picture of the day

Anti-base ad

98 Comments

This full-page ad by Japanese group Juco Network ran in The Washington Post last week, protesting a plan to build a relocation site for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture. Former Okinawa Gov Masahide Ota was among some 90 signatories.

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If that is the case, ALL American bases should be pulled out of Japan. Let Japan defend their own lands from the interests of China and North Korea.

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Mere LABOUR DAY ad, Japanese people are enjoying Golden Week Holidays ! Stand up for democracy = Tachiagare Nippon ! Wait for miracles to happen once people are back from week long holidays, NO !

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I think this ad ought to have been honest and accurate and make clear that we are NOT just building another base. We are moving a base because the current lovcation causes problems for the local people. That's not the picture this ad projects.

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Localities hate the military when it is there. Localities miss the extra money all those people bring when the military leaves. Just ask Puerto Rico.

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I think it's pretty sad when you have to play to public opinion in another country when your own government can't come up with a plan to locate the bases elsewhere. What does that say about Japan and the way it looks at Okinawa?

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Would you want to keep the freedom to ask "Would you want 30 military bases in your backyard?" without fear?

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Just shows how little the Japanese understand Americans in the continental US. 100's US bases in 100's of towns and cities provide thousands of local jobs. Everett, Washington (North of Seattle) Specifically solicited the US Gov to build a Navy base there to replace lost jobs. Millions of American's live a short distance from Marine bases in California and North carolina. A small group may complain about the noise, but those who don't accept it MOVE...yes they do the logical thing and MOVE. They understand that having a strong military is part of the deal.

Lastly, don't feel too sorry for the mere 20% of Okinawa currently being used for US Military. The same military owns and uses 38% of the total useable land on Guam.

After the bases are finally and painfully removed, we will once again see Okinawains in the streets protesting the lack of jobs and sluggish economy due the now lack of funding pouring into their beloved Island..

P.S. The endagered species bit was the most hilarious given that right now millions of Americans are watching or have see the award winning documentary "The Cove" about the slaughtering of Dolphins and whales. Yes.....Japan should stick to making cars, leave the propaganda to the pros.

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Closethebases.org ---> Where do I sign up?

Obama has not taken the Constitutional Right of Freedom of Speech away yet -so this group is perfectly within their rights. And American people should know about these bases and where their hard earned money is being spent.

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Looks to me like the kid on the fence is checking out the jet in interest or is he a JUCON supporter?

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Is it really necessary to have THIRTY bases in a particular country to help defend it from potential aggressors or do the bases serve another strategic purpose.

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I would love to have 30 or MORE military bases in my back yard! It would be fun!

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It is kind of odd when you are not invited and not welcome, you still hangaround :)

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If you read the small print it says "Yes, we care about the environment AND slaughter hundreds of whales every year."

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Just shows how little the Japanese understand Americans in the continental US. 100's US bases in 100's of towns and cities provide thousands of local jobs. Everett, Washington (North of Seattle) Specifically solicited the US Gov to build a Navy base there to replace lost jobs. Millions of American's live a short distance from Marine bases in California and North carolina.

I have heard that Okinawa had a 15% unemployment rate with 20% working for the bases five years ago. I cannot verify if this rumor was accurate. However, how would Americans feel if that noise came from France or Japanese bases? Different story, wouldn't it be?

A small group may complain about the noise, but those who don't accept it MOVE...yes they do the logical thing and MOVE. They understand that having a strong military is part of the deal.

In the US, it is common to move, but in Japan, people stay in their house for generations. And where are people supposed to move on a little island that has twenty-five percent of its space occupied by bases?

Lastly, don't feel too sorry for the mere 20% of Okinawa currently being used for US Military. The same military owns and uses 38% of the total useable land on Guam.

Guam is US territory. Okinawa belongs to Japan. Different story.

After the bases are finally and painfully removed, we will once again see Okinawains in the streets protesting the lack of jobs and sluggish economy due the now lack of funding pouring into their beloved Island..

That is possible.

P.S. The endagered species bit was the most hilarious given that right now millions of Americans are watching or have see the award winning documentary "The Cove" about the slaughtering of Dolphins and whales. Yes.....Japan should stick to making cars, leave the propaganda to the pros.

The people in Okinawa have nothing to do with the hunts in Wakayama. Are efforts for equality a joke in Alabama if there is a KKK group in California?

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I know I'll be an ass for saying this, but I hope we leave and then North Korea goes nuts and attacks Japan. Man, we're there not only for their protection but South Korea's.. ours. Let them protect themselves then.

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Not to mention that if we leave all bases at least 10+% more of their population gets unemployed. I don't think it's a smart move on their part.. but man do I want it to happen so I can laugh in their face on how dumb their decision was.

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This is a tough issue. I often side with Japan but on this one the US is definitely getting rammed. They signed an agreement to close one base and move it somewhere else after pressure from the citizens around Futenma. Now there is no where to go and no one is saying the obvious. That friendly countries with any leadership at all simply don't do these things.

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Also, there is more than one base for the different branches of the military, and then some are just storage, runways, etc.

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According to whom does this base have no strategic value? Obviously not Tokyo or Washington. Also I have heard nothing about the "illegal" placement of the base there, however I have heard that the negotiations of the base have taken place at the President/PM level, meaning that its not law, just one man's word for another. Granted they are the leaders of the country, but not technically illegal by any stretch of the imagination.

I feel the environmental impact argument, but the real NIMBY attitude comes not from Okinawa but Tokyo. As far as I've heard the Japanese government as a whole wants the bases, but its just the location of the bases that's an issue. I'm sure Washington would actually like more diversity of locations, so Tokyo could consider moving the location to Kyushu or somewhere else and this could solve the problem right there.

That is if Japan doesn't want all the US bases gone all together. Although then I'd say that Japan would need to seriously consider the NSDF's capabilities against a future Chinese threat.

Just a thought. Anyone agree/disagree?

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Mere LABOUR DAY ad,

Memorial Day, is celebrated out of respect for the brave American men and women who have sacrificed their lives at times of war. Don't get it twisted.

Many died defending Europe and Asian countries from brutal and blood thirsty oppressors. An undeniably proud American tradition.

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Wxcititng !!!! Waiting for the final count down. kadena is a big base. I think they should move there.

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All together now:

"THE LOCALS LOVE US" :P

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I wonder if there are any pressure groups in the US that would like to place an advertisement in major Japanese newspapers (do you think Japan's press would have the guts to do it?). Maybe you could run an advert with Haiti-like scene, with a message about the economic injection that Okinawa receives courtesy of the US presence.

Indeed, in all these arguments about the bases in Okinawa, there has been little information provided as to what the Japanese government intends to do if the US bases are kicked out. Are we talking about a massive wave of public projects (as the LDP used to do to shore up its voter base)? As many people have pointed out, the sheer volume of base-related money flowing into the prefecture is huge. What do these anti-base groups think should happen after the US goes?

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It would have been more accurate to print: "Would you like 30 FOREIGN military bases in your backyard". After all, I never hear of any protests coming from locals living in areas where SDF bases are located.

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You guys sound like broken records - it's always the same arguements:

Their economy will go to the dogs Wait until China or North Korea attack

I think it's safe to assume they have considered those points, and irrespective of whether or not those things will happen, they have decided they would prefer facing those problems, rather than entertain US bases in their backyard. I can't possibly imagine WHY they would prefer facing those problems, but it says something about the relations between Okinawins and the US forces.

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A lot of people are getting it wrong...even though it can be used to protect the countries surrounding the base(s), they are more or less strategic military positions. Check out who's trying to buy their way into the islands in the middle of the Pacific (starts with a "C" and ends with an "A"...and it's not Canada). As far as the ad goes, I guess Americans would go agro if any other country had bases in the States.

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My concern with reopening the Okinawa redeployment is that changes would be without opening up greater SOFA. Changes to the Okinawa agreement should be made only as part of the overall Status of Forces agreement.

Japan can end SOFA at any time by giving one year's notice to the United States (and vice versa).

If Japan doesn't want the bases there (or anywhere), just end SOFA.

I discussion how the discussion about Okinawa always tends to repeat the same anti-American arguments. People have a right to their sentiment, but it just sounds like Okinawa is once again being "used", figuratively, toward some other end. It makes you wonder whether it is genuine support for Okinawa or just an excuse to go into the mode.

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"I dislike how the discussion" is what I meant to say in that final paragraph.

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HOLY MACKEREL!!!! Where the heck did they get that wild idea of taking a full page ad in a major US newspaper? Pretty soon, there might even be a commercial about this during the "Meet the Press" show. I wonder if they can find out the effectiveness of the ad through the ad agency?

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I totally agree that the excuse of having U.S. military bases here as a deterrent against military attacks from China or North Korea, is lame. They won't attack. They know that there will be too many negative rammifications if they did attack Japan. They have too much to lose for going down that path. I still can't believe that people actually continue to use that as an argument for having U.S. military bases stationed in Okinawa.

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Lot of ignorant comments here. No, Okinawa's unemployment rate is not 15%, nor will it go up by more than 10% if the bases leave.

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I don't think this is going to win over too many Americans. On the contrary, it will solidify support for the bases on the US side.

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LOL what is animal is that in the lower left? whale? dolphin?

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Fact : the average unemployment rate in Okinawa over the past 10 years is 7.8%

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They should get rid of the military in general, especially the Navy, theres nothing better than a load of discharged seamen...

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Geez, Hatoyama really got himself into a pickle with this issue. I can see how any country including America would hate having a foreign military on their own soil, but by removing the military bases and possibly voiding the SOFA agreement would mean Japan would have to beef up there forces just to provide a since of security to their citizens (especially when NK likes to rattle some cages by test firing their missiles into the sea of Japan). By doing so, Japan would have to put more of their tax money into military spending like America does which would mean Japan would have to make cut backs on other public programs or risked being taxed more than they are right now. I say Japan has a sweet deal with these bases there, its just too bad the Okinawins have to put up with the brunt of it.

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It should say:

"Would you like 30 American military bases in your backyard?"

I WOULD BE HONORED. Any proper human being would be honored to host the US military in their backyard. If these people want to complain, let them study Chinese.

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for most of the world the answer would be a resounding YES! But it's the usual loudmouthed malcontents that get the front pages.

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i'm pretty sure i don't want any military bases in my backyard....i can depend on my countries own military than foreigners.

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The poster is pure rethoric. The question is not if you "want" a base or not. The question is if it is necessary or not. If it is necessary, then yes it should be there. If not, not. That should be debated, and not if some people are annoyed by the bases. For that matter, geopolitics dictates that if the US closes its bases here, they would have to be replaced by Japanese bases and a much larger Japanese military.

I doubt that many of these activists have thought that far.

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Does Japan need the US marines whose role is to invade, not defend?

think again..

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Tokyo wants the bases. Okinawans are divided. It's their island, though, so if they say they don't then remove them.

I've said this before, but the US should leave all of its current foreign bases and return home. We can't afford this any longer.

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for most of the world the answer would be a resounding YES!

Uh??? What planet are you living on? No human with a sound brain would want bases in his or her back yard. Same as for nuclear power plants or land fills.

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It should read

Do you want 30 U.S militray bases in your back yard,,, or A million chinese soldiers making you work in thier back yard?..

The chinese would love some payback for the rape of nanking and the slaughter of thier many million victims of Japanese aggression.

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It's hilarious because I'm from about 15 minutes away from Ft. Bragg(in North Carolina). So I used to have one of the biggest military bases in my back yard. Didn't bother me.

However, the USA doesn't need any bases in Japan anymore. Let them buck up and send some of their pretty boys to boot camp so they'll stop plucking their eyebrows.

It's laughable that Japan tries to pass off the base killing their marine life.

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It should read

Do you want 30 U.S militray bases in your back yard,,, or A million chinese soldiers making you work in thier back yard?..

The chinese would love some payback for the rape of nanking and the slaughter of thier many million victims of Japanese aggression.

Then the responsbility falls on Japan to reap what it sows. The Americans shouldn't act so kindly to put an amphibious assault unit that has little value to Japanese defense on Okinawa.

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"the USA doesn't need bases in Japan anymore"

That's not what the commander of U.S. Forces in Japan said last week on NHK. He said the bases in Okinawa are crucial to operations in the region.

"Let them buck up and send some of their pretty boys to boot camp so they'll stop plucking their eyebrows"

Har!

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It should read

Do you want 30 U.S militray bases in your back yard,,, or A million chinese soldiers making you work in thier back yard?..

The chinese would love some payback for the rape of nanking and the slaughter of thier many million victims of Japanese aggression.

Then the responsbility falls on Japan to reap what it sows. The Americans shouldn't act so kindly to put an amphibious assault unit that has little value to Japanese defense on Okinawa. If anything, the deployment of the marines to Okinawa is revenge against the Okinawans for resisting the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. Most Japanese like myself in Honshu don't care as long as it's NIMBY. Since you Americans accuse us for freeloading off the marines for 'defense' without paying much of their costs, then we couldn't give a crap about the marines. Unless of course the relocation costs to appease the Okinawan serfs falls upon us taxpayers.

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Nationalist:

" Then the responsbility falls on Japan to reap what it sows. "

There is geopolitics involved here. If there is no US military in the region, then Japan will have to change its constitution and re-institute its Imperial Armee to keep the power balance.

Lets see what the Japanese peaceniks and Japanese neighbours have to say about that.

As I said before, there is lots of sloganeering and too little thinking involved in this issue... as the poster demonstrates.

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It should read

Do you want 30 U.S militray bases in your back yard,,, or A million chinese soldiers making you work in thier back yard?..

The chinese would love some payback for the rape of nanking and the slaughter of thier many million victims of Japanese aggression.

Then the responsbility falls on Japan to reap what it sows. The Americans shouldn't act so kindly to put an amphibious assault unit that has little value to Japanese defense on Okinawa. If anything, the deployment of the marines to Okinawa is revenge against the Okinawans for resisting the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. Most Japanese like myself in Honshu don't care as long as it's NIMBY. Since you Americans accuse us for freeloading off the marines for 'defense' without paying much of their costs, then we couldn't give a crap about the marines. Unless of course the relocation costs to appease the Okinawan serfs falls upon us taxpayers.

Seriously, it costs Japanese taxpayers more to fund the welfare payments for Okinawans than what we get back from their EEZ. I don't fancy their beaches that much either because it costs less to go to Hawaii the Marianas or even Australia from Tokyo than it is to fly to Okinawa.

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Would you want 30 military bases in your back yard?

It would depend on their nationality. I'd be quite happy to live in a place where 20 percent of the land was devoted to the US military.

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There is geopolitics involved here. If there is no US military in the region, then Japan will have to change its constitution and re-institute its Imperial Armee to keep the power balance.

Lets see what the Japanese peaceniks and Japanese neighbours have to say about that.

Well, since the first contention was that, our enemies are going to kill us for our role in WWII, I don't think their immediate reaction to our rearmourment is going to be surprising.

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The defense department seems to have become it's own government. A government within a government. Knowing nothing but expanding. There are over 1000 members in our military that are General/Admirals... Nice to have a bunch of bases with farfetched missions.. promotion bases.

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The marines are useless as long as the enemy has naval and air superiority over the East China Sea, and if they don't have it, Japan is safe aand don't need the marines.

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With the reach of modern war there is less a need for feet on the ground than ever before but... North Korea needs to see, needs to know, needs to be stared at by the definite armed response of the US, also, Japan is not, I believe, trusted to keep a steady course. All that said, Guam is still very much at the centre of a region needing influence. Move there, be welcome.

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A quick browse shows only about 4 out of 54 posts seem to question the underlying premise even a bit. That the US military needs bases in pretty much every country everywhere. That doesn't mean that THIS base is unnecessary, and I agree with the comment that the ad is misleading and inaccurate. Also, the economic effects on Okinawa could be pretty harsh if there was any pullout, I agree.

But past a certain point, you have to follow the money for things to make any sense.

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NationalistIRE:

" Well, since the first contention was that, our enemies are going to kill us for our role in WWII, "

Contrary to the nationalistic tunnel vision, not everything is about Japan only. There is a balance of power involved here, and an evolving superpower right next door. You really ought to look at bigger picture beyond Nippons shores.

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Says the J-basher, WWII happened 60 years ago, Japan is now a stable democracy and yet this kind of hate speech spews.

Japan cannot detract from its self-sovereign duty to defend itself with its utmost capacity with respect to the size of the foreign threat just because of irrational Japano-sceptic Asians, American fearmongering and cost effectiveness of outsourcing defense to a foreign nation.

But that's a tall order for a bunch of sheeps.

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Contrary to the nationalistic tunnel vision, not everything is about Japan only. There is a balance of power involved here, and an evolving superpower right next door. You really ought to look at bigger picture beyond Nippons shores.

Taking upon that advice, I thought about the opportunity to explore Japan's future with the emergent 'vengeful of Nanking' superpower that is the Chinese instead of serving solely of our current master and sole superpower: the US.

Who knows if these "YOU DIE NAU CIAO RI-BEN!" Chinese might give Japan better prospects than what America can give. Afterall, the bigger picture doesn't just frame America and Japan.

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This situation is insane.l The Clinton Administration initiated the economic takeoff of the PRC economy, thus leading to a resurgent Russian Federation economy. Now, the US wants a base structure to protect? Japan from the PRC's military buildup from that economic takeoff. Something is amiss, and I was heavily involved w/ those developments in the 1990's.

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Contrary to the nationalistic tunnel vision, not everything is about Japan only. There is a balance of power involved here, and an evolving superpower right next door. You really ought to look at bigger picture beyond Nippons shores.

Well there, allowing one's country to be an American dagger aimed closley against the throat of the Chinese won't score points with them either.

Japan's lapdoggery to the Americans will guarantee one thing, that it will get little of what the Chinese are prepared to offer otherwise, and it looks much better than what the Yanks would give in the long run.

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That ad's an attention-grabber...

Many (most?) Americans likely don't believe that having US troops in Japan is critical for America's strategic interests, and wouldn't care much one way or the other if the troops left Japan. After all, the US military left Subic Bay/Clark AFB, and the sky didn't fall...

Is Japan ready for the consequences of a US-pullout, including having to pay [a lot] more for its own defense?

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Yes, the US has no military bases within the country. What a ridiculous ad.

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Many (most?) Americans likely don't believe that having US troops in Japan is critical for America's strategic interests,

I would say many (most?) would disagree with your assertion, and recognize that US military presence in Asia is vital.

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It should be exciting for the boy to look at all those expensive warplanes flying around.

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Outside of think tanks and college poli sci classes how many Americans think of strategic interests, ever? Funny how the bring up the dugong - amtracks (amphibious troop carriers) have been running around in those waters near Camp Schwab for decades. If the dugongs are there, they must not care about 26 ton diesel-powered monsters swimming around. Not mention there have been helicopters doing refueling and dropping recon Marines there since forever. I dove there almost weekly for a year back in '84 and never saw or heard of them. In fact, if they are endangered, it is because of the rampant development of the the non-military parts of the island.

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NationalistRE, we at Bipartisan Alliance are, obviously, not only defenders of the Constitution, but defenders of the armed forces. But Japanese views, pro and against US foreign policy are welcome in our blog, bipartisanalliace.com. In my humble opinion, there are not enough Japanese voices, and this is a pity. You have much to say about China, the Koreas, etc., and also about US policy.

If you feel better, the most controversial topics can be signed with an alias. If you are against the bases in Okinawa (http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/anti-base-ad), maybe you can sign your writings as The Samurai Prince or Samurai Princess.

: - )

Well, it is likely that a samurai cannot be a prince or princess, but for us Westerners that could be a good name. Or maybe The Warrior Prince? : - )

Anyway, please say what do you think of the most controversial issues, and find other Japanese people to say the same. You all can use aliases.

Jorge Mata Press Office Bipartisan Alliance, a Society for the Study and Defense of the US Constitution http://bipartisanalliance.com http://twitter.com/jorgemata

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I believe the day we get rid of all of these foreign bases (not just Okinawa) will be a very happy day indeed around the World. Imagine if Japan had military bases around the World -people should be upset about that.

The people of Okinawa have more support on this than they realize. 91Million Philippines just for a start + Millions of Americans + Billions of Muslims + >your name here<

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Badsey, I believe you're overdue for a visit to a U.S. military base.

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"It should be exciting for the boy to look at all those warplanes flying around"

I'll bet that boy is thinking, "Wow! I want a piece of this action!"

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Yo JUCO Network, would you want China in your backyard? I'm all for the US pulling out of Japan but first the Japanese need to build up their army. I don't see the will or the money to make that happen and I have zero respect for Okinawans who somehow think that no one sees Japan as a target. Oh and since when did Japan treat Okinawans like citizens except maybe second class citizens. Maybe we should just pull out and leave Japan to its own devices. When that happens of course I will be relocating back to the States because nothing I've seen from Japan shows they are ready or able to fend for themselves.

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I think Anmerica needs to just go back to isolationism. Bring the troops home and refuse economic or military aid to anyone period. If we're not appreciated, then we'll go home and when you need us we won't be sending troops or aid.

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usaexpat at 11:38 PM JST - 1st May

“I think Anmerica needs to just go back to isolationism. Bring the troops home and refuse economic or military aid to anyone period. If we're not appreciated, then we'll go home and when you need us we won't be sending troops or aid.”

Could you get Obama to put that in writing and sign it, please?

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"Could you get Obama to put that in writing and sign it, please?"

Nah, he cares too much about the rest of the world.

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What I am finding just a little ridiculous here is this nonsense idea that America is in Japan to protect Japan, they are not, they are in Japan only for America’s sake. Okinawa is a convenient place to be, so why move? The reality of today’s military is that they don’t need a base on the doorstep of a potential enemy, and Guam is near enough to Asia to do just find. But Guam lacks the entire infrastructure that a large number of single men need, bars, women and whatever, Okinawa provides that “service” but maybe isn’t too happy about doing so. Will Okinawa suffer if the bases leave, very probably, but why should that be an issue that Americas need worry themselves about, in fact why are so many Americans seemingly worried about China getting it’s hands on Okinawa after they leave? If the Americans here are anything to go be they are incredible ambivalent about the Japanese anyway, so why cling on so desperately to bases where the indigenous population want you to leave? What is good or bad for Okinawa obviously isn’t the issue here, it’s what the Americans want that seems to matter. Not that anybody is being up front about that. Maybe the people of Okinawa who are after all the ones that have to live with these bases and have the real experience of living with them are the ones we need to be listening to, even if we don’t like what they are saying and believe it to be a mistake it is still what they are saying and have a right to say. Maybe what is wanted is a referendum on Okinawa which both Tokyo and Washington will agree to abide by. Okinawa’s future would then be in their own hands and I don’t think any of us could argue against that, whatever we believed their future might end up being.

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Um... Shouldn't they be appealing to their own government?

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grafton:

" What I am finding just a little ridiculous here is this nonsense idea that America is in Japan to protect Japan "

Umm... did anyone say "protect Japan"? It is not about protecting Japan, it is about the power balance in the region. If you want the US to disappear here, who is going to oppose the Chinese military power? The Imperial Japanese armee? Good, if that is what you want, then discuss it.

But half-baked sloganeering is not the answer.

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Why do you think it's necessary for there to be so many bases on such a tiny island? If it weren't for the US not really LETTING Japan have a military maybe Japan could defend itself. The US likes to have this sense of control over Japan. Plus, the US bases cause tons of trouble for Okinawa. There are young soldiers going around just causing loads of trouble. Also, all of you who use the movie "the Cove" as a reason to say that the Japanese don't care about the environment and the wildlife are insane! You can't take the acts of a few companies and apply it to the entire country! Majority of the Japanese don't even know that sort of stuff is happening! Also, you're just on your high horse because it's not your own country. Take a look at all the terrible stuff that the US does to its environment, its wildlife, and even all of its domesticated animals. If you wanted to use the same logic America has no right to say that something shouldn't be done for the sake of any environmental reasons. Plus, their not saying that the US should pull out every base, they're just saying that it's ridiculous that the US should see it fit to put yet ANOTHER base on this tiny island. This poor island has been through enough from both the American and the Japanese governments. Ever since the war those of Okinawa have been forced around by everyone around them. Good for them for standing up for their rights and saying enough is enough.

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pengin:

" If it weren't for the US not really LETTING Japan have a military "

Ever heard of the Japanese constitution? Before writing slogans, you might want to read up on history and the political situation.

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I also just wanted to address something to you voXman, there is a large difference from people willingly allowing a base into their area and a base being forced onto them. Also, saying that if they don't like it they should just move would be like if France built a military base in California just because they felt like it and when people complained about it they saying, well just move because we're here to stay. We're talking about a foreign country coming in without anyone asking them to and setting up shop and when people complain they just say "too bad."

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Yes I would love to have 30 military bases in my backyard. It means jobs. Second off the whole ad is a lie. They do not want to build a new military base, they want to close the others and combine them to this one.

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Unfortunately the Okinawans have been totally shat upon by Japanese governments and, in a much smaller way, by the American military, since 1945. In fact, thanks to this history the population of Okinawa do not call themselves Japanese, but Okinawan. But geographically and strategically they have always been in that bad position of the south-western most point of Japan defensively.

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I grew up with ICBM's in my back yard on the high line, dont ever recall complaining when they shut down the roads, and town to refresh the tube.

I do have sympathy for the japanese more so for those in years gone by. However I know they, and we both need the bases, not necessarily new bases, but maybe upgraded or combined.

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The US military/industrial complex should just take over the whole island and push the Okinawan people into the sea. The US military needs this island more than the populace does. For what -I do not know, but they can always just ship slaves in for work.

=The Military must always come first when you are a capitalist fascist ruler.

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Americans in Okinawa is still in effect from WWII. I find that kind of ridiculous. The only reason Japan doesn't have a really army is because the U.S. won't let them. They only really have enough military power to stop a small scale attack on their homeland. There are already tensions between the locals and the U.S. army. A new base being built when there was so much opposition, would only heighten that.

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The US military/industrial complex should just take over the whole island and push the Okinawan people into the sea. The US military needs this island more than the populace does.

This was already done in the 1950's. When the US forcibly displaced thousands of Okinawans to build and expand the military bases, it caused severe overcrowding on the island. To counter the "overpopulation" problem, the US started an "emmigration" program to ship the people off the island.Many were sent to South America during this period.

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The ad is a flat out lie. To wit:

"The new base would damage the safety and health of the people" - How is this possible, if the US is basically expanding a base that already exists, and moving flight operations to an area entirely over water? This is an improvement, whereby flights are no longer flying over populated areas.

"Last Sunday, tens of thousands of Okinawans gathered to protest the building of a new military base on their island" - No, it's an expansion of a current base. And the realistic number was about 50,000 people out of 1.4 Million. So if I do my math right (Badsey), this equates to a little under 5% of the population.

More on Okinawans protesting: More people showed up at the protest the Okinawans had AGAINST THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IN TOKYO (100,000 plus) concerning rewriting textbooks. The Japanese wanted to "play down or erase" the fact that Japanese soldiers were telling Okinawans to kill themselves or they would do it. This is fact (attested to by many Okinawans that were there and saw it happen), and lends credence to what the Okinawans see as being important. So nearly 10% show up for this, but less than 5% show up for a base relocation? Hmmm... (moderators, do not remove this, as it lends credence to the protest argument. if you do, then there is really no point in posting because you are slanting arguments)

"This island in Japan already devotes 20% of it's land to US bases" - But they leave out that what will be built is smaller than the base it will replace, and 3 more large bases will be given back, so the overall footprint will go down. Plus 8000 Marines would be relocated to Guam.

And for the comments about the US not allowing Japan to build their military, um, it's their constitution. Not the US. So Japan can change it and build up if they so desire. But they don't. Because they are able to keep the US here in Okinawa, away from Tokyo, and treat the people here like second class citizens. Just ask Okinawans how Japan treated them before the Americans got here.

Penguin:

Plus, the US bases cause tons of trouble for Okinawa. There are young soldiers going around just causing loads of trouble.

Not even close. You troll the internet too much. US military crime is less than 1% of per capita crime. It does happen, but is very small. If you lived here, you would understand. But you don't.

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It's a bit surprising that there are so many out there who believe that the US needs to maintain bases in Okinawa to prevent China from trying to "settle scores" with Japan in relation to events that occurred more than 65 years ago. I guess views have changed since US President Nixon told the Chinese premier in the 1970s that the American military presence in Okinawa, Iwakuni, Yokosuka, etc. functioned like a cap on the bottle of latent Japanese militarism.

But the Chinese Communists aren't stupid. They've ruled over the world's most populous nation for more than 60 years, and it's hard to understand how it would serve their interests to launch a campaign of "revenge" against Japan, a nation that was judged the loser and aggressor in World War II.

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Masswipe: I think it serves both purposes, but no one wants to hear of a re-militarized Japan. Look what happened the last time the world saw this.

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but no one wants to hear of a re-militarized Japan

True, but in any case, a militarized Japan of today would look vastly different than the one 60-70 years ago. I highly doubt that the weak Japanese boys of today would strike fear as they once did. Bottom line is that a foreign military presence in Japan is unnecessary. People who use the "threat of an invasion from China because of revenge" reasoning are living in the past and still feel that the state of the world is like it was 60 years ago. The world is completely different now. China and Japan know they need each other. They both have so much to lose if they go down that road.

But, I can understand that for people who don't live in Okinawa, having bases there is no big deal (since we don't have to directly deal with it on a daily basis). Yet, I can imagine if I did live near a base everyday, then it could be a nuisance, especially after hearing cases where girls were raped and other crimes committed by serviceman living there. If they want the bases to stay, the U.S. military needs to do more to earn the respect and confidence in them from the Okinawan community. It seems to me that the final straw was reached when this was not done, and the community got fed up with it and thus simply want them out, especially after the PM promised to do so.

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Yes I would like to have 30 military bases in my backyard, if it means jobs.

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To: moonbeams

I have heard that Okinawa had a 15% unemployment rate with 20% working for the bases five years ago. I cannot verify if this rumor was accurate. However, how would Americans feel if that noise came from France or Japanese bases? Different story, wouldn't it be?

Not a realistic Question, since the US provides for its own defense and would not need to request the assistance of a foreign countries military for defense. Remember Japan’s Gov requests the US presence. But just to humor you, yes, Americans would move away from a French base on US soil.

In the US, it is common to move, but in Japan, people stay in their house for generations. And where are people supposed to move on a little island that has twenty-five percent of its space occupied by bases?

Actually that is untrue! Only a small portion of the population does that, and they are mostly provincial farmers. Mom and dad die, the kids sell the house. Remember the current and previous generation, left homes seeking excitement and jobs in the Tokyo area. So mom and pop are empty nesters. Its urban dwellers that live in mansions built in the last 10-20 years that complain the most. They don’t work on the base, but think they should deprive their neighbor of a base job.

Guam is US territory. Okinawa belongs to Japan. Different story.

Actually, it is the same story. The Bases on Guam were built on land that is either leased or owned outright by the US Gov. Okinawa was a US territory for 25 years after WWII. In that time, the current bases were built and the strategy for their use was born. Their presence was requested and maintained after Okinawa was given back to Japan. Lease money is paid to various land owners who claim land under such places as Kadena base. That agreement was adjusted in 2006. It takes time to change things, and Japanese understand this, maybe Okinawan’s do not.

After the bases are finally and painfully removed, we will once again see Okinawains in the streets protesting the lack of jobs and sluggish economy due the now lack of funding pouring into their beloved Island..

That is possible.

Try most like. Industry is needed for jobs. What does Okinawa have?

P.S. The endagered species bit was the most hilarious given that right now millions of Americans are watching or have see the award winning documentary "The Cove" about the slaughtering of Dolphins and whales. Yes.....Japan should stick to making cars, leave the propaganda to the pros.

The people in Okinawa have nothing to do with the hunts in Wakayama. Are efforts for equality a joke in Alabama if there is a KKK group in California?

That makes about as much sense as asking “What do the readers of the Newspaper this ad was put in have to do with the decision of relocating the bases in Okinawa?” Absolutely nothing and I think that was the point of my original post.

P.S. Yes, Okinawan’s do have something to do with the hunts. If they want to claim in this ad that they care about the US harming endangered species and then protest about it, then they should not be hypocrites and actually start protesting their own countries whale/Dolphin hunts. Okinawa is not its own country, but a prefecture of Japan and should exercise its right to vote and protest all matters not just matters involving the US.

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Well, if the Okinawans need a world class economic redevelopment/modernization strategy, I am the tailend, and the last, of the SCAP economic redevelopment grouping. I have the unusual talent, and I do have my weekends off. It can be done if the desire is adequate.

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Many forget that the Japanese constitution itself prohibits the Japanse country from building up its military. Its not the USA stopping them.

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This ad is so one sided. Not "all" Okinawans want the US out. In fact many understand the need and accept the presence openly. The very rich who have nothing to lose and everything to gain,or the uninformed and ignorant are the ones that are bitching.

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The very rich who have nothing to lose and everything to gain,or the uninformed and ignorant are the ones that are bitching.

Also, only the families and friends of women raped or assaulted by military forces are bitching, as well as those Okinawans who have tried out for a job in the U.S. military or on the military base itself, but were turned down are bitching, since they would then see no benefit for having them there.

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Pretty cool ad. At least someone is trying to make a change.

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Ota-sensei gambare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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