politics

Gov't expands landfill work for U.S. base transfer in Okinawa

108 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

108 Comments
Login to comment

t was unfortunate that 551 thousand people abstained from voting, but even so these figures, especially the number of "disagree" votes, parallel the results of telephone polls conducted by the media. .

No that is just your opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here's facts about the referendum held on Feb. 14 regarding the relocation plan.

The referendum asked three questions: (1) Do you agree with the current relocation pan? (2) Do you disagree with it? (3) Neither.

The relevant data concerning the referendum are as follows:

Number of eligible voters: 1,153,591

Voter turnout or voting rate: 52.48%

Total number of valid votes cast: 601,888

Number of "agreed" votes: 114,933(18.99%)

Number of "disagree" votes: 434,273(71.74%)

Number of "neither" votes: 52,682(8.70%)

It was unfortunate that 551 thousand people abstained from voting, but even so these figures, especially the number of "disagree" votes, parallel the results of telephone polls conducted by the media. .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I therefore can say my opinion is shared by 72% of the people of Okinawa.

Live and learn and important lesson here voice, just because you say it does not make it a fact.

72% of the people who voted, yes, that is correct.!

However I can say that 2/3rds of the electorate in Okinawa, or over 700,000 people dont care, or are for the base, and a few have no opinion either way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Correction: Margin of error not standard deviation

0 ( +0 / -0 )

in reality 52% accept the status quo (base being built)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The most accurate way you can explain the opinion on Okinawa is

10% are for the relocation

37% are against the relocation

52% don’t care if it’s built or not built

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Voice, those results are far less than the avg 3% standard deviation that you see in most opinion polls.

Mant pre-election polls had Hillary with double digit leads or very close to that. The poll leads were so big that no pollsters expected tRump to win.

Therefore YOU CANNOT SAY that 72% of Okinawans share your opinion because the polls are not reliable with their sample size and the referendum didn’t pull enough participation to accurately reflect all voters.

End of story

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I therefore can say my opinion is shared by 72% of the people of Okinawa.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

CyburneticTiger, extanker & Yubaru:

In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Trump tallied 59,611,678 votes as against Hillary's 59,814,018 votes.

If pre-election polls showed Hillary was dominant in popularity over Trump, the forecasts based on polls were more or less correct. But, in reality, Trump won the presidency. Why? It's because of your voting system, the system of electoral college.

In Okinawa, various polls conducted by the media had always shown candidates against the Henoko plan would win with more than 70% probability. This percentage agrees with the result of the said referendum. I therefore can say my opinion is shared by 725 of the people of Okinawa.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I want to break 100... that's why I'm commenting.

CyburneticTiger,

In a telephone poll to see a Prime Minister’s or a President's support rate, you randomly pick up only a few thousand people to elicit their opinion, a method known as RDD. 

For example, in a telephone poll conducted by NHK on Mar. 8-10, a support rate for the Abe cabinet was found to be 42%. That is usually taken to mean that 43.7 million people aged over 18 years old among the total 104 million population supports the Abe administration. 

The latest poll conducted in a similar fashion by The Wall Street Journal and NBC has shown President Trump's support rate turns out to be 46%. 

Do you think these are unreliable figures because the poll results reflect only the opinion of a few select people?

Yes, absolutely. There are so many ways in which poll data could be manipulated or poorly interpreted that the most rational way to read it is an opinion reflected by the select few questioned.

I mean, all polls showed Hillary would beat tRump in the POTUS election... How well did those polls reflect the results.

I also agree with Yubaru and tanker's point

Opinion polls =/= election/referendum polls.

If you said 72% of voters who participated in the referendum voted against the Henoko Relocation you would be correct

Saying 72% of Okinawans are against Henoko Relocation is absolutely incorrect because there is no data to accurately support that.

Same note.

If you said 72% of people in a random sample of 1000 people voted against the Henoko Relocation you would be correct

Saying a poll of 1000 people are representative of an island of 1.4 million is going out on an extreme limb.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So in your opinion, only 475 people support Abe today -- no more and no less. In other words, Abe will garner minuscule 475 votes if there were a direct election of a prime minister tomorrow.. Wouldn't that be nice?

And wouldn't it be nice if you stopped attempting to compare apples and bowling balls. As ex noted a random poll and a referendum are two different things,

And no it is not my opinion, it is once again you making a poor attempt at putting words into my mouth.

Again, it's not black and white.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The number of people who responded to NHK's telephone poll was 1,132, of whom 42% approved Abe's performance as a prime minister.

So in your opinion, only 475 people support Abe today -- no more and no less. In other words, Abe will garner minuscule 475 votes if there were a direct election of a prime minister tomorrow.. Wouldn't that be nice?

A random poll and voter turnout are two very different things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

The number of people who responded to NHK's telephone poll was 1,132, of whom 42% approved Abe's performance as a prime minister.

So in your opinion, only 475 people support Abe today -- no more and no less. In other words, Abe will garner minuscule 475 votes if there were a direct election of a prime minister tomorrow.. Wouldn't that be nice?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For example, in a telephone poll conducted by NHK on Mar. 8-10, a support rate for the Abe cabinet was found to be 42%. That is usually taken to mean that 43.7 million people aged over 18 years old among the total 104 million population supports the Abe administration. 

No it does not "usually" mean that 43.7 million support Abe, it means exactly what it reads, 42% of the people polled.

Only you exaggerate numbers. That is a fact.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CyburneticTiger,

In a telephone poll to see a Prime Minister’s or a President's support rate, you randomly pick up only a few thousand people to elicit their opinion, a method known as RDD. 

For example, in a telephone poll conducted by NHK on Mar. 8-10, a support rate for the Abe cabinet was found to be 42%. That is usually taken to mean that 43.7 million people aged over 18 years old among the total 104 million population supports the Abe administration. 

The latest poll conducted in a similar fashion by The Wall Street Journal and NBC has shown President Trump's support rate turns out to be 46%. 

Do you think these are unreliable figures because the poll results reflect only the opinion of a few select people?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

People are still singing that sad song about low voter turnout but low voter turnout does not invalidate a political election or a referendum. The people who talk about how only 52% voted are trying to make it sound like that all of the 48% who did not vote in the referendum would have voted for the Henoko Landfill and that most certainly is not the case. All that matters is what the majority of the people (72.15%) who voted in that referendum decided and that is that they oppose the Henoko Landfill.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm certain my opinion is shared by 72% of all the people of Okinawa. Only 28% may be opposed to it.

72% of all the people of the 52% who voted in Okinawa. Bolded the key words for you 72% OF 52% is approximately 35% of ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN OKINAWA.

To quote Crucial

No, math shows that only one third of the eligible voters voted "no," a non-vote is equal to acceptance of the status quo. In this case status quo is relocating Futenma to Camp Schwab. A mandate in this case is a very tough sell to an unbiased observer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Call them goodwill ambassadors if you please!

A nice name. But isn’t that what Washington teaches rookies newly arrived at Okinawa? Washington also calls service members stationed in Japan "good neighbors" and USFJ generals tell the Japanese people that troops under their command are always ready to sacrifice their life to defend Japan. These are all word plays or a charade to hide the reality.

smithinjapan,

Like usual you're flat out making stuff up and claiming you speak on behalf of everyone, when you represent a minority of radicals who would just as soon still get the government handouts for hosting the military, but then do nothing for it

I'm certain my opinion is shared by 72% of all the people of Okinawa. Only 28% may be opposed to it. I'm not saying things as the fancy takes me as you imagine so fancifully. It's you, on the contrary, who says things as the fancy takes you, concocting all the stuff.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru: "US dragged Japan into the war? You must be a graduate of the Abe school of revisionist history."

He and others do honestly believe and spout the claim that Japan was "defending itself at Pearl Harbor and did not attack", if you can believe it. I mean, they REALLY do believe it! They also think Asia owes Japan a debt of gratitude for introducing Kanji to China, for teaching people who to take baths, for literacy, that Nanking and sex slaves are propaganda, etc. There is no end to how easily they are duped, and how unwilling they are to learn the facts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa: "I'm not saying things based on a hearsay."

True. Like usual you're flat out making stuff up and claiming you speak on behalf of everyone, when you represent a minority of radicals who would just as soon still get the government handouts for hosting the military, but then do nothing for it. What would you guys have to complain about with the US military gone? Whom would you hire with the money given to you to pay and "protest" with the mass printed signs they an cover their faces with in front of the media? What would the old guys who spend their entire day in the viewing towers PRAYING for an airplane accident so they can justify their existence do?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Had those bases not been there before the said security treaty was signed, into which regime Okinawa bases were firmly incorporated in 1972, you might be right to say those bases are provided with USFJ in exchange for their defense of Japan. But they had been seamlessly there since the end of World War II as if war spoils. 

Saved the time and money to build new one*s. Prudent at the time, and over time as well, they have been disappearing too. Just not fast enough for folks like you, who want things done now.

Welcome to the real world! You really seem to have a problem with understanding the concepts of security and deterrence

You can call the treaty by whatever name you may like. However, I’m sure you will never call it "treaty of unfair, one-sided cooperation and security" even though in reality it is. The Pentagon is called "Defense Department" even though in reality it's engaged in offensive, jingoistic activities more often than not. A more appropriate name would then be “Offense Department”. But, of course, nobody will like it.

Are you trying to make a joke here? If you are, it failed rather poorly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you think USFJ members are not "invited guests", what do you call them? Intruders, invaders, conquerors, unwelcome guests, tress-passers, or what?

Call them goodwill ambassadors if you please!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Never considered the US military to be a guest. Your words not mine! That is YOUR mistake!

If you think USFJ members are not "invited guests", what do you call them? Intruders, invaders, conquerors,  unwelcome guests, tress-passers, or what?

Had those bases not been there before the said security treaty was signed, into which regime Okinawa bases were firmly incorporated in 1972, you might be right to say those bases are provided with USFJ in exchange for their defense of Japan. But they had been seamlessly there since the end of World War II as if war spoils. 

You can call the treaty by whatever name you may like. However, I’m sure you will never call it "treaty of unfair, one-sided cooperation and security" even though in reality it is. The Pentagon is called "Defense Department" even though in reality it's engaged in offensive, jingoistic activities more often than not. A more appropriate name would then be “Offense Department”. But, of course, nobody will like it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"No, are not our own people, they are Okinawans." Nowhere else in Japan would the combined voices of 70% of the people be ignored

You lost it right there! You have been led by your nose to believe false information as being a fact!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When Nippon finally comes to its senses and votes these current scumbags out of the government, these sleazy conservatives should be hung and then tried for crimes against their own people. I wouldn't be surprised to hear the defense, "No, are not our own people, they are Okinawans." Nowhere else in Japan would the combined voices of 70% of the people be ignored. Nowhere else in Japan is there anything as beautiful or sensitive as the area these thugs want to destroy. Who cares about Duodongs? Who cares about the World at large? Not these monsters. DUMP ABE NOW! RESIST THESE MILITARISTIC MAMA'S BOYS and their blindly insane destructiveness! Please. For our children, so they still have a few places like this left in the world. Do we have to destroy it ALL just to facilitate mass murder?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Both of your mistake is that you think or want to think U.S. troops are here as invited guests. You may be right because their presence is defined in a treaty as if they were guests. Even so, they are like knaves taking a yard for an inch.

Never considered the US military to be a guest. Your words not mine! That is YOUR mistake!

The treaty, reverently called the TREATY OF MUTUAL COOPERATION AND SECURITY BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, is thus a facade to camouflage the reality of Okinawa being placed under the same regime as in the Occupation era.

Here is where your own words come to bite you! "Mutual Cooperation", I am going to assume that you understand what those two words mean.

In conjunction to being a part of the deterrence and defense of Japan, the US also gained a training ground for it's Marines, training of the like they could not have gotten anywhere else in the world. Their presence here benefits both the deterrence capability of Japan, and the Marines for training as well.

You and others keep barking about the "needs" or not of the MC being here for "defense", but that is not their ONLY purpose, its the MUTUAL COOPERATION part of the treaty.

That too is YOUR mistake!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

CyburneticTiger,

The guy from Miyako Jima is always so quick to speak for all of Okinawa. How many US bases are in Miyako Jima?

There was only one Army communications base on Miyako when I was in high school. No U.S. base on any significant scale existed there except this one. I was an enthusiastic nerd of everything U.S.A. those days – because of its cutting-edge technology, grand prosperity, democracy, liberty and freedom, for we had gone through dark days under a militaristic and despotic regime in the recent past.

The U.S.A. was a beam of hope for everyone, young and adult.  This was true not only in Okinawa but also all over Japan.  The image of the Statue of Liberty grabbed my heart as a young boy, fueling my dream that someday I would see it at first hand.

But when I came to live on the main island of Okinawa, which was literally trodden under the colossal U.S. military footprint, I think my view of the U.S.A., above all, its military bases has changed.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

You aren't responding to my post squarely.

Uh, are you serious. Facts have been graciously presented to counter your for several years and you continue to ignore them. We have been beyond square... You've never been able to counter any post or provide legitimately proven fact to negate our post. Your arguments have all been based off of emotional response and your individual perception in lieu of truth and reality.

Both of your mistake is that you think or want to think U.S. troops are here as invited guests. You may be right because their presence is defined in a treaty as if they were guests. Even so, they are like knaves taking a yard for an inch.

The treaty, reverently called the TREATY OF MUTUAL COOPERATION AND SECURITY BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, is thus a facade to camouflage the reality of Okinawa being placed under the same regime as in the Occupation era.

This is your individual opinion and there are zero facts or even a popular consensus to support it.

How do you feel if 83% of the area of your municipality is taken by the U.S. military pretending to be invited guests?

They're not pretending to be invited guests they very literally are invited guest. As for taking 83% of my municipality, I live in Okinawa Shi so Camp Foster and Kadena AFB hold a pretty good portion of the municipality and things aren't majorly impacted here by it. We probably gain more from it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The guy from Miyako Jima is always so quick to speak for all of Okinawa. How many US bases are in Miyako Jima?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

CrucialS & Yubaru,

You aren't responding to my post squarely.

Both of your mistake is that you think or want to think U.S. troops are here as invited guests. You may be right because their presence is defined in a treaty as if they were guests. Even so, they are like knaves taking a yard for an inch.

The treaty, reverently called the TREATY OF MUTUAL COOPERATION AND SECURITY BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, is thus a facade to camouflage the reality of Okinawa being placed under the same regime as in the Occupation era.

How do you feel if 83% of the area of your municipality is taken by the U.S. military pretending to be invited guests?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The USF Okinawa occupies about 15% of the total land mass of Okinawa Island. Among municipalities Kadena Township tops all others in that 83% of its area is taken by US forces. Next comes Kim Town: 59.3%; and Chatan Town: 56.4%; Ginoza Village: 50.7%; Yomitan:44.6%; Higashi Village: 41.5%; Okinawa City (formerly Koza): 35.9%; Iejima: 35.2%; Onna Village: 29.4%. 

One other thing, those towns and villages were and are already tiny. before the bases and after and you hear very few people, in the towns that actually host the Marine Corp Bases, in Kin (Camp Hansen) and Ginoza (Camp Schwab lays on land between Ginoza Village and Henoko).

Those two are the major combat Marine facilities in Okinawa, and the town people are pretty much the LAST one's to say anything. You ever wonder why?

They dont bite the hand that feeds them!

You have on the other hand, truly disrespected the people that gave you your very life and existence. That you should be ashamed about!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The USF Okinawa occupies about 15% of the total land mass of Okinawa Island. Among municipalities Kadena Township tops all others in that 83% of its area is taken by US forces. Next comes Kim Town: 59.3%; and Chatan Town: 56.4%; Ginoza Village: 50.7%; Yomitan:44.6%; Higashi Village: 41.5%; Okinawa City (formerly Koza): 35.9%; Iejima: 35.2%; Onna Village: 29.4%. 

You use percentages to try to get the casual observer to think, "OMG kawaiso" "How sorry for the people of Okinawa" Then maybe one day they come here, through Naha Airport, take a drive down Hwy 58, first they see the Seaman's club and Naha Military Port (Scheduled for return after Futenma is moved to Henoko and facilities completed in Urasoe)

Then they can drive for an hour, through a congested city, and not see one single, anything, that refers to or signifies the US military presence in Okinawa. Keep travelling 58 going north, they pass Kinser, (Also scheduled for return after Futenma closes) they pass Futenma itself, without even knowing it's there because it's up on the top of a hill, then Foster, (Also a majority of which will be returned after Futenma closes) then Lester, also closing, then Kadena ....probably NEVER going to close, and outside of a few signs, the next actual base they will actually see, is Okuma Beach

The percentages give a huge WRONG impression about the land being used, by the military.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 If you invited a friend or family member to stay over your house for an extended period of time you would not say your house is under occupation. The metaphor fits the current state of affairs nicely.

Watch out, someone is going to take this a twist it to say that it was an uninvited thug who barged his way into your home, stole your food, raped your women, and turned you into a slave, is what the current state of Okinawa is!

Similar to those that keep calling Camp Schwab's landfill project a "new" base!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 I have lived here for 48 years on the local economy and if the U.S. bases left tomorrow, I would still stay here.

Looks like Yubaru, yourself, and I have some stuff in common. Still completely disagree with you about the IJA and how you cant see that they would indiscriminately anyone who didn't follow their commands/expectations to a T regardless of nationality.

If the marines who are to be relocated to Guam can deal with contingency in waters near Okinawa, what role will Ospreys and other VTOL aircraft based there play?

Do you really want to play that game? Click my name, Extanker, Yubaru, or CyburneticTiger and the comment history will answer that question.

52.48% of the registered voters on Okinawa voted in the referendum and that is a majority of the registered voters on Okinawa and 72.15% of the people who voted in the referendum voted against the Henoko Landfill and that is a majority and those are facts!!

No, math shows that only one third of the eligible voters voted "no," a non-vote is equal to acceptance of the status quo. In this case status quo is relocating Futenma to Camp Schwab. A mandate in this case is a very tough sell to an unbiased observer.

If one doesn't like this state of affairs to be called occupation, he or she should ask the U.S.

Or they just ignore what you say because you're the only one saying it. If you invited a friend or family member to stay over your house for an extended period of time you would not say your house is under occupation. The metaphor fits the current state of affairs nicely.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yubaru,

This is a downright absurd statement! ... There is no occupation, and the overwhelming majority of the population of Okinawa has no contact with the MC

The USF Okinawa occupies about 15% of the total land mass of Okinawa Island. Among municipalities Kadena Township tops all others in that 83% of its area is taken by US forces. Next comes Kim Town: 59.3%; and Chatan Town: 56.4%; Ginoza Village: 50.7%; Yomitan:44.6%; Higashi Village: 41.5%; Okinawa City (formerly Koza): 35.9%; Iejima: 35.2%; Onna Village: 29.4%. 

Bases are not limited to land surface only. They extend to the sea and the air as U.S. forces’ exlusive training areas. Thus, large areas at sea and in the air are reserved for U.S. forces to use them exclusively or preferentially..

If one doesn't like this state of affairs to be called occupation, he or she should ask the U.S. government to address it by closing the Marines’ training bases for starters. The Marine bases account for about 75% of all U.S. bases in Okinawa, you know.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

52.48% of the registered voters on Okinawa voted in the referendum and that is a majority of the registered voters on Okinawa and 72.15% of the people who voted in the referendum voted against the Henoko Landfill and that is a majority and those are facts!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I am not a member of the minority base hantai, I am a member of the Majority Henoko Landfill Hantai!

FYI, there is not "majority Henoko landfill hantai", as only 1/3 of the electorate voted against it!

You are therefore a member of the "1/3 club minority" and THAT is a fact!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The marines in Okinawa occupy so much land, as if it was a literal occupation, under the pretext that they are here to defend Japan. 

This is a downright absurd statement! Everyone knows, well everyone except those who makes posts like this, know for a fact this is not true. There is no occupation, and the overwhelming majority of the population of Okinawa has no contact with the MC.

It's become rather obvious that when you are losing a discussion you resort to baseless lies to support whatever opinion you are trying to make.

For the sake of everyone, please stop!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's a pity, and absurd, too, that the Japanese government should ask the U.S. government if they could help defend Japan in the event of contingency. The marines in Okinawa occupy so much land, as if it was a literal occupation, under the pretext that they are here to defend Japan. 

Confirming with the U.S. government time and time again if the U.S. will help defend Japan indicates there’s mistrust on the part of the Japanese government about Washington’s professed commitment to defend Japan. The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty thus seems to be coming apart at the seam.

The said Security Treaty is a façade anyway to cover up the fact that Japan is still being occupied and hence must be scrapped. So its coming apart at the seam may be good for us.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My problem with the U.S. Marines on Okinawa is that in my opinion they do not contribute enough to the defence of Japan 

That’s nonsense. How could you possibly know how much they have contributed to the defense of Japan when they haven’t been needed to defend Japan yet?

You of all people should understand that they may not be doing anything but training now, it’s peacetime. But if the need arises, the Marines, along with the rest of the US military, will do more than their fair share putting their lives on the line to accomplish the mission of defending Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The answer to that question has been answered and how they’ll be used has been made a abundantly clear on multiple occasions over the last year or more.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

CrucialS,

Irrelevant to the point. The relocation of Marines to reduce the burden on Okinawa doesn't hinder or change the US commitment to defend Japan.

If the marines who are to be relocated to Guam can deal with contingency in waters near Okinawa, what role will Ospreys and other VTOL aircraft based there play?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

CrucialIS,

The IJA treated the people of Okinawa like they treated the people of China and Korea not like how they would have treated the people of Mainland Japan and that feeling of being superior of the people of Okinawa is still alive in Mainland Japan today especially among LDP members and Central Govt. bureaucrats.

I am not a member of the minority base hantai, I am a member of the Majority Henoko Landfill Hantai!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru,

That is what "deterrence" is all about. Never having the need, but it case something does happen, they and the rest are there to assist!

Perhaps, you want to say the new base at Henoko is absolutely necessary for deterrence. But do you really think it can scare off a potential enemy when the core elements of U.S. Marines, combat troops, are in Guam?   

extanker,

Of course the primary responsibility to defend Japan rests with the JSDF, it's their country

Indeed. But U.S. troops are stationed here for the purpose of defending Japan, occupying so large swaths of land free of charge as if it were real occupation, collecting so much money from Japanese taxpayers to maintain bases and recreation facilities, guaranteed the same perquisites as they enjoyed during the Occupation era, and so on and so forth.

I’ve been arguing the Henoko relocation plan is nothing but a white elephant military-wise as well as budget-wise. Neither of you nor anyone else, for that matter, have refuted this opinion of mine convincingly enough as yet.  

I’m writing this piece under the roaring noise of jet engines of a circular flight training aircraft that’s been repeating touch and go at Futenma Air Station.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

yubara,

I don't know why you always confuse me with a SOFA status person when I have never had SOFA status. I was in the Army on Okinawa from 1967 to 1968 when there was no SOFA status. I left Okinawa in late 1968 to fulfil my Army obligation including a year in Vietnam and I returned to Okinawa in 1971 and have lived here every since. While it is true that I worked inside the bases, I always worked for either local companies or Mainland Japanese companies and was a project manager who took care of their construction projects inside the base and have been in charge of some very large projects including direct projects for the U.S. Military and projects for the GOJ and in fact my last project was inside Camp Schwab. I have never had on-base shopping privileges since I have lived here as a civilian since 1971. I retired over 6 years ago and I receive a Japanese pension and I do all of my shopping off-base as I have for the last 48 years.  I have lived here for 48 years on the local economy and if the U.S. bases left tomorrow, I would still stay here. By the way I am in favour of a U.S. Military presence on Okinawa.

It is not that I hate the USMC because I have had many projects inside Marine Bases and have met many great Marines from privates to Generals. My problem with the U.S. Marines on Okinawa is that in my opinion they do not contribute enough to the defence of Japan to justify the amount of land that they take up on Okinawa and certainly not enough to justify spending a massive amount of Japanese Tax money to build them a new state of the art facility and destroy the ocean at Henoko.

I cannot honestly say that I could have survived on Okinawa without the bases but I was determined to live my life on Okinawa so I believe that I could have but probably on a lower standard of living because my salary was always a lot higher than most Okinawans because of the construction projects being inside the bases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 nearly 20,000 of them, assisted with the relief efforts after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami during Operation Freedom.

My mistake, just realized I wrote the wrong name....Operation Tomodachi!

Sorry about that!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do you talk to the people of Okinawa and tell them about how fair and even-handed the IJA was?

Oh come on, that is a question to ask someone 20 or 30 years ago. There are few alive today that could even answer, and the rest is now in history books!

You use the word forced sacrifice but I think it was easy for the Japanese Govt. to sacrifice Okinawa because they are still sacrificing Okinawa to this very day.

You have a lot of nerve to say this, you aren't Okinawan, nor Japanese, and yet you think you know better than both. You hate the USMC, yet you live here thanks to the bases and all the perks they give you. Give back your SOFA status, your rights to buy your alcohol and food from the commissary, and everything else.

Then live here for 20 or 30 years and tell us all how it is! You owe your very existence here to the bases.

I will bet any money that if the US pulled out of Okinawa, so would YOU.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ha! I never said the IJA was fair and even handed but in a sense their brutality was. They were brutal and cruel; devoted to their distorted view of "duty" and "honor." Any person, enemy or countrymen who wasn't willing to make the same sacrifice as them would be treated with the same brutality and cruelty. Doesn't matter if they're a Shimabukro from Koza or a Sato from Yamaguchi.

I think it was easy for the Japanese Govt. to sacrifice Okinawa

Of course you do, without that false boogey man the minority hantai base side lose a large portion of their propaganda; and ultimately support/pity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CrucialIS

Do you talk to the people of Okinawa and tell them about how fair and even-handed the IJA was?

Has any Prime Minister of Japan ever said to the people of Okinawa that we were forced to give you to the United States and we regret doing it but we had no choice?

You use the word forced sacrifice but I think it was easy for the Japanese Govt. to sacrifice Okinawa because they are still sacrificing Okinawa to this very day.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Forced sacrifice = not a sacrifice on Japan's part.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The IJA murdered countless civilians on Okinawa and forced countless more to commit suicide. That anyone can say that the IJA treated civilians in Okinawa the same as civilians in Mainland Japan is an attempt to whitewash the crimes committed by the IJA on Okinawa just like the Japanese Govt. attempts to do with their revised school textbooks.

Well, the US never invaded mainland Japan so we'll never know what the IJA would have done but I stand by the idea that they likely would have done the same thing to the civilian populations of mainland as the did in Okinawa.

It is the opinion of some experts in the field that Mainland Japan sacrificed Okinawa in WWII. They did sacrifice Okinawa by giving it to the U.S. in order to gain their own sovereignty. Imagine how the people of Okinawa must have felt when they found out they were being given to the U.S. Military.

Japan wasn't calling the shots in the negotiations, the US was. The best example I can think of is the US was a bank repossessing your car but letting you keep your house. A complete forced sacrifice on America's part.

It is not only my opinion but the opinion of a large number of people on Okinawa that the Central Govt. dislikes them.

Well, we all know what opinions are like... especially incorrect, misinformed, and unproven ones. 

But isn't it a fact that the two governments struck a deal to the effect that primary responsibility to defend Japan's territory rests with the SDF; agreed that 8,000 to 9,000 Okinawa-deployed marines would transfer to Guam and that Japan would shoulder a significant portion of the transfer cost such as for building infrastructure in Guam, etc.?

Irrelevant to the point. The relocation of Marines to reduce the burden on Okinawa doesn't hinder or change the US commitment to defend Japan.

The Japanese government has repeatedly confirmed with the U.S. if they would help defend Japan in the event of contingency. Naturally, the U.S. side has reassured Tokyo .that they would based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

Thank you for proving my point

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But isn't it a fact that the two governments struck a deal to the effect that primary responsibility to defend Japan's territory rests with the SDF;

Of course the primary responsibility to defend Japan rests with the JSDF, it's their country. As much as you would like to have us believe, the US is not an occupational force. The defense of the country resides with Japanese military. The US is there to back them up.

I take Washington's reassurance is a genuine and bona fide one, but how will the marines stationed in Guam play in this game? How will the new marine base now under construction at Henoko, supposedly Futenma's replacement, play a role here?

How far do you think it is to Japan from Guam? It takes less than 3 hours to fly there commercially. The Marines won't have any problem getting to Japan quickly if the need arises, I promise you that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The IJA murdered countless civilians on Okinawa and forced countless more to commit suicide. That anyone can say that the IJA treated civilians in Okinawa the same as civilians in Mainland Japan is an attempt to whitewash the crimes committed by the IJA on Okinawa just like the Japanese Govt. attempts to do with their revised school textbooks.

It is the opinion of some experts in the field that Mainland Japan sacrificed Okinawa in WWII. They did sacrifice Okinawa by giving it to the U.S. in order to gain their own sovereignty. Imagine how the people of Okinawa must have felt when they found out they were being given to the U.S. Military.

It is not only my opinion but the opinion of a large number of people on Okinawa that the Central Govt. dislikes them.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I take Washington's reassurance is a genuine and bona fide one, but how will the marines stationed in Guam play in this game? How will the new marine base now under construction at Henoko, supposedly Futenma's replacement, play a role here?

Let's hope we never have to find out!

That is what "deterrence" is all about. Never having the need, but it case something does happen, they and the rest are there to assist!

And don't EVER forget that it's more than just deterrence involved here, those Marines and Sailors from HERE in Okinawa, nearly 20,000 of them, assisted with the relief efforts after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami during Operation Freedom.

Something the Okinawan media conveniently failed to mention.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CrucialS & extanker,

I'm not saying things based on a hearsay. 

But isn't it a fact that the two governments struck a deal to the effect that primary responsibility to defend Japan's territory rests with the SDF; agreed that 8,000 to 9,000 Okinawa-deployed marines would transfer to Guam and that Japan would shoulder a significant portion of the transfer cost such as for building infrastructure in Guam, etc.?

The Japanese government has repeatedly confirmed with the U.S. if they would help defend Japan in the event of contingency. Naturally, the U.S. side has reassured Tokyo .that they would based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. 

I take Washington's reassurance is a genuine and bona fide one, but how will the marines stationed in Guam play in this game? How will the new marine base now under construction at Henoko, supposedly Futenma's replacement, play a role here?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan wasn't screaming, "Hey America, come take Okinawa first! These people and this island are worthless to us." If they saw no value in Okinawa there would be no attempt to defend the island and all efforts and manpower would be focused on defending the main islands. 

No they didn't but they knew something that all these "anti" folks who have selective amnesia dont, the strategic importance of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands. The IJA knew that Okinawa would have to be taken first, there are no other islands in the vicinity that could support the type of invasion that it would take to invade mainland Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Should contingencies ever occur over outlying islands, it's the SDF that will rush to the scene first for they have primary responsibility to deal with such events while the USFJ, above all, the Marines' combat units, are enjoying life back in safer hinterland like Guam, Hawaii and elsewhere, that are thousand kilometers away from Okinawa.

You keep saying this line but you have nothing to prove this and all treaties, agreements, and obligations between the US and Japan ensure that US forces, including the Marines, will be fighting and responding alongside the SDF. You're only spreading lies and conjecture when you say this. Primary responsibility of the JSDF does not absolve the US of any responsibility, the Marines aviation and ground combat elements will be right next to SDF forces taking back which ever Japanese islands are occupied.

Voiceofokinawa keeps parroting this line because it is the SDF's responsibility to deal with internal issues first, such as natural disasters, and the US will then assist if needed. He has no clue how any military functions and actually believes the US would sit back and let the SDF struggle against a hostile force while it gains a foothold in Japan. Somehow he believes that we would rather fight off an enemy after they've invaded. It doesn't make much sense, does it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The problem is arrogant Mainland Politicians and Central Govt. bureaucrats who have always disliked the people of Okinawa.

In your opinion... unless you can produce direct quotes where politicians and bureaucrats have said, "I hate Okinawans."

They dislike the people of Okinawa so much that they have always sacrificed them for the good of the Mainland every chance they have had from the Battle of Okinawa to actually giving the people of Okinawa to the U.S. Military.

The idea that Japan sacrificed Okinawa is so flawed, the Battle of Okinawa was a battle location picked by the US. Just prior to the battle of Iwo Jima the US identified Okinawa as the location they wanted to take to initiate the invasion of mainland Japan because they knew, unlike Okinawa, Iwo Jima wasn't capable of supporting a large scale invasion. Japan wasn't screaming, "Hey America, come take Okinawa first! These people and this island are worthless to us." If they saw no value in Okinawa there would be no attempt to defend the island and all efforts and manpower would be focused on defending the main islands. My honest opinion, in a 1945 Japanese social structure, the IJA would have treated mainland civilians exactly the same as they treated Okinawan civilians.   

Should contingencies ever occur over outlying islands, it's the SDF that will rush to the scene first for they have primary responsibility to deal with such events while the USFJ, above all, the Marines' combat units, are enjoying life back in safer hinterland like Guam, Hawaii and elsewhere, that are thousand kilometers away from Okinawa.

You keep saying this line but you have nothing to prove this and all treaties, agreements, and obligations between the US and Japan ensure that US forces, including the Marines, will be fighting and responding alongside the SDF. You're only spreading lies and conjecture when you say this. Primary responsibility of the JSDF does not absolve the US of any responsibility, the Marines aviation and ground combat elements will be right next to SDF forces taking back which ever Japanese islands are occupied.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Should contingencies ever occur over outlying islands, it's the SDF that will rush to the scene first for they have primary responsibility to deal with such events while the USFJ, above all, the Marines' combat units, are enjoying life back in safer hinterland like Guam, Hawaii and elsewhere, that are thousand kilometers away from Okinawa.

The alliance is fine because it makes financial sense only for the U.S.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The problem is arrogant Mainland Politicians and Central Govt. bureaucrats who have always disliked the people of Okinawa. They dislike the people of Okinawa so much that they have always sacrificed them for the good of the Mainland every chance they have had from the Battle of Okinawa to actually giving the people of Okinawa to the U.S. Military.

The people of Okinawa owe Mainland Japan nothing but Mainland Japan will never be able to repay the people of Okinawa for their sacrifices for them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

it's politicians in Okinawa that are the problem!

It's the politicians in Tokyo and Washington that are the problem.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The alliance is indeed fine, as you gloat over.

Gloat, hardly, just stating a fact.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That's your assessment. The Japanese government wastes our tax money like hell to keep this military occupation-turned military presence forever, building and expanding bases for the Marines, buying U.S.-made arsenal such as Ospreys and Aegis Ashore and Pack-3 missile defense systems, etc..  

The U.S. government has even sent a feeler through Bloomberg, suggesting that a "host country" shoulder "the cost plus 50%", meaning that the "host country" should pay all the maintenance cost for U.S. bases plus U.S. service members' salaries for their sacrifice in defending the "host country" where they are deployed.

Japan already pays for most of the costs associated with the bases here, so this is nothing new. And by purchasing further military hardware it is helping to strengthen those ties even more.

Thank you for reinforcing my "assessment" that the alliance is fine! Couldn't have said it better myself!

Thumbs up!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yubaru,

The alliance is fine,

That's your assessment. The Japanese government wastes our tax money like hell to keep this military occupation-turned military presence forever, building and expanding bases for the Marines, buying U.S.-made arsenal such as Ospreys and Aegis Ashore and Pack-3 missile defense systems, etc..  

The U.S. government has even sent a feeler through Bloomberg, suggesting that a "host country" shoulder "the cost plus 50%", meaning that the "host country" should pay all the maintenance cost for U.S. bases plus U.S. service members' salaries for their sacrifice in defending the "host country" where they are deployed.

The alliance is indeed fine, as you gloat over.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

An alliance based on mutual trust, sincerity and equal footing will only outlast this volatile international situation, I think.

The alliance is fine, it's politicians in Okinawa that are the problem!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Here you are again, cutting in a discussion between Peeping_Tom and myself.

The more you say the alliance is strong between the two countries, as high-ry anking officials from both Tokyo and Washington like to say, thus pushing ahead with the landfill work at Henoko, the more certainly this military alliance wil come apart at the seams. You can't keep bamboozling people forever like that.

An alliance based on mutual trust, sincerity and equal footing will only outlast this volatile international situation, I think.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Any make-shift agreement, such as the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement or the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty for that matter, would be sure to come apart at the seams someday.

That's what we are witnessing right now with the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation issue.

Hardly, the alliance between Japan and the US is still strong, and this problem is not between the US and Japan, it's between arguably the most strategically located southern gateway/prefecture in Japan, Okinawa, and the national government here.

The biggest problem is that the folks protesting about this issue can not admit this, because to do so, makes all their arguments against the bases in Okinawa a lie!

You can not deny that Okinawa is in a strategic location, that is an internationally accepted fact.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Any make-shift agreement, such as the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement or the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty for that matter, would be sure to come apart at the seams someday.

That's what we are witnessing right now with the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation issue.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Peeping_Tom,

Whether the 1972 Okinawa reversion was a success or not depends on what yardstick you are applying to in your appraisal.

The Okinawan wish to get reunited with mainland Japan was motivated partly by the fact that they were fed up with the status quo of being continually occupied and partly by their wishful thinking that all or most U.S. bases would be closed and gone and that they could enjoy life under a reborn Japan's pacifist constitution.

The U.S. side, on the other hand, had realized by the 1970s that they couldn't maintain the bases any longer as they were under violent anti-U.S. base movements rampant in Okinawa at the time, and so they reluctantly agreed to the reversion -- only to perpetuate their military presence without any hitch.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Gov. Tamaki is not going to sign off on the new design changes that the J-Govt. is going to be forced to propose because of the soft seabed.

Have no fears, this too shall not be a problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This BS they keep feeding is just that. If you have never LIVED on Okinawa, then you have NO IDEA.

Even the protesters say the same thing, you know, the one's who come down here from mainland, get paid a stipend of 10,000 per day, with food and transportation!

Okinawa is a small island, yet where I live, as I have stated before, I can go literally months, without seeing anyone from the US military, any military vehicles, or "Y" numbered vehicles.

There is a huge fallacy being propagated by all sorts of people who sit here and give statistics, about base and land usage, yet it just reinforces a false image of the reality of daily life here.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This BS they keep feeding is just that. If you have never LIVED on Okinawa, then you have NO IDEA

how people "Feel". I have seen BUMPER STICKERS on Japanese registered cars that THANK the Military for being there. Stop feeding us YOUR Propaganda, we don't buy it. (comments)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Okinawa return in 1972 to Japan was a mistake. I recall Okinawans were not necessarily supporting the return at that time. They were not so enthusiastic."

See above.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Really?!

Well, for a "Japanese" there's lots you appear not to know.

Hope you don't mind that the Peeping, a Brit is the one shedding some light where there's only darkness:

"Throughout their negotiations, the Ryukyu government made persistent claims for ‘immediate, unconditional and total’ reversion, in response to which the Japanese Government repeatedly answered that reversion would bring Okinawa to ‘homeland level status’. These negotiations offered no room for maneuver to the Ryukyu government, which was powerless in decisions regarding the restoration of administrative rights to Okinawa. Yara, therefore, sought to justify the Okinawan peoples’ demand for ‘immediate, unconditional and total’ reversion using three key arguments: politically, as Chief Executive, Yara represented the consensus of Okinawan opinion; nationally, Okinawa should be reunited with Japan; and Okinawa’s aspiration for peace would be secured by the ‘democratic and peaceful’ Japanese Constitution. "

https://academic.oup.com/irap/article/18/1/71/4748865

"The United States recognized Japanese residual sovereignty over the islands in the 1952 peace treaty that ended World War II and today carried out promises made then that the islands would one day be returned to full Japanese control."

https://www.nytimes.com/1972/05/15/archives/okinawa-islands-returned-by-us-to-japanese-rule-agnew-in-tokyo.html

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@akoppa

The US government said clearly. We don't have allies we have satellites and satellites do what we order. If satellites don't obey we show the big stick. Not exactly verbatim but referring to the U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy: "speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far."

That is not what Roosevelt was saying at all. The quote was originally a West African proverb and it meant simply that you didn't have to use force as long as your opponents knew you could.

@japan4life

The U.S. Marines have nothing on Okinawa that would deter or prevent an attack on Okinawa, Mainland Japan, The Philippines or any other place.

Attack a US base and let me know how it goes. I guess that you think the generals are just going to slap their foreheads and say "Well damn, that's too bad what happened, next time let's have infantry there instead." The United States presence is the deterrence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The U.S. Air Force with Kadena Air Base, The Army with Torii Station and the Special Forces and the Fort Buckner Communication Site and the Navy with White Beach and their Aircraft and Facilities on Kadena Air Base along with the JSDF are the real deterrence on Okinawa. The U.S. Marines are not necessary to be on Okinawa for the defense of Japan and the money that the Japanese Govt. is going to waste on that new facility at Henoko is a waste of taxpayers money and is in reality a big public works project to benefit large Mainland Japanese Corporations who are big donors to the LDP under the guise of a necessary Military Facility in order to avoid public scrutiny.

The U.S. Marines already have an Air Base with a runway on the island of Ie Shima located not far from the Motobu Pennisula . That existing Air Base could have been a viable one for one replacement facility for MCAS Futenma and upgraded at a fraction of the cost of Henoko and without destroying the ocean and would have already been finished by now and MCAS Futenma would have been closed but the Japanese Govt. insistence on going with the incredibly expensive landfill at Henoko in order to provide greater profits to their Construction Company Cronies has caused the problems and delays in construction that we have seen and there will be more delays because Gov. Tamaki is not going to sign off on the new design changes that the J-Govt. is going to be forced to propose because of the soft seabed.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The Japanese people are paying for their occupation.

And some of them positively welcome it. Mad stuff altogether.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Another example that  US occupation continues. Now the Japanese people are going to pay so that the US can continue to occupy them. This has nothing to do with protecting Japan from any nation but, all to do in the US wanting to maintain its stranglehold on the glob, and Japanese citizens are going to pay for it. The Japanese people are paying for their occupation.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Ganbare Japan!

No nation, PRC, Russia, North Korea, will ever be able to take Okinawa, or any place, while the US Marines are there.

You mean the invincible Marines are in Okinawa to defend Japan from invasion by China and North Korea? How do you explain the fact that:

 (1) the Marines' most active elements, combat troops, said to be at 8,000 to 9,000, are to transfer to Guam and elsewhere, leaving here command and support elements only; and (2) the two government have struck a deal to the effect that primary responsibility to defend Japan's territory rests with the SDF, not with the USFJ? 

Under such circumstances do you see anything meaningful, defense-wise as well as finance-wise, in .building a replacement facility for Futenma/

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

 I would like for someone to tell me what the U.S. Marines have on Okinawa that would prevent China, N.K. or anyone else from attacking Japan.

@ Japan4Life. I will let you know. Its not what USA have on Okinawa island. Its what they have encircling it. Submarines. The Nucear Umbrella. Enough firepower to destroy the entire Mainland of Asia, if Japan gets threatened in any way. If it comes to that, it will happen.

Make no mistake: Okinawa is an unbelievably dangerous place. And US is protecting it beautifully.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

The US government said clearly. We don't have allies we have satellites and satellites do what we order. If satellites don't obey we show the big stick. Not exactly verbatim but referring to the U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy: "speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far."

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I would like for someone to tell me what the U.S. Marines have on Okinawa that would prevent China, N.K. or anyone else from attacking Japan.

Ummm... how about an entire MEF and its supporting elements?

Do you think China or anyone else can kill Marines and not incur the wrath of the US war machine? In the case of the Okinawa Marines, presence is deterrence.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I feel sorry for anyone who lives in Japan and thinks that the U.S. Marines on Okinawa are going to save them from an enemy attack and that China or N.K. would be afraid to attack because of the Marines. I would like for someone to tell me what the U.S. Marines have on Okinawa that would prevent China, N.K. or anyone else from attacking Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I'm curious that it hasn't been mentioned if this 'new land' shores expands the water borders. I mean with all the stink over China having done it... Of course this landfill isn't 'actually' part of Japan, is it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Americans have always used fear to justify their ongoing occupation of Okinawa. It was always the communists are going to invade Okinawa. 

Funny, never once in over 30 years of living here, heard any one of any importance, in the US government, make a comment about "the communists are going to invade Okinawa"

That is just coming from conspiracy theorists and folks who just repeat stupid rhetoric, with the goal of fear-mongering and stirring the pot for no legitimate reason...just like you!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

We need to protect against China, if you want them to invade, wake up.

Yet more legitimizing of the occupying forces. Stockholm syndrome at its worst.

China are not going to invade Okinawa. It's as likely as you or I invading Beijing...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Americans have always used fear to justify their ongoing occupation of Okinawa. It was always the communists are going to invade Okinawa. Then it included the North Koreans (who still fly Mig 21s) Question during the course of history, who many people have the Americans, Chinese and Japanese people killed? Yet we are told to fear the Chinese and the number they killed is zero.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

No nation , PRC, Russia, North Korea, will ever be able to take Okinawa, or any place, while the US Marines are there.

Occupation is occupation. Okinawa has already been taken. And treated with utter disdain by the Tokyo government.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

alwaysspeakingwisdomToday  05:32 pm JST

"in the single seat constituencies was a less than impressive 48.2%. "

But there were more than 2 candidates running in a lot of those constituencies, so it was impressive.

Not really. In any election how many of the candidates ever get many votes, except for the ones standing for two or three major parties?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Even with this expansion, the base will not be large enough - there is still live coral that they have not buried under tons of concrete yet!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The marines never lose? It depends on your point of view. When an American general pointed out that they never lost a battle, a Vietnamese general pointed out that that was immaterial as they lost the war.

Since Vietnam what country has America actually defended? It is easy to think of many America has destroyed. In fact it seems the US is a much greater threat to other countries than China is.

Why does Japan need US bases? The US bases are seen as threats by neighbouring countries. It is the bases that make Japan a target. Do any neighbouring really want to attack Japan? I don't think so. Do neighbouring countries want to defend themselves from what they see as military threats from US bases in Japan? Of course they do.

To think that the US is a defender of democracy is a delusion. The US wants to defend its power, its influence, its belief it is number 1.

As Alwaysspeakingwisdom says, there is a Japanese flag flying over Okinawa, but it is not there because of US bases: it is there in spite of them. And there is an American flag flying over the bases. Give that land back to Okinawa and let them fly a Japanese flag over it. Send the Americans back to the US where they belong. They have been in Japan long enough.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

.So there is no way that their vote can be ignored as it is being shamefully done by the current government. The turnout of the referendum was 52.48%, which is above the 50% threshold, a line which could be considered as lending legitimacy to the referendum. 70% of voters rejected the relocation of the bases.

70% of the people who voted, not 70% of the voters. The nuance is quite large.

Also, you and others conveniently overlook the words "non-binding". IF the results of the referendum were binding, you and others would have a valid argument regarding the continuing construction.

Lost in all the noise is this fact; from the national governments point of view, not popular here on JT, but a fact no less, 2/3rds of the electorate in Okinawa either voted for the landfill, had no opinion either way, or did not vote at all.

Okinawa Gov Denny Tamaki asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to halt the landfill work and engage in a one-month dialogue period when they met in Tokyo on Tuesday, citing the result of the referendum.

Also, Denny was trying to get Abe to have the US , Abe and Okinawa, sit down for talks on the matter as well, along with this one month moratorium. Suga and Abe graciously deflected this, as Denny is trying to over step his authority as well, just like his predecessors.

It is neither the right nor place for local governments to dictate issues regarding national security. As noted by Suga too. No response from the US is right and proper as well.

Denny is not a politician, as evidenced once again by his request for the moratorium and 3 way talks with the US. he is naive to think that Abe is going to even give him the opportunity to try to legitimize his positions. Abe is no fool.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

We need to protect against China, if you want them to invade, wake up.

I think this fear mongering is misplaced. The defence pact between Tokyo and DC is steel proof. It would literally be the end of Asia or the globe if China tried to cause trouble. So my question to you is, is wreaking the environment while nullifying a democratic choice worth the fear mongering?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Okinawa return in 1972 to Japan was a mistake. I recall Okinawans were not necessarily supporting the return at that time. They were not so enthusiastic.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

We need to protect against China, if you want them to invade, wake up.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

How exactly is this democracy and how can the populace be so unconcerned about it?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The U.S. Marines have nothing on Okinawa that would deter or prevent an attack on Okinawa, Mainland Japan, The Philippines or any other place.

No nation , PRC, Russia, North Korea, will ever be able to take Okinawa, or any place, while the US Marines are there. No one would be crazy enough to try. They simply never lose.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

"Look at that beautiful ocean that is being destroyed for the U.S. Marines "

Look at the Japanese Flag flying over Okinawa, that is why the base is being built. To protect Japan from China,

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Look at that beautiful ocean that is being destroyed for the U.S. Marines who regardless of what the Japanese Govt. says are not a deterrent on Okinawa. The U.S. Marines have nothing on Okinawa that would deter or prevent an attack on Okinawa, Mainland Japan, The Philippines or any other place.

It is one thing to build a facility on land that can eventually be removed and restored to near the original condition but this landfill is an irreversible procedure that the people of Okinawa will have to endure forever. Every Japanese Citizen in Mainland Japan should hang their head in shame for allowing this landfill to happen.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

"in the single seat constituencies was a less than impressive 48.2%. "

But there were more than 2 candidates running in a lot of those  constituencies, so it was impressive.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

 only approximately 35 percent of eligible voters opposed the work proceeding, 

That's funny, when there is a referendum expressing the wish of the populatian, it's somehow illegitimate. The referendum was hold on Okinawa on the principle that the population there is the most legitimate to decide whether or not they want that base relocated since they are the one to be the most exposed to its consequences directly on a daily basis. Not the people of Tokyo. The turnout of the referendum was 52.48%, which is above the 50% threshold, a line which could be considered as lending legitimacy to the referendum. 70% of voters rejected the relocation of the bases. So there is no way that their vote can be ignored as it is being shamefully done by the current government.

Work must go ahead to ensure the protection of Japanese citizens in one of the most dangerous regions of the world.

This is a fallacious argument as you are basically trying to defend the use of authoritarian methods against the wish of a population behind safety reasons which are more than disputable.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Ganbare Japan!Today  04:55 pm JST

With great respect, only approximately 35 percent of eligible voters opposed the work proceeding, in a non-binding vote. 

The 2017 Lower House election had a turnout of 53.68% and the LDP's percentage share of the popular vote in the single seat constituencies was a less than impressive 48.2%. Operating on your logic the LDP have no mandate to be in government.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Two points. First, since the Okinawa is central to Japan's defense, the entire country should have had a vote on the referendum not just Okinawa. Second, the base is needed to defend Japan from China. Japan will have to get first strike and second strike weapons.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

A lesson of democracy huh? Pathetic, plain and simple.  

With great respect, only approximately 35 percent of eligible voters opposed the work proceeding, in a non-binding vote. Work must go ahead to ensure the protection of Japanese citizens in one of the most dangerous regions of the world.

Denny-san, you can't stop this!

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

Yea, US should move to Senkaku, build their base there and chill ...

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

A lesson of democracy huh?

Pathetic, plain and simple.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Maybe Japan/USA should do exactly what China did (and told everyone it was their right) - build their own island military base in waters that Japan says are theirs. A win for Okinawa because the US forces stationed there can all be relocated to this new base. A win for the US because no more annoying paid protestors.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

What the Japanese and American governments are doing to the environment is criminal. BTW I am not in favor of any land reclamation, preferring the return of American bases to provide land.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites