monitoring of the area shows nothing dangerous in the air, it was confined to one warehouse, nothing like China where half the base was blown up. Appears to be a fire in a warehouse that stored oxygen bottles etc. OXYGEN + FIRE = not good, watch the movie Backdraft. Doesn't mean there was ammunition or crazy checmicals etc stored there.

I used to work near Sagamihara base, you can even run on part of the field for marathons etc.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sagami Depot is one of the 14 U.S. facilities planted in Kanagawa Prefecture, area-wise, the second largest (1,745 ha) after Okinawa that hosts U.S. bases. Not many prefectural residents are aware of the presence of those U.S. bases, though, because they are scattered widely across the prefecture unlike in Okinawa. But, certainly, their existence will be made aware of by such an accident as this.

The neighboring Metropolitan Tokyo has 8 U.S. bases and, so together with Kanagawa Prefecture, there are 20 U.S. bases and facilities in the Metropolitan area.

Is there any country in the world that hosts so many U.S. bases in and around its capital and claims it is a sovereign nation equal to the U.S. whereby it must help the U.S. fight its wars by even revising the constitution?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I heard this from CHIBA! Intermittent 'booms' for about 10 - 15 mins!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This sounds eerily similar to Tianjin, and i doubt it would've been an "accident" like what the media reports.

Sounds like something, of military retaliation.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

This sounds eerily similar to Tianjin

Yes ONE warehouse destroyed with zero casualties is eerily similar to hundreds dead and an entire port destroyed. Put it into perspective, there's nothing similar here to compare the two.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I'm just wondering how many bases the US has in Japan given that the WW II's been over for 70 years. Doesn't it have a large base on its own territory in the Pacific? It's called Hawaii.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

You can easily find your answer on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Forces_Japan

Hawaii is still far from Korea and China.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

These fire brigades have been working together for many years.

http://japan.stripes.com/base-info/fire-drill-strengthens-bond-between-army-city-firefighters#sthash.OmIl74zZ.dpuf

3 ( +3 / -0 )

AlphaapeAug. 24, 2015 - 11:56AM JSTYes the facilities on Japanese land are considered US territory

Japan is letting US to use the land based on the treaty. Not US territory.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

There is nothing "legal" of American on Japanese mainland. Sooner or later you will be kicked out, just like Kyrgyzstan has recently did it. lol actually there at the invitation and agreements of the present and previous J governments. since the J government is voted in by the Japanese people and the J government makes the laws in Japan. American military bases are most certainly here legally. Im sure one day Americas military will leave Japan, but it wont be in your lifetime. and when/if they do go it will be a mutually agreed upon by the Japanese and Americans governments. They certainly wont be kicked or forced out aggressively or in spite as many of you American haters fantasize over. Oh and im not biase as im not even Amercian, im just not blinded by hate, jealously or mistrust of everything American.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Japan is letting US to use the land based on the treaty. Not US territory.

I believe that according to the treaty, they are in fact US territory for as long as the US is on the land.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan is letting US to use the land based on the treaty. Not US territory. yes it is most definately US territory otherwise J police, J polititions wouldnt have to ask permission or be invited on those bases. Its treated as foreign embassy grounds. Japan has no right to enter these grounds unless there is a terrorist / national threat on those grounds. Judging by the amount a weapons kept on these grounds even if they wanted to I doubt even try to enter forcefully.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@wtfjapan "actually there at the invitation"

Occupation is not "the invitation". And colony is not "an ally". Try to read other textbooks than American ones.

"They certainly won't be kicked or forced out".

Lol. No need to imply force. They tend to self-explode sometimes.

"im not even American"

At least, you sound like a puppet of the USA.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

wtfjapanAug. 24, 2015 - 02:22PM JST it is most definately US territory, otherwise J police, J polititions wouldnt have to ask permission or be invited on those bases.

because of unfair treaty SOFA, which Japan is wanting to change and US ignores. If you Americans bought a plot of land in Japan it is US property in Japan's territory. there is no foreign territory in Japan.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

bootht: A Depot is not a Base it is a storage area.

Counterpoint: "... CCAD ... serves as a depot training base ..."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Christi_Army_Depot

Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) ... is currently the largest facility of its type in the world and serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, Reserve and international personnel. The depot's field teams provide worldwide onsite maintenance services for units around the world, saving a considerable amount of time and money by repairing aircraft engines and components on site rather than having them transported to and from the depot for repair. CCAD provides overhaul, repair, modification, recapitalization, retrofit, testing and modernization of helicopters, engines and components for all service and international sales of rotary wing aircraft

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's been a week of explosions: three in China, one in Japan. All in a secretive state(China) or a secretive institution (US Military).

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

If it is US territory why does US force Japan to pay the rent, maintenance, building new facilities, housing, utilities, etc?

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

In China, in US military base in Japan,,,. Those dangerous warehouses should not be built in/near town in the first place. Just put'em on own backyard, will you?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

yes it is most definately US territory otherwise J police, J polititions wouldnt have to ask permission or be invited on those bases. Its treated as foreign embassy grounds. Japan has no right to enter these grounds unless there is a terrorist / national threat on those grounds.

It is clear you know not of what you speak. U.S. bases are most definitely not U.S. territory as crimes committed on them fall under Japanese jurisdiction (which can be waived, depending on the crime/parties involved). And Japanese law enforcement does not require permission to enter--they can come and go as they please; just because everyday citizens cannot do the same does not make it a U.S. territory.

And, despite the enduring myth, in most cases, embassies are not sovereign soil either.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Alex80: "Indeed it sounds like Tianjin, horrible."

How utterly pathetic! Not only could you not let your hatred for the US go and see this for a small accident in which NO ONE was harmed, you decide to tastelessly compare it to one of the world's largest non-nuclear blasts in which more than 120 were killed and still nearly 60 people are unaccounted for? You've gone above and beyond with undermining yourself this time, Alex -- and then you go on to say "The US doesn't know what's inside??" when they know full well but the local firefighters (Japanese) and police did not have all the information when they arrived and had to wait?

Unbelievable!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@voiceofokinawa

Is there any country in the world that hosts so many U.S. bases in and around its capital and claims it is a sovereign >nation equal to the U.S. whereby it must help the U.S. fight its wars by even revising the constitution?

That's easy: South Korea. Just Google "map of US bases in Korea" to see the distribution in/around Seoul. Also, the Korean Marine Corps helped us fight in Vietnam (and earned quite a fierce-some reputation).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If it is US territory why does US force Japan to pay the rent, maintenance, building new facilities, housing, utilities, etc?

Because Japan lost the war.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

there is no foreign territory in Japan. seriously you need to read the UN rules about foreign embassies. an embassy in Japan or any other country is sovereign land of that country. The prime minister of Japan couldnt go into any foreign embassy in Japan without the permission of that countries government and certainly not any J police. The whole point is to have a presence in a country while maintaining your sovereignty as a country without the risk of harassment, infiltration, occupation. The same goes for Japanese embassies in the US, Australia NZ UK etc etc. There are UN laws agreed on by the UN member countries, for which Japan is one. If you dont believe it read the UN charter.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If it is US territory why does US force Japan to pay the rent, maintenance, building new facilities, housing, utilities, etc?

US is there at Japan's invitation.

Invite USA out if you don't like it. Deal with China on your lonesome.

After China's done settling with its neighbors in the South China Sea, maybe it can turn to enforcing claims on the Ryukyus.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Noble713

That's easy: South Korea. Just Google "map of US bases in Korea" to see the distribution in/around Seoul. Also, the Korean Marine Corps helped us fight in Vietnam (and earned quite a fierce-some reputation).

The Koreans also "earned " notoriety by raping and killing hundreds of VIetnamese civilians.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Not much in the US about it, one mention on ABC. All news videos on the net coming from Asia, and I don’t mean Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The neighboring Metropolitan Tokyo has 8 U.S. bases and, so together with Kanagawa Prefecture, there are 20 U.S. bases and facilities in the Metropolitan area.

That statement is factually incorrect - there are not US 8 bases in the Tokyo metro area and not 20 in Tokyo/Kanagawa - a base has an operational mission - you cannot count recreational facilities, small communications nodes, etc.

Is there any country in the world that hosts so many U.S. bases in and around its capital and claims it is a sovereign nation equal to the U.S. whereby it must help the U.S. fight its wars by even revising the constitution?

You incorrectly state it is the US that is advocating the current administration's security legislation and that it is to support US wars. Quite the contrary, the security legislation is being put forth due to concerns Japan has with regards to its security vis-a-vis China and North Korea.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Because Japan lost the war

Omoiyari (Sympathy) budget has nothing to do with Japan losing the war. It started long after the war as Japan's Omoiyari to US, which is not even on the treaty.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Is this emblematic of the sort of collaboration between Japanese and US firefighters recently enacted by PM Abe on Fuji TV - the American start a conflagration, and the Japanese are brought in to help put it out?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

lincolnman,

I'm not writing irresponsibly nor talking nonsense. The data are from the governments of Tokyo and Kanagawa. The facilities might include "recreational facilities" and "small communications nodes" as you say. But certainly, they are an integral part of "an operational mission" of the U.S. bases in the Metropolitan Tokyo area, that occupy 1,603 ha of land in Tokyo and 1,740 ha in Kanagawa. Yokota Air Base or Atsugi Naval Air Base located in the heart of the nation's capital is nothing worthy of note, in your opinion?

You say:

You incorrectly state it is the US that is advocating the current administration's security legislation and that it is to support US wars. Quite the contrary, the security legislation is being put forth due to concerns Japan has with regards to its security vis-a-vis China and North Korea.

If you are sincere enough, you will immediately realize that it's the U.S. that's been urging Japan to enact security-related laws, even though they may violate Japan's pacifist constitution, so that the JSDF can exercise the right to collective self-defense and help U.S. forces fight wars abroad like in the Middle East. PM Abe promised to do so in his speech given to the Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress on April 29 and was given a standing ovation.

The revisionist Abe administration is eager to enact the laws because that's in consonant with Abe's revisionist view of history.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

The neighboring Metropolitan Tokyo has 8 U.S. bases and, so together with Kanagawa Prefecture, there are 20 U.S. bases and facilities in the Metropolitan area.

Name them.

If you are sincere enough, you will immediately realize that it's the U.S. that's been urging Japan to enact security-related laws, even though they may violate Japan's pacifist constitution, so that the JSDF can exercise the right to collective self-defense and help U.S. forces fight wars abroad like in the Middle East.

Factually incorrect - you repeat the myth used by anti-US elements and groups that this legislation permits Japan to send troops to conduct operations with the US. This legislation allows no such thing. Read the legislation and please don't engage in exaggeration.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000080671.pdf

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Japanese companies store much more toxic chemicals both cuastic and radioactive that have done more damage to Japans people ,blah, blah, blah...."

It's our freaking country dude...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The Sagami Depot is just a military storage facility filled with Warehouses and Railroad Boxcars. If you ride the Yokohama Line between Machida and Hachioji, you can see this facility from the train. It's not hidden. Not sure if the explosion happened after the last train or not, but I am quite sure some people got a good look at this blast.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

lincolnman,

You want me to list up all U.S. bases in Tokyo and Kanagawa one by one? Blame Tokyo and Kanagawa governments if I am mistaken because the data are from them.

If you think the security-related bills now under discussion at the upper house of the Diet is as clear-cut as you assert, then there should have been no tumult and racket about these bills. There's a lot of room in the bills that gives a broad interpretation as people fear.

The government document which you referred to says, "The SDF will be able to provide necessary logistics support and search & rescue to armed forces of foreign countries engaging in activities for ensuring Japan’s peace and security in situations that will have an important influence on Japan’s peace and security."

The U.S. is a champion of breaking international law and agreements and may ask the JSDF to provide U.S. forces not only with necessary logistic support such as weapons and fuel but also actual help in armed conflict, saying that it will ensure "Japan's peace and security."

Note that in spite of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, Article 6 of which stipulates the U.S. is permitted to maintain bases in Japan for the security of Japan and the Far East, the U.S. has engaged in free-wheeling use of the bases for whatever purposes they may suit, for example, using the bases as staging posts to deploy troops trained in Okinawa abroad, as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Because Japan lost the war.

US seems always so arrogant state though the war was a long time ago. Time already has changed. If you think somehow you are still happy winner, then not much difference between US thinks and China thinks. No wonder so many countries hate both.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Blame Tokyo and Kanagawa governments if I am mistaken because the data are from them.

You are mistaken, and the data are not from them. Fix your facts, and then make your argument.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Since this thread started this morning, I have read, occasionally opined, but generally have just watched the exchange of ideas.

Whenever there is any news involving the U.S. military in Japan, particularly regarding its personnel and facilities, one can count on a great deal of interest and commentary, with regular contributors weighing in. The Sagami Depot incident is no different.

I could write a lengthy post; however, I will keep this short.

For those of you who have an issue with current footprint of the U.S. military in Japan and/or the behavior of the U.S. military under the current Status of Forces Agreement, the U.S. military seems to bear the brunt of your displeasure.

Whilst I can understand that given some of the boorish behaviour of U.S. military personnel and the overall impact of U.S. military facilities on local communities, particularly in places like Okinawa and Atsugi, you are directing you displeasure at the wrong party.

Japan is a sovereign country. It is not a victim in any international relationship unless it chooses to be. Japan could terminate the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation & Security should it choose to do so and, in so doing, terminate the Status of Forces Agreement. This would lead to the departure of the U.S. military. The U.S. military can only remain in Japan at the pleasure of the Japanese government.

And this is the crux of the problem for those opposed to the U.S. military presence in Japan: the LDP and the bureaucrats generally have no desire to end the presence of the U.S. military in Japan. And the vast majority of the Japanese people are apathetic regarding this matter, or, at the very least, are not willing to use the ballot box to force changes.

Interestingly, the Japanese people in the '50s and '60s had the courage, the strength and the will to demand changes, and, in fact, the Japanese and U.S. governments had to respond to these demands.

I wonder what happened to that courage and political activism. That it no longer exists in a meaningful way is the reason nothing is changing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wouldn't really consider a bunch of communications stations significant unless it was to inflate numbers. The Tokyo facilities as (seen on google maps) are dwarfed by the metropolis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Forces_Japan#List_of_current_facilities

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wouldn't really consider a bunch of communications stations significant unless it was to inflate numbers

Exactly. A base is a base. If there are 20 U.S. bases in the metropolitan area of Tokyo and Kanagawa, the U.S. hasn't found them yet.

A coherent argument against bases is possible, but not if you don't know what a base is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The U.S. military can only remain in Japan at the pleasure of the Japanese government.

Correct. In fact Japan pays the US a couple billion dollars annually for the protection. Mind you it's a huge jobs program for the Japanese since the US employes a substantial number of civilians.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

zones2surf is correct. Imagine the US Forces were to leave all installations in Japan and go elsewhere. That would mean Japan would need to increase its defense budget to counteract this loss of defense resources and that would be much more than the token billions they give the US governement. The local economies would suffer tremendously due to the lack of additional currency the foreigners living in the area would spend. Many people who rely on the military bases as their source of income would lose their jobs. It's not an easy decision to make.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

voiceofokinawa: "Is there any country in the world that hosts so many U.S. bases in and around its capital and claims it is a sovereign nation equal to the U.S. whereby it must help the U.S. fight its wars by even revising the constitution?"

Europe has many U.S. bases throughout it's regions, primarily Germany. It's no secret... just look on Google maps. Japan is not the only country to host U.S. bases. Are you not at the least bit concerned about China?

Let's be honest here... how much real estate does Japan have? 70% of the country consists of mountainous regions, where else could you build a base? Keep in mind, all of these bases were once Japanese bases since WWII and were in rural areas at the time. The population and development of the Kanto plains have exploded since that era. It's not like they decided to build the bases in highly urban areas from the start. That would be almost as absurd as the Japanese who knowingly purchase homes next to a Naval Air Facilities or U.S. bases, because the land/homes are cheap in comparison, then turn around and complain! That's like buying a house next to an airport and then trying to file a noise complaint. They probably should of picked a better place to live.

But you're probably right... get rid of all U.S. bases in Japan. Terminate the alliance and Japan can defend itself against China and other enemies. Good luck with that!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

seriously you need to read the UN rules about foreign embassies. an embassy in Japan or any other country is sovereign land of that country.

In most cases, no. International rules which prevent the host nation from entering diplomatic spaces do not confer extraterritoriality. Sometimes this is done separately by treaty but usually not.

"While diplomatic spaces remain the territory of the host state, an embassy or consulate represents a sovereign state."

http://diplomacy.state.gov/discoverdiplomacy/diplomacy101/places/170537.htm

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tokyo: Akasaka Press Center (US Army: 26,937 ㎡), Yokota Air Base (US Air Force: 7,136,404 ㎡), Fuchu Communication Center (US Air Force: 16,661 ㎡), Tama Service Annex (US Air Force: US Air Force: 1,957,190 ㎡), Owada Communication Site (US Air Force: 247,267 ㎡), Yuki Communication Site (US Air Force: 3,891 ㎡), Iwojima Communication Site (US Air Force: 6,630,688 ㎡), New Sanno US Forces Center (US Navy: 7,243 ㎡)

Kanagawa: Negishi Housing Area (US Navy: 429,000 ㎡), Yokohama North Dock (US Army: 523,000 ㎡), Tsurumi Fuel Terminal (US Navy: 184 ㎡), Wagatsuma Warehouse Area (US Navy: 802 ㎡), Yokosuka Naval Facilities (US Navy: 2,363 ㎡), Urago Warehouse Area (US Navy: 194 ㎡), Ikego Housing Area & Auxiliary Naval Facilities (US Navy: 2,884 ㎡), Sagami Depot (US Army: 1,967 ㎡), Sagamihara Housing Area (US Army: 593 ㎡), Camp Zama (US Army: 2,346 ㎡ ), Naval Air Facility Atsugi (US Navy: 5,069 ㎡), Nagasaka Rifle Shooting Range (US Navy: 97 ㎡)

Yokota Air Base has an area of 7,136,404 square meters but the airspace it exclusively controls (YOKOTA RAPCON) is as massive as beyond anyone's imagination, covering the airspace over Tokyo, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Kanagawa, Niigata, Nagano and Shizuoka. Commercial airlines must fly by avoiding that massive airspace.

Can one claim that Japan is a sovereign state?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Can one claim that Japan is a sovereign state?

It is.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Tokyo: Akasaka Press Center (US Army: 26,937 ㎡), Yokota Air Base (US Air Force: 7,136,404 ㎡), Fuchu Communication Center (US Air Force: 16,661 ㎡), Tama Service Annex (US Air Force: US Air Force: 1,957,190 ㎡), Owada Communication Site (US Air Force: 247,267 ㎡), Yuki Communication Site (US Air Force: 3,891 ㎡), Iwojima Communication Site (US Air Force: 6,630,688 ㎡), New Sanno US Forces Center (US Navy: 7,243 ㎡)

As expected, you again posted factually incorrect information. You stated there are 8 bases within Tokyo – the only base in your post above is Yokota. Akasaka Press Center (Hardy Barracks), the New Sanno Hotel and the Tama Service Annex are all recreational facilities. The remaining communication sites are small areas with only communications equipment within.

Kanagawa: Negishi Housing Area (US Navy: 429,000 ㎡), Yokohama North Dock (US Army: 523,000 ㎡), Tsurumi Fuel Terminal (US Navy: 184 ㎡), Wagatsuma Warehouse Area (US Navy: 802 ㎡), Yokosuka Naval Facilities (US Navy: 2,363 ㎡), Urago Warehouse Area (US Navy: 194 ㎡), Ikego Housing Area & Auxiliary Naval Facilities (US Navy: 2,884 ㎡), Sagami Depot (US Army: 1,967 ㎡), Sagamihara Housing Area (US Army: 593 ㎡), Camp Zama (US Army: 2,346 ㎡ ), Naval Air Facility Atsugi (US Navy: 5,069 ㎡), Nagasaka Rifle Shooting Range (US Navy: 97 ㎡)

More inaccurate info – Atsugi Air Station is a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force facility (US is only a tenant). The only bases in your list are Yokosuka and Camp Zama – the others are logistical or housing areas. You should more closely review your information for accuracy before posting.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

lincolnman,

The lists above are from the official homepages of Metropolitan Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectural governments under the name "U.S. bases" within each of their jurisdiction.

Semantically and lexicographically speaking, housing areas, recreation facilities like New Sanno Hotel may not be called military bases. But the word "base" here is used as a general term to cover all U.S. military facilities. That's a common understanding of the word not only at prefectural level but also at national and even at bilateral-relations level. If you say they are not bases, then why are they categorized as bases subject to host-nation support, thus built and maintained by Japanese taxpayers' money?

YOKOTA RAPCON is not a physical and visible entity, and yet it can also be subsumed under the general category of the word "base". Do you have any say about it?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The lists above are from the official homepages of Metropolitan Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectural governments under the name "U.S. bases" within each of their jurisdiction. Semantically and lexicographically speaking, housing areas, recreation facilities like New Sanno Hotel may not be called military bases. But the word "base" here is used as a general term to cover all U.S. military facilities. That's a common understanding of the word not only at prefectural level but also at national and even at bilateral-relations level. If you say they are not bases, then why are they categorized as bases subject to host-nation support, thus built and maintained by Japanese taxpayers' money?

They are not US bases, they are US facilities and areas as defined in the US-Japan SOFA. Your identifying them as "US Bases" was factually incorrect, and only used to fraudulently bolster your opinion that the US has too many facilities in Japan.

YOKOTA RAPCON is not a physical and visible entity, and yet it can also be subsumed under the general category of the word "base". Do you have any say about it?

Yes, as I said before, please more closely review your information for accuracy before posting.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Strangerland "It is"

Any sovereign country has national Armed Forces and Navy. And the sovereign country need not to host foreign occupation forces on its territory. Leaders of sovereign countries never visited the US Congress and bowed there, mumbling apologies.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Any sovereign country has national Armed Forces and Navy.

That's not part of the definition of a sovereign nation.

And the sovereign country need not to host foreign occupation forces on its territory.

The US is not here as an occupying force.

Leaders of sovereign countries never visited the US Congress and bowed there, mumbling apologies.

The fact that the leader of Japan, a sovereign nation, has, shows your statement to be incorrect.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Although Japan is a sovereign nation, the conditions under which it became a sovereign nation were dictated by the U.S. One of those conditions was that permanent U.S. bases be allowed on Japanese soil. No matter what your position on the bases is, it is hard to argue the fact that no other ally of the United States allows the U.S. to influence and control their defense and foreign policies like Japan does. So maybe Japan should have an asterisk beside it when calling it a sovereign nation.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

lincolnman,

Tokyo Metropolitan and Kanagawa Prefectural governments have an administrative section that exclusively deals with U.S. military base affairs. And so does the Okinawa Prefectural government. What you want to simply call "U.S. facilities" come under the jurisdiction of these sections They are not simply U.S. facilities as you like to call but U.S. military facilities clearly categorized as “bases”. Because they are "bases", Japanese taxpayers are subjected to maintain them by appropriating part of host-nation support.

If they are not "bases", why should Japan pay such money to the U.S. coffers? Why should the central government in Tokyo subsidize base-hosting localities in proportion to the sizes of the "bases" that include all these facilities?

As for the Yokota RAPCON, you say: "Yes, as I said before, please more closely review your information for accuracy before posting."

I don't remember what you said previously about it. Could you elaborate it?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Tokyo Metropolitan and Kanagawa Prefectural governments have an administrative section that exclusively deals with U.S. military base affairs. And so does the Okinawa Prefectural government. What you want to simply call "U.S. facilities" come under the jurisdiction of these sections They are not simply U.S. facilities as you like to call but U.S. military facilities clearly categorized as “bases”. Because they are "bases", Japanese taxpayers are subjected to maintain them by appropriating part of host-nation support. If they are not "bases", why should Japan pay such money to the U.S. coffers? Why should the central government in Tokyo subsidize base-hosting localities in proportion to the sizes of the "bases" that include all these facilities?

It is not my concern what local entities call their local offices that deal with US military matters - the applicable term in the US-Japan SOFA which is the governing document describes these as "US facilities and areas", so once again you are posting factually incorrect information.

As for the Yokota RAPCON, you say: "Yes, as I said before, please more closely review your information for accuracy before posting." I don't remember what you said previously about it. Could you elaborate it?

What I said, as I've been saying all along, is don't post inaccurate info - as evidenced by your erroneous post regarding the Yokota airspace issue (which you incorrectly refer to as RAPCON).

Yokota Air Base has an area of 7,136,404 square meters but the airspace it exclusively controls (YOKOTA RAPCON) is as massive as beyond anyone's imagination, covering the airspace over Tokyo, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Kanagawa, Niigata, Nagano and Shizuoka. Commercial airlines must fly by avoiding that massive airspace.

http://www.usfj.mil/Media/PressReleases/tabid/9562/Article/563064/us-military-returns-portion-of-yokota-air-space-to-japan.aspx

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Conspiracy theory. Three to fours years ago a Japanese person was caught firing a rocket from outside the gate to sabotage one of the buildings. It would not surprise anyone that someone up there tried this again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

lincolnman,

It is not my concern what local entities call their local offices that deal with US military matters - the applicable term in the US-Japan SOFA which is the governing document describes these as "US facilities and areas", so once again you are posting factually incorrect information.

Maybe, we are playing words here, semantics, so to speak. It's the same thing as with the payment which the Japanese taxpayers are obliged to pay to the U.S. coffers to maintain U.S. "bases" in Japan, which the Japanese side informally calls "sympathy budged" and the U.S. side likes to calls"host-nation support."

As for the Yokota RAPCON, do I use the term incorrectly? Can't the Yokota airspace and the Yokota RAPCON be used interchangeably? See the May 12, 2006 article, "U.S. to return part of Yokota airspace."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These exchanges are taking on a familiar theme......

Maybe, we are playing words here, semantics, so to speak. It's the same thing as with the payment which the Japanese taxpayers are obliged to pay to the U.S. coffers to maintain U.S. "bases" in Japan, which the Japanese side informally calls "sympathy budged" and the U.S. side likes to calls"host-nation support."

No we are not playing semantics - the governing document that outlines operation of US installations in Japan as part of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security is the Japan-US SOFA. You used terminology that was not contained in the SOFA in an attempt to bolster your argument - and which was inaccurate.

Further, once again, I have to point out another inaccuracy - funding provided to support US stationing costs in Japan does not go to "US coffers" - they go to Japanese employees hired under the Master Labor Contract, Japanese construction companies who build facilities on US installations, Japanese utilities who provide services and Japanese transportation companies that transport assets under the Training Relocation program. None of the money Japan provides under the "Sympathy budget" leaves Japan.

Yokota Air Base has an area of 7,136,404 square meters but the airspace it exclusively controls (YOKOTA RAPCON) is as massive as beyond anyone's imagination, covering the airspace over Tokyo, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Kanagawa, Niigata, Nagano and Shizuoka. Commercial airlines must fly by avoiding that massive airspace.

No RAPCON is an acronym for RAdar APproach CONtrol which is a facility (building) housing controllers and equipment for airspace control. And as I provided at the link, a significant portion of airspace allocated to the US by the GOJ, along with overall control, was passed to Japan in 2008 as part of 2006 Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement, again contrary to information you posted.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Here's an aerial photo of the blown roof:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/23/pentagon-confirms-explosion-us-military-base-japan

Not exactly Tianjin level.

"After consulting with U.S. base officials, the firefighters decided not engage the fire as the condition of the warehouse’s contents was unclear and there was no fear of the fire spreading. There are no other buildings around the military depot, which covers some 200 hectares."

"It dispatched firefighters, and said later the blaze had subsided with little danger of it spreading since there were no adjacent buildings. The cause of the fire was not immediately known but metal oxygen tanks in the warehouse may have exploded, firefighters said."

"They used water to help put out the flames after confirming there were no hazardous materials in the warehouse."

So no more fear-mongering know-it-alls ala mainstream media, insert mouth put foot

2 ( +2 / -0 )

linconman,

RAPCON is an acronym for RAdar APproach CONtrol which is a facility (building) housing controllers and equipment for airspace control.

You mean RAPCON is like real estate (e.g., a building) that houses "controllers and equipment for airspace control? Doesn't it have a broader meaning, including not only controllers and radar equipment but also the airspace that such control can extend over, especially when you add place names to it, say, "Yokota RAPCON" or "Kadena RAPCON"?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

More inaccurate info – Atsugi Air Station is a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force facility (US is only a tenant).

This is wrong, lincolnman. Naval Air Facility Atsugi (it is not an air station) is most definitely a U.S. Navy installation. They are not a tenant on their own base.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

FREON??? isn't that an ozone depleting gas... wait, oh yeah... what am I thinking... that's only in Amerika. Never mind.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

You mean RAPCON is like real estate (e.g., a building) that houses "controllers and equipment for airspace control? Doesn't it have a broader meaning, including not only controllers and radar equipment but also the airspace that such control can extend over, especially when you add place names to it, say, "Yokota RAPCON" or "Kadena RAPCON"?

RAPCON is the building/facility where airspace control occurs. "Controlled airspace" is the term used to define areas under control; Haneda controlled airspace, Narita controlled airspace, etc.

This is wrong, lincolnman. Naval Air Facility Atsugi (it is not an air station) is most definitely a U.S. Navy installation. They are not a tenant on their own base.

I'm afraid you're incorrect - NAFA is defined as a joint use facility in the SOFA, however, overall control of the base falls under the JMSDF.

On July 1, 1971, Atsugi Air Station was transferred to Japan Defense Agency control. (Initially designated as a Naval Air Station, Atsugi was downgraded to Naval Air Facility status on the same day.)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

On July 1, 1971, Atsugi Air Station was transferred to Japan Defense Agency control. (Initially designated as a Naval Air Station, Atsugi was downgraded to Naval Air Facility status on the same day.)

JDA controls the airfield. NAF Atsugi is a U.S. Navy installation on the U.S. real property count just like every other installation and "special area" (other facilities that are not installations, like the ones you correctly identified above).

Just drive along the perimeter of the base and read the signs ("WARNING. U.S. Navy Property. Authorized Personnel Only").

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JDA controls the airfield. NAF Atsugi is a U.S. Navy installation on the U.S. real property count just like every other installation and "special area" (other facilities that are not installations, like the ones you correctly identified above). Just drive along the perimeter of the base and read the signs ("WARNING. U.S. Navy Property. Authorized Personnel Only").

Sorry, but it's a fact that Atsugi is a JMSDF facility - which USN is a tenant with operational control of it's designated sections of the base - but it is not a US exclusive use area as designated in the SOFA. Iwakuni is a US designated facility which means the US has operational control of the entire base - JMSDF is a tenant on Iwakuni with their own designated areas - but overall control rests with the USMC Iwakuni Installation Commander. Same with Misawa - US base with JASDF tenant - and here the senior JASDF officer is a 3-star, but overall control rests with the USAF Misawa Installation Commander (which by the way is the same with NAF Misawa - it's a tenant on a USAF base). Atsugi is just the opposite - JMSDF base which USN is tenant.

Don't believe me call the NAFA or CNFJ Public Affairs offices.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

lincolnman,

I'll take your word for it for defining the word RAPCON. But don't you think it abnormal for a foreign army to control so much of a "sovereign" country's airspace covering the skies over its capital and 7 other prefectures, and commercial airliners unable to fly through it?

That also happens in Okinawa, where, due to the restriction imposed by the Kadena RAPCON, incoming and outgoing commercial airliners must fly inconveniently by avoiding the restricted airspace.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

lincolnman, I'll take your word for it for defining the word RAPCON. But don't you think it abnormal for a foreign army to control so much of a "sovereign" country's airspace covering the skies over its capital and 7 other prefectures, and commercial airliners unable to fly through it? That also happens in Okinawa, where, due to the restriction imposed by the Kadena RAPCON, incoming and outgoing commercial airliners must fly inconveniently by avoiding the restricted airspace.

I think it would be abnormal if it was done without the consent and approval of the host country. In this case, these airspace designations were negotiated and approved by both governments in bilateral agreements.

If you believe this is an infringement, then you need to make your views known to your elected representatives.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I suppose these restricted areas of airspace had existed before Japan recovered its sovereignty in 1951. Certainly, the Kadena RAPCON had existed before 1972 when Okinawa was returned to Japan. In other words, they, together with other bases and facilities, remained as intact as before, and so one can definitely say the current state of affairs is the mere carry-over from the post-war Occupation era from 1945 to 1951 in the case of mainland Japan and from 1945 to 1972 in the case of Okinawa.

You say such arrangement was not possible "without the consent and approval" of the Japanese government, suggesting everything is done fairly and in consonant with laws. Certainly, there were agreements between the two governments. But judging from the disadvantageous situation Japan was put under, it's easy to imagine those agreements were forced, unfair ones.

It boils down to the conclusion that Japan (Okinawa in particular) is still under a virtual U.S. military occupation.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Well, I don’t agree with your conclusion. But let’s sum up;

You said there were 8 military bases in Tokyo and that was proven factually incorrect.

You said Atsugi was a US base – again incorrect, US is only a tenant.

You said that host nation support provided by Japan goes to “US coffers” – again incorrect, the entire amount goes to Japanese employees and companies supporting US facilities.

You said that commercial airlines cannot pass through US controlled airspace over Tokyo – again incorrect, the 2008 "flexible agreement" that gave control of the area to Japanese controllers.

So again, I would ask that you review your information for accuracy before posting.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You say I am "factually incorrect" in saying there are 8 U.S. bases in Tokyo. Whether you call them "bases" or "facilities", there's no doubt there are 8 U.S. military facilities in Tokyo that occupy 1,603 ha of land mass.

You say Atsugi is not a U.S. base. But it was an exclusive U.S. base from 1945 until 1971 when it started to be used jointly by the 4th Air Wing of the JSDAF. Carrier aircraft of the U.S. 7th Fleet make Atsugi their home base still today. Metropolitan Tokyo shows it on the list of U.S. facilities.

You say that "omoiyari yosan" or "sympathy budget" (host-nation support) does not go to the U.S. coffers. Rather, you say, the entire money goes to Japanese base workers as salaries and Japanese companies as necessary expenses for constructing and operating bases and facilities. That may be true, but don't you think that the expenses should be borne by the U.S. government per se? The U.S. government could employ U.S. citizens as base workers and have U.S. companies do necessary construction and maintenance works whereby all the money eventually goes to the U.S. economy. Not a bad deal, isn't it?

You say the 2008 "flexible agreement" gave "control of the area to Japanese controllers." I don't know much about that "flexible agreement" you are talking but are you sure there's no restricted airspace controlled by Yokota's U.S. air controllers any more?

Even if my statement was incorrect as you say, which I believe isn't, you haven't denied my fundamental question that Japan is still under a virtual U.S. military occupation.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Same ole', same ole'......you post inaccurate, nonfactual information, it is pointed out to you that you are incorrect, you fail to acknowledge your mistakes and then try to change the subject.....

If you so righteously think that the US is "virtually occupying" Japan, then stop wasting time posting on this board and go vote or take constructive civic action to enact the change you desire. By the way, your right to vote in Japan shows that your claim of "occupation" is again, inaccurate.

Or maybe you're not Japanese and are posting from a country other than Japan.........

At any rate, best wishes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is that all you can say? You are not answering my question but simply repeating the same mantra that I am inaccurate and incorrect.

My basic stance is unchanged from the very beginning on this thread and that is that Japan is not a sovereign state with so many U.S. bases, which you may call U.S. facilities, planted even in and around its capital. That fact reveals itself in a most intensified form in Okinawa, you know. Can you deny it?. Or if you can, then give a reasonable explanation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My basic stance is unchanged from the very beginning on this thread and that is that Japan is not a sovereign state

Japan is a sovereign state.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Its our frigin country dude blah blah blah. Lol well if you hate the americans being in japan then protest to your elected offcials to get them removed. Or become a politition yourself. Actions speak louder than words. Good luck with that

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

0.02% of mainland and 10.08% of a minor outlying province is not a lot.

http://japanfocus.org/-yoshida-kensei/2857/article.html

The proportion of the land area occupied by the US bases on mainland Japan is 0.02%; in Okinawa prefecture, 10.08%.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Over 122 posts on this thread, which turns out NOTHING was toxic, no one was killed and fears unfounded. Yet the other post about the Japanese company warehouse burning down the same day, gets less than two dozen responses, and almost none from the same people here claiming conspiracy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

turbostat (Aug. 27, 2015 - 01:53AM JST):

0.02% of mainland and 10.08% of a minor outlying province is not a lot.

Suppose 0.02% of the U.S. mainland and 18% of Long Island of New York State were occupied by foreign armed forces, do you think the occupied areas are minuscule?

Kadena Air Base and Kadena Ammunition Storage Area sprawl and expand in areas of Kadena, Koza and Chatan districts, occupying about 83% of land in the case of Kadena Township. Don't you think that's quite a lot? The Kadena townspeople are forced live in the remaining 17% of the land. No big deal?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

While most posts are blogging trusts and occupation, but when you have a country that committed atrocities and aligned itself with another yet bolder country that committed just as bad a war crime, and then raise the hint and use terms like imperial prowess, well of course it will bring signs of distrust to other countries I mean how many readers that have posted on this blog are aware that ...i.e. Japan has launched the second in its new class of helicopter carrier — the largest Japanese ships since World War II — in a Thursday ceremony in Yokohama.The 24,000-ton Kaga (DDH-184) — built by ship builder Japan Marine United — bears the same name as the World War II Imperial Japanese Navy carrier Kaga that was part of Pearl Harbor attack There is a potential for the two ships to work with American MV-22s and potentially the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). However, the Japanese say they have no plans to operate the JSF from either ship." Hint potential, yea right. and how many netizens are aware that Japan will be flying the F35 JSF and will not be allowing US aircraft to land on their decks like the US in turn allows Japan to do so. Distrust is and always will be part of the game. Occupation is a harsh word and by any means is the US occupying but rather is an invited guest under an agreement from the that's right key word "HOST NATION" being Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tina: USA does not pay money to Japan. Each year, Japan has been paying money to US to US keep bases in Japan. Omoiyari fund Last year J paid about $ 3 billion.

But situation is changing now. Japanese Govt is mad at this year for US spying and investigating which base CIA and NSA operating spying activity.

You are right. Japan is not US territory, never. Too far and too large, Not like Puerto Rico in neighborhood

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa: Suppose 0.02% of the U.S. mainland and 18% of Long Island of New York State were occupied by foreign armed forces, do you think the occupied areas are minuscule?

Yeah, I would still think they are miniscule. Do you know how tiny New York is compared to Western states?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevada

Japan - Area: 377,944 km2 145,925 sq mi

Nevada - Area: 110,622 sq mi (286,367 km2) ...Over 80% of the state's area is owned by the federal government.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

turbostat,

A very interesting perception of facts. Do you want to say that, compared with Nevada, 80% of the area of which is federally owned, Japan's 00.2% or Okinawa Island's 18% occupied by the U.S. military is nothing worthy of note?

There's a grave misconception on your part. Nevada or New York is undoubtedly an integral part of the U.S. sovereign territory but Japan or Okinawa is not - NEVER. You seem to think Japan is the 51st state of the U.S.A. and Okinawa a U.S. territory like American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico. LOL.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nevada is one of states in USA. So of cause thereares federal lands witch Fed has been trying to sell to cities. We don;t pay state income tax but we pay US income tax and rate is 45 % of our income Fed take. Like voice stated NV is USA state just like other 49 state. Of course a lot of ted lands are in entire USA. Because all 50 states belong to USA. Last year Henderson city declined to buy fed land even offering was bargain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@voice: Except that the Japanese lands used by the US are used to defend Japan, something you seem to have trouble wrapping your head around.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@turbo: Which country US is going to defend Japan? SK is under US Control. So, not SK. China has been helping $$$ so US will not be bankrupted. So can't be China. Write the name of the country. And you need to know whar is USA. Maybe check map? If you want to mention NV, Fed land was used for Mafia murder victim burial site until Tony the Ant was buried in cornfield in a NE state. Rumored he killed more than 100 Mafia members. No city in NV want to buy fed land to take a chance to dig skeleton here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

turbostat,

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently spoke at a gathering in Iowa, saying that the Japan-U.S. alliance was not fair because "it obligates the U.S. to protect Japan while Japan is not obligated to protect the U.S."

I assume you take his word for it because you say these bases and areas are "used to defend Japan." Do the U.S. forces station here, perhaps with an intention to do so permanently, to defend Japan? Note that they train here and are deployed elsewhere.

To hear Mr. Trump say the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is unfair is like hearing the boss of a crime syndicate tell turf residents, "It's unfair that we must protect you when the town is attacked by a rival gang but that you don't have to protect us."

If Mr. Trump tells his audience in Iowa that the U.S. is unfairly being obligated to protect Japan, then I would suggest the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty be dumped now and forever and that the U.S. forces in Japan pack up and go home immediately.

Don't take a patronizing attitude toward us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This news is terrible. Maybe mainland Japanese understand Yankee Go Home sentiment of Okinawans now?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just being there prevents Japan's neighbors from taking any chances. It also keeps Japan allied with USA.

If USA withdrew from Japan, would Japan stay allied with USA, in fond remembrance of the decades-long one-side relationship?

As for dumping the treaty, Japan doesn't want to. As for patronizing, ask again when you're paying full price for security arrangements. Whatever you're paying now isn't covering it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

turbostat,

Basically, I am not against keeping a friendly relationship between Japan and the U.S. as far as it is based on equality and fairness. But the current situation is far from it, with the U.S. being as if it were a suzerain and Japan its colony. No doubt, Japan is a poor vassal of the U.S.A. From Okinawa, that lopsided picture can be observed very clearly. Come to Okinawa and see it for yourself to confirm it.

Of course, you are not the only one who favors to keep this state of affairs to go on forever. It's been seventy years since World War Two ended, though. Seventy years are too long a time. So it's about the time to change the status quo radically and establish true friendship not only with the U.S. but also with neighboring countries. Okinawa can be a hub to build a peaceful international community in the western Pacific only if the U.S. does not interfere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

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

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites