politics

Abe's pick in Okinawa governor's race vague on U.S. base relocation

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Sakima has been a great mayor for Ginowan and will be an excellent governor for the prefecture! チバリよサキマさん!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Vague on his support for the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko which means he plans to run a typical LDP campaign of deception.

Going to seek a revision of the SOFA. LOL, if the gov. of Okinawa has no say in where a U.S. Military base can be located then why does he think he will have a say in revising SOFA.

Going to invite a U.N. Organization to utilize MCAS Futenma when it is returned. If it is a U.N. Organization, then all of the facilities, employees salaries etc. will be paid for by the Japanese Taxpayers and the only jobs the local people of Okinawa will be doing is cutting the grass and cleaning the buildings.
0 ( +2 / -2 )

ANYONE who is supported by the LDP cannot be trusted.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

By being vaque Sakima is clear in his stand.

Only those who serve the colonizer Americans can't see the meaning of such vagueness.

For those who care and love the Ryukyus, Atsushi's stand is loud and clear!

Standing ovation for him!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As Nago's mayoral election in January this year showed, the LDP-backed, pro-Henoko candidate will certainly make his stance on the Henoko relocation very ambiguous and instead emphasize an immediate return of the Futenma base to eliminate the danger it poses to the city. He will also emphasize an economic development through close cooperation with the central government.

No one can dispute Futenma must be closed and returned immediately to eliminate the danger it poses to the city. The anti-Henoko camp must emphasize that point, also. Demand for Futenma's immediate return is not the LDP-backed candidate's monopoly. 

A crossroads at which the two camps differ in opinion is where Futenma's function should be moved to. The LDP-Komeito coalition government says Henoko in Nago City, Okinawa, is the best and only solution, but they've failed so far to give any convincing reason, saying only that deterrence against potential enemy attacks must be maintained in Okinawa.

Futenma is a Marine air base used by the U.S. Marine Aviation Corps. Its relocation to Henoko won't change that character although a lot of new functions, such as port facilities to harbor the USS Bon Homme Richard and amphibious launching and landing facilities, will be added to it. The so-called new base will be a center piece of the U.S. Marines Okinawa’s base complexes concentrated in the northern part of Okinawa Island. But they are training bases, nonetheless, for the Marines to hone their combat skills in aerial, amphibious, urban and jungle warfare.

It's been agreed between Tokyo and Washington that the most active elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines will be relocated to Guam with only their support units remaining left in Okinawa. It was also bilaterally agreed that primary responsibility to deal with contingencies involving outlying islands rests with the SDF.

So. one can safely say that U.S. Marine bases in Okinawa are nothing but white elephants for deterrence as well as for the defense of Japan.

Sakima must be clear about these issues, either by rejecting or accepting them, even if he wants to side with the LDP-Komeito coalition government.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sakima must be clear about these issues, by either rejecting or endorsing them. But the fact that he has full support from the LDP and the New Komeito tells everything about his stance even though he may keep mum and ambiguous about the Henoko relocation.

Will voters be able to see through this crafty tactics of the pro-relocation camp's?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Will voters be able to see through this crafty tactics of the pro-relocation camp’s?

... more likely, the voters will elect Atsushi because he (and all recent LDP winners) doesn’t center their platforms on the base issues. Okinawans have higher priorities and concerns... it’s not 2014 anymore

0 ( +1 / -1 )

CrucialS,

Of course, there are numerous issues as important as the base relocation issue. Economy may be a number one concern for voters anywhere and anytime. But if the power that be manipulates voters' vote casting by dangling carrots and big money in order for a candidate in their favor to be elected -- a candidate endorsing the government's ill-conceived plan. 

By the way, CrucialS, tell me why you and posters of your ilk here are so eager and intent for a pro-relocation candidate to win in this election. Doesn't it mean the Henoko relocation plan has been carried out by Washington's initiative?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But what if the powers that be manipulates voters' vote casting by dangling carrots and big money in order for a candidate in their favor to be elected -- a candidate endorsing the government's ill-conceived plan?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

By the way, CrucialS, tell me why you and posters of your ilk here are so eager and intent for a pro-relocation candidate to win in this election. Doesn't it mean the Henoko relocation plan has been carried out by Washington's initiative?

First and foremost the LDP/New Komieto candidates have better platforms focused on legitimate and tangible improvements for Okinawa or their districts. The opposition runs in one issue every time (its shown in their losing record recently).

Secondly, closing Futenma is a must and the relocation to Camp Schwab is the fastest way to do it.

Finally, relocation is the lowest priority of supporting candidates like Sakima Atsushi. Anyone who has lived in Okinawa without an agenda or bias knows that the bases and Schwab expansion are not a priority amongst the common people here. It’s an issue totally exaggerated by few media sources and mostly western media. Most Okinawans want better paying m quality jobs and better education for their kids.

casting by dangling carrots and big money in order for a candidate in their favor to be elected

Sounds like you’re just bitter that the candidate you wanted didn’t run on a better and more widely supported platform.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But what if the powers that be manipulates voters' vote casting by dangling carrots and big money in order for a candidate in their favor to be elected -- a candidate endorsing the government's ill-conceived plan?

Comments like this are a spit in the face to a democracy and a fair election

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CrucialS,

Comments like this are a spit in the face to a democracy and a fair election

Do you think a genuine democracy has taken root in Japan? Or in the U.S., for that matter?  Isn't there any pork-barrel politics in the U.S. in disregard of democratic principles?

And can you prove there has been no manipulation ever by Japan's central government to have candidates in their favor to win in local elections in Okinawa?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

CrucialS,

If you value democratic principles so much as I do, why did the U.S. negotiators assumedly suggest to their sycophantic Japanese counterparts that negotiations on Futenma's relocation issue be carried out without paying any heed to Okinawa's consensus whereby the bilateral agreement to move Futenma to Henoko was struck over the heads of Okinawa residents, a direct party concerned?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My comments above should be addressed to CyburneticTiger rather than to CrucialS.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, the US doesn’t involve itself with internal issues to Japan. So for the US to negotiate with Okinawa would be strange and probably violate diplomatic protocol... Tell me how much conversing did the US do with Yamaguchi Ken when Iwakuni was expanded or with Tokyo Tou when they based CV-22s in Yokota?

Regardless prefectural goverments dont have final say in national defense decisions so your point is moot. Saga Ken protested JSDF MV-22’s being stationed there but ultimately it happened.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CyburneticTiger,

The Futenma-to-Henoko relocation issue is not an internal issue specific to Japan but a bilateral one with the U.S. directly involved in it. Apparently, the suggestion of Henoko as an ideal relocation site was first offered by the U.S. side for the Marines Okinawa already had a blueprint to build a base complex in the coastal area of Henoko with an air field to be built on reclaimed land off the coast of Henoko.

We found about the existence of the blueprint that the Marines had designed and submitted to U.S. Congress for budgetary approval but in vain, in the early days of Futenma's relocation chronicle

For you to say the relocation issue is Japan's internal affairs completely irrelevant to the U.S. is mean, tricky and despicable. Period.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hahaha it’s logical that it’s an internal to japan issue, bro. Yes, it was a plan that the Marines requested but that doesn’t make it any less a Japanese choice. The GOJ agreed on the placement offshore of an existing base as the most logical location. If Japan wanted to it could say no but Japan chooses its defense alignment

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CyburneticTiger,

Judging from your detailed knowledge of what was going on in the bilateral negotiations on Futenma's relocation site, I think you were directly involved in it as a member of the U.S. negotiating team. In the course of negotiation, it’s reported the U.S. side dropped a hint that Henoko would be a good candidate, with which the Japanese side agreed, apparently to evade a mainland option. 

There is no doubt that the U.S. took the initiative in the negotiation from the very beginning. And yet you claim the U.S. has nothing to do with the Henoko relocation plan because it's Japan's internal issue by nature?  A preposterous claim indeed.

But, in the first place, do you think Futenma's return is negotiable at all and so the Japan-U.S. Special Committee (SACO) took up the issue on the negotiating table?

You can't deny Futenma sits on the private land the U.S. occupation forces illegally took up in blatant violation of international law. In other words, the land Futenma sits on is stolen property. Thus, the U.S. has no inherent right to demand a replacement be provided in exchange for its return. Futenma must be returned right then and there with no strings attached.

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