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Japan, U.S. delay Futenma base relocation until after 2014

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Yup! as expected something always comes up. Maybe I should pass the hat for better sound proofing of my house. The government sent in a contractor but that has been years ago. Wonder when if will be officially canceled? Who wrote to move the Okinawa people? There is just no place we can go. Perhaps you recommend some to be moved against our wills to South America like before?

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of course. Who cares about a base when all the people up north are suffering. 2014 is still too early though

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Funny thing is that the conclusion was decided upon years ago and the only people that did't know it live on Okinawa.

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YuriOtani: The people in Okinawa CHOSE to live around the US bases for their livelihood, bottom line. It's sad that Hatoyama had to mess up the whole base issue and now things are more up in the air than ever, but you get who you vote for.

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The Okinawa people have been co-opted by both the anti-American radical element in Japan and the Okinawa politicians who use Futenma as a running platform. It all started in 1990 with the election of Ota as governor. He was really left wing, ani-American and his family owned a significant part of the land used for Futenma . He started importing radicals and activists from mainland Japan to attend rallies and “convert” the Okinawa people. The three main political parties that supported him were the Socialist, Communist, Shaminren, and Komei parties. One of the tactics they used to make Futenma an issue was to sell several thousand people a small (inches square) piece of land used for Futenma. This made it difficult for the Japanese government to deal with the large number of “landowners”. Ota also established the political model for future governors. He and his supporting political parties made it virtually impossible to get elected governor without taking an anti-base stand. This was not because it was the majority of the Okinawa peoples will, it was because of the billions of yen poured into elections from outside Okinawa to ensure the “right” candidate wins. Ever wonder how many civilians have been killed by DANGEROUS Futenma crashes? So far 0… and counting. All this is not to say there are not issues with noise and congestion around the bases, but have you noticed there has never been a referendum vote offered to the people of Okinawa to let them have their say on the bases? The outcome might be different from what the politicians and activists scream from their megaphones.

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smithinjapan, where else would we live? There is not a lot of empty land available. Oh it does not matter who we vote into office, nothing ever changes.

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Riffraff, I completely agree about the need for a referendum.

I only know the opinions of friends and family in Okinawa. Everyone I know is completely against the US military presence here. Not - as far as I can see - influenced by the views of politicians, but from a practical point of view. They see that HUGE tracts of land have been grabbed, occupied and - from a Japanese point of view - totally wasted. Kadena could be condensed to one tenth of its size and there would still be open spaces.

The military planes, helicopters and trucks are noisy. They really are. They carry weapons of destruction. They may not be using them at this point in time and in this place, but the whole system exists to support arms. They carry guns. The war planes have bombs. Guns and bombs have no peaceful purpose at all. They kill and/or injure. That's all they can do.

The troops have made whole areas of Okinawa city and Naha city unsafe in the evenings. No one blames them. They are soldiers. Their way of thinking seems to be have a good time tonight because tomorrow, we may get sent to a war zone. You can't blame them for that. But you can blame the lack of consideration of the politicians who put them there.

You would think that - at the very least - the Japanese government and the US military would have the basic human kindness to ask.

"Is it OK for the US military to be here?"

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What was anyone expecting? This deal will be pushed back in 2014.

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Yuri, as a american who has served in okinawa in the past, i have to say i feel really bad for america's racist denial of human rights. but i also want to thank okinawans for being very friendly and respectful for use. alot of americans are against the base as well and i join to promote freedom and get money for college because the us gov spends too much money on these wars and nothing on us. i did not join to racistly deny human rights to a peaceful minority group. I do say i love okinawa and the people of okinawa.

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Possible?

http://shingetsublog.jugem.jp/?eid=41

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@JohninNaha

Quick question for you.

I only know the opinions of friends and family in Okinawa. Everyone I know is completely against the US military presence here

Where is "Here"? You may very have experienced everything there in Okinawa or your information could be second-hand. I'd like to know for sure without assuming. There are a few things about your post I found odd and I don't want to rip into you blindly.

The military planes, helicopters and trucks are noisy. They really are.

There isn't a vehicle in the world that isn't noisy. Don't see the problem there.

They carry weapons of destruction.

That's not how the military rolls. "Oh yeah man, just leave the SARMs in the back in the truck" "Lets get a slice of pizza" You are just referring to the purpose of the vehicle, right? Not the reality of the situation.

They may not be using them at this point in time and in this place, but the whole system exists to support arms.

No, I disagree with you. The whole system exists to support the concept of "Deterence". Nobody climbs over the wall when they see guard dogs. I sincerely don't want that guard dog to bite you but if you even think of coming over here I'll let the dogs out.

They carry guns.

Yes, they do carry guns. ON BASE!! We dont' go out in town like Dirty Harry.

The war planes have bombs

No, the bombs are not attached to the wings until it's a time of war.

Guns and bombs have no peaceful purpose at all. They kill and/or injure. That's all they can do.

No, that's not all they can do. They could just sit there and we pray they never have to serve their purpose. Until we arm they with any kind of explosive ordinance, they're basically just oversized clocks. By the way, they look pretty peaceful just sitting there. But you'll never see them...just sitting there.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not interested in war. Don't want to see it. I just felt that the picture you painted with your post MIGHT not be accurate. We don't leave guns and missiles in the back of the humvee while we go out to do whatever.

If you want to worry about something....worry more about random stabbings and police officers leaving their guns in public bathrooms.

If you do by chance see a Humvee with a JDAM in the back parked outside Family Mart with the windows down, take a picture for me. You'll have me down there protesting with you in a heartbeat.

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NetNinja, you make a lot of good points! What is really annoying to me is those little motorcycles. I do not know how the people on 58 deal with it on a constant basics. I hear what you are saying and it is true. The US Forces are on a peaceful footing. I think the MP's carry sidearms but have never heard of them being pulled off base, am I wrong? Sometimes people get the wrong ideal about me, am lots of things and NOT anti-American. I may not like the politics but that is different from the people. Come to think of it am not happy with politics in Japan too. So I say lets make the best of it as it is all above our positions. Lets not let politics get in the way of our friendship!

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Yuri Your right on about the motorcycles! To me they are way louder and make nosie longer the the airplanes going by.

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"U.S. military footprint"

I object to this term. It implies that the U.S. military is stomping all over the place doing untold damage.

It's not. It's kept Japan out of trouble for 65 years.

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To Riffraff and NetNinja:

As reported in the article, the two sides (Tokyo and Washington) reconfirmed the 2006 Roadmap which stipulated that an air station with V-shaped runways would be built on reclaimed land off the coast of Henoko District in northern Okinawa. This is what I would call a base laundry tactics very similar to money laundering because the relocation is an attempt on the part of the U.S. side to hide the dirty nature of the Futenma air base.

Jon Mitchell writes in his recent article on The Japan Times: "With all of Okinawa under U.S. administration, the authorities started by tricking the landowners (in Iejima) into signing voluntary evacuation papers... But then, when some families refused to leave, 300 U.S. soldiers with rifles and bulldozers dragged women and children from their beds, tore down their homes and slaughtered their goats." ("Iejima: an island of resistance," May 22, 2011 Japan Times)

But Iejima was only a precursor in the 1950's Okinawa of forceful land expropriations by the U.S. military at bayonet point and by bulldozer to expand their already-existing bases. Following Iejima came Isahama in now Ginowan City (Camp Foster) and Gushi in Oroku (now incorporated into Naha City) (Naha Air Base, formerly operated by the U.S. Air Force, currently by SDAF). Futenma had already been turned into a forward operating base for the U.S. Marine Aviation Squadron to attack mainland Japan in 1945.

The Marine Corps says when the base was built, there was nothing in the area where Futenma now sits except for barren wilderness. But that's not true. There were five idyllic villages there before the war: Ginowan, Kamiyama, Nakahara, Maehara and Aragusuku, all ravaged during the Battle of Okinawa and then all forced to move outside of the fences after the war, eventually becoming integral parts (districts) of today's Ginowan City. The old villages were swallowed up into the air base with a 2,700-meter runway, together with rich farmland. The Futenma village, after which the base was named, was located just outside of the encroached-upon land and so narrowly escaped the ill fate of the incorporation into the base.

If U.S. policy planners feel no qualms of conscience about the dark history of those U.S. bases in Okinawa, then they are real villains and villainesses with no human mind. I believe that that explains why they can brazenly demand a quid pro quo for Futenma's facilities to be built in Henoko, with all the expenses footed by Japanese taxpayers (Okinawa residents included).

Futenma must be closed down immediately with no string attached. The U.S. has no inherent right at all to keep the base.

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Net Ninge:

"Where is "Here"?"

With a handle like "johninnaha," I wonder if you could hazard a guess.

"There isn't a vehicle in the world that isn't noisy. Don't see the problem there."

Yes, you're right about the trucks. No big deal. I do take issue with planes and helicopters. They ARE noisy. Futenma has it pretty bad, as does Kadena.

They carry weapons of destruction.

Well, Ninge, they may not have them on board the whole time, but that's what they are designed for, isn't it?

"You are just referring to the purpose of the vehicle, right?"

Yes. I am. The purpose of the vehicle and the purpose of the military installations themselves.

They may not be using them at this point in time and in this place, but the whole system exists to support arms.

"The whole system exists to support the concept of "Deterence". Nobody climbs over the wall when they see guard dogs."

I could understand this if it were your yard the dogs were guarding.

But it's not.

Ninge, are you trying to tell me or imply that the US military is in Okinawa on a completely altruistic basis, protecting the Okinawans and Japanese out of the kindness of their hearts?

"If you want to worry about something....worry more about random stabbings and police officers leaving their guns in public bathrooms."

Why do you change a singular into a plural, Ninge?

That was ONE police officer.

In any case, what does that or the random stabbings have to do with the price of fish?

The point I really wanted to make was that it would be a basic act of politeness for the US military + the Honshu government to ASK the people of Okinawa if they want a foreign military presence here or not. Do a referendum and find out what they really think.

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Riffraff - the article you provide a link to suggests that Chinese interests are hotly buying up Okinawan real estate - including land where US military bases are. This begs the question that if this is true, tying up Japanese and US finance in useless military spending is hardly going to rectify anything, is it?

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YuriOtani: "smithinjapan, where else would we live? "

Umm... how about not building your house next to a US military base as an easy means to make money then complain about it later? That's what's happening, in a nutshell. What did the people who literally made the neighbourhood around the bases think? did they think it would be tranquil and quiet? If the military DO leave and they don't follow and then cry about the lack of income and how they are suffering with the bases no longer there, who's going to take them seriously?

If you don't want to live near the bases, don't.

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Voice of Okinawa

Excellent information.

Thank you.

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