politics

Japanese gov’t sues Okinawan governor in U.S. base relocation dispute

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By Elaine Lies

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The hyprocrisy of the Japanese government is beginning to rival the size of Mt Everest. Move the bases to mainland Japan, or back to the US. The Okinawans elected Mr Onaga on an anti-base platform. He should not be punished for doing what he promised to do - blocking the transfer of the base.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

@smithinjapan"He can't win this."

Smith, at least, he is fighting for his people. Not for interests of Uncle Sam.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

@voiceofokinawa: Since people are giving you a hard time for quoting the Marine Corps Times, take at look at this link of a PDF document from the Director of the Guam Military Buildup Office that contains information on the Marine Corps Units that will be leaving Okinawa and going to Guam. It is basically what you are saying but this is an official source.

http://www.frbsf.org/community-development/files/Mark-Calvo-Pacific-Military-Realignment-Impact-on-Housing-in-Guam-6-5-2013.pdf

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I keep asking this question: Why can't they move the US bases elsewhere in Japan? Don't you think Japan's sovereignty would be much safer all of it's regions (like Okinawa) are happier? But this brings up another question. Would the rest of Japan welcome the US bases relocation in their area?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ smithinjapan

As I said to Stuart, you and voiceofkinawa keep lying about a majority when Onaga is only supported by 32%, and claim you are the voice of Okinawa.

The question here is not how many Okinawans have elected Onaga in 2014, but how many Okinawans oppose the current relocation scheme and demand a drastic reduction of the US military burden.

Other then you, smithinjapan, we are able to base our claims (that we are talking about a large majority) on plenty of objective evidence, including numerous polls, the election results, the media coverage and public discussion in Okinawa, the publicly stated opinions of nearly all local representatives, etc. etc.

So what exactly do you base your claims on?

@ Yubaru

So called facts and figures and surveys are skewed to show support for the anti-base movement and nothing ever positive gets reported in the media

To say all facts and figures are skewed is such an absurd argument that it doesn't even need to be addressed.

It rather sounds like a conspiracy theory.

they have jobs to do and mouths to feed and are apathetic about the issue and for the most part just want Futenma gone and this issue put to bed, they are tired of the BS and games.

Is this is pure subjective guessing or can you base such unlikely claims on any objective evidence?

It doesn't really make much sense to discuss subjective speculations of pro-base folks on the opinion of the Okinawan people here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pawahara

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Time for the government to ask Okinawans to make a choice once and for all between the two sites.

I've always said they should have a referendum

2 ( +6 / -4 )

People, visit Okinawa at least once and see if the people are "suffering" or being "sacrificed". The last time a base referendum was held only 40 percent of eligible voters bothered to vote.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga repeats the mantra that Henoko is the only alternative for Futenma's relocation site, citing two reasons: First, a dangerous Futenma must not be fixed forever at the present site where it is surrounded by a densely-populated residential area; Second, A deterrence the Okinawa-based Marines have must be sustained and not be reduced at all.

Note that Futenma alone is not dangerous but Kadena Air Base is, too. Kadena has a record of more serious accidents than Futenma. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, there are Yokota Air Base and Atsugi Naval Air Base both of which are surrounded by far more densely-populated residential areas than Futenma.

On April 4, 1964, an F-8 Crusader jet fighter that had come from Kadena Air Base crashed into the midtown of Machida, causing fatal and serious damage to the townspeople and the property. On September 27, 1977, a Marine F-4 Phantom II reconnaissance jet fighter that had taken off from Atsugi Air Base crashed into a densely-populated residential area in Yokohama City.

Will Suga make a short shrift of such dangers posed by these bases? No big deal with them, he will say?

He threatens that unless the Henoko relocation was carried out, Futenma would remain fixed at the current site forever. But that's what the U.S. side has been insinuating from time to time. So Suga is merely parroting Washington's threatening tactics. A poor instrument of the U.S. government, he is indeed.

At the Japan-U.S. Two-Plus-Two foreign and defense ministerial meeting in 2006, it was agreed that 8,000 to 9,000 Marines would be moved out from Okinawa, leaving about 10,000 elements behind. The October 1 signed article run on Marine Corps Times, "Marines identify units that will move from Japan to Guam," is more specific, saying the number of Marines deploying in Guam will be 4,900 and units relocating to Guam are the most active core elements of the Marine Corps, the 4th Marine Regiment and 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade's commend element, leaving 10,000 noncombatant support elements in Okinawa.

Of 4,900 Marines moving to Guam, 1,600 will remain there permanently and 3,300 will move there on a 6-month rotation basis.

The question is whether 10,000 noncombatant support units that are left behind in Okinawa can defend Japan and be a deterrence against invading enemies. Or can 3,300 migrating units from Guam on a 6-month basis do so?

So Suga's second reason also turns out to be another sham.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@ Galileo

I think you are mixing up quite some things here and are basing your arguments on wrong presumptions.

To think that Okinawans have to trade their citizens rights if they receive money from the central government is such a weird argument that it is hard to dispute it without resorting to sarcasm.

But first to the mistakes in your argument...

For a very longtime Okinawa has and continues to receive funding and special privileges from the government of Japan.

Yes, just like any other prefecture in Japan Okinawa is entitled to receive funding from the central government.

Some of the funds it gets from Tokyo are labeled "compensation" and are paid for the burden Okinawa carries, but even adding those Okinawa doesn't receive more tax money then other prefectures without US military.

And please note that compensation money is not payed for "subservience", but solely for the harm inflicted.

Regarding the allotment of overall central government budget Okinawa apparently is ranked 6th amongst the 47 prefectures, and nowhere over the top like some posters here want to make us believe.

So no, Okinawa is not getting a single Yen that would bind it to any special duties or subservience to Tokyo.

and special privileges from the government of Japan.

Please tell us what kind of "special privileges" are you talking about? I don't know of any special privileges that Okinawans receive.

Point being don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

While this might be true for pets it luckily is not how democracy and modern societies work.

If you chose to educate your children under such a paradigm I can't stop you, but I prefer humans who are able to speak out about injustice and criticize wrongdoings even if it is about the "feeding hand".

And besides the "hand that feeds" are the Japanese taxpayers which includes the Okinawan people. So if Okinawans want to bite their own hand why not?

Of course Tokyo constantly tries to corrupt Okinawan politicians and has developed an unethical "carrot and stick" policy towards Okinawa through which it attempts to make Okinawa subservient, but luckily the majority of Okinawans are not such kind of servile people.

The last election has even shown that they are willing to cope with some economic hardship if they can get back their freedom and dignity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So you'd have the federal government sacrifice the Okinawa people to fight a battle that's about American bases.

I'm sure that will breed lots of goodwill.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

@ CrucialS

What can the US do in Okinawa they can't do in, let's say Guam? Or forget Guam, just other parts of Japan actually. Why can't they use the resources for this proposed construction of a new base to another part of Japan? Hokkaido would be much closer to North Korea, Russia, and China as well. Besides, putting Marines in a very small island is actually the worse thing for them if a war did break out (obviously bad for the civilians too). China has some pretty good missiles that can reach it. The close proximity would mean less reaction time. The ironic thing about the "China eyeing Okinawa" comments is that it's actually the fact that there are US bases there which gives reasons why China's eyeing on it. It's like having a big "X-marks-the-spot" in their maps.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CrucialS

I just like living in Okinawa and

And there it is! That's why you want to keep the bases in Okinawa. It's actually quite reflective of the American policy of Okinawa, which is to use it for rest and recreation. It's not about the worries of the Marines being scattered (although the argument is to put ALL of them in another place, just not in Okinawa, that's hardly scattered), nor is it about China. It doesn't even matter how much you paint China's invasions (even though you've gotten some historical facts wrong), or how much you pretend to not care about the base, it doesn't hide the obvious: No base = No reason for you to be there. Don't you find it funny that local Okinawans view the base as more of a threat than China?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

George Washington University professor Michael Mochizuki, who has studied the issue for two decades and has proposed an alternative plan that involves building a heliport in the Marine’s Camp Schwab in the island’s northeast.

Please do not take credit for something that was not your idea!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Maybe just ask the US military to go to Guam or something. I had always considered hosting the military of a foriegn nation on our soil to be a National disgrace.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Those that bothered to vote.......voted him in. Those that didn't turn up to vote are irrelevant."

And how many times are you going to repeat the same thing over and over and over and over? Huh?!

This sophomoric argument that because someone did not vote is a dead issue. Onaga won the election a year ago. Ancient history. It has ZERO to do with the current discussion, and it's called "thread-jacking".

0 ( +5 / -5 )

hey can't sue the governor;...they want these issue resolved then they need to press charges on Governor Onaga and watch and see instant shut down on this heliport not to say the least but when they find out that the heiport is also a ferry port base,...greater then mother natures human tidal wave and typhoon will over come;...hope not a repeat like a long rows of vehicles set on fire just outside the gate from Kadena Air Base,...them cars were own by military personnel.

What are you talking about!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ndependent experts like the Japan Federation of Bar Associations agree that the conclusion reached by Onaga’s panel is correct —

Just like the panel that said reinterpreting the constitution was unconstitutional and what happened next? The panels views are subjective at best and based upon opinions and not the needs or issues of security as deemed by the government.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Okinawa should just break from Japan altogether. They can and should be their own island nation.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

this could drag on for years, and guess what the base will stay at Futenma in the meanwhile. If by some small chance Onaga wins and the base move is blocked, then what!? the Futenma base is there legally and theres basically F all he can do legally to get it moved from Okinawa. So the best case senario for Onaga is back to square one the base stays at Futenma. Its basically a dog chasing it tail

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As Japanese courts rarely decide against the government the odds are against Onaga and the Okinawan people, but it is an important step to take as Okinawans will know whether their democratic rights are properly protected within the Japanese system or not.

“My concern is the more the Japanese government pushes the current ... plan, the more resistance will get stronger and eventually get so strong as to make it difficult to maintain other important (U.S.) facilities on Okinawa,”

Very true statement by Mochizuki. Okinawans have been fighting agains the bases since 70 years and whatever the outcome of this legal battle will be they will go on with their opposition as long as they are discriminated against.

@ nakanoguy01

successive governors have approved of the plan to move futenma but onaga was the first to oppose the move and win.

No that is not true. No governor has proactively supported the Henoko relocation. No governor would be elected in Okinawa with such a pro-base agenda.

@ smithinjapan

Exactly. He is not supported by the majority of Okinawans, either.

Again spreading false information, smithinjapan. And again not even the slightest attempt to provide evidence for your false claims.

The only people in Okinawa who believe in such statements are the pro-base 5% that you apparently belong to.

The majority of Okinawans clearly support Onaga on the Henoko issue. All polls say that 70% to 80% are standing behind Onaga and the public discussion in Okinawa makes it even more clear.

@ sashimigaijin

The last time a base referendum was held only 40 percent of eligible voters bothered to vote.

Can you explain what you are talking about?

The only referendum ever held in Okinawa on US bases was in Nago in 1997 and it had a 82% turnout. Even offered an unreal amount of economic development packages and a PR blitz by the central government Nago citizens voted agains hosting the base.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Yubaru,..if and when you find my comments over your head

You are talking about the Koza riots and ancient history and are inferring that they may occur again. You, as stated, living and working ON BASE, (hence need the base to survive living here) are commenting from one biased side of the situation.

I have been living here over 30 years, on the economy, have taken Japanese citizenship and am former military to boot. I see things quite a bit differently than you.

Your comments are far from over my head, but your disjointed manner of writing them are nonsensical to the reader who knows little if anything about "history" of the military in Okinawa other than what they read on wiki.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Christopher Glen, why is that? History is not on your side here.

I'm afraid it is. And that is the line spouted by the US military-industrial complex. Move the bases to mainland Japan (Kyushu perhaps) then, and let the good citizens of Japan have a little taste of what Okinawa has endured for 70 years (base-wise). If the government is not prepared to take this reasonable course, then they should give the Okinawans a referendum to decide. Their bullying of Okinawa, and the attitude of those who support this - is despicable.

How is Japan going to preserve their peace and sovereignty without a strong defense to protect it?

Move the base to Kyushu then. Okinawans have been treated like dogs for 400 years. Time for the US and Japan to take their feet off their throats

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What makes sense doesn't always follow behind in it's direction like why move the USMC to Guam like that's moving further away from the hot zone countries like moving them to South Korea sure makes more vigilant sense along with PCS relocation of MCAS Futenma's Air Wing entirely to Iwakuni AS Yamaguchi Ken until both government can come to a locale agreement that alone would solve the environmental and no fly zone issue for Ginowan City like that's long overdue big time?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I didn't realize I was being blinded by the US military industrial complex.

There you go then. "I was blind, but now I see". The US industrial complex spouts their line of fear about the bases being needed "just in case". It's the same line they spout to justify their existence. At least 662 bases in 38 foreign countries. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/14/ron-paul/ron-paul-says-us-has-military-personnel-130-nation/ Sorry, I don't buy Tokyo or Washington's propaganda, and I hope Mr Onaga gets rid of them

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes conspiracies do exist in this world... but a U.S. Marine Base in Okinawa is only for Strategic purposes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

China is no threat to Okinawa

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He is not supported by the majority of Okinawans, either.

Those that bothered to vote.......voted him in. Those that didn't turn up to vote are irrelevant. I wish Mr Onaga every success in his efforts to win freedom for his people

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

That was then...and this is now

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Okinawa should just break from Japan altogether. They can and should be their own island nation. LOL and how they going to make there money, tourism wont even come close to paying the bills! Okinawa would just turn into another Fiji, poor island nation, low wages, cant pay its bills. Watch the exodus of Okinawans back to the mainland for a better life, the only ones left will be the Onaga supporters left to clean up whats left. Oh but at least youll be free until China decides it want to claim all the waters around Okinawa!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What do you think will happen to Futenma when the Marines move out? Do people think it will honestly close down? LOL, it will become a JASDF base in no time.

No it wont, they already have Naha, and can use Kadena if necessary as well.

Would they be open to that?

No the real hardcore protesters are against the JSDF as well and want Okinawa to be totally "military base free". (They have altruistic ideas but sadly reality is lost on them and many others too!)

Oh and dont pay any attention to posts spouting off about percentages of this or than and making outlandish claims about one thing or another. All the riff-raff and garbage flying about Okinawa with regards to facts and figures is misrepresented in the press and media. So called facts and figures and surveys are skewed to show support for the anti-base movement and nothing ever positive gets reported in the media. Plenty of rumors and misinformation, so it's difficult for people not here to get an accurate feel for the situation.

It's on the news nightly, it shows the protesters, but the numbers are not that large, and the construction is continuing. People are sympathetic to those protesting, but sympathy does not mean that they are willing or even want to join them, they dont, they have jobs to do and mouths to feed and are apathetic about the issue and for the most part just want Futenma gone and this issue put to bed, they are tired of the BS and games.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

ThePBot keep asking this question: Why can't they move the US bases elsewhere in Japan? Don't you think Japan's sovereignty would be much safer all of it's regions (like Okinawa) are happier? But this brings up another question. Would the rest of Japan welcome the US bases relocation in their area?

I'll take a stab at floating some ideas as answers

It would probably be much of the same throughout all of Japan where a silent majority is apathetic and the 1/3 who vote will mostly say "no." Outside of Tokyo, Yamaguchi, and Okinawa where there is a large US Military presence few places understand what that relationship is like so all they have to go on is what they read or watch in the news.

I think the US Military and Marine Corps does not want an airbase anywhere else because of the location of the island itself and logistical purposes. The island location is the perfect linchpin for military action in any direction because the Philippines, Korea, Japan are within a two hour flight window from the island. The island chain serves a natural blockade to the open Pacific and a point of entry for an island hoping campaign for China (I think it's naïve to think China does not have eyes set on Okinawa).

Logistically, from what I've read the US Military has a lot of assets placed on the island for support of infantry and infantry itself. I imagine if they need helicopters for training missions or other troop movements then it is more cost effective and efficient to have helicopters co-located with their assets on Okinawa. Friends that are pilots talk about restrictions with how many hours of flight vs hours of rest they could have in a day so sending aircraft from the mainland down to Okinawa would result in aircraft staying in Okinawa anyways. I do know that they also use their aircraft to extinguish range fires in the northern training areas so they would be required to leave aircraft on island to fight range fires anyways. I think there is a lot more to just building it outside the prefecture than meets the eye. I'm in no way a professional in this matter, I can just go by what I've read or questions I've asked friends in the military so take it for what it is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ThePBot I imagine it all relates to the Marine Corps not wanting its forces scattered throughout the Pacific. If their strategy is to be a quick response force it is easier to respond quickly if their units are co-located. China is eyeing it for its location more than the US presence. To them it's like Australia on a Risk board, the key to controlling the Pacific.

Too be honest with you, I have no opinion or care on whether or not the Americans have Camp Schwab extended to accommodate the air base. I just like living in Okinawa and find both sides of the debates argument interesting. I just wanted to throw out some ideas on possibly why the push from the Central Gov and US is to keep the base in the prefecture.

Christopher Glen, thank you for the evidence to back up your claim. I didn't realize I was being blinded by the US military industrial complex. Northup Grumman must have published my history books.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru,

You have been informed numerous times that using any information based upon what you read from newspapers like the MC Times is, how should I say this in words that you understand, are misguided at best.

Explain concretely how I am misguided by this article as well as the 2006 bilateral agreement in which it was agreed from 8,000 to 9,000 Marines would be relocated to Guam, leaving 10,000 behind in Okinawa.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

And besides the "hand that feeds" are the Japanese taxpayers which includes the Okinawan people. So if Okinawans want to bite their own hand why not?

Technically I am Okinawan, seeing as how you and others seem to think that everyone who lives on Okinawa is Okinawa so by your definition I am Okinawan.

Now then, I choose not to, and everyone around me chooses not too either.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Exactly

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Christopher Glen: "Those that bothered to vote.......voted him in. Those that didn't turn up to vote are irrelevant."

Be careful what you say; if you honestly believe what you just wrote, then since Okinawans have no vote on national security, their opinion on the issue does not matter. That's what you are saying by suggesting those that did not vote have no right to an opinion or feelings on the issue. And don't backtrack and say it matters in one instance, but not another.

In any case, he's still not supported by the majority of the prefecture, like it or not.

" I wish Mr Onaga every success in his efforts to win freedom for his people"

Soon after to be saluting a Chinese flag. Nice one.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Onaga is right on this issue.

If there is any justice, he will win easily.

If . . . .

Independent experts like the Japan Federation of Bar Associations agree that the conclusion reached by Onaga’s panel is correct — Nakaima’s 2013 approval of the reclamation permit is invalid. Article 4 of the Reclamation Act requires that all reclamation projects fulfill six separate requirements to qualify for a license. The panel concluded that the Henoko project failed on three: proof of “appropriate and rational use of the national land,” proper consideration for “environmental preservation and disaster prevention,” and compatibility with existing plans “regarding land use or environmental conservation.” The project was also deemed incompatible with the Basic Law for Biodiversity.

i suggest anyone interested in the issue read the whole article:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/11/15/commentary/japan-commentary/construction-outlaw-marine-base-okinawa/

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

it's hard to believe that the initial decision to move futenma was made in 1996. successive governors have approved of the plan to move futenma but onaga was the first to oppose the move and win. so you can hardly say that he has a strong mandate from the locals, who seemed to have just recently changed their minds about this. the longer the base stays there the more possiblilty that a local could get hurt, which was the whole reason for the move to begin with.

Where did you get the idea the previous governors approved the planned move? Once the plan was decided upon (finally) Nakaima was the FIRST gov. to actually approve any application for the necessary approval needed for the landfill project, which currently comes under the purview of the prefectural gov.

The rest of your post is off because your initial premises is 100% wrong. Futenma being moved was decided back in 96' BUT there was no decision to move it to Henoko until well over a decade later.

He should not be punished for doing what he promised to do - blocking the transfer of the base.

Where does anyone come up with the idea that Onaga is being "punished"? This isnt a game, Onaga is not a child either. State and national governments often take each other to court to hammer out differences, one will win one will lose, it's up to the court now.

Stop with the game of trying to make it seem like it is something else.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

they can't sue the governor;...they want these issue resolved then they need to press charges on Governor Onaga and watch and see instant shut down on this heliport not to say the least but when they find out that the heiport is also a ferry port base,...greater then mother natures human tidal wave and typhoon will over come;...hope not a repeat like a long rows of vehicles set on fire just outside the gate from Kadena Air Base,...them cars were own by military personnel.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

OK... what if they got rid of the U.S. Marines in Okinawa and in their stead built a Japanese Base for Japanese Marines. Would they be open to that?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

OK... what if they got rid of the U.S. Marines in Okinawa and in their stead built a Japanese Base for Japanese Marines. Would they be open to that?

What do you think will happen to Futenma when the Marines move out? Do people think it will honestly close down? LOL, it will become a JASDF base in no time.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think it is unrealistic to think China does have designs on Okinawa

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Christopher Glen, why is that? History is not on your side here. China used military action to assert physical control of Tibet and East Turkestan in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1962 they invaded parts of India and seized territory along the Eastern and Western borders with India and later invaded Vietnam in the late 1970s. Then there are actions they've recently taken in the South China Sea. China (like every other nation) will take steps necessary to enhance their economic priorities and military security in anyway necessary. Okinawa's location for them is the gateway to the Pacific that provides major advancements in both categories. They've been willing to go to war before so what would stop them from taking Okinawa?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It seem to me by now with all the posting on this relocation issue like most of you should already have painted a good picture about the pros and cons but I do't think so llke the same people repeat the same questions like doesn't any of you people read the many post and like found most of the pieces to this puzzle and pieced them together;...he,...he it's really funny like recycle posting once over and over and over but we found most of you still not getting it;...makes me wonder if some of you are connected with them protestors at Camp Schwab,...really it's like a circus...manga or manzai?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For a very longtime Okinawa has and continues to receive funding and special privileges from the government of Japan. Okinawa’s infrastructure and current status as a tourist destination are due to the support, wage offset, special loans and tax incentives, etc. given to it by the government of Japan. Many of these incentives and special conditions/consideration are directly tied to the fact that Okinawa is home to many U.S. military. To the best of my knowledge Okinawa has never rejected any government of Japan funding or special incentives. Take a look at the largest shopping complex on Okinawa, AEON Ryucom. This is former site of a U.S. military golf course. Funding for this entire project was offset by the prefecture of Okinawa, with funds given to the prefecture by the government of Japan. Many tenant pay low rental fees which are offset by the prefecture with government of Japan provided funds. Point being don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

China has no designs on Okinawa. The people of that prefecture have been exploited and maltreated for 400 years. They deserve better

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Bam_boo: "The majority of Okinawans clearly support Onaga on the Henoko issue. All polls say that 70% to 80% are standing behind Onaga and the public discussion in Okinawa makes it even more clear. "

Speaking of lies, here's the big one, again. As I said to Stuart, you and voiceofkinawa keep lying about a majority when Onaga is only supported by 32%, and claim you are the voice of Okinawa. Your entire argument after is also therefore moot. How can you say, for example, only 5% support base when politicians got more than 5% support of the vote alone?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I don’t understand. It seems no matter what Abe does in order to protect Japan and it citizens, everyone in Japan is fighting him in every direction. It was agreed to close Camp Kinser and returned to Okinawa 2013, but the Okinawa governor is complaining about the state of condition it is in. West Futema Housing was closed and returned to Okinawa in 2015. Again, nothing but complaints from the Okinawa governor. Camp Lester closed and returned to the Okinawa in 2015. Isn’t this part of lessening the burden? Then Abe tries to strengthen the Japanese military by changing the constitution and everyone is freaking out. By strengthening the Japanese military, eventually the burden to host the U.S. military may go away. The Central Government has already negotiated a smaller budget with the U.S. to spend on U.S. military projects in Japan. Sometimes I think the Japanese people have their head in the sand. How is Japan going to preserve their peace and sovereignty without a strong defense to protect it?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Point being don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

So you are advocating bribery?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The October 1 signed article run on Marine Corps Times, "

You have been informed numerous times that using any information based upon what you read from newspapers like the MC Times is, how should I say this in words that you understand, are misguided at best.

There are people on Mars too. Believe it, I read it in the National Inquirer.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

it's hard to believe that the initial decision to move futenma was made in 1996. successive governors have approved of the plan to move futenma but onaga was the first to oppose the move and win. so you can hardly say that he has a strong mandate from the locals, who seemed to have just recently changed their minds about this. the longer the base stays there the more possiblilty that a local could get hurt, which was the whole reason for the move to begin with.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

nakanoguy01: "so you can hardly say that he has a strong mandate from the locals, who seemed to have just recently changed their minds about this. the longer the base stays there the more possiblilty that a local could get hurt, which was the whole reason for the move to begin with."

Exactly. He is not supported by the majority of Okinawans, either. He does have a large amount of support, mostly those duped into thinking "it's not fair, and they should move to other prefectures" while somehow forgetting the strategic importance of Okinawa, which Onaga denies (except when a Chinese ship comes close), but not the majority.

And you're right about the longer it takes to relocate to the agreed upon location, the longer the base stays in Futenma, which is why Onaga's stalling doesn't help anyone, and why they have him to thank for Futenma still being there.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Not to say that they are one team during peace time like the US Military separately wash their hands from merging together like Kadena Air Base has more then enough flightline space as well as for new support facilities;..Kadena Air Base also has a ocean marina with dockings services and ample shoreline for a new port harbor facility to accommodate most USN/USMC's ocean ferry contingency;...but what make sense didn't pass go by HQ-USAF now that's what is call peace time teamwork especially unspeakable overseas when all service participate in joint exercises but can't jointly home together?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Assumptions make @sses out of people, I'm not here for the military. Which historical facts were wrong? China did exactly everything I said they did and clearly demonstrated that they are willing to take any necessary steps to ensure their economic and security goals are met. Well, I would find it funny if Okinawans actually talked about it but most Unchinanchu I am friends with don't seem to really care about it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

To the best of my knowledge Okinawa has never rejected any government of Japan funding or special incentives.

How about amending this to read that special incentives and funding from the national government HAVE been withheld in the past BECAUSE of an obstinate Gov who refused to do his job and ended up sending Okinawa further into recession that lasted well over a decade. Many people still feel the effects of that governors decisions.

People have short memories and think that tourism money is going to cover any loss in revenue from the national government budget but there is no way the local prefecture can make up the losses with the tourism money as it can not fund the national projects that are currently underway, and Okinawa needs those projects for further infrastructure development.

Again, Onaga is a one issue Gov, and while he wastes tax payers money in fighting this battle other pressing issues are being put aside and that is going to eventually end up killing the economy here (again) if national government funding stops.

But hey, the folks here backing him are all probably singing Kumbaya....

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I'm afraid Governor Onaga is not going to win this dispute. I basically agree with him but he should not have campaigned on a promise he knew he could not keep. Unfortunately, the central government sets national policy, not the prefectures, so he is fighting a losing battle.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Strangerland: "So you'd have the federal government sacrifice the Okinawa people to fight a battle that's about American bases."

It's about national security, not solely about American bases. You'll notice the other day when a Chinese ship was near the islands that there was not a SINGLE complain from Okinawans about the US presence? It's because it's in their own interests that the Americans stay there and help in joint defense; even Yuri has admitted that the SDF and US military are meant to work together and off each other. And it's not the government sacrificing Okinawans, it's Okinawans sacrificing themselves by standing behind a man who puts his ego before their well being.

"Smith, at least, he is fighting for his people."

yamashi: No, he's fighting for his own ego. Bottom line. He seems to have no trouble using tax-payers' money to wine and dine himself on trips he knows will do no good simply because of said ego, as well. That's not good for the people, either. When Nakaima was putting up the same kind of fight he lost the prefecture heaps of government funding, which some are still suffering over, because once again he made promises that were not in the interest of the people, and felt that Okinawa could make decisions on national security when it is not up to Okinawa.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

"Onaga told reporters only that he “would respond firmly.”"

What's he going to do? Sit in front of the bull-dozers? He can't win this. All he can do is delay the inevitable slightly, and all the while make Okinawans suffer.

Pull their funding and make it clear that until the base is relocated to the agreed upon location that it will never leave Futenma. They cannot freeload. The US has already said so. Time for the government to ask Okinawans to make a choice once and for all between the two sites.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

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