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Japan expects U.S. to halt CH-53 helicopters for indefinite period

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Japan wants U.S. Forces to station in Japan. We have to pay some sacrifices for it. Nothing is free in this world. Stop whining! Onaga wants safety of Okinawans. He is not happy that Okinawa has to shoulder heavy burdens of it for the defense of mainland Japan. Mainland Japan prefectures do not want to shoulder any part of it. Solution of the problem is Okinawa's independence from Japan.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

The U.S. forces in Japan will ground all CH-53E helicopters to confirm their safety after the same type of chopper crash-landed near a U.S. military training area in Okinawa on Wednesday, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.

Lets get the whole story....they have been grounded for 96 hours. Conveniently leaving that bit of information out will bring out the naysayers in an article 4 days from now complaining that they have been cleared to fly too soon!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Isn't this SOP when you have a crash like this? I don' think it has anything to do with the Japanese MOD and certainly not with Onaga.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

All CH53 seem too old helicopters. Many crashed in the past. Should be scrapped.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are they going to this after every aircraft incident in Japan or only US Military aircraft. Can you imagine ANA or JAL grounding it's entire fleet due to mechanical difficulties?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Ahh

Too bad, this article doesn't tell anything about the background or tone of voice.

So here I am, as Japanese, I will tell you what's missing here.

PM Abe is totally on US side, and anti-China.

Okinawa Governor, Onaga has been against Abe and leaning toward Chinese side.

Onaga let Chinese build  300 million yen meaningless monument as asymbol of  tie between China and Okinawa.

Now Onaga called this helicopter accident, "Kokunan 国難", meaning "nation disaster/threat", the word not frequently used but PM Abe uses a lot to criticize North Korea.

So, Onaga uses "Kokunan" as well, as an implicit message to PM Abe, saying

"PM Abe, you don't seem to understand what is a real threat. The threat is US which you have been defending  and we,Okinawa people are tired of living with them on this island!"

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

See it from the positiveside, the War.inc. USA may use this chance for a few fresh deals :  Embrace for more Ospreys, bought by Japan taxpayers ( + a few % bonus to Nippon Kaigi's pockets) dumped to far away (Okinawa) again... and again...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@hachikou

Come on .. really ?

the old "Onaga is China side" propaganda lies ? ( if you didnt know, this fairy tale is straight from the Rightwinger News Sakura Channel )

4 ( +7 / -3 )

but its officials were denied entry by the U.S. military

so japanese can't check if a foreign occupying country possibly released radioactive substances in our country?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Local politicians must be overwhelmed with joy at the mere thought of such an occurrence such as this latest one, where they can show up with biased media in tow and grandstand before any formal investigation has even begun.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@bones. if you haven't read the article, another US helicopter crashed, 300m from residential houses. waiting 3 months for an official US inquiry is what you want the nervous, scared and angry people of Okinawa to do?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Tom DenkToday 09:44 am JST@hachikou

Come on .. really ?

the old "Onaga is China side" propaganda lies

Maybe yes maybe no. Who knows?

http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2015/04/24/18212/

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There's been a fair number of issues with this "Chopper":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_CH-53E_Super_Stallion

So, it's only right that flights should be suspended whilst investigations continue into the actual cause, and any remedial maintenance carried out.

As to the proximity to Civilian residential housing... these types of Helicopters, as well as numerous others flown by the US and JSDF can be seen flying around central Tokyo. I'm surprised /thankful that we haven't had an accident yet here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the old "Onaga is China side" propaganda lies ? ( if you didnt know, this fairy tale is straight from the Rightwinger News Sakura Channel )

Yes and since you seem to have a direct line to Onaga, please do share with the JT family about what you two have talked about.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So an incident that was handled professionally and in which nobody was hurt is "deplorable", yeah Mr. Defense Minister? Do you know how many of your neighbors would have picked a fight with you by now if the US military wasn't present in Japan? They don't have to be. Be careful what you wish for.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"I felt disconcerted at seeing the sudden change from ordinary life to this horrible situation. I feel sad."

What an asbolute fear-monger when "the horrible situation" and "change from ordinary life" is but a tiny patch of charred grass. Onaga is not condemning all the helicopters of the same make, only those flown by the US military. Proof of that is that he is not condemning commercial airlines, which LITERALLY changed lives recently by crushing cars and creating very real danger. Does he demand they be grounded? nope. Demand the JSDF leave the islands because of the 'dangers'? Nope. Does he care about how the new Ishigaki airport stripped away the environment to be built? Nope. Only cares about scoring political points with a minority of Okinawans. He doesn't care one bit about safety, nor about the lives of those around the base. He has a personal agenda and misdirected anger issues, as well as a severe inferiority complex, and even engages in illegal behaviour in his pursuit of the former.

And yet, the man sure doesn't mind wearing a cap with English on it.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I can just imagine that the old men who waste years of their lives literally just sitting outside bases and watching for accidents and/or misbehaviour jumped for joy at the scene of an accident because it justifies their absolute hatred. Their lives are so empty and meaningless they NEED to see failure to feel redeemed. Onaga is very much like this. If he had nothing to harp about with the US bases, what on earth would he do? Actually HELP people? He certainly doesn't want that. There'd be no free trips to the US on private jets with wine and high-class food for his personal missions.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

so Japanese can't check if a foreign occupying country possibly released radioactive substances in our country? its most likely a low-level radioactive isotope harmless to people. Just of note many smoke detectors in homes use a similar low-level radioactive isotopes, there is more radiation exposure from standing in the sun than what these isotopes radiate

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

For people living on a small island of which close to 20% are occupied by the US military, and where one can hardly spend a day without being flown over by military flight vehicles of all kinds, of course every accident involving the US military will reinforce the latent fear and remind Okinawans of the dangers that this unwanted foreign force poses to them on a daily basis.

@ Schopenhauer

Solution of the problem is Okinawa's independence from Japan.

Not a realistic solution for the time being.

The real solution would be to... 

... properly enforce what is written in the Japanese constitution about equality and local autonomy 

 

... share the burden of defending the nation in a reasonable way between the prefectures

... give Okinawa the same rights and treat it in the same way other prefecture are treated by the central government

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Gov. Onaga is only vocal whenever a U.S-related incident occurs, he is anti-US, wants the US military presence out of Okinawa, and welcomes China assistance in his realizing a independent Okinawa.

I recall reading somewhere that during his early political career, he was an active supporter of the Socialist and Communist Party. His agenda is "trade and economic exchanges" with China. He would probably even welcome a Chinese military presence, viewing them not as "occupiers" but as "protectors" against the U.S. military.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Onaga and some of the Okinawans are just complainers. If it wasn't for the US Military presence on Okinawa they would find something else to complain about. I know many in the mainland just can't believe all the tax money going to a bunch of complainers. Be grateful for the US Military treaty with Japan, or get rid of it. Just be prepared to relinquish the Ryukyu Island chain to Japan as China will annex it as being historically part of China. Who would stop them?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

bam_boo: “... share the burden of defending the nation in a reasonable way between the prefectures”

yeah, because fighters flying in from Hokkaido could prevent an invasion or incursion in Okinawan territory... ummm.... faster? Sure makes sense!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

bamboo: and I like how you guys cry foul about safety then say, “let other prefectures deal with it!” You don’t care about safety if you’re suggesting that.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Does he want to sell off Okinawa to the Chinese? No? Then kindly find some other less ungrateful hobby

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you know how many of your neighbors would have picked a fight with you by now if the US military wasn't present in Japan? They don't have to be. Be careful what you wish for.

Reminds me of justifications for the British Empire's presence in other countries. And of course, the veiled threats made against the notion of independence/freedom from the occupiers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

yet, the man sure doesn't mind wearing a cap with English on it.

Why should English bother him? He doesn't have any gripe against England, does he?

its most likely a low-level radioactive isotope harmless to people. 

Then there should be no problem letting people check.

Do you know how many of your neighbors would have picked a fight with you by now if the US military wasn't present in Japan? They don't have to be. Be careful what you wish for.

Reminds me of justifications for the British Empire's presence in other countries.

Reminds me of gangsters pushing a protection racket.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Schopenhauer,

I can't follow your logic fully enough. 

You say Japan wants U.S. forces to be stationed in Japan for whatever sacrifice it may  shoulder. But since Okinawa is a part of Japan currently, it must shoulder most, if not all, of the cost or sacrifice for the security of Japan because no prefecture in mainland Japan wants to take on U.S. bases. If there’s any complaint on the part of Okinawa,  it must secede from Japan and become independent once again. 

There seems to be a taken-for-granted premise in your argument and that is that even if Okinawa became independent, U.S. forces would still be there to stay and mainland Japan would be protected by these U.S. forces deployed in an independent Okinawa..

No, you are absolutely wrong. The U.S. forces would be easily kicked out if Okinawa became independent. An independent sovereignty, Okinawa can use all its power and resources to make the U.S. military presence come to an end. An independent Okinawa would have no military but it would have a full diplomatic capability to pursue its own independent policy. Omnidirectional diplomacy is one possibility.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yeah, because fighters flying in from Hokkaido could prevent an invasion or incursion in Okinawan territory... ummm.... faster? Sure makes sense!

First, the US military is not in Okinawa to protect Okinawa. It is there to protect US interests and possibly to protect Japan.

Second, the most imminent threat to Japan is coming from North Korea and the majority of Japanese prefectures are much closer to NK than Okinawa. So maybe smithinjapan can explain to us, why then the bulk of US military (given the fact that it is there to protect Japan) is located in the remotest part of Japan?

And even if we consider China to be a credible threat there are at least 8 other prefectures in comparable vicinity to China that share close to zero burden with Okinawa in protecting Japan. Or does smithinjapan believe Japan might be facing an attack from the Philippines or Taiwan⸮

bamboo: and I like how you guys cry foul about safety then say, “let other prefectures deal with it!” You don’t care about safety if you’re suggesting that.

Who says "let other prefectures deal with it"? Trying to twist my words? I didn't say that, nor have I ever heard Okinawan people say something similar. What they say is, lets at least share the burden (and the danger) in a reasonable way.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Schopenhauer,

One last question:

If the U.S. forces were asked to withdraw from an independent Okinawa, do you think Japan would welcome them because you say Japan needed their protection at any cost?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What was the RADIATION that was released from the crashed helicopter? And why is it being kept secret?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

US military are using depleted uranium ammunitions/shells. Helicopters/warplanes are exposed by radioactive substances all the time and also soldiers were exposed. Therefore many former/retired soldiers are now suffering from all kinds of cancers. But military never admits it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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