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Defense minister, Okinawa governor at odds over U.S. base relocation plan

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Maybe it's time for the US military to leave. Okinawa is not US soil. WWII ended nearly a century ago.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Maybe it’s time for YOU to leave and stop dictating Domestic Policy regarding Defense

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

Relocate them in US soil..

Colonialism times was centuries ago..

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Let me follow the logic here. You need to move the base from one area of Okinawa to another area in Okinawa to alleviate the burden on Okinawa. haha

Hamada said in the meeting with Tamaki that the relocation plan is the "only solution" to maintain the deterrence of the long-standing Japan-U.S. security alliance and alleviate the burden on Okinawa

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

In a prefectural referendum in 2019, more than 70 percent of voters rejected the relocation plan, although the result was not binding on the central government.

This is a very ambiguous statement here.

For clarification purposes only, the fact is that yes, over 70% actually 72% of the people who actually voted, not all "voters" in Okinawa, rejected the plan.

But keep in mind the following: (All factual no supposition, opinion or guessing here)

Registered voters and turnout 1,153,591 52.48%

Total votes 605,385

Oppose 434,273 72.15%

Support 114,933 19.10%

No opinion either way 52,682 8.75%

Did not vote 548,206 47.52%

Do the numbers, for an issue THIS big, only about 53% of the electorate even bothered to vote. I repeat this, as a few here constantly harp about how much ALL the people here are against this landfill, and will push whatever agenda they have, based upon their own opinions and "feelings" but not fact.

The FACT is that the majority of the voters in Okinawa, are either apathetic about the issue, or support it.

Also during the recent elections, the cities that actually HOST the bases, elected assembly majorities and already have mayors that SUPPORT and WANT the relocation to get finished! This is not a "feeling" nor "opinion" I am stating here. I am stating cold hard facts!

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Okinawa should have a referendum to leave Japan. USA should occupy a different country. As mentioned, it is from last century. Okinawa can easy survive on tourism alone.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Let me follow the logic here. You need to move the base from one area of Okinawa to another area in Okinawa to alleviate the burden on Okinawa. haha

When you only know a tiny portion of the story, it's easy for one to laugh at the logic used.

However, taken in the full context of what is going to happen when the relocation is completed, the picture is far from laughable, and most intelligent people get it.

Camp Kinser, Naha Military Port, (moving to Urasoe), MCAS Futenma, and some portions of Camp Foster, that have not yet been returned will also be returned as well. Those bases alone, are in the most congested areas of the island, and WILL remove a huge burden, along with the relocation of Marines to other locations OFF Okinawa, on the island and it's people.

This is always left out of articles like these, that are just propaganda for the anti-base coalition.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

If the US leave the Chinese will enter, take ya pick.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

The FACT is that the majority of the voters in Okinawa, are either apathetic about the issue, or support it.

The fact is that there are more voters in Okinawa who are against the issue than those who support it.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

RodneyToday  08:24 am JST

Okinawa should have a referendum to leave Japan. USA should occupy a different country. As mentioned, it is from last century. Okinawa can easy survive on tourism alone.

You beat me to it Rodney. I was going to add that even if Okinawa held a referendum with a 100% voter turnout and 100% in favour of no US bases on Okinawa the Central Government would still 100% repeat the “the relocation plan is the only solution" mantra.

What I would like to know is there must be some sort of plan to house and have an entertainment and shopping facilities closer to the new base, so who or what entities have bought up that land and are going to develop it to take advantage of this new captured market? How may of these entities have direct links to the LDP. Now that’s a can or worms worth digging up, but won’t be.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Sure are a lot of Okinawa experts on this forum that don't live here, who know exactly what Okinawa needs and wants.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I have lived in Okinawa all my life, Some of the comments here are so wonderful.

Dig deep and you may be surprised how many Okinawans really feel.

Agree with Yubaru

0 ( +9 / -9 )

US military protection is a type of an attempt of compensation for the unforgivable atomic bombing in Japan, twice, killing thousands of innocent civilians. Being realistic, if the US leaves Japan it will increase the danger of conflicts with China and North Korea. Taiwan will also be in threat. For sure it is wise to move US bases far from densely populated regions as they will be a primary target in cases of conflict.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I am completely surprised that so many people want the US to leave. Have you not been reading the news? Taiwan is a big issue, which means China is a big issue. Russia also has stakes around here. The US is the only deterrent.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Sure are a lot of Okinawa experts on this forum that don't live here, who know exactly what Okinawa needs and wants.

Okinawans showed that by their votes

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Dig deep and you may be surprised how many Okinawans really feel.

They already showed it by their votes

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Mr governor, we got bigger fish to fry. Believe that the Chinese would take Okinawa if they had the chance. Does he care about Taiwan? Just sit back and keep getting that nice fat check from the US/Japanese governments. Thank you.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This is always left out of articles like these, that are just propaganda for the anti-base coalition.

Don't forget the ones that are always trotted out... like the "New Base" that is being built.... which is just an extension of Camp Schwab.... and my favorite... "the noise, pollution and crime associated with the bases"

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Makoto Shimizu

US military protection is a type of an attempt of compensation for the unforgivable atomic bombing in Japan, twice, killing thousands of innocent civilians.

The military bases are a way to keep an eye on Japan, so Japan will no longer commit wartime atrocities like they did during WWII. It was also a deterrent for other possible countries thinking to attack the US.

Remember, the atomic bombs were dropped because Japan attacked the US and tried to take over Asia with its allies Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Japan was not just innocently minding its own business in the Pacific Ocean.

Do not leave out those parts!

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

"The object of war is not to die for your country, it's to make the other poor bastard die for his."

George S. Patton

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The best Relocation in Okinawa is: for the American soldiers to GO HOME! GO HOME !! GO HOME !!! They will be happy at home. And Okinawa would be a happy island once again !! No more fear of.........................

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Doesn't matter. It's been agreed upon by three separate Okinawan governments, all of whom in return received funding for said relocation based on it happening. Tamaki seems quite happy to accept the money for hosting, but unwilling to do the job.

And really, if he absolutely insists on it not going ahead, then he needs to tell his people he supports Futenma being open and operational indefinitely.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Maybe, Tamaki is purposely stalling to stay relevant and in office. Also, the Okinawan people near the base oppose the plan because if the military move to a remote part of Okinawa then a lot of jobs for the Okinawans, who work on base, will be lost; and all the money the military bases bring into the city through military personal spending and government contracts will be lost.

Then what will Tamaki complain about? How will get re-elected without the evil Americans to vilify? How can he get those Okinwans who lost money because the military base moved to vote for him again?

He would actually have to do some real work to "Make Okinawa Great Again"!

He has no real solutions for Okinawan problems!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Not that I care either way but will all the people wanting the base moved to US soil still expect the USA to help when someone attacks Japan?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How many Japanese are paid by China to be against this base???

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Dig deep and you may be surprised how many Okinawans really feel.

Problem is people are afraid to hear the truth!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They already showed it by their votes

Actually they showed it by NOT voting!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

They already showed it by their votes

Actually they showed it by NOT voting!

Sure.

And what have they decided?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Problem is people are afraid to hear the truth!

And what is that?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Keep dreaming. Japan is looking out for the country's best interest and if that clashes with the constant line of ant-base governors looking out only for their own political interests, so be it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

US military protection is a type of an attempt of compensation for the unforgivable atomic bombing in Japan, twice, killing thousands of innocent civilians.

so are the millions of Asians that died at the hands of the IJA during WW2, also unforgivable!?

and if Japan or the Nazis developed the Abomb first would they have restrained themselves from using it!?.

dont need to answer we already know the answer

5 ( +6 / -1 )

For sure it is wise to move US bases far from densely populated regions as they will be a primary target in cases of conflict.

and as the recent war in Ukraine has shown, some militaries will target civilian areas regardless

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Mocheake Cool, I guess. Okinawans have been under the Japanese boot since the 16th century so keep carrying on is your suggestion.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It really doesn't matter what anyone wants. The US military is never going to leave Japan; it's a key strategic location for obvious reasons. End of discussion

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I find it quite amusing all the Arm Chair Generals with their opinions about what’s best and have never set foot on the island. Note the NAMES of certain people and their opinions, go hand in hand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Okinawa can easy survive on tourism alone.

What they gonna do when the Chinese war ships dock, sell them overpriced sea shells and coconuts with a straw?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okinawa can easy survive on tourism alone.

Only said by someone who has NEVER set foot on the island themselves!

IF Okinawa can survive on tourism alone, pray tell then why literally thousands of people who work in the tourism industry have been out of work for the past three year

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This agreement was made in 1996. Why the hell is it taking so long? You trying to tell me it takes damn near 30 years to move a military base? Militaries are supposed to efficient and mobile. Get this done already so we can put this issue to rest!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Registered voters and turnout 1,153,591 52.48%

Total votes 605,385

Oppose 434,273 72.15%

Support 114,933 19.10%

No opinion either way 52,682 8.75%

Did not vote 548,206 47.52%

The total number of registered voters in Okinawa Prefecture, according to official statistics, is

777,000, of whom males account for 476,305 and females 5000,695. Now, according to Yubaru, nay-votes for the government's plan to relocate Futenma to Henoko was 434, 273 or 72.15% and aye-votes 114,933 or 19.10%. He then argues that these figures are nonsensical because the actual number of voter turnout was 52.48%.  

Note, however, that those who abstained their rights to cast votes are the people who will accept whatever result the referendum may boil down to. You can add their number to the nay-votes category if you wish, or vice versa. In other words, you don't have to be bothered with them in statistical counting.

Statistically speaking, it's true that the majority of Okinawa residents (72.15%) are opposed to the government's plan. This in spite of the fact that government did all it could to garner aye-votes, cajoling them to do in favor of the government.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

777,000, of whom males account for 476,305 and females 5000,695.

What difference does it make whether they are female or male? This is just added garbage that means nothing.

He then argues that these figures are nonsensical because the actual number of voter turnout was 52.48%.  

Once again, attempting to put words in someone's mouth that never stated them. Your attempt to obfuscate the facts is amusing at best, but in reality, quite childish. Never said anything about "nonsensical" your words not mine.

Note, however, that those who abstained their rights to cast votes are the people who will accept whatever result the referendum may boil down to.

As I have stated countless numbers of times, the people here are apathetic to the issue, and prove it by their unwillingness to vote. That is not a supposition, but fact!

Statistically speaking, it's true that the majority of Okinawa residents (72.15%) are opposed to the government's plan.

Playing games again. 72% of those who voted, NOT 72% of all Okinawan voters!

This game that Denny keeps playing is meaningless, and 100% of the people of Okinawa, sorry, 99.9% know it too!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It's heartening to know that everyone here believes in democracy and respects the outcome of the voting

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They wouldn't have their prefecture if those bases weren't there. How would they defend against the CCP? "The prefectural government announces "we strongly urge China to leave our prefecture", "Next month they will meet, to have a meeting to decided what to talk about in a meeting to discuss defending Okinawa"

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tamaki urged the central government to scrap the plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from the densely populated city of Ginowan to the less populated coastal area of Henoko in Nago.

So he wants it to remain in the densely populated city. Perhaps for the additional local businesses to continue to make money from the US personnel and their families. Understandable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nobody knows that Henoko new US base on fragile ground like mayonnaise will be completed or not even if centres government wastes trillions yen.

Besides, this new base is just ordinal runway, never strong military facility where can make China flinchs. ​

But, arrogant attitude that government who don't want to admit misstep never change original plan is continued since Abe regime.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

WW II ended almost a century ago

World war 2 ended 77 years ago.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Fight with windmills...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can survive on tourism alone

Out of work for the past three year

Okinawa doesn't control the international border for tourism - so that makes your point useless.

Every 100 yrs or so there's a pandemic so that was why .

I live in Okinawa and there's other industries here besides tourism , - fishing ,seaweeds ,sugarcane and other farming and textiles among others.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I am completely surprised that so many people want the US to leave.

being a legitimate target, most of Okinawans will die due to American imperialism bases. Us bases in Japan were also used for illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan killling hundreds of thousands of civilians if you want to be moralistic about it. Then there is the constant threats, insults, aggression and live fire exercises against Japan’s neighbors drawing us into any potential war that could possibly see Tokyo deleted. Then there is the cost. Almost $10billion over the next five years.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I am completely surprised that so many people want the US to leave.

Why are you surprised? Most places where there is a US base is probably like that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Since the 16th century

That's incorrect

Allow me to clarify for you -

The Ryukyu kingdom was put under the Japanese thumb since 1336 by the shogunate forcing the kingdom to pay tribute.

What your referring to is the invasion and annexation of the Ryukyu kingdom of the 1609 by the Satsuma clan when they took their sovereignty and changed the name to Okinawa.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yubaru(Today 01:40 pm JST),

Once again, attempting to put words in someone's mouth that never stated them. Your attempt to obfuscate the facts is amusing at best, but in reality, quite childish. Never said anything about "nonsensical" your words not mine.

Who's playing a word game here, you or me? You present these figures as if you were telling the truth very objectively. But what you try to say between the lines of your sentences is more than apparent. What you want to say is the referendum and the election result were nonsensical

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shocking, just shocking! Governor Tamaki gets re-elected, and nothing changed. Oh well, it's time to move on to improve the economy and educational opportunities, reduce child poverty, promote tourism, and all the other things the governor should be spending his time on. [In polls before the election improving the economy was the #1 concern, and the base issues were #5]

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maybe it's time for the US military to leave. Okinawa is not US soil. WWII ended nearly a century ago.

That's exactly what the unelected PRC tyrants are hoping for. Ready to pounce within minutes, if this happens.

Okinawa is the poorest part of Japan. By far. Economically, they will always need military bases - be they Japanese or US - or else the entire prefecture would collapse. There simply is not enough there to provide a tourism industry big enough to replace military bases.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Keep the money pouring in from the Chinese benefactors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

[In polls before the election improving the economy was the #1 concern, and the base issues were #5]

Yet from the way some folks post here, there is only one issue and that's all that matters, screw what the people want or need.

Oh wait, my bad, the prefectural governor is just copying a page from the PM's book!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who's playing a word game here, you or me? You present these figures as if you were telling the truth very objectively. But what you try to say between the lines of your sentences is more than apparent. What you want to say is the referendum and the election result were nonsensical

Once again, keep dreaming. The landfill will be completed. I wrote facts, not conjecture. I wrote the numbers, which are factual, and left all the nonsense to you. Have a nice night!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Once again, keep dreaming. The landfill will be completed.

Probably, as you suggest, the landfill work may forge ahead as scheduled without any justifiable reason given why it must. If the government insists its fixed policy must be implemented no matter what, then democracy collapses right then and there. Are you a supporter of undemocratic principles?

If you were, you would be a traitor against the country where you were born as well as the country you adopted.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan were also used for illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan killling hundreds of thousands of civilians if you want to be moralistic about it. 

Once again 100% not true. Ask someone who was there instead of quoting something from RT Propaganda.

I just wish the The governor would focus on other issues, Schools and roads would be a great start. We refuse to send my son to public school in Okinawa because how bad they are.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Probably, as you suggest, the landfill work may forge ahead as scheduled without any justifiable reason given why it must. If the government insists its fixed policy must be implemented no matter what, then democracy collapses right then and there. Are you a supporter of undemocratic principles?

If you were, you would be a traitor against the country where you were born as well as the country you adopted.

Read the following;

Definition of traitor:

1 : a person who is not loyal or true to a friend, duty, cause, or belief or is false to a personal duty. 2 : a person who betrays his or her country : a person who commits treason.

I believe that what the national government here in Japan, the legal and lawful authority, elected fairly and honestly by the people, have the right to determine what is in the best interests of the country as a whole.

If the people, as a whole determine that their elected officials, are not serving the best interests of their country, then the people have every right to elect those that they believe are better capable of serving the people's interests.

Seems to me that someone does not understand the meaning of the words they are using, and dont understand that an individual's opinions or feelings do not have the right to dictate how a country defines what it's needs are.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why are Americans STILL in Okinawa?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yubaru,

You are challenging me to engage in a word play in spite of yourself. And thank you for the dictionary definition of the word "traitor". A person who betrays his or her country, or who commits treason, is a traitor, according to a dictionary.

But it's not only an individual person that may commit treason; it may also be the powers that be that may commit treason against itself, by coercing other countries to commit treason against their own people, thus breaching its very raison d'etre. What is the raison d’etre of the U.S.? Democracy, it is.

Futenma is the case in point. The construction of Futenma's replacement is being forged ahead in spite of Okinawa's strong opposition, official or of grassroots, against the very democratic principles.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You are challenging me to engage in a word play in spite of yourself.

Folks need to remember, this is a web forum, on a news site page and if anyone takes anything personally, they should find somewhere else to rant and rave to people who blindly agree to anything, no matter how outlandish.

Futenma is the case in point. The construction of Futenma's replacement is being forged ahead in spite of Okinawa's strong opposition, official or of grassroots, against the very democratic principles.

Okinawa's "strong" opposition is probably less that 0.1% of Japanese support for the relocation. Mainland had it's chance to host the relocation, and everyone turned it down.

The democratically elected government of JAPAN, which is 100% responsible for the defense of the entire country, including Okinawa, decided, due to a plethora of reasons, including Okinawan politicians being unable to get enough money, to pick a location, at Camp Schwab. The landfill will be completed.

The people of Futenma will FINALLY have peace, not thanks to those who want their cake and the chance to eat it too!

Wars get started because of the recalcitrant behavior of people who dont know the first thing about negotiations. It's never "all or nothing" unlike what the opposition keeps harping about. We all can be very thankful that there are powers that be that can see that and have the patience to put up with the stubborn and immature behavior

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm in Okinawa for many...many years, Is this news?

That is the only thing on the news every night.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Okinawa's "strong" opposition is probably less that 0.1% of Japanese support for the relocation. Mainland had it's chance to host the relocation, and everyone turned it down.

Have any poll or referendum been taken to see what percentage of the nation as a whole are sympathetic with Okinawa having to host the relocated base? You assume less than 0.1% of the whole population are opposed to the government's plan.

The democratically elected government of JAPAN, which is 100% responsible for the defense of the entire country, including Okinawa, decided, due to a plethora of reasons, including Okinawan politicians being unable to get enough money, to pick a location, at Camp Schwab. The landfill will be completed.

Successive LDP governments, including the Abe government, were in power legitimately. But that doesn't mean LDP governments were democratic in handling the relocation issue.

Abe's constituency was Yamaguchi Prefecture's 4th district with registered voters numbering 114,926. In the 2021 Lower House election, he garnered 80,448 votes or about 70% of 114, 926 eligible voters.

In a nutshell, Abe became Prime Minister with only 0.00076% of a total 105,622,758 eligible voters in the nation. He became Prime Minister through legitimate procedures all right, but it's quite dubious if what he did about the Futenma relocation issue was democratic and in line with Okinawa's welfare.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Successive LDP governments, including the Abe government, were in power legitimately. But that doesn't mean LDP governments were democratic in handling the relocation issue.

Hey, it's your country, your system, if you dont like it do something about it, besides complain on a web forum.

I realize that typing some sentences on a keyboard, and actually doing something that you believe in so strongly, are two totally different things. The former is easy, but the latter takes guts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Hey, it's your country, your system, if you dont like it do something about it, besides complain on a web forum.

Japan is your country, too, isn't it? You once posted that you are a naturalized Japanese citizen. So, let's address the system together.

You said in your post of Sep. 30 05:32 pm JST that Okinawa's opposition to the relocation accounts for less than 0.1 percent of the nation as a whole, intimating that Okinawa must follow as the democratically elected central government dictates. My post above is an answer to this.

You didn't respond to some of the questions I raised there. Have polls or referendums been conducted to see if they were sympathetic to Okinawa's cause? I think a majority will support Okinawa's cause.

A conservative batch of people spearheaded by former Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto started a campaign to take Futenma’s replacement somewhere on the mainland. But the campaign seems to have petered out and botched before the U.S.’s insistence that such bases for Ospreys must be within the fixed radius or in the vicinity of Northern Training Area, officially named as the Jungle Warfare Training Center, on northern Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have nationwide polls or referendums been conducted to see if they were sympathetic to Okinawa's cause? I think a majority will support Okinawa's cause.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You didn't respond to some of the questions I raised there.

You dont respond to the questions posed to you regarding your outright disregard for putting these questions to the legally elected, democratic government of Japan. You fail to answer the questions about why you dont take this up with the authorities in the Hague?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have nationwide polls or referendums been conducted to see if they were sympathetic to Okinawa's cause? I think a majority will support Okinawa's cause.

Then do something about it, just as the Okinawa referendum was FORCED down the throats of the Okinawan electorate, by a mainland entity. If you think the people would agree with you, do it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru,

You said confidently in your post of Sep. 30 05:32 pm JST that "Okinawa's 'strong' opposition is less than 0.1% of Japanese support for the relocation."

To this, I countered that if a nationwide referendum were taken, an overwhelming majority of mainlanders would undoubtedly sympathize with Okinawa's cause and oppose the government's plan for the relocation, which is basically the U.S. government's fixed plan.

Needless to say, Tokyo and Washington are in collusion with each other as regards base issues

Without convincing us as to why Futenma’s replacement must be built in Henoko, the ongoing landfill is a sheer violation of democracy humanitarianism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To this, I countered that if a nationwide referendum were taken, an overwhelming majority of mainlanders would undoubtedly sympathize with Okinawa's cause and oppose the government's plan for the relocation, which is basically the U.S. government's fixed plan.

You confidently state here that the Japanese would support the Okinawan opposition. Well, if you are so confident, do something about it. You continue to beat around the bush.

If you have so much confidence in your opinions and theories, do something about it.

You would gain the respect of people for not just talking about it, but actually putting your words into action.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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