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U.S. judge dismisses lawsuit over U.S. base in Okinawa

24 Comments
By SUDHIN THANAWALA

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U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen said he didn’t have the authority to stop construction of the base off Okinawa.

When are folks going to get this through their heads.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

You'd think that this suit would be filed in a Japanese court. But that would take common sense, something the anti-base crowd are evidently in short supply of...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The animal is associated with traditional creation myths in Japan and listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, with its numbers estimated to be below 50 about a decade ago.

Dugong are not in US waters, and the estimate of 50 or less in Japanese waters comes from a Japanese enviromental report, the accuracy of this article needs to be checked.

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

Creation myths? Those "myths" are NOT Japanese either, they are associated with the Ryukyu's, now known as Okinawa!. And this is a "new" twist added as well to stir the pot possibly?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If they want to stop construction for the new base that's been agreed upon three times over the last two decades, fine -- keep all the soldiers in Futenma, period. Which is it going to be? Or wait... do the US troops need to... ummm... completely leave Japan because of the dugong?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Woot! Back to square one base fighters.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The decision is procedurally correct, and hence there is nothing that deals with substance. This needs to be fought out legally and politically in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the mean time, perhaps they can get some sort of stay, to suspend construction for the time being?

The base is being built by Japan - a US court can't normally enjoin a foreign sovereign. Only the US government can be enjoined, and only if it doesn't wave the sovereign immunity card.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lets get real here... The point against the new base is of course not the dugongs. If this all were really necessary for japanese security, then of course the base ought to be built.

The point is that a huge majority of Okinawans concerned want the US Army out, and no one can blame them, so they try everything, even trying to bring this issue to the attention of americans. Which of course only means one thing, Japanese people have no idea what americans are like, because they certainly are not interested.... If Obama or the Republicans tell the people over there that the US military in Japan is necessary to pretect them against terrorism, or an chinese invasion, then that will be good enough for 99% of americans.

The people of Japan might do well to finally understand, that not just Okinawa, all of Japan is actually not a sovereign country, but a protectorat of the USA, since 1945. So says the contract!

If they are interested in changing that, then get the people of Japan to elect a government, that actually works for the interests of the japanese people. As no politician or party that could be interested in this exists, and the people are obviously totally incapable to understand the situation.... simply forget it. The the thing will be built, and... dugong meat is supposed to taste like whale meat

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Without knowing the details, the following sticks out:

1) The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit, a federal judge agreed based on what he had available and asked for a formal and official review of the situation.

2) 6 years later, the results show "probably not a problem" and the plaintiffs want it tossed aside because it was arbitrary??

In all those 6 years there was no peer review or allowance of the plaintiffs to "call BS" on the defense (assuming it was in fact BS)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exactly. Case closed. As if there was a chance for any alternative in the first place. National security got dibbs over a friggn' dugong period. What a waste of judicial court time & press for the honorable Judge Chen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"The problem is that Abe ain't listening"

so they try ambassadors and judges; a methodology used by the past T governor..to no outcome. Question: why does not Abe listen to the cries of Okinawa?

Do like Ishihara did over Yokota AB, and go straight to Obama over Abe's head, and see what happens, they can even twiiter him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well said volland.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ volland

"Japan is actually not a sovereign country, but a protectorat of the USA, since 1945."

THANK YOU SO MUCH. FINALLY THE HIDDEN SECRET TRUTH HAS BEEN LET OUT HERE!!!

I knew this all along but the Japanese will try to create this enormous fake image of this not being the case. Japanese stop lying to your children about this.

refs: http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/Protectorates-and-Spheres-of-Influence-U-s-protectorates-since-world-war-ii.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allies_of_World_War_II

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@mikesbo I am not arguing that, you misunderstand me.

These people would like to be the ones that decide what happens on their islands. First they were annexed by the japanese against their will and then occupied by the americans. I think they are aware that the deaprture uf the US Army would bring material disadvantages. But at least it would be their land again and the consequences would be consequences that they brought about themselves. And I know that they also remember what happened the last time their island was attacked and invaded, not because they are such great warriors, but because of the politics of Tokyo!

Should the conflict between China and the US escalate, the it would be Japan that bears the brunt. The chinese have a leadership that is worlds more capable than either the US or Japan. Two nuclear bombs, one at Yokosuka and one on Okinawa and the USA might retaliate, but Japan would have lost….

I am a believer in local politics. Centralisation has not brought the results it promised. Look at China, look at the US, look at Japan….

0 ( +1 / -1 )

volland

FYSA, there are very few US Army personnel on Okinawa. You should just say US military if you're going to generalize and refer to all branches of service members and their units stationed there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a Japanese issue whether to allow bases or not. A US district judge can not tell the military what to do with regard to a contract or treaty with a foreign nation. That is a matter for congress and the US supreme court, if there is a question whether congress has violated the constitution.

I feel for the Okinawans. They're getting screwed. There is certainly debate there about this, some want the bases, but the truth is the have no choice in the matter. Tokyo went NIMBY and pushed all of these bases, or rather left them as they were mostly in place from WWII, on Okinawa. Okinawa is still paying the bill for Japan's imperial expansion a century ago.

What's more, even if the US were to completely pull out of Okinawa, the land would not revert to its Okinawan owners. Tokyo would take those bases over, filling them with SDF. Still screwed are the Okinawans.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Volland, see my point on the topic: Even if the US were to abandon the bases, Japan would populate them with SDF. Also, NIMBY, the Japanese government IS acting on behalf and enacting the wishes of the rest of Japan by forcing the bases on Okinawa. In this case, it is Okinawa versus the rest of Japan.

This is, in part I suspect, why there is an Okinawan independence movement. I have no idea whether such a thing could happen, nor how successful Okinawa would be as its own nation, but I understand and support those who wish for such a thing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't think this is about dugongs. A lot of Japanese see nothing wrong with pushing tuna towards endangered status or with digging up and filling the country's riverbeds with concrete. It's not the most environmentally-conscious culture in the world.

Okinawa is clutching at straws, too bad.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Volland, I'm not supporting the bases on Okinawa, nor arguing against local/self-determinism, I'm simply saying getting the US off the island won't fix their problems. In other words there is no good solution to this. What you describe is an outcome, a goal, but not how to get there.

The US constitution, BTW, gives greater power to the local government, with powers being explicitly delegated to the larger and more central governments. See how they've managed to twist that around to almost exactly the opposite.

USNinJapan2, people generally conflate "army" and "military". Volland meant the latter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yet no animal-rights activists including those guys and the Sea Shepard folks stationed in Taiji have said a word about billion dollar worth of red corals completely destroyed by illegal China ships...Too busy with Anti-US/Japan march, eh?

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

case closed, turn on the bull dozers, get my bento ready, going back to my shigoto. mama needs bacon and a pair of new shoes. Have to spend the yen to help the economy keep someone employed and in business.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

liarsnfools,

Agreed that it needs to be fought out legally and politically in Japan. The problem is that Abe ain't listening. The elected governor of Okinawa has tried to meet with Abe several times, but Abe turned his back like a miffed schoolgirl.

The only people he listens to are mummy, his American handlers and the voices in his head.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Harming these gentle creatures would be an unforgiveable atrocity. I hope those folks making the case will appeal as far as they can, even to the Supreme Court. In the mean time, perhaps they can get some sort of stay, to suspend construction for the time being?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@NYtoday well i doubt the J gov would approve of SS protesting the destruction of the coral in there waters, the J coast guard should have enough resources to limit the poaching. Unlike the taxpayer funded J Gov, SS doesnt have an endless supply of funds to protest every poacher on the planet. Just put there money where it matters the most.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

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