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Campaigns begin for Okinawa governor race; base transfer in focus

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For as long as I have lived in Okinawa it never ceases to amaze me how the only issue that seems to be plaguing Okinawa are the bases, and every local politician swears they will remove the bases if they win.

mind boggling.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Just don't vote for anyone supported by the LDP

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why not? Under the LDP Japan has developed the 3rd largest economy in world history, fostered a free democratic society, and provided a healthcare system that results in a citizenry with the longest life spans ever.

The opposition didn’t stay in control for a reason

Theres a reason why we all came here and stay here

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

All the long-standing discussions about the issues of bases and economic independence etc. from Okinawa as I see it, can be focused down to the desire of local Okinawa citizen to have a voice in their land. Since the Meiji government annexed the Kingdom of Okinawa in 1872, Okinawa has been a colony of Japan or the USA. The world is starting to respect the voices of the minority indigenous societies, and it is time to recognize the values of Okinawans.  

The question as I see it in this election is

 a) do you believe Okinawa should be controlled outside sources in Tokyo and Washington (Vote LDP Atsuki Sakima)

or

b) do you believe the local Okinawa people should be consulted and their values respected unconditionally. (Vote Tamaki, Denny)

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It is such a national shame for a foreign military force which cause such devastation to the Japanese people be allowed to station itself in Japan. I never understood this! They need to be removed entirely from Japan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

According to Okinawa Peace Appeal in English and other sources, Sakima has said he wants to convert the base into a UN facility, specifically a Command-Rear military center. The UN Command-Rear, describes its purpose "to maintain the UN‐GOJ SOFA [UN-Govt of Jp Status of Forces Agreement]" set up during the Korean War. UN Command-Rear nominally has joint authority, with the US, over 7 "UN-flagged" bases in Jp: Camp Zama, Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Sasebo Naval Base, Kadena Air Base, White Beach Naval Facility, and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The current headquarters is at Yokota, not Futenma.

During Sakima's mayoral campaign, he said he would close Futenma and seek to replace it with a Disney resort or Universal theme park, with the support of Jp Def. Minister Yoshihide Suga. No confirmations of their ideas were ever given by Disney or Universal, and, after Sakima's election, they stopped mentioning replacing Futenma with a Disney resort or Universal theme park.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CyburneticTiger:

Theres a reason why we all came here and stay here

To recapture what you write here, the U.S. occupies Japan and will continue to do so because under this state of affairs Japan could prosper as the world third largest economy with the longest life span of the people ever.

Japan may be indebted to the U.S. for its economic development in the post-World War Two days, no doubt, but thinking Japan could achieve economic development only because of the U.S. military presence, aka occupation, is too conceited a mind. There're many countries and regions in the world that have attained prosperity without any bit of U.S. military presence. Look at Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Shanghai, etc..

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Modification:

To recapture what you write here, the U.S. occupies Japan as a result of winning a war and will continue to do so because under this state of affairs Japan could prosper as the world third largest economy with the longest life span of the people ever.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I’m talking about expatriating to Japan not the US Military....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sick of prolonging base issue argument. Have a referendum and choose independence if they do not want the bases on Okinawa.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Shopenhauer,

The base issue in Okinawa is not a small, local issue confined only to Okinawa per se but it's the nation's broader issue, historically very important as well, that all the Japanese people should take into consideration seriously. So your slipshod, un-Japanese attitude toward the issue is really mind-boggling and should be disdained.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

a) do you believe Okinawa should be controlled outside sources in Tokyo and Washington (Vote LDP Atsuki Sakima)

or

b) do you believe the local Okinawa people should be consulted and their values respected unconditionally. (Vote Tamaki, Denny)

So long as Okinawa is a prefecture of Japan, it is subject to compliance with Japan central government mandates and policies.  The US-Japan Defense Treaty that allows continued US military presence on Okinawa was negotiated between the US and Japan, not between Okinawan local government and US.  Japan government and US government agrees that US military presence and bases on Okinawa is a strategic necessity.  

File your complaints and protest the Japan central government for failing to consult Okinawan people and respecting their values.

What is Denny Tamaki going to do for Okinawa and Okinawan people? Continue Onaga's single-issue obstructionist anti-base agenda and continue to file obstructionist lawsuits at the expense of other much-needed economic priorities and projects Okinawa needs? Is Tamaki going to be another single-issue governor like Onaga?

There was a compromise solution: Relocate and transfer to a less populated area in Henoko and close Futenma. But Onaga and followers wouldn't accept and instead opted to pursue obstructionist tactics, thus delaying Futenma closure and transfer. 

The new Governor of Okinawa should work with Japan and US, seek a working compromise to resolve the base issue, not be an obstructionist.

Sick of prolonging base issue argument. Have a referendum and choose independence if they do not want the bases on Okinawa.

If Okinawa does choose Independence, secedes as a Japanese Prefecture, and votes in a sovereign Ryukyu Government, it can claim ALL US bases are on Okinawa illegally as there is NO defense treaty between US and Ryukyu Government.  The defense treaty between Japan and US that allows US bases on Okinawa is null and void. Then it can order the removal of US military presence and closure of bases. PROBLEM SOLVED!

The Okinawan people should think long and hard about pursuing Independence as a solution to removing the US military and bases. Okinawa as an independent sovereign country will no longer be a Prefecture of Japan and enjoy its economic support and defense. Neither will the US be obligated to protect Okinawa.

Perhaps Denny Tamaki and Morimasa Goya believes Okinawa does not need Japan and US support and when it becomes independent of Japan and free of US bases, the sovereign Ryukyu future is with China under its "One Best One Road program"?   After all, there some Okinawans (and JT posters here) who do not consider China to be an adversary or enemy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Whoever becomes the governor of Okinawa, so long as Okinawa remains as a prefecture of Japan, the local government cannot go against the defense policy of Japan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Shopenhauer,

What's the defense policy of Japan that you say Okinawa cannot go against? Or more specifically, why do you think it's necessary that the replacement of Futenma Air Station be relocated to Henoko so that the Marines' deterrence capability may not be impaired. Tell me how the U.S. Marines contribute to the defense of Japan and so the construction of a new base at Henoko is necessary.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Okinawa doesn’t want war. They need self defense from occupation, typhoons and earthquakes. Japanese army can do that if not bullied by America. And not still occupied and have to pay for USA troops and their families.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They need to be removed entirely from Japan.

Seconded!

The occupying force has overstayed by decades. Time to go home and see your families. No problem with decent US citizens living here, obviously.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa

Why cannot Okinawa go independent from Japan?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Attitude of Okinawa particularly at the time of the late governor Onaga appeared irreconcilable to the central government. At a family, if a son is in serious confrontation against his father, he has to leave the father's house and build his own house.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Schopenhauer,

Okinawa independent of Japan? That's a great idea. Okinawa was an independent kingdom before 1879 when it was merged into Japan by force.. But do you think the Japanese government would let it go easily?

Okinawa's land mass is only 0.6% of mainland Japan's. But it has a vast exclusive economic zone around it at sea, so that the Japanese government would never think of dispensing with it.

Probably, an "autonomous state" conception might do well as an interim measure over ultimate independence, and some concerned people in Okinawa are really working hard toward it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa

 "But do you think the Japanese government would let it go easily?"

You do not have to worry about it if removing U.S. bases is your primary importance. So long as Okinawa remains a part of Japan, U.S. bases will stay there. First, you have to raise your voices for independence from Japan. When the movement for independence becomes big, things will begin to change. You have an important card that Okinawa was an independent kingdom until Japan merged by force in 1879.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Schopenhauer,

The U.S. wants to keep its military presence in Japan indefinitely for whatever reason and so, when Okinawa were seceded from Japan and went independent, all these bases would transfer to mainland Japan with Marine bases transferring to Nagasaki, Kyushu or somewhere near Camp Fuji Marine Base in Shizuoka.

Do you think it's worth to host all these bases in Japan and to not hear Okinawa's noisy and cantankerous complaint about hosting them? 

If you say, "So long as Okinawa remains a part of Japan, U.S. bases will stay there", then, yes, independence would really be an option for Okinawa to consider.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa

Things must change. It will be interesting to see what will happen when mainland Japan will have to accept all the U.S. bases from Okinawa. The security treaty must be reconsidered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course, things must change. But when?  

Right now when we Okinawans are actually suffering or someday when mainland Japan might face a similar situation in the future?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The U.S. wants to keep its military presence in Japan indefinitely for whatever reason 

Both Japan and the U.S. considers Okinawa necessary for the US-Japan Security Alliance. It is Japan central government who wants to keep U.S. military presence in Okinawa, citing national security requirements. The U.S. wants to keep its military presence on Okinawa citing geo-strategic location and proximity to the China Seas. In the case of an eventuality, it is easier for the U.S. Marines, who act as first responders to exigencies, to take appropriate action well before Japan is affected.

Given the covert security threat from China and Russia and territorial disputes with Japan, Japan central government will choose in favor of hosting U.S. bases in Okinawa. It is the U.S. military on Okinawa that keeps China in check and as a deterrent against China's aggressive military expansionism in the East China Seas region.

On the other hand, when Japan is allowed to constitutionally expand and extend ts military forces, it will no longer need to host U.S. bases in Okinawa and mainland Japan. Japan will then be able to replace the outgoing U.S. military forces with its own expanded military forces and replace U.S. military force projection in the Far East.

The question then becomes is Okinawa, as a Japan prefecture, willing to accept and host Japan military forces occupying the vacated U.S. bases? If the local Okinawan government and people are not willing to host Japanese military forces, then it will have to pursue Independence.

But do you think the Japanese government would let it go easily?

Both Japan central government and U.S. will not give up Okinawa easily. If Denny Tamaki and supporters cannot convince Japan and U.S. to remove its bases, then it will have to push for a referendum for independence. But it will need help and financial assistance. Tamaki may have to turn to China. China has long favored an independent Okinawa free of Japan and U.S. influence. China now has the military power and political clout that it can intimidate Japan into giving up Okinawa and keep the U.S. from interfering in internal affairs.

Okinawans had better think long and hard about pursuing independence, for in return for China's support, Okinawa may unwittingly wind up as a colony of China.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Halwick,

It is Japan central government who wants to keep U.S. military presence in Okinawa, citing national security requirements. The U.S. wants to keep its military presence on Okinawa citing geo-strategic location and proximity to the China Seas. In the case of an eventuality, it is easier for the U.S. Marines, who act as first responders to exigencies, to take appropriate action well before Japan is affected.

Under the current international situation, it may be the Japanese government that wants the Japan-U.S. alliance to be strengthened whereby they say Futenma's relocation to Henoko must be carried out by all means despite a strong local opposition.

But international affairs fluctuate up and down, and who knows that the day may come when all these Marine bases become absolute white elephants for the defense of Japan. I've been arguing Marine bases in Okinawa have fallen under that category. 

The Marines are stationed in Okinawa not necessarily for the defense of Japan. They say, as you do, that Okinawa is situated at a strategically important location and that the Marines can deal with contingencies in this area quickly enough. If so, then why do the most active core elements of the Okinawa-deployed Marines are to relocate to Guam, leaving non-combatant support units only in Okinawa? Next, why did the two governments strike the agreement that primary responsibility to deal with contingencies involving territorial disputes rests with Japan and not the U.S.?

Can the theory of Okinawa's strategically superior location explain all this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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