politics

Clinton, Gemba discuss U.S. base relocation issue

18 Comments

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed Monday to go ahead with plans to relocate the U.S. Marine base at Futenma to a site off Nago in Okinawa Prefecture, the two sides said. Gemba and Clinton met in New York ahead of the U.N. General Assembly session this week.

The U.S. State Department said on its website that Clinton told Gemba that the U.S. wants to move ahead on the relocation as quickly as possible. The two sides agreed at high-level talks in Japan to aim for 2014 to relocate the base which has become a thorny issue in bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima -- who is in Washington this week -- said in a speech that he wants the base moved out of the prefecture and said the Okinawan people do not want it moved to Nago, Jiji press reported.

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"Meanwhile, Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima—who is in Washington this week—said in a speech that he wants the base moved out of the prefecture and said the Okinawan people do not want it moved to Nago, Jiji press reported."

Guess we need a few more Chinese incursions to convince this lout once and for all... or at the very least, have less right-wingers stand up and support him while he goes for the obvious votes.

Anyway, only one thing needs to be said and that's by Clinton: "You've promised twice, no fulfill that promise." No need to talks, and certainly not for negotiation.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Has Okinawa's appeal fallen on deaf ears after all? Has evil won over good?

Look, the U.S. Marines are here only to train for desert war, jungle war and city-type warfare for deployment overseas. No doubt, such training can be conducted in the U.S. mainland without a hitch.

On March 11, when the tripple disaters hit northeast Japan, the marines were in Southeast Asia for a joint military maneuver with a country there. They are regularly away from Japan for half a year for such purpose. In other words, they are not necessarily stationed in Okinawa to defend Japan as they ballyhoo or as Tokyo bureaucrats are doped to believe.

Futenma must therefore be closed and moved to the U.S. mainland. It all depends upon Washington to make a decision. So simple a matter.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The U.S. State Department said on its website that Clinton told Gemba that the U.S. wants to move ahead on the relocation as quickly as possible. The two sides agreed at high-level talks in Japan to aim for 2014 to relocate the base which has become a thorny issue in bilateral relations.

smithinjapan, voiceofokinawa, don't worry, guys, the base will be relocated to Australia (no irony intended). One can safely assume that it is already decided.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think they are stuck...everything in Okinawa is slow, even they get started, they'd probably run out of cash before opening the base.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"the Okinawan people do not want it moved to Nago"

Yeah, and the people living around Narita Airport didn't want Narita Airport to open, but it did.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

voiceofokinawa: "Has Okinawa's appeal fallen on deaf ears after all? Has evil won over good?"

'Evil' will only win for good when politicians Nakaima, who clearly only care about votes and not the people, are actually taken seriously instead of putting national interests first. And let's face it, it is not in Japan's national interests -- either in regards to defense or trade -- to have the US troops booted out. Not to mention it would render uncountable Okinawans jobless.

"Futenma must therefore be closed and moved to the U.S. mainland. It all depends upon Washington to make a decision. So simple a matter."

They made a decision along with the Japanese government after more than six years of negotiations. The US then waited patiently as Hatoyama promised everyone under the sun different things on the issue before running away with his tail between his legs. Now polls show that Japanese positive opinion of American bases is INCREASING (yes, even in Okinawa!), largely in part due to fears of China and Russia.

The decision, therefore, is not up to Washington at all. The only decision to be made is if Japan wants to save face and go through with promises they've made, or if they want to lose even more face and be forced into following said promises. Either way, the bases will be moved according to plan, or they will remain as they are. Japan has no choice but how it wants to admit to the facts.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Have a referendum in Okinawa. If more than 40% say America should leave, then they can leave immediately. Guam, Saipan, Hawaii...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also, the Chinese military is weaker than the JSDF, so stop playing the "China threat" card. Surely you are joking.......

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In what century one must live to believe that China or Russia would invade Japan? For what?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Konsta, China or Russia invading Japan? It is not going to happen, the Russian fleet is a shadow of what it was in the cold war. Some of their ships carry depth charges! The Japanese ships look like modern American ships. There are also more of them and the American 7th fleet is there to back them up. MCAS Futenma adds little to the defense of Okinawa. Having said that let the American base stay in Okinawa. I took your advice smithinjapan and moved to a undisclosed location. Really there is no money and no cooperation from the local Okinawa people. Cancel the move and keep the current base open. It is too too easy and a no brainier. Just stop the F-18 flights and noise complaints will go down over 100 percent. As to the others, the Frogs never bothered me. The Sea Knights did not bother me as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Konsta, sorry understood what you said backwards, silly me!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am for US base to stay in Okinawa after learning Chinese military expansion and Phillipine's current remorse after they kicked all US bases out of Philippine. Recently, Philippine had a territorial dispute with China, and US is not there to help. Now Phillipine PM is in Japan for help.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa, since when has the USA or Japan cared what the Okinawans thought? We're there to liberate them whether they like it or not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Futenma Air Station was constructed toward the end of WW II with an aim of attacking mainland Japan by B-29's in order to end the war quickly. But the war ended before that plan was actually carried out. So originally Futenma was not constructed for the defense of Japan.

And how it was constructed? The U.S. occupation forces encroached upon a large swath of land freely where there were five villages and towns with a joint population of 12,994 in 1944.

Evidently, the U.S. military seized the land in clear violation of Article 46 of the Hague Convention, which states: "Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated."  

The illegality of Futenma would not disappear even if it were to be moved to Henoko or anywhere else in Okinawa just like dirty money would not become clean how many times it might undergo laundering.

There are more than 30 U.S. bases in Okinawa. The bulk of these military bases and facilities sit on private lands so that there are tens of thousands of military-land owners in Okinawa. Can you imagine a similar situation anywhere in the world?

Then, on what moral and legal ground can the U.S. demand a replacement for the Futenma Air Station which is only a fraction of the total land mass the U.S. military occupies in Okinawa?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There was no discussion. It was already decided by Maehara. Check the Wikileaks cable http://tourkaba3.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/09tokyo2822/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We have a defense agreement with Taiwan - but don't base troops there. So, why are we continuing to spend billions to "project power" in asia - simply because we have a "defense agreement" with Japan. It's time to quit this ludicrous government expenditure of manpower and tax dollars.

If Japan doesn't want us there - have some class and just leave. If Okinawa doesn't want us there - have some class, have some pride - just leave.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyone interested in hearing about Okinawa's deep-felt voice, here's a New York Times ad sending a lofty message to the people of the United States.

Anyone interested in hearing Okinawa's voice from another source, visit New York Times com: http://www.okinawaiken.org/nytimes

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if Russia had invaded Japan, would probably not more Japanese in Okinawa, have all been sent to Siberia. Current Japanese only think of peace and love, not think that's how the Chinese, South Koreans and Russians. Americans won the war and might well not return the islands Okinawa but did so in 1972. People should leave ideology aside and think more in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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