Kagoshima governor OKs SDF's plan to build base for U.S. military drills


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After careful consideration, I concluded that our prefecture has no choice but" to accept the plan regarding an SDF base on Mage Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Shiota told a local assembly session

There is always a choice, but as with any other base, money talks, and Kagoshima is not immune from pressure to take it. Just like the politicians in another prefecture that scream against the bases, yet keep their other hand out begging for more and more money because they host them!

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Why not just destroy all of the beautiful places in Japan. We lost the war 80 years ago.

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Mageshima was the site of an IJA air base late in WWII. The island is crossed by two WWII era runways. One is the full length of the island and the other crosses full width at the widest part. I was inhabited for maybe ten years or so after WWII but it was just too difficult a place to make a living. Remnants of farm plots are still visible in satellite images. There is a small harbor too. The island is very far from undisturbed. If it gets Field Carrier Landing Practice someplace that isn't bothering a populated area that seems like a plus.

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That's a shame as mage islands are the oldest rock formations in the Japanese archipelago and it should be a protected nature reserve

Okinawa has some beautiful mage sites I've visited

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That's a shame as mage islands are the oldest rock formations in the Japanese archipelago and it should be a protected nature reserve

Almost all of the island has been altered by fishing villages, the WWII airfield and later settlements in the 1950s and 60s. If you pull it up on Google Earth you can see the runways cross the full length and width of the island. Based on what I have seen of some US military installations with sensitive biodiversity, endangered creatures and or historic petroglyphs the military can do a very good job of protecting a site. At North Island we bent over backwards not to disturb certain sea birds that nested on the base each spring.

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Washington asking Tokyo to prepare a more convenient and permanent location for the drills

Again, we'll have to obey, making sure things are as convenient as possible for US. After all, they are here to stay, forever. Why pretend Japan is a sovereign nation? Might just as well accept that Japan is the territory of US, just like Guam.

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The core of the problem here is the same as the Futenma relocation issue in Okinawa. 

In other words, U.S.-subordinate Japan must guarantee the U.S. its firm military presence in Japan and so the secure maintenance of bases.

I think that the mainlander Japanese will eventually come to understand the predicament Okinawa is forced under.

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How subservient and sycophantic the Japanese government is to the U.S. government may be understood by the fact that there is an official system in Japan in which base-hosting localities receive a subsidy in proportion to the area of the bases they host of either SDF or USFJ. 

So, it's quite possible that either Governor Koichi Shiota of Kagoshima Prefecture or Mayor Toshisuke Yasaka of Nishinoomote City, under whose jurisdiction Bageto island falls, was promised that subsidy to be paid well in advance.

There is a recall campaign to remove Yasaka, who was elected to mayorship on the platform of anti-fortification of the island but flipflopped his stance later on after the election.

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