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67% plan to vote against U.S. air base transfer within Okinawa: poll

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Okay. Good thing it's not for the residents of Okinawa to decide.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The problem with this vote is that it was set up by the protestors, specifically to gain as many nay votes as possible. Indifferent or supporting voters will not go to the ballots on a Saturday. They have better things to do on a weekend.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So they want to suffer with the current base because they have an argument with Tokyo

Moving the base would reduce the suffering of the now residents of the base area but the argument is against Tokyo for not having additional bases elsewhere. To force that, they don't want the base moved, and will only suffer more.

There's no way Okinawa doesn't have a base. Only question is whether it's run by Japan, USA, or China. That's just the reality of geography. You can't referendum geography away

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Mr. Tamaki's motivation has been fueled by his anger over being teased as a biracial child and abandoned by his American father. Not mention, the struggles his mother also faced.

Like others have said, there will always be a base there for strategic reasons. The question is who will control it.

China isn't beyond claiming right to annex the Ryukyu Kingdom because of something that may have happened over a thousand years ago.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

As for people supporting the transfer plan, about 55 percent said safety issues surrounding the Futenma base need to be addressed. why do they keep bring this BS argument up, J police statistics show Okinawans comit more crimes per capita than US marines in Okinawa, and its also shown than Japanese also comit crimes in other countries so that excuse is debunked.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

After more than 70 years, Japan is still under US occupation and will do what the US tells it to do. Time for the Japanese to regain their sovereignty and have all bases removed from Japanese soil.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As for people supporting the transfer plan, about 55 percent said safety issues surrounding the Futenma base need to be addressed.  why do they keep bring this BS argument up, J police statistics show Okinawans comit more crimes per capita than US marines in Okinawa, and its also shown than Japanese also comit crimes in other countries so that excuse is debunked.

They are referring to the safety issues involving having a busy airfield in the middle of a residential zone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wtfjapan,

J police statistics show Okinawans commit more crimes per capita than US marines in Okinawa

You can't compare crime rates between U.S. bases and Okinawan society at large. If you want to compare U.S. bases with something else in regard to this problem, that something must be SDF bases or Japan’s law enforcement body. Or if you want to stick with Okinawan society, then a counterpart in the U.S. for comparison must be New York or Los Angeles.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

why do they keep harping on about this, the base move was decided 20yrs ago, the Japanese courts have ruled against the Okinawa governement , any hindering of the move will be ruled as illegal. If by some small chance the base moved is stopped, Futenma will have to stay where it is. residence of Heneko have voted for a pro base mayor so the move while not perfect is the bet option for Okinawas, itll free up much needed land in Futenma and remove the safety risks associated with the airstation

You can't compare crime rates between U.S. bases and Okinawan society at large.

huh!? of course you can the US bases in Okinawa are part of that society marines are out among Okinawa society on their days off. Okinawans continually complain about marine crimes in their society all the while convenienty ignoring the higher crime rate of Okinawas . The fact still remains US marines in Okinawa are more law abiding than Okinawans in Okinawa.

then a counterpart in the U.S. for comparison must be New York or Los Angeles.

oh ok then marines in NY or LA comit 0 crimes in Okinawa since theyre not even part of that society, perfect record. why would you even compare US marine crime rates on the US mainland which have zero effects on Okinawan society or statitics!?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You can't compare crime rates between U.S. bases and Okinawan society at large. If you want to compare U.S. bases with something else in regard to this problem, that something must be SDF bases or Japan’s law enforcement body. Or if you want to stick with Okinawan society, then a counterpart in the U.S. for comparison must be New York or Los Angeles.

I don't understand. Why can't we compare the US bases with the local crime rate?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

wtfjapan,

You brought up the topic of crimes, thinking the "safety issues" in the following passage in the above article to be referring to crimes committed by U.S. service members.  

As for people supporting the transfer plan, about 55 percent said safety issues surrounding the Futenma base need to be addressed.

But the "safety issues" referred to here are potential aircraft accidents that always pose a threat to densely populated residential area surrounding it. The central government in Tokyo keeps saying to eliminate such danger is a prime reason why Futenma must be relocated to Henoko. If so, then would U.S. Yokota Air Base in Metropolitan Tokyo be the next in line for shutdown? After that, Camp Hansen where 28 stray bullets have hit surrounding areas since 1972?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For the Okinawan people this is about more than just this one new facility, it is about whether they have a democratic voice in crucial matters considering their prefecture. It is thus about the basic workings of democracy.

Tokyo has been discriminating Okinawa and ignored the will of the Okinawan people since it was forced to became a part of Japan and the new US military facility in Henoko is just the one straw that broke the camel’s back.

The Okinawan people also see this referendum as a way to debunk the unjustified claims that they don’t have a clear position (as also some posters here try to make it look like). They do have and they want to make it clearer once and for all.

About the crime committed by US military in Okinawa, it is very simple: less US military, less crime, and less US military is what the overwhelming majority of the Okinawan people want (and to have less crime is one of the reasons why).

For crimes committed by locals it’s a completely different story that needs completely different measures.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

darknuts,

I don't understand. Why can't we compare the US bases with the local crime rate?

You can't compare matters of different nature on the same table. You can't ask which team is faster in 400-meter relay in the Olympics, men's team or women's? The comparison must be made between teams in the different gender groups.

But this is all off-topic as far as the article is concerned. So let me ask you to please help wtfjapan out to respond to my post above.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

After more than 70 years, Japan is still under US occupation and will do what the US tells it to do. Time for the Japanese to regain their sovereignty and have all bases removed from Japanese soil.

If there was a "sweet spot" to do such a thing, it would be in the 1990s, when the Soviets ceased to be a threat, the Chinese are not yet a threat except by nukes and the North Koreans don't have missiles that can reach Japan. Japan should have seized that ~20 year span to create a more equitable relationship with the US, but the more comprehensively equipped military that would have been the basis would have been somewhat expensive (though still a fraction of those murderous social security pensions) and unpopular with the pacifist Japanese. This is not helped by the Chinese acting like Yasukuni is worse than real missiles, and the West actually going along with that BS which created an even higher wall to suitable rearmament.

And now it is too late. Japan can't afford to be with the US, and the US knows it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is clear that this referendum is being used merely as another lever by the Okinawa Prefectural government, in their strategy to build upon the narrative that Tokyo does not respect, nor listen to the voices of the Okinawa people. And the wording of the questions, controlled by the Prefectural government, have been skewed to support that conclusion.

Instead of the current questions, image what this poll above would have shown if the questions were those below...

Do you support the closing of Futenma Air Station, and it's return to the local government for use as determined by the local people, with a minimum of essential elements moved to Camp Schwab in rural Henoko. Additionally, this move will also close and return Camp Kinser and sections of Camp Foster along the Route 58 corridor, with that land freed for use by the local people. Yes or No.

Do you support the Prefectural government which opposes the move to Henoko, and which has stalled any progress in closing US military facilities, resulting in the status quo, and no movement in the goal to reduce the US military footprint on the island. Yes or No.

I have no opinion on the move of Futenma to Henoko.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Once again, the closure of Camp Kinser and the return of a small portion of Camp Foster is not dependent on the closure and re-location of MCAS Futenma. The closure of Camp Kinser, the small portion of Camp Foster that is scheduled to be returned is dependent on the Japanese Govt. building new replacement facilities on existing bases on Okinawa as well as Guam. The closure and re-location of MCAS Futenma is a separate issue from other proposed base closures and return of land.

If the Japanese Govt. wants to get more Yes votes then they should include the following voter option,

Do you want to remove all of the U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Yes or No.

Now that voter option would get a lot of Yes votes!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've been arguing not only USMC Air Station Futenma but also such Marine bases as Camp Foster and Camp Kinser sit on illegally confiscated private land, and so, since the land can be dubbed as stolen property, the U.S. has no legitimate right to attach any strings for the return of the land. The land must be returned immediately without any hitches. 

To say this rightful demand of ours only delays the return of the land whereby the status quo will continue is nothing but an intimidation no different from a hooligan's threatening.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ok great. They don't understand that their votes count for nothing? Well whatever makes them feel that they are making a difference.

The US is there to stay, get over it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Vance Black,

The U.S. is there to stay, get over it.

The U.S. troops are supposed to be invited guests here for the defense and security of Japan and its vicinity, the Far East, under the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. 

But if you say they are here to stay forever for whatever reasons because we don't provide what they wish for, then the U.S. troops aren't invited guests at all but unwelcome intruders and occupiers. 

If so, the said security treaty turns out to be a front to cover the reality  of the U.S.military presence, and that is a continued occupation

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About the crime committed by US military in Okinawa, it is very simple: less US military, less crime, and less US military is what the overwhelming majority of the Okinawan people want (and to have less crime is one of the reasons why).

actually no US marine crime rate in Okinawa is lower than that of Okinawans so while less marines will mean lower overall number of crimes it will actaully increase the crime rate per capita on the island. Bit like saying Okinawans should have less children and decrease the population becuase the number of crimes will go down. and Ill say it again, US marines are visitors in Japan, like the many thosuands of Japanese staying in other coutries around the world, doesnt mean either group is guilt free when it comes to crime in the countries they reside. So the myth that US marines increase the crime rate per capita on the island is just that a myth.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@wtfjapan

I didn’t say that US military increase the crime rate “per capita” and that is not the point from an Okinawan perspective.

Okinawa has been forced to accept a completely out of balance amount of US military and while the Okinawan people don’t have any antipathies against US military individuals (and by large treat them with utmost respect) they see the US military in the current numbers as unwanted guests.

And if people you didn’t invite commit crimes in your home it is only natural to try to get them out of your home, whatever low their “crime rate” might be.

As for local crimes the Okinawan society has to deal with it in one or another way as for good reasons it’s not possible to expel Japanese citizens from Japan.

To me it is beyond reason that many posters here seem unable to empathize with the Okinawan people, who were forced to host a foreign military and surrender close to 20% of their homeland without having ever been asked or democratically involved in the decision making process around such a huge burden.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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