politics

Hearings begin in battle over relocating U.S. base on Okinawa

65 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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His appeal is honorable, yet is a court the place to be making impassioned speeches not related to the case in question?

He was on Hodo Station last night in a live interview, and he stated his case very well. I am not changing my stance on the issue itself, but it is only fair to give credit where credit is due.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Yubaru, Okinawa thanks you for your unsolicited and unimportant " pat on the head" gesture.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Yubaru, Okinawa thanks you for your unsolicited and unimportant " pat on the head" gesture.

Thank you for your totally unsolicited reply as well. It is well known here my opposition to Onaga and his positions regarding the base relocation issue here.

From the Godfather; Never hate your enemies it affects your judgement! fits here as I respect his opinions but that does not mean I have to agree.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Onaga is not an admistrator but a citizen activist.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Do local autonomy and democracy really exist in Japan?

No sir. They don't.

Onaga noted that following Japan’s defeat in World War II, U.S. occupation forces confiscated land from residents on Okinawa, and that the island was under U.S. occupation until 1972, 20 years longer than the rest of Japan. He said that Okinawans’ will is still neglected, now by Japan’s government

Very True.

The relocation plan is not very popular outside Okinawa as well. A nationwide survey in July found that a majority of respondents believed the government shouldn’t force the current plan.

There you have it. To force the plan is pure facism.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

No matter what your position is on this issue, I would hope everyone would agree that Okinawa deserves to be able to present its case and to be able to call Expert Witnesses to counter the Central Govt. claims on the Environmental Impact of this construction and the Defense of Japan Requirement for this facility. The Central Govt. should also have to fully justify why MCAS Futenma needs to be relocated on Okinawa and to provide details as to what other locations and options were considered and why they were rejected and how and why Henoko was chosen and why the landfill option is the best option.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Let the people choose: Henoko or Futenma.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Smith the people want neither as neither base is required to defend Japan

1 ( +8 / -7 )

YuriItani: you yourself said the opposite earlier this year. You said they are required to work together. Japan can't do it alone, and if you had your way Okinawa would be China, and you'd be angry at the US for not rescuing you.

Cut funding until construction resumes, and make it clear Futenma won't close until Henoko is finished. Okinawans's choice which... and they can thank themselves for any extended imaginary dangers of Futenma. But it's either or, not neither.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

YuriOtani

Smith the people want neither as neither base is required to defend Japan

Not at all surprised that you would order something that's not on the menu...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Ganbare Mr Onaga

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has kept saying that the construction of Futenma's replacement at Henoko must forge ahead for two reasons: First, a dangerous Futenma cannot remain fixed at the current site permanently; Second, the deterrence the Okinawa-based Marines maintain for the defense of Japan must not be reduced.

Note that Futenma is not the only dangerous U.S. air base but Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Atsugi Naval Air Base and Yokota Air Base in Tokyo are too. So if Futenma must be closed because of its location in densely-populated residential areas, so must be Kadena, Atsugi and Yokota.

According to the 2006 bilateral agreement, 8,000 to 9,000 Marines would move to Guam, leaving 10,000 Marines in Okinawa. Recently, though, it turned out that the exact number to move to Guam would be 4,900 core elements of the Marines, leaving 10,000 combat support elements behind in Okinawa. What does it mean? Certainly, it means Suga's deterrence argument doesn't hold water at all.

Interestingly enough, in this court case, the Japanese government added a third reason why Futenma must be relocated to Henoko. It says Japan's credit with the U.S. must not be impaired by not fulfilling the promise Tokyo made to Washington.

The whole matter clearly shows a reluctant Tokyo promised Washington to proceed with the relocation without knowing what it really means. It means Okinawa to remain a permanent U.S. military colony and Japan as a whole to keep undergoing the post-war regime of Occupation albeit its superficial independence, which is guaranteed by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Voiceofokinawa: "Interestingly enough, in this court case, the Japanese government added a third reason why Futenma must be relocated to Henoko. It says Japan's credit with the U.S. must not be impaired by not fulfilling the promise Tokyo made to Washington."

They only "added" the reason you mention because people like yourself evidently don't understand that living up to a promise should be a give, and not doing so out of selfish personal gain will damage relations with the party promised.

You really don't understand that when you promise something, especially with legal contracts, that you should do it (and not just expect the handouts)?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@ smithinjapan: Let the people choose: Henoko or Futenma.

Why only two option? Both locations are inside Okinawa "article says: But many residents want the base moved out of the prefecture and have picketed the area..."

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The relocation plan is not very popular outside Okinawa as well. A nationwide survey in July found that a majority of respondents believed the government shouldn’t force the current plan.

Though it's one of the governments jobs to provide national security, the people should have some say in how it's done.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Yuri is right. if the okinawan people don't want it, put it somewhere else. How about Kyushu or Shikoku? Japan should have bases to defend Japan. Why should Okinawa have to support bases that defend Japan?

His anti-base stance has also made residents of Okinawa, an island with a distinct culture, more aware of their identity.

Mark my words people. If Tokyo doesn't back down, this issue wil be the seed of which the tree of Okinawan succession will bloom

3 ( +7 / -4 )

in_Japan: "Why only two option? Both locations are inside Okinawa "article says: But many residents want the base moved out of the prefecture and have picketed the area...""

Because Japan has binging security legislation with the US, and the US is protecting Japan in Asia -- needed now more than ever with Abe's move to militarize Japan and isolate China. Posters on here have already pointed out numerous times that the voices of the Okinawan people don't matter because they cannot vote on national security issues -- they said those who don't vote don't matter. It does not matter if they are sitting in and protesting or not.

What's more, they can't want the bases moved out and still expect to be defended, and expect to get funding from the government -- but that's what they want; they want handouts and want to do nothing in return for them.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I see that some believe the people should have NO say in what it's own government does.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

smithinjapn (Dec. 03, 2015 - 11:28AM JST),

A promise is a promise, you want to say.

OK, but that reminds me of the early 20th man who promised promoters that he could jump off the Eiffel Tower with makeshift umbrella-like wings on him. He fulfilled his promise by actually jumping off the tower with a tragic consequence. Do you admire him for his valiance or do you think the promoters shouldn’t have forced him to act the folly?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Let's just make it a trust territory. Something like what Puerto Rico is. Japan doesn't want it, anyway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm beginning to wonder how many "Off-Base" Americans are living in Okinawa ? They probably have "privileges" that would "disappear" if the base was moved off the island ? (To Guam - for example ?).

1 ( +4 / -3 )

voiceofokinawa: "OK, but that reminds me of the early 20th man who promised promoters that he could jump off the Eiffel Tower with makeshift umbrella-like wings on him."

Really? A joint security pact between nations, one of which is constantly being threatened by surrounding nations, reminds you of a guy who promised to jump off the Eiffel tower?

That only speaks of your ability to compare situations, not about promises and not keeping them. What a moronic comparison!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Not at all surprised that you would order something that's not on the menu... but its been on the menu before most of Okinawas were even born. Bases have been there for over 60+years

1 ( +4 / -3 )

smithinjapan,

The promise we are talking about here is Japan's promise to construct a replacement for Futenma at Henoko. I argued in my post dated Dec. 03, 2015 - 11:17AM JST that the relocation plan was nonsense. Can you refute my whole argument there?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Move the US bases to Guam, which is US territory. Let the Japanese armed forces use the facilities they require vacated by the Americans. Return the rest of the land occupied by US installations to the government of Okinawa.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan’s government has violated the rights of Okinawa’s residents for decades by allowing a heavy presence of American troops on the tiny southern island, Okinawa’s governor told a court hearing Wednesday, the start of a legal battle over plans to relocate a U.S. air base.

No they haven't! If this old fella wants to vent his anger he should be venting it towards the leaders from the middle of last century that took Japan into a world war, which they lost. This is why there is, and always will be US bases in Japan. Furthermore, the strategic positioning of the US base in Okinawa is not an accident. Get used to it old fella!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Its ok for US to be around.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let the Okinawan people choose to.............keep the bases or not keep them

Furthermore, the strategic positioning of the US base in Okinawa is not an accident

Handy access for a holiday resort isn't it?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Voiceofokinawa: you have no right to ask people to answer questions when you refuse to answer others'. You still can't answer if Okinawa is part of Japan and as such falls under national defense. And yes, the promise we are talking about is relocation -- which you then chose as comparable to a man jumping off the Eiffel Tower to show us how out of touch anti-base thinkers are in terms of what it means to fulfilling obligations.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

You still can't answer if Okinawa is part of Japan and as such falls under national defense.

Historically it isn't

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Fighting Viking,

What privileges do you think would be lost by the moving of one airfield? Obviously jobs would move, but there are other bases to go work at on island or mainland, or follow the airfield to Guam if it did move there. Not sure what privileges you think Futenma gives.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Okinawa is a part of Japan, in fact the poorest part of Japan that is asked to bear a majority of the burden for providing defense for the richer parts of Japan. Not only are they asked to provide the burden for the defense of Japan but also for the defense of countries like the Philippines and other countries in Asia who do not want to host U.S. bases themselves but want the U.S. to defend them from the bases on Okinawa. Do you really believe that is fair?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Historically it isn't

What are you talking about? They've been a proper part of Japan for over 150 years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

smithinjapan (Dec. 03, 2015 - 02:31PM JST),

Where on this thread did you ask me the question which I didn't answer? But suppose I answered it with the affirmative "Yes," how would you answer my question? I have every right to know about why you think Futenma's function must be relocated within Okinawa despite the fact that the relocation has nothing to do with Japan's "national defense" for the reason I gave in my post of Dec. 03, 2015 - 11:17AM JST. ."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

japan4life

Do you really believe that is fair?

National and Regional defense isn't achieved by being "fair" because it is a collective concern that will always trump individual/local sentiments. It's why it's a federal/national response vice a state/prefectural one. unfortunately for Okinawa they are of prime strategic importance geographically and as is the case in real estate, it's location, location, location...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

smithinjapanDEC. 03, 2015 - 02:31PM JST Voiceofokinawa: you have no right to ask people to answer questions when you refuse to answer others'. You still can't answer if Okinawa is part of Japan and as such falls under national defense.

(The question really doesn't deserve a responce but ill take it, yes and yes. Though that doesn't mean citizens should NOT have any say in how the government wants to implement their version of national defence. It's not really a democracy if governments can do what ever they want without support of their citizens, right? )

And yes, the promise we are talking about is relocation -- which you then chose as comparable to a man jumping off the Eiffel Tower to show us how out of touch anti-base thinkers are in terms of what it means to fulfilling obligations.

(So because one poster gave an analogy, all anti-base thinkers are out of touch with what it means to fulfilling obligations? Show me where those "obligations" say that only Okinawa HAS to disproportionately house more US military than any other part of Japan? Or how the principals of democracy don't apply to obligations written by the US?)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's not really a democracy if governments can do what ever they want without support of their citizens, right?

So, because an apparent majority of one prefecture don't want the base, Japan is suddenly not a democracy? Last I checked Japan is a democracy, and the majority of Japanese DO want the bases in Okinawa. If this is not the case, the politicians who support the base relocation will be voted out of office, and the voice of the people heard.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Democracy only works I'm smaller population(Swiss) anything bigger it fails.

Swiss vote on nearly all issues which means weekly voting in many cases.

Try that in a large country = fail.

Demovracy is not the answer as the ancient Greeks found our, it only works up to a certain population size.

Modern countries need to find their own systems as democracy don't scale and is not the best system.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What are you talking about? They've been a proper part of Japan for over 150 years.

Formerly independent, until the Shimazu began interfering in 1609. Historically, Okinawa isn't one of the 4 main islands of Japan. They have never had a say at any point in their history.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

That's over 400 years ago! Where are you from? Australia? Canada? The US? Less than 400 years all part of those countries were not part of the modern they are now a part of. Should all of them be returned to their 'original' owner as well?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@USNinJapan2: No, Okinawa is not unfortunate because of its location it is unfortunate because it has to be involved with 2 countries who care nothing about it. Do you think the U.S. Military would propose to landfill a beautiful ocean spot and build a large military facility on it in Hawaii or California or even Guam? No because the public outrage would be too great and the governors of those places would be doing the same thing that Gov. Onaga is doing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Should all of them be returned to their 'original' owner as well?

If the people residing there wish it. Okinawa should have a choice which direction it wants to go. The US and Japan are afraid to give Okinawa that choice, in case they get the response they don't want

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If the people residing there wish it. Okinawa should have a choice which direction it wants to go. The US and Japan are afraid to give Okinawa that choice, in case they get the response they don't want

Utterly unfeasible. Just how far down the rabbit hole would you like to go? The Ainu or the original inhabitants of Japan. Shall we return their land to them? If so, what do we with all of the "Yamato" Japanese.

And lastly, sorry this is just not how government works. No one minority group gets to decide national policy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@takeda.shingen.1991@gmail.com: Are you saying that farmers, large corporations and the wealthy don`t decide national policy in Japan? It just depends on how wealthy and how much political clout the minority has. If you are poor and powerless like Okinawa, you are continuously crapped on.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Utterly unfeasible. Just how far down the rabbit hole would you like to go?

One thing at a time

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One thing at a time

Well? What do we do if andwhen the Ainu want the rest of Japan back?

@Japan4life:

Yup. Influence perhaps, but they do not in elections.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

japan4life

Do you think the U.S. Military would propose to landfill a beautiful ocean spot and build a large military facility on it in Hawaii or California or even Guam? No because the public outrage would be too great and the governors of those places would be doing the same thing that Gov. Onaga is doing.

Evidently you've never been to those places. If you have you'd know that they host some of the most major military facilities we have on what you call beautiful ocean spots. Hawaii, California, and Guam would all scream bloody murder if the DOD proposed to remove our bases in their jurisdictions. In short, you know not of what you speak.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

takeda.shingen.1991@gmail.comDEC. 03, 2015 - 04:31PM JST It's not really a democracy if governments can do what ever they want without support of their citizens, right?

So, because an apparent majority of one prefecture don't want the base, Japan is suddenly not a democracy? Last I checked Japan is a democracy, and the majority of Japanese DO want the bases in Okinawa. If this is not the case, the politicians who support the base relocation will be voted out of office, and the voice of the people heard.

(Do you have proof of your claim? I'm not saying that the majority of Japanese want all US bases gone but as the article says,

"The relocation plan is not very popular outside Okinawa as well. A nationwide survey in July found that a majority of respondents believed the government shouldn’t force the current plan."

It appears that many don't like the way it's being done and I'd be will to bet they would also agree that Okinawa is disproportionately filled with US bases compared to the rest of Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@USNinJapan2: I have been to all 3 places and the bases in those areas were built a long time ago before people became environmentally conscious like they are today. I am not talking about removing bases, I am talking about building a new facility by destroying a beautiful ocean spot. The people of Hawaii, California and Guam would be screaming bloody murder if the U.S. Military proposed to do in their ocean what they are trying to do at Henoko. People in Hawaii have taken on the U.S. Military before over an island they were using for bombing practice and the number of Marines scheduled to move from Okinawa to Guam has been decreased because of Environmental Impact concerns expressed by Guam.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

japan4life

If an additional installation on Hawaii or Guam was as strategically critical as those on Okinawa are, there would not be any opposition. Kahoolawe is/was an uninhabited island of no strategic significance and the revision to the plan to move Marines to Guam and the SEIS itself was possible only because there was enough leeway with existing federal real estate which could support a revised Marine footprint. If these cases were any different the outcome would have also been necessarily significantly different. In the case of Okinawa there unfortunately is no leeway. You simply don't grasp the uniqueness of the strategic importance of Okinawa to the US-Japan Security Alliance and stability in East Asia.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Formerly independent, until the Shimazu began interfering in 1609. Historically, Okinawa isn't one of the 4 main islands of Japan. They have never had a say at any point in their history."

You're talking rubbish and know it damn well.

Okinawa did not exist then, if you want to be picky; Ryukyu is the former name.

Ryukyu is dead and will not return, just like many other former kingdoms the world over that "died" and are now constituent parts of other states.

Your stance has got nothing with the issue at hand.

Okinawa is an integral part of Japain, just like Alaska is US's.

That Okinawa is a separate island and has a "distinct history and used to be independent" does not hold any water.

If you want credibility then you ought to start again, from the premise that Okinawa (not your defunct Ryukyu) is Japain, and that a Prefecture does not make national policy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@USNinJapan2: Just try building a facility like the proposed one at Henoko at Waikiki or Malibu Beach and see how much opposition there would be.

I grasp the strategic importance of Okinawa but I dont grasp the strategic importance of having so many dependents on Okinawa and so many dependent children that it takes 2 High Schools, 2 Jr High Schools, 7 elementary schools and more Day Care Centers than you can count for them on a small island like Okinawa. I dont understand the strategic importance of having two 18 hole golf courses, two 9 hole golf courses, 5 private beaches and a boat marina for the military on a small island like Okinawa. I don`t grasp the strategic importance of having most of the base land taken up by Military Family Housing, Dependent Schools and Leisure Facilities on a small island like Okinawa. Make Okinawa an unaccompanied military tour, make sure the land taken up by the bases is actually necessary for National and Regional Defense and return the excess land back to the people of Okinawa so that they can have a better quality of life, after all it is their island.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

japan4life

Unaccompanied tours will have to be too short and preclude any continuity and significantly degrade the mission effectiveness of the Okinawa-based forces. The same is true of any of the other USFJ installations. It's also a morale issue, which you probably don't have much concern for, but would you be willing to deploy there if you had to leave your family behind? I agree that some of the facilities you listed are excessive, but you'll need to talk to the Air Force about that. They're usually the culprits when it comes to facilities that even we in the three sister branches consider luxurious and unnecessary.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Funny, there is no mention by the esteemed Governor, regarding the referendum that allowed the people of Okinawa to choose, by popular vote, whether to become an independent nation, join the US as a US Territory or to rejoin Japan as a prefecture of Japan. The PEOPLE of Okinawa voted to rejoin the National Government of Japan and subject themselves as a Prefecture of the National Government of Japan. That means that the Okinawan Governor and his Prefecture are subject to the law of the Japanese National Government. If he and the Okinawan people wanted to be able to dictate their "national" policies, then they should have chosen independence as a Nation, rather than subjugation as a Prefecture of Japan, where the National Government makes defense and national security decisions, for the entire people of Japan, not just the people of Okinawa. Okinawa had its chance, but instead chose to opt for the financial hand-outs from the National Government of Japan and is still dependent upon those hand-outs, so Onaga-san, sorry, but you lack the authority to bind the National Government and it's for Prime Minister Abe to send the JGSDF in to secure the work-zone and get to work reclaiming the land so that the International Agreement between the US and Japan can finally move forward.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@James S. Du Pre: I was on Okinawa in the Army from 1967 to 1968 and have lived here since 1971 as a civilian and I have never heard of a referendum where the people of Okinawa were allowed to choose whether to become an independent nation, join the U.S. as a US territory or to rejoin Japan as a prefecture of Japan. The decision to give control of Okinawa back to Japan was made in negotiations between the United States and Japan. Please provide detailed information on this referendum that you mentioned.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Spoils of War!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It"S ME: Democracy only works I'm smaller population(Swiss) anything bigger it fails.

But they've got computers now ... and ATMs everywhere ... add vote tallying to ATMs and we could have elections every day ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have stayed out of this discussion as the overwhelming majority of it is a repetition and regurgitation of things said countless times before on numerous threads. It isn't worth it......until I read the following

Funny, there is no mention by the esteemed Governor, regarding the referendum that allowed the people of Okinawa to choose, by popular vote, whether to become an independent nation,

Never happened. Scotland had a referendum not Okinawa, and the gov has no intention of having one either, he lose big time.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yet the government and people of Okinawa did not agree to this new base. The Americans are occupying Okinawa as much as any invader. They scream beware the Chinese who never invaded Ryukyu unlike the Americans and Japanese. Now the Americans and Japanese want to kill off the last coral reel on Okinawa. I bet the farm that Futenma will not be returned. Not in my lifetime and if it is returned it will be turned over to friends of ABE and his cronies. Ryukyu needs to go to the United Nations as the Indigenous peoples of the Ryukyu Islands are being oppressed by the Japanese with the help of the Americans.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Stuart Hayward: "Though that doesn't mean citizens should NOT have any say in how the government wants to implement their version of national defence. It's not really a democracy if governments can do what ever they want without support of their citizens, right?"

It's not me who said they do not deserve a voice, it was strangerland and others who said those who did not vote for Onaga do not matter (and more specifically those who didn't vote, period) when pointed out that Onaga is not supported by a majority of Okinawans. According to their own logic, those who cannot vote for something do not deserve to have their voices heard, much as your voice or my voice don't matter on the issue, as such, Okinawans' voices do not matter on matters of national security since they cannot vote on the issue.

It's not my argument -- it's theirs. I happen to think we all have a voice is we pay taxes and are affected by the movement or the lack thereof.

voiceofokinawa: I asked you that question on several threads related to Okinawa, and you avoid it every time. When you answer it (and "suppose I said..." is not a definitive answer on your part), I'll address your question besides saying that Futenma does not need to be relocated at all, nor should it be until the agreed upon base is finished.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Onaga is not an admistrator but a citizen activist.

He's an elected governor of Okinawa. I'm pretty sure what he says hold some weight.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The bases in Okinawa were never built for the purpose of protecting Okinawa or Japan. The bases were built to protect the West Coast of the USA , Do some homework. I remember when the US Dollar was the currency of Okinawa. I also remember that the Okinawans were never asked if they wanted to return to be ruled by Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@YuriOtani,

What new base is being built? The construction only includes the building of a new runway in the waters and buildings on existing base property.

@nishinariku

I am pretty sure there are bases most likely on the West Coast whose job it is to defend that coastline. What does the US Dollar have anything to do with this? The Tokyo Government can easily refuse to sign the SOFA at anytime as the Philippines did with Clark AB.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

smithinjapan,

You say you asked me "that question" on several occasions on other threads. Was that question you say I can't answer if Okinawa is part of Japan and as such falls under national defense. Who disputes that? The answer is so obvious that there's no need to answer it.

The question is if this exorbitant U.S. military presence is really necessary for the defense of Japan and also if Futenma's replacement must be built within Okinawa on the pretext that the Okinawa-based Marines are a deterrence against outside threats.

I argued in my post dated Dec. 03, 2015 - 11:17AM JST that they are not.

The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation agreed upon this April stipulate primary responsibilities for Japan's SDF, among which is: "The Self-Defense Forces will have primary responsibility for conducting operations to check and repel such invasions." In all cases the USFJ plays only a supporting role for the SDF.

For example, suppose a contingency occurs over outlying islands. It is the SDF that has primary responsibility to deal with it. The U.S. Marines stationed in Futenma (or Henoko) in Okinawa, Sasebo in Nagasaki and Iwakuni in Yamaguchi may come to the aid of the SDF but only when necessary.

Under such circumstance can USFJ brass boast loudly, as some departing commanders did, that U.S. troops under their command are deployed here to defend Japan and are always ready to sacrifice their life? Isn’t this big U.S. military footprint, especially on Okinawa, something of a farce?

Smithinjapan, can you answer this?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

smithinjapanDEC. 04, 2015 - 09:18AM JST Stuart Hayward: "Though that doesn't mean citizens should NOT have any say in how the government wants to implement their version of national defence. It's not really a democracy if governments can do what ever they want without support of their citizens, right?"

It's not me who said they do not deserve a voice?

(How did you read that out of my above post? I said "citizens SHOULD have a say in how the government wants to impliment their version of national security" You already said Onaga has no right to do what he is doing because it goes agaist national security, I belive all citizens should have the right to challege or change national security policy when they feel it is wrong.) Do you beleive citizens should be able to influence government actions or not?)

it was strangerland and others who said those who did not vote for Onaga do not matter (and more specifically those who didn't vote, period) when pointed out that Onaga is not supported by a majority of Okinawans. According to their own logic, those who cannot vote for something do not deserve to have their voices heard, much as your voice or my voice don't matter on the issue, as such, Okinawans' voices do not matter on matters of national security since they cannot vote on the issue.

(That discussion had to do with wether the majority of Okinawa voters were for or against construction of another new US military base. Fact is, the the majority of those who voted in Okinawa were agaist building another new US military base. It's also a fact that if you don't or can't vote, you will have very little power to fight against agaist something you don't believe in, other than protest or signing a petition.)

It's not my argument -- it's theirs. I happen to think we all have a voice is we pay taxes and are affected by the movement or the lack thereof. (I wish that were the case but I don't know of any power we have other than what I mentioned, protesting or petitioning. If you know of another avenue that gives us a voice, I would be thankful to learn of it.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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