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Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives

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By KOJI UEDA

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Hey, I have an idea! Why not build the new base on one of those disputed islands and shoot down two birds with on stone.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Kyodo News tells Ambassador Kennedy is expected to meet Governor Nakaima and seek his cooperation for the relocation of Futenma to Henoko. Nakaima has already reneged on his election pledge that Futenma's function must be relocated outside Okinawa.

So what's the meaning of her meeting Nakaima? Does she want merely to say thanks to Nakaima for his flip-flopping of policies, thus blatantly betraying democracy and the Okinawan electorate?

Initially, it was reported that she would hold a town's meeting with citizens. We also hoped that she should visit Henoko, the projected relocation site, and meet protesting elders sitting in a tent village for years. Instead, she is said to have her first-hand observation of the area from the sky aboard an Osprey.

Apparently, there are some unseen forces behind the scene trying to prevent her from a direct contact with ordinary citizens.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Not in my back yard, Passing the parcel, A shell game, call it what ever its still the same for the Okinawans that the base is in their area. At the end of the day Okinawa is the best area from a strategic point of view, and local economie. Man dose not live on Pineapples alone.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

A flight in an Osprey? Not tempting fate, are we?

The shell-game of moving the unwanted base to a different contentious area only shows that the US's puppet regime in Tokyo doesn't give a flyin' fleck about the wishes of its serfs in Okinawa.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I've lived on Okinawa for over 34 years and if there was ever a one sided viewpoint for "no bases" its Okinawa. It's not a democracy when anti base supporters in all news media are constantly bombarding us with only anti base comments and articles. Show some of the positive contributions that Americans are contributing to here. There are a majority of the Okinawan's who strongly agree to the economic and security reasons for the bases here on Okinawa. LET THEM BE HEARD! The Nago Mayoral race was close and those 13,000 votes for the other mayoral candidate cannot be ignored. Toursim is not supporting Okinawa only over $700 million dollars annually is being pumped into the local economy.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The issue of military bases is a Japan's domestic issue. When the Okinawans object to the military bases, the Japanese mass media keep screaming that the US-Japanese Security Treaty is being violated and Japanese security and well being are threatened. Even if they or their loved ones are killed or raped by American soldiers, or are subjected to noise pollution, crashes of military planes, or missile discharges, Japan expects the Okinawans to endure this and accept the bases silently, because it is for the benefit of Japan. The Japanese government has bought the lives and livelihoods of Okinawans by having two-thirds of the American bases in the islands for the price of stimulation and development. Maybe it's time for some of the bases to move to Honshu for more of a equal distribution.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Oh yeah - really one-sided, those noisy antibase Okinawans. Like the tens of thousands of Americans and enormous contracting firms that make comfortable easy livings here don't ever try to exert influence through their Congressional representatives and lobbyists?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

more than 300 protesters, many of them families with children,

Naha has a population of around 320,000 so 300 is about 1% and undoubtedly includes more than a few paid protesters.

@Mr. Japan:

I, an American, have live in Japan for more than 40 years and I can assure you that you are completely full of crap. By the way, the Japanese don't like being called "Japs".

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I absolutely don't see anything will change except for maybe reducing the number of troops, but a complete removal, I seriously doubt it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Correction, that would be about .1%.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't have any issues with Americans or the military but I wouldn't want ANYONE forcing themselves into my area, my hometown, my livelihood, under and circumstances.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A few paid protesters? Who is paying? Okinawa is paying through the nose, and the bribes are coming from the Japanese government. Japanese taxpayers also have to pay a sympathy budget (omoyiyari) on top of the hosting. And does it make Japan safe, or make it a target as US militarism worlwide, sustained by bases such as those in Okinawa and elsewhere, which enable drone strikes and visit death upon countless civilians? Since the days of Vietname and before, where my government rained napalm upon the peasants of Vietnam, we have tried to explain it all away by claiming we we making things safe for democracy. My friend Allen Nelson was a Vietnam vet, traumatized by the military training which taught him to devalue the life of the enemy. We can point to threats by China, N. Korea, etc, but these threats are largely created by us, as we do all we can to make them defensive. Reseach how many times the US nearly dropped atomic bombs on N Korea to see that our military has a hand in upping the sense of danger so that people will claim that we are needed to defend the peace. We are only defending the right of the military industrial complex to profit from an always war footing. The Okinawans are singing the same song we sang in the 60s, remembering how they were town off their own land by US forces and how the Japanese government is an accomplice in this: "We shall not be moved".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

True Okinawa

The Nago Mayoral race was close and those 13,000 votes for the other mayoral candidate cannot be ignored.

What on Earth are you talking about?

In spite of dirty tricks by the LDP and offers of bribery, Inamine walked home. Inamine received 19,839 votes, to 15,684 votes for the LDP puppet Suematsu, 65.

Read about it:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/4068

As to the other point you raise, of course, Americans are doing good things in Okinawa as well. Individual Americans are most welcome here. The American military, however, is not.

If there were an act of aggression against Japan, Okinawa would take the hit. There are many Okinawans alive who remember going through this movie before, when Okinawa took the major hit of land invasion in WWII. And these guys talk. So their sons and daughters know about it too. And they don't want history repeated.

The U.S.A. has used Okinawa as a colony for 70 years.

It's time the military went!

Bye!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@bertie

As to the other point you raise, of course, Americans are doing good things in Okinawa as well. Individual Americans are most welcome here. The American military, however, is not.

As with everything else, Bertie, you are painting a VERY BROAD brush. Most of the military, how many are stationed there? So you mean about 95% are rapists! criminals? You are so far off. Sure, there are many that should get arrested and brought up on criminal charges, but to label the ENTIRE military as criminals is completely irresponsible!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

These arguments have been going on now for close to 70 years. The US has been a good partnership for Japan, and I find that opposition to a US presence on Okinawa is very short sighted.

The Ministry of Defense well understands that presently, the US taxpayer is paying for a very large portion of Japan’s self-defense budget. Gov. Nakaiama is proceeding along the right path, and it is the right thing to do for the Okinawan people. Do those who oppose base relocation wish to pay a tremendously higher tax in order to increase the Japanese military forces? If the Americans leave, they will be replaced by Japanese air forces … and it will be the Okinawan people who pay for this increased defense structure. The people of Okinawa are not at all “unfairly burdened.” It is empty rhetoric, and it is dishonest.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

bass4funk,

There seems to be a misunderstanding.

I am not saying that 95% of the US military are rapists and criminals. Nowhere in what I posted did I write anything like that.

Perhaps this is more clear: Okinawans do not want US military bases on this island. They welcome individual Americans, but do not want the military bases.

If you would like to read what Okinawans think about it, have a look at this open letter to Caroline Kennedy that appeared in the Ryukyu Shimpo this morning:

[Editorial]Dear US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy: We want the US government to change its Futenma replacement policy and cancel Henoko landfill

http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2014/02/11/13075/

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I love the guy holding up the "No War" sign. Does he know what he's protesting?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't see anyone protesting the build of the new runway at Naha Airport.

http://www.japanupdate.com/2014/02/second-naha-airport-runway-moves-to-construction/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@bertie

There seems to be a misunderstanding.

How so?

I am not saying that 95% of the US military are rapists and criminals. Nowhere in what I posted did I write anything like that.

Given by your previous rants on the military in Okinawa, you always make it seem like as if the majority of the military men are criminals! that's the impression you give off. I'm trying to think when did you EVER say anything positive about THESE good "individual" American service men. When?

Perhaps this is more clear: Okinawans do not want US military bases on this island. They welcome individual Americans, but do not want the military bases.

Yes, I am aware, but as some of the posters have previously stated, this has been going on for almost 70 years, the same old song is being played over and over again. You're not going to get the military out. It just won't happen. And again, as long as China is the way it is, that is being unpredictable, I can assure you that will not change anytime soon. They are not going anywhere, maybe shuffled around, but kicked out? Nope.

If you would like to read what Okinawans think about it, have a look at this open letter to Caroline Kennedy that appeared in the Ryukyu Shimpo this morning:

[Editorial]Dear US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy: We want the US government to change its Futenma replacement policy and cancel Henoko landfill

As if sending Kennedy will will change the climate of Okinawa

http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2014/02/11/13075/

It is an interesting read though.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm a military brat and have now been living in Japan in Saitama for almost 27 years. First as military dependent and now as a permanent resident of Japan. I see that there is a lot more trouble with so many unaccompanied young and immature military members in Okinawa., There is a lot less trouble in Tokyo area. For that I understand the opposition of the Okinawans. On the other hand removing the bases will cripple the economy! In the USA when bases are closed surrounding communities suffer and dry up. I'm sure the ones who aren't protesting realize this! I'm quite sure many businesses rely on the military presence to survive! The protesters aren't thinking about those who need the military to support the economy! And how quickly they forget how much those troops came to help the folks in Tohoku after the earthquake!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I will be surprised if Ms. Kennedy will be allowed to meet with anti-base people and she probably will not be taken to the planned site at Henoko. The U.S. and Japaneses Governments are probably afraid she will tweet "I can't believe they are going to destroy this beautiful ocean spot with an ugly military base".

The "all the bases must go or all the bases must stay" people need to take a realistic look at this situation. All the bases are not going to be removed because for the foreseeable future military bases are a necessity on Okinawa. However the massive U.S. bases here are too large for what is really needed. The U.S. bases are basically U.S. cities located on Okinawa. There are thousands of Centrally Air Conditioned Homes for Military Families, 2 High Schools, 2 Jr. High Schools, 6 Elementary Schools and numerous Child Care Centers and pre-schools. The Military has 5 private beaches, 4 Golf Courses, A Boat Marina and more Tennis Courts than you can count. The U.S. Military has a very good life on Okinawa.

It would be better for the Okinawan people if the JSDF did take over these bases. Because they don't need Family Housing or Dependent Schools, they don't need a PX or a Commissary, they don't need a Golf Course or Tennis Courts they would be able to turn over a lot of the land to civilian use and still be able to have a military capability. The JSDF would also spend a lot more money on the local economy because they would live, shop, do leisure activities locally, send their children to local schools and they pay Japanese Taxes. Have you heard of JSDF Naha Air Base? It used to be a U.S. Air Base and was twice the size it is now. When the JSDF took over, they were able to turn over half the land to civilian use and it is now a large commercial and residential area. They were able to do so because they don't require Military Family Housing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Bertie,

Thanks for clearing that up in your second post, because, the first post seems as if you hate everyone the American Military. So to sum it up, you just don't want military bases on the Island.

So, you're totally fine with someone like me, in the military, going their for vacation?

And to clear it up, I can't speak for the other branches, but, the amount of 'rapists' per capita is way lower than any average in society, not to say that that's okay, Military should be a step above in standards than regular civilians, but, unfortunately we need to do a better job of getting it to zero.

While I'm in the Military, I'm also getting a degree in Criminal Justice, understanding how the American Criminal Justice system works and the Military Justice System, as a person to see individuals convicted of Rape or Sexual Assault, I would prefer the American system be used. The Military system has loopholes and has decisions made by individuals who are not fully educated in Criminal Law, creating some weird Monarchy Law system.

All I ask, is if you ever see me, or the good people of the military, don't associate us with that hate you have toward whatever reason it is you hate the military, I assume it's because of the land issue and some crime issues.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@bleuren

Well said.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This issue has been ongoing since reversion. One the one hand, Okinawa belongs to the Okinawans, so if they want their land, if they don't want to rent it out for use as military bases, but want to use it themselves, that is their right. However, I have seen what ends up happening with former base land.

Shintoshi is a perfect example: a commercial district built on what was once a base. It looks entirely like what it is, a mainland Japan planned and populated commercial district. There is nothing to do with Okinawa anywhere, and it is neither owned by Okinawans, nor generating profit for them. This is what will happen to former base land. Mainland Japan will do its best to turn Okinawa into a Japanese Oahu.

Having said all of that, the US should leave. We can no longer afford to police the world, and as Japan is showing that it is willing to take up its own defence, we should let them. I suspect, however, that popular opinion will shift away from this as China and Korea become more threatening.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Many Okinawans oppose both the SDF AND the US. And it is bot just a small percentage. 80,000 strong surround-the-base demos have been going on for more than a decade.And the vast majority of opponents are also opposed to Jaanese militarism a la Abe and company. It is not a question of whose bases are better. They know war. They know forced patriotism by unrepentant pre-war fascism's cheerleaders i the dorm of the LDP, whos were put in power by US SCAP post war to dight communism. The anti war, anti base, anti rightist movement are one and the same.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Holding signs that read, “No base!” and “Bring democracy to Okinawa,”

It's like this - If there is "No base" then the Chinese are getting ready to bring their version of "Democracy" to Okinawa, please let us know how that pans out for ya !

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@atrueokinawan: well said. Who can justify the private beaches, marina and golf courses, and the billions of US dollars it costs to keep the whole establishment going on forever? OK, some who actually get deployed to a combat zone are putting their xxxes on the line but most are putting them on barstools. The occupation of Okinawa is colonialism at best, and provocation of China at worst, and let's hope it doesn't come to the war that all the politicians and generals seem to be itching for. @Mikesbo - Shintoshin is not my idea of a great redevelopment scheme either, yet plenty of Okinawans like it just fine. You are seeing corporate ownership like Main Place and the pachinkos and chain restaurants, but that's just Japan for you. If you look closer there are hundreds of locally-owned businesses, and the Okinawan people living there are enjoying a taste of big-city life, which is entirely their choice. It is clearly prospering, as would other land returned by the US military. The locals who are in opposition are getting rent, which they would also earn under different ownership. Bar owners will survive, those who outlast the permanent curfew.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have two items to put forward on this topic and to Ms. Kennedy if I had a chance to meet her.

a) Who has the most connection to the land in Okinawa - the government of Japan, USA, you me? The answer of course is the people in Okinawa whose ancestors lived there long before others. The rest of us, including the government of Japan and USA come and go - the Okinawans have a point that they have a priority claim to determine how the land is used. It is time for everyone to recognize this and talk out a solution for all.

b) People outside of Okinawa are saying destroying nature is a necessity for the economy and defense. The"economy" however is a man made item to help the humans enjoy life but humans cannot survive only on the "economy" . The "economy" will die if there is no nature-air, water, resources- - so as humans, I think protecting nature is actually more important to our survival than growing the economy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I like knowbetter's statement..... There, yeah, I said it...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Are any of these protesters from Ginowan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's totally hypocritical for the Okinawan's to protest the base movement from the point of "saving the environment", that is a joke beyond comprehension.

Red soil run-off, destroying the Awase shoreline with another uneccessary landfill, putting roads across virgin mountain areas that are home to an endagered species of a flightless bird (Yanbaru Kuina), roads through prime farm land, concrete and asphalt all over the place, and they biatch about one small section of previously unheard of or even cared about section of ocean?

There are hypocrites on both sides, but the people making the most noise down here against the bases are not even FROM here. They stir up crap needlessly.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Viki Lyn Paulson-Cody (Feb. 12, 2014 - 11:32AM JST):

Thanks for your concerns about Okinawa's economy, the life or death of which you naively believe depends on U.S. bases. Your are completely wrong.

Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State under the Bush administration, once stated the same line as yours when there was a prefecture-wide protest against this excessive U.S. military presence

According to the Okinawa Prefectural Government's official documents, Okinawa's gross domestic income in 2009 was about 4 billion dollars ($3,977,000,000; conversion based on $1 = 99), of which the military base revenue accounted for about 20 million dollars ($20,682,000). Percentage-wise, the base revenue was 5.2 percent of the gross domestic income of that year, quite a drop from 1972 when the ratio was 15.5 percent.

Of 5.2 percent of the base revenue, 1.5 percent was the direct contribution by U.S. service members and their dependents for their patronizing of local bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and what not. The rest (3.7 %), mainly base workers' salaries and land rents, was, and still is, borne by Japanese taxpayers (Okinawans included, of course) in the name of "host nation support".

It is noteworthy that business-people, hitherto the most potent pro-base elements in Okinawan society, have begun to voice that U.S. bases are a hindrance to Okinawa's economic development.

Naha's new city center (Naha Shintoshin) used to be a sprawling U.S. military housing area before Okinawa's reversion to Japan with only a few hundred Okinawans working there as house maids and gardeners. Now it's become a thriving business district with high-rise buildings, offering hundreds of thousands of decent jobs to young and eager-minded workers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@ Osaka_DougFEB. 12, 2014 - 01:17PM JST

People outside of Okinawa are saying destroying nature is a necessity for the economy and defense. The"economy" however is a man made item to help the humans enjoy life but humans cannot survive only on the "economy" . The "economy" will die if there is no nature-air, water, resources- - so as humans, I think protecting nature is actually more important to our survival than growing the economy... I agree with your comment, economy is for human not human for economy. There is a saying of a Native American (Red Indian) much before America wipe them out from their ancestral home. Here it goes....." when the last tree has been cut down, when the last fish has been caught and when the last river has been poison, then humanity will realized that money cannot be eaten as food". When the white men came to America, all they want was gold... but America was not a land of gold.... they were caught and hung a brass chain with lock with number plate on their neck, their wives and children were held captive and raped and their husband were send to find gold. And when they cannot bring gold, they were executed. In forty years of the white men entering their native territory, 40,000/ native American were exterminated out of the 60,000/ held captive. When a census was conducted again after 60 years of the white men entry to Native territory, none of the 60,000/ survived . All the locals were exterminated. That's just a piece of history.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many people from Ginowan think the new airfield is a ruse. Even if it is built MCAS Futenma will stay open. The new airfield is too small! The Americans will do a logic flip and say "regretfully" it will stay open but have less traffic. It is hard to say which is the better liar Tokyo or Washington. Really I do not trust either party and have been witness to 55 years of their lies and deceits. If you want to see a large turnout put the question to the Okinawa voters. American bases open or close them all. Okinawa unlike the "home" islands has a growing population. The bases restrict our growth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Steve Fabricant: Thank you. I think there are a lot of posters who have never been to Okinawa and been inside the bases and have seen what they really are.

@mikesbo: I live in Shintoshin and I agree that it has the Mainland Japan feel to it and sometimes you think you are in Tokyo because of all the Mainland Japanese. There are a lot of Okinawan people who live here, shop here and bring their children to play here. At least the Okinawan people can freely come into the area and use the facilities that are here. They can't do that with a U.S base. All you can do is look through the fence unless you have someone who can escort you inside the base. So which is better, an area that all the Okinawan people can utilize or an area that is restricted to them?

@paularenson: You are correct that many Okinawans oppose the SDF but taking into consideration that there will probably always be the need for either the SDF or U.S. to be here, I believe it is better for the Okinawan people for the SDF to be here. You wouldn't have the SOFA Agreement because SDF personnel would be subject to the laws of Japan also the SDF requires less land for the reasons I have mentioned before. The Okinawan people suffered greatly during the war and they are very anti-war but I just don't see a situation where Okinawa will ever become base free.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What part of the constructions work to build the new base will actually go to japanese firms ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Frenchy92:

Almost everything that is not of a classified nature. Having been in Defense Acquisition I can personally attest to the fact that local content is highly stressed and often there are "set asides" meaning that at least a certain percent of the project budget must go to local companies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“No base!” and “Bring democracy to Okinawa,”

What is wrong with them? So what a few stupid young American guys did something a while back. Hopefully those guys are paying for their mistakes. But other than that, don't blame the whole base. And it Wasn't the Americans that told them to kill themselves 70 years ago. If I had a son or daughter, (if my family being from Okinawa for example), I would tell them to marry a good American guy or girl. Doesn't seem like the country is bridging together much, does it?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's because the American government is forcing down their base on their soil. And of course the Japanese government is doing nothing but complying. We know full well that the Washington uses threats and intimidation to keep the bases in Okinawa, even though more than 70% of the population is opposed to it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Bertie

Very Well Said! Thanks for your informative links.

All I ask, is if you ever see me, or the good people of the military, don't associate us with that hate you have toward whatever reason it is you hate the military, I assume it's because of the land issue and some crime issues.

Bertie did not mention anything about crime related issues. The residents are bored and annoyed about the base including noise and Osprey accidents. He has opinion as local resident. It is the debate about the land use, injustice and environmental issues. That land is not belong to US or Japan. It is the ancestor land of native Okinawans. Using the land for construction of base is the same as robbing the land from native Americans. However it is no longer in Uncivilized world of wild west.

If there were an act of aggression against Japan, Okinawa would take the hit. There are many Okinawans alive who remember going through this movie before

Whilst DPRK flied rockets over Okinawa, the base was just rocket fans enjoying the spectacular show. In fact the base is welcome map for flying missiles instead of deterrence. That world is no longer in Saving Private Ryan or A bridge too far movies era. Anti Misslie system like Israel is more useful than current base.

There is some employment opportunities for locals because of base. However environmental issues and land space availability is long term issue. It has outweighted some economic benefits.

If I get to see Mrs Kennedy, I will invite her and show her the beautiful sea, jugons (rare sea animals) and lots of corals. She can perhaps enjoy riding a canoe,” Toguchi said. “And I must tell her not to build the base.”

That 12 yrs old does not want natural heritage of beautiful sea, corals and marine lives will be destroyed by in the name of relocating the base to one place from another. Does she hate the base? The answer is NO. However she does not love the base as mother natural gifts. The base is Man Made and replaceable. Nature is irreplaceable.

Australia is many times larger than Okinawa. However their government and people fiercely protect their natural wonder great barrier reef with any costs. Mining is the backbone of Au economy. It can make many billions for mining exploration and construction projects. However there reef is so precious and major tourist attraction of mother nature gift. Therefore Okinawa should follow the Australia for saving their environment issue too.

In the democracy, majority ruled. If majority of residents do not want, the base should move somewhere else in Japan. If not, natives should have to follow the movement of liberation of Ireland from UK.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posters here may know well enough that Okinawa is like a U.S. military colony that is forced to host the bulk of U.S. bases in Japan. Some posters, seemingly American, sympathize with us for the burden we are shouldering. But when we complain about it, many say we should lodge our complaint against Tokyo and not against Washington.

It's Tokyo that is responsible for all this, they say. Why? Japan started war against the U.S. by sneakily attacking Pearl Harbor and was defeated. Okinawa's plight is the end result of Japan's wrong doing, they say.

Does this mean Okinawa is offered to the victorious U.S. as war spoils or a sacrifice? The war ended long time ago with city after city in Japan being reduced to rubles and ashes by carpet bombing by B-29s and finally with two atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. had retaliated against Japan more than enough by August 15, 1945.

So it's hard to understand why Okinawa is still being offered to the U.S. military as a sacrifice because of the war that ended 69 years ago.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Octagon-san,

Thank you for understanding what I wrote.

Your point about the natural environment of Okinawa is well taken.

Even if Koji Ueda doesn't know how to spell "Dugong" :)

I have heard it said by older Okinawans that the beaches in the North of the Island were once very, very beautiful.

And what has the US military done to preserve this natural beauty?

They use the beaches for firing practice!

Any natural beauty has been ripped apart by shells.

As you say, in a democracy, the majority rules. In recent referendums, it has been clearly shown (71%) that Okinawans DO NOT want the US bases here. The Nago mayor was elected by a large majority, in spite of dirty tricks and attempted bribery from the LDP, on the Anti-base platform.

Nago doesn't want the US bases.

Okinawa doesn't want the US bases.

If the LDP were truly liberal and democratic, they wouldn't be here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You know, many Okinawans are just going to hate the US Military presence no matter what, forever maybe. There will never be a peaceful co-existence because of what some @&&hole soldiers have done and those crimes by the few will stereotype every soldier there. It doesn't matter if the military does have any positive impacts on the community, people will hate them.

It's sad really. Osprey pilots aren't trying to crash. Some soldiers have families there that are very respectful of the local culture. And I'm not a scholar of this, but I've read everything I've found about the Okinawa economic, environmental and social issues and have spent a significant amount of time there, and Okinawa has many major social and economic issues beyond the US military there that need to be addressed.

New airport runways, oil and gas runoff from local boats, and poverty is all destroying the beauty of the islands. The US leaving the islands doesn't begin to solve everything and will begin a whole new set of protests against Tokyo to fix the new problems. I understand Okinawans feel like third class citizens in their own home. Maybe if the US does leave someday, Okinawans next goal, if people of their word, should secede from mainland Japan as well.

Can't blame the US and not also blame mainland Japan as well for the current situation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is unrelated. When President Obama went his homeland in Hawaii recently, there was lines of people demonstrated saying no military bases in Hawaii. It does not matter how many people did not demonstrate. So, Okinawan bases were unlikely to be relocated to USA. Economic benefit by keeping US bases? Are bases producing better economic situation than San Francisco or Hollywood? Or Hong Kong or Macao? How come Okinawan beaches are not utilized as bait for tourists? Oh, I got. Tourists would avoid to be raped by US military men?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Toshiko, you raise a very important point.

No one wants these huge camps of military types.

Okinawa doesn't want them. Honshu doesn't want them either, which is why they are in Okinawa.

Hawaii doesn't want them at any price, nor does Guam.

The drunken behaviour, rapes and fights are one thing. These guys are soldiers, after all. Very fit, large and used to fighting. So the locals who do not train every day and who are not so used to fighting feel intimidated by them. Several people have pointed out that it's the minority who do these things. But just one such act can have a devastating effect. The 12 year old girl who was gang raped by three US servicemen 10 years or so ago had her life totally ruined. It was such a terrible crime that one of these grunts when he got out of prison last year, committed suicide.

By their very presence, these huge bases bring danger. Guns, armed vehicles, warships and warplanes don't create an atmosphere of peace. You can only create peace through understanding.

If there were an act of aggression, much of Okinawa would be destroyed. If there were no US bases, there would be nothing here to hit.

Therefore the bases bring danger to this island.

Okinawans don't want more war.

They have had quite enough.

So they want the bases OFF these islands.

Not just Futenma.

All of them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Thank you Bertie: I think relocate US Military forces to Alaska might be better because N Korea has been threatening to attack USA with missile, not against Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@bertie

And what has the US military done to preserve this natural beauty?

They are military, NOT environmentalists.

They use the beaches for firing practice!

I'm from Southern California, we have "Camp Pendleton" where the Marines do constant training exercises. They have to train somewhere, or should they train in the city? No, right? So as long as they are in Okinawa, they have to use the beaches.

Any natural beauty has been ripped apart by shells.

I agree, it's sad, but that's the situation and everyone has to deal with it, wherever they go, they will always need to use the beaches.

As you say, in a democracy, the majority rules. In recent referendums, it has been clearly shown (71%) that Okinawans DO NOT want the US bases here. The Nago mayor was elected by a large majority, in spite of dirty tricks and attempted bribery from the LDP, on the Anti-base platform.

That's politics, I know, it's dirty, I covered it for over 12 years as a reporter.

Nago doesn't want the US bases.

Okinawa doesn't want the US bases.

That may be, but they will remain in Okinawa for a very long time or at least until there is 100% peace in the region and no one can predict that.

If the LDP were truly liberal and democratic, they wouldn't be here.

If Japan didn't do what it did 70 years ago, the US wouldn't be there either. Handle it.

Therefore the bases bring danger to this island.

And you think China wouldn't be a danger???

Okinawans don't want more war.

NO ONE wants war, NO ONE!

They have had quite enough.

So they want the bases OFF these islands.

Not just Futenma.

All of them.

That will never happen, NO matter how many temper tantrums people have. It just won't happen, maybe a possible relocation, but a complete withdrawal, hardly.

@toshiko

I think relocate US Military forces to Alaska might be better because N Korea has been threatening to attack USA with missile, not against Okinawa.

Don't need to, there are already 9 military bases in Alaska.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@bass4: Do you knpw any place they can be welcomed in West Coast?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do you knpw any place they can be welcomed in West Coast?

For Japan's defense, Okinawa.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bass4funk (Feb. 13, 2014 - 06:54AM JST )says:

If Japan didn't do what it did 70 years ago, the US wouldn't be there either. Handle it.

Here's a poster who claims all responsibility for Okinawa's sorry state of affairs rests with Japan. Japan started war against the U.S. by sneakily attacking Pearl Harbor and was defeated. Okinawa's plight is the end result of Japan's wrongdoing.

According to posters like bass4funk, then, Okinawa is offered to the victorious U.S. as war spoils or a sacrifice for the sake of the defeated Japan.. They are frank, candid kinds of character, telling the whole truth about the U.S. military presence here. Officially, though, the U.S. military presence is ascribed to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, a provision of which stipulates U.S. bases are planted here for the defense of Japan. The USFJ brass keep telling the Japanese people that their soldiers are ready to sacrifice their life for the defense of Japan.

The brass must be telling a big lie if candid posters like bass4funk is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wrote Do you know any place they can be welcomed in West Coast?

You replied For Japan's defense, Okinawa.

I@base4funk: I wrote N Korea threatend USA. Oh, you are saying Japan is USA Colony or territory. Is Okinawa West Coast of USA? Are you saying West Coast Okinawa welcoming them???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Steve Fabricant & atrueokinawan,

As I said, Okinawa belongs to the Okinawans. They should be able to do with it, their land, whatever they wish.

But, while it might be fine to have one or two Shintoshin-type areas on the island, I have a strong suspicion that every parcel of newly-available land will turn into something like that, a tourist area owned and targeted at mainland Japanese and/or tourism. Mihama, reclaimed land, is another touristy example. How much retail does the island need without a productive, non service sector to finance it?

I don't see much at all in the way of Okinawan businesses in these places. Like I said, some is fine, but I believe Okinawa and its culture will be parceled up and sold in pre-packaged bits for tourist consuption. It will become a mainland Japan theme park. What's more, it will move from financial dependence on the US to dependence on a tourist economy. I wish more for it than that.

voiceofokinawa,

The US wants bases in Asia. Mainland Japan has so far wanted the US to provide for its military defence. Mainland Japan has always thought of Okinawa as a colony, second rate compared to the mainland, so when it comes to deciding where to house this foreign military, NIBMY (Not In My Back Yard) is what it's all about.

The US has a good deal with bases in Japan, and Japan has a good deal shoving the bases on Okinawa. You need to work on both, and BTW, trying to guilt-trip the US with complaints of "criminal soldiers" (I studied this over 10 years ago and found that the crime rate of Okinawans was 3x that of the soldiers stationed there) is not the way to do it. Quit playing at being the victim, and work toward what you really want. If you complain about crime, the military will try to address crime...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is paying billions a year for the US to have bases there... (which normally it's the other way around, the US should pay for the privilege to have bases in your country), it's hardly considered a "good deal". No wonder people all over the world are against the US bases in Okinawa.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@voiceofokinawa

Here's a poster who claims all responsibility for Okinawa's sorry state of affairs rests with Japan. Japan started war against the U.S. by sneakily attacking Pearl Harbor and was defeated. Okinawa's plight is the end result of Japan's wrongdoing.

To summon it up.

According to posters like bass4funk, then, Okinawa is offered to the victorious U.S. as war spoils or a sacrifice for the sake of the defeated Japan.

I think you got it twisted, more like, making sure Japan doesn't fall back or relapse to its once militarist past.

They are frank, candid kinds of character, telling the whole truth about the U.S. military presence here. Officially, though, the U.S. military presence is ascribed to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, a provision of which stipulates U.S. bases are planted here for the defense of Japan.

Which they are.

The USFJ brass keep telling the Japanese people that their soldiers are ready to sacrifice their life for the defense of Japan.

True.

The brass must be telling a big lie if candid posters like bass4funk is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Your stretching it way too much. Don't over exaggerate.

@toshiko

I wrote N Korea threatend USA. Oh, you are saying Japan is USA Colony or territory. Is Okinawa West Coast of USA? Are you saying West Coast Okinawa welcoming them???

And I was replying we have 9 bases in Alaska and in Okinawa and South Korea. It's part of "the Pacific."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And I was replying we have 9 bases in Alaska and in Okinawa and South Korea. It's part of "the Pacific." Surely nore than 9 bases in Alaska and in Okinawa and in S Korea. Are there any places that welcome Okinawan military forces? Alaska has air force bases. Are there marine bases? Isn't Mexico part of Pacific? But, like Okinawa, N Korea did not threaten with missiles.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@toshiko

And I was replying we have 9 bases in Alaska and in Okinawa and South Korea. It's part of "the Pacific." Surely nore than 9 bases in Alaska and in Okinawa and in S Korea. Are there any places that welcome Okinawan military forces? Alaska has air force bases. Are there marine bases? Isn't Mexico part of Pacific? But, like Okinawa, N Korea did not threaten with missiles.

So if the US "WERE" to leave, how long do you think it would be before China starts to come up on Japan's shores? Mexico is not being threatened. When has China come out and said something aggressive towards Mexico?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@mikesbo: Thank you for your response. Sanei is an Okinawan business and the largest department store chain on the island. Their Sanei Main Place in Shintoshin always has loads of customers no matter what day of the week it is. You are probably right that there would be more Shintoshins and Mihamas if the base land is returned but my point is that at least in those places the Okinawan people can freely go there and be a part of them instead of only being able to look through the fences at the U.S bases.

You are right about the discrimination of Okinawa by Mainland Japan and the majority of Okinawan people realize that the bureaucrats in Tokyo and their political lackeys are our enemy but we also know that Washington is not without guilt. I also agree that it is not good to characterize all U.S. soldiers as being criminals, rapists etc. While we should speak out and demand justice when crimes are committed, we should not try to cast all the soldiers as being bad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk

So if the US "WERE" to leave, how long do you think it would be before China starts to come up on Japan's shores? Mexico is not being threatened. When has China come out and said something aggressive towards Mexico?

I think the problem with your entire premise is "US is there to protect Japan (lol)". I mean I'm not sure how those bases are supposed to protect Japan at all.

And China is not stupid enough to invade Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@eiji

I think the problem with your entire premise is "US is there to protect Japan (lol)".

So you think Japan is totally and completely ready to take care of itself when it comes to China or even possibly, N. Korea?

I mean I'm not sure how those bases are supposed to protect Japan at all.

Take a history refresh course.

And China is not stupid enough to invade Japan.

Oh, don't be so sure. They have stupid enough reasons to do a lot of other crazy stuff and to even think like the way you are is that typical liberal minded, "naw, nothing could happen to me" attitude. But you do have a valid point, China is NOT that stupid to do anything to Japan, NOT while the US is here, you clarified my point exactly.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Then how will those bases in detail supposed to protect Japan? I mean what are those US troops actually going to do?

China has much to gain economically from Japan than just invading it. China is not as stupid and irrational and reckless as you think. As long as China doesn't react to US-Japan provocation, then it's ok.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@eiji

Then how will those bases in detail supposed to protect Japan? I mean what are those US troops actually going to do?

Then why have ANY military bases at all in the world. Heck, what are they all doing? Just try to imagine why.

China has much to gain economically from Japan than just invading it.

True, but you can say for certain without a shred of doubt that China would never attack ord invade Japan. If so, then you know more than the Japanese government, the US, the Pentagon and NSA.

China is not as stupid and irrational and reckless as you think.

So everyone between Japan and the US just don't know what they're talking about, but you do?

As long as China doesn't react to US-Japan provocation, then it's ok.

Keep telling yourself that.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Then why have ANY military bases at all in the world. Heck, what are they all doing? Just try to imagine why.

You mean FOREIGN bases? If your country is covered with foreign bases (which you even have to pay to boot), then you might as well say that your country is an occupied territory. Okinawa is still occupied by US.

True, but you can say for certain without a shred of doubt that China would never attack ord invade Japan. If so, then you know more than the Japanese government, the US, the Pentagon and NSA.

The Chinese leaders are not interested in or talking about invading Japan. Your entire premise is based on "China is evil and aggressive so it must want to invade Japan". On the other hand, you are SO sure that it wants to invade Japan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

bass4funk (Feb. 13, 2014 - 12:07PM JST):

You say I got it twisted when I said, "... Okinawa is offered to the victorious U.S. as war spoils or a sacrifice for the sake of the defeated Japan."

You corrected me by saying the U.S. military presence in Okinawa or, to say more bluntly, the virtual occupation of Okinawa, is to make "sure Japan doesn't fall back or relapse its once militaristic past."

In other words, U.S. troops are stationed here not to let the genie (Japanese militarism) out of the bottle. That means the USFJ brass's declaration that U.S. soldiers are ready to give their life to defend Japan is nothing but braggadocio to swipe a good amount of money from Japanese taxpayers in the name of "host nation support".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't be surprised China will join and together they conquer USA economically. Well, Japan Inc. crushed US auto industry and also electronic tech industry. Not Hollywood but Sony is now taking away TV business from Hollywwod after other Japan Inc, destroyed Sony. China and Japan together own almost half of US debt. Protect Japan from China? They will be together sooner or later. After all J culture is originated by China, Both of them are not blond-blue eyed people. They both use kanjjis, too. China and Japan war? Unlikely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mikesbo (Feb. 13, 2014 - 11:52AM JST):

Since you've brought up the crime rate issue, I looked the situation up in the U.S. The crime rate in the U.S. in 2012 was 2.86 percent whereas in Okinawa it was 0.98 percent. Okinawa's crime rate stands at 26th after Tottori (0.99%) and Hiroshima (1.00%). Compared with Okinawa's crime rate, the Okinawa-based U.S. military's crime rate is very negligible, you want to say.

But you forget the fact that the military is a special, select group that is different from society in general. Can you compare crime rates between the law enforcement force and society in general and boast that the former's crime rate is very, very low? We expect there should be no crimes committed by law enforcement officers.

You should know even one crime is too many if it is committed by a foreigner soldier purported to defend the country.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@eiji

You mean FOREIGN bases? If your country is covered with foreign bases (which you even have to pay to boot), then you might as well say that your country is an occupied territory. Okinawa is still occupied by US.

If the euphanism pleases you, then so be it.

The Chinese leaders are not interested in or talking about invading Japan.

I guess, you know more than the CIA, NSA, Japan, the US and China alltogether.

Your entire premise is based on "China is evil and aggressive so it must want to invade Japan". On the other hand, you are SO sure that it wants to invade Japan.

I don't think Chinese people are evil, but to deny and think that the signals that China are sending is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors and that deep down China is just playing games is dangerous as well as ignorant. Also, I never said, 100% they want to invade! I know they won't as long as the US is present.

@voiceofokinawa

You corrected me by saying the U.S. military presence in Okinawa or, to say more bluntly, the virtual occupation of Okinawa, is to make "sure Japan doesn't fall back or relapse its once militaristic past."

That is correct.

You say I got it twisted when I said, "... Okinawa is offered to the victorious U.S. as war spoils or a sacrifice for the sake of the defeated Japan."

Yes.

In other words, U.S. troops are stationed here not to let the genie (Japanese militarism) out of the bottle. That means the USFJ brass's declaration that U.S. soldiers are ready to give their life to defend Japan is nothing but braggadocio to swipe a good amount of money from Japanese taxpayers in the name of "host nation support".

If you want to believe that propaganda, then by all means.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Oh yes... I'm sure that China is scared of the US bases in Okinawa... even though most of the troops there are offensive forces that are deployed to the middle east and south east Asia.

You didn't explain in detail how the US bases in Okinawa is supposed to protect Japan.

There is no country in the world where it holds as much US bases as Japan does. Japan would do better to corporate with China than keep catering to Washington's needs aka "pax Americana world domination plan".

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Several hundred people rallied Tuesday ahead of a visit by U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to the Japanese island of Okinawa to protest plans to relocate an American military base there."

Out of a Japanese population of about 120 million.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Out of a Japanese population of about 120 million.

????? why are you mentioning the entire population of Japan when it's about Okinawa?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"why are you mentioning the entire population of Japan when it's about Okinawa?"

Because, believe it or not, this affects the entire population of Japan. But considering only the population of Okinawa, it's several hundred people protesting out of a population of about 1,400,000.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

bass4funk (Feb. 13, 2014 - 08:31PM JST):

I don't know your real self except that you hail from Southern California with a 12-year career as a reporter. You must know your posting on this thread concerning the U.S. military presence in Okinawa (Japan) cannot be given short shrift to as an anonymous poster's irresponsible mumbo jumbo.

Do you think you can take full responsibility for what you say about the U.S. military presence in Okinawa (Japan) on this thread?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@eiji

Oh yes... I'm sure that China is scared of the US bases in Okinawa... even though most of the troops there are offensive forces that are deployed to the middle east and south east Asia.

They don't need to be scared. They just need to be very, very careful.

You didn't explain in detail how the US bases in Okinawa is supposed to protect Japan.

Not the bases, troops that are housed within the bases.

There is no country in the world where it holds as much US bases as Japan does. Japan would do better to corporate with China than keep catering to Washington's needs aka "pax Americana world domination plan".

Yeah, well maybe in some Bizarro universe, but in the real world of reality, that just ain't going to happen anytime soon.

@voiceofokinawa

I don't know your real self except that you hail from Southern California with a 12-year career as a reporter. You must know your posting on this thread concerning the U.S. military presence in Okinawa (Japan) cannot be given short shrift to as an anonymous poster's irresponsible mumbo jumbo.

Mumbo jumbo??? ROFL Hey, Don't hate the messenger, hate the message.

Do you think you can take full responsibility for what you say about the U.S. military presence in Okinawa (Japan) on this thread?

Why should I have to? I'm just giving out the facts, but because you disagree with them, you think I should take responsibility? Come on now...

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

WalMart are full with made-in-China products. Media in USA mentioned Controversial Okinawan Military bases and they don't know why military men are there. IUSA are very cozy with China. They could be hoping China will buy more US Bonds to help US Financial cirsis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serarano

Because, believe it or not, this affects the entire population of Japan.

So you're admitting that Okinawa is holding the bases not for Okinawa but for the sake of Japan? wtf kind of an argument is that? Why can't the entire Japan share the burden of having bases in THEIR backyards?

But considering only the population of Okinawa, it's several hundred people protesting out of a population of about 1,400,000.

More than 70% of the population are opposed to having bases in Okinawa.

@bass4funk your argument is getting increasingly weak (which is STILL based on the premise that China wants to invade). China is willing to corporate with Japan as long as Japan cuts the right wing crap. After all South Korea is corporating with china just fine.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bass4funk (Feb. 14, 2014 - 12:20AM JST):

You said, "Don't hate the messenger, hate the message... I'm just giving out the facts."

I am interested to know who you are carrying the message for. Who are they?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@eiji

WalMart are full with made-in-China products. Media in USA mentioned Controversial Okinawan Military bases and they don't know why military men are there. IUSA are very cozy with China. They could be hoping China will buy more US Bonds to help US Financial cirsis.

What a hunk of garbage! Just because Walmart stocks it's shelves with cheap Chinese products doesn't mean that there is a cozy relationship with the country. That could go South anytime. Look, you can banter,dodge and get frustrated as much as you want, the US is NOT leaving the island, I guarantee you that. The day that happens is the day China will have the biggest smile on their face like that cat in: Alice in Wonderland.

@eiji

your argument is getting increasingly weak (which is STILL based on the premise that China wants to invade). China is willing to corporate with Japan as long as Japan cuts the right wing crap. After all South Korea is corporating with china just fine.

Sorry, the argument is not weak, I never said, they will without a doubt invade, but if you think China is building up their military and having these constant skirmishes with Japan is just a small cultural issue, you are so sadly mistaken. Also South Korea and China have a completely different relationship than with Japan. You act with certainty as if you know far more than all the intelligence community. You know for sure China will always behave itself, but the intelligence agencies that make a living on spying, intercepting and deciphering intel, heck, they don't know anything, right? By the way, even in the worst hypothetical situation, if the US were to leave all of Japan, you honestly think Japan has the power to stop China in any capacity if they would invade this island? I think deep down inside, you know the answer and it's sadly NOT, yes.

@voiceofokinaw

I am interested to know who you are carrying the message for. Who are they?

I'm not caring anything, just pointing out the facts.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Also South Korea and China have a completely different relationship than with Japan.

You're right, because South Korea doesn't side with Washington all the time. You've just admitted that the problem is political. And that the US is pulling the strings to make Japan conflict unnecessarily with China for their own gain (military industrial complex).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

China and Boeing are cozy.'' Latest one is following.

The aerospace giant said it would consider a final assembly plant in China for single-aisle planes, according to a report by Bloomberg. The world's most populous nation is expected to need 5,589 new planes through '32, according to the report. Boeing (BA) announced a deal with Thailand's Nok Airlines for 15 737s jets with a list price of $1.45 bil. CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric (GE)and France's Safran, said it signed a deal with budget airline VietJetAir for engines for 21 Airbus A320 jets. The deal is valued at over $800 mil. Boeing shares fell 1% to 128.13. GE shares fell 0.2% to 25.39.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@eiji

You're right, because South Korea doesn't side with Washington all the time.

And neither does Japan, so what's your point?

You've just admitted that the problem is political.

I NEVER said, that It's NOT or ONLY political.

And that the US is pulling the strings to make Japan conflict unnecessarily with China for their own gain (military industrial complex).

If you believe that, then you probably believe in the Tooth Fairly.

@toshiko

China and Boeing are cozy.'' Latest one is following.

The aerospace giant said it would consider a final assembly plant in China for single-aisle planes, according to a report by Bloomberg. The world's most populous nation is expected to need 5,589 new planes through '32, according to the report. Boeing (BA) announced a deal with Thailand's Nok Airlines for 15 737s jets with a list price of $1.45 bil. CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric (GE)and France's Safran, said it signed a deal with budget airline VietJetAir for engines for 21 Airbus A320 jets. The deal is valued at over $800 mil. Boeing shares fell 1% to 128.13. GE shares fell 0.2% to 25.39.

And? They also bought IBM, but I don't see the love anywhere?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

China and Japan are friendly, ecobomicallly and technologically. So is China and USA. China will not attack Okinawa. After all China and Japan are big US debt holders. Together, they will prosper while USA will be banKrupted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

You're missing the point. If what you really want is your land back, then go after that. Don't try to "shame" the US into giving it back by playing the victim to "soldier crime." Not only is it disingenuous, but you will, as I said, get the US military to focus on crime rather than what you really want.

In fact, you're giving them a way out of giving you what you really want. The reply will be, "look at all we're doing for you! The crime rate is down, blah blah blah", and you've done nothing to further your goal of getting your land back. There is a saying in English, "Be careful what you ask for, as you just might get it." Ask for what you want.

As for crime rates, I looked at the crime rate of US soldiers stationed on Okinawa vs. Okinawans. I did this 10+ years ago, so it may have drifted, but per above, the actual crime rate ratio is really not my point.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bass4funk

And neither does Japan, so what's your point?

You do realize that Japan is basically subservient to the US? When has Japan ever said no to a US demand? Answer: never.

If you were really a "journalist", then I would have thought that you know a lot better than that. No offense but you sound like a high schooler. I mean the tooth fairy? Really? I'm really done with you, you're a waste of time.

toshiko

China and Japan are friendly, ecobomicallly and technologically. So is China and USA. China will not attack Okinawa. After all China and Japan are big US debt holders. Together, they will prosper while USA will be banKrupted.

You are right, China and Japan benefit from each other economically. China knows this the best. It makes no sense for China to conflict with Japan, but of course the American arms manufacturers will be the only ones who will benefit from China and Japan spat. And they of course decide the American policies because they have heavy hands in American politics. It's all about the military-industrial complex (take note, bass4fun).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bass4funk (Feb. 14, 2014 - 06:30AM JST):

You say, "I'm not caring anything, just pointing out the facts." That's a bit different line from what you previously said. In the posting dated Feb. 14, 2014 - 12:20AM JST you said, "ROFL Hey, Don't hate the messenger, hate the message." That means you are simply relaying someone's message, not yours, to the world.

You firmly acknowledge that the occupation of Okinawa by the U.S. military is to make sure Japan wouldn't fall back to its militaristic past (Feb. 13, 2014 - 08:31PM JST). In other words, you want to say the ultimate objective of the USFJ is not to let the genie out of the bottle. On what basis can you say this is a fact and not Bizarro's mumbo jumbo?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You do realize that Japan is basically subservient to the US? When has Japan ever said no to a US demand? Answer: never.

Yeah! It's not like the Americans told Abe not to visit Yasukuni or anything... Oh wait, yes it is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To be honest, I don't know what Abe is doing. He is both subservient to the US and want to maintain his nationalist stance. But the bureaucrats in Japan are unanimously subservient to American interests, which ultimately decide the Japanese policies. It's the only thing they know how to do. They've been doing that for decades, so it's essentially in auto-pilot mode.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The demonstrator had their messages in English, Maybe they did not know Kennedy read Kanjis and Kanas?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mikesbo (Feb. 14, 2014 - 10:58AM JST):

You are the one who brought up the topic of crime rates of loclas vs. U.S. soldiers, saying if we want our land back, then go after that, adding: "Don't try to 'shame' the US into giving it back by playing the victim to 'soldier crime'."

You are smiting at a straw man of your own making. But, no, there's truth in what I say. Read my posting over again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These Okinawan people demonstrating with their wish. No War placard is fine, Peaceful Demo. Nobody has :For War" placard. Or do you like War? They do demo their way, Lucky they don''t do protests like middle east countries people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MORE actual people there want to have the base. The media should also report the other side of opinion of Okinawans. Other wise it will produce an image that all Okinawans feel this way. So many people who do this are not even Okinawans. We see the so many same faces in many left wingers events in main land as well. Some of them are extreme left, and teacher union people as a group activity, and many non Japanese I spotted the last year gathering sending free Okinawa message to send a wrong message to other countries. Please let them decide. The issue should not be used as a platform to express other people's political point of views.

I see the photo in this article some people carry the panel saying NO War. I think because the US presence in Okinawa, we have had no war for a long time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Chamkun: If foreigners can do demo,? maybe you organize stay base demo? Like Yes War, Yankee sama sama.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@toshiko

After all China and Japan are big US debt holders. Together, they will prosper while USA will be banKrupted.

Then you'd better hope for your economical survival that that doesn't happen, because that won't guarantee that there will not be a military conflict. Also, unless you know more than the intelligence community, then you can't say anything like that unequivocally and factually, you can say, "in your humble opinion", which you have the right to do.

@eiji

You do realize that Japan is basically subservient to the US? When has Japan ever said no to a US demand? Answer: never.

Really??? If that were remotely true, Japan would be saturated with IHOP, if they were really that subservient, because having them is a complete necessity.

If you were really a "journalist", then I would have thought that you know a lot better than that. No offense but you sound like a high schooler. I mean the tooth fairy? Really? I'm really done with you, you're a waste of time.

"Where?" Lol. So what does me being a journalist have to do with anything? It's my profession. So you think throwing ad Homs doesn't change that fact, nor does it mean, I cannot express my own personal opinion. Eiji, you need to stop drinking that Kool-aid buddy, and relax, no need to get emotional.

but of course the American arms manufacturers will be the only ones who will benefit from China and Japan spat. And they of course decide the American policies because they have heavy hands in American politics. It's all about the military-industrial complex (take note, bass4fun).

Again, watching to many episodes of 24? If you really think, the US is looking forward to an open military conflict with China, you are not only misguided, but irrational. There is no way they want that. I love how you think, the pentagon and the White House have nothing better to do than to sit around and plan and hope and pray that war can come, so that they can sell arms and make a profit, because that's the only thing that is occupying their ever thought process. Life has nothing else to offer America, but war and or planning to start it, because that's the only thing they know how to do, from sun up to sun down. Seriously, ROFL.

@voiceofokinawa

You say, "I'm not caring anything, just pointing out the facts." That's a bit different line from what you previously said. In the posting dated Feb. 14, 2014 - 12:20AM JST you said, "ROFL Hey, Don't hate the messenger, hate the message." That means you are simply relaying someone's message, not yours, to the world.

Meaning, I was stating the facts, relaying the message that the US bases are not going anywhere and I don't care, meaning, what the posters think. You are welcome for the clarification.

You firmly acknowledge that the occupation of Okinawa by the U.S. military is to make sure Japan wouldn't fall back to its militaristic past (Feb. 13, 2014 - 08:31PM JST).

I never said, it's the sole reason.

In other words, you want to say the ultimate objective of the USFJ is not to let the genie out of the bottle. On what basis can you say this is a fact and not Bizarro's mumbo jumbo?

Those are YOUR words. But nice try.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You do realize that without the arms industry, the entire American economy would collapse, because so much of the industry is connected to the arms industry? And without anyone to fight after the Soviets collapsed, what would the arms industry do? That's right, they make up new enemies. And China is pretty much the only superpower left to be that candidate.

Did you not hear the farewell speech left by Eisenhower, about the dangers of the military-industrial complex?

Eisenhower

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Sorry bro, but Eisenhower was too late; America is already overtaken by the military-industrial complex.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@eiji

This should hopefully, help you to understand things a lot better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_States

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/sectorandindustry/overview/sectorlanding.asp

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/08/10/the-new-top-10-giants-of-american-industry-apple-exxon/

1. America is still No. 1 in technology: As much as Silicon Valley gets derided for constant bubbles and crazy business ideas, there are few industries in which America is as dominant as technology. The reason for this is simple: Our technology firms are great at creating the underlying platforms on which other technologies are built. That might sound complex, but it's a simple idea. Windows is the basic operating system for computers. Google is the main search engine used by most the world. Apple controls the most profitable operating system for mobile devices. All these companies hold the most basic building blocks of technology, so it's extremely difficult to come up with new technologies that make them obsolete.

You're welcome.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa,

A strawman of my own making? Since I brought it up? Study your (recent) history. It has been the "crime" card since the early 90's, now "environment", as well. You're still not listening; I'm actually trying to help you, and yes it is the victim card, and it will not work. I've watched this for well over 20 years. It won't work. Go after what you want.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

mikesbo (Feb. 15, 2014 - 11:20AM JST):

You criticized me for what I hadn't said. But imagine. If foreign troops were stationed in your country and some of them committed serious crimes. Suppose also their commander said: "Hey, the crime rate of my troops is way low compared with that of New York City. Grin and bear it."

How do you respond?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

My point is that the US military will work on what you complain about and not leave. It doesn't matter what the "thing" actually is.

In the 90's, it was "criminal soldiers", and so they clamped down by limiting off-base passes, various policy changes, etc. Maybe it worked, and soldier crime is down, but they did not leave.

Later, the environment was added, shelling beaches, filling in the habitat of such-and-such a fish. They delayed the base-move to "study" the environmental impact, maybe moved bomb practice to more remote areas. They did not leave.

By complaining about being victimized by this or that thing, you're giving them a way out, because it's not about them leaving, it's about this or that thing. So they work on this or that thing rather than leaving.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

mikesbo,

I asked you above (Feb. 16, 2014 - 07:56AM JST) how you and your countrymen would react if some foreign service members deployed in your country committed serious crimes and if their commander said, "Hey, the crime rate of troops under my command is way low compared with that of New York City. So don't feel victimized. Just grin and bear it."

Will you be satisfied to hear the commander say, "We'll address the problem duly and in fact the crime rate has declined significantly since the days when serous crimes occurred more frequently but we won't leave your country however strongly you ask us to It won't happen."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

I said the crime rate was 1/3 of Okinwawans. I don't recall any commander saying that, and as I have also said several times, you're missing the point. The, "we'll address your complaint" not being what you want is exactly what I am saying.

I'm convinced now you are incapable of seeing this so I hope you learn to enjoy the US military presence, because what you're doing will not result in it leaving. I'm finished "discussing" it with you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Once again another American is paid to look the other way when it comes to the wishes of the people who do not want the bases.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

17% of okinawans are male older than 80 and 38% are female older than 80. Total of Okinawan people older than 80 are 55 % census data. This means more than 1/2 of Okinawan people were alive during WW II. This means more than a half half Okinawan people remember when first American force came to Okinawa. Okinawan people wejnt to welcome them, Then, USA mistook as Japanese went to attack them and killed them that included school children, Yankee Go Home feelings, they must havwe been keeping all those years.

I can't imagine these old people never told about their experience to youngsters

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The sad thing here is while such Okinawans see the Americans as interlopers, the Americans see such Okinawans as ingrates.

I write "such" because Okinawans are by no means of one mind when it comes to the bases. Here is a great long-term study by NHK

http://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/english/reports/pdf/report_13040101.pdf

Check out the data at the end of the study, particularly Fig. 31 - 33. For example, according to Fig 31, 77% of Okinawan's strongly oppose moving Futemna to Nago, as opposed to only 45% nationwide. That is just one very interesting data point.

Bottom life: life is too complicated for a bumper sticker.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@JTDanMan: Have you read Japanese language version of NHK study including essays by NHK Chairman and members of executive board? This year's, not last year's English version propaganda.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toshiko

No, I have not. If you would provide the link, I will. I read the 2003 report in both languages, and noticed no difference.

What evidence do you have that English version is propoganda?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

toshiko

That will not do. You assert that the English version is propaganda. What evidence do you have to support this claim?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JTDanMan: From my work experience

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toshiko

That will not do. As I wrote above, I read the 2003 report in both languages. There where no discrepancies.

I see no reason to doubt the accuracy of the Enlgish source material I have made available. You are entitled to your opinion on that matter, but if you wish to persuade, kindly link the Japanese version. i will read it, though I doubt many here will.

Here is how it really works: you claim the English version is not the same as the Japanese version. All you need to do is find show us how the Japanese version from the following differs:

According to Fig 31, 77% of Okinawan's strongly oppose moving Futemna to Nago, as opposed to only 45% nationwide.

As, I wrote, I find that a very interesting data point. It shows that the protestors to which this article refer do not reflect the public opinion in Okinawa.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@voiceof Okinawa: US overstayed in Japan too long. Which country has foreign occupation force for almost 70 years? It is not same as when Japan colonized (we used to say Japan stoled) Korea) or British, Dutch,Hiispaniad colonized Asia. It is now 21st century and still Foreign Occupation Forces in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is now 21st century and still Foreign Occupation Forces in Japan.

Agree or disagree with the US forces being in Japan, they are now there at the pleasure of the Japanese government. If the Japanese government were to ask them to leave, they would. Just as they did from the Philippines.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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