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Hatoyama says he'll start from scratch on Futenma relocation plan

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Confusion of politics is a sign of a nation's decline.

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Confusion of politics is a sign of a nation's decline.

quite visible for last two decades.

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It is simple, if Japan doesn't want the US military in Japan then the US military should leave.

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"residents oppose any new Marine base in their region"

Hey, the farmers in Narita opposed the new airport in their region, but they were overruled for the good of the country.

These Nago residents must realize even if they succeed in keeping the Marines out of their neighborhood, they still have the bosozoku to deal with.

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That's the irony. Japan does want the US military in Japan. But nobody wants it in their town. It's called Narita Airport syndrome.

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Hatoyama has said he wants a more independent relationship with Washington..

That degree of independence will call for Japan to protect itself to a much greater degree, which will require a great deal of military spending on both equipment and personnel. A military buildup in Japan will not happen in a vacuum, and will stir a reaction from neighbors, especially if a more right wing party comes into power at some time in the future.

It seems that any change in the status quo will create problems, and that the status quo is also creating problems. I do hope some mutually acceptable solution is possible, but I don't see any good ones.

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...even if they succeed in keeping the Marines out of their neighborhood, they still have the bosozoku to deal with.

Perhaps an elite squad of bosozoku could be the basis of a new Japanese strike force?:)

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Move it to Guam, Guam has an better tactical adavantage than Okinawa. Move it to Guam.

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Meanwhile, China is probably watching the widening rift between Washington and Tokyo with interest Let's not forget N. Korea Have the Japanese pay for the total bill by moving to Guam, I hope Hatoyama realize you can't trust China. I hope he remembers the gyoza incident 2 years ago.

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Hatoyama is as useless as his LDP forefathers. He is so concerned about trying not to be the LDP that he is wondering aimlessly through the political issues facing Japan today. With seemingly little thought to long term consequences.

In the end, no one will want the base near them, but those depending up the economic benefits will miss it once it moves. Japan can pay for and manage her own military protection, which might be this right wing leaning party's long term agenda. But the cost to this society will be significant and that is a long term risk worth angering a few locals over for the greater good of Japan.

Which by the way, Japan has never shown much concern over the will of the locals when trying to achieve something. Which begs the question, why the change?

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If Hatoyama has a clear strategy on Futenma/U.S. relations, or virtually anything else for that matter, can someone please enlighten me on it? It is almost unbelievable that the world's second largest economy could be so completely directionless, on almost every major issue -- foreign affairs, tax policy, pension reform, population growth, immigration, etc, etc. OK, Obama may have bit off more than he could chew in his first year in office, but at least he appears to have some over-riding view of the world, and the U.S. role in it. (Neither NYC, that will try the prisoners, or the town in Indiana, that will house them, were too pleased with the way he has decided to proceed on Gito, but he is doing what he feels is right.) Japan and Hatoyama are clueless. He's letting the folks in Nago determine his strategy.

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I'd be stunned if contingency planning for a mass removal of the bases is not underway now. Japan is not a serious security partner, and there is no real reason to stay and defend them. Hold a referendum, and if the bases lose, the US should get out regardless of what Tokyo says. What happens after we leave is not our problem once they ask us to leave.

We no longer need these bases as we have no legitimate security interests in Asia that cannot be handled from Guam (Korea can handle its own defense now). The US sun is setting, and the new regional power is China. Japan had better be either thinking of how to cut the best deal it can or building a serious defense force. They can afford to defend themselves, but prefer hiring a military to building one.

The US should not be attempting to hang onto its bases where they are not wanted, and Japan should stop depending on others and become a real country worthy of respect.

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Translation: The DPJ has no clear plan so the current bases will stay as they are....

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The likely outcome is that no decision is made and the Marines stay where they are...and we will hear the ever so famous line repeated yet again: "Sho-ga-nai".

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bdiego hit the nail on the head...just like everybody likes nuclear power but nobody wants the reactor in their back yard.

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Really, the problem is all Hatoyama's and it's all his own fault. He shouldn't have promised what he can't deliver.OF course nobody wants the base at Futema, but the power is all in the US's hands because if no deal is agreed upon, guess what, the noisy base stays where it is.

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JHansen

It is simple, if Japan doesn't want the US military in Japan then the US military should leave.

Naivety at it's best. Japan doesn't care, it's Okinawa that doesn't want the base. In any case, Japan wants US military support, but the Okinawan people don't want the base on their land. Unfortunately, they have no choice. They can vote as much as they want. It won't change anything.

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Japan does NOT say all US military support or all bases. Japan said it does not want one base of Futenma air base, "just one base", All bases except one base will remain same in Japan as same as before. I don't think it it too much to ask the US. I wonder what makes difference as 99 percent is still same?

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I wonder what makes difference as 99 percent is still same?

Maybe if you were sitting in the meeting to close the "years of negotiations and meetings" 2006 agreement you might know. If it 99% percent the same, why doesn't Japan just go along with the agreement as before? Not much different right?

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As long as Okinawans do not want it, Japan would have to change something better. The US can not do this forever because it did it for more than 50 years. The time has changed.

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kwatt

As long as Okinawans do not want it, Japan would have to change something better. The US can not do this forever because it did it for more than 50 years. The time has changed.

What's changed? Why can't they do this forever? What reasoning are you basing this on?

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"Guam has an better tactical adavantage than Okinawa. Move it to Guam".

Yes, because being a few thousand miles further from a threat is always a good idea?

"Japan said it does not want one base of Futenma air base, "just one base", All bases except one base will remain same in Japan as same as before".

And I have some land in Nago I would like to sell you. OK now.

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Okinawans do not want Futenma base because it is very very dangerous base, too close to residents. That's why they do not want it. Who will decide policy of US facility and base? it is surely Japan and Okinawa, not the US at all unfortunately. As I said, the time has changed.

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It may be naive to think there would ever be a referendum, but I think the US should be listening to the people most directly affected, not Tokyo. If we are not welcome in Okinawa, we should tell Tokyo they need to be moved to the mainland or we will move them to Guam. But we should no longer be complicit in forcing these bases on Okinawa just because the Old Boys wnat to continue outsourcing their national defense.

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---Yes, because being a few thousand miles further from a threat is always a good idea?--

Not always, but sometimes, especially in the age of missiles. Having the bases further from potentially hostile launch sites can give you more warning of an attack. If you have good long-range systems (which we do), distance can be good.

Also, would Japan be in as much danger of attack if the US bases were not there? It seems to me that the US bases drag Japan into US squabbles as much as defend against them.

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China might be dangerous to Japan, N Korea might be dangerous to Japan, Russia might be dangerous. Look at Taiwan, It has NO US base there. China did not invade it although China had a lot of chances to invade it in the past. Japan would be no problem without one Futenma base as long as almost all bases remain same as before.

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Kwatt:

"Taiwan, It has NO US base there. China did not invade it although China had a lot of chances to invade it in the past".

Yes because everytime China starts the saber rattling, the US sends an Aircraft Carrier from were? That's right Yokosuka, Japan!

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Taiwan and the Phillipines had bases there in the past.. we left or were kicked out and China didn't invade.. boo hoo! The same will happen in Okinawa, if we leave, there will be no invasion. Why? Because there is already an invasion.. of Chinese products and tourism to Japan and vice versa.. it is when there is isolationism that there is more money in war and acquiring natural resources of other countries..

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"Guam has an better tactical adavantage than Okinawa. Move it to Guam".

Yes, because being a few thousand miles further from a threat is always a good idea?

There is such a thing as being "overly" forward deployed. If you're withing missle range (Okinawa is) then you might be a little too close. Back in the '50s, the N Koreans didn't have the required missles to strike Okinawa, now they do. Guam is a better place for that I think.

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Crime Minister HatoMama is only prolonging the inevitable, because he probably doesn't see himself in office in May 10. If he does make it that far, he'll push it back a few more months to pass on to another stiff "elected" to the post. He has no ability to make any decisions at all, but once the dust settles, the Marines will be relocated. And if he lets a small village decide national policy, he's definitely been on that UFO trip with the Mrs, and is truly not of this earth...the nickname "Alien" suits him perfectly.

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During the Cold War, the relationship seemed? valid. However, the new mentality I have been exposed to after 1991 of US personnel, it may be better to reduce the Base footprints and put them in a country they regard higher. I have been hearing Australia? My experiences for the last two decades and the info on the internet, the US should look south. A more streamlined, backup contingent would be more appropriate for Japan, secondary. Not a major stronghold. A gradual opening up of Okinawa to commercial development. I thought differently before, but the new attitudes are no good, no go. There are people in the LDP that should join the SDF, and sent on missions.

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Yes because everytime China starts the saber rattling, the US sends an Aircraft Carrier from were? That's right Yokosuka, Japan!

Therefore Japan does not need Futenma air base anywhere in Okinawa. Japan needs only some Air force bases and Navy bases, not Marine air base and no marines in Japan.

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Kwatt, I agree... Navy and Air Force is all that is necessary to "project" power.. at the beginning phase of all these wars it was bombardment from the Air Force and Navy. In fact when we killed 30% of the Okinawan civilians it was mostly the 82 days of Naval bombardement during "the typhoon of steel"..

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vulcan...got news for you...the US still has bases in PI...

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No they don't... they may have some marines training their useless military for anti terror crap..but no bases..

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Base them in Osaka.Might liven up the city cuz in recent times Osaka is dead,with businesses moving to Kanto,the nightlife lame with the same bars churning out the same noise and the players recycled.

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skyguym42, MCAS Futenma and the Marine bases do not provide missile defense. They do not do a good job of defense being mostly support troops. sharky1, let the US return to the PI. The Americans money would go a long way there. Japan has nothing to worry about in regards to North Korea. What are they going to invade Japan with? Ferry boats and obsolete freighters?

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The same could be said about China.. they can't invade Japan either.. even if they did have a destroyer and carrier unit and 100,000 man parachute special forces team... they'd be knocked out of the sky before they got past Taiwan..this whole war talk thing is dumb.. It has very little to do with war.

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YuriOtani, the distance would allow for defensive prep before missiles arrived...warning is good. I said nothing about defense.

And as I said, we have the same goals; You want us out, so do I. The fact that our reasons are different should not matter. I want you worthless cowards to be on your own, you want us stinky gaijin out, but we both want the US to close the bases. Why are you arguing with me? We should be working together to remove the bases.

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Japan never underwent colonization-so the closest it has experienced anything is the US occupation [for better or for worse]. And, the current generation probably feels they need to assert themselves regarding their views on being a truly independent country [or not]. Hence, the view point of YuriOtani is valid

No doubt, Japan [and Germany] benefited tremendously from the US assiatance [managing to achieve the status of not only the biggest economy of Asia but also the second biggest economy of the world]. But in the grand scheme of things, many people in the current generation feel if economic benefits will accrue just as much from Asia as they did from America/Europe], then justifications for wars from within Asia is a bit confusing.

Unless, of course, the US can sweeten the deal with something that trounces the economic benefits of trading with China/Korea, I think there will be continued strong resistance to the bases. In the end, countries pursue the most advantageous and beneficial objectives, independent of emotional attachments or other such baggage. The US had provided a security blanket that enabled the nourishment of the Japanese economy, in return Japan acquiesced many decision making roles to Washington; the recent economic crises has upset these equations

I think the neither the US nor Japan will be taking anything for granted

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skyguym42, I would like to see MCAS Futenma closed and move the agree amount of Marines to Guam. I actually like most Americans those that reach a hand out in friendship and not ones would insult and use racial slurs. Coming off of the bases and acting like they were home on the block. I do not like your attitude and you should not use such insults in referring to the people of Okinawa! The PM is trying to help the people of Okinawa. The American agreement of 2006 is obsolete as well as the SOFA agreement of 1960. They need to be renegotiated to reflect current times.

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vulcan

No they don't... they may have some marines training their useless military for anti terror crap..but no bases..

You're right, but there are a couple hundred U.S. troops training and working with the Filipino forces against terrorist groups like Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf. Couple of my buddies came back from training there, but you wouldn't know how it's like, would you?

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palisadez54, so sorry the troops are not allowed to due that anymore!It goes against the anti human trafficking laws and military regulations (article 92 UCMJ hmm perhaps article 134). giggles suppose this will also clean up the areas around the American bases on Okinawa. Read it and weep American military civilians. I do wonder it the Americans will start over or continue with the all or nothing policy. In some ways I prefer nothing, the people of Okinawa will be just fine. We can employee the former base employees as environmental workers and hopefully set aside a lot of the bases as parks. The former base housing could be sold as "luxury housing". We did pay for it more giggle

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@YuriOtani:

I do not like your attitude and you should not use such insults in referring to the people of Okinawa!

As an American, I am convinced that the act of putting our bases on foreign soil is not good for the U.S. or for the host nations. The attitudes of so many Americans is obviously one of "we are superior to you." Such an attitude is bad enough close to home, but very harmful when carried to people in other countries.

We can employee the former base employees as environmental workers and hopefully set aside a lot of the bases as parks. The former base housing could be sold as "luxury housing"

Working together, the United States military, by getting the heck out of there, can help achieve a better vision for the region. It is not out of the bounds of reality for the U.S. to provoke a war in order to justify its continued presence.

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yabits, not all Americans are like that. The bases do have some positive things. It allowed countless Americans to see and live in a foreign country. A lot of them go out of their way to try and understand Japan and the Okinawa people. They leave with a better understanding of the world they live in. A lot of them volunteer their time and energy to help out those in need. It also allows the people of Okinawa to meet people from another country. This enriches their lives as well. As I always say am not anti-American. There needs to be a balance in Okinawa of the right size and location of the bases. MCAS Futenma is only a single airbase and the American government needs to understanding the desires of the Okinawa people.

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not all Americans are like that

Oh, I agree. But unfortunately, there are more than a few who are.

I was stationed in Yokosuka when I was in the Navy, many years ago, and came away with a great respect and admiration for Japan, Korea and the Philippines. But I always asked myself how Americans would feel hosting a foreign base on our soil. (I don't believe most Americans would allow such a thing to happen -- it would be a blow to our feelings of national pride and, yes, superiority).

I believe there are better ways for people to come together to experience each others' countries than via the military.

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It is not out of the bounds of reality for the U.S. to provoke a war in order to justify its continued presence.

I have read some pretty stupid things on this site, but this has to take the cake.

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Hatoyama appears to be caught in a no-win situation of either antagonizing local citizens or Japan’s main alliance partner.

Prime Minister Hatoyama: Your first duty is to your own citizens. Stop shafting them over like the U.S.-client party (LDP) -- "Japan is America's aircraft carrier" -- has done for decades.

The Cold War has been over for 20 years. It is time to face facts and move to a new kind of relationship that fits the realities of today, and not one based on the overblown fears trumped up by the United States.

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---I do not like your attitude and you should not use such insults in referring to the people of Okinawa! ---

I was referring to Japan's unwillingness to defend itself, not Okinawans in particular.

The PM is trying to keep his hired army in the most convenient spot for Tokyo politicians.....away from the mainland where there are more voters. He cares about the people of Okinawa as much as any PM...only during speeches about the bases, with no action following.

I doubt your attitude is liked by many on this board either!

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YuriOtani, what does my previous message about U.S. forces training in the Philippines have anything to do with Okinawan matters?

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perspective: google "smedly butler war is a racket" and "eisenhour military industrial complex" and you'll be surprised what the real experts think about war and business...

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perspective???? where'd you go? Did you google the stuff? I figure you did but don't want to comment on it.

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Christ, now I'm getting homework assignments?!! Ok, I'll look at it.

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we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

AW, have you ever known a military general that LIKED war? Or anyone that has experienced it that relishes the opportunity to do so again? There have been movies that have had this theme, the dishonest arms manufacturer that the hero exposes, and it is not really something new.

Two things to think about. The arms industry has made war too "humane" - when it is anything but. People now expect the US military to use munitions on a target in a precise surgical manner and then decry when there is collateral damage in the house next door, of course never criticizing the enemy for locating military equipment in civilian areas on purpose. Those shots of missiles approaching and hitting targets in the Gulf war were impressive but created unrealistic expectations. War is a bloody dirty business, that's why people should not want to engage in it.

The US ability to manufacture equipment and supplies for its forces and those of our allies, and maintain the supply trains to maximize our ability to project our forces, was what won the second world war, and what brought about the end of the cold war. This may seem simplistic, but we didn't fight the USSR militarily, we outspent them. I think anyone would agree that Europe is a lot better off because of it.

The quote above is from Eisenhower's speech - I think that the world, while not perfect, is a lot better place than it was during his time. I think that the United States, again while not perfect, does have the goal of human betterment.

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