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Gov't to bypass Okinawa governor and approve U.S. base relocation

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There is no such democratic principle as the separation of powers in a democracy a la Japon. The executive and judicial branches are all part of the same gang.

The majority of Okinawans are opposed to the construction of Futenma's replacement in Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa, which the local media call "a new base" because of many innovative facilities added to it. This consensus of Okinawa's was shown in various referendums, including one held in Nago City and then island-wide. Denny Tamaki won his governorship on the ticket of anti-Henoko platform.

Landfill work on the Oura Bay side is assumed to take 12 years to complete because they have to drive 71,000 piles onto mayonnaise-like soft seabed about 70 meters underwater.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

So the anti-Henoko crowd would rather have Futenma continue operations in the middle of a city with all the accidental risks involved?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

OssanAmerica

Today 12:54 pm JST

No. The "anti Heneko crowd", as you falsely label them, want the entire US military presence out of Okinawa.

The presence reads like a horror story of crimes and abuse.

It's way past time for the Marines to go home is the general consensus down there.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

That ain’t happening TJ

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan lost the war, plain and some, therefore they cannot dictate where the US and allies want to build theot bases, or more, not to build them at all. Germans are not comaining, Italians are not complaining, Koreans are not complaining. Only the Japanese. Besides, they already pushing to move from dense population, so really, don't understand what's the problem? Moreover now, with the iminent invasion of Taiwan by China, which is only a couple hundred Kms from Okinawa...

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Not only governor, results of other elections or referendum have been also ignored, including many issues such as PFAS, Okinawa is still treated as if military colony.

But it's about to spread to whole Japan.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

The Okinawans who are against the US military presence are fools who are so shortsighted that they can not see the threat that Okinawa (and Japan) faces. Or they are influenced by China, the only country that really benefits if the sole obstruction to their expansion is removed.

Japan most certainly can dictate whether US troops remain on their soil as the US-JPN Mutal Defense Agreement clearly stipulates that either side can terminate the agreement on one year's notice.

Japan willingly chooses to maintain an alliance with the US and keep US forces in Japan. Has nothing to do with losing WWII, but rather the pacifist constitution post WWII that keeps Japan's hands tied. Although that is finally starting to change, the benefit to Japan of being protected by the largest military in the world and with nuclear capabilty outweghs the problems and difficulties that the presence of US bases causes.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

OssanAmerica,

When former President Bill Clinton visited here for a summit meeting, he promised that the U.S. would reduce its huge military footprint on Okinawa. The Henoko relocation certainly runs counter to this promise. Gov. Tamaki wants Futenma to be closed and returned along the line Clinton said and promised.

DanteKH,

Not to mention, Japan lost the war, as you say, and so the U.S. has every right to demand the construction in Henoko of Futenma's replacement be forged ahead. The U.S. military presence, aka occupation, is the end result of that war. That's what you want to say, right?

If that were the case, then what would become of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, under which the U.S. is supposed to maintain bases and facilities in Japan? Is that treaty just a paperwork or a trash that can be thrown in a dust bin? In other words, in your view, the U.S. military is here as an occupation army. Japan is still being occupied by the U.S., in your mind.

When German TV crew came to Okinawa for a coverage of the island, their immediate reaction was that Okinawa was being occupied by the U.S. military.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Ossan....

So the anti-Henoko crowd would rather have Futenma continue operations in the middle of a city with all the accidental risks involved?

No, they would prefer the US taking their military to somewhere else.... Somewhere like .... The US?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Let's review recent Okinawa history shall we?

100,000+ civilians killed in the Battle of Okinawa

Occupied by America for 20+ years including serving as major base for US military operations in Korea and Vietnam

Currently "hosting" 30,000 US military and have to deal with GI violent crimes, noise, air and water pollution.

Enough already. If the J government is so keen on building up its military forces in the south do it in Kyushu and see what the locals think.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Here's a representative of the US military boot telling us what's best for Okinawa.

The Okinawans who are against the US military presence are fools

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Okinawa is less than 2% of the Japanese population. Nobody cares what they think.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

deanzaZZRToday 05:39 pm JST

Occupied by America for 20+ years including serving as major base for US military operations in Korea and Vietnam

I assume you mention the military operations because they were a net positive for the economy.

Currently "hosting" 30,000 US military and have to deal with GI violent crimes, noise, air and water pollution.

And also contributing significantly to the economy. I guess they could be replaced with JSDF but then you would be dealing with their violent crimes, noise, air and water pollution.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

voiceofokinawaToday  03:55 pm JST

OssanAmerica,

When former President Bill Clinton visited here for a summit meeting, he promised that the U.S. would reduce its huge military footprint on Okinawa. The Henoko relocation certainly runs counter to this promise. 

The Okinawa G8 Summit was in July 2000.

The capability and threat level presented by China in 2024 is a totally different scenario from 2000.

The entire Henoko move was to replace Futenma.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Mr KiplingToday  05:28 pm JST

Ossan....

So the anti-Henoko crowd would rather have Futenma continue operations in the middle of a city with all the accidental risks involved?

No, they would prefer the US taking their military to somewhere else.... Somewhere like .... The US?

The US can not effectively comply with Article 5 of the Mutual Defense Treaty if located that far away.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

deanzaZZRToday  05:42 pm JST

Here's a representative of the US military boot telling us what's best for Okinawa.

The Okinawans who are against the US military presence are fools

And here's a CCP Wumao telling us what's best for Okinawa.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

a bravo move by the central government! The military base shall be fully supported in view of increasing threat from china commies. They are hiding lurking in the dark place like hyena, as what they always like to do. Today you withdraw the US military force or you appeared weak, tomorrow you will see them come out from nowhere suddenly and landed in Senkaku or Taiwan claiming that were their land! never under-estimate what a poisonous snake can do!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Welcome to the new BS democracy

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Japan is not a Republic, the local government is an extension of the central government of Japan. The local government is a branch of the central government and has little power to resist. It's like mid management revolting against the CEO.

As for "Majority of Okinawans", do we have a census proving this?

Please don't include the "citizens on paper only" who transfer their resistration to Okinawa while their actual residence is somewhere on the mainland and resister as they move to protest to wherever they wish.

If that is the case then you need to take census of ALL Japanese citizens since it envolves us all.

As for US bases I live near several, the Atsugi Airbase is about 10Km away, Yokosuka navy port, there is even a Military residential camp about a Km away from where I reside. The US band plays at our local summer festival each year.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The normal anti America, pro China crew are out doing what they always do. Talk down America being a shield that protects Japan and the region. The JGov recognizes and understands the threat from China is very real and very near. Queue objections from the pro China mob.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Dear @Ossan you usually choose your words more carefully. Review my posts and you will see that I consistently side with the voice of the local Okinawan people. Injustice is being done unto them.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

What happened isn't a matter of popularity, but the law. The governor isn't supposed to approve or deny plans based on his preferences or even the project's popularity, but whether they meet the relevant legal standards. He abused his authority and tried a pretext to block something he did not like. The government duly lined up along with the peasants for a day in court. Now the government is permitted to Substitute the Governor in the Duties He Failed to Execute. (Yeah, the translation of daishikkou is wonky I agree).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki,

If law counts the most over popular opinions, as you say, how do you respond to my contention that Futenma is an illegal property per se because it sits on illegally confiscated private property whereby the U.S. has no legitimate right to demand a replacement be provided in exchange for its return?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The easiest way to deal with your objection is simply to invoke the fact it is time-barred, being well over 20 years. Forcing an issue against a time-bar is problematic both substantively and procedurally. For example, if forced into court the US will no doubt plead that it was unaware that the relevant hexes were not abandoned land. Also, they did allocate land outside the base to the villagers so they were recompensed. Third, they were the administrators of Okinawa up to 1972 so they might be able to claim even eminent domain. And of course, since we are well over the prescription period the remaining records are incomplete, so just try and prove that they intentionally appropriated land they knew wasn't abandoned or that the villagers definitely did not agree to accepting the compensation. The inability to determine facts with precision, and the unfairness of requiring people to keep records forever just in case they might be sued one day, are both valid reasons for the time-barred period, and it would be invoked. As far as the law is concerned, Futenma is not illegal property.

The second easiest way to deal with your objection is that to the extent that Funtenma may be illegal, the US government is willing to settle the dispute. Settlements are a matter of negotiation and free contracting, and if the settlement is that you provide them with another piece of land, that's legally valid. It might reflect your weak bargaining power (because the Japanese people are unwilling to pay enough for their defense, for example), or it might reflect the reality they are more likely than not to win any court case even if it is held (some reasons provided above). Either way it doesn't make it legally invalid.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If law counts the most over popular opinions, as you say, how do you respond to my contention that Futenma is an illegal property per se because it sits on illegally confiscated private property whereby the U.S. has no legitimate right to demand a replacement be provided in exchange for its return?

"Popular opinions?" More like a joke!

Your contention is 100% wrong. Not to mention that the US has demanded nothing! The Japanese government agreed to replacement facilities in the security agreements.

I remind you here again!

ALL the legal issues were settled in the agreements between the US and Japan when the islands were returned to Japanese control. The US military was absolved of all "crimes" or issues related to their actions during the occupation. It's 100% settled law. There is zero argument on this anywhere.

This is taken from the

Agreement Between the United States of America and Japan Concerning the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands

17th June,1971

ARTICLE lV

Japan waives all claims of Japan and its nations against the United States of America and its nationals and against the local authorities of the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands, arising from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of the United States of America in these islands, or from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of the United States of America having had any effect upon these islands, prior to the date of entry into force of this Agreement.

All claims, not some but all, and it is very clear here, nothing ambiguous.

Also to note,

The waiver in paragraph 1 above does not, however, include claims of Japanese nationals specifically recognized in the laws of the United States of America or the local laws of these islands applicable during the period of United States administration of these islands. The Government of the United States of America is authorised to maintain its duly empowered officials in the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands in order to deal with and settle such claims on and after the date of entry into force of this Agreement in accordance with the procedures to be established in consultation with the Government of Japan.

Any claims that any individual may have had, are no longer legal in any manner or form today, as the Japanese laws regarding the statue of limitations takes precedence. It's over 50 years ago now!

Japan recognizes the validity of all acts and omissions done during the period of the United States administration of the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands under or in consequence of directives of the United States or local authorities, authorised by existing law during that period, and will take no action subjecting the United States nationals or the residents of these islands to civil or criminal liability arising out of such acts of omissions.

There is ZERO liability as agreed upon by both the Japanese and US governments.

http://ryukyu-okinawa.net/pages/archive/rev71.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When former President Bill Clinton visited here for a summit meeting, he promised that the U.S. would reduce its huge military footprint on Okinawa. The Henoko relocation certainly runs counter to this promise. Gov. Tamaki wants Futenma to be closed and returned along the line Clinton said and promised.

Convenient memory! The foot print has gotten smaller, and let's not forget the OKINAWAN and JAPANESE politicians who couldnt decide where to build the replacement facility.

Tamaki has and had nothing do to with Clinton. Hell Tamaki was a kid when Clinton was president! Not to mention all the other locations that will be returned along with Futenma when the landfill at Schwab is completed.

Stop please with beating the dead horse!

Nice try at obfuscation. but you are wrong, again.!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru (and Shimazaki),

That's the waver clause you are referring to. No one is demanding the U.S. side pay damages incurred during the occupation period. Time-bar or the statute of limitation is thus irrelevant here.  

The fact remains forever, however, that the U.S. occupation forces illegally confiscated private property in blatant violation of international law. In this sense, Futenma is an illegal property. Illegal squatters have no right to demand for a replacement in exchange for their evacuation from the land they occupy illegally.

In addition, this violation of international law can't be exonerated by a mere bilateral agreement between two relevant parties. International law transcends such agreements, to be sure.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The fact remains forever, however, that the U.S. occupation forces illegally confiscated private property in blatant violation of international law. In this sense, Futenma is an illegal property. Illegal squatters have no right to demand for a replacement in exchange for their evacuation from the land they occupy illegally.

The fact remains forever that the issue was settled! The fact remains forever that no one, with the exception of you, keep beating a dead horse!

Facts, the landfill will continue!

Facts, Futenma will close when it is finished.

Facts, your opinions are theories have and always will be refuted by facts of the treaties that are lawfully in place, between the US and Japanese governments.

Facts, the US government has demanded nothing other than Japan keep it's promises made in the treaties.

Facts, nothing more, nothing less!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The fact remains forever, however, that the U.S. occupation forces illegally confiscated private property in blatant violation of international law. 

Which court precedent cites this?

In this sense, Futenma is an illegal property. Illegal squatters have no right to demand for a replacement in exchange for their evacuation from the land they occupy illegally.

No comment,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Which court precedent cites this?

He is not wrong when he states that the US confiscated private property. During the war, no one cares, it's war, and the military took what it needed from an enemy to win. Using his "logic" every country, since the inception of the Hague convention is guilty. (Japan too, but he gives them a break all the time)

Following the war, and during the occupation, the US military forcibly removed people from their land, to build bases. Not the "s" there, plural as in multiple bases, not just Futenma. But you will see his ONLY complaints are about Futenma, a very narrow view of things, and hypocritical, as he refuses to acknowledge any other base with the same vitrol.

Now then, during the negotiations for the return of Okinawa, ALL these issues were settled! It's in the treaty itself, but he refuses to accept the agreement lawfully and legally made between the United States of America and the sovereign nation of Japan, like he wasnt "consulted" so these legally binding treaties dont count. Pretty arrogant huh?

ARTICLE lV

Japan waives all claims of Japan and its nations against the United States of America and its nationals and against the local authorities of the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands, arising from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of the United States of America in these islands, or from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of the United States of America having had any effect upon these islands, prior to the date of entry into force of this Agreement.

ALL claims, not "some" ALL. From all time prior to this agreement. No ambiguity, not lies, no hidden agenda's nothing.

Everything is legally clear and no one disputes any of it.

http://ryukyu-okinawa.net/pages/archive/rev71.html

But for the purpose of discussion, consider this, even if 0.0001% chance of what he wrote is true, dont you think that the powers that be, all the anti-base people, anti-base politicians, academics, and all the people around the world that have been made aware of this issue, wouldnt have brought it up themselves?

There have been cases where "evidence" has been planted in the Henoko area to make it appear that there are archeological ruins potentially in the ground there, which would have stopped the construction indefinitely due to current Japanese laws, but even that didnt work, and he thinks that his opinions and arguments are enough to overturn the minds and intelligence of those who have been looking for ways to stop the construction of the landfill?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru (Today  08:46 am JST),

You say facts are that: (1) the landfill to construct Futenma's replacement in Henoko will continue; (2) Futenma will close when the construction of its replacement is completed and handed over to the U.S.; (3) mine is simply my own theory and opinion; and (4) the U.S. government is simply asking the Japanese government to keep its promise to relocate Futenma to Henoko.

You are not refuting my contention with "these facts" you list that Futenma is an illegal property by nature whereby the U.S. has no legitimate right at all to demand Futenma's replacement be provided in exchange for its return.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

whereby the U.S. has no legitimate right at all to demand Futenma's replacement be provided in exchange for its return.

Ahh.. how sad, you refuse to accept the FACT that the treaty between the US and Japan gives the US the RIGHT to a replacement facility. Keeping it simple here for you. That's it, the agreements allow for it, and if agreed upon, no replacement either. You dont make the choices here, the governments do, and no matter how many times you copy and paste a prior reply from another post, it still all ends up the same.

Read....

ARTICLE lV

*Japan waives all claims of Japan and its nations against the United States of America and its nationals and against the local authorities of the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands, arising from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of the United States of America in these islands, or from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of the United States of America having had any effect upon these islands, prior to the date of entry into force of this Agreement.*

Read the highlighted sections. ALL CLAIMS, your theories and opinions, not arguments, are moot!

Oh and on the replacement part, Heck they even "replaced" the Awase golf course, where the huge Rycom Mall sits, with another golf course in Chibana!

But then they gave back a huge section of NTA and requested nothing in return. As has done with the land on Foster, and Kinser too! And you know very well the US has returned land with no replacement.

Japan wants the landfill at Camp Schwab too! The Japanese government wants the MC in Japan, and in Okinawa! You really have to understand that too!

There are zero legal issues. You have to legal standing!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru,

I want you to argue against me straightly and refute my contention that Futenma is an illegal property, for it sits on illegally confiscated private property. Do you deny the fact that the U.S. occupation forces confiscated private land with impunity while area residents were herded in camps like prisoners of war?   ..

Article 4 of the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement only states that Japan and its nationals wave all claims to damages incurred during the occupation period. It doesn't say illegality involved in the forceful confiscation of private property is pardoned. Or if it did, could a mere bilateral agreement transcend international law, that prohibits such confiscation, and so in your view Futenma is a bon a fide U.S base, faultless and flawless in any way?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Article 4 of the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement only states that Japan and its nationals wave all claims to damages incurred during the occupation period. It doesn't say illegality involved in the forceful confiscation of private property is pardoned.

FIrst, Yubaru is correct that things never got to the point of being a "pardon", simply because they were never found via trial procedures to be in the wrong. In waiving all their claims to damages, Japan is agreeing to give up their (including their nationals') right to even begin civil or criminal proceedings on the issue.

Yubaru should be credited for citing the treaty. Reading through other parts of it, the US is deeply aware from the day it began occupation to the day of reversion can be deemed controversial, and other parts have been used to effectively absolve the US and its personnel from any possible legal issues rising from them.

Or if it did, could a mere bilateral agreement transcend internatiovebnal law, that prohibits such confiscation

It gives Japan a potential claim right, but that right can be employed several ways. In this case, you can say Japan effectively "sold" the claim right.

First, as I've pointed out in my answer the last round, the claim right isn't worth very much because the issue is well past time-bar, which means a court's "most neutral" response is to throw the case out anyway. That's not counting how, if this is treated as a legal rather than historical issue, it's not hard to see how the US authorities can array defenses. Remember the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff or prosecution.

Second, it is used as part of the deal proffered to get the administrative rights to Okinawa back from the US at all. What is more valuable to Japan - getting Okinawa back or keeping some theoretical, long-shot claim rights? What is better for the Okinawans - getting out of the American administrative / judicial thumb or keeping some claim rights that have little chance of success in anything but a South Korean (because your reasoning reeks of theirs) court?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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