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Japan, U.S. remain apart on Futenma

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Tell her to get stuffed! U.S. forces out of Japan now! Bring the troops home!

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Thats some nerve she got asking this. They should quit wasting money paying Japan and just close down our bases there.

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I hope she hammed it up withs omething like, "Long have the Japanese people been known to be honourable people of their words, and I know that Hatoyama will maintain this view..."

Or something like that. Stroke their egos a bit while setting them up.

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how is that Hope and Change working out for ya

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SEPTIMUS, Japan pays for the bases and not America. It is the true reason they do not want to close bases.

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"A new left-leaning Japanese government " Just how did you arrive at the conclusing that the DJP is "left leaning"? Their behavior is clearly nationalistic in nature and their domestic policy is far from a "left" agenda. On the contrary, much of their political and economic thinking is rather conservative even in comparison to the LDP.

The author of this report is clearly uninformed of the nature of the Hatoyama government and its values and objectives. Though sadly the party seems equally in the dark about what it hopes to do for Japan. At the moment is seems simply hell bent upon differentiating itself from the LDP at any cost.

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YuriOtani, once again thanks for your National Inquirer (20% fact, 80% fiction) opinion of US interest in this region.

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YuriOtani: "SEPTIMUS, Japan pays for the bases and not America. It is the true reason they do not want to close bases."

Wow, once again you are WAY off the mark. Japan pays SOME of the costs, and is going to pay a large amount of the costs of relocation. Japan also makes tonnes of business off of and the bases provide a LOT of jobs for people where they are situated. In fact, the area around where the bases are now might still be inaka with nothing had it not been for the bases, and it's economy will be unsustainable when they leave (at which point the people will realize how much they lost in exchange for the little good it does to have the US gone).

As for reasons the US wants to stay, it's more based on strategic location than anything, although I'm sure the US doesn't mind if Japan agrees to flip a large part of the bill.

Don't be so general and nationalistic when you have NOTHING to back up your statements, my friend. Makes you look silly.

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SEPTIMUS -- Are you for real? How in the world do you figure Clinton has "some nerve" in asking the Japanese government to honor its commitment? If NK launched a missle at Japan today, would Japan expect the U.S. to honor its commitment and shoot it down if they could? You bet they would. Seriously, you and YuriOtani need to stop ranting and do a little reading on this subject. Just last week the Daily Yomiuri has a three or four-part series on Japan and its future, with interviews with notable western (non-American) scholars. And all agreed that Japan owed its current economic status to trade with the U.S. and the mutual defense agreement. Throwing the bases out would be about the dumbest thing Japan has done since Pearl Harbor.

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An agreement was made for the benefit of Japan (move to more remote place) and Japan wants to reneg on the agreement because they want to appear tough? Silly really.

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First of all JAPAN is not left leaning. Every time a country does something they don't like they call it LEFT leaning. America is just a FACIST country now.As for the bases. America can move their troops to Afghanistan in 48 hours with all the air transport planes they have. They want 30,000 more troops there so here is 9000 they can have now. What is their stupid problem. It is about time they got out of jJAPAN the (F'N )war has been over for 64 years. Go home . We would like to turn our treasury bond in for something tangible. not for those worthless federal reserve notes, they are just ponzi paper worth nothing and backed by nothing.

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13akio13:

It is about time they got out of jJAPAN the (F'N )war has been over for 64 years. Go home .

Do you think the Americans would be here if Japan hadn't deliberately attacked Pearl Harbor? Don't blame the U.S. for being here, blame your own government.

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Great choice of venue/timing to put Japan on the back foot. I see the North Koreans as a real threat to both South Korea and Japan that because of the support they are getting from China recently are not likely to go away.I hope the US keeps defending Japan for as long as possible. Thank you US

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Still shooting from the hip, right YuriOtani? Shooting from the hip requires extreme skill. You missed the target as well as the backboard. You can't be nearsighted on THIS point! Take a second, third examination of former Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld's "Arc of Instability". It is still in play, even though all primary actors are not visible. This is what needs to be understood, then it's a piece of cake.

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By May? 5 months away? It takes 1-2 hours to figure it out, Japan takes years to do anything.

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Here's an interesting note: you push the "Arc of Instability" in most major universities, they will grade you down for being wrong, but if you push an intelligence officer on this, they will probably say, "maybe, maybe not".

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"In the joint news conference, Clinton said, ‘‘Our partnership depends on close cooperation, coordination, and consultation..."

Because everyone knows that alliteration is the key to a successful international cooperative venture.

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Not sure many people know China is building an aircraft carrier due out in 2015 and trying to augment its blue water navy, not to mention its progressive increase in defense budget. Unless Japan increases its defense budget which is less than $50 bil(2008) as well as considering the draft system(if they decide to expel the U.S. off Japan soil), the U.S.'s military presence will be here for a while.

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palisadez54: Good point, China is building a big army, including knock off Russia jets and everything, all that hacking has paid off.

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"In the joint news conference, Clinton said, ‘‘Our partnership depends on close cooperation, coordination, and consultation..."

Because alliteration is the key to a successful international venture...

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China is no more a military threat to Japan as it was to the Philipines.. we left the PI (we were kicked out) and PI is doing fine..

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vulcan

we left the PI (we were kicked out) and PI is doing fine..

General Alexander B. Yano, 38th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP), stated the Philippine military cannot fully defend the country from external threats due to a lack of weapons and a preoccupation with crushing long-running communist and Muslim insurgencies.

....yes,"PI is doing fine."

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vulcan -- your anolgy between Japan and the Philippines (double P by the way) is way off target. First off, China and Japan have a history of mutual distrust/conflict dating back generations. No such situation exists with China and the Philippines. Second, China and the Philippines are not rivals for natural resources, etc. like Japan and China are. Or have you missed the row that is going on about the natural gas reserves under the Sea of Japan between the two? Third, Japan depends on un-restricted use of the Sea of Japan and other critically important international waters which a Chinese blue water navy could threaten. Finally, China is NK's main supporter. If that looney in NK decided to launch a test rocket towards Tokyo, China might have to choose sides. So, while I agree with you that China is not an imminent "military threat to Japan", Japan's and China's interests are not the same. Japan is far better off by having the U.S. deterence close at hand.

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It stands to reason that the anti-US people in Japan are pro Chinese...Hope they can speak Mandarin ...

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Japan pays about three fourths of the cost for stationing the U.S. forces. For keeping one US soldier, we pay 106 thousand dollars every year. It's 3.8 times as much as for Italy and 4.9 times for South Korea and Germany. Money that maintains the regional economy coming mostly out of the nation's coffers, we may spend it any other way. Vindication for this absurdly generous expenditure is being also undermined by the fact the Marines in Okinawa have been in fact often deployed to Iraq. They are out there not for the defense of Japan but for other purposes. Futenma relocation argument is thus losing its rhetorical strength against the civil rights concerns and common sense of local people.

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It stands to reason that the anti-US people in Japan are pro Chinese...

No, they are pro-Japan.

Is high time for Japan to become a sovereign nation, with its own defense force. They should stop hosting (at great cost) these occupiers.

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I hope America stays. I don't want Japan ever to have a strong military again. They are too scary.

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Seiharinokaze, I'm not sure what facts you're using, but you lack a full understanding of the costs borne by both parties under the US-Japan Security treaty. It is certainly true that Japan's support to US forces is generous. But as you also note, its for "stationing" costs only; which essentially means building facilities (some, not all) for US forces (which benefits local construction companies), and paying the salaries of Japanese workers (which lowers Japanese unemployment). It does not pay any operational or maintenance costs - such as the cost of the assets deployed here to Japan (ships, aircraft, etc.) nor the salaries of the forces that operate them. Have you priced a Nimitz class aircraft carrier or squadron of F-15s lately? And for these stationing costs Japan gets a guarantee under the US nuclear umbrella along with a non-reciprocal provision in the security treaty – if Japan or one of its assets is attacked, the US must respond, however if the US or a US asset is attacked, Japan has no responsibility whatsoever to respond. Irrespective of the costs involved, I’m not sure how you can construe that as a less than good deal for Japan under any criteria. Quite the contrary, I would argue that its the US that is getting taken for a ride….

Sabiwabi, occupiers impose their will on the host government – the US-Japan Security Treaty is a bilaterally agreed to document. Anytime the GOJ decides to end the US-Japan Security Treaty, the US will pull all its forces out of Japan. If that is your desire, please take that message to your elected representative.

YGHome, you have a rather benevolent view of nKorea....I assume you agree with their human rights record. The US and sKorea have attempted to cajole nKorea back to the six party talks ever since they walked out of them several years ago – they continue to refuse to re-enter these negotiations. Nor do they pledge to end their nuclear weapons program or give up any nuclear weapons they may have constructed. I doubt that the majority of the Japanese public would agree with you that they are not a direct threat to Japan.

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lincolnman,

If I'm not allowed to say that the Seventh Fleet is enough for helping defend Japan, I may at least wonder how much of the operational or maintenance costs of the assets deployed here has been really necessitated by the defense of Japan, not to mention the extra cost of 6 billion dollars charged to Japan's account for relocating the Marines to Guam. One-sided nature of the security treaty on the part of Japan may prevent us from being involved unconditionally in what the U.S. may have to pursue militarily, if you know what I mean. And if you still think the US is getting taken for a free ride, you are the one who are free to rethink anytime. It's perhaps unilaterally rescindable in this respect too.

Besides I can hardly believe that the U.S. being historically pro-China will be willing to fight with China for the defense of Japan. Rather we should be wary lest Japan has to be militarily engaged with China except for by purely defensive necessity after having the unilateral treaty deliberately modified.

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War is business.. war is a racket.

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

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Besides I can hardly believe that the U.S. being historically pro-China will be willing to fight with China for the defense of Japan.

How is the US historically pro-China?

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Lincolnman said: If that is your desire, please take that message to your elected representative.

But that requires effort and some dedication or conviction to one's beliefs - much easier to come to this board and post anti-American rhetoric.

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perspective, being anti base is not being anti-American. Being pro-Japan is not being anti-American. Japan is paying too much for the help the American bases provide and they need to be down sized. If American wants 100 percent or nothing well it has been nice but sayonara. lincolnman, it would be cheaper to reinforce the self defense forces. There is no need for carriers and other offensive things and we are NOT afraid of North Korea the bogeyman of America. They are not a threat to Japan. Deploy a few more pac III sites and more Aegis destroyers and some cruisers to lead them. We are going to have to wait until May, maybe the PM and his government will do the right thing and say no to the overbearing Americans.

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Yuri-Otani - I understand your argument but have to question if you really know the amount of funding required to build a capability within the JSDF that would provide a sufficient amount of force to deter Japan’s potential foes. Quick example, you may be familiar with Japan's indigenously developed F-2 fighter, previously called the F-X. That aircraft, cost three to four times the cost of an F-16, an aircraft which the F-2 was based on and which has more capability. The GOJ decided that being able to produce its own fighter was worth the extra cost. Now take that example and apply is across all the other equipment and assets that will be needed.

And I'm afraid that doesn't answer the key question - how do you replace the US's nuclear guarantee? Does Japan do without one, when your neighbors to the North (Russia) and East (China and nKorea) have that capability? Even officials in your current government expressed concern with President Obama's pledge to work towards total nuclear disarmament.

Or does Japan make the leap and build its own nuclear bomb and delivery vehicle? What impact would that have on regional stability in Asia? Would any other countries in Asia feel “forced” to develop their own bomb? What impact would that have on sKorea that currently has no nuclear program (but had a covert one in the past)?

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Being pro-Japan is not being anti-American

I never said it was, Yuri, nothing wrong at all with loving one's own country and wanting the best for it. However, it's one thing to be nationalistic but quite another to blame the US for internal Japanese problems, something that you do quite often - I'll give you some credit though, at least you admit it. Not like other posters whose aim is simply to disparage the US seemingly at every given opportunity, even some that, strangely enough, are apparently American. I will agree with you that there are American posters here who dredge up WWII anytime they can't coherently argue their point, but the same is true for quite a few of the Japanese posters who still rant about us being occupiers.

Yankee go home is such a simplistic answer. Think it through for what the cost will be to Japan to embark upon that. If there are no bases in Japan, there is no longer any reason for the US to make the type of concessions that have kept the incredibly unbalanced trade situation status quo for decades. You complain about the cost of the US military being here, imagine what it would be like for you to shoulder ALL of that cost, imagine the effect on your already weakened economy? As I have stated on other threads, I would LOVE to see some of the younger Japanese men and women do some time in the military - I am smiling just imagining the uproar that would happen in this country. It would be good for them to have something like the Koreans have, a mandatory two year conscription - but then again, I think that the US should have the same thing. People who enjoy the benefits and freedom as a citizen of a country should also be made to give back to that country in the form of service in its defense.

People complain that the US has ulterior motives for wanting to keep bases here - well of course it does. The bases here are not just for defense of Japan but for projection of force in Asia and act as a deterrent. People underestimate the importance of that deterrent. The assumption of the defense of Japan - a unilateral arrangement - combined with incredibly favored trade terms allowed Japan to concentrate on building its economy and infrastructure with no worry about outside threats. The same in Europe, forward deployment of forces combined with creation of NATO has kept the Europeans from starting yet another World War for 60 years and protected them from the Soviet Union threat. Just as it does here with the Chinese threat - and make no mistake, the Chinese ARE a threat. I was ROFLMAO when I read the post about the Chinese military being a defensive force.

There are those in the US who feel that we should withdraw from Asia and other overseas areas, who believe that after 50 years Korea should be able to manage their own defense, who believe that when the next WW happens that the Americans should just sit it out and let the chips fall where they may, and who are tired of not getting much in return from some our supposed allies. Your Mr Hatoyama talks about an equal partnership - but from my perspective his view of an equal partnership is thinking that telling the US off in public demonstrates his strength and leadership to the Japanese public. His strategy doesn't seem to be working. Do something that you aren't used to Yuri, look at things OBJECTIVELY from the American viewpoint, and tell me what you think is the BEST course of action for both America and Japan.

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The Japanese were able to rebuild their economy and country as a whole due in part to the US Military presence here in Japan. Until recently, the Japanese never really had to worry about defense spending (for many years, 1 percent of GDP) and were able to concentrate on the civilian side of the economy. The Japanese built the economic powerhouse that is still consistant today.

There are other political factors involved in keeping the US here as well. Nations in the region have long memories and do not want to see the US pull out partially out of fear of a Japanese military build up that would be unrestrained by the US. Economically Japan could very easily build a very well equipped and highly trained military in a very short time. The conversion of SDF in many ways would fit that purpose very easily.

This is not an easy subject even for many in Japan. But US Military, while quite possibly in the next 10 to 20 years, will gradually decrease their presence in Japan, a total pullout is not in the long term plans. However, many Japaneese wish it to be so. In some ways, Japanese politicians if anything are realists and understand the reasoning and rational to keeping them here, and by paying to keep the expensive bases, they also are helping their country continue to develop and grow economically and politically. Having the US guarantee most of the security, at least for right now, is a pretty safe bet.

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From the pressures I have received, it is not a traditional alliance in the sense Australia/US relations are. If it was a solid alliance, the US would contract/consolidate the bases more, and US Sec. of Defense Gates would not have become irritated. It is a relationship reflected by the posts on JT, so be it.

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perspective at 08:07 AM JST

How is the US historically pro-China?

Well, George Kennan called it as a kind of sentimentality American people have toward Chinese. It helped in fact let China disregard the reciprocity of the Nine-Power Treaty concluded at the Washington Conference in which China was also required to perform its duties and make efforts for modernization in order to abolish the unequal treaty placed on her. America at the time seemed to ingratiate itself with China by conniving at China's default with its unrealistic demands. Japan should have this at the back of our mind in dealing with the US and China even today. Not inappropriate at all to think of our security by presupposing that America might be basically pro-China, or at least not an enemy as Kissinger denied clearly.

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Seiharinokaze - ????!!! can't understand what you are trying to say.

What's your point? Americans have a semtimentality towards China? We like Chinese food and kung fu movies. Any sentimentality towards the PRC went out the window with the Korean War and the systematic human rights abuses.

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Seiharinokaze, do you really think the US government has some affection, regard, or nostalgia towards the current Communist government in China?

China fought the US and other UN nations in Korea - believe me, that didn't endure anyone to the "Red Chinese". In fact, the US government refused to talk to China until Nixon and Kissinger went there in 1972. While the US used China as a counterweight to the USSR in the 1970s and 80s, relations were never strong. The came Tiananmen Square - just ask any American what they thought of the Chinese Army bulldozing the "Lady Liberty" statue. In the 2000s we've seen China rise and construct a formidable Army, Navy and Air Force, in a less than transparent manner. They are currently developing a new ICBM and continue to test anti-satellite weapons. Politically, they stalemate any actions in the UN to sanction the regimes in nKorea, Burma, Sudan or Darfur. Google has just decided to pull out of China because of heavy-handed censorship pressure. Believe me, there ain't no love in the US for the current Chinese government.

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What the US had to do in Korea, according to Kennan, was an extension of what Japan had faced previously in the region. After the war broke out between Japan and China, it's also the US with its decision of full-scale support for China that prevented China at the last moment from concluding a peace talk with Japan which was almost agreed to after repeated attempts by November 1940. And even long after the war Kissinger persuaded China in his first or second visit there that the US forces are here also for containing Japan. I am inclined to say the US looks rather pro-China historically to Japan.

And today the US government says it regards its bilateral relation with China under the current Communist government as important as any other bilateral relations in this century. China's vice-premier Wang Qishan seems to be quite in high repute with the US government too. So I cannot buy your view that there ain't no love in the US for the current Chinese government. Rather, sorry, China's formidable force and new ICBM and the like sound more of an ad hoc rhetoric for pushing state-of-the-art arms to Japan in the otherwise fairly peaceful and prosperous bi- or trilateral environment. Besides why do you have your enemy, hypothetical or anything, be your biggest creditor?

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perspective, I do not think that America is the cause of all of Japans problems. You are being silly. I actually believe in the reverse. It is sad that one air base is the cause of such discourse in American Japanese relations. Perhaps another site could be found like camp Hansen. It could be placed well away from the city of Kin. Offer money and construction like the finishing of the abandon highway bypass and money to rebuild the center of the city. The American government needs to do a better job of selling the air base. In the end it is the people of Okinawa that need to be convinced and not the government in Tokyo. Direct American aid to Okinawa would go a long way in the convincing.

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Japan and the US remain apart on Futenma... hmmm, so what! Last I heard Futenma was on Okinawa, and the US needs to suck it up as this is not neutral territory where a negotiation needs to take place. Okinawa belongs to Japan and they want Futenma AB moved to Shioji or Ie jima, and not off Schwab were it would destroy the beach area..

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Japan, extrapolate for just a moment. All this bickering could be brought to an aburpt halt merely by returning all our troops to the United States and putting the whole of Okinawa under the protection of the JSDF who are already on every base in Okinawa. Recognize that China is also aware of every move that Japan is making ahd then we just sit back and wait _ I am sure you already know what will happen..........

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