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Japan, U.S. activists demand halt in building U.S. base off OkinawaWASHINGTON
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Impossible Matt, the People's Republic of China is such an innocent peaceful country that has never taken any neighbors by force ;)
"Close the bases in Okinawa."
These people have no idea of the strategic implications of what they want and it makes me wonder whether they are in fact traitors to Japan and should be treated as such.
Look at a map. Its not rocket science.
President Xi has stated and stated repeatedly the following:
"not one inch of Chinese territory shall be lost, but we want nothing from others" or words to that effect.
China considers the Senkaku Islands Chinese territory so it should be outright assumed that at some point China is going to make a serious play for those islands.
It should also be assumed, that if the 2020 Taiwanese elections don't go in China's favour, ie President Tsai Ing-wen is re-elected and her party forms a majority government, that China will attack and attempt to take Taiwan which is almost certain to be successful. Whether it takes weeks, months or years, its hard to see any other outcome. China will wait for those election results, but if they don't go in their favour, particularly if President Tsai maintains the same stance she has now, they will attack.
I think they will attempt to take the Senkaku islands at the same time as they take Taiwan. It would make sense.
So now you have those territories under Chinese control. What's next? Well its the Yaeyama Islands, the Miyako Islands and the various island surrounding the main isle of Okinawa.
To attack those islands would be seen as a straight up act of war against Japan. We are talking about inhabited island with established facilities. Will China attack them? Well, based on President Xi's word you would say no, but you have to look at:
historical animosity based on the events of the 20th century
North and South Korea joining with China to attack Japan based on those same events and current friction.
the potential desire to wage an influence campaign on Okinawa, to, in effect, isolate and bring Okinawa under Chinese influence and therefore force Japan back to the main islands of Japan.
the desire to push America back to Guam and potentially Hawaii
the desire to blockade Japan from access to the SCS and therefore markets in S.E Asia without big workarounds by Japan.the desire to do everything possible to break the Japan/U.S alliance and bring Japan under Chinese sphere of influence once and for all, allowing China to dominate the entire region all the way down to Oceania.
Its all an unknown. I am not predicting China would take these steps. If they genuinely want peace then taking these steps would be a disaster and directly contravene not only what President Xi has said, but also what China generally states it wants which is peace in Asia.
But one thing is for sure, without U.S basing on Okinawa there is absolutely no hope of defending those islands which not only have Japanese populations and facilities, but also come with fishing and exploration rights.
They are simply too far away from Japanese mainland military facilities and even if they weren't, Japan doesn't have the capacity to defend them without assistance.
The correct strategy if you want to maintain a resemblance of sovereignty over those areas, of territorial integrity, and not run the risk of Chinese encroachment all the way up to the main island of Okinawa or even mainland Japan, bringing into question whether Japan can even survive outside of direct Chinese influence is to maintain base faculties and serious capabilities with them.
There are no other options.
You have to be utterly blind not to see that reality.
Its a matter of geography.
Japan has territories at considerable distance from the mainland to the south. As unpopular as base allocation might be in Okinawa there is even less room on the mainland and not only that, strategically, to withdraw back to the mainland simply opens up the territory to attack with very little hope of an adequate response in time to defeat any aggressor.
That cannot be acceptable to any Japanese administration worthy of the name.
It is the way it is. Its the lay of the land and short of some of artificial island building by Japan or some sort of volcanic eruption that creates new territory in new places, its not going to change.
Indeed. These people take peace for granted and no longer see the benefit that having a strong military provides. They believe that no one will bother Japan or act against it's interest as long as they keep to themselves. Naive to say the least.
Until China and NK actually go along with a true "peaceful rise" the bases are going to stay on Okinawa. There's just no changing that unfortunate reality.
Interestingly enough, only 10% of the signatures in the petition are from Okinawa per Rob Kajiwara himself (via his youtube). This is despite Japanese translations and directions being provided to people on what it says and how to sign the petition as well as local papers providing significant coverage for the petition. It goes to show where the majority of the anti-relocation support comes from (hint; not Okinawa).
Rob would have been better off flying to Tokyo, the US Govt regardless will tell him that this is an internal to Japan matter.
Bugle Boy of Company B
If the US absolutely HAS to have Henoko, then they should pay for it. And pay ground rent at the same price that anyone else would have to pay.
Pretty sure the US has already paid. Payment was made about 78 years ago...
*growing lack of irrelevance
*since they can't muster private companies
You know what, the revision and all issues related to how the land was acquired, all of it, ended when Okinawa returned to Japanese control, over 40 years ago. There is no argument regarding any legalities regarding Futenma and ALL the bases on Okinawa.
Stop running around in circles repeating the same things over and over again.
Now you know you were wrong, regarding your opinion about the legal issues, give a rest.
Can you explain what that means?
'Military occupation'... You keep using that word, but I don't think you know what it means.
Thats nice, but that is not at all what US forces are doing in Japan and you know it. When was the last time you heard of a US soldier ‘pointing a gun’ at a Japanese civilian? Where are the occupational governments? The marshall law? That’s right, they don’t exist because it is not a military occupation. If Japan asked us to leave, we would. Just ask the Philippines.
Lie number one; It's not a new base.
Everything you write after lie number one becomes moot, because the basis of your opinion is based upon it! It has new factilities! Wow, so does Kadena, Foster and others, but they are not called new bases.
This has gotten just plain silly, but I'll humor you.
So what if it costs a lot? Must be one heck of a garage. It's still just a garage though, and it's still the same house it's being added to. The address isn't changing and the plans I had to have approved are for an addition to my existing house.
Absolutely. Ever hired a contractor? You can make changes to existing projects whenever you want.
Why wouldn't I be? Whether I'm paying for it or my rich uncle is, it's still my house.
Yes, it has gotten silly. All readers back on topic please.
You can as angry as you want, but it is useless, and you'll just end up giving yourself a heart attack for no reason.
Take a deep breath, relax, and let us assist you in cooling yourself down!
You keep on attempting to lay the blame on the US, and every time you do so, you keep getting it wrong, every time! The US and Japanese governments made the agreement to replace facilities in kind.
Is it unfair? Maybe, Should the treaty be re-negotiated? Probably so. But until either side makes the formal request to do so, ANY and ALL protests from the Japanese people and anti-base coalition SHOULD be made towards the Japanese National Government!
You keep repeating the same fallacy, over and over. This was all covered during the agreement to return Okinawa to Japanese control during the late 60's and early 70's, and culminated with the return of Okinawa in 1972.
This is NOT an issue.
Futenma WILL be returned! When Henoko is completed! Per the Security Agreement! There are no strings attached either. Also just because you "say" it does not make it so! This is just another one of your opinions, it's that simple!
So cool down, relax, and let things take their course, it will be over soon!
Quite so, it will be! There is no legal argument about how the bases were appropriated, you surely know that as well, but are looking for emotional support for your opinion, because there is not other valid ground for you to stand on!
If you believe your opinions are sound, I challenge you once again, to take the issue to the Japanese courts, and not the court of JT public opinion. Let the Japanese courts tell you the same things that I and others have been telling you here.
Where did you pull this one from? There is no "criminal" law here in Japan that is applicable in the case that is being discussed here.
^If there was actually validity in that claim why has no one with a law degree brought a legal challenge in Japan, the US, or internationally? Probably because people who know the law know that there’s no legal
leg to stand on and very limited chance of success.
The thing is, voice, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that the land the US bases sit on belongs to the US. You keep focusing your anger on the US, when the land they are using all belongs to Japan. But I guess your narrative falls apart if you can't continue screaming about illegal land confiscations by Americans.
How can it be illegally occupied when Okinawa was returned to Japan, therefore the entirety of the land was also returned to Japan? It became the responsibility of the Japanese government from the day it was returned. Don't like how the Japanese government is handling their property? Take it up with them. The US is doing nothing wrong.
This is just an opinion, that does not need responding to. It doesnt.
The rest is just repetition and does not require any response either
Again, this is only a "point" to you, no one else. There is no violation, none what so ever.
I take it that you have the exact same opinion about the Kurile Islands as well.
I picked that expression up from the media. I understand they are units that engage in actual combats and battles such as in ground warfare, jungle warfare, amphibious warfare and all. They are distinguished from support unitsthat are engaged in logistics, maintenence, etc. Seemingly a person concerned, you'd better give an exact definition.
How sad to see how people today are influenced by lies spread by media and people who have no idea of the reality of the actual situation here in Okinawa.
Once again, to dispel the biggest lie being told so often that now everyone who is a protester believes it to be true: it's not a "new" base. The landfill project off of Camp Schwab is totally different than the once initially proposed and is nothing more than reclaiming a portion of the current base shoreline to build an airfield for the replacement of MCAS Futenma.
There are still 3 major communities in Okinawa that are refusing to hold the referendum, and most importantly Ginowan, the host city of MCAS Futenma, refuses to hold the referendum for basically one major reason; the refusal of the prefectural government to include anything about Futenma in the referendum.
The referendum is going to be a "yes" or "no" type of question regarding the landfill at Camp Schwab, and it will not have any reference to Futenma. Hence the Mayor of the city refusing to use city funds to hold the referendum. His stance is that it is NOT just about the landfill, it is about what to do with Futenma, now nearly forgotten in all the talk about the landfill project.
MCAS Futenma, and it's relocation is STILL the main issue, but everyone conveniently forgets about that. Yet the two are inter-locked, as once the landfill is completed, now by the way, too far along to stop, Futenma WILL be relocated and closed! That along with vast areas of land being returned as well.
People must keep that in mind too!
Quite so, and like the referendum itself, forced upon the government of Okinawa by people from outside the prefecture, the people of Okinawa are being forced, once again, by outside influences to do something they do not want to.
People who are protesting this issue conveniently choose to overlook their own hypocrisy!
Watch out for someone telling you it's a "quasi" or "virtual" occupation, whatever the hell that means!
No need for the truth today, lies are much easier to believe!
Exactly. U.S. forces do not point guns at protesters to expand existing bases anymore, but you admit they did in the past -- during the 0ccupation period. Since such barbarity doesn't exist anymore, you seem to insist that Okinawa isn't under occupation.
But it's the same old occupation nonetheless because large swaths of Okinawa's land mass are still occupied by the U.S. forces and their personnel are enjoying the same old perquisites they enjoyed during the Occupation period.
This occupation is not occupation in the usual sense of the word but a shrewdly systematized one by a treaty.
My mistake, not "virtual" or "quasi", but a "shrewdly systematized" one!
None of which make any sense. As I said earlier, repeat lies enough and you believe them to be truth, and hypocrisy reigns!
There is no occupation in Japan. It's a plain and simple fact.
I can recall no such time when American troops pointed guns at Japanese protesters. Keep in mind, Japan was not invaded. It was forced to surrender and agree to an occupation. There would not have been much opposition by the time the first troops arrived. Side from a series of rapes, the occupation was rather civil. Especially by Japanese standards.
The U.S. forces occupy 18 % of Okinawa Island's land mass. Is this a lie? The new Marine base under construction in Henoko isn't a simple replacement for MCAS Futenma. It will have many new features Futenma doesn't, such as port facilities to harbor large transport ships like the Bon Homme Richard, an ammunition depot, ramps for the launching and landing of amphibious vessels and what not. In other words, it's a new base without any doubt.
What other lies have I been telling? Please list them and explain why they are lies.
Kadena has added hangers for fighter jets to its assets in recent years. It may have undergone refurbishing occasionally since 1945. Even so, it remains Kadena Air Base. You cannot call it a new base because of these added facilities.
Futenma's replacement is a different story. You cannot simply call it a replacement. It's a new base completely different in its nature and function from the original air base.
Oh by the way, Camp Schwab has always had an ammunition depot, and ramps for launching and landing amphibs, so nothing new there either, just upgrades.
Upgrades to facilities do not make a "new" base.
You and everyone else who claims otherwise need to wake up and quit with the lies!
Oh you want an example of a "new" facility? I will give you one.
When Naha Military Port moves to Urasoe, THAT will be a totally NEW facility!
Talk about playing with words. You know nothing about the situation if you think that the new landfill is going to be larger than the existing base, it's not, not even close.
So who is the one playing with words here?
But dont worry, it's already about 20% completed. The referendum is non-binding, the results won't matter, and everyone will just need to wear earplugs until it's finished, and we all can be happy that it's finally over!
How about port facilities that can harbor the Bon Homme Richard? Does Futenma at the current site have such facilities? Can it be considered an extension of either Futenma or Camp Schwab?
But if the garage costs almost as much as the house, which itself hasn't been completed yet, can you say it's like adding a garage to your house? And who pays all the costs? Are you in a position to demand your conditions be met?
Your property?! My post in response to extanker also applies to you. So can you answer the questions I raised there?
It doesnt matter! You are still trying to put a round peg in a square hole! It will never work!
The cost issue, rhetorically speaking here, because if it is MY house, I make the decisions, if it costs more than what I paid to build my house than I am the one responsible! I pays the costs! And damn straight, since I am paying for it I will make any demands as I see are appropriate.
Next, talking about the landfill, the JAPANESE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT is paying for it! They made the decision, it's their choice, you got a problem with it, you take it up with them. Until you stop bleating the same lies about the US demanding this or that, (they arent) you will continue to lose any arguments or discussions about this issue. The JAPANESE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT agreed to the plan.
You keep on missing it, and until you open your eyes, you will keep beating the same dead horse.
Right, just like the comfort women issue, the "slave" labor issue, and so on and so forth....
Sounds to me like you want "compensation" just like the one's I gave as an example, even though they were supposedly settled issues as well.
So what is your "asking" price?
I have asked this question any number of times, only to have it remained unanswered, and the reasons are as you state, there is nothing there.
If there were I am quite sure the folks in the anti-base coalition would have found a way to press the issue, as they have gone to great lengths to find any reason to stop the landfill project, yet none has even suggested this here.
It's just one person's opinion, being repeated constantly, that's all!
And myself and others have been repeating the same response, you are dead wrong! That's all there is to it!
Yup, leading a parade of one! And if you know what that means, you will stop.
Lol..never going to happen! Leastwise here in Japan!
I have and others have elaborated far too many times, you just dont like the answer.
I know exactly what it means, having come from a country where foreign soldiers pointed guns at you and friends and family could be subject to harassment from the occupying forces.
The people of Okinawa have my unflinching support.
The proposed base at Henoko is a new facility. If we had been living in a cottage on our land and built a massive mansion with swimming pools and a marina with a jetty stretching way out into the bay, we would call it a new house. Trying to deny that Henoko is a new base is just playing with words.
If I add a garage to my house, it's still the same house.
If I add a pier to the river on the back of my property, at my house, did I built a new house? No, I just made improvements to my property!
A nation's criminal law transcends an agreement signed by a perpetrator and a fence. Thus, illegality of Futenma remains as it is despite the two agreements signed by Japan and the U.S. -- the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement.
My contention that Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private land and therefore that the U.S. has no legitimate right to demand Futenma's replacement be built in Henoko is well founded and never a groundless lie as you lambaste me so rashly.
A nation's criminal law transcends an agreement signed by a perpetrator and a fence. Likewise, the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (Article 46) transcends the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement.
Thus, illegality of Futenma remains despite the two agreements signed by Japan and the U.S. My contention that Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private land and therefore that the U.S. has no legitimate right to demand Futenma's replacement be built in Henoko is well founded and never a groundless lie as you lambaste me so rashly.
You're simply obfuscating the problem.
I 've been arguing all the time that Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private land and therefore that the U.S. has no legitimate right to demand for its replacement in exchange for the return of it. Futenma must be closed and the land must be returned right then and there with no strings attached. That's all there is to it.
You say all these land issues were solved through negotiations between the two governments which people on either side take for granted. Maybe, I’m the only one taking a different view right now, but no sweat, there's an increasing number of people who sympathize with my view on the matter. That is, Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private land whereby the U.S. side has no legitimate right to demand for its replacement in exchange for the return of it.
A head of a major political party mentioned, in a recent interview with NHK, exactly the same thing as I've been arguing here. So wait a little more until this would be a national consensus.
Yes, you've been repeating the same response, merely saying I’m dead wrong, without elaborating why I am wrong. As such, your response is nothing but squalling. a mere claim, not a rational argument.
Suppose a perpetrator returns ownership of a stolen good while retaining a right to use it freely, which is made possible through negotiations out of court. Does the fact dissipate that the perpetrator stole the item?
You aren't responding to the questions I raised above in my post of Jan. 12 | 02:55 pm UTC. You're simply saying there's no need to answer the questions because these are my personal opinions.
When the Henoko reclamation plan was announced in 1997, then Okinawa Governor Masahide Ota took no time to criticize it by saying the area was classified as a rank-one coral preservation area by the Prefectural assessment. Ota's comment must have been based on the data which had already been compiled by his predecessor, Junji Nishime (Tenure: 1978 - 1990).
The majority of Okinawans have opposed to the construction of the new Marine base in Henoko not only out of environmental concerns but also out of outrage over the U.S.’s hidden agenda to maintain its massive military footprint in Okinawa indefinitely for whatever the reason may be. People sarcastically called the relocation "changing the location of one base to another within the same area" （基地のたらい回し）.
Let the Chinese invade that island and massacre its people!
True ignorance and the commonly used 'threat' of those who have no other sensible comment.
Thanks for giving me a chance to read the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement.
I found para.1 & 2 of Article 3, and para. 4 of Article 4 are the most relevant to our discussion here. But these provisions are agreements between the two governments and can never exonerate the irregularities the U.S. occupation forces committed against international law during the early days of their occupation of Okinawa. If you don't understand what I mean, let me illustrate it by using a metaphor.
Do you think a fence can be exonerated from criminal law if he and another fence sign an agreement in writing of their dealings?
My post above (Jan. 10 | 10:54 pm JST) is a response to this assertion of yours that legality issues over land acquisition by U.S. forces were solved when Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972.
There were two types of land acquisition by U.S. forces in post-war Okinawa. The first type occurred in the early days of occupation, while all war-survived Okinawa residents were herded in camps on various locations like POWs. The U.S. forces took advantage of the mess and encroached upon large swaths of land -- towns, villages and all -- with impunity. Futenma is a typical case here.
Secondly, in the 1950s, they requisitioned land with force to expand already existing bases, by bulldozing houses and farms before protesting farmers and land owners.
The provisions in the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement are written with the second type in mind, apparently oblivious of the first type.
At any rate, these irregularities committed by U.S. forces cannot be exonerated under international law with no regard to whatever the bilateral agreement may say.
Of course, the case must be taken to court, especially to International Court, when the time is ripe
Yubaru and extanker,
The point at issue here is whether confiscating private land in an occupied country or region is legal or not. I've been arguing it is illegal because it violates international law (Article 46 of Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land) .
Whereas, you say it isn't because all such problems were discussed and solved in an agreement between the two governments when Okinawa was returned to Japanese control. I countered this by questioning if international law transcends any agreement signed between two countries.
Do you think dealings between a perpetrator and a fence are exonerated from a nation's law if they signed an agreement warrantying otherwise? Doesn't national law supersede a private contract between the two parties? And that agreement is the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement.
NAN DESU KA,
Toasted Heretic's post may be an answer to your presupposed question of "what will happen if America pulls out of Japan. Let the Chinese invade that island and massacre its people!"
T.H. further mentions "colonizers/occupiers ... warn of dire consequence if their domination is opposed." The dire consequence, to translate in your words, is a possibility that the Chinese will invade Okinawa and massacre us Okinawans if we oppose the Henoko relocation plan.
What makes me angry with these people is that they think the U..S. has a legitimate right to demand a replacement ( or call it a new base) be provided if we want Futenma to be returned. But their taken-for-granted legitimacy is very dubious because, as I have repeatedly said before, Futenma sits on stolen property whereby the U.S. can't demand per se for Futenma's replacement to be built within Okinawa with all the costs borne by us Japanese taxpayers – monetary as well as environmental costs.
Futenma must be closed and the land returned immediately with no strings attached. Period.
Excellent post, voiceofokinawa. The occupation is on shaky ground and only continues because of American pressure and the Stockholm syndrome factor for some.
It's always the same, the colonizers/occupiers always claim benign reasons to justify their presence. And of course, warn of dire consequences if their domination is opposed.
The people of Okinawa must remain strong in their struggle. The world is on their side.
Spot on! One of the "benign reasons” they give as to why Futenma's function must be relocated to Henoko is to maintain the deterrence capability of the Okinawa-deployed Marines the same as ever. But note that the most active elements of them are to move to Guam in the near future, leaving only command and logistics units in Okinawa. These Marine contingents come to Okinawa on a semi-annual basis for training purposes. There's also a bilateral agreement that primary responsibility to deal with contingencies involving outlying islands rests with JSDF with Japan-stationed USFJ having only the role of helping hands when help is needed.
It's noteworthy also that pro-relocation posters here keep clamoring that there's always a China threat or a North Korean nuclear threat and so, they say, the relocation site must be Henoko. There's a bunch of people, mostly right wingers, within our own society who apparently suffer from Stockholm syndrome, as you correctly point out, and so sympathize with this ill-fated relocation plan stupidly.
What a vindictive and spiteful post. Nobody wants American civilians to leave, just the military.
I'm not suggesting an IRA-style campaign to remove the occupiers, for goodness sake.
Amazing you feel so slighted you would advocate the massacre of Okinawans and laugh about it. Thus, the true face of the occupation is revealed.
Excellent show of solidarity. But they are not going far enough with their demands. The occupation must end now and the military occupiers be sent back to their country.
If the US absolutely HAS to have Henoko, then they should pay for it. And pay ground rent at the same price that anyone else would have to pay.
All of japan should. But we are lead by a one party dictatorship controlled by America.
Hiro S Nobumasa
Robert should also take this case directly to the American people and ask them to stop their government from making Okinawa the Crimea of Asia.
Japan was sacrificed by the Japanese government during the war, and it is still being sacrificed today. I feel sorry for the Okinawan people. Let Japan defend itself (if it wants to); this is the 3rd richest country in the world, after all. When will the US stop being the world's policeman with over 800 bases around the world, including those in the US? I say get all US military out of Japan.