politics

Hatoyama promises once again to settle U.S. base dispute by May

16 Comments

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Hatoyama must be thanking the stars above for such a perfect distraction issue as this base. He can make dramatic daily statements, cycle back to previous ones, sound nationalistic, sound pacifistic, sound authoritative and even sound thoughtful. All the while he is able to avoid talking about what really matters. The economy, jobs, health care, aging population, homelessness etc...

Why talk about something important when you have such a great get out of jail free card to avoid actually doing anything?

Useless leader, corrupt party head, uninspired party and no one to call them to accounts. Sad!

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The existence of American bases on Japanese soil is not a cornerstone of peace. Quite the contrary: It is a source of danger. And it is also a nuisance.

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Ok, who wants to bet the base dispute won't be settled in May?

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"The existence of American bases on Japanese soil is not a cornerstone of peace. Quite the contrary: It is a source of danger. And it is also a nuisance."

Easily said, but can you defend such a position?

Bases mean Japan can depend upon US protection and not have to spend as much on their own military.

The treaties allow Japan to remain loyal to their pacifist constitution.

The areas where bases are located benefit in jobs and economic benefits that will be very hard to replace in more isolated non-central areas. Japan cannot afford the loss of domestic jobs.

Income from military visitors to off base businesses would also have strong negative impact on the economies of base locations.

Japan's youth are largely saved from having to participate in the military today. Without the treaties, Japan would have to step up her own forces and that would require more people to fill those positions. It is conceivable, given the disinterest in military service by young Japanese, that forced service would follow. With an aging population this may be unavoidable.

Japan's SDF is far behind the US and some other nations in terms of technology and systems. Dropping US protection would mean developing her own. For that there are expensive R&D costs associated with participating in an arms race. That also means diversion of funds away from more necessary services in this aging population.

The presence of US forces in Asia does serve many positive causes including humanitarian, disaster response and anti-piracy services. Further these troops to help prevent more agressive conflicts with Russia and China over disputed regions. And their presence disuades nations like N. Korea from threating Japan.

Rebuttal?

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And it is also a nuisance.

so is spilling american blood in defense of the ungrateful japanese...so, grow some balls, kick us out, and live with the consequences

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tkoind2, thank you for your elaborate and serious reply. I would be glad to provide my rebuttal. However, this would expand the scope of the discussion. Moderator, may that be okay?

Moderator: As long as you stay on topic.

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tkoind2 at 05:58 PM JST - 29th January

Every other post on this topic should be deleted and only tkoind brilliant post should remain. That was spot on.

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Hatoyama should care more about jobless people than okinawa.

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memyselfI...maybe Hatoyama is looking at that issue. Although 20% of Okinawa's main Island is occupied by bases, only 8300 MLC workers (and IHA) are employed on base. Their wages are paid by the GOJ, not the US govt.

Also, with the population of Okinawa at 1.3 million, and 8300 GOJ employees working on the bases. I figure 830,000 are of working age, so this works out to about 1% of the Okinawan adult population being put to work on 20% of Okinawas best land areas! I don't call this good for the Okinawan economy..

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Here is my rebuttal. I respect the need to stay on topic very much, but my answer should be as complete as tkoind2's.

The aspects touched in tkoind2's post are 1) Saving effort from Japan by relying on American protection, with this also including the fact that most Japanese youth are not required to serve in the army, and the fact that there is a lesser need to spend on military technology. 2) The possibility to keep the pacifist constitution. 3) The economic stimulus, especially in peripheral areas 4) Various positive functions that are not related to military confrontations 5) Thwarting aggressive conflicts with Russia, China and North Korea. To these five aspects I would like to add 6) The national dignity of Japan and her people.

I will start with aspect 5, because this is crux of the whole issue. Today, speaking about a threat to Japan from China is ridiculous, as the friendship between the two countries is growing stronger from day to day. Yes, there is a territorial dispute with Russia, which is minor. As regards the threat from North Korea, there is a vicious loop here: The American bases are there to (seemingly) address the threat, but the threat is also CREATED because of the American presence: This loop will disperse once Japan dissociates itself from the project of changing the regime in North Korea. I return now to aspect 1: With the correct assessment of the threats, the military effort required from Japan is not greater than what is required from a large country in Western Europe. Aspect 2: The support of the American presence, which does not symbolize peace, makes the pacifist constitution void anyway. Aspect 3: Japan should not need this kind of stimulus: Instead of injecting economic demands via a foreign military presence, it is possible to inject such demands using other methods. Aspect 4: Together, Japan plus the other Asian countries form a mighty bloc, which can help itself in such matters. Finally, I conclude with aspect 6: It is contrary to the national dignity of Japan to be dependent on a foreign force.

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Aspect 4: Together, Japan plus the other Asian countries form a mighty bloc

Name two of your mighty dream Asia Bloc teammates?? OK, name one. Nations with territorial disputes probably shouldn't count, OK, but count them, if reasonable...

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Finally, I conclude with aspect 6: It is contrary to the national dignity of Japan to be dependent on a foreign force.

OK, so its against Japans dignity to be protected by America, but you propose to form a mighty Asia block, in Asia, with who? and thats not against your dignity because?? Maybe you think that Japan should roll the dice with the future?? Baby needs shoes!

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Just get the U.S off Japan its not like North Korea is going to do anything. All they do is talk because if they ever went to war they would completely lose.

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I really hope Hatoyama really does tell the U.S. to take all their troops out. U.S. should just forget Japan anyways, everything is all "Made in China" now.

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Hatoyama probably means he will decide by May 2014.

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Hatoyama NEEDS to follow what the USA commands. He must. Japan MUST obey its motherland, mainland and lord the U.S.A.

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