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Abe suspends work on U.S. base relocation on Okinawa

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By Mari Yamaguchi

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Tough guy wimps out?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

America should have made it the 51st state and none of this would be an issue.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

a 51st state with 12 trillion in debt? No thanks. We don't need another puerto rico.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

SenseNotSoCommon: "Tough guy wimps out?"

Well, it appears that way until you take into account the fact that he said NOTHING about anything happening with Futenma, and I guarantee this means nothing WILL be done about Futenma in the interim. So, they people got what they wanted -- the bases stay exactly where they are while construction on the thrice agreed upon base is halted. Now watch them all cry and complain tomorrow about how 'dangerous' and 'noisy' Futenma is! Well, tough luck. The move to eliminate that has been halted of your own accord.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Did the Okinawans ever agree to the relocation of Futenma to Henoko, or was that just Tokyo agreeing with USA?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

To take such an intermediate position and not just subjugate to the central government is already a quite courageous act for a Japanese district court judge and it is a good first step that Abe is listening to the rule of law.

Though many Okinawans are rather suspecting a deceitful trick by Abe as he has never shown any interest in seriously talking with the Okinawan people let alone make a compromise.

@ smithinjapan

So, they people got what they wanted

No, not yet, but chances are slightly higher now that the Okinawan people get closer to what they are demanding: no new base in Henoko and a drastic closure of most other bases in Okinawa including Futenma.

@ Alix Hooper

Did the Okinawans ever agree to the relocation of Futenma to Henoko, or was that just Tokyo agreeing with USA?

The Okinawan people where not democratically involved in any agreement about relocating Futenma to Henoko and where not able to agree or disagree on anything related.

Decision-making in regard to Henoko either happened behind closed doors without proper involvement of Okinawan officials or under direct pressure and threats from Tokyo to cut budgets if Okinawan officials are not submissive.

Moreover the current plan to "relocate" Futenma to Henoko is actually a consolidation and upgrade for the US marines and the Okinawan people don't like that idea at all. While the area they occupy is slightly reduced they get a new airfield in conjunction with a military harbor (non-existent in Futenma and something they have been apparently longing for since decades) and all in close vicinity to very convenient training areas.

The Okinawan people want at least a drastic reduction of the US military without any strings attached and without more of their environment destroyed. Their demand is easy to understand after so many decades of being forced to host such an unreal amount of US military on their tiny islands.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Abe is the ultimate cynic. Once he wins the election it will be back to the plan and screw the local people as it has been for decades.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

well there went that high paying contractor job for my neighbor, there went the construction project and jobs for 25 engineers, there go the contract and jobs for electrical, welding, manufacturing all higher paying jobs than farm labor for most of the people near Henoko who were looking forward to work...well back to the low paying farm jobs. sorry neighbors the agitators think they won but sit tight..

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

bjohnson23,

the agitators think they won

What agitators?

The only people doing any agitating are the right wing thugs who tear around in tannoy cars playing Japanese military music and who terrorise Okinawans who are peacefully demonstrating to get their land back.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Elections coming!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Though many Okinawans are rather suspecting a deceitful trick by Abe as he has never shown any interest in seriously talking with the Okinawan people let alone make a compromise.

Before you continue your charades here, answer this one question, how do you differentiate between Okinawan's and Japanese on Okinawa?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The U.S. has agreed to shift 8,000 to 10,000 Marines off Okinawa in the 2020s, mainly to Guam and Hawaii, but Adm. Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said that would happen after Futenma’s relocation.

Sounds like bribery and corruption to me...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sounds like bribery and corruption to me...

New to the discussion? This has been promised for nearly 2 decades, it's REALLY old news.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@ Yubaru

how do you differentiate between Okinawan's and Japanese on Okinawa?

Why do you want to differentiate? Every Japanese citizen living and registered in Okinawa prefecture is an Okinawan citizen.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Let's not forget that the US "agreed" to let Japan pay for the move to Guam at almost $1 million per troop moved. It isn't as if the US is doing something out of the goodness of its heart.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why do you want to differentiate? Every Japanese citizen living and registered in Okinawa prefecture is an Okinawan citizen.

In Okinawa not all Japanese are Okinawan, but all Okinawan's are Japanese. I really doubt you know what you are talking about if you think that they are "citizens" of Okinawa.

You do realize you just called ME an Okinawan citizen as well. There is no such thing as "citizens" of Okinawa, it isnt a country.

This is the problem with people who are ignorant of the island and the people who live here.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

To those mocking the plight of the people of Okinawa, one you have obviously never been there and two you clearly have no knowledge of Japaneae history. Everyday the people of the Islands are forced to put up with endless flights and inconvenience and degradation of having miles of barbed wire cutting them off from their land. Furthermore don't forget Tokyo abandoned Okinawa after the war until the 1970's so it's little surprise the people feel distrust and animosity towards both Tokyo and Washington. Finally to those who say this is just a minority or the economy will suffer,; a pro base mayor or governor has never been elected! Every election the majority of the people vote for base closures even though they know it will affect the economy. The people have spoken and it's time for the rest of Japan and America to listen.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If Trump becomes president, he's said he's going to make other countries pay 100% of the cost for America defending them against ? , whatever. The fact is, by the time Obama leaves office, the US will have over $20 trillion in funded, bonded debt, to other countries. But, wait, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's over $100 trillion in unfunded debt liabilities that were promised to American citizens. Social security, Medicare, federal pensions, Fannie Mae, Student Loans, etc.. There's only two ways out: default or print more paper money. Politicians almost always go for the later if they can. Problem is, they've been doing it since 1971, and the world has more than enough US debt.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Okinawa: 1. Abe: 0 Well done Mr Onaga

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Mike King,

Irrelevant to this subject False, the US is not 20trillion in debt to foreign countries, it's not even 20 trillion right now.

The plight of Okinawans? It's a very vocal minority who has a the support of two media outlets that twist things to make it look like the masses. The Government will restart work again by Okinawa's Obon. I just can't wait for this base to be finished so we never have to hear of it again

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Take a seat. You'll be waiting a very long time

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@ Yubaru

There is no such thing as "citizens" of Okinawa, it isnt a country.

It might have been good to look up the meaning of the word citizen before posting awkward comments here.

Definition of citizen:

...an inhabitant of a city or town; especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman

...a person who lives in a particular place

...a member of a state

...a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it

...a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state

@ FightingViking

Sounds like bribery and corruption to me...

More like intimidating and extorting as it was agreed that the Marines move to Guam would be uncoupled from the Henoko relocation, but now suddenly they say that it "would happen after Futenma’s relocation". Surely another one of the sink or swim measures to extort the Okinawan people.

@ CrucialS

It's a very vocal minority who has a the support of two media outlets that twist things to make it look like the masses.

We know quite exactly what the Okinawan "masses" want, from countless polls, two referenda, all recent elections, more then 5 or 6 mass demonstrations over the past two decades, etc. etc.

I wonder what state of mind one must be in to be able to ignore such a clear expression of the will of the people.

I just can't wait for this base to be finished so we never have to hear of it again

A very cynical comment as if the Henoko base would be built the people in central and northern Okinawa will have to hear of that base on a daily basis and put up with the noise and the threats of that base for decades to come. I suppose you don't live in Okinawa, CrucialS?

Even if Tokyo pushes through with the construction of the Henoko base it will never be excepted by the Okinawan people and the quagmire might well go on for another some decades.

It is not possible to ignore the will of the people of a whole prefecture without damaging democracy and without creating long term problems as we can see in Okinawa now.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

bam_boo: "No, not yet, but chances are slightly higher now that the Okinawan people get closer to what they are demanding: no new base in Henoko and a drastic closure of most other bases in Okinawa including Futenma."

Won't happen, because that's not the way the world works. Until they are relocated to the agreed upon location, they are staying where they are. A minority of Okinawans (and don't say a majority stands behind Onaga, because we've already established that while he obtained the majority of those who voted, that is not the majority of Okinawans. And don't pull the tired old "those who didn't vote don't matter" crap, either, because that would mean Okinawan' opinion does not matter on the issue at all since it is a nationality security issue they don't vote on) want the relocation stopped. They want all American bases off Okinawa. They still want the money form the government that they get FOR the bases. They still want the joint defence pact to cover them. Sorry, but nothing comes for free, much as some want to freeload, and that includes defence -- and with NK upping the ante as of just a few hours ago they need the US presence and cooperation more than ever.

Yubaru: "In Okinawa not all Japanese are Okinawan, but all Okinawan's are Japanese. I really doubt you know what you are talking about if you think that they are "citizens" of Okinawa. This is the problem with people who are ignorant of the island and the people who live here."

Ouch!

Christoper Glenn: "Okinawa: 1. Abe: 0 Well done Mr Onaga"

Not at all. Abe's only doing it for votes. Once the votes come in, or don't, he'll go back to restarting construction, and Onaga will once again be left to sit on his hands and watch instead of using the prefecture's time and money for something actually useful instead of personal trips abroad and what not.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

With tension mounting in that area - disputes about territory and China becoming more aggressive, the American base should be left alone for a few years to act as a stabilizing influence. The nutters of North Korea may just commit a few acts which demands QUICK responses, not angry posturing, and not a hasty act with no regard for the future. The Americans would act intelligently.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@ smithinjapan

A minority of Okinawans ... want the relocation stopped

All objective data is consistently pointing at a very large majority of Okinawan citizens (somewhere between 70% and 90%) opposing the Henoko relocation so I really wonder what kind of evidence you base this far fetched claim on?

Available data and research though suggests that the Okinawan people under certain conditions might be willing to put up with small US military footprint (definitely not 15% of their island but rather 1% or 2%), but they surely will never accept further destruction of their environment for new US military facilities as they feel this to be blatant discrimination.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

bam_boo: "All objective data..."

First, I highly doubt anything you say on the matter is objective. Second, where is the data of which you speak? If there are so many against it, why did Onaga, going on that platform, only get 55% of the vote and not 90%? Seems pretty 'objective fact' that the numbers you bring in are fudged. And if you're right, why does he not hold a referendum on it?

"but they surely will never accept further destruction of their environment for new US military facilities as they feel this to be blatant discrimination."

Doesn't matter. That's what the prefecture gets its money for, they can't have it both ways, despite them wanting everything while wanting to give nothing. And in any case it's not their choice -- it is a national security issue.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Okinawa: 1. Abe: 0 Well done Mr Onaga LOL you dont see the end game do you, once Abe is re-elected itll be full steam ahead, courts will side with Tokyo and the base will be built, game, set, match. If your preying for any other outcome then I think youll be sadly disappointed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ smithinjapan

Second, where is the data of which you speak?

I'll put the links to a selection of data below.

If there are so many against it, why did Onaga, going on that platform, only get 55% of the vote and not 90%?

It was not a referendum on Henoko but a vote for the governor of Okinawa.

Seems pretty 'objective fact' that the numbers you bring in are fudged.

Look at the links below and then explain what you mean by "fudged".

That's what the prefecture gets its money for,

No, that's a myth. Okinawa doesn't get money for "hosting bases" and it certainly doesn't get more money then a number of other prefectures. It is ranked around 6th to 8th in terms of overall central government budget per capita. Nowhere over the top.

Okinawa does get money as "compensation" for having to shoulder the burden. Can you understand the difference between compensation and getting payed for providing a voluntary service? I doubt it.

And in any case it's not their choice -- it is a national security issue.

National security voiding the democratic will of a whole prefecture? Sounds like North Korea.

So here some of the data:

Asahi, April 2015, 73% oppose Abe's Henoko relocation policies, 70% support Onaga

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH4N3R0XH4NUZPS002.html

NHK from 2012, 72% against the Henoko relocation, 78% for a reduction of the US bases in Okinawa:

https://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary/research/report/2012_07/20120701.pdf

Okinawa Times, October 2015, 79% support Onaga with retracting the Henoko landfill permission

http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article.php?id=137794

Ryukyu Shinpo and OTV, Jan. 2015, 83% for stopping the relocation, 77% support for canceling the landfill approval Henoko:

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-243697-storytopic-53.html

Ryukyu Shinpo and OTV, Aug. 2012, 80% for stopping the relocation:

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-230631-storytopic-271.html

Okinawa Times, Apr. 2015, support for Onaga against the Henoko relocation 83%:

http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article.php?id=110601

All polls do explain their methodology in a verifiable way so if you believe the data is not appropriate please explain why.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Okinawan people want at least a drastic reduction of the US military without any strings attached and without more of their environment destroyed. Their demand is easy to understand after so many decades of being forced to host such an unreal amount of US military on their tiny islands.

Oh the ENVIRONMENTAL Okinawans want this?! Would they be the same Okinawans destroying coral reef with every jetty, development, and "reclaimed" land they build in order to support tourism? I call B.S.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Shinzo Abe: the epitome of Machiavellianism. Just you wait-- as soon as the elections are over he'll steam right ahead with the project.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bamboo you tend to get anal-retentive when someone hands you your hat. Playing semantics about the definition of a word actually shows even more that you really dont know what you are talking about here and get your information from google.

You've proved that in the past, and you continue to do so here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan do not use English .'citizen'to clarify NIPPONJIN. translllation of citizen shimin is city dweller. Okinawan people. Tokyo people etc are all Nippon Jin Nihon Jin another way

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okinawa: 1. Abe: 0 Well done Mr Onaga LOL you dont see the end game do you, once Abe is re-elected itll be full steam ahead, courts will side with Tokyo and the base will be built, game, set, match. If your preying for any other outcome then I think youll be sadly disappoint

Did I say that? Onaga has scored a goal, won a round. He's gotten himself some breathing space to build his case for the coming protracted legal battle. This is just the beginning

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My father's older bothers fought in France during WW I. They never claimed tht America should occupy France at the end of that war. My father in the Philippines between the wars. He never claimed the Philippines should be occupied by the U.S. military. My cousin fought in Italy during WWII. He nevr claimed Italy for U.S. occupation. I fought in Korea in 1953. I never claimed Korea should be occupied by the U.S. MILITARY. How would any American react if the United States was occupied by a foreign military?

Okinawa belongs to Okinawans, not to Japan and not to the U.S.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So now the base will stay where it has been, and probably indefinitely. Kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

How would any American react if the United States was occupied by a foreign military?

Japan started a war which cost countless millions of lives. Not only did they start the war, they fought it with a barbarism and disregard for humanity of an extent seldom seen in history.

In the end, Japan surrendered "unconditionally", meaning that America could do anything, I specify, "anything" it wanted to do with Japan. America could have made Japan a US territory, or a 51st state; when Japan lost the war, they lost their independence entirely. The American flag was raised over the main government and business buildings in Japan, Japan was governed by America, and MacArthur was the de-facto ruler of Japan.

My grandfather fought in the Pacific War, and out of an entire troop of mechanized cavalry sent to the Philippines to stop the Japanese, only two of the original members survived to see the end of the war. He was part of the occupying forces, and lived where Yoyogi Park is today. He held no grudge against Japan or Japanese soldiers, as he respected the fact that they recognized the extent of their defeat by surrendering unconditionally. The thing he would most want is for people never to forget the pain of the war, and it's cost.

Okinawa belongs to Okinawans, not to Japan and not to the U.S.

American troops conquered Okinawa, and paid a large price in blood for that victory. When Okinawa surrendered, it belonged to America, not the Okinawans, and not the Japanese. Once again, America won, Okinawa and Japan lost, period, end of story. The land belongs to those who conquer it, and if they return the land with conditions attached, then those conditions of course must be respected.

What so many people fail to realize is that the occupation is not America's fault. The reason Japan and Okinawa were and are occupied was because Japan decided it wanted to conquer Asia and create a real empire. But rather than create anything resembling a working empire, all that happened was murder, rape, and pillage on an unprecedented scale. America was called into the war when Japan attacked American soil, and simultaneously invaded American territories. The tens of millions of Chinese, South East Asians, British, Australians, Indians and New Zealanders killed by the Japanese would have loved to stay home, raised families, and lived the lives they were born with. But their lives, and even the lives of many of their wives and children were stolen from them, how much are these lives worth?

Japan started the war, Japan lost, Japan surrendered unconditionally. The cost Japan has paid for the death and destruction they inflicted on the world has been very light. America was extremely fair with Japan and the Japanese after the war. The presence of US troops in Japan is far less a expense than is due. And the presence serves as a lesson to others who might one day try to do the same thing Japan did. If American forces are stationed in Japan for the next thousand years, it is still a light price to pay.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Sangetsu 03

A very interesting post. This view of yours doesn't seem to be very particular to you only but shared by many U.S. citizens or, if you're not a U.S. citizen, by many East Asian citizens who suffered under the yoke of Japanese imperialism in pre-1945.

There's no excuse Japan can make about the war. But if you say Okinawa's plight is the end result of the war that Japan started, then in your opinion the retaliation against Japan is still going on 70 years after the war ended, with Okinawa (why Okinawa?) taking the most brunt of it all.

The U.S. formally keeps its military presence in Okinawa under the bilateral agreement called the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the U.S. for the purposes of "the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East (Article 6)."

Do you think the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a mere façade or shenanigans to hide Washington's real intention to keep occupying Japan (and Okinawa in particular) for "the next thousand years," a very cheap price in your opinion?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The longer this goes, the status quo continues forever more.

Oh well, like the Northern Territories, that's the consequence of losing the war.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't know how a USA military base in Okinawa is affecting the local social and natural environment, However I wish that Japanese Government can really sit down and talk it out with the USA counterparts. My only concern is if the USA Military Base is knocked out of Okinawa then that will present a disaster to Japan's national defence and security.

Look at how China has been doing towards the Philippines and Viet Nam, especially the Philippines, after the Philippines people succeeded in driving out the USA Naval Base in Subic! The Philippines has been the underdog in all the threats and occupation of reefs China is giving to the Philippines, direct and indirect. The Philippines national defence is unable to stage any measures against China's aggressive tactics. The Philippines does not of course have the military strength that Japan has but Japan should not forget that China has been prepared for a showdown for decades during its economic rising. Now China feels that it is ready if time and circumstances permit. Is Japan ready after so many decades of restricted military development?

USA is the only savior at the moment, no one else can help the weaker nations surrounding China. I feels that it is a little too late for all nations in East Asia and South East Asia, and possibly South Asia to form a coalition to present a united front to China's threats. This coalition is urgently needed at the moment. I hope that these nations will work closely with the USA to prevent a possible war that one day China would start to achieve its goals.

Most South East Asia nations have lost their own economic zones and fishing grounds in the international seas that they had before China's building up its military present in the area.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

lostrune3,

Thanks for your candid admission that the U.S. military presence in Japan, particularly in Okinawa, is the seamless continuation of the 1945 occupation. You may say that I put these words into your mouth, but you must know that your candid admission of the reality never fails to boil down to this conclusion. In other words, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a facade to whitewash this harsh reality you admit, like it or not, and Adm. Harry Harris' remark that U.S. forces are here to defend Japan is nothing but shenanigans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Okinawa would have been much better off as the 51st state.

Think about Hawaii and how prosperous it has become, although boring to visit, it still did much better than Okinawa under the Japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

shonanbb,

Your comment is the rehash of what Representative Kazuaki Maruyama, the head of the LDP's judicial affairs division, said. Maruyama opined during a session of the House of Councilors Commission on the Constitution that there would be no problem regarding the constitutional revision and security issues if Japan becomes America's 51st state.

Washington's Japan hands and the so-called "pro-Japan pundits" are making the best use of people with such eccentric mentality to sway Japan's public opinion. You are all part of the same gang.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

(why Okinawa?)

Because Okinawa was conquered by American military force, every square meter of the island was fought for, as you well know. America never invaded the main islands of Japan. And you might say that Okinawa bears the "brunt" of the US military presence, but US troops are stationed in many places in Japan. From my apartment in Roppongi Hills I can see US helicopters landing at Hardy Barracks by Aoyama park many times every day. And as a veteran, I sometimes visit the airbase at Yokosuka, there are plenty of US soldiers and such there.

Do you think the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a mere façade or shenanigans to hide Washington's real intention to keep occupying Japan (and Okinawa in particular) for "the next thousand years," a very cheap price in your opinion?

Absolutely. America has defended Japan since the end of the war, Japan enjoys having the protection of a very large and modern military force at a slight fraction of what it would cost to maintain such a force themselves. In addition to this, there must be something to make people remember that Japan killed as many as 20 million people during the war, most them civilians, and also killed more than half a million prisoners. We owe it to the dead (and future generations of living) to make sure everyone remembers how and why these lives were stolen from them, and 1000 years would be far to short a time to fully appreciate the horror they endured.

I guess you aren't aware that America still maintains military bases in Germany and Italy to this day? I guess only Okinawa matters? Not Yokosuka, or the dozens of other US military installations in and around Japan?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

sangetsu03,

You say you live in Roppongi, Tokyo, overlooking Hardy Barracks, a U.S. Army facility. You say you are a veteran but what sort of a veteran are you -- a JSDF veteran, a USFJ veteran or what? You say Imperial Japan killed as many as 20 million civilian population and more than half a million prisoners of war and so 1000 years of the U.S. military presence or occupation is too short a time for Japan to repay their sacrifice.

Hardy Barracks is one of the 88 bases and facilities U.S. forces maintain in Japan, of which 33 are in Okinawa. You want to say that Okinawa isn't the only region that bears the brunt of the U.S. military occupation. Area-wise, those 33 bases and facilities in Okinawa account for 74% of all the areas U.S. forces use and occupy in Japan.

You say this state of affairs must go on for another one thousand years, which is nothing much to be deplored if compared with what Imperial Japan inflicted upon its neighboring countries.

At any rate, you admit this excessive U.S. military presence is nothing but occupation, the end result of the war Japan started, and therefor that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a facade to whitewash this hard fact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sangetsu03 MAR. 06, 2016 - 01:39PM JST

I can see the effects of American "patriotic education" on your thinking.

If we accept that the primary basis for America's presence in Okinawa and anywhere else in Japan they might not be pleased is some kind of punishment, then it must be said considering how many generations have passed that this does not seem very fair, certainly by modern standards of humanitarianism.

Further, though there is something to be said for the idea that America, as of 1945, could do anything it wishes to Japan. In the end, however, she chose not to do so. In 1951, she agreed (let's face it, there won't be no SF Treaty without America's consent) to restore sovereignty. It is one of a large number of actions that in exchange for hard power over Germany and Japan gave her a lot of soft power over the world, on top of what she gained from her actions in WWII. For 50 years, right up until America started blowing this soft power away on Gulf War II and then the later surveillance scandals, America was seen as that good neutral broker, that relatively benign superpower.

However, another way to view this is that America had already traded away that absolute authority you wish to claim for soft power, and thus there is something to be said for asking for the cake when they've already eaten it.

Another note about that 20 million. They died - not all of them are killed by Japan. Most of them are also in China. Which leads to the problem of American culpability. Because Marco Polo Bridge did not start with a missing soldier claim from Japan. It started from gunshots which as far as can be determined were fired by the Chinese. The Japanese concession demand may be unreasonable using the scale of the former, but from the scale of the latter it actually is. China chose to bluster and send divisions in a long spiral to war.

Here's the question: Would Chiang have made that same choice if America and Britain were more ... honest in admitting that they just won't be sufficiently interested to really send enough to fend off a fully motivated Japanese enemy? Wouldn't Chiang have made peace? And having bought some time for himself, have continued his military modernization efforts? He had been having the right idea doing just that from 1931-37, which will have likely have ended up stopping any Japanese advance in China without too many gunshots fired.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ sangetsu03

I guess you aren't aware that America still maintains military bases in Germany and Italy to this day? I guess only Okinawa matters? Not Yokosuka, or the dozens of other US military installations in and around Japan?

It seems you haven't understood some basic facts. US military occupies close to 20% of the Okinawan main island, which is a ratio not even remotely comparable to any of the other locations you mention.

As I have said before, I believe that Okinawans might accept a reasonable share of burden in regard to hosting US military, but the status quo is nowhere near to being reasonable.

The share of burden Okinawan carries is discriminating and absolutely not justifiable by any kind of rational argumentation. Sadly it is the result of Japanese and US discrimination and political power harassment.

@ Kazuaki Shimazaki

I can see the effects of American "patriotic education" on your thinking.

We can see the effects of an uncritical and apologetic Japanese historic revisionism on your thinking.

Besides being off topic your shallow attempt to relativize Japans aggressive imperialism in Asia is a perfect example for how revisionists make up their version of history by distorting facts and omitting the main part of the story.

Anyway, Okinawa has absolutely no responsibility for the horror that Japan inflicted on Asia during WW2, but was itself a victim of Japans aggression and expansionism.

It must be due to one of those unreasonable twists of destiny that even now, more then 70 years after the war, Okinawa with its friendly and extremely peaceful population is still the place in Japan that is suffering most for past Japanese wrongdoings by being forced to host an unreal amassment of US military.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Now is 2016, the war ended over 70 years ago, to say that America has some sort of claim to of Okinawa or any other country,place or island is mindbogglingly right wing fascism. I thought this type of thinking was reserved for backwards towns in the middle of nowhere, I would never have imagined people who live overseas would share the same views. Until everyone can move on from the past there is no hope for the future generations

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've said it before- Ill say it again: why not just move the base out to some outlying islands such as Gunkanjima? They can connect the base through bridges between the islands, provided that they are close enough. There are many outlying islands which can do this. Most are either very sparsely populated or not at all.

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carpslidy,

The war ended more than 70 years ago, as you say. In the course of these long years, anything could be washed off into the far end of history. However, this excessive U.S. military presence to the extent to be called occupation is a constant reminder ever that that war is not the thing of the past as far as Okinawa is concerned.

Look at people like sangets03. He is only special because of his candidness to openly suggest that the USFJ are occupation forces to punish Japan for what it did in pre-1945, adding that the punishment, i.e., the U.S. military presence, must go on for the next one thousand years.

Regrettably, it seems that Japan hands in Washington (DoD) are not very far from sangets03 and shonanbb in their thinking and mentality.

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@bam_booMAR. 06, 2016 - 10:06PM JST

Besides being off topic your shallow attempt to relativize Japans aggressive imperialism in Asia is a perfect example for how revisionists make up their version of history by distorting facts and omitting the main part of the story.

Since sangetsu's drive is that Japan deserves American occupation because of the bad things she did in WWII, taking a poke at that righteousness is entirely justified.

The idea that the Chinese shot first dates at least all the way back to the International Tribunal, where it is written up as " alleging that one of the Japanese soldiers was reported missing after the Chinese garrison forces in Manping had opened fire at the Japanese maneuvering troop".

This is actually a VERY critical part of the story, and considering how the Tribunal cataloged every little convenient utterance, this whole "allegation" should have been affirmed or refuted in detail. The Tribunal chose to drive past, and it doesn't take a great cynic to suspect that the balance of evidence actually favored the Japanese on this point and they didn't want to destroy their little narrative, yet were not quite so dishonest as to completely write it out. They probably figured (correctly) if they confined it to part of one sentence, most future historians will feel justified in just "summarizing" it out of existence altogether.

<Anyway, Okinawa has absolutely no responsibility for the horror that Japan inflicted on Asia during WW2, but was itself a victim of Japans aggression and expansionism.

Like it or not, Okinawa was part of Japan during WWII, and life under the Americans wasn't that warm either.

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