politics

Denny Tamaki, critic of U.S. bases, elected Okinawa governor

77 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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Congratulations to Denny, what an accomplishment! Definitely not your typical silver spoon born Japanese politician, his U.S. Marine father abandoned his mother before he was born and he never knew him and was teased and bullied as a child because he was Amerasian and without a father. He became the first Amerasian elected to the Japanese Diet in 2009 and ,as far as I know, is now the first Amerasian governor of a Japanese Prefecture. Nothing but respect for Denny because of what he has had to overcome in his life to get where he is today.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Good to see the arrogant LDP getting its ass kicked for once.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

congratulations.

His election should be a wake up call to the LDP.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Good luck to him. He's got two much bigger opponents in the LDP and US armed forces than the guy who ran against him. But, I'll still wish him well. This story won't go away for a long, long time, unless he can pull off a miracle.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

It was amazing to se how Denny was able to energize the Okinawan people in such a short period and against such a powerful, well funded political opponent.

It's the first time that I've experienced such an enthusiasm for a politician in Okinawa, especially amongst younger Okinawans. Denny apparently has the ability to inspire people.

Now he's facing the immense task of confronting an anti-democratic central government aiming at corrupting the Okinawan democratic process in order to keep the bulk of the US military away from the mainland.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I'm really happy to see Mr. Danny governor of Okinawa prefecture, a son of a US Marine officer and a opponent policy of Abe administration and on Onaga's "spirit," defeating his rival Atsushi Sakima a feudal subordinated person of his lord Mr. Abe, almost to work duties like slavery to LDP...Well, at last surprise and more satisfaction to Japan, Danny be good!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Oh Denni boy, the pipes are playing!

Great news! With dual ancestry, he is the perfect person for it, an excellent choice. I really like what he says. Things are going to be very interesting from now on.

And, with a bit of luck, he will put a stop to the shining new superbase that Mr Abe kindly wants to build for the Americans.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Just get rid of the bases in Okinawa once and for all...... I'm not Anti-American.... just sick of this issue. Mainly because I feel the Japanese should fully handle their own Defense.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I’m also an anti-US base supporter. I believe it benefits America more than the Japanese.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Ok let’s be realistic for a second, him winning the local election is not going to change a long term agreement signed between The US and JAPAN which involves lots of money and strategy.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

If that fails and the Americans leave, Japan is literally a sitting duck and very easy pickings for China and Russia who could wage a war with Japan on two fronts.

Again, the same old veiled threats. You'll be attacked! Your economy will fail! And so on and so forth.

It will be fine.

Funny how someone who is half American is against US bases.

Not at all. One's genetic makeup has nothing to do with what political views they have.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This vote could have easily gone the other way, considering all the political & financial support the opposition had. He won fair & square.

A MAJORITY of the voting public have decided who they'd like to govern Okinawa and represent its citizens.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The very best news.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Yubaru (Today 01:38 pm JST),

It's not a new base, it is an extension of an existing base.

What are the features of Camp Schwab ? Isn't it a Marine camp housing barracks, motor pools, coffee shops, restaurants, library, education center, a bowling center, a gym, etc.? And you think the construction of Futenma's replacement on reclaimed land around it an extension of the existing base with more such facilities added to it?

The new base will feature two V-shaped runways, a berth that is large enough for the USS Bon Homme Richard to anchor, landing and launching facilities for amphibious vehicles, an ammunition storage facility etc. So, definitely, it's not an extension of Camp Schwab nor is it simply a replacement for Futenma. It's a NEW BASE without any doubt1

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yubaru,

Like I said previously, you can deflect, obfuscate and say whatever you want, but it's just a new extension to an existing facility.

Explain how I deflect and obfuscate the issue. And explain why you think it's an extension of the already existing base. Otherwise, your argument doesn't hold water; it's simply a meaningless parting shot with no real content.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Halwick (Today 03:20 pm JST),

Ah....maybe not right now as you say, but there is an implication of future demands for the removal of ALL U.S. bases; not limited to U.S. Marine bases but including the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.

I can assure you that with no exception all Okinawans, regardless of their rightist or leftist mind-set, vaguely think this state of affairs vis-a-vis the U.S. military presence must come to an end someday. Let me be more specific on my part. This state of affairs is nothing different from quai-occupation -- an occupation seamlessly carried over from the post-World War Two occupation.

Removal of U.S. Air Force bases and Naval bases will be determined under a current international situation in the future. But your post betrays what you really think at heart: the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, whatever the reason may be, must continue indefinitely with so many bases occupying so much land.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Matt Hartwell (Today 12:01 pm JST):

The bases can never go away until Japan has a referendum supporting the overturning of Article 9. If that fails and the Americans leave, Japan is literally a sitting duck and very easy pickings for China and Russia who could wage a war with Japan on two fronts. Look at the geography. It would be super easy for them to do if they so chose.

Tell me for what reason will Russia and China wage a war with Japan -- to invade and take over Japan with no casus belli?

Okinawa isn't demanding all U.S. bases be moved away right now. It's only the construction of Henoko new base, USMC Air Station Futenma's planned replacement, that is at issue in this election. 

Tell me concretely how this Marine base can contribute to the defense of Japan when the active core elements of Okinawa-based Marines are engaged in combat skills for jungle warfare, amphibious and urban warfare; when they are slated to relocate to Guam in the near  future, leaving only support units in Okinawa; when the two governments struck a deal that responsibility to deal with Japan's defending outlying rests with JSDF and not with USFJ.

Tell me why under such situations it’s absolutely necessary for the U.S. to retain Futenma’s function in Okinawa the same as ever.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Congratulations Denny!

It's high time to liberate the Ryukyus aka ' The Crimea of Asia' from the virtual colonizer who have turned beautiful and pristine Okinawa into a giant Island of Military Bases!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

However you PR it, Okinawans don't want any more US bases. Enough already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

seanwd20,

Funny how someone who is half American is against US bases.

I know a lot of whole Americans who are against the US bases. Many of them retired ex-military too.

There are a lot of people who have had quite enough war.

Building more bases is a good guarantee of it happening.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yubaru,

If the planned facility is an extension of the already existing base of Camp Schwab, it will house facilities similar to already existing ones: barracks, motor pools, coffee shops, restaurants, a bowling center, a fitness center and what not. If it's a mere replacement for Futenma, an airfield would suffice. 

But it will have many new functions Futenma doesn't have. First and foremost, it will have port facilities with the length of 272 meters that can berth large transport ships or amphibious assault ships such as the Bon Homme Richard; it will be equipped with slopes for LCACs to land and .launch; it will be provided with ammunition storage area from where deadly weapons of mass destruction can be transported secretly to munitions depots located within Camp Schwab. The planned base can thus be called "a new base" with the complex of many new functions.

The document of Okinawa Prefecture records this planned facility as a new base, not a replacement for Futenma nor an extension of Camp Schwab.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Does Futenma have port facilities to berth the USS Bon Homme Richards or does Camp Schwab? If they do, you can say it's a replacement for Futenma or an extension of Camp Schwab.

It's both! An upgrade and replacement utilizing a current USMC base. Even if they don't, bases get upgrades, new equipment, new buildings, new all sorts of things, they even get landfills to increase size and capabilities. No one calls them a "new" base.

Only the people who want to obfuscate, and deceive others will make that claim, and to folks who don't know about Okinawa, never been here, and read information like that, they are also being fed a lie, and then pass it along as fact. Throughout history there are countless numbers of examples that will back that up as well! Here too, folks are being fed a lie, and few will stand up and tell the truth. You and others that call it a "new" base are just passing along lies, because you want to believe it yourself. It's easier than having to think for yourself.

You can not tell anyone with a straight face that it's a new base, unless you believe the lie too! You think that by adding "cutting edge" facilities that makes it a "new" base? That is making a choice to stay ignorant and naive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 But if the whole operating cost expanded 7 times all of a sudden, 

Lol...it's not "all of a sudden", its been 20 years in the making! So now you accept that its not a new base, its an additional facility, being added to a current installation.

The costs of running two, Futenma and Schwab, will be less, as they are put into one location.

Again its not new new base, you are just too ignorant to realize

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"The strong feelings of Takeshi Onaga, risking his life to stop the construction of any more bases, helped bring this victory," Tamaki told reporters.

I would like to know the details of how he "risked his life" . Sounds like pandering to the public.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Where are you getting THIS from?

Yubaru. The phrase used in para-4 of the article? or my comment?

just in case I’ve been ignorant, maybe someone could enumerate the times he knowingly risked his life?

my idea here is not to oppose or support a defense base, it was only towards a statement used that my first instinct told me was exaggerated. That’s all

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Thanks for the tip. Here’s a corrected sentence:

I urge you to open: https://www.mccsokinawa.com/schwab/

But does it make any difference in what I said about some features of Camp Schwab?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Addendum:

A picture posted there shows the Beachhead restaurant with a vestibule in front of a porch like a hotel But, strangely enough, the building is almost windowless despite the fact that it could command a beautiful view of the seascape and landscape abroad. Was the restaurant built with a planned noisy airfield in mind?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you had a house for 70 years and you add an extension to your house to make another bedroom and put a pool in your backyard do you have a new house?

Of course! At least these people have been hypnotized into believing it!

There is a new terminal extension being built there now, scheduled to open even sooner, going to have to call it a the "New" Naha Airport!

Also when the new runway at Naha airportis finished, it is scheduled to open at the end of March in 2020, I suppose these folks will be calling it the "Newer New Naha Aiport!"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The planned facility is not an extension of the existing base 

You know, right, let's call it an upgrade to current facilities, as agreed upon, from within the US-Japan Security agreement!

The facilities are being upgraded via a landfill, as to not require further appropriation of land, and with the implicit desire to ease the burden of the bases on Okinawa, as not only Futenma will be closed, but Camp Kinser, and large portions of Camp Foster as well. Thus easing congestion in some of the most heavily populated areas in Okinawa!

Only a child would have the logic to think that the world we live in today is decided in black and white terms. Only a naive child would make impossible demands and then go away screaming and crying when they don't get their way.

That's why they are a child, because from those experiences they learn that the world does not work their way all the time, and hopefully the child will grow up and learn that it takes communication skills to succeed in todays world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How would you explain the astounding multiplication of the operating cost 

It's not "astounding" it's normal, when you increase operations and manpower, costs increase, that's a no brainer.

When a business expands, costs expand, you obviously are oblivious to that fact. Once again, obfuscating and deflecting the point that no matter how much you try, it is still not a new base.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I actually danced the Okinawa when I read the news and watched it on TV I wish I could be there iits especially good news for Okinawans because of the typhoon that just smashed the islands

0 ( +7 / -7 )

smithinjapanToday  02:25 pm JST

In any case, he obviously does not represent the majority of Okinawans if the vote was so close, and the voting rate not that high.

And no one is saying he did but it's a FACT that he won the majority of the voting public!

Since you're always on about this, why not show us ALL the examples of politicians who won the majority of ALL Okinawans in the last ten years?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Indeed they need to stop calling the new base when it is a replacement for Futenma, or an extension of Schwab. By calling it a new base, it sounds like they are building another one in addition to Futenma. But I am wondering, if they ever do get the chance to finish the runways which I sincerely hope they don"t where they are going to house all the extra personnel, just keep adding housing on Schwab?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

f the planned facility is an extension of the already existing base of Camp Schwab, it will house facilities similar to already existing ones: barracks, motor pools, coffee shops, restaurants, a bowling center, a fitness center and what not. If it's a mere replacement for Futenma, an airfield would suffice. 

You want people to think Schwab is a rest and recreation spot huh? Look up what the function of Scwab is before you make comments like these.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru,

There's no doubt Camp Schwab has recreation center-like characteristics.

Click open:  https://www.mccsokinawa.com/schwab/

But you haven't been able to deny my claim that the planned facility can be called a new base different in nature from Camp Schwab or Futenma.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

YubaruToday  05:27 am JST

Ah, I see you were around after Onaga won, he won by a similar margin, and there was a lot of discussion by those who fell in love with him about it being a "mandate" and "landslide", again similar to the numbers this time.

"Yes, I was around before, during and after Onaga won, just as you were. Though I love your atempt to tie my comments with those who claimed he won by a landslide, it simply isn't true. I consistently said, Onaga won by the majority of the voting public, the very same way I described Denny's victory."

Give it time, it will come. Maybe not here, but in the future when the anti folks jump on the Denny bandwagon!

"As I've said once before, time is running out for this article and yet there still hasn't been anyone making that claim. At this point, I think we have given it enough time and your point hasn't been fruitful in the least."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The issue is whether Tokyo can make a deal that affects Okinawa without the consent of Okinawa. This situation is also affected by the recent lack of enthusiasm on the part of the US about defending Japan.in spite of an agreement to do so. I can’t say where this is going, but if if Okinawa wants a different situation, they at least need a loud voice that Tokyo can hear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Inequality by "US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement" has caused Antipathy of People of Okinawa historically.

For example,

Dangerous Military-drill that is prohibited in US mainland is "OK" in Japan.

It threaten and endanger safe of Japanese Residents.

Unfair US-Japan Agreement unlike other countries such as Italia and Germany should be corrected soon.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But does it make any difference in what I said about some features of Camp Schwab?

By the way ALL bases in Okinawa have recreation facilities in some manner or the other.

So everyone here should now know that ALL the military, specifically Marine Corp installations on Okinawa are rest and recreation assignment locations! Nothing more nothing less, at least according to one ignorant poster here!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru,

By the way ALL bases in Okinawa have recreation facilities in some manner or the other.

Maybe so. But the moot question here is whether or not the central government is merely expanding the already existing base, as you allude.

No, you aren’t alluding; you are asserting it's an extension of Camp Schwab. You know, the base was originally constructed for housing barracks and motor pools. Recently it has added leisure-time facilities such as restaurants, large and small, an aquatic recreation center, a bowling center, a fitness center and a community center. Is the "extension work", then, to accommodate an increasing number of users? Never.

If not, is it a replacement for USMC Air Station Futenma as was agreed upon between the two governments? But if it were simply a carry-over of Futenma's function, the planned facility would only be an air field and related facilities. It's not.

It will have many new facilities Futenma doesn't have. Not only a V-shaped runway but also a port facility with a berth extending 272 meters long that can anchor large transport and amphibious assault ships such as the USS Bon Homme Richard; it will be equipped with slopes for LCACs to launch to and land from the sea freely; it will be provided with ammunition storage area from where deadly weapons of mass destruction could be transported secretly to munitions depots located on a hill behind Camp Schwab.

The planned facility is not an extension of the existing base for sure nor is it simply a quid pro quo for Futenma. It is the complex of many new facilities and functions, and so can be called a new base.

Tamaki campaigned by appealing to prevent this new base from ever being constructed because Okinawa has suffered so much by housing so many bases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe so. But the moot question here is whether or not the central government is merely expanding the already existing base, as you allude.

Oh so you do know what "moot" means. Always figured you did.

It's not moot, here it's highly debatable, and the media is playing their part, particularly here in Okinawa , as they will never say anything to put the military in a positive light.

Hence the lies in the press about it being a "new" base. Everyone blindly accepts what they read as being "fact" Yourself as well. No matter how much you argue, write walls of text in response, you are doing the same thing as the media, overloading information to cover up your flaws....it's not a new base.

If they built the runways in Nago Harbor, I'd agree it's a "new" base, if they built it off the beach in Naminoue, I'd agree it's a new base, but they aren't, it's an extension of Camp Schwab plain and simple.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The planned facility is not an extension of the existing base for sure nor is it simply a quid pro quo for Futenma. It is the complex of many new facilities and functions, and so can be called a new base.

If you had a house for 70 years and you add an extension to your house to make another bedroom and put a pool in your backyard do you have a new house?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Inequality by "US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement" has caused Antipathy of People of Okinawa historically.

For example,

Dangerous Military-drill that is prohibited in US mainland is "OK" in Japan.

It threaten and endanger safe of Japanese Residents.

Unfair US-Japan Agreement unlike other countries such as Italia and Germany should be corrected soon.

What military drill are you even talking about? I've seen you post the same comment in 3 different websites...

It ironic you talk about "fake news" because that comment is fake news. The drills done on the continental US are far more dangerous and less prohibited that the ones the US does in Japan... I would know because I've participated in them in several different countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What military drill are you even talking about? I've seen you post the same comment in 3 different websites...

^that was meant to be my comment not a quote

0 ( +0 / -0 )

risking his life

Really? I wouldn’t go so far to say.........

Where are you getting THIS from?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Correction of the 3rd paragraph:

Tell me concretely how this Marine base can contribute to the defense of Japan when the active core elements of Okinawa-based Marines are engaged in combat skills for jungle warfare, amphibious and urban warfare; when they are slated to relocate to Guam in the near future, leaving only support units in Okinawa; when the two governments struck a deal to the effect that responsibility to deal with contingencies involving territorial disputes rests with JSDF and not with USFJ.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Tell me for what reason will Russia and China wage a war with Japan -- to invade and take over Japan with no casus belli?

Again, the same old veiled threats. You'll be attacked! Your economy will fail! And so on and so forth.

It is incredibly foolish to leave yourself at the mercy of two former adversaries which you have fought wars against in the past, which continue to hold grudges, especially China and which can turn on you in a heartbeat.

These are also virtual dictatorships we are talking about. Can't see many Russians or Chinese getting a vote or being able to develop any real pressure from the ground up on whether they should fight a war against Japan.

It will be fine.

Maybe it will, Maybe it won't. No leader should ever, EVER put his people in a weakened strategic position deliberately on the premise of "it will be fine". What a nonsensical statement.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In any case, he obviously does not represent the majority of Okinawans if the vote was so close, and the voting rate not that high.

Denny Tamaki Popular vote 396,632 55.1%

Atsushi Sakima Popular vote 316,458 43.9%

Turnout 63.24%

Just waiting for the people here to make the claim that Denny won a "mandate" a "landslide" and however they choose to spin the numbers.

He won, and no he does not represent a majority of Okinawan's, just a majority of those who voted. The turn out was not expected to be high, due to the typhoon, but it was relatively high considering the situation.

Kudos to those who voted and congratulations to Denny. I do not agree with him, but he won, and from all accounts fairly too. Okinawa is traditionally against the LDP, particularly in recent national elections, where Okinawa was the only prefecture to NOT elect an LDP candidate.

The LDP had an uphill battle, running against a candidate that had the support of the family of Onaga, and got not a small percentage of sympathy votes as well, as Denny promised to carry on the Onaga agenda too.

Either way, that's Okinawan politics, people vote with their hearts, more than their heads, so now it's wait an see what happens!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yubari Just waiting for the people here to make the claim that Denny won a "mandate" a "landslide" and however they choose to spin the numbers.

Well, you'll be waiting a long time since no ones made that claim so far and this thread is about to end!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

ubari Just waiting for the people here to make the claim that Denny won a "mandate" a "landslide" and however they choose to spin the numbers.

Well, you'll be waiting a long time since no ones made that claim so far and this thread is about to end!

Ah, I see you were around after Onaga won, he won by a similar margin, and there was a lot of discussion by those who fell in love with him about it being a "mandate" and "landslide", again similar to the numbers this time.

Give it time, it will come. Maybe not here, but in the future when the anti folks jump on the Denny bandwagon!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I urge you again to open Camp Schwab's homepage. https://www.mccsokinawa.com/schwab/

First off, that is NOT Camp Schwab's home page. That is the home page for Marine Corps Community Services If this is what you are using to base your argument on the functions and purpose of Camp Schwab you really are reaching to support your opinion that it's not a base extension.

MCCS provides "Community Services" to the MC, and their dependents throughout the entire Marine Corp and not just here on Okinawa.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru & Smith

Todays the last day for this article and it appears that you're the only two who commented about Denny winning by a landslide or total majority of Okinawan voters.

Now, both of you have conveniently avoided further comment on the matter. What's up?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru,

When a business expands, costs expand, you obviously are oblivious to that fact.

Of course, if a business expands, costs will expand along with it. But if the whole operating cost expanded 7 times all of a sudden, one can  assume that business wouldn't be the same as it used to be. The management have ventured into a new business without a doubt.

The same with the Futenma issue.  The planned facility is not a mere replacement of Futenma.  It's a new base with its operating cost increasing 7 times more.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

OK; Congratulations.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Not only that, but where were they when Onaga stripped the lands in Ishigaki to build a new airport for commercial use? Not a word there, either, but tremendous support for the destruction of the environment. Ergo, as you point out with the hypocrisy, the damage to the environment, which they don't care about one iota, is just an excuse.

There is plenty more hypocrisy to go around, IF and only the discussion was about "protecting the environment of Okinawa" then all the folks in government here are guilty.

I can name numerous landfill projects that have destroyed huge sections of the ocean and reef around Okinawa, but no one talks about them, and never will, because it isn't the US Military.

The US Military on Okinawa is Satan reincarnated from the way some folks talk about them, but in effect, they are too pawns in the bigger picture of the security treaty between the US and Japan (not Okinawa and the US.)

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Yubaru,

I  urge you again to open Camp Schwab's homepage.

https://www.mccsokinawa.com/schwab/

On top of the list of leisure time facilities in Camp Schwab is a Beachhead restaurant where one can dine fancy food and enjoy karaoke parties all night. Next comes Schwab Aquatic Center where visitors can enjoy water-related leisure activities like at an amusement park. There're a burger shop and a cafe along the way, a library, a community center and bowling and fitness centers.

What makes me outrageous is building and maintenance costs for these facilities are all borne by Japanese taxpayers, that include myself.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru & CrucialS,

The planned facility is supposed to be a replacement for Futenma as we’ve been told so. If so, it will house only a runway and related facilities. But it will have a lot of cutting-edge facilities Futenma doesn't have and will certainly function as a military port as well. 

Does Futenma have port facilities to berth the USS Bon Homme Richards or does Camp Schwab? If they do, you can say it's a replacement for Futenma or an extension of Camp Schwab.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru,

The planned facility is neither Futenma's replacement nor an extension of Camp Schwab. This can be inferred and concluded from an estimated annual maintenance cost for the planned new base. The new base's annual maintenance cost will be $200 million, about 70 times larger than Futenma's current operating cost, according to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. The committee discussed who would shoulder the operating cost, Japanese or U.S. taxpayers (See The Okinawa Times: Dec. 7, 2014).

How would you explain the astounding multiplication of the operating cost if it were simply relocating Futenma to Henoko or extending Camp Schwab?  It's definitely a new base.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru,

Lol? On the contrary. People who read your comment will burst into a laughter, I'm sure.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

As soon as the new base at Henoko starts operation, its operating cost will become $200 million a year, which is 70 times more than Futenma's current operating cost. It is in this sense that I used the phrase "all of a sudden". Read the metaphor.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

With his win, the Chinese are happy about it. The former Governor went to China for a talk with the Chinese politician. Hope they won’t regret if U.S. bases leaves Japan. China can enter freely in Okinawa. As most regrets the leaving of U.S. bases in the Phil. And now claim the islets as theirs including EEZ

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

The bases can never go away until Japan has a referendum supporting the overturning of Article 9. If that fails and the Americans leave, Japan is literally a sitting duck and very easy pickings for China and Russia who could wage a war with Japan on two fronts. Look at the geography. It would be super easy for them to do if they so chose. Japan would have to bow down and acquiesce on every demand by those two in order to guarantee peace. A distinctly dumb and unenviable position to put your country in.

Abe knows this. He knows that Japan needs to have a proper military with both offensive and defensive elements so it can holds its weight without the need for America's aid if relations between those two previously mentioned powers goes backwards and if relations between America itself goes backwards. I don't consider this current trade situation is particularly bad. Its very small beans so far from Japans point of view.

Also keep in mind Japan still does not have a peace treaty with Russia and relations with China could go backwards fast, the minute the Chinese make a move on the Senkaku islands which an American withdrawal absolutely encourages.

The path is clear for Japan if it wants to distance itself from America.

1) Overturn article 9 and become a proper and formidable military power

2) That means either extremely strong hypersonic conventional missile deterrents to the tunes of hundreds of missiles or a nuclear deterrent. Obviously the latter seems unlikely. The former, very possible.

3) America leaves.

3 can't happen without 1 and 2.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Funny how someone who is half American is against US bases.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Congratulations. Good luck with getting the US bases out of Okinawa. Unlikely to happen anytime soon with the current Chinese policy of military expansion. Too bad they can't wind back the clock and reinstate their independence.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What is the plan B he proposes ?

No change or no base ? No American ?

Location of Okinawa is important for who masters strategic skills.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

 It's only the construction of Henoko new base, 

It's not a new base, it is an extension of an existing base. I suppose if you built an extension on your house you would tell everyone you built a new house too, and when folks finally come and see your "new" house they will know that at best you were pulling their leg, but they won't find it funny.

You can obfuscate, deflect, and keep on telling the same "alternative facts" but it does not change that it's an addition to Camp Schwab, a base that has been there for decades.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Explain how I deflect and obfuscate the issue. And explain why you think it's an extension of the already existing base. Otherwise, your argument doesn't hold water; it's simply a meaningless parting shot with no real content.

Before I even begin to start (again) I have to ask if you understand the meaning of "new" and "existing" first. If you don't know the meaning of those two words then it's going to be very difficult to explain anything.

BTW if it was a "parting shot" on my part, I wouldn't have responded. One, and like I said, Camp Schwab is an existing base, and it's pretty obvious you dont know the history, been around longer that you or I have been alive, in fact, before becoming Schwab, it was in fact a Japanese military installation, used by the IJA prior to and ending in the defeat of Japan in WWII. You also dont know the mission nor scope of the facility

And no, I am NOT going to sit here and explain to you what it is either, you can do the research yourself.

Once again, no matter what you say, and like you write here "your argument does not hold water" another attempt at obfuscating and deflecting the FACT it's NOT a new base.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What new base? It is a base extension at Camp Schwab, not a new base as the base is already there. You do not call Naha airport the new airport because the are adding a runway.

Yup, but the people will argue with you that because Naha was already an airport a new runway, or new terminal, still is within the definition of it's origins. You can not win with people who already have their minds made up, and have ingrained preconceived notions that are based upon media reports that they blindly see as being 100% factual.

To question that, and find out that what they trusted and believed up until now, is in fact, wrong, is beyond their ability to understand or accept, because to question one thing leads to another, and the house of cards comes falling down.

They are secure in NOT accepting truth, it's easier to let others do the thinking for them.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

risking his life

Really? I wouldn’t go so far to say.........

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

*"The strong feelings of Takeshi Onaga, risking his life to stop the construction of any more bases, helped bring this victory," Tamaki told reporters.*

Poor choice of words, but deliberately so for political reasons. "Risking his life" implies Onaga placed himself in physical danger, which he probably never did. It also pictures Onaga as a martyr. That's politics for you and it sure sounded better than the more accurate wording "neglecting his health in a single-minded obsession to stop the construction of any more bases".

Okinawa isn't demanding all U.S. bases be moved away right now. (voiceofokinawa)

Ah....maybe not right now as you say, but there is an implication of future demands for the removal of ALL U.S. bases; not limited to U.S. Marine bases but including the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.

And Tamaki, stated, "*I can clearly state we no longer want in Okinawa the U.S. bases that destroy our peace and destroy our nature."* Note he didn't state "Futenma" or "U.S. Marine bases", but "U.S. bases." The unsaid implication is clear: he considers all U.S. Marine, Air Force and Navy bases in Okinawa to be a threat to peace and nature and wants them all out of Okinawa.

.....the Americans leave, Japan is literally a sitting duck and very easy pickings for China and Russia who could wage a war with Japan on two fronts. Look at the geography..... (Matt Hartwell)

Tell me for what reason will Russia and China wage a war with Japan -- to invade and take over Japan with no casus belli? (voiceofokinawa)

@Matt, I agree completely with your post. But "voiceofokinawa", "Akie", et al., do not consider Russia or China....especially China to be an adversary or enemy. Onaga and Tamaki probably doesn't either.

China may not directly wage war with Japan or invade and take over Japan, but does it does want Okinawa to be free of U.S. and Japanese military presence so it can eventually gain a military foothold on nearby islands or even on Okinawa itself. Such a military presence will give China the ability to control the East China Seas and the Taiwan Straits. Furthermore, with military bases on Senkaku or nearby Ryukyu Islands, China could easily stage an attack, invasion and annexation of Taiwan, which it has repeatedly threatened to do in the near future.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

What are the features of Camp Schwab ? Isn't it a Marine camp housing barracks, motor pools, coffee shops, restaurants, library, education center, a bowling center, a gym, etc.? And you think the construction of Futenma's replacement on reclaimed land around it an extension of the existing base with more such facilities added to it?

Like I said previously, you can deflect, obfuscate and say whatever you want, but it's just a new extension to an existing facility.

And no matter how many different ways you say it, it's not a new base. That simple.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

And so the hate continues so much for peace. This guy is angry at being abandoned and was the scourge of Japan. Well his revenge won't be that easy. But more importantly,

Re: Some are also pointing to the threat that base construction, which includes a landfill, may bring to the environment, including to a coral reef and dugong and other marine life.|"  If these people were so concerned, where were the voices when the mountains on the Northern Point of Nago City were destroyed forever to please the greedy landowners building fancy resorts, and to rot with the environment.  Not a word from any of these hypocrites.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

bjohnson: "If these people were so concerned, where were the voices when the mountains on the Northern Point of Nago City were destroyed forever to please the greedy landowners building fancy resorts, and to rot with the environment. Not a word from any of these hypocrites."

Not only that, but where were they when Onaga stripped the lands in Ishigaki to build a new airport for commercial use? Not a word there, either, but tremendous support for the destruction of the environment. Ergo, as you point out with the hypocrisy, the damage to the environment, which they don't care about one iota, is just an excuse.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

With Tamaki's election, there goes any chances of a satisfactory compromised solution to the base issue. Most unfortunate setback.

After Futenma is closed, Henoko base construction is halted, what's next?  A referendum to close all U.S. Marine bases, close all U.S. Air Force and Navy bases and remove all U.S. military personnel until Okinawa is U.S. military-FREE?  Is that his ultimate goal? 

It also looks like Tamaki will be another "single-issue" Governor like his predecessor. What will he do for Okinawan businesses, infrastructure and economy? Does he have any plans other than anti-US base plans?

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Outside of Okinawa, the national government and public opinion appear to support strengthening Japan's security measures as it faces nuclear threats from North Korea and the growing military might of China. U.S. President Donald Trump's administration also has been pushing Japan to do more to defend itself.

Both U.S. and Japan national government considers Okinawa important due to its strategic proximity to Japan and China Seas; that's the primary reason for U.S. military presence.  After the U.S. forces are relocated outside Okinawa, Japan will have to expand its JSDF presence on Okinawa and occupy the remaining former U.S. military bases.....that is IF the Constitution allows the JSDF expanded role.

Will Gov. Tamaki and Okinawans accept expanded JSDF military presence?  And no doubt JSDF will fly its Ospreys and other military fixed-wing aircraft over the beautiful skies of Okinawa.  How long will it take before there are JSDF-related incidents?

Will there be anti-JSDF protests demanding JSDF bases closure and removal of all JSDF military forces too? 

Without U.S. and JSDF military presence on Okinawa, nothing will keep the Chinese military expansionism in the China Seas region in check.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

"The strong feelings of Takeshi Onaga, risking his life to stop the construction of any more bases, helped bring this victory,"

Wow, talk about spitting on the deadman you claim to be respecting! How did Onaga "risk his life"? Did he lie down in front of a bulldozer? The man did NOTHING to risk his life, but he sure used the government handouts to Okinawa to house the bases for his own personal wining and dining while demanding the bases go (and still asking for the handouts and protection if a Chinese sub went by).

Guess Futenma's going to say, as is this man's clear wishes, if he won't allow the thrice agreed upon construction and relocation work to continue. In any case, he obviously does not represent the majority of Okinawans if the vote was so close, and the voting rate not that high.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

What new base? It is a base extension at Camp Schwab, not a new base as the base is already there. You do not call Naha airport the new airport because the are adding a runway.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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