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Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14

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The beginning of the end! Hallelujah!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

At this point in history I still want a strong US-Japan Military presence.

I feel for anyone in Okinawa who is inconvinienced or doesn’t want to live with the military there, but I think that overall regional security is much more important.

Geographically, Okinawa is so so close to China.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

In reality using the private pier is probably a safer and better option than using the public one at Motobu.

It is already equipped and ready to handle the loading of gravel needed for the landfill. The local town making the comment about the "partially damaged" pier not being able to handle any "new" vessels is a large over exaggeration. I was recently in the area and to the naked eye it difficult to see what they are talking about.

The town authorities are just playing it safe

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

And japans a democracy how exactly?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

And japans a democracy how exactly?

Please, give us a break. If a government made it's decisions purely based upon the emotional responses of the population NOTHING would ever get accomplished!

People here have elected this government, and while the system may not be perfect, this government has made a tough decision, based upon the needs of the country and not the emotions of a select few!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The argument was first to move dangerous Futenma. Now, they are demanding to move Futenma outside of Okinawa. This is a tall order. I understand they do not enjoy the bases. Nobody wants to live at a place foreign military bases located near to them. No prefecture in mainland Japan want to accept U.S. bases. I repeatedly said they cannot realize it unless they get independent from Japan. U.S. occupation still continues. We all think "shikataganai" because we lost the war.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Will evil win the good?

Some poster here may be hilarious, thinking the game will be in their favor because the central government has decided to start land fill at long last.

In all likelihood, though, this new base won't be completed at all. Land fill may be carried out quite easily in the shallow waters on the south side of the Henoko point (Camp Schwab). But the other side will be a real problem The waters there are very deep and some part of the sea bed is reported to be as soft as mayonnaise.

So Washington and Tokyo must already know their original plan won't work out and the construction will come to an end in the middle, leaving the area completely devastated and ugly.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

based upon the needs of the country and not the emotions of a select few

The voting record in Okinawa begs to differ. Seeing as the tokyo establishment couldn't care less, maybe it's time for a referendum on separation from the mainland. Independence is not a bad idea in this case.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

In all likelihood, though, this new base won't be completed at all. Land fill may be carried out quite easily in the shallow waters on the south side of the Henoko point (Camp Schwab). But the other side will be a real problem The waters there are very deep and some part of the sea bed is reported to be as soft as mayonnaise.

It's already finished! All they have to do is fill it!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

construction will come to an end in the middle, leaving the area completely devastated and ugly.

ah well then Futenma will stay where it is for the foreseeable future then

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14

Fully-fledged? Does this mean their efforts to date have only been half-assed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubau,

It's already finished! All they have to do is fill it!

Sounds like your final desperate attempt to have them forge ahead with the plan. But they can't go ahead with it without any legitimate reason and justification. And, mind you, there's no such reason and justification of why the Henoko relocation is necessary. Close Futenma unconditionally!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

wtfjapan,

ah well then Futenma will stay where it is for the foreseeable future then

Can't you understand the U.S. has no legitimate right to demand a quid pro quo in exchange for Futenma's return? 

Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private land and so demanding something for its return is like a thief demanding a collateral for the return of stolen goods. Your logic is nothing different from a hooligan's.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think Futenma will stay, Henoko will never be finished. The greedy rent grabbing landowners may have some part in it. It will probably never be returned. Perhaps one day 20 years in the future when l may be dead and gone.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Land fill may be carried out quite easily in the shallow waters on the south side of the Henoko point (Camp Schwab). But the other side will be a real problem The waters there are very deep and some part of the sea bed is reported to be as soft as mayonnaise.

One, you are wrong, the construction will be sound as there are plenty of other sites that were deeper and posed significantly larger problems. Not to mention that the initial plan and the current one being implemented changed the size and dimensions of the landfill, brought in to adjoin the shore line and totally avoid deep water.

I have pointed out in numerous posts the lessons learned from the Nishizaki landfill. This is a non issue!

Sounds like your final desperate attempt to have them forge ahead with the plan. But they can't go ahead with it without any legitimate reason and justification. And, mind you, there's no such reason and justification of why the Henoko relocation is necessary. Close Futenma unconditionally!

You are just copying and pasting an old, worn out, and irrelevant comment here. It has plainly been explained on far too many occasions, there is no need to repeat it again.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A very unfortunate decision that reveals how much the Japanese government disrespects the will of the Okinawan people.

Nowhere in a developed democratic nation would it be possible to blatantly ignore the will of the people of a whole prefecture or region and force an unwanted foreign military base upon them.

It is the result of structural discrimination that Okinawan people have experienced since they were forced to become a part of Japan and it shows us that democracy in Japan is still waiting to be fully realised. 

If Henoko is built the way it is planned it undoubtedly will be a thorn in Okinawa and mainland Japan relations for generations to come.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If Henoko is built the way it is planned it undoubtedly will be a thorn in Okinawa and mainland Japan relations for generations to come.

When the extension is completed all with all the other associated facilities and Futenma is FINALLY closed, along with the other southern bases the politicians will lose their pet issue and have to get back to the real job of actually governing their municipalities and the prefecture!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

the politicians will lose their pet issue and have to get back to the real job of actually governing their municipalities and the prefecture!

To call the base issue a "pet issue" shows deep disregard towards the Okinawan people, who by a large majority feel discriminated by the way the central government is handling the base issue.

This is not a small issue for the Okinawan people, it is about being or not being an equal part of Japan and whether or not receiving the same treatment as all other prefectures.

If the base in Henoko is built for the Okinawan people it means that the structural discrimination they are facing since generations is manifest for another some decades to come.

Okinawan politicians like Denny, and Onaga before him, are doing their best to facilitate the democratic will of the people in Okinawa. They are doing the right thing and Abe and his cronies are on the wrong side of history.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Okinawan politicians like Denny, and Onaga before him, are doing their best to facilitate the democratic will of the people in Okinawa. They are doing the right thing and Abe and his cronies are on the wrong side of history.

I truly wished we lived in the altruistic world you seem to think that these politicians are in now. Really I do.

We don't and no matter how much you say otherwise, less than 1/3 of the population of Okinawa have supported these politicians. Make whatever excuses or arguments you want, but that is a solid fact. Your opinion is that they are doing the "right thing" and that's all it is, an opinion, same as mine.

Except I am much more pragmatic about the situation, and will never see it as being "black and white" like you and other anti-base protesters do, and thankfully the government doesn't view it that way either.

You seem to think that we are going to be flooded with peace if the military leaves, and everyone in the region is suddenly going to grasp hands and start singing around the camp fire.

Rest assured that isnt going to happen, not in our life times that is for sure!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

o call the base issue a "pet issue" shows deep disregard towards the Okinawan people, who by a large majority feel discriminated by the way the central government is handling the base issue.

You think not? Do a little research, look at all the local municipal candidates that have made their living off of running as an anti-base candidate, even though there are no bases anywhere near them or where they live.

They show their "solidarity" with the other politicians, but they also waste the time and money of the areas they live in drafting and debating resolution after resolution crying out against the bases, and do little for the people where they live! Many built their careers on it, and many are losing now too because of it, as the same people are sick and tired of their inaction.

Yeah Denny won the Governorship, but he did win a lot of it based on a sympathy vote for Onaga too! He doesnt have the backing of the business community because they want a leader that works ALL the issues, for ALL the people and not just one issue.

THAT is what I am tired of after all these years of haggling! I am tired of Governors who can not do the job of governing the entire prefecture. I am glad the government is actually DOING something to ease the burden of the people of Okinawa by closing Futenma!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14 - Headline

The sentiments are strong but I don't think anyone's going to be permanently damaged by a runway. Land reclamation is a way of life in Okinawa; case in point, the major landfill for the 2nd runway for Naha Airport right at ecologically sensitive Senaga Island.

National security may be far from people's mind; but economic development and good-paying jobs aren't. Look the the spanking new Aeon Rycom Mall. Underused for all the glamour and publicity. People simply don't have money.

Anyone listening, strive to make Oki into a Singapore- type model or a Kaohsiung international transshipment hub.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is from an editorial by the Asahi Shimbun:

"The Abe administration’s action tramples on the wishes of people in Okinawa and ignores the established procedures for settling such a dispute. Its high-handed behavior is totally unacceptable.”

The Asahi points out that the base is going to cause an ecological disaster:

"More than 5,800 species of living things, including 262 endangered species, have been confirmed to inhabit Oura Bay off Henoko.

“It should not be forgotten that the dumping of earth and sand would cause immeasurable damage to this fertile sea."

The U.S. military ought to get out Okinawa. Then the prefecture can start to breathe.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Anyone listening, strive to make Oki into a Singapore- type model or a Kaohsiung international transshipment hub.

ANA Cargo has made Naha AP into the hub terminal for a large part of it's cargo business throughout SE Asia.

They have cargo jets flying into Naha nightly from all over Japan and Asia. The business is going to get even larger with the new runway as well.

http://www.anacargo.jp/company/en/business.html

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

OoOoO there are some spicy commenters on the boards this evening!

The comment of Japan not being a democracy is absolutely laughable but unsurprising being the ridiculous post shared by that commenter in the past. Democracy is tyranny of the majority. Just because a regional population doesn't agree with a national issue does not mean the decision that's best for the nation does not see follow through regardless if its them who see the most impact.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

CrucialS,

Democracy is tyranny of the majority. Just because a regional population doesn't agree with a national issue does not mean the decision that's best for the nation does not see follow through regardless if its them who see the most impact.

You must understand under what circumstances the issue is being contended.

Firstly, the two countries are in a suzerain-vassal relationship and there's no doubt that the Abe government is simply implementing what was originally planned by Washington for the sake of the USFJ realignment. So the planned new base is essentially for the sake of the U.S. That's why posters like you are so hell-bent on supporting the plan.

Secondly, there's doubt if the majority of the Japanese people support the governmental policy to relocate Futenma's function to Henoko. There's been no nation-wide election in which this was ever an election issue. But polls can be indicators that the majority is opposed to the current plan. (See the Oct. 16, 2018 Asahi Shimbun.)

Thirdly, it's very doubtful if one can say this plan is the best for the nation whereby small prefecture Okinawa's sacrifice is very negligible and can be made short shrift of for the sake of the majority.

As I've been arguing, the Henoko new base is a white elephant both strategically and budget-wise. Without being able to refute this contention of mine, you can't simply retort against us, nonchalantly saying "Democracy is tyranny of the majority."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Democracy is tyranny of the majority. 

So how is it democratic if a central government can just ignore the will of the people in a prefecture or a region, CrucialS?

Please show us examples from modern democratic nations where something comparable happens, I'm curios to see what you will be able to come up with.

All modern democracies have rules in place there to prevent a simple tyranny of the majority. Even in the Japanese constitution, there is a clause about local autonomy the should prevent what is happening now in Okinawa. Unfortunately there is no independent judiciary in Japan to enforce such rules.

Anyway, even in Japan it would never be possible to treat any other prefecture like Okinawa is treated. That is what usually is called discrimination.

Except I am much more pragmatic about the situation, and will never see it as being "black and white" like you

You simply chose to ignore the clearly expressed democratic will of the Okinawan people, Yubaru.

We know quite exactly how the Okinawan people think about the base issue, from a lot of objective resources (all polls tell the same story 76% plus agains a new facility in Henoko) and there's no doubt that they support Denny's in regarding to Henoko, even if they don't support some of his other policy issues.

You try to look like someone arguing on a rational base, but your arguments are anti-democratic and supporting an authoritarian form of centralised government that doesn't care a care a rotten nut for the people.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Anyway, even in Japan it would never be possible to treat any other prefecture like Okinawa is treated. That is what usually is called discrimination.

The people of Chiba would love to see that bogus comment... Narita Airport was such an easy and well supported project...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

https://youtu.be/sWVflMcgsKY

Looks oddly familiar. It is also funny how beneficial this airport turned out for all of Japan

1 ( +3 / -2 )

All modern democracies have rules in place there to prevent a simple tyranny of the majority. Even in the Japanese constitution, there is a clause about local autonomy the should prevent what is happening now in Okinawa. Unfortunately there is no independent judiciary in Japan to enforce such rules.

Anyway, even in Japan it would never be possible to treat any other prefecture like Okinawa is treated. That is what usually is called discrimination.

Wow, far too many people here are making comments based upon TALK. Think about what you are saying here. NO ONE in Okinawa, no politician, no private entity, no one, has challenged the base construction at Camp Schwab on nothing other than a technicality in the application process. (Or any other base for that fact either!)

One would seriously think that if there were actual legal challenges to both the base construction or legalities regarding ALL the Marine Corp bases they would have argued it in court already, but no one has. Not to mention you are far off the mark when you say "in Japan it would never be possible to treat any other prefecture like Okinawa is treated." How naive or ignorant you are really.

Not just Narita, look at all the nuclear reactors that are starting back up even with all the local and NATIONAL opposition? You brush that under the table because you want to "feel sorry" for Okinawa, not to mention the countless other construction and developments that the national government has made in countless numbers of locations here that "locals" opposed, but happened anyway!

We shouldnt even be having this discussion period!

You can thank the Okinawan politicians for their inability to get anything done here that the national government was forced into action.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As I've been arguing, the Henoko new base is a white elephant both strategically and budget-wise.

Take your issues up with the national government, but wait, they wont listen to you either! Your opinions are just that, and the base will be finished thank you very much!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The people of Chiba would love to see that bogus comment... Narita Airport was such an easy and well supported project...

You are mistaken, CyburneticTiger. In regard to Narita there was no opposition of the majority of the prefectural citizens. The anti-Narita movement was by largely farmers from the area and the leftwing student movement.

That is a completely different situation. But also please note that Okinawa is not only a prefecture but also a culturally distinct region within Japan.

NO ONE in Okinawa, no politician, no private entity, no one, has challenged the base construction at Camp Schwab on nothing other than a technicality in the application process. (Or any other base for that fact either!)

You are wrong here, it was of course on the table to challenge the status quo by way of the local autonomy clause in the constitution (CHAPTER VIII, LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT). People in Okinawa were talking about it, but as the judiciary in Japan is not independent and reliable it was not seen as feasible, at least not up to now.

Any high court judge who might decide in favour of Okinawa would be degraded to a family court immediately, just like the judges who were so courageous to stopp the restart of nuclear power plants in Japan.

Not just Narita, look at all the nuclear reactors that are starting back up even with all the local and NATIONAL opposition?

There is not one case I know of where a whole prefecture rejected a nuclear power plant and was forced to accept one. If you know of such a case bring it up here, Yubaru.

Nether did this happen for a US base anywhere in Japan.

But of course in regard to nuclear power plants the strategy of the central government is similar with that regarding the US bases. A mixture of pressure and big money to divide small and mostly poor communities and make them accept unwanted projects.

Exactly what the central government is doing in Henoko and other places in Okinawa: offer big money and oversized development projects directly to the communities to corrupt and divide them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru,

Take your issues up with the national government, but wait, they wont listen to you either!

Certainly, our voice never fails to fall on deaf ears however hard we may take base issues with the central government. One reason is Japan is never a democracy. On the surface, it may be but never in substance. Another reason is, as far as security matters are concerned, that its dominating suzerain, the U.S., is always behind the curtain manipulating Japanese political scenes as if politicians, above all LDP politicians, were on wires. If U.S. citizens were suspicious of any Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election, Japanese citizens must be all the more suspicious of Washington’s meddling in the long history of post-war Japanese politics.  

Some scholar calls this tragic state of affairs, the Japan-U.S. relationshiop, a "client state relationship" (See Gavan McCormack: "Grappling with Clientelism: The Japanese State and Okinawa under Abe Shinzo," Japan Focus: December 1, 2018 Volume 16 | Issue 23 | Number 1).

Unless this suzerain-vassal relationship is rectified or addressed, the troubling U.S. base issues in Okinawa won't go away anytime soon.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You are mistaken, CyburneticTiger. In regard to Narita there was no opposition of the majority of the prefectural citizens. The anti-Narita movement was by largely farmers from the area and the leftwing student movement.That is a completely different situation.

You obviously don't live here because the majority opposition is the most overhyped thing rampant in western media that reports on Japan. If you spent any time amongst the people on this island the whole issue is the furthest thing in their mind.

The two issues mirror each other perfectly but you choose to ignore that because it doesn't fit into you dying argument. A group of small protestors and leftwing activists uniting against a government plan. The truth of the matter is that this is not discriminatory practice by the mainland. Similar events have happened all throughout the country.

But also please note that Okinawa is not only a prefecture but also a culturally distinct region within Japan.

Yea, the sky is blue and water is wet... My friends still consider themselves Japanese citizens, carry Japanese passports and root for Japan national teams in international sporting events regardless of their Uchinanchu ethnicity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

After your argument that other prefecture have seen the same treatment like Okinawa is disproved you try it the other way, that it is not about a majority but just a minority opposing within the prefecture.

You can't have it both ways, CyburneticTiger.

A group of small protestors and leftwing activists uniting against a government plan.

Elections, polls, local media, public discussions, all tell the same consistent story: a large majority of more than 75% of the Okinawan people are against the plan to relocate Futenma within the prefecture and build a new base in Henoko!

If you have any factual evidence that a majority of Okinawan people are supporting the current relocation plan bring it on. Otherwise just accept the obvious reality and stop misrepresenting Okinawan opinion.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Disproved? What are you talking about son? The two points are the same argument and give more support to my argument that the idea of discrimination is false. Narita Airport battle mirrors the Camp Schwab expansion perfectly. It’s a segment of the population that’s extremely active and vocal against the governments plan. The people or Chiba would have just as equal a claim as the Okinawans, however, it’s nothing about the people. They’re just unfortunately the people in the location most necessary to build Narita Airport/Futenma’s Relocation Facility. You can’t produce any evidence to support the discrimination claim.

Gubernatorial elections went to opposition candidates but all but 2 mayoral elections have been won by pro central government candidates. Following suit many district elections in the last two years have been won by pro central government candidates as well. Claiming elections represent Okinawans as being anti base/central government holds no weight.

Look at the media sources behind your mentioned polls. The Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times openly proclaimed to use their platform to influence anti base sentiments. So the accuracy and legitimacy of their polls and surveys is questionable at least. At this point Brietbart would be more honest and less biased than those two papers.

I know reality because I live here. I invite you to Awase. Come talk to my neighbors and friends to see where their real focus is at.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The two points are the same argument and give more support to my argument that the idea of discrimination is false.

There not the same. In Okinawa the prefecture opposes the central governments plan and a clear majority of the prefectural citizens oppose it. So you are simply dispersing untruth here.

It is discriminatory by the central government to ignore the will of one prefecture while never doing anything similar to one of the other prefectures.

If you don't get this simple fact truth is lost on you.

Gubernatorial elections went to opposition candidates but all but 2 mayoral elections have been won by pro central government candidates.

Are you only talking about City (Shi) or all municipalities? Because if it is all municipalities the situation is much more diverse and even in regard to cities (Shi) not all of the 9 conservative mayors are backed by LDP.

And please note that even outspokenly pro LDP mayors, like the ones in Ginowan and Nago, will never openly say they are pro Henoko relocation. They will say they oppose it, but bon't see any better option, so pro LDP doesn't mean pro-Henoko.

I suppose you are not able to read Japanese otherwise you wouldn't dare to spread such falsehoods. Even the Japanese central government doesn't dispute the fact that Okinawans are overwhelmingly anti-Hanoko relocation, even if they occasionally elect LDP backed candidates..

Claiming elections represent Okinawans as being anti base/central government holds no weight.

I don't get you here. In Okinawa not one candidate ran on a pro-Henoko relocation platform. They would loose if they did so.

So where is your pro Henoko relocation evidence? You're just stating your beliefs without anything close to evidence for a noteworthy pro-Henoko Okinawan stance.

Look at the media sources behind your mentioned polls.

No, there are many more polls by NHK, by scientists and academicians, online polls and soon there will be a referendum that will clarify the situation even more.

You are just trying to conveniently cheat yourself and people here into believing there could be a majority of Okinawan citizens pro-Henoko relocation.

As you have absolutely no evidence to back up your absurd claim you can only try to discredit existing evidence. Good luck with that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Elections, polls, local media, public discussions, all tell the same consistent story: a large majority of more than 75% of the Okinawan people are against the plan to relocate Futenma within the prefecture and build a new base in Henoko!

First off if you are going to post statistics like this it helps to share where you got them from. I can just as easily go out and find 80% of the people I asked who have no opinion of their own on the issue.

I have stated numerous times here, the referendum will be a resounding no to the question is people are for or against the landfill at Camp Schwab.

However, NO ONE gives any other options, sure everyone is against the construction, but no one gives any viable options!

You are wrong when you say "new" base, it's not a new base, it's a landfill connected to Camp Schwab. No one called Toyosaki a "city" when it was finished in Tomigusuku, nor Nishizaki a new "city" in Itoman, or Shiozaki for that matter, nor Mihama a "new" town in Chatan etc etc etc.

You all are just repeating what the Okinawa media has put out and take it at face value. Even when it's false and misleading!

Until you can discuss the issue as it being an extension to an existing base, your opinions are biased against it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oh when I say VIABLE options, I mean specifics, not just "move it to mainland" or "just close it", because neither of those are going to happen. It WILL go somewhere and that somewhere right now is Camp Schwab.

Remember too the referendum is non-binding as the prefecture has ZERO say in the foreign policy decisions that the Japanese government has made!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru (Dec. 6 | 09:10 pm JST),

First off if you are going to post statistics like this it helps to share where you got them from. I can just as easily go out and find 80% of the people I asked who have no opinion of their own on the issue.

Is this your argument against shimajin? who said:

Elections, polls, local media, public discussions, all tell the same consistent story: a large majority of more than 75% of the Okinawan people are against the plan to relocate Futenma within the prefecture and build a new base in Henoko!

Do you think your personal impression you got from your closed circles is more precise and reliable than actual election results and polls, media reports, etc.?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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