picture of the day

Breaking the ice

26 Comments

Okinawa Gov Takeshi Onaga, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on Friday. Abe held talks with Onaga over the construction of a new U.S. military base in an environmentally sensitive part of the island. In late March, Onaga ordered the Okinawa Defense Ministry branch to suspend all work in the area where a key U.S. military air base is to be relocated, in a growing confrontation between the island and the central government.

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26 Comments
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Nice bow!

The deeper, the better, right!

I mean, he will need the votes from Okinawa, too, during the next election.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Stand tall Onaga. Don't let them boss you around. You da man!!!!

If Abe wants to build a new base in Okinawa tell him to put on some coveralls and get a shovel.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

GO ONAGA!!! Abe won't shun you, now that he knows you carry the people's voices!!!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Comment in conjunction with "Abe, Okinawan governor to meet for first time in Tokyo":

Suga has kept telling us that the Henoko relocation plan is the only option for the Futenma issue to be solved、for two reasons: (1) the relocation will eliminate the danger the air base poses to the densely populated residential area where the base sits; (2) the deterrence is maintained by the relocation within Okinawa.

Now, he says "abandoning the plan would leave the base in Futenma permanently." This is nothing but intimidation to press ahead with the current plan. Has he considered that if the new base were to be built in Henoko, it and other bases that occupy 18 percent of the land mass of Okinawa Island would remain here permanently? Can he say that'll reduce the burden of Okinawa?

Deterrence has nothing to do with the Marines stationed in Okinawa. There's a consensus among pundits, like Joseph Nye, Micahel Green and Kurt Campbell, that Marine contingents in Okinawa had better be moved to Guam and make it a military center piece for them.

Richard Armitage, in an interview with Jiji Press, said that, if Tokyo had an alternative plan to Henoko, Washington would listen to it (Ryukyu Shimpo: April 16). The claim by Tokyo that Henoko is the only option thus collapses itself from the ground up.

Then, why does the government in Tokyo stick to the Henoko option like a fool? The answer is they are afraid of having to find a relocation site in mainland Japan, which I believe is the last thing they will do. Note that those Marines were originally stationed in mainland Japan but had to move to Okinawa in the 1960's due to strong anti-base campaigns there.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

One more thing - Onaga was ELECTED into his position via a democratic process, by the people, while Abe was not (but was nominated by his party). A huge difference, giving Abe no right to shun him. Abe's bow is not deep enough IMHO...

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Correction:

Then, why does the government in Tokyo stick to the Henoko option like a fool? The answer is they are afraid of having to find a relocation site in mainland Japan, which I believe is the last thing they will do. Note that those Marines were originally stationed in mainland Japan but had to move to Okinawa in the 1950's due to storming anti-base campaigns there.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Breaking the ice

To caption this picture: Abe: "Here, I've pressed some "subsidy" money into your hand. Now please agree to the transfer and stop embarassing me with Washington". Onaga: "I'm not for sale"

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is what Onaga and Abe should agree to do. They need to think out of the box.

Do some land reclamation on the Senkaku islands and create a base there and move MCAS Futenma. It's Japan's sovereign territory that even Japanese nationals cannot step foot on by law. It's part of Okinawa prefecture so the J government can keep the military presence on Okinawa. Can also be a deterrence to the Chinese. Heck, the Chinese are building a base by reclaiming some land on corals in the Spratly islands west of the Philippine island of Palawan so they can't say $41t.

Just my 2 cents.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This is political posturing. Abe needs to demonstrate that he is a reasonable guy, although Suga has already made Onaga an offer he can't refuse per The Godfather. Onaga will resist but ultimately he will lose because the whole weight of Japanese law and the American neo-colonialists (aka USMC) are behind the decision to use Henoko.

As I have said many times, there are 52 airports for 47 prefectures, so somewhere on main island Japan is a place to dump these Marines with their dangerous war machines and mind sets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Move US bases to US soil and let the US pay for their own bases instead of sponging off Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It is Japan who is getting the free ride. For which cost is higher? That of blood or the checkbook? Cause in the end, its the US deterrent providing "peace" that this so-called pacifist country (japan).

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Wc626, Free ride? Japan pays seven Billion dollers a year. Plus machine purchase, Plus US bond purchase. More than 130 bases all over Japan with more than 50,000 US soldiers. If you still don't like it, then I prefer Japan becomes China.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Wc626,

Where, on this planet at this time, is the US creating peace?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"You see? You just bend over like this and it's not so bad."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan pays, yeah, I get the picture. So maybe Japan's future generations will vote US out. Change Article 9. Close-down Universal Studios Japan & Tokyo Disneyland.

And they (bases) leave, I'm gone too. Good riddance-

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Where, on this planet at this time, is the US creating peace?

Hmmm. I wonder what would happen if the US did pull out of East and South East Asia?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Can someone fluent in japanese culture please explain why Abe is the one doing a deep bow, if Abe is in a higher position as prime minister than the osaka governor?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Black Sabbath

Hmmm. I wonder what would happen if the US did pull out of East and South East Asia?

I wonder what would have happened if the US didn't invade Iraq? Oh, I forgot, we wouldn't have had those peacekeeping and peace-loving organizations like the Islamic State.

Truthfully, it divided people through sectarianism and others things in the Middle East. Just like how the US in Asia is such a polarizing figure. Asia was a little be friendlier toward each other before this "pivot to Asia" ever happened. The same can be said about Europe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just like how the US in Asia is such a polarizing figure.

Actually, the US is, on the whole, a stabilizing figure. The US provides the counter-weight to China. And that is why nations from Japan and ROK, to the Taiwan and the Philippines all have bilateral agreements with the US.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Can someone fluent in japanese culture please explain why Abe is the one doing a deep bow, if Abe is in a higher position as prime minister than the osaka governor?

It's a picture - maybe Onaga bowed deeper but finished before the picture was taken. Or maybe he's just being rude since he's not happy with the federal government, and therefore didn't deem to bow to Abe. No way of knowing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ThePBot,

I wonder what would have happened if the US didn't invade Iraq?

Or if, prior to this, if they hadn't recruited, trained and armed a bunch of lunatics that we refer to as Al Quaeda?

They did this so that they would fight the Russians and get them out of Afghanistan. A completely useless act, since Russia was broke and was about to leave anyway and they were having about as much success in that country as the US has. None.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Strangerland ....

Saw the whole thing on TV last night and Abe was the one who did the "de(e)p-bow". As I said before, he has to do this since he definitely needs the Okinawa votes, too, during the next election.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I assume Abe told Onaga to get with the program and stop making all this trouble to expand Camp Schwab so it can take over the functions of Futenma so they can close it to make room for more manshons and stores.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's Japan's sovereign territory that even Japanese nationals cannot step foot on by law.

Actually that fact is kind of in dispute. The only country that thinks there isn't a dispute is Japan - although by recognising that the Senkakus are covered in the security treaty the US is encouraging Japan in its intransigence. I can't see Onaga bending on this one either

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Christopher Glen,

Actually that fact is kind of in dispute.

It's very much in dispute. I can't believe that Abe can't confront this and mean with Chinese representatives to sort it out.

Isn't that his job?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I like Jumpultimatestars' comments. Jumpultimatestars asked why Abe is bowing lower than the Govenor, despite being in higher position. I don't think that it is just the photograph (another? version below)http://rthk.hk/APSuppics/mfile_56_1092871_1.jpg but rather, Abe, like jumpultimatestars and the Governor are aware of the fact that the prime minister holds the higher position and all other things being equal, that it would be the Governor that should bow more deeply, paying greater respect. But all other things are not equal, and Abe is asking the govenor and the people of Okinawa to bear a disproportionately large part of the burden of the American military alliance. Abe is bowing so deeply to communicate this awareness and beg the Governors forgiveness and forbearance since Abe sees no other politically viable solution. It is interesting that rather than making a clear case as for why this forbearance should be required, Abe chooses instead to convey his intentions, effectively I believe and for all that have eyes to see, through his bow. Well spotted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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