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Abe vows to proceed with U.S. base relocation in Okinawa after mayoral election

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He said he wanted to support Okinawa's development.

Please! There are so many projects that are on hold, and things are getting worse, as people who would fill the positions needed to complete these projects are leaving Okinawa to work in Tokyo in preparation for the Olympics!

The Nago result could bode ill for Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, another base opponent who is up for re-election later this year.

True! Many recent elections have gone opposite of Onaga, not so much a change towards being "pro" US military, but a slap in the face to Onaga for ONLY focusing on the base issue and forgetting about the rest of Okinawa, same as the Nago mayor who lost!

Previous Gov's here were more pragmatic in their approach and realized that for Okinawa to grow, and change for the future, they have to negotiate and work with the national government and the US military being stationed here. Things started looking up, until Onaga stirred the pot of guano and damn near everything came to a screeching halt!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Who said fools are of no use to society. They help run industries like press, propaganda etc. etc.

Support Okinawa’s development. I’m all for it. But can you guarantee small local businesses that run by virtue of the base won’t take a hit??

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If the Okinawa people want the bases out, that is their call. But it should be the choice of the OKINAWA people, not the faction that has hijacked Okinawa politics. People are starting to wake up and realize that the steady diet of anti-base propaganda is not reality. I agree that Okinawa has an unbalanced percentage of US troops, but a reduction and compromise should be worked out with the central government based on mutual respect and the wishes of the majority of the Okinawa people. Onaga and the other puppet government officials have thrown Okinawa under the bus to achieve their political agenda, which has absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of the Okinawan people. When you have all the radio, TV and newspapers on Okinawa in the political regime's pocket and in full propaganda mode, you know something is rotten and stinks on high.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I’ve got ideas for your first project, Prime Minister. With the tourism boom we could really use some mass transit boosts in Okinawa. Busses, a small railway, and one expressway aren’t cutting it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Get more jobs in Okinawa and people will migrate from Honshu. Many of my young colleagues are dying to live in the warm, beautiful south. If they can find good jobs there they will move..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Get more jobs in Okinawa and people will migrate from Honshu. Many of my young colleagues are dying to live in the warm, beautiful south. If they can find good jobs there they will move..

There are plenty of jobs available here, BUT the key word is "good", those are few and far between. Wait there are good jobs, but the pay stinks!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For the past eight years when Inamine was in office as Mayor of Nago, all the government subsidies that are due to base-hosting municipalities were completely frozen. In this way, the Abe government tried hard to stifle Nago City financially. Nago citizens must have felt the brunt of the government’s such financial strangling in their daily life.

However, no sooner had the pro-government candidate won the mayoral election than the government announced it would resume base-hosting subsidies and even reimburse past eight years' frozen amount. 

Why is the Abe government so hectic about forcing ahead with the relocation? And so subservient to Washington? Doesn't it realize the Henoko relocation is tantamount to selling the sovereign territory of Okinawa to a foreign power? Or do they think Okinawa isn't a part of Japan but only a bargaining chip?

It’s noteworthy, however, that mayor-elect Toguchi is still ambivalent about whether or not he is for the Henoko relocation as he was during the campaign.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

For the past eight years when Inamine was in office as Mayor of Nago, all the government subsidies that are due to base-hosting municipalities were completely frozen.

Just because you say so, does not make it true. Like oh so many other things you casually toss out here to attempt to get people to be sympathetic to your opinions, you have zero proof of this.

Why is the Abe government so hectic about forcing ahead with the relocation? 

Ignorant question here, it's to relieve the burden of the people of Ginowan of Futenma, and the return of other land as well.

What's going to be your next pet? Torii Station? Okuma Rest Area? Oh right you are just anti-Marine Corp. My bad!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It’s noteworthy, however, that mayor-elect Toguchi is still ambivalent about whether or not he is for the Henoko relocation as he was during the campaign

Im also not sure if Toguchi is just clever enough to not talk about the "sideeffects" loud right away. Intern the deal with his Abe & friends is probably already clear, rubberstamped and done. Given the fact that Toguchi is coming from the Construction business, he probably will make sure there will be a few pieces of the Henoko cake for him left.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Ignorant question here, it's to relieve the burden of the people of Ginowan of Futenma, and the return of other land as well.

Yeah, that's what the central government has been preaching; that is, Futenma must be relocated to a less populated area in Nago to reduce the burden Ginowan citizens are obliged to shoulder. But before they say so, they (and you) must explain the reason why Futenma's function must be maintained in Okinawa when in fact the core elements of the Marines stationed in Okinawa are due to move to Guam.

If Futenma is transferred outside Okinawa outright, all the problems you mention dissipate instantly. Why must Futenma's function be relocated to another place within Okinawa?  If you call this another ignorant question, you must be a  person who knows it all and so you must answer it rather intelligently.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Abe's Washington masters will not let Abe completely get rid of the bases. Japan is still under US occupation and Abe will do as ordered.  Okinawa has been made a target by the Japanese masters in Washington.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why must Futenma's function be relocated to another place within Okinawa? 

Just because someone does not like the answer is no reason to keep on asking the same question over, and over, and over and over again. Some by asking it all the time, they will eventually get a different answer that appeases them.

You and everyone else knows "why", and just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it will change things.

It's the same as a child begging their parents to buy them something and then constantly throwing a tantrum when they get told "no".

Stop asking, you know the answer!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru,

The central government's answer to the questions is: (1) Futenma is hazardous because of its location in a populous Ginowan City; (2) Okinawa is strategically well located; (3) Deterrence must be maintained without any hitch; (4) No prefecture wants a new U.S. base in its backyard. Therefore, Henoko is the best and only solution.

I've already argued against all these justifications by  the government on other threads: (1) If you say Futenma is so dangerous and must be transferred to a less populous area, why mustn't Kadena Air Base, which has the record of more serious accidents and is inflicting more noise pollution upon surrounding towns and cities than Futenma, be removed? (2) If you say Okinawa is strategically well located, it wouldn't justify why the function of Futenma must be maintained in Okinawa to deal with contingencies. Why? Because the most active elements of Okinawa-based Marines are to move to Guam. (3) So-called "deterrence" for contingencies can be maintained without Marines' training bases in Okinawa, such as Futenma or its replacement at Henoko, Northern Training Area aka Jungle Warfare Training Center, Blue Beach, etc. (4) No need to mention NIMBY.

Refute all these counter-arguments one by one. Don't simply leave a parting shot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's refuted and disproven all of your points before and so have I. You choose to ignore them.

 (1) If you say Futenma is so dangerous and must be transferred to a less populous area, why mustn't Kadena Air Base, which has the record of more serious accidents and is inflicting more noise pollution upon surrounding towns and cities than Futenma, be removed? 

Kadena's runways have farms at the northeastern end and there is a sea at the southwestern end. Kadena has noise mitigating walls built along the fence line of Kadena town, Chatan Town, and Koza. The only risk is the flight path crossing 58. In comparison, to Futenma that has dense populations at both ends of its runway with residential buildings hugging its fence line. Its painfully obvious why Futenma needs to go and Kadena is a reasonable location.

(2) If you say Okinawa is strategically well located, it wouldn't justify why the function of Futenma must be maintained in Okinawa to deal with contingencies. Why? Because the most active elements of Okinawa-based Marines are to move to Guam.

The logistical aviation elements which are most critical to deployment and sustainment of the combat arm will remain on Okinawa. So your point is moot because the presence that remains on the island are whats critical to provide abilities to respond to contingencies and deter hostilities.

(3) So-called "deterrence" for contingencies can be maintained without Marines' training bases in Okinawa, such as Futenma or its replacement at Henoko, Northern Training Area aka Jungle Warfare Training Center, Blue Beach, etc. 

Why would you separate the aviation arm from the training/logistical components?  Move it them outside the prefecture but they will still need a place to land when supporting movements and training exercises. It's logistically senseless and not cost effective at all for Japan and the US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CyburneticTiger,

(1)  It's true that Futenma doesn't have enough space as safety zones on both sides of the runways in comparison with Kadena. But that doesn't mean Futenma is more dangerous than Kadena. The 1959 Kadena-based jet fighter's crash on an elementary school is still fresh in our mind. The school is located 16 km from Kadena Air Base and way clear off its eastern safety zone

Besides, a series of recent forced landings and crash landings of Futenma-based helicopters/Osprey occurred in places far from the air station they are based. That means training military aircraft are very dangerous anywhere in Okinawa regardless of the locations of their bases.

(2) & (3)  Should contingencies ever occur in the Korean Peninsula, how would Okinawa-based logistics units and Guam-based combat units respond to them without losing time? As for contingencies involving territorial matters, it's been agreed between Tokyo and Washington that primary responsibility to deal with such contingencies rest with Japan's SDF.

If you can't answer these questions convincingly enough, then maintaining Marine bases in Okinawa is nothing but shenanigans, let alone the relocation of Futenma to Henoko. A white elephant indeed!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Besides, a series of recent forced landings and crash landings of Futenma-based helicopters/Osprey occurred in places far from the air station they are based. 

Well you just prove my point that the relocation of Futenma to Camp Schwab is more necessary because of the inherent risks of helicopters and a primarily helicopter used air station in the middle of a city. Also it should be mentioned that reason why the landings occurred in places 10-30KM or so away from the air station is because of the marine pilots operating the aircraft respect for the lives living around the air base. Most times, a pilot would attempt to get his aircraft back to the airport but its a calculated safety concern to land in the middle of a farm or on coral rock rather than try to get home and not make it. No Marine wants a repeat of what happened in August 2004. How many accidents occurred from fixed wing aircraft taking off and landing at Kadena.. less than Futenma.

(1) It's true that Futenma doesn't have enough space as safety zones on both sides of the runways in comparison with Kadena. But that doesn't mean Futenma is more dangerous than Kadena. The 1959 Kadena-based jet fighter's crash on an elementary school is still fresh in our mind. The school is located 16 km from Kadena Air Base and way clear off its eastern safety zone

Are you really trying to use the jet crash that occurred in 1959 as the basis of your argument to close Kadena? That aircraft wasn't attempting to land when it crashed. It had an engine fire during a training flight. There are far fewer fixed wing mishaps than helicopter. Besides in order to prevent repeats of this incidents, most fixed when training is done far out to sea and they only fly over the island for take off and landing. 

You say "our" as if I don't belong to the Okinawan community... if you ever wonder why so many people on the JT comment section look at you so negatively its because of condescending things like this.

(2) & (3) Should contingencies ever occur in the Korean Peninsula, how would Okinawa-based logistics units and Guam-based combat units respond to them without losing time? As for contingencies involving territorial matters, it's been agreed between Tokyo and Washington that primary responsibility to deal with such contingencies rest with Japan's SDF.

Deploying light infantry units is relatively quick and easy, they don't need to travel much and can be nearly anywhere in the world within a day or a little longer. But the trade-off to this they don't travel with anything and can't sustain themselves. The logistics portion is the longest most complex part of any contingency so having your established logistic node extremely close to the point of contingency is the time saver and key to success.

As you point out the primary responsibility to deal with such contingencies rest with Japan's SDF. The key word is primary and at no point was it agreed it would only be JSDF or that the US military would not be involved. The Marines, Army, Air Force, and Navy will be right along side the JDSF; same as it is in Korea and any other country we have a mutual defense agreement with.

If you can't answer these questions convincingly enough, then maintaining Marine bases in Okinawa is nothing but shenanigans, let alone the relocation of Futenma to Henoko. A white elephant indeed!

Actually, my side of the argument is the prevailing argument as Tokyo, Washington, and the nearly rest of the world are in agreement that Okinawa is a pivotal location to base the Marines. As well as expanding Camp Schwab is the only solution to relocating. Therefore, the onus is on your side to convince the world otherwise and over the last 20 years your side has failed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

edit to my post

Deploying light infantry units is relatively quick and easy, they don't need to travel with much in regards to supplies and can be nearly anywhere in the world within a day or a little longer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As well as expanding Camp Schwab is the only solution to relocating

You know, the same arguments are going to come from him even after the extension at Schwab is completed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CyburneticTiger,

You and I agree that the Futenma air station must be closed immediately because of its potential danger posing to surrounding civilian residential areas. But we differ in opinion in that you say it must be transferred to another place within Okinawa while I say it must be closed unconditionally right  then and there and never transferred to Henoko. A recent series of aircraft accidents have occurred in places remote from the air station where they are based and so similar accidents could occur anywhere in Okinawa even if Futenma were relocated to Henoko.

If reducing burden for the sake of Okinawa is one reason why Henoko was chosen as a relocation site, it must be moved off Okinawa completely with no strings attached. The U.S. side has no right to attach any conditions for its return after all because Futenma is illegally built on stolen private property. Yielding to what the U.S. side demands is no different from business dealings by fences.

You suggest deploying active elements of the Marines is relatively quick and easy, but how quick and easy will it be for the Futenma-based 36th Marine Wing or the Sasebo-based amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard to pick up infantry units deployed in Guam and go to a possible frontline on the Korean Peninsula for expeditionary purposes? You say logistics stored on Okinawa expedites the whole process, but in what way?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If reducing burden for the sake of Okinawa is one reason why Henoko was chosen as a relocation site, it must be moved off Okinawa completely with no strings attached. 

Funny how “one reason” becomes the “only” reason. 

Not to mention, having convenient amnesia by brushing aside international agreements between countries as not being binding agreements that can be broken at will.  And also conveniently forgetting that neither of the countries involved, Japan nor the US have shown any interest, in renegotiating said treaty either. 

 

Funny, in a very sad manner, that someone who attempts to sound “intelligent” can come across as being so “dumb”

 

The U.S. side has no right to attach any conditions for its return after all because Futenma is illegally built on stolen private property. 

Also to add blatantly false information about “legality” issues.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Funny how “one reason” becomes the “only” reason.

Read my post dated Feb. 7 | 07:57 pm UTC addressed to you and you  will find your comment above off the track.  Answer also the questionsI  posed there which CyburneticTiger volunteered to answer for you but apparently in vain..

Not to mention, having convenient amnesia by brushing aside international agreements between countries as not being binding agreements that can be broken at will. And also conveniently forgetting that neither of the countries involved, Japan nor the US have shown any interest, in renegotiating said treaty either.

You couldn't refute my argument that Futenma sits on stolen private property and therefore that it is an illegal facility. Yes, the two governments agreed over Okinawa residents' heads that Futenma's function will be transferred to Henoko. But that agreement or transaction is no different from business dealings by fences.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You couldn't refute my argument that Futenma sits on stolen private property and therefore that it is an illegal facility.

There is no "proof" that it is in fact illegal , so there is no need to refute your argument, and you just end up repeating yourself with the rest.

Like I wrote before, you repeat a lie enough times you begin to believe it's true, and you have proven THAT time and again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru,

There is no "proof" that it is in fact illegal , so there is no need to refute your argument, and you just end up repeating yourself with the rest.

There is no evidence that proves Futenma is built on illegally requisitioned land? I showed you the evidence not once but many times. Each time I asked you if the unrestrained encroachment of private land while the area residents were herded in camps like POWs, you always evaded to answer the question or ignored it at the best. 

On one occasion, you said the land requisition occurred more than seven decades ago, thus suggesting the U.S. military's action could have been exonerated. On another occasion, you wrote it didn't violate Article 46 of Geneva Convention, that forbids occupation forces to confiscate private property, because all the land at the time was public because it belonged to the Emperor. Pointed out the absurdity of such claim, you retracted it in your ensuing post, saying you yourself didn't believe what you had posted.

So what's your answer to my question? All you can say is there is no need to refute my argument? LOL!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Article 46 of Geneva Convention . The singular term Geneva Convention usually denotes the agreements of 1949,

-The first Geneva Convention ("for the Amelioration of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces and Field") and the second Geneva Convention ("for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea") are similar, covering land and sea respectively. They embody the main idea which led to the founding of the Red Cross: if a member of the armed forces is wounded or sick, and therefore in no condition to take an active part in the hostilities, he is no longer part of the fighting force and becomes a vulnerable person in need of protection and care.

-The third Geneva Convention ("Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War") covers members of the armed forces who fall into enemy hands. They are in the power of the enemy State, not of the individuals or troops who have captured them

-The fourth Geneva Convention ("Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War") covers all individuals "who do not belong to the armed forces, take no part in the hostilities and find themselves in the hands of the Enemy or an Occupying Power". It also includes use, requisition, and destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

From what I've found, Article within the Geneva Convention relating to land use and private property fall under most of the articles written in the fourth Geneva Convention which occurred in 1949. So, it's likely that it was completely legal at the time the US used the fields outside of the villages to build the Futenma air strip. The manner in which the US conducted property seizure is also legal within the Hague Conventions as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From what I've found, Article within the Geneva Convention relating to land use and private property fall under most of the articles written in the fourth Geneva Convention which occurred in 1949. So, it's likely that it was completely legal at the time the US used the fields outside of the villages to build the Futenma air strip. The manner in which the US conducted property seizure is also legal within the Hague Conventions as well.

The US Military took ALL the land it needed for the bases here in Okinawa, they forcibly removed people from all over the place, during and following the war. No one denies this, none, the "cherry picking" of MCAS Futenma alone is plain ignorance, ALL the land, well at least 98% I believe, was taken from their owners.

Futenma ain't special, but making it seem like everywhere else was fine and Futenma wrong? That's uneducated emotion talking.

There is no argument otherwise, legality issues, NOW, We are living in 2018, not 1960, along with the condescending attitude towards the Okinawan people, ........

One could make esoteric arguments that the people here were potentially ALL combatants, and that is just as ludicrous as the idea that "the bases was obtained illegally so they should leave " no questions asked and no other location either, all the MC should leave. That argument is plain ignorant,

Also consider this, Onaga has pulled out some very tricky ideas on how to get attention for this base issue. He wasted taxpayers money when HE went to the Hague, but did he argue that it was a legality issue? No, he argued it was a human rights issue, and few if anyone even listened to him.

Again he went to the Hague. It should be obvious to anyone that if there possibly were issues of legality, real or imagined, that they /him would have brought the issue up long ago, or even when he went.

No one has, and no one will, they get laughed out of the place! It's a dead issue that should be totally laid to rest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no evidence that proves Futenma is built on illegally requisitioned land? I showed you the evidence not once but many times. 

Once again, you sure like riding the merry-go-round don't you? Last time, it's not an issue, and your so-called evidence will not hold up in court, because no one will listen to the case as there is no issue of legality.

Fill in the blank, this award is for you!

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ry6vMbTSTQM/T5SyqzyUpHI/AAAAAAAACFE/ysyjoTxFg9o/s1600/beat-a-dead-horse.jpg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CrucialS,

Thank you for the information.  I've been referring to "Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land" so many times on various occasions as one poster accuses me by saing I repeat the same thing ad nauseum, and so I simply referred to it as "the Geneva Convention". Here's what it says: "Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated." 

You don't need expertise to judge the land expropriation by the U.S. occupation army in 1945 and thereafter was in violation of this Convention. Incidentally, in case you don't know, the second wave of land expropriation occurred in the 1950's. Masahide Ota writes in his 1995 book that, in order to prevent protesting farmers and house owners from resisting, troops with bayonetted rifles and bulldozers were mobilized to uproot them and crush houses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You don't need expertise to judge the land expropriation by the U.S. occupation army in 1945 and thereafter was in violation of this Convention. Incidentally, in case you don't know, the second wave of land expropriation occurred in the 1950's. Masahide Ota writes in his 1995 book that, in order to prevent protesting farmers and house owners from resisting, troops with bayonetted rifles and bulldozers were mobilized to uproot them and crush houses.

Well in that case it still wasn't illegal, Okinawa was a US territory under the Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands. The Federal Government has the right to eminent domain which includes private property if compensation is provided. From what I've read the people forced out of there homes were provided compensation. Whether is was fair or not.. I wasn't the one forced out of their home so my opinion is moot but I can say it is legal and all the bases were legally established.  Even using the Laws and Customs of War on Land to contest the legality is shaky at beast because the US can use Article 42 and Article 52 to justify their actions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CrucialS,

Do you really mean to say land requisition by the U.S. occupation army during the occupation periods (1945-1952 and 1952-1972) wasn't illegal at all? Okinawa's formal occupation by the U.S. military ended in 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect. Even so, a literal occupation continued under the U.S. trusteeship until 1972 and a virtual occupation thereafter to this day. 

You say an occupation army can do whatever it wants to do in an occupied country whereby it wasn't illegal for the U.S. army to requisition private land. Nowhere in the Hague Convention ("Geneva" was my mistake), not anywhere in Article 42 or 52, is mentioned private property can be requisitioned in an occupied country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Once again, you sure like riding the merry-go-round don't you? Last time, it's not an issue, and your so-called evidence will not hold up in court, because no one will listen to the case as there is no issue of legality.

The evidence attesting to why I say the U.S. occupation army's unrestrained encroachment upon private land to build and expand Futenma Air Station is, I repeat, Article 46 of the Hague Convention. Simply hollering "You repeat yourself ad nauseum" or "No one will listen to you" and no more isn't rebutting my case at all. 

You must explain why you think so. Period.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Redactions:

The evidence attesting to why I say the U.S. occupation army's unrestrained encroachment upon private land to build and expand Futenma Air Station was illegal is, I repeat, Article 46 of the Hague Convention. Simply hollering "You repeat yourself ad nauseum" or "No one will listen to you" and no more isn't rebutting my case at all.

You must explain why you think it wasn't illegal. Period.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If it was illegal then why in the last 70 years hasn't anyone taken them to court or a court deemed it illegal?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CyburneticTiger,  

The fact that nobody has taken it to court can't justify the illegality of the U.S. army's land requisition at the time. 

Onaga's current lawsuit against the central government is centered around whether the land reclamation in the waters off Henoko is legal or not. But there're many people who urge him to use all his authority to stop the ongoing construction before taking it to court. Of course in court he could defend his case by presenting the historical facts we've been discussing. I hope he will.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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