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Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer

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Are the Philippines regretted about what happened?  No, they aren't.  If they were, they would let in the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and let them freely reuse Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base.

But they didn't let it happen because they knew well enough what a U.S. military presence means. In case you didn't know, let me explain what it really means. It means occupation and colonialism once again under which they suffered far too long and more than enough.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

extanker,

Were there battles to retake ISIS-controlled cities while the US was there? No. ISIS was never an issue until the US pulled out.

Weren't there Islamic insurgents actively operating even while these two U.S. bases were there? How did the U.S. naval and air forces stationed in the Philippines deal with them?

As far as China goes, the Philippines has had an on-again off-again relationship with China for decades, so that's no surprise that China has made inroads again. It is what the current Philippines leadership wants.

If the Philippines had had "an on-again and off-again relationship with China for decades," they must have been fully aware what consequences it would bring if the two U.S. bases were closed. But they let the U.S. forces completely withdraw from their country.

Are the Philippines regretted about what happened? If so, they would let in the U.S. Navy and Air Force once again and fully reuse Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you think that, if these U.S. bases had remained in the Philippines, they could have prevented terrorism by ISIS from occurring? Or China's assertiveness?

That's a ridiculous question. Were there battles to retake ISIS-controlled cities while the US was there? No. ISIS was never an issue until the US pulled out.

As far as China goes, the Philippines has had an on-again off-again relationship with China for decades, so that's no surprise that China has made inroads again. It is what the current Philippines leadership wants.

But the Philippines is also smart enough to know that the US presence deters ISIS there. It's arguable that they couldn't have retaken Marawi without the help of US special forces on the ground.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

extanker,

Do you think that, if these U.S. bases had remained in the Philippines, they could have prevented terrorism by ISIS from occurring? Or China's assertiveness?

Yubaru,

As I've been arguing, the U.S. side has no legitimate right to negotiate terms of Futenma's return. You can't say, "Look, we will return some portions of existing bases only if you provide a replacement for Futenma. 

You mention Futenma, Kinser, Naha Military Port, some portions of Foster and Camp Kuwae, the ballyhooed return of land south of Kadena Air Base. But can you say the return of Futenma and Naha Military Port  genuine "return" in the true sense of the word when replacements with added new facilities must be provided in exchange for their return?

Not only Futenma but also Foster and Kuwae sit on private land that the U.S. occupation forces confiscated in blatant violation of international law while residents who had survived the war  were herded in detention camps. 

How do you respond to this?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There were two U.S. bases in the Philippines before: Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base. The two U.S. bases were returned to the Philippines successively in 1991 and 1992. 

FYI, Clark was abandoned by the US because of the Pinatubo eruption

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Now, how many U.S. bases are in Okinawa? And how many are at issue now for a return?

Expand your horizons, and for someone your advanced age, you of all should know that the US Military is not just restricted to having bases in Okinawa.

How many bases are there throughout Japan? How many are going to be returned? Currently only one's in Okinawa! Go figure huh?

Take that a step further, the Northern Training Area, well over 2/3rds was returned, drastically reducing the overall land space used, currently well under 20%, going down even much further, when Futenma, Kinser, Naha Port, and a large portion of Foster, along with the rest of Kuwae.

The most congested areas of Okinawa are going to be freed from any US bases when the landfill at Camp Schwab is completed and Futenma closed.

Okinawa as a part of Japan has a large part to play in the defense and deterrence in the region as the southern door to the country.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@voiceofokinawa

So it seems the Philippine people are never regretted about the fact that U.S. forces left the country

The only group that didn't regret the US leaving the Philippines were ISIS.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/world/asia/isis-philippines-church-bombing.html

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/11/27/is-the-philippines-the-next-caliphate/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

extanker,

But you might also want to take a look at how that turned out for the Philippines.

There were two U.S. bases in the Philippines before: Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base. The two U.S. bases were returned to the Philippines successively in 1991 and 1992. 

After its return, Subic Bay Naval Base was turned into a commercial port called Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Does the Philippine government have a will to restore it as an exclusive U.S. base once again? Never.

The former U.S. Clark Air Base is now a Philippines Air Force base. In 2014, Manila and Washington signed a defense agreement called EDCA or Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that is valid for 10 years.

This agreement stipulates the U.S. Air Force can use Clark Air Force Base only temporarily.  So it seems the Philippine people are never regretted about the fact that U.S. forces left the country.

Now, how many U.S. bases are in Okinawa? And how many are at issue now for a return?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

To say U.S. forces are in Japan (Okinawa) at the invitation of Japan as a host nation is thus shenanigans and a farce.

You only have to look as far as the Philippines for proof that the US will leave a country if asked to.

But you might also want to take a look at how that turned out for the Philippines.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's why Washington's Japan hands never fail to tell visiting Okinawa governors to appeal to address the situation that they came to a wrong door, admonishing them to go to Tokyo instead.

Hahaha...Okinawan's governors who visited Washington never get in the door of anyone that matters.

They go over to the states to appeal to their anti-base supporters. (waste taxpayers money)

You are stuck on the semantics of the word "host", in effect if Japan wanted the bases gone it would be very easy, just tell the US to get out, and the US would comply. But they dont because they realize the mutual benefits that having the bases here provides.

Your age has blinded you to the reality, and are driven my emotion!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru,

You wrote in your post (Jan. 29 | 07:47 am JST) that Japan "hosts" U.S. forces, thus suggesting the U.S. forces are stationed in Okinawa as invited guests. In your theory, the Henoko relocation is Japan's internal problem that must be solved among the Japanese themselves. The U.S. is simply following the track laid down by Tokyo.

This is also the postiche stance Washington takes: Tokyo has taken the initiative in Futenma's relocation to Henoko.

That's why Washington's Japan hands never fail to tell visiting Okinawa governors to appeal to address the situation that they came to a wrong door, admonishing them to go to Tokyo instead.

But isn't it the U.S. side that's been most intent on the new base to be built in Henoko from the very beginning? If not, why is Washington and pro-base supporters here so hell-bent on urging Tokyo to go ahead with the construction?

When the Yukio Hatoyama administration returned to the original Henoko relocation plan despite its initial anti-Henoko election platform, "Relocate Futenma outside Okinawa at the least" and collapsed as a result in June 2010, then U.S. President Barrack Obama took time to send Hatoyama a hand-written personal letter thanking him for his decision.

To say U.S. forces are in Japan (Okinawa) at the invitation of Japan as a host nation is thus shenanigans and a farce.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What you read in the press is not what is true in reality. If you live in Okinawa and for most of Japan its a falsehood that the military bases in Japan have become pointed. For the 99% there is very little interest or anger about it. The media exaggerated the protests and anger, especially in Okinawa. The face of the protests here are the same core of local individuals augmented with activists from the mainland. Most Okinawans aren't involved and the closest they get to activism is in gubernatorial elections (most mayoral elections are won by pro-relocation candidates; go figure).

Quite so! The overwhelming majority of Okinawan people have zero contact with the bases and have their opinions formed by what they read in the leftist press. It makes no sense to see people running for public office in municipalities far removed from the bases, running on an anti-base platform, because it's the "thing" to do. Paid protesters, apathy, and a few loud anti-base proponents that push the issue.

Just like some posters here, in their late 70's early 80's, grew up on a malaria infested island, lost loved ones after the war, saw people lose land, and yet are alive thanks to the military, and thanks to the US for educating them, but still in a conundrum because they can't bring themselves to the 21st century,

It's sad, but reality for many.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

For the last year a situation around the US military bases in Japan has become pointed. Especially, pressures mount in Okinawa prefecture, where 70% of the territory is occupied by the US military forces. The natives regularly run protest actions, including about 100 thousand of people. The citizens claim to cut a number of American bases. Also they are against the relocation of US base Futenma in Nago city, because the construction works are fraught with a loss of rare marine animals and plants.

What you read in the press is not what is true in reality. If you live in Okinawa and for most of Japan its a falsehood that the military bases in Japan have become pointed. For the 99% there is very little interest or anger about it. The media exaggerated the protests and anger, especially in Okinawa. The face of the protests here are the same core of local individuals augmented with activists from the mainland. Most Okinawans aren't involved and the closest they get to activism is in gubernatorial elections (most mayoral elections are won by pro-relocation candidates; go figure).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If Nissan U.S.A. falls into financial trouble, will the U.S. government help the auto company by directly paying salaries to U.S. workers?

Actually, the US government would be the ones to pay these employees financial assistance if they qualified so you didn’t really think that through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I will be so happy to see MCAS Futenma closed, and all the BS stop! Sadly however it's going to get rather noisy before it eventually quiets down, as the referendum is pretty much a foregone conclusion!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To use a metaphor, a contract between a thief and a fence dealing with stolen goods is absolutely void under criminal law, however explicitly the contract may be written.

It boils down then that Futenma’s illegality remains as it was despite a waiver in the 1971 agreement, and, due to this fact, the U.S. cannot demand Futenma’s replacement be constructed in Henoko in exchange for its return.

Interestingly, I found these comments on another website - they mirror those of another poster on this thread...on the other site he used his real name.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Get paid 10,000 to go to Henoko to protest the landfill! Free transportation to and from plus food and drinks included! Work 4 or 5 hours and get paid more money than the average Okinawan worker gets in a day! (roughly 8,000 to 9,000).

The anti-base protesters are looking for help. They have collected well over $15 MILLION US in sympathy donations and use the money to advertise and push their anti-base agenda, plus pay people to protest daily!

THAT is a fact of this too! Not all is what you think you read! Don"t forget the Okinawan and mainland politicians that have bought land in the area, and are looking to make a killing when it gets completed too!

The anti-base folks are playing their part here too!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Besides above-mentioned payments, Japan shoulders noise pollution prevention measures costs, SACO-related costs, U.S. military realignment costs, land fees, and proportional base hosting aids to relevant municipalities.

In FY 2014 alone, the total payment amounted to Y486 billion or about $4.4 billion.

Add to this a cost for the construction of a new base at Henoko. According to the Okinawa Prefectural Government's rough estimate, it will amount to Y2.5 trillion or about $25 billion.

Don't let absurdity take hold of the world, gentlemen!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It does not "pay them", it hosts them…

It does not "pay them", it hosts them?  That's a nice way of saying things. Euphemism it's called. Can one say Japan isn't shouldering costs for the U.S. military to maintain its extravagant presence in Japan but is hosting the U.S. forces as guests of its own free will? 

In Japan, that payment is popularly called "sympathy budget." When the U.S. requested Japan to share Japanese base workers' salaries in 1978, a session in the Japanese Diet asked then Director General of Defense Agency Shin Kanemaru if there was any legal basis for Japan to shoulder such payment. Kanemaru answered, "No, there isn't. But we have to share it out of sympathy for the financially troubled U.S. government." 

If Nissan U.S.A. falls into financial trouble, will the U.S. government help the auto company by directly paying salaries to U.S. workers?

Today, Japan shoulders some 74% of U.S. base maintenance costs, let alone 100% of base workers' salaries.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For the last year a situation around the US military bases in Japan has become pointed. Especially, pressures mount in Okinawa prefecture, where 70% of the territory is occupied by the US military forces. The natives regularly run protest actions, including about 100 thousand of people. The citizens claim to cut a number of American bases. Also they are against the relocation of US base Futenma in Nago city, because the construction works are fraught with a loss of rare marine animals and plants.

However, in spite of this, the Japanese authorities headed by the prime-minister Shinzo Abe continue to do the United States bidding, careless the opinion of nation. The Americans need to deploy its military forces in the Asian-Pacific region, and they choose Japan. It's all the same to them how the natives will live. The Japanese government can't help it's people. Moreover, they are going not to cut the US forces, but increase spending on them at the expense of ordinary people.

So the such "correct" Japanese government is supposed to make everything for the comfort life of natives, makes life a hell of the millions Okinawans in order to find a favour in the eyes of the USA.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Over 250,000 members under arms The USMC has around 190,000.

I think someone seriously underestimates the SDF here!

I agree about the naval power, and I don’t mean to belittle the fine men and women in the SDF, but those numbers include clerks, mechanics, maintenance, and other rear area POGs.

If you’ve seen what even 1000 marines can do, you’d know that difference of 60,000 means little.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru

Tell that to all the people in Japan arguing against it.

Just how many is that? I take it your form of democracy, and that of those who arguing against the bases in Japan should over rule the majority who say nothing or are apathetic to the entire situation?

Even the referendum, non-binding as well, is not going to be held in 5 major municipalities in Okinawa, as the ELECTED officials made the decision to NOT join because of the simplistic question that is going to be on it, basically, "Landfill at Camp Schwab..Yes/No".

I think you might be confused about my comment? I was talking about the people opposed to amending the constitution, not anything about the bases in Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not to mention that unless the SDF introduces some serious incentives, young people will simply not enlist. The MOD is having a hard time even maintaining the current number of servicemen/women.

This I have heard directly from SDF recruiters. People here have a different idea about service and patriotism.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The entire SDF, land sea and air combat power is about the same or a little less than the US Marine Corps.

Please this is BS of such a large scale. The USMC has no "Navy" and the Japanese SDF Naval forces are one of the largest and best equipped on the entire planet.

Following courtesy of Wiki

Not to mention that the JSDF is ranked as the world's fourth most-powerful military in conventional capabilities

The JGSDF Has roughly 150,000 members

The JMSDF has a fleet of 154 ships and 346 aircraft and consists of approximately 45,800 personnel.

The JASDF had an estimated 50,324 personnel and operates 777 aircraft, approximately 373 of them fighter aircraft.

Over 250,000 members under arms The USMC has around 190,000.

I think someone seriously underestimates the SDF here!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hatoyama and his gang were the lamest flip-flopping ducks ever. They didn’t need a helping hand from the US to implode on their own.

Perhaps, but the US certainly played a very significant role in his cabinet’s collapse. I refer you to R. Taggart Murphy’s Japan and the Shackles of its Past for more details on this shameful meddling into a treaty ally’s government.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the Obama administration’s involvement in toppling the Hatoyama government, etc.)

Hatoyama and his gang were the lamest flip-flopping ducks ever. They didn’t need a helping hand from the US to implode on their own.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The entire SDF, land sea and air combat power is about the same or a little less than the US Marine Corps.

If Japan wants to independently defend their nation in a realistic manner, they would need an armed forces 3 times the size of the current number. In that case, the costs would be many times higher than the costs that Japan pays for the USFJ. Not to mention that unless the SDF introduces some serious incentives, young people will simply not enlist. The MOD is having a hard time even maintaining the current number of servicemen/women.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Argument all here results in the problem of our "peace constitution." It is an ideal good constitution but at the same time it was written so that Japan has to depend on U.S. for its defense.

I don’t know how “ideal” it is considering that not only was it foisted upon the Japanese practically at gunpoint, but the nation which drafted it curiously never sought to apply its idealism to its own constitution. But, indeed, it is a problem.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Argument all here results in the problem of our "peace constitution." It is an ideal good constitution but at the same time it was written so that Japan has to depend on U.S. for its defense.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

[I]t also should remind everyone here that continues to "blame" the US for whatever, the responsibility for the bases lies in Tokyo, and anyone and everyone who opposes them should be complaining there, but they dont.

Tokyo certainly shares the blame here, but again, it cannot be ignored that the Japanese government is under the thumb of its treaty partner. Consider the widespread espionage from the US that was uncovered during the Obama administration.

Moreover, it should be incumbent upon the US to show itself the door as this dynamic of military dependency not only is an economic burden, it also leaves it exposed to military clashes that the larger public has no interest in fighting. Of course, they will never do so as too many are feeding at the open trough of the Pentagon budget.

It is also a situation that, frankly, is useless for the Japanese as well. Does anybody really believe, ambiguous pronouncements notwithstanding, that the US will commit itself to military combat against, say, the PRC if it decides to annex the Senkaku Islands outright? I honestly doubt that the US would or could muster anything more than saber-rattling even in the event of an invasion of Taiwan. All the more reason for Japan to look to itself for its defense needs.

No chance of that, however.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If Im not mistaken that has now changed with the inclusion of a 3rd answer option and those municipalities will participate in the referendum.

Quite so, I stand corrected,

 A compromise was reached in January to include a third "No opinion either way" option. The dispute caused a delay on the preparations for the vote in the 5 municipalities, leading them to vote separately in March 2019.

 Support, Oppose and "No opinion either way",on the Henoko question.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That said, my point still stands. If the Japanese central government wanted to kick the U.S. out Okinawa / Japan, they could do so.

This is correct! And it also should remind everyone here that continues to "blame" the US for whatever, the responsibility for the bases lies in Tokyo, and anyone and everyone who opposes them should be complaining there, but they dont.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Nicolas Palacios,

Only for them to return in the last few years.

Well, yes and no. The return is not in the form of military bases that are anything like Subic or Clark of old, but, rather, U.S. facilities within Philippine military bases. And, given the nature of the agreement in place, very easy for the Philippines to unwind at any time.

Your point, though, is that the increased belligerence of China in the South China Sea and the activity of the rebels in southern Philippines obviously makes the U.S. presence seen as valuable by the current administration in the Philippines. Which is the way I am certain the central government in Japan sees the U.S. military presence in Okinawa and elsewhere.

That said, my point still stands. If the Japanese central government wanted to kick the U.S. out Okinawa / Japan, they could do so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even the referendum, non-binding as well, is not going to be held in 5 major municipalities in Okinawa, as the ELECTED officials made the decision to NOT join because of the simplistic question that is going to be on it, basically, "Landfill at Camp Schwab..Yes/No".

If Im not mistaken that has now changed with the inclusion of a 3rd answer option and those municipalities will participate in the referendum.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tell that to all the people in Japan arguing against it.

Just how many is that? I take it your form of democracy, and that of those who arguing against the bases in Japan should over rule the majority who say nothing or are apathetic to the entire situation?

Even the referendum, non-binding as well, is not going to be held in 5 major municipalities in Okinawa, as the ELECTED officials made the decision to NOT join because of the simplistic question that is going to be on it, basically, "Landfill at Camp Schwab..Yes/No".

Few will say "Yes" to that question alone, and it's misleading as hell, hence these municipalities, including Ginowan, which hosts MCAS Futenma, the base that WILL be closed and returned once the landfill is completed. The 2nd and 5th largest cities, by population in island, will not participate.

All 5 included together account for well over 1/3 of the population of the island. So any results will not be accurate. Yet the pundits will say otherwise, those along with the minority here in Japan that argue against the bases.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Considering that both the PRC and the US (especially the latter) have long and continuing histories with unchecked military aggression against their neighbors and even against supposed “foes” in far-flung locales, perhaps they should consider such an amendment to their respective constitutions. I am certain that people in India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. would be greatly pleased.

Absolutely nothing to do with the conversation, but we all are free to have our own opinions.

Are you ok with Japan revising its constitution to allow a standing military and subsequently building it's military to a substantial size to handle the country's defense on its own?

Yes, absolutely. There is no reasonable argument against such a thing.

Tell that to all the people in Japan arguing against it.

Japan already has one of the largest military budgets in the world. Rather than rely as a subordinate upon the US, it ought to cooperate with it (or any other nations it chooses) as a full equal, and determine for itself its military needs and diplomacy, free from interference or moralizing from abroad.

I completely agree. But unfortunately, Japan currently isn't in a position to do so.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If Japan wanted to terminate the U.S. military presence in Okinawa / in Japan, it could do so. Witness the Philippines kicking the U.S. military out in the early 1990s.

Only for them to return in the last few years.

Now, with that said, times are changing and I believe that the U.S. fiscal state and its budget deficits will eventually force the U.S. to make some tough choices. Or have tough choices made for it.

Agreed. The long-term stationing of tens of thousands of soldiers in Japan and South Korea, for starters, is increasingly untenable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Do China or the United States have constitutions limiting the size, scope and capabilities of their military forces? 

Considering that both the PRC and the US (especially the latter) have long and continuing histories with unchecked military aggression against their neighbors and even against supposed “foes” in far-flung locales, perhaps they should consider such an amendment to their respective constitutions. I am certain that people in India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. would be greatly pleased.

Are you ok with Japan revising its constitution to allow a standing military and subsequently building it's military to a substantial size to handle the country's defense on its own? 

Yes, absolutely. There is no reasonable argument against such a thing.

If you want to compare the Self Defense Force to the militaries of the United States and China, I hope your answer to those last two is 'yes'.

Japan already has one of the largest military budgets in the world. Rather than rely as a subordinate upon the US, it ought to cooperate with it (or any other nations it chooses) as a full equal, and determine for itself its military needs and diplomacy, free from interference or moralizing from abroad.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If Japan wanted to terminate the U.S. military presence in Okinawa / in Japan, it could do so. Witness the Philippines kicking the U.S. military out in the early 1990s.

The truth is that while the U.S. could choose to leave Okinawa / Japan of its own volition, they could also be forced to leave if the central government decided to kick them out.

Which, of course, they don't do, because having the U.S. military there is something the central government sees as being valuable.

It doesn't make it right, but that is the inconvenient truth.

And the other truth is that the Japanese central government couldn't care less about how those in Okinawa feel.

Now, with that said, times are changing and I believe that the U.S. fiscal state and its budget deficits will eventually force the U.S. to make some tough choices. Or have tough choices made for it.

The amount the U.S. has to borrow just to service its national debt every year (interest payments) is huge and growing. And, of course, a large amount of the debt is held by the PRC. So, effectively, the U.S. is paying interest to China which China can turn around and invest in its military.

One wonders it, at some point, China will use its holdings of U.S. debt to make demands of the U.S.

Just putting that out there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So many vast swathes of ocean near Okinawa where most if not all of the coral is dead and bleached. Mostly from construction/road/red soil runoff. Plenty of prime "sea grass" areas have been filled in for shopping malls and housing areas. But the second the US miliary and Japanese government decide to do some land reclamation it's suddenly a big environmental issue.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for lessening the burden on Okinawa when it comes to the US military bases. Okinawans got the raw end of the eal for a long time and I think it's time that mainland Japan helped them share that burden. However, when the protesters use the environment as a convenient platform for their agenda I just roll my eyes.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why would another nation need to defend Japan, the third richest country in the world with a population of circa 125 million? Does China rely on its neighbors, rather than itself for military defense? Does the United States?

Do China or the United States have constitutions limiting the size, scope and capabilities of their military forces?

Are you ok with Japan revising its constitution to allow a standing military and subsequently building it's military to a substantial size to handle the country's defense on its own?

If you want to compare the Self Defense Force to the militaries of the United States and China, I hope your answer to those last two is 'yes'.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The bases started due to the occupation of Japan, following the war, and continued as Japan then could focus on it's economic and social development following the war, and became a buffer against communist expansion.

I am very familiar as to why this all was put into place, however flawed and unfair these treaties were to the Japanese. But let us be honest: none of this came about via some manner of altruistic impulse on the part of the US. These defense treaties, while ostensibly about defending Japan and safeguarding against the spread of communism, were also punitive and vindictive in nature towards a once-bitter rival.

My point is why is it that this situation persists in 2019, nearly 75 years after the Pacific War? There is no reasonable need for Japan to “host” an occupying force on its sovereign territory, much less at the environmental and social costs they incur.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Don't let absurdity take hold of the world.

In the first place, does the U.S. have a legitimate right to demand a replacement be provided in exchange for the return of Futenma? The base sits on private land that U.S. Occupation forces encroached upon with impunity toward the end of and after the Battle of Okinawa. The land expropriation was a blatant violation of Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which clearly states “private property cannot be confiscated.”

In my opinion, the irregularities in land requisition can never be exonerated by the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement even if it says Japan waves all claims.

To use a metaphor, isn't a contract between a thief and a fence dealing with stolen goods absolutely void under criminal law, however explicitly the contract may be written?

It boils down then that Futenma’s illegality remains as it was despite a waiver in the 1971 agreement, and, due to this fact, the U.S. cannot demand Futenma’s replacement be constructed in Henoko in exchange for its return.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

That's how it works when you need the help of another nation to keep your country secure.

Why would another nation need to defend Japan, the third richest country in the world with a population of circa 125 million? Does China rely on its neighbors, rather than itself for military defense? Does the United States?

The US will leave any time Japan would like, all they have to do is ask.

Considering that the US regularly meddles with Japan’s foreign and, occasionally, even their domestic policies to a degree that would be considered unacceptable in most other countries (e.g. scuttling the Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956, imposing the “Anpo” over the vociferous rejection of most Japanese citizens of the early 1960s, the Obama administration’s involvement in toppling the Hatoyama government, etc.) I find your statement to be highly dubious.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If people have the time, this is worth reading. The treaty was negotiated and signed in the early 50's, but it gives the basis of why the bases were kept in Japan following the war and occupation.

https://www.learner.org/workshops/primarysources/coldwar/docs/usjapan.html

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I am still confused as to why Japan, a sovereign nation, not only hosts a very sizable contingent of a foreign nation’s military forces, but pays them for the pleasure of doing so.

It does not "pay them", it hosts them, and it is rather unimaginable the costs that Japan would have had to put into paying for it's own defense, and rebuild the country following WWII as well.

The bases started due to the occupation of Japan, following the war, and continued as Japan then could focus on it's economic and social development following the war, and became a buffer against communist expansion.

That is a very simplified reason, as going into details would require pages of background and political BS too.

Here in Okinawa is another few chapters in that book as well!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I am still confused as to why Japan, a sovereign nation, not only hosts a very sizable contingent of a foreign nation’s military forces, but pays them for the pleasure of doing so.

That's how it works when you need the help of another nation to keep your country secure. The US will leave any time Japan would like, all they have to do is ask.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I am still confused as to why Japan, a sovereign nation, not only hosts a very sizable contingent of a foreign nation’s military forces, but pays them for the pleasure of doing so.

Okinawans are right to be angered by this situation, as well as by the tone-deafness of a central government which treats them like colonial subjects rather than citizens.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

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