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Abe close to deal on relocating Futenma base on Okinawa

38 Comments
By Nobuhiro Kubo

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38 Comments
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I find this all so amusing. This was all negotiatated over a DECADE ago, and yet now that it is repeatedly trying to be implimented, it's as if nothing was ever discussed at all, and this is the first that Okinawa has ever HEARD of it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

WA4TKG

There is a lot that doesn't get reported about this issue. You have not been given all the facts, that is why it is difficult to understand.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Abe does not trust America very much. He thinks to rely on a foreign military force to defend one's country is a wrong idea. He thinks Japan must build its own military to defend the country not only for the purpose of defense but also for the pride of Japanese people. Revising SOFA is a sign of it.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

All Abe did was give lip service, only suggesting he would do his best to negotiate with Washington to realize what Nakaima requested. One of Nakaima's requests is to relocate the training of a half of 2-dozen Ospreys deployed at Futenma to mainland Japan but hasn't that been planned or an established fact already? Besides, the Air Force is considering to deploy 9 Ospreys at Kadena air Base in the near future.

Futenma sits on private lands that were forcefully requisitioned from private owners Mind you, the U.S. has no right at all from the beginning to demand a replacement for stolen goods. There were a dozen villages with a joint population of more than 12 thousand in the area before the war, of which 5 villages were completely swallowed up into the base and others partially done so.

In other cases, land was confiscated at bayonet point and by bulldozer, destroying houses and farmland before the eyes of protesting farmers and wailing mothers.

How could Nakaima gloat over what he gained in talks with Abe?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If the base commander treats the people of Okinawa like the Marine commander that poisoned us Marines at Cherry Point with the water contaimenation killing family members with the poisened water then Qkinawa has to be extermely nervous about the Marine bases there.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Here's what will happen: the US will FINALLY (after twice reneged promises) be given the green light to relocate, and Nakaima, if still around after this, will receive next to none of the concessions promised. In any case, it doesn't matter because this is merely face saving for all parties -- Nakaima knows FULL WELL with the increased threat by the Japan/China tit-for-tat aggression that the US military presence is needed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He thinks to rely on a foreign military force to defend one's country is a wrong idea. He thinks Japan must build its own military to defend the country not only for the purpose of defense but also for the pride of Japanese people.

As far as I know, the US want Japan to become independent. US wants Japan to be a strong(er) ally.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Do in the end, it really was just about the money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Something you wont read about the protesters at Henoko is that almost NONE of them are from the area. A lot of the local residents would appreciate the new base. They see it as a potential economic stimulus.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

smithinjapan it was not reneging at all. The government and people did not agree to the deal with the Americans. Now that looks like it will happen. Lord knows what the Americans did with the family farm! Anyhow the skinny is if the government of Okinawa signs off on the deal, I drop my objections.

Gengar it is a memorial for all of Japans war dead. This includes WWI when Japan was on the allies side. Japanese died protecting British convoys.

Dave how do you know this?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Yuriotani Thanks for correcting me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dave how do you know this?

I know this through an amazing technique calling "Actually Talking to the People Concerned".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@dave - what does it matter if the protesters are from other areas? They are protesting the environmental damage likely to be caused, which is everyone's concern. And it's no shock that some of those who stand to gain financially will lose their environmental consciences, if they ever had any.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Steve...no one gave a crap about the environment in that area until the base proposal came up, and there have been problems in that area for decades with red soil run-off (caused by JAPANESE construction not military base expansion).

Nakaima is just changing his spots again...first for the move....than against (to get re-elected)...now for it again (doesn't care anymore) and remember he IS LDP too!

Once it's "agreed" upon it will probably be another 20 years before anything actually happens anyway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Futenma sits on private lands that were forcefully requisitioned from private owners Mind you, the U.S. has no right at all from the beginning to demand a replacement for stolen goods."

Okinawa was occupied by the USA until 1972 when most of it was returned to Japan, who stole it from the Ryukyu Kingdom a century before.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Futenma sits on private lands that were forcefully requisitioned from private owners Mind you, the U.S. has no right at all from the beginning to demand a replacement for stolen goods."

Cripes.....this could be said about any number of bases in countless locations around the planet. And let's not forget that the landowners are compensated, quite well in fact, for the land the bases are on.

One rarely if ever hears about the landowners "complaining" about getting their land back. (exceptions are the "one-tsubo" types who ONLY got the land to complain)

Oh and another thing, learn to point your fingers in the right direction when making uninformed comments like this; it's the JAPANESE government that made the agreements.

I suppose with your logic the Native American's who traded away Manhattan have a "right" to get their land back too. Time to get in the 21st century I do believe.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Can it be relocated from Futenma to the disputed islands?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Serrano (Dec. 26, 2013 - 01:59PM JST):

In your view, an occupation army can do whatever it wants. Unforgivable morally and illegal under international law. And that indeed happened in Okinawa for 27 years from 1945 to 1972 when Okinawa was under direct U.S. administration: requisition of land, oppression of human rights, blatant intervention in local politics when an anti-base mayor is elected, and what not.

It is this feeling of suppression that motivated people to yarn for freedom and true democracy that mainland Japanese seemed to be enjoying, reborn now with the peace constitution, thus winding up to a great social movement to demand Okinawa's return to Japan, only to find that Japan was a U.S. vassal after all acting as its masters dictated.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Just a lot of face saving going on here. There's been a lot less focus on relocation since China started throwing its weight around off the coast of Japan. Japan may be advanced and capable in defense but it is still a long way off at being effective in detering the likes of China. I'm sure the general population sleeps a lot easier knowing that the might of USA standing there to offer protection. Yes the USA wants Japan to take on a responsible role , so it costs tha tax payers of the USA less and frees up their forces to attend to other future impending threats (mainly China)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Close all the US bases!

How gracious of the arrogant US imperialists to agree to move the base to a less convenient location for them! Such sacrifice! Ahh, but the imperialists need something... and it is the TPP.

Japan is the dog of US imperialist interests in Asia. What would Sakamoto Ryoma think? Is this the kind of Japan he gave his life for?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Okinawa was occupied by the USA until 1972 when most of it was returned to Japan, who stole it from the Ryukyu Kingdom a century before.

Please.read.history.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yubaru (Dec. 26, 2013 - 02:12PM JST):

I think my posting above addressed to serrano answers your remark also. You say I should point my finger at the Japanese government and not at the U.S. government because it is the Japanese government that agreed to U.S. demands. Don't forget about a master-servant relationship between the two countries, though.

There are some cultures in the world that don't have the idea of possessing land as personal property. But let's not get into this topic.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What would Sakamoto Ryoma think? Is this the kind of Japan he gave his life for?

Assuming we can trust what was written about him, Sakamoto Ryoma would have Japan's security and welfare first in mind.

Politics later..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

YuriOtani: "smithinjapan it was not reneging at all. The government and people did not agree to the deal with the Americans. Now that looks like it will happen."

It WAS reneging, as a matter of fact. And yes, now it will finally happen according to promise. Given what's going on with China in particular there is no way it will NOT happen. Japan is more dependent on the US presence than ever.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No country is going to attack Japan as long as Japan does not attack the other country first. If North Korea attacks South Korea, China is not going to send its troops to help, it might send some supplies. China will only send troops to keep North Korea from being occupied by unfriendly countries other than South Korea, that is what happened during the Korean War.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

this is good news and shows respect on both sides. I am glad that the US base and its negative impact on the good people of Okinawa will be moved away from the city. I grew up in a US city with a large naval base and frankly it was NOT a positive influence on the city at all and the downtown area was dangerous to go thru due to it. Japan has been very patient and I am glad this is moving the way it is. The US current hyper liberal cabal has so weakened the US Military and so weakened its ability to discipline its own troops that it is a serious matter for host nations to have to deal with and this is a good move.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

It is this feeling of suppression that motivated people to yarn for freedom and true democracy that mainland Japanese seemed to be enjoying, reborn now with the peace constitution, thus winding up to a great social movement to demand Okinawa's return to Japan, only to find that Japan was a U.S. vassal after all acting as its masters dictated.

Pray tell then why dont the people in Sasebo, Iwakuni, Misawa, Yokosuka, and other numerous "mainland" bases go nuts about the bases being in "thier" backyards? Why aren't they clamoring for "freedom and democracy" from the oppression of having to host US Military bases?

Why is it that the people who complain the most about the bases in Okinawa come down here from "mainland"?

I have said all along that Futenma has to be closed and moved, it really is a disaster waiting to happen, but, the Okinawan people included here, are responsible as well for the situation as it is, and like it or not, ever since the flare up of trouble with China, the "locals" have been quiet as church-mice about the bases.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nakaima praised Abe for offering a range of concessions to address various worries, including promises of larger budget outlays on Okinawa over the next seven years...

And here it is in a nutshell. Nakaima, the politician, doesn't give a rat's ass about anything as long as it means Okinawa Pref. will receive even more money for the terrible "burden" of hosting U.S. troops. Extortion of the GOJ over base issues is this one-trick pony's only meal ticket.

CrisGerSan

The US current hyper liberal cabal has so weakened the US Military and so weakened its ability to discipline its own troops...

Care to expound further? Because this is just about the dumbest thing I've read in a long time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru (Dec. 26, 2013 - 05:12PM JST):

All these bases you mention were there since before the war -- and Yokota, too. They are not planted on private land. And their existence is so diluted all across Japan that their existence is not felt keenly. But the story was different in mainland Japan, too, until the 1960's when many Marine bases were there. In the face of vehement anti-base protests and demonstrations, these Marine bases had to be moved out -- to U.S.-controlled Okinawa.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Lets face it, nobody wants the bases except the bar, brothel, and landowners. US acts with impunity, like they give a rat's ass what people think. Nakaima might be a one-trick pony but he saw the writing on the wall that Guam aint happening and held out for some goodies. Petty politics as usual, worldwide.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm glad some of you are finally seeing Nakaima for what he really is. Until just yesterday he was like the ultimate hero to the few Okinawans who complain about the bases. Now they seem to be a little tight-lipped about their opinion of the man since he, clearly, was only going against the bases to gain support amongst those who bother to vote.

YuriOtani: "Anyhow the skinny is if the government of Okinawa signs off on the deal, I drop my objections."

You drop your objections to something if someone else sells out? What happened to all your strong beliefs about the bases not being necessary and the Americans needing to get out? That changes because Nakaima flip-flops and sides with the Japanese government you have so often railed against on this issue?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Smith you do not understand. The people of Okinawa get the final say in the matter. We unlike others rolls eyes are peaceful. If the people of the area approve than is is alright. I still believe a Marine only base is not needed and this includes the other Marine bases. Anyhow what happens is not your concern non Okinawa person.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Yuri (again)

"The people of Okinawa get the final say in the matter."

But they don't, do they?

If they did, the bases would have closed years ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YuriOtani: "If the people of the area approve than is is alright."

As far as I can tell the people who don't approve still don't approve, save the sell-outs and those that finally understand that the threat from China is real and the 'burden' of US bases is the lesser evil. In any case it doesn't matter if they approve or not -- as long as Nakaima approves, and clearly he has proven to NOT be 'the people'.

"Anyhow what happens is not your concern non Okinawa person."

And just where do you live again, Yuri? Isn't it, and hasn't it been for a long while, the US? I'm entitled to my opinion regardless of your fall-back retort, or else if you honestly believe I have no right to speak about issues regarding Okinawa than you have no right speaking about issues related to the US. As it stands, though, I live and work in Japan, so this affects me more than it does you, and I therefore have MORE right and concern.

"We unlike others rolls eyes are peaceful."

Really? I've heard you call for war with China more than most posters on this cite... or sorry, war with "the red menace", as well as war-mongering over South Korea and its "civil war". So please don't claim to be any more peaceful than anyone else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The people of Okinawa get the final say in the matter."

But they don't, do they?

If they did, the bases would have closed years ago."

But if the bases closed years ago, the people of Okinawa would be speaking Chinese now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Smith you do not understand. The people of Okinawa get the final say in the matter.

Yuri you do not understand, the people living in Okinawa won't have the final say, it will be the government, one way or another. And I am quite certain that I have been living here longer than you have by far, and the decision affects me more than it does you in Oklahoma.

It's easy to comment from afar, and to be quite honest you have flip-flopped so often on this issue that I don't think even you know what you want anymore.

What's going to happen is going to happen, this is all a side show in the bigger picture.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smith I am at home now in Okinawa. I consider myself as a resident of Okinawa. Your argument would mean you are no longer American. I have not seen the agreement myself. Suppose you are right on one level but you argue both sides. I am waiting for the people of Nago to speak. Then again what can a single person accomplish? There are protestors on sight, we need to be patient and wait.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There are protestors on sight, we need to be patient and wait.

They have been there for what, 10 years, and the "agreement" has been waited upon nearly 20 years now. I guess if we take your path nothing will be accomplished until the 22nd Century right?

You flip-flop one this issue so much that it's sincerely hard to believe anything you write.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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