politics

Okinawa holds referendum on controversial U.S. base move

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The majority of Okinawans do not want the US bases,yet,there they are-democracy Japanese style......

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

If I live on Okinawa, I will support the base since my livelihood (economy) is more important than noises and other hazards. I will put up with them for my income. Those who are against may not have anxieties about their jobs and livelihood. Democracy is fine but job (Okinawa economy) is more important. Think how hard it is to be poor.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Personally speaking, the only thing to really pay attention to here is not the results, that is a foregone conclusion given the options on the ballot, is just how many people actually turn out.

I voted "yes", as being pragmatic about the situation I want to see Futenma closed, and all the other bases that will close after as well. All located in the most congested areas of the island. No matter the outcome, the government will continue the landfill off of Camp Schwab.

I don't want to wait for another 30 years for Futenma to close! And that is what it will take if the current landfill gets stopped!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This is a complete waste of time. The Okinawans have been "expressing their will" about this issue for quite some time.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japan's military alliance with the United States is seen as a key partnership, and Okinawa's location near Taiwan has long been viewed as having huge strategic importance for U.S. forward positioning in Asia.

Not to mention that Japan needs to protect it's southern border as well, and having the US assist makes a huge difference!

Anti-base folks live their lives in utopia dancing around a campfire singing kumbaya, and fail to acknowledge or accept the strategic location that Okinawa is located. They deflect, obfuscate, and change the discussion, but CAN NOT answer the question about security issues. They keep their heads in the sand!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Regardless of your position on the Henoko Relocation issue, I encourage you to read this article that appears in the Online Asahi Newspaper in English.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201902230024.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The majority of Okinawans do not want the US bases,yet,there they are-democracy Japanese style......

In 2017, more than 25 million people voted for the government parties, whose platform includes relocation.

It would be anti-democratic to let 1 million Okinawans dictate policy for the whole of Japan.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I think the Government is doing the right thing moving the base to a less populated area, and in a few years the matter will be forgotten.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The reason the bases are there is because Okinawa is distant from Honshu!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Okinawa should be never treated as "Shield against China".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Yubaru

I don't think you will live for another 30 years anyway, so don't worry.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am troubled by some Okinawan citizens being anti-USA bases. The bases pour huge money into Okinawa and provide jobs. If the bases are reduced, Okinawas economy will go into a depression. furthermore it is almost inevitable PRC will take over the Okinawa island chain within a decade without US protection.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@SchopenhauerToday  

If I live on Okinawa, I will support the base since my livelihood (economy) is more important than noises and other hazards.

Okinawan economic development is being hindered by the US military presence, not helped by it.

Okinawa has the potential to be Asia's Hawaii if the US military presence is gone.

@Ganbare Japan!

I am troubled by some Okinawan citizens being anti-USA bases. 

If US bases are so good, then mainland Japanese can take some?

Okinawas economy will go into a depression. 

It is the other way around, Okinawan economy will boom based on tourism growth.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

japan4life - thanks for posting the link.

I read a shorter article the other day about this and wondered why mainstream media hadn't picked it up in a big way?

I cannot fathom how such a major work, under enormous scrutiny, could get it SO wrong on basic construction principles and environmental consequences.

And the remedy it seems is a blank check combined with no set time frame.

I mean this is like stuff straight out of the 70s rapacious boom.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Doesn't matter what they vote on, the outcome will be the same; those bases will be built / stay in Okinawa. Their opinions mean nothing. You want them out, do what we did in Puerto Rico when we got them out from our islet Vieques. Enter their range and restricted areas again and again. Day after day. Politicians, the regular Taro and Megumi, the younger generations and the older ones. You will get arrested. You will get in troubles. But they can't arrested an entire population. Voting on referendums? How long has it been since you've been protesting and how much has your government listened to you?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A waste of time.Sure, the vote might go no bases,but the federal govt will ignore that outcome,so what then?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Okinawa, go independent from Japan and restore the Ryukyu Kingdom. By tourists from Japan, Taiwan, China and other Asian countries, the Kingdom will thrive hopefully.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

.

Time for the US to leave.

Way overdue.

Japan does not need Big Brother.

.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Schopenhauer,

Everybody knows how hard it is to live in poverty. 

Older generations know how hard it is to live in complete destitution through their direct experience right after the war. There was no food to eat, no clothes to change, no satisfactory living quarters, no nothing indeed, right after the war. Do you know those days when people had to live life just under the subsistent level?

We all know those days. So please don't pretend to be someone who knew better.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

IF/WHEN the bases leave, the jobs and money leave with them. The Japanese Government is happy right where the bases are because the bases/U.S. Government is a major economic program for the poorest prefecture in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Strychnine,

During BRAC rounds of the 1990s and in 2005 in the U.S. the towns and cities that were parasitic to military bases were strongly opposed to the closure and relocation of bases because, as you say, "jobs and money leave with them."

Of course, we're all prepared for an ordeal in Okinawa. But, no worry, there’s always a silver lining in every cloud.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They should have another referendum asking if they want Ginowan to remain open and those 9000 marines to stay on the island. Okinawa is acting like this is a defeat for them when if fact, it is a victory. I support Okinawa and want to see a reduced burden, that's why I support this deal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

After this referendum then what, Gov. Denny?

There will be a political stalemate. The national gov't will build the runway. Camp Schwab on Oura Bay is an integral part of Camp Butler; no shutdown there. Futenna will be gradually returned as agreed, as with Kinser. Only those landowners now paid excessive rental fees for the bases will be unhappy. For everyone else, life goes on.

Any economic development plans apart from base issues, Gov.?

Make your governorship a win for the prefecture; not be a single issue politician pandering to sentiments.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I cannot fathom how such a major work, under enormous scrutiny, could get it SO wrong on basic construction principles and environmental consequences.

Because there never was a real environmental survey done. It was glossed over without much thought.

Thank you Japan4life for posting the link to the Asahi Shinbun article. Here is the link in case anyone missed it. It is simply NOT feasible to build this new base.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201902230024.html

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Everybody knows how hard it is to live in poverty. 

Older generations know how hard it is to live in complete destitution through their direct experience right after the war. There was no food to eat, no clothes to change, no satisfactory living quarters, no nothing indeed, right after the war. Do you know those days when people had to live life just under the subsistent level?

We all know those days. So please don't pretend to be someone who knew better.

You of all people should never have brought this up! Far too many of the people who survived the war here in Okinawa are thankful to the US Military for keeping them alive. Far too many as well felt that Okinawa should have never been returned to Japan, and should have become a protectorate of the US like Guam and other Pacific-Islands.

The US military rained war upon Japan, but it also brought the peace, and saved countless numbers of Okinawan lives!

Don't ever forget THAT part of history.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Any economic development plans apart from base issues, Gov.?

Yeah...another gigantic shopping mall, due to open this summer, SanEi/Parco, named Parco CIty, on the LANDFILL on the east side of Camp Kinser. A mall that will be bigger than the AEON Rycom Mall.

Folks are too "stuck" on Henoko and refuse to look at the bigger picture!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The referendum is only to give the Japanese people the illusion of democracy. The US will have the base where they want it. As I've said on many occasions, Japan, after 70 years, is still under US occupation and the Japanese government obey Washington's orders. It is time the Japanese people used "people power" and voted in a government with enough spine to tell the US to stop making Japan a target and remove all bases off its shores.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Better to vote on something peacefully even if it isn't legally binding than to be destructive. It's a first step and it will become part of official data by showing the percentage of those who actually voted one way or the other.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is time the Japanese people used "people power" and voted in a government with enough spine to tell the US to stop making Japan a target and remove all bases off its shores.

They can, they know they can and yet they won't. That should tell you something.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is the case that prime-minister Abe must be stopped, Okinawa is also Japanese soil. Why is the gov't dead set on killing Okinawans ???.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Decisions for national securities cannot be determined by majority opinions of just one prefecture. It is a nation-wide matter. If we are going to have such referendum, we have to have the entire Japan to get involved. Since this was not the case, it will have little or no effect.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's high time the USA get out of Japan's Okinawa, they can fend for themselves now, we shouldn't be paying for THEIR defense anyway, it's stupid and costly. Besides, they want to take on the Chinese themselves anyway. Seriously, it's time to go, let's move out. Bring those troops home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good Morning All,

I got up early to see the results and I find them interesting to say the least

For context people should consider the whole picture and not just how a biased side will portray the referendum. These are numbers I put together from various Kyodo and Okinawa Times articles 

There are roughly 1.15 million eligible voters in the prefecture. 

Roughly 52% (605,000) participated in the referendum. This number was down from the 63% participation in the gubernatorial election and the 59% in the previous referendum. 

Approximately 48% (550,000) did not participate in the referendum 

Breakdown of the votes within the 605,000 participants: 

For: 116,000 (19%)

Against: 435,000 (72%)

Neither : 53,000 (9%)

Breakdown amongst 1.15million eligible voters:

For: 116,000 (10%)

Against: 435,000 (37%) 

Neither/abstain: 603,000 (52%) 

(Neither =4% abstain =48%)

Statistics is always up to an individual’s interpretation but I just think we should always make sure we see the whole picture. It may show that things aren’t as clear cut as some want you to believe

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"No" was a foregone concluscion considering just how the referendum was run. As I noted in previous posts on other threads, the way it was put out there, few would say yes.

However I did make the comment, pay attention to how many people vote. It is one of the worst turnouts ever, and just goes to support even further my contention that the people in Okinawa are apathetic to the issues of the bases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Decisions for national securities cannot be determined by majority opinions of just one prefecture. 

Stated this all along, but those who are anti-base will put their fingers in their ears like a child and start singing a different tune at the same time!

They ain't gonna listen to ya!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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