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Nago mayor takes anti-base case to U.S.

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"Why should it be okay for Okinawans to suffer this burden?” They are hiding U.S. Forces on Okinawa is a gold mine for them to get financial support from the government.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

They are hiding U.S. Forces on Okinawa is a gold mine for them to get financial support from the government.

Sounds like you would support the government forcibly moving people to different cities because surely the government knows better what is good for them. So much for democracy.

I wish the mayor lots of luck, but Americans have a blind spot/ love affair for anything military and I think his words will fall on deaf ears. Kudos to him for thinking outside the box and taking action too boot. The end result will be though that he and the people of Okinawa will learn an ugly lesson about Americans. They are more Spartan than Athenian.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

So why should it be okay for Okinawans to suffer this burden?”

Because their country caused a war which killed miilions. Then they lost, and surrendered "unconditionally." When you start wars which kill millions, then you must pay for the consequences. If Japan must pay one day of military occupation for each dozen lives they uselessly ended, the US forces will leave in few centuries.

Japan must never forget what they did, and the forces should remain as a reminder, if for nothing else. The Japanese can rewrite schoolbooks, and bend the truth to try to forget their part in the war, but the presence of the US forces will always be evidence of the truth, and so they must stay.

The mayor of Nago should visit the national cemetery in Arlington, and resd the names of those who died to end his country's aggression, rape, and murder. Then he should travel to China and the other parts of Asia, and read the lists of those his country killed. If the list were put before him, it might take him a few months to read all the names. Maybe then he'll keep is ignorant, politician's mouth shut, and respect those who defeated the great evil his country perpetrated, and who by their presence, insure that it never happens again.

-14 ( +12 / -27 )

“The very principle of democracy is that local citizens should make decisions,” Inamine told AFP.

Not really the case. I would say Americans are further removed from the decision-making than Japanese are.

These decisions are taken by the federal Congress, which has express and sole jurisdiction over the "common defense." Furthermore, the federal government owns 30% of all US land which, outside protected areas, can be disposed of with impunity. And private property can be forcibly sold for public use via eminent domain, national security being an obvious reason.

Add to this the pro-militarism of many Americans, and almost all legislators fearing a poll backlash, this won't gain much traction.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

In another 15 or 20 years the Nago mayor can try to take his case to the Chinese who will be in control of Okinawa.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Good luck talking to the walls, Mr. Mayor. Seeing as how poorly this has worked for such pandering luminaries as Ishihara and Nakaime (locally anyway), this can be seen for what it is, an attention-getting stunt, and then forgotten.

But to engage the good mayor in a quick civics lesson, in a democracy, local govt has authority over local issues, like the public pool and Hawaiian-shirt Fridays. National govt retains authority over issues of national importance, for example energy and defense. So no, it's not violating the principles of democracy. And btw, the Marines are in Okinawa because it is a strategically critical region to the defense of the entire Pac Rim. Just so you know,.....

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

He knows nothing will change. It's more of a political move by Inamine. Since he is an elected mayor and suppose to represent the voice of the citizens in Nago, he has to respond to the concerns of their people. At least he tries and the citizens will back off the mayor.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@sangetsu: as a reasonable person, you obviously disagree with technological advanced countries going overseas and using their military might to kill local inhabitants, secure territory and take resources.

You think the descendants of such war mongers should pay for the crimes of their ancestors for years to come.

Fair enough.

Now remind me again why Hawaii should remain a US state and Guam a US territory.

History is complicated.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Inamine is DOING something about it.

He is more of a politician than Abe.

He is doing what he is supposed to do - represent his people.

The people of Nago want the US bases out of Okinawa. Inamine has tried time and time again to get this across to Abe - who just doesn't listen or refuses to see him - and the turncoat Nakaima - who returned from a meeting with Abe last December with a mysterious 180 degree turn - from anti base to vigorously pro base.

All power to him.

If there were more politicians like Inamine we might have something close to a democracy.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

construction would “destroy the precious and very unique biodiversity” of Nago, a habitat for the dugong, a rare sea mammal.

This is the real issue here. If this claim is true then there's no way the U.S. should be allowed to build their base.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@sangetsu03

Because their country caused a war which killed miilions. Then they lost, and surrendered "unconditionally." When you start wars which kill millions, then you must pay for the consequences. If Japan must pay one day of military occupation for each dozen lives they uselessly ended, the US forces will leave in few centuries.

Your agressive hatred toward Japan , and your interest driven American patriotism showed me that this base really need to get kick from Okinava. Suport for mayor of Nago .

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Is that a weak and rather laughable attempt to justify the current occupation of Okinawa ? Perhaps, nowadays Russian troops need to be re-deployed in Germany too ? FYI, NAZIs killed millions in Central Europe and in the USSR during WWII. So, what is a difference between Germany and Okinawa ?

US forces are still in Germany, aren't they? Did you bother to check that before you posted? There is not much military necessity in keeping US soldiers in Germany, their presence there has been more of a reminder to the German people about the war. We don't read stories about local residents protesting outside US bases in Germany, do we? The German people still feel too much shame from the war, and rightfully so.

In 1942, my grandfather set out with G Troop of the **Cavalry Division, which was sent to the Philippines. About half of his troop died there. Some died from the fighting, the rest were starved, beaten, and tortured to death by the Japanese. By 1945, out of his entire troop, only two of the original members survived. The rest are buried in the Philippines, and on the many islands between the Philippines and Japan.

The US bases remain on Okinawa because the US soldiers paid a heavy price for the island with their own blood. Nearly 15000 died, a further 50,000 were injured. 175,000 Japanese died. The island was taken by force, the Japanese flag torn down, and the American flag raised in it's place. It was a terrible battle, and one which must never be forgotten. The Japanese on Okinawa seem not to have the same sense of remorse, or the same amount of shame which the Germans feel. Perhaps they prefer to hide their shame by removing any reminders of the past misdeeds their country committed. This must not happen. The acts of their country may one day be forgiven, but they must never be forgotten.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

While I usually am supportive of Okinawa bases as a necessity, I find sangetsu03's philosophy of making descendants pay for their parents' sins to be horrifying and against the Western values his dad fought to protect.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Before making stupid comments please read following articles

Base relocation; http://www.okinawaiken.org/washingtonpost/

Japanese budget for base: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/opinion/kato-the-battle-of-the-okinawans.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=2

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So the Marines have been training for amphibious assaults there with AAVs and recon troops using that bay for decades. I was stationed there in the `80s, so I know first hand. Dove there all the time (over 150 dives) - never heard a peep about dudongs, by the way. Not saying they aren't there but kind of amazing we never saw them. Please take a drive around the non-base parts of Okinawa and tell me it is a big wonderful nature preserve - hardly. For Futenma to close the rotary aircraft MUST be near the troops they train with and transport - it is that simple. They can't be on Guam or at Iwakuni.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Maybe US media might mention this visit . Hardly Japan is mentioned except Gozilla. Good luck to Mayor. Sure Okinawa is gold mine ---- for USA. Half of $2.1 billion a year Japan pay to USA must be for Military bases and soldiers and dependents and also luxury Golf Club on bases.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

in 2013 J-gov paid $3.6 for US base "maintenance" including the cost of recreational facilities.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Agreed. It's unconscionable to punish an entire nation for what happened in its past. I'd rather us move forward together.

That's what the bases are there for; to protect Japan and to protect the United States. As a method of punishment, I wouldn't support them.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I understand that having a base in Okinawa is a huge burden for the local government and the people living there, and if the country doesn't want it anymore then let's get rid of it and be done with the mess. What I don't understand is why Okinawa is left with shouldering this huge burden? It's as if these ongoing relations are strictly between the US and Okinawa while the rest of Japan is absent from the conversation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@HokkaidoKumaMAY. 23, 2014 - 10:14AM JST I understand that having a base in Okinawa is a huge burden for the local government and the people living there, and if the country doesn't want it anymore then let's get rid of it and be done with the mess. What I don't understand is why Okinawa is left with shouldering this huge burden? It's as if these ongoing relations are strictly between the US and Okinawa while the rest of Japan is absent from the conversation.

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Years ago, Tachikawa area people sued constitutionality of US bases and won. However Supreme Court overturned the fercdict. That is why mainland Japanese with less military men's criminal activity behave with Shikata-ga-nai (Wouldn't do any good.) attitude. Originally, bases were created to accommodate US Military Forces in case Russian attacks Japan. Many bases were former Japanese Military camps and facilities. Japan paid as Japan was the lose of WW II. Every year, Japan pay USA Empathy Budget (Donation) to Japan that include maintenance, updating, base employees and military forces.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

While I usually am supportive of Okinawa bases as a necessity, I find sangetsu03's philosophy of making descendants pay for their parents' sins to be horrifying and against the Western values his dad fought to protect.

The descendants don't have to pay, they just have to remember. If the cost isn't heavy, then it may not act as a useful deterrent against future wars. We learned a great lesson after "the war to end all wars" didn't we? After the first war, eveyone decided to forgive and forget, they thought that everyone had learned their lesson, and that there would never be another world war. They were wrong, weren't they?

One must never underestimate the potential for war, no matter how safe you think the world might be. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Inamine is DOING something about it. He is more of a politician than Abe.

In the end, they are all the same.

He is doing what he is supposed to do - represent his people.

And it won't make a bit of difference.

The people of Nago want the US bases out of Okinawa.

You've said that a million times and that won't change, no thanks to China, it will more likely have the opposite effect.

Inamine has tried time and time again to get this across to Abe - who just doesn't listen or refuses to see him - and the turncoat Nakaima - who returned from a meeting with Abe last December with a mysterious 180 degree turn - from anti base to vigorously pro base.

As was said the other day, there is NO way, especially now with what's going on that, that will happen and after Obama's last visit to reconfirm the U.S. Commitment to protect Japan, that means the military has to and will do exercises to stay in form and to be prepared and ready and with a downsized U.S. Military they have to be in peak form.

But as Serrano has pointed out, the way things are going, worst case scenario, Japan might not need to ask the U.S. for anything, China will control everything and if that's the case, Okinawans had better brush up on their Chinese.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There is not much military nesessity in keeping US soldiers in Germany.

True. The very same is appropriate for Japan, in general and for Okinawa, in particular. There is not much military nesessity in keeping US soldiers in Okinawa. All those infamous stories about crimes committed by US military personnel and their relatives clearly show that military value of US installations equals zero. I think you can realize than, say in case of some sort of Global War Russian or Chinese supersonic missiles, armed with 'special warheads' can hit all those 'military installations' in a few seconds since the beginning, transforming all surrounding territory with innocent locals into nuclear hell. Are innocent people deserve it, to be victimes in zones of primary target in case of the higly possible conflict of foreign interests? Definitely, no. And Okinawans need not those 'gipsy camps' with drunk inhabitants, constantly rambling here and there, abusing locals and spitting upon local lifestyle, culture and traditions.

The island was taken by force, the Japanese flag torn down, and the American flag raised in it's place. It was a terrible battle..

You know, there were really terrible battles during WWII where thousands if not millions were brutally killed in battles. Still, it gives no rights for the winner to keep troops on a territory of former rivals 'as a reminder for present generation of sins of their fathers'. Your attitude to Japanese shows a deep complex of inferiority and plain hatred. And many Americans feel the very same way, showing it here, on JT. That is why All your 'bases' and other 'military installations' must be kicked out of Japanese soil as soon as possible. That is why Nago mayor was re-elected by Okinawans.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

My 2 yen:

Show some gratitude. The US military employs thousands of Okinawans and brings a lot of money to the area. A few social blow-ups doesn't necessitate throwing the baby out with the bath water. Japan needs to learn to keep its xenophobic BS in check, and join the rest of the world in the 21st century.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@sangetsu03

"Japan must never forget what they did"

And the US must never forget what they did, taking away an entire country from native Americans, making a bunch of treaties and breaking them whenever you feel like it.

Also bringing slaves from Africa and discriminating them like they are not humans. Perhaps you should look at yourself before criticizing others

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Kudos to Inamine!

He is not only fighting for Nago citizens but for democracy in general, and that is what Japan needs much more urgently then any new US base (in addition to the 20 something US military facilities already covering 18% of Okinawa island).

The vast majority of Okinawans know very well: one more US base will not change much in terms of regional security, but will destroy a very unique ecosystem for ever.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

With a name like Suzuki, maybe it's better you don't mKe any comments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Susumu Inamine is Mayor of Nago, a local city in the insular prefecture of Okinawa. So Washington's Japan hands he met told him his appeal represented only a local voice and the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation plan, a bilateral agreement between the two nations, must go as agreed.

True, the U.S.F.J. realignment, of which the Futenma relocation is part, was agreed between the two nations and took a long time to come to that conclusion as they say. But it's also true that local voices, a fundamental factor in true democracy, were completely disregarded in the entire course of negotiations.

Inamine may be a mayor of a small local town, but people must realize he is truly contributing to the entire nation by opposing the constructing of a new base for a foreign army, an unheard-of event anywhere and anytime in world history.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Inamine may be a mayor of a small local town, but people must realize he is truly contributing to the entire nation by opposing the constructing of a new base for a foreign army, an unheard-of event anywhere and anytime in world history.

And you think that will solve anything? Good luck with that.

The vast majority of Okinawans know very well: one more US base will not change much in terms of regional security, but will destroy a very unique ecosystem for ever.

So basically, you are saying, the U.S. bases go and Okinawa and the rest of Japan will be safe, there is just no possibility whatsoever that Japan would be or could ever be invaded?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Inamine is DOING something about it. He is more of a politician than Abe.

fact: Inamine is a one issue mayor who is in fact doing his constituents a disservice by wasting the taxpayers money on a trip that will do nothing. At best he will the meet with a minor functionary, as due his position, from either the Pentagon or Department or both, and then come back here "claiming" success, as the base construction work continues to move forward.

fact: the people of Nago have little if ANY interaction with the base itself, it's miles from the actual city of Nago and a mountain lies between them.

fact: base issues are discussed and debated and decided upon by national governments and not between the mayor of a relatively tiny city and the USA.

fact: Inamine is barking up the wrong tree. His beef is with the prefecture (already tuned him out) and the national government and they aren't listening either....he is doing this for headlines that will get him no where.

My message to him....quit wasting MY tax money!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So basically, you are saying, the U.S. bases go and Okinawa and the rest of Japan will be safe, there is just no possibility whatsoever that Japan would be or could ever be invaded?

No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that there ought to be a very strong and undeniable reason to justify the destruction of such unique ecosystem, and I don't see that.

I don't deny that there is a regional security balance in which the US military currently plays an important role, and which China wants to alter for obvious reasons, but I don't see how the Henoko base could make a difference. But what is undeniable is that it will have a massive impact on Okinawas already very stressed ecosystem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What I'm saying is that there ought to be a very strong and undeniable reason to justify the destruction of such unique ecosystem, and I don't see that.

Get one thing straight here, that only became a "unique ecosystem" after the plans to move the base there became public.

Prior to that no one gave a crap about the area, not even the local fishermen who do not fish the local surrounding waters either.

I give odds too that you didnt know that either.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Okinawan politicians have turned Okinawa into a tourist UNFRIENDLY welfare state that begs for money from the mainland Japanese government and the U.S. government. Which are the no. 1 and no. 2 employers of Okinawans.

Complaining about the bases is just an xenophobic and racist tactic to attempt to get votes from ignorant Okinawans that fall for it.

The real story is the perpetual failure of Okinawan politicans to develop Okinawa's economy, so that young Okinawans have JOBS.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What seems obvious though is that the new base would be very convenient for the US military in a way that Futenma never was and therefor is not so much a replacement but a new facility. The plan for a Henoko base with similar features to the planned one goes back to the 1960ies and has always included a harbor for deep sea vessels, which Futenma does not feature. This is one of the reasons why so many Okinawans so fiercely oppose the construction of the new base, even they might not be completely against the US military presence in Okinawa.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Complaining about the bases is just an xenophobic and racist tactic to attempt to get votes from ignorant Okinawans that fall for it.

Ignorant? How much more arrogant can you get? Okinawan's are hardly "ignorant". They may not wear their brains on their sleeves but they are hardly ignorant.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Your agressive hatred toward Japan , and your interest driven American patriotism showed me that this base really need to get kick from Okinava. Suport for mayor of Nago.

I have lived in Japan for many years, and like it very much. My grandfather lived here for some time after the war, and had nothing bad to say about the country, despite having fought against it. I am opposed to those who want to erase the evils of the past from their memories. If it is all forgotten, then what was the point?

And the US must never forget what they did, taking away an entire country from native Americans, making a bunch of treaties and breaking them whenever you feel like it

Technically-speaking, I am a "Native American". My grandfather ran away from the reservation when he was a boy, and joined the Army as soon as he became old enough. My ancestors put up a good fight, but they lost. To the winner go the spoils. Many Indians fought in the second war against the Japanese, and they were successful. The Japanese lost, and again, to the winner to the spoils.

Also bringing slaves from Africa and discriminating them like they are not humans. Perhaps you should look at yourself before criticizing others

America didn't have to bring slaves from Africa, these were generally brought by European traders. After the abolition of slavery, it was American ships that broke up the international slave trade, wasn't it? And slavery was exercised by the Japanese before and during the second war, wasn't it? In fact, Japan used far more slaves than America ever did, and a great many of those enslaved by the Japanese died of starvation, disease, and torture. The Japanese said they were a "divine race", and that all others were inferior, right? These are other things which must not be forgotten.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The former residents of Diego Garcia should be able to give this well-meaning chap a rough idea of how much he can expect to achieve.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@In_japanMAY. 23, 2014 - 09:53AM JST

in 2013 J-gov paid $3.6 for US base "maintenance" including the cost of recreational facilities.

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Let fact right. Japan paid $3.6 billion in a peak year and reduced gradually until last year when it became $ 2,1 Billion.

Not 3 dollar 60 cents. in 2013 --- $2.1 billion.

Shapiro of US negotiator demanded that Japan keep $2.1 bill a year and never reduce in future. That was May 1st this year.

This is called Omoiyari Budget *Emphacy Budget'

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I hope that the Mayor enjoys his stay in the US!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sangetsu03 (and many of the other posters here)

You lack any understanding or sympathy of how Okinawa and its people were treated by the Japanese military at that time. Okinawans were considered second class citizens (by Japanese generally) and were forced into giving up their homes to the military and their sons leading up to the battle of Okinawa.

Then came the battle where 1 out of every 4 people, as many as 150,000, were killed over a 2-month period. The innocent Okinawan people got it from both sides, Japanese and Allied. Then the island was occupied by the US military (who they preferred over the Japanese military) for three decades and they still give up 20% of their island to them.

This is the source of their burden.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@OneHapa

So what is it that you want? The bases are going no where, if it is something else that can appease you what would that be? Bring these questions to Nago and see what can be done, but having the bases close of possible relocate will in all probability fall on deaf ears.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

“The very principle of democracy is that local citizens should make decisions,” Inamine told AFP.

This is not true for public infrastructure projects. But there has to be a reasonable share of the burden for all citizens.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

in_japan-san posted a couple of excellent articles.

Instead of just making knee jerk reactions or trotting out the party line, I suggest that people do as in_japan suggested and read these articles - particularly the second one:

Base relocation http://www.okinawaiken.org/washingtonpost/

Japanese budget for base: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/opinion/kato-the-battle-of-the-okinawans.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=2

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

construction would destroy the precious and very unique biodiversity of Nago, a habitat for the dugong, a rare sea mammal.

[Frungy]This is the real issue here. If this claim is true then there's no way the U.S. should be allowed to build their base.

Yes, Frungy is right.......protecting the beautiful ecosystem of Henoko and Okura Bay is the KEY issue! The rare Okinawa dugong living at Henoko is on the "Endangered Species RED LIST" of the Ministry of Environment for many years <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070823-dugongs.html >

Two runways are planned to be built on reclaimed land that would jut into the ocean, destroying fish, a fragile coral reef and the endangered dugong. The world gets upset at dolphins being killed at Taji so I think the world would be equally be upset that the Dugongs and other fish will be destoyed at Henoko. This is what the people of Nago have asked Mayor Inamine. Destroying this beautiful ecosystem is certainly a crime. There are other places/airports that have already been built that can support the base.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I agree with the man, in fact bring ALL US troops home from Korea, Japan, and Germany as well as Afghanistan. It's not as if the USA has the funds to maintain all these bases and why should there even be the possibility of the spilling of US blood in the countries where they are not wanted or needed. Let the Japanese and the Koreans sweat out their own security issues, take off all regulations preventing Japan from having an active army. Why do a people a favor costing you billions when there is opposition to your being there? My family has lost many men, away from home, defending Europe from the Nazi's and freeing the Pacific from the Japanese militarists. I doubt that all the fatherless children, the widows and grieving parents were grateful to throw away the best and brightest in foreign wars. If there is a panic so be it, you don't risk your life for a country that doesn't want you around. South Korea and Japan will just have to find away to deal with their own issues.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Get one thing straight here, that only became a "unique ecosystem" after the plans to move the base there became public.

You are not exactly right here. It was a unique ecosystem all the time, but the plan to destroy it made people aware of the fact... as so often with nature destroying developments all over the world. By the way there were people who understood the uniqueness even before there was the base plan, but it were few.

Prior to that no one gave a crap about the area,

This is quite a harsh way to talk about a natural place which has been the habitat and has provided the subsistence for humans living there for centuries. I doubt that you are able to understand what the place means and has meant for the locals. What I know is that the whole base thing has brought about a lot of comfort money projects that are way to big for the community and divided the locals in a way that seems not very pleasant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Steve

Excellent point. I tend to agree with you, my thing is that the U.S. And Japan are allies for better or worse and the U.S. Needs to fulfill its part of the SOFA agreement and as such the U.S. Needs to do what it must to maintain the security and safety of Japan. My problem is, that many Okinawans and other foreigners that scream they want the U.S. To go can't see the bigger picture. For one thing, the troops are going nowhere, regardless how much of a fit they have, NOT going to happen, but if they want to vent, so be it, my greater concern is an ever more hostile China and that threat is more real than ever. But I do also believe you are right that all these countries that want the U.S. To go, we should and let them TRY to deal with in Asia's care China and North Korea, they would end up exactly the same way Ukraine ended up within a week.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

fact: Inamine is a one issue mayor who is in fact doing his constituents a disservice by wasting the taxpayers money on a trip that will do nothing.

From what I know about Inamine that is not true. It was much more the rest of Okinawa and the Japanese and foreign media that made a one issue mayor out of him.

From what I hear out of Nago is that many citizens were really fed up with unsustainable construction business centered comfort money for bases budgetary policy and Inamine offered a less easy but more sustainable future vision for the town that is based on local qualities and on protecting its natural resources.

I really admire Nago citizens as they voted against fast and big money from the establishment and for a more self-reliant but rather rocky path towards sustaining their life by their own means.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I’ve read all 47 or so posts here and only one or two have it right – first, this issue has nothing to do with the US – the issue of the location for the Futenma Replacement Facility is strictly between the prefecture and the national government. Mayor Inamine is not stupid – he knows this – but as every politician before him, he also has a weakness for “political theater” – which is this trip to the US is all about. Every US official he meets is going to tell him the same thing……..your government chose the Henoko site – if you want them to change it then go convince them. Bottomline – this trip is more about Inamine’s next re-election campaign than it is about the FRF – and because of that, as Yubaru pointed out, it is somewhat unsavory and disingenuous for him to be using official government funds.

Sangetsu03 - Justifying the current US presence in Okinawa as a result of the spoils of WW II is just absolutely wrong – and more importantly historically incorrect. Reversion occurred in 1972 – Okinawa is a prefecture of Japan – US facilities and personnel are based in Okinawa because the government of Japan desires them to be there, consistent with Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. And you insult the people of Okinawa when you say they are somehow responsible for Japan’s wartime conduct – when they were the victims of Japan’s brutality, just as much as others were.

Toshiko – it seems every post you write, no matter the thread, complains about the amount of monetary support Japan provides to the stationing of US forces under the Security Treaty – and that this money “goes to the US”. As I’ve said in other threads, the money Japan provides goes right back into the Japanese economy – employees paid by the GOJ (Master Labor Contract employees) are predominately Japanese citizens and live in Japan – they don’t spend that salary in the US. Funds for construction at US bases goes only to Japanese construction companies, not US. Utilities support goes only to Japanese utility companies, not US. Ninety percent of the monetary support the GOJ provides goes directly back into the Japanese economy – it never leaves Japan. So the US pays for all the troops, all the hardware (ships, aircraft, munitions, etc.), and a great deal of the stationing costs – and the GOJ pays for some other aspects of which 90% of that is funneled right back into the Japanese economy. And for that, the US pledges to help defend Japan if attacked by an aggressor, and until Abe-san is able to change the view on collective defense, Japan has no obligation to helo defend the US. As I’ve said before, I support the Security Treaty, but I think I know who’s getting the better end of the bargain.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

first, this issue has nothing to do with the US – the issue of the location for the Futenma Replacement Facility is strictly between the prefecture and the national government.

lincolnman, either you really don't know about what happens offstage or chose not to know... Japan is anything but independent and versatile in regarding its relation to the US.

By now we all know about the secret agreements between Japan and the US in order to cover up how submissive the Japanese government is towards the US and we all know how Hatoyama stumbled over this matter naively thinking he could bypass the US string-pullers.

This is not at all an inner-Japanese matter, it is the matter at the core of the US Japan relation, or shall we rather say its sore point?

Of course there is an inner-Japanese dimension to it, but the pressure to build a new base in Henoko is mainly held up by the US military as it seems a very convenient deal for them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@lincolnman:

Toshiko – it seems every post you write, no matter the thread, complains about the amount of monetary support Japan provides to the stationing of US forces under the Security Treaty – and that this money “goes to the US”. As I’ve said in other threads, the money Japan provides goes right back into the Japanese economy – employees paid by the GOJ (Master Labor Contract employees) are predominately Japanese citizens and live in Japan – they don’t spend that salary in the US. Funds for construction at US bases goes only to Japanese construction companies, not US. Utilities support goes only to Japanese utility companies, not US. Ninety percent of the monetary support the GOJ provides goes directly back into the Japanese economy – it never leaves Japan. So the US pays for all the troops, all the hardware (ships, aircraft, munitions, etc.), and a great deal of the stationing costs – and the GOJ pays for some other aspects of which 90% of that is funneled right back into the Japanese economy. And for that, the US pledges to help defend Japan if attacked by an aggressor, and until Abe-san is able to change the view on collective defense, Japan has no obligation to helo defend the US. As I’ve said before, I support the Security Treaty, but I think I know who’s getting the better end of the bargain.

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So, all money go back to Japanese economy? US bases have civilian employees who are US citizens, too,. Like the one who was going to be tried in US Federal Court in Minn for his sexual crime in base. Japanese Economy? Why Okinawan are so poor (in Japanese standard( if all money goes to Japanese economy? I mention numbers that is paid to US Forces but never mentioned that is not right. I just wrote numbers copied from articles. It is better than writing phony numbers like Japan paid $3.60 to US in 2013. IOr shall I fabricate numbers????Do you have any detailed info that these money went to Japanese economy? Source of your info? I mentioned Shapiro.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine met Peter Hemsch, the deputy director of the Office of Japanese Affairs at the U.S. State Department on May 19. The mayor conveyed his intention to oppose the plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma to Henoko, Nago.

At this meeting, Inamine stressed, “74 percent of residents are opposed to the Henoko relocation according to polls, even after the Okinawan governor’s approval of the Henoko landfill. I was also re-elected in the mayoral election in January. I do not think the relocation work will proceed smoothly.”

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

lincolnman, either you really don't know about what happens offstage or chose not to know... Japan is anything but independent and versatile in regarding its relation to the US. By now we all know about the secret agreements between Japan and the US in order to cover up how submissive the Japanese government is towards the US and we all know how Hatoyama stumbled over this matter naively thinking he could bypass the US string-pullers. This is not at all an inner-Japanese matter, it is the matter at the core of the US Japan relation, or shall we rather say its sore point? Of course there is an inner-Japanese dimension to it, but the pressure to build a new base in Henoko is mainly held up by the US military as it seems a very convenient deal for them.

I've met a lot of folks who adhere to the "conspiracy theory" of US - Japan relations - and that the US "controls" Japan's diplomacy - but I think that's just an excuse and cop out for those who don't or can't accept the reality that if they want to change things, they have to start with their own government. That's hard work - much easier to just blame the US. I'm not saying you belong to that group, but certainly a large majority does. And that view doesn't seem to match events here recently - Abe visiting Yasukuni, TPP delays, lukewarm Japan support for Russian sanctions re Ukraine - the US hasn't had much luck or influence with those....

So, all money go back to Japanese economy? US bases have civilian employees who are US citizens, too,. Like the one who was going to be tried in US Federal Court in Minn for his sexual crime in base. Japanese Economy? Why Okinawan are so poor (in Japanese standard( if all money goes to Japanese economy? I mention numbers that is paid to US Forces but never mentioned that is not right. I just wrote numbers copied from articles. It is better than writing phony numbers like Japan paid $3.60 to US in 2013. IOr shall I fabricate numbers????Do you have any detailed info that these money went to Japanese economy? Source of your info? I mentioned Shapiro.

US civilian civil service employees are paid by the US government. The individual you refer to was a part time MWR employee paid by non-Appropriated US funds (NAF). There are no US citizens paid by the GOJ under the Master Labor Contact. There are, however, Japanese employees paid by NAF (US) funds. As per the host nation support amounts, for 2011;

"The Defense Ministry requested 187.8 billion yen (about $2.2 billion) in September for “host nation support” for fiscal 2011. The amount, which pays for utilities, facility improvements and the salaries of Japanese base employees, is up slightly from the 186.9 billion yen ($2.19 billion) budgeted for this year. Also called the “sympathy budget,” Japan has been reducing the amount it pays for U.S. bases over the past decade from a high of $3.17 billion in 1999."

There are three categories addressed here; salaries for Japanese base employees, facility improvements, and utilities - do Japanese employees spend their money in the US? Are US construction companies awarded Japanese funded contracts? Are US utility companies providing power/water to US bases in Japan? I think you'll find if you care to research it that the answer to all these questions is no........

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To "Lincolnman"

I agree with you the Henoko issue is primarily the responsibility of the national and prefectural governments -- but it has become an international issue because of the environmental and human rights abuses going on. My friends and I encouraged, sponsored and organized Mayor Inamine's trip to the USA --(as volunteers) , not so much to change the minds of the government officials but to raise international awareness of these human rights and environmental abuses. The people of Nago are so frustrated that their voices are not being listened to by the central government that the people also asked the Mayor to take the issue to the international stage. We're very pleased by the press coverage of this - so far -- and the people of Nago and Okinawa should be as well

Just as indigenous people are speaking up worldwide now about abuses - so too are the people of Nago. I would love to see both sides really talk and care for each other -- The USA is involved because they are planning to use the facility.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks to Futenma and all the other U.S. military bases in Japan, Japan has been kept out of trouble since WW2, and Japanese citizens have the right to protest this, lol.

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lincolnmanMay. 23, 2014 - 08:03PM JST

Ninety percent of the monetary support the GOJ provides goes directly back into the Japanese economy – it never leaves Japan.

I guess Okinawa does not belong to Japanese economy. It has never benefited from being the burden of base since 1945. 90% of construction contract were rewarded to Mainland fund. Getting some minor sub contract work for residents will be harder than winning the lottery. If US base contributed enormously for Okinawa economy, why is Okinawa become the poorest prefecture of Japan after hosting base for 69 yrs? Neighboring Taiwan GDP and per capita income is many times higher than Okinawa. Okinawa will be better off with being part of Taiwan.

bass4funk May. 23, 2014 - 07:33PM JST

my greater concern is an ever more hostile China and that threat is more real than ever.

Obviously it is the extreme exaggeration. If China or NK want to wipe out the base, they do not need to send their marines with long journey and wasting Tons of fuel. NK has already demonstrated flying rockets over the base. As you know missiles can not be shot down with M16. The base may be deterrent for pirates of sea. However it is pretty useless for defending against long range and medium range missiles. One more thing is Sub Marines torpedoes. If Sub launched the torpedoes from under sea, can the base intercept the torpedoes.

I have enjoyed watching the longest day, A bride too far and Saving Private Ryan movies. However they are no longer up to date for modern time. Instead of hosting the base, anti missiles or anti torpedoes system is more efficient.

Even Israel has been surrounded by hostile neighbors, it has been reducing man power and updating the leaner and meaner and more modernized combative defense system.

For one thing, the troops are going nowhere, regardless how much of a fit they have, NOT going to happen, but if they want to vent,

The contract of base is 100 years! As you know, 69 yrs have been already passed. It is unimaginable for hosting the base for another 31 yrs. However it is possible without the bloody revolution from residents. One thing is sure that it is very unlikely to pass beyond the contractual obligation. Japan is too broke with mountain of debt. US congress struggle to raise the debt ceiling limit for every year. Footing the bill of base forever is just the fairy tales.

At the end, the end of base will be caused by financial trouble for funding instead of local resentment and environmental concern. Nothing last forever! After 100 YEARS, the base will be definitely history!.

If JT posters are still alive, we can share the joy of that historic moment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To "Lincolnman" I agree with you the Henoko issue is primarily the responsibility of the national and prefectural governments -- but it has become an international issue because of the environmental and human rights abuses going on. My friends and I encouraged, sponsored and organized Mayor Inamine's trip to the USA --(as volunteers) , not so much to change the minds of the government officials but to raise international awareness of these human rights and environmental abuses. The people of Nago are so frustrated that their voices are not being listened to by the central government that the people also asked the Mayor to take the issue to the international stage. We're very pleased by the press coverage of this - so far -- and the people of Nago and Okinawa should be as well Just as indigenous people are speaking up worldwide now about abuses - so too are the people of Nago. I would love to see both sides really talk and care for each other --

I respect your views and belief that this is a environmental issue - I can't agree that it is a human rights issue. And if this trip was funded by your organization based on donations and did not use official government funds, then I apologize and take back my comments above. But I have to say that I think you would have had more of a chance of achieving your goals if you would have sent your contingent to Kasumigaseki rather than Washington DC - and have them protest in front of the Diet building, and receive media coverage here in Japan where voters and others with influence can make the change you seek.

The USA is involved because they are planning to use the facility.

The US is only using the facility because that's where the Japanese government decided that's where it should be located. If the Japanese government finds another suitable location, then the US would go there. It all begins and ends with the national government in Tokyo - in my view, focusing your efforts at others just lessens your chances of success.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've met a lot of folks who adhere to the "conspiracy theory" of US - Japan relations - and that the US "controls" Japan's diplomacy

Thanks to wikileaks we have first hand knowledge about how the US - Japan relations work. We know about the submissiveness of Japanese bureaucrats and politicians and we know about the condescendence with which US diplomats treat their Japanese counterparts.

I wouldn't call it conspiracy as all diplomacy involves shady action, but it obvious that the US is happily making use of the anti-democratic stance of the recent Japanese government to promote their own agenda. The US was behind the appalling secrets law passed by Abe that so obviously weakens civil rights.

Nationalistic and anti-democratic Abe is the best thing that can happen to the US "Pivot to East Asia" strategy and the US military is more then happy that Abe doesn't give a jot about what critical thinking citizens say.

Compared to all that shady maneuvering between US and Japanese governments Inamine's stance is crystal clear and focused on a human and democratic agenda. Trying to make him look like one of those selfish and corrupt politicians won't have the desired effect.

Of course one should always be suspicious about politicians, but I haven't heard anything bad about Inamine, even from his enemies. I believe that the string-pullers are already working hard on finding something that could discredit Inamine, but it seems they haven't been very successful up to now.

The US is only using the facility because that's where the Japanese government decided that's where it should be located. If the Japanese government finds another suitable location, then the US would go there.

From my knowledge there is a different story to this. As mentioned above the US military started planning the proposed base in the 1960ies and if you look at plans from that time you will be amazed how much they resemble the current plan. There seem to be several reasons behind the US military being so keen on exactly this location, but I'm not a military guy and can't really judge that matter. When Hatoyama proposed the outside Okinawa relocation it was the US that roasted Japanese politicians and bureaucrats in order to prevent such a move and they did that without any reserve right in the media.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Who is repeating it? Japan did not fire a single bullet for last 70 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thanks to wikileaks we have first hand knowledge about how the US - Japan relations work. We know about the submissiveness of Japanese bureaucrats and politicians and we know about the condescendence with which US diplomats treat their Japanese counterparts. I wouldn't call it conspiracy as all diplomacy involves shady action, but it obvious that the US is happily making use of the anti-democratic stance of the recent Japanese government to promote their own agenda. The US was behind the appalling secrets law passed by Abe that so obviously weakens civil rights. Nationalistic and anti-democratic Abe is the best thing that can happen to the US "Pivot to East Asia" strategy and the US military is more then happy that Abe doesn't give a jot about what critical thinking citizens say.

I think you're incorrect here on a couple counts - first, I haven't seen anything from Wikileaks that states either the Japanese government of diplomats are subservient to the US. Second, what evidence do you have regarding your claim that the US was "behind" the government passing the State Secrets Law? I'll acknowledge that the US government supported its passing, but the effort to pass it was driven by Abe and the LDP. The leaking by the JCG member of the video of the Chinese fishing boat ramming the JCG ship was not an issue that impacted the US. I will share with you that while Japan needs some type of law protecting secret information, in my view the law passed by Abe and the LDP goes beyond what is required and infringes on free speech. Lastly, Abe's current coalition in the LDP has a significant anti-US faction. Just look at recent comments by Abe confidants on their "disappointment" with US criticism of Abe's trip to Yasukuni. And VP Biden specifically passed on President Obama's request that Abe not go to Yasukuni knowing it would inflame Chinese and Korean relations - and as we saw, Abe disregarded this personal request and went anyway. Would a Canadian, UK, Italian or Mexican leader so brazenly flout a personal request by a US President? I doubt it. So much for the "US controls Japan" fairy tale.....

From my knowledge there is a different story to this. As mentioned above the US military started planning the proposed base in the 1960ies and if you look at plans from that time you will be amazed how much they resemble the current plan. There seem to be several reasons behind the US military being so keen on exactly this location, but I'm not a military guy and can't really judge that matter. When Hatoyama proposed the outside Okinawa relocation it was the US that roasted Japanese politicians and bureaucrats in order to prevent such a move and they did that without any reserve right in the media.

I can't buy that either. The US has wanted to close Futenma since 1995 - and has waited on the Japanese government to find a suitable alternate location since then. The story that the US was somehow responsible for Hatoyama's implosion is also just another conspiracy theory. It was the GOJ's bureaucrats that did in Hatoyama - and the construction and other vested interests that stood to lose money if the FRF was moved from Henoko. The US was just an audience member to all this Kabuki theater going on within the Japanese government. Again, from my view, the FRF issue begins and ends with the national government - most others who try to drag in the US are doing so to merely further their own anti-US agenda.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I haven't seen anything from Wikileaks that states either the Japanese government of diplomats are subservient to the US.

The article below is a good place to start with:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/3532

Kevin K. Maher, former director of the State Department's Office of Japan Affairs is a notorious example for how some US diplomats see Japan and Okinawa.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/world/asia/11japan.html

The US has wanted to close Futenma since 1995 - and has waited on the Japanese government to find a suitable alternate location since then.

The US hasn't waited at all. I mention it again and again as you seem to avoid any reference: the Henoko location was on the drawing board and the wishing list of the US military since the 1960ies as the Okinawa architect and activist Makishi Yoshikazu has revealed. This is a fact and you can find the quite amazing drawings at:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Satoko-NORIMATSU2/3381

The story that the US was somehow responsible for Hatoyama's implosion is also just another conspiracy theory.

Again the above article by Gavan McCormack can give you some insight. Quite blatant statements of high-ranking US diplomats launched to the media in Japan, called off meetings by US diplomats, etc. etc. have all undermined Hatoyamas stance and made it easier for opponents within the bureaucracy to put obstacles in his way, though I wouldn't say the US is ultimately responsible for his failing. Action on the US side was so open that conspiracy is not an appropriate term.

I do agree that the Japanese government should be ultimately responsible, but with the history of asymmetric relations between the US and Japan this still is wishful thinking to me.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The villagers in Narita did not want the Narita Airport built, although they all wanted an international airport for East Japan. This is largely a "not in my backyard" issue. The majority of Japanese want US military cooperation, but nobody wants to be buzzed by a Sea Knight at 3am every day.

Hopefully some of the Senators will be able to show him the thousands of letters they get demanding they prevent a base closing in their state, and the hundreds of letters from the people next to it that want it gone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bam_boo (May. 24, 2014 - 12:41AM JST ),

Your posting is a good, well-documented reading. Thanks.

Inamine is Okinawa's guiding star. He is not a pork barrel politician, who doesn't care about selling Okinawa for money, like some of his predecessors or Gov. NAKAIMA. He is doing what he has to do as a mayor. Note 74 percent of the people of Okinawa would support his U.S. visit wholeheartedly for 74 percent are opposed to the Henoko plan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no media mentioning Nago Mator visit in USA channels. Hr is ignored.

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US bases on Okinawa are a heavy burden. How would Americans like armed foreign troops running around their country. It has been 69 years since the war ended and yet armed American military police respond to "SOFA" incidents. If there was a vote to close all of the US bases it would pass by an overwhelming margin.

As for Americans supporting the bases you have no ideal what it was like growing up on occupied Okinawa. I say let Japan defend herself and tell the American troops to go home. I support the mayor in his trip.

As for "not in my backyard", this is not a part of the United States. The Afghanistan and Iraqi people told the US military to leave and it is becoming fact. The people of Okinawa want the same respect shown to these countries.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@YuriOtanj: These American bases were converted from Japanese war time facilities. or built a long long time ago. They are too out of dated that JSDF will be building Robot and Drone era facilities in Southern Islands. I have feeling that Kennedy will report that these bases are useless. She already inspected Okinawa bases. Some people insist that US Military in Okinawa will defend Japan while China and Japan are cozy on China's modernization of its industries. So, look at Abe's current movement like making Kitaoka as his advisor to re-interpret Constitution without amending Article 9. Even though Shapiro insisted to keep Empathy Budget $2,1 billion a year (5.1. this year), Kitaoka may advise that get rid of US military from Japan and create modernized JSDF bases. He is for reinterpretation of constitution than amending Article 9. Hpw come changing voting right age from 20 to 18? In case war is proposed, it needs more voters who prefer playing games than going to real war?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa May. 24, 2014 - 02:16AM JST Inamine is Okinawa's guiding star. He is not a pork barrel politician, who doesn't care about selling Okinawa for money, like some of his predecessors or Gov. NAKAIMA.

He has made many promises, but no substance. Inamine will end up being another revolving door of promises that end up in predictable disappointment. He's a small town local mayor of 60,000 people with very limited influence and has alot less power than the governor to influence central goverment or U.S. He can use all municipal authority at his disposal to oppose construction, but municipal authority is far more limited than prefectural authority in Japan. Now that the governor has approved the landfill plan, the J-government has no further legal hurdles to construction. However, the strength of that opposition remains to be seen and his platform of opposition will depend largely on the willingness of others to support his cause.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sangetsu03May. 23, 2014 - 10:51AM JST The descendants don't have to pay, they just have to remember. If the cost isn't heavy, then it may not act as a useful deterrent against future wars. We learned a great lesson after "the war to end all wars" didn't we? After the first war, eveyone decided to forgive and forget, they thought that everyone had learned their lesson...

Actually, the opposite is true. The depredation of German property, the heavy reparations imposed on Germany after WWI, which you are supporting, fueled the hate against the Allies and were the impetus for national socialism and WWII.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Selchuk Driss May. 24, 2014 - 05:46AM JST Actually, the opposite is true. The depredation of German property, the heavy reparations imposed on Germany after WWI, which you are supporting, fueled the hate against the Allies and were the impetus for national socialism and WWII.

Disagree. Before the war, Germany had established a big welfare state, and during the war it expanded dramatically. Problem is that it wasn’t dismantled after the war. Germany had a financially troubled government-run pension system like the U.S. Social Security. The German government provided health insurance for millions of people. There were German government programs for 1.5 million disabled veterans. The German government bailed out municipalities. The government lavished subsidies on the arts. There were government-run theaters and opera houses. Government-owned railroads lost money. Government-run enterprises couldn’t even make money producing margarine and sausages.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hope somwe people in congress will listens to him in USA. He is trying to submit what Nago people wants. Maybe different approach might convince US congress men how these old bases are out of dated in 21st century, Too many Military dependent members there. Not Okinawa or Japan but US military men have to defend their dependents first. Hope Ambass. Kenedy, with her humanitarian mind, will see US have to think about American dependents, too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Toshiko-san,

These American bases were converted from Japanese war time facilities.

Maybe some of them were, but Futenma wasn't:

The U.S. military seized some 1188 acres of farmland along an ancient tree-lined thoroughfare which connected the north and south of Okinawa Island and bulldozed five villages in Ginowan township — Ginowan, Kamiyama, Nakahara, Maehara and Aragusuku — herding the villagers into temporary camps.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

he article below is a good place to start with:http://www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/3532 Kevin K. Maher, former director of the State Department's Office of Japan Affairs is a notorious example for how some US diplomats see Japan and Okinawa.

Well, that's hardly a Wikileaks revelation. As I'm sure you know, Mr Maher was the Consulate General at Naha - and as such, was a low level official at best. And while not a very good diplomat, he certainly spoke the truth about the elites on Okinawa and their quest to further their own fortunes and prestige by tyring to coop the anti-US bases effort.

The US hasn't waited at all. I mention it again and again as you seem to avoid any reference: the Henoko location was on the drawing board and the wishing list of the US military since the 1960ies as the Okinawa architect and activist Makishi Yoshikazu has revealed. This is a fact and you can find the quite amazing drawings at: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Satoko-NORIMATSU2/3381

Hasn't waited? I'm sorry but that's just plain inaccurate. The SACO initiative went on for years because Japan would not find and identify a suitable replacement for Futenma. The US became so dissatisfied that it worked with the government to start the process again as part of the Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement (ATARA) in 2003 - and a whole series of locations were reviewed; Kadena, Iwo-to, even building a Kansai Airport like facility off-shore. It was the Japanese government that chose Henoko. The US had to actually curtail and reduce some of its operational requirements to fit the Henoko location.

Again the above article by Gavan McCormack can give you some insight. Quite blatant statements of high-ranking US diplomats launched to the media in Japan, called off meetings by US diplomats, etc. etc. have all undermined Hatoyamas stance and made it easier for opponents within the bureaucracy to put obstacles in his way, though I wouldn't say the US is ultimately responsible for his failing. Action on the US side was so open that conspiracy is not an appropriate term.

Its instructive that you keep citing Prof McCormack, a known far left anti-US critic who thinks North Korea having a nuclear weapon is "understandable" - not what I would call a very objective or credible source. Hatoyama was not liked by the US because he couldn't be trusted to keep his word. But Hatoyama's downfall was the result of him crossing the vested interests within the government and his own DPJ party who would benefit financially from the FRF being built at Henoko. As with most issues in Japanese politics (and politics in general), this was all about money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sfjp330 (May. 24, 2014 - 05:33AM JST):

Certainly, his power as the mayor of a small local municipality in the remote island prefecture of Okinawa is quite limited as you say. Even so, why did the incumbent Abe administration use all its power to defeat him in the recent mayoral election, brazenly promising a 500 million-dollar aid to Nago if the LDP-backed candidate, Bunshin Suematsu, won. The election result was Inamine's land-sliding victory.

Inamine may have limited legal power as a mayor vis-a-vis the central government, which is contemplating using armed police and coast-guard ships to surround the construction area off the Henoko Point to cordon off anti-construction protesters on boats and canoes. Physically, the government may have more power no doubt, but the mayor has more moral power with the backing of the majority of Okinawans.

The battle would be that between democracy, that is the people, and anti-democracy, that is the government. Even if the government side won, that would be a self-defeating act for both Tokyo and Washington, that proclaim themselves to be vanguards of democracy and freedom.

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"Who is repeating it? Japan did not fire a single bullet for last 70 years."

Thanks to the U.S.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The U.S. military seized some 1188 acres of farmland along an ancient tree-lined thoroughfare which connected the north and south of Okinawa Island and bulldozed five villages in Ginowan township — Ginowan, Kamiyama, Nakahara, Maehara and Aragusuku — herding the villagers into temporary camps.

This is a bit of history the rabidly pro-American pro-military side are desperate to ignore, or otherwise act as if the poor village rice farmers of Okinawa were somehow responsible for Pearl Harbor.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@bertie

I do not think the relocation work will proceed smoothly.”

Nor should it.

@Yuri

I say let Japan defend herself and tell the American troops to go home. I support the mayor in his trip.

Please tell me, how Japan can win over an 2.5 million man army, please give me specific details how Japan can thwart such a threat.

As for "not in my backyard", this is not a part of the United States. The Afghanistan and Iraqi people told the US military to leave and it is becoming fact.

So how's that working out for the Iraqis and the Afghanis?

The people of Okinawa want the same respect shown to these countries.

Of course, and they also don't want to fall under the boot of the Chinese as well, therefore it is even more imperative that they stay.

This is a bit of history the rabidly pro-American pro-military side are desperate to ignore, or otherwise act as if the poor village rice farmers of Okinawa were somehow responsible for Pearl Harbor.

Because they are stationed there and there was enough land for the forces to set up and train, does not mean or quantify that they ignore anything just as equally as Japan can't ignore Pearl Harbor. Not all Americans are pro-military, but such as history has played out, this is where we are and the only thing is to just deal with it or Japan can go about taking care of their own national security and considering the average mindset of the typical Japanese man, this country will NEVER have a strong military. If I am wrong, please show me any statistics where the Japanese would enlist by the hundreds and are patriotic to the point where they want to defend their country at ANY cost.

@flyfalcon

Obviously it is the extreme exaggeration.

Hardly. Obama thought the same thing about Russia's intention and we all know how that turned out.

If China or NK want to wipe out the base, they do not need to send their marines with long journey and wasting Tons of fuel. NK has already demonstrated flying rockets over the base. As you know missiles can not be shot down with M16. The base may be deterrent for pirates of sea. However it is pretty useless for defending against long range and medium range missiles. One more thing is Sub Marines torpedoes. If Sub launched the torpedoes from under sea, can the base intercept the torpedoes.

No, but there are other weapons and defense systems that the U.S. can deploy add to that the Carriers and F16s, F18s and F22s having a strong air and naval power is extremely crucial in winning in ANY war.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Please tell me, how Japan can win over an 2.5 million man army, please give me specific details how Japan can thwart such a threat.

Were you expecting them to swim over?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Were you expecting them to swim over?

Exactly. China has huge numbers, but Japan is an island country with the second strongest navy in the world after the US - who is also dedicated to the protection of Japan. As such the number of people in the Chinese military is entirely irrelevant.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Exactly. China has huge numbers, but Japan is an island country with the second strongest navy in the world after the US - who is also dedicated to the protection of Japan. As such the number of people in the Chinese military is entirely irrelevant.

Yes, I agree, but i was talking in hypotheticals. If the U.S. were not present, it be an entirely different story. Never underestimate China, that's all I am saying. Also, after what Snowden did, we have no clue as to what intel China has on the U.S. AND Japan if they were to launch an offensive, let's NOT forget that.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hasn't waited? I'm sorry but that's just plain inaccurate. The SACO initiative went on for years because Japan would not find and identify a suitable replacement for Futenma.

From what I know the Futenma replacement location Henoko was proposed (decided?) by the US in april 1996 based on the 1960ies plan. To me it seems all the maneuvering after that was not sincere and just to throw dust into the eyes of Okinawan citizens.

The US stance seems to be: let the Japanese bureaucrats fiddle around periodically and then say nope, this doesn't fit our needs.

The agenda of the US military seems very clear and focused on Henoko. To my knowledge non of plenty of alternatives have been properly considered by the US military in an open and transparent process. That is why I come to believe the US military has a hidden agenda that is related to the special features of Henoko.

Its instructive that you keep citing Prof McCormack, a known far left anti-US critic who thinks North Korea having a nuclear weapon is "understandable" - not what I would call a very objective or credible source.

From my perspective Prof McCormack is one of THE authorities on the history of Okinawa - Japan - US relations. His research is in depth, fully backed up by various sources and his conclusions are open to scrutiny. That you call him a known far left anti-US critic says more about your stance than about McCormack qualities as a scientist and researcher.

By the way, I don't know of any historian or researcher on the above topic that doesn't see the involvement of the US in recent Okinawan history critically. A thorough review of the conduct of the US military in Post-War Okinawa and a comparison to how much more careful the US military acted for example in Germany makes one doubt the universal value of human rights within the military and thus within the US system. Does this make me anti-american? I don't thinks so as do I believe the US is a truly fascinating and very multi-faceted nation.

For Inamine to go to the US to talk about things Okinawan is a very natural action, as is going to Tokyo, what he already did right after being elected. I really hope his actions can change minds and help to stop this in many respects destructive and threatening relocation project that won't help regional security one iota.

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Serrano (May. 23, 2014 - 09:41PM JST) says:

Thanks to Futenma and all the other U.S. military bases in Japan, Japan has been kept out of trouble since WW2, and Japanese citizens have the right to protest this, lol.

On the contrary. Because of those U.S. bases, Japan has been the potential target of military attacks since 1952 when the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was signed. Japan had to sign it, naturally antagonizing some countries, in order to regain sovereignty however nominal it may have been

It's reported, and I think it's quite natural that China's ballistic missiles are trained at Kadena, Futenma, Yokota, Atsugi, Misawa and other major U.S. bases. Note, however, those missiles are targeted at U.S. bases and not at population centers like Tokyo and Osaka. So do you think "Japan has been kept out of trouble" thanks to those U.S. bases? LOL!

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On the contrary. Because of those U.S. bases, Japan has been the potential target of military attacks since 1952 when the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was signed. Japan had to sign it, naturally antagonizing some countries, in order to regain sovereignty however nominal it may have been.

So basically what you are saying is, Japan is the victim and it didn't do anything to bring the aggression upon itself??? Wow!!

It's reported, and I think it's quite natural that China's ballistic missiles are trained at Kadena, Futenma, Yokota, Atsugi, Misawa and other major U.S. bases.

But what country are these bases residing in? So again, the End result is....

Note, however, those missiles are targeted at U.S. bases and not at population centers like Tokyo and Osaka. So do you think "Japan has been kept out of trouble" thanks to those U.S. bases? LOL!

Yes, because the U.S. is HERE, now if it were NOT that would be an entirely different chapter as to how the outcome would play out.

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lincolnman,

Gavin McCormack is, as bam_boo-san states, one of THE authorities on Okinawa - Japan - US relations.

Instead of shutting your eyes and declaring him "ultra-left" why don't you read what he writes and comment on that?

His writing is, as bam_boo-san says, WELL DOCUMENTED.

Let us not forget that this thread is about the Mayor of Nago taking the Henoko problem to the States.

Let's also not forget that he is doing this because the Government of Tokyo refuses to listen to the people most inconvenienced by the US military presence - the people in Okinawa that Mayor Inamine represents.

Here is a concrete example:

The Japanese government’s 2013 budget allocated almost $3.6 billion to cover costs associated with running American bases in Japan and providing for the 38,000 United States military personnel and their 43,000 dependents stationed there. This includes not only utility costs but also luxury housing, pools and golf courses. In 2008, the Japanese government built a middle school for 600 children of American troops at Kadena Air Base that cost twice as much, and was six times as large, as a school built nearby for 645 Okinawan children.

Mayor Inamine is representing his people.

In that, he is fulfilling his purpose and he is to be applauded.

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Osake3Doug, Bertie and everyone, thank you. I think when he is heard by influential US pwrsons, his mission is accomplished. USA media is too busy reporting who will buy Clippers and people do not watch their shows anyway. MLB seasons are full now, They probably couldn't care less if US bases in Okinawa close than watching eastern weather disaster.

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bass4funk May. 24, 2014 - 09:56AM JST

Hardly. Obama thought the same thing about Russia's intention and we all know how that turned out.

Hardly, Obama back stabbed Russia neighbors for circling it to the corner of the ring. No offence! US has never been willing to risk the direct confrontation with Russia. Back in 1962, President John F Kennedy still compromised with USSR, even two US planes have been shot down by them. Back in 1998, Hawkish Bush President helplessly watched Russia demonstration on Georgia. Many Conservatives think Obama is weak. Not only him, countless Presidents have never wanted to show down with Russia.

No, but there are other weapons and defense systems that the U.S. can deploy add to that the Carriers and F16s, F18s and F22s having a strong air and naval power is extremely crucial in winning in ANY war.

More man power means more body bags for modern warfare. According Israel experience, Patriotic missiles and intercepting missiles need more. Less fighter jets, less air craft carriers and rip off the outdated base. If there is supersonic speed missile hit the base, F16s, F18s and F22s are less useful than Bee. At least Bee can sting the enemy. Those jets will run out of the fuel in the air there is no more supply base.

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lincolnman, Gavin McCormack is, as bam_boo-san states, one of THE authorities on Okinawa - Japan - US relations. Instead of shutting your eyes and declaring him "ultra-left" why don't you read what he writes and comment on that? His writing is, as bam_boo-san says, WELL DOCUMENTED. Let us not forget that this thread is about the Mayor of Nago taking the Henoko problem to the States. Let's also not forget that he is doing this because the Government of Tokyo refuses to listen to the people most inconvenienced by the US military presence - the people in Okinawa that Mayor Inamine represents.

He may be an authority on Okinawa, but its also clear he has a distinct anti-US bias – and as such, is hardly an objective and credible source. Anyone who thinks its understandable for NKorea to have a nuclear weapon is somewhat out of the mainstream........But given your reflexive anti-US bias as reflected in almost every post you make, I can understand why you hold him in such high regard.

Here is a concrete example: The Japanese government’s 2013 budget allocated almost $3.6 billion to cover costs associated with running American bases in Japan and providing for the 38,000 United States military personnel and their 43,000 dependents stationed there. This includes not only utility costs but also luxury housing, pools and golf courses. In 2008, the Japanese government built a middle school for 600 children of American troops at Kadena Air Base that cost twice as much, and was six times as large, as a school built nearby for 645 Okinawan children.

That all may be true, and if it is I think that’s grossly unfair – but here’s what you fail to understand – the Japanese government controls the entire facilities construction program on US bases – the size of the buildings, their cost, etc.,is all controlled by the Okinawa Defense Bureau, of the Defense Ministry's Bureau of Local Cooperation. And they guard this jealously – the US has little if any input. And as we have seen previously, this process is not immune to corruption. It wouldn’t surprise me if the OBD let the contract for the Kadena school to a favored construction company, and that is why it cost so much. So, once again we get back to the main point – its the national government, not the US, that you should be trying to influence.

And there quite a bit of exaggeration here also. Luxury housing? Compare square feet and you’ll find a E4/5 housing unit is only about 1000 sq ft. The facilities construction program does not build pools or golf courses - it does replace existing pools/courses that need to be moved to other locations - but its zero sum - replacement only, not new additional ones. New MWR facilities are funded by US Non-Appropriated Funds. This playing loose with the facts is unfortunately a consistent theme with the anti-US crowd.

Mayor Inamine is representing his people. In that, he is fulfilling his purpose and he is to be applauded.

I take no position whether he is to be applauded or criticized – all I have ever said is that he is focusing on the wrong audience – he should be advocating in Kasumigaseki instead of Washington.

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I am neither anti-USA bases nor pro-USA bases but I kind of look at number data, so the data I found was different than $3.6 nillion dollars in 2013. I wrote here and there and accused for writing but I will write again, It was $2.1 billion in 2013. That amount, Shapiro of USA want to keep as is instead of reducing (in 5/1 this year).

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This is a rather simple scenario...but what Nago Mayor Susumu and the anti-Americans like Mr. Wooster don't get is that the US is there, in Japan and Okinawa specifically, by invitation of the Japanese Government. So while it may make some political hay for the local politicians to rail against the US by trying to make this about the US not caring or when anti-American activist types seek to use the base issue as a tool to define "US imperialism" with they both fail to meet the basic requirements in constructing a valid argument.

The first stop is with the national Japanese government.

Tokyo can, with a one year notice, demand that the US leave Okinawa. Of course they don't do this because they are looking after the wellbeing of all of Japan and not just one city or prefecture. The real fight is between Okinawa and Tokyo...however the US critics and Okinawan autonomists have made the US the Raison d'être for their causes and this has led to them not being in a good place to argue the merits of more autonomy for Okinawa.

Instead of focusing on the US bases how about win the argument with Tokyo about the basic issue of more autonomy. Then the base critics will have more room to stand on when talking about national policy. But anti-Americans are if anything intellectually lazy by nature and so it’s much easier to use the tired and faulty rhetoric associated with the anti-American activist.

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US Military is not ignoring Okinawan people. It is trying best to improve relationship. However, even /china and N Korean attack to Japan including mainland might happen, Okinawan people haven't been interested in US Military base there to protect Mainland Japan.

Between 1972 and 2009, there were 5,634 criminal offenses committed by U.S. servicemen, including 25 murders, 385 burglaries, 25 arsons, rapes, 306 assaults and 2,827 thefts In early 2008, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apologized after a series of crimes involving American troops in Japan, including the rape of a young girl of 14 by a Marine on Okinawa. The U.S. military also imposed a temporary 24-hour curfew on military personnel and their families to ease the anger of local residents Some cited statistics that the crime rate of military personnel is consistently less than that of the general Okinawan population. However, some criticized the statistics as unreliable since violence against women is under-reported]

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bass4funk (May. 24, 2014 - 01:44PM JST):

You say:

*On the contrary. Because of those U.S. bases, Japan has been the potential target of military attacks since 1952 when the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was signed. Japan had to sign it, naturally antagonizing some countries, in order to regain sovereignty however nominal it may have been.

*So basically what you are saying is, Japan is the victim and it didn't do anything to bring the aggression upon itself??? Wow!!

I think Japan tried hard to be a real pacific democracy, true to the words and spirit set forth in the Peace Constitution. But what did the U.S. government do? It has pressured Japan to rearm to the teeth. Budget-wise, Japan today ranks 6th in military capacity after France.

The so-called "Japan specialists" or Japan lobbyists seem to maintain heavy and intimate connections with conservative Japanese political circles and the Japanese bureaucracy, through which Washington exerts its sway over Japan on various issues such as security and nuclear power.

For example, immediately after the 3/11 triple disasters in 2011 prominent Japan lobbyists like James Auer of Vanderbilt University U.S.-Japan Studies Center visited Tokyo and urged not to discontinue its nuclear power policy.

Thus, the Noda administration that succeeded Kan, who had declared Japan would get rid of nuclear power and search for environment-friendly natural energy. The Abe administration is a staunch practitioner of what Auer taught and sold.

I see the same mechanism is also working in matters of security and base issues.

I'm not saying "Japan is the victim" as you say. I'm simply saying it's a pitiful, subjugated vassal of the great U.S.A. This state of affairs must be corrected by all means.

Oh, the final question. You seem to be taking "the aggression" for granted. Could you clarify it?

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@flyfalcon

Hardly, Obama back stabbed Russia neighbors for circling it to the corner of the ring. No offence! US has never been willing to risk the direct confrontation with Russia.

That goes both ways.

Back in 1962, President John F Kennedy still compromised with USSR, even two US planes have been shot down by them. Back in 1998, Hawkish Bush President helplessly watched Russia demonstration on Georgia. Many Conservatives think Obama is weak.

He is. Does that mean, Obama has to go to war with Russia, the outcome for either side would not be very good to say the least, but there were other ways that Obama could have made it miserable for Russia and to hit them as hard financially as they can, not just punish a few Oligarchs, but on every level throughout the U.S. and Europe, he didn't go far enough.

Not only him, countless Presidents have never wanted to show down with Russia.

Neither side wanted that.

@voiceofokinawa

I think Japan tried hard to be a real pacific democracy, true to the words and spirit set forth in the Peace Constitution. But what did the U.S. government do? It has pressured Japan to rearm to the teeth. Budget-wise, Japan today ranks 6th in military capacity after France.

After the growing threat of China and the unpredictable North Korea, they should be armed to the teeth for their own defense.

Oh, the final question. You seem to be taking "the aggression" for granted. Could you clarify it?

I was referring to the hostile war position and the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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I agree with the man, in fact bring ALL US troops home from Korea, Japan, and Germany as well as Afghanistan. It's not as if the USA has the funds to maintain all these bases and why should there even be the possibility of the spilling of US blood in the countries where they are not wanted or needed.

Do you believe the US needlessly deploys troops around the world? Since the days of president Monroe, it has been understood that domestic policy cannot be effective without strong international policy. Those few times when countries have decided not to police their neighbors both close and far off usually resulted in calamities like the first and second wars.

The complete and utter stupidity of those who fail to understand the base territorial instincts of man, and the fact that weakness is one of the natural vacuums most abhored, has led to much misery and death. When building a defense nowadays, the walls must extend very far, even to other countries. Anyone who doesn't understand this cannot be taken for anything but a fool, who should never be listened to.

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Lincolnman

I take no position whether he is to be applauded or criticized – all I have ever said is that he is focusing on the wrong audience – he should be advocating in Kasumigaseki instead of Washington.

Yes, in a normal democratic process approaching Kasumigaseki would be the natural way to address issues, and this is being done in parallel - but any meaningful discussions is being ignored because of the attitude of the current administration that conformity and allegiance to central government policy takes precedence ie. --> subordinates are treated harshly and no complaints are tolerated.

The best way to stand up to bullying is talking to all parties involved in the issues.

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Obama has to go to war with Russia, the outcome for either side would not be very good to say the least

Mutual Assured Destruction, to say the least. Lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings have been learned perfectly by Soviet and Russia leaders.

but there were other ways that Obama could have made it miserable for Russia and hit them

Oh, please ! Putin is very well-educated and experienced leader. He is a former KGB agent. Furthermore, he is well-skilled of JUDO. Let alone physical strength, JUDO teaches a very good strategy and tactics, applied for everyday life. And what about Obama? LOL! He knows NOTHING and he also can do NOTHING. Everytime when I see at him or his statements(interviews), a limo, jumping up and down, equipped by spinning rims and 'U can't touch dis' by MC Hammer come to mind. So, please, stop living in a deluded world. Wake up and smell reality!

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Several people here argue with the Chinese threat and the deterrent power of the US military. Of course the US presence provides deterrence, but at the same time means a threat to Okinawa. No one here can can claim to know which of the two, deterrence or threat, will prevail.

If for any reason the situation should get out of control, and an attack onto Japanese soil was to happen, the US military presence in Okinawa would mean a disaster for Okinawans.

As we know from the WW2 it is impossible to defend a place like Okinawa without horrendous casualties amongst the civilian population and in this respect every additional US military facility on the island will worsen the threat to civilians.

As we saw in WW2 in a horrifying way Okinawa was used by a ruthless Japanese military to prolong the war and fence off a US invasion to the main island (what was called the "Sute ishi" - "throw a stone" strategy) but only at the cost of a completely devastated Okinawa.

Not that I think it is in any way a realistic prospect, but personally given the choice to have Okinawa protected by military action from lets say Chinese aggression or other have Okinawa become a part of China, I would without doubt chose the latter as I, my family and all Okinawans would have a much higher chance of surviving. I'd rather become a disruptive element in the works of the Chinese system then be dead or see anybody around me die.

The Henoko US base will do nothing to reinforce the deterrence (besides we all know that the Marines are not there to protect anybody civilian, but to support naval attacks), but will destroy nature and create a possible threat for civilians.

To me it is clear that from the Okinawan viewpoint there is absolutely no justification for this new US base in Henoko and that Okinawans and Mayor Inamine are doing the right thing in trying absolutely everything to prevent it by all peaceful means.

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Bass4Funk:

I was referring to the hostile war position and the attack on Pearl Harbor.

So, in your mind, retaliation against Japan for the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor is still going on. In other words, World War Two has not ended yet and it's natural that Japan should be a U.S.-subjugated poor vassal. The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a cover to carry over the post-war Occupation regime to keep Japan under subjugation, no doubt.

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Yes, in a normal democratic process approaching Kasumigaseki would be the natural way to address issues, and this is being done in parallel - but any meaningful discussions is being ignored because of the attitude of the current administration that conformity and allegiance to central government policy takes precedence ie. --> subordinates are treated harshly and no complaints are tolerated. The best way to stand up to bullying is talking to all parties involved in the issues.

Well, I'd have to disagree. Talking to low level officials in the US, or bringing 50 people to Tokyo to protest around the Diet building or Defense Ministry in Kasumigaseki - which do you think would bring more media attention in Tokyo and potential for change?

There has always been a tension in the anti-bases movement on Okinawa - between one group who have legitimate concerns with land utilization, environmental issues, sustainable economic initiatives, etc. And the pure "we hate the US, it is the root of all evil, conspiracy theory" crowd. I always worry that the anti-US haters will coop the movement and gain the upper hand. That would be unfortunate as these individuals have no credibility and their ascendancy would doom any progress in reducing the US military footprint.

My own opinion, and I admit it is somewhat of a conspiracy theory, is that the last thing these virulently anti-US haters want is any reduction in US military bases - because they are too invested in it. That's why they oppose any meaningful reduction, such as implementation of the 2007 ATARA agreement which would close and return all US bases south of Kadena. Their anti-US hatred defines who they are - the last thing they want is any progress or solution that would bring this self-definition into question.

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bass4funk May. 25, 2014 - 09:16AM JST

That goes both ways.

US wants bordering nations of Russia for becoming the darlings of NATO. Russia is not persuading US neighbors for becoming their gangsters.

but there were other ways that Obama could have made it miserable for Russia and to hit them as hard financially

EU was the major customer of Russia energy. Therefore Russia has lost the major customer. US financial entities are controlling the trade and financial transactions world wide. I guess many posters assume that Russian tycoons and business will be blocked by financial entities of US. Last Gas deal between PRC and Russia did not use US dollar as their trade deal.

Russia will not blink and hard financially for that deal because it is totally independent from US dollar and US banking co-operation.

Neither side wanted that.

US has already known from Cuban missile crisis, Russia will not tolerate his neighbors became the NATO members and will cycle Russia as the commitment of members. Reality is US wants to provoke Russia for being cycled into the corner. It is doubtful that US sincerity if it does not want the high noon with Russia. Russia may not want to confront with US. However US action is provocative and inflammable.

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lincolnman (May. 25, 2014 - 03:54PM JST),

I'm surprised that lincolnman is still brandishing that clumsy propaganda that the 2007 ATARA agreement "would close and return all U.S. bases south of Kadena." Yes, a very small portion of the land used by the U.S. military will be returned with no strings attached. Except this small portion of land, the rest won't be returned unless their replacements are provided.

Futenma is the case in point. It won't be returned unless its replacement is built at Henoko in northern Okinawa. Another case is Naha Military Port. It won't be returned unless its replacement is built in Urasoe with cutting-edge facilities attached, which lies south of Kadena and is adjacent to Camp Kinser, a sprawling logistics hub for USF Okinawa. Camp Kinser is listed as a total-return item, notwithstanding.

Some portions of land, such as for a bakery and a mortuary, may be returned if their replacements could be found and provided in other bases. But I firmly believe that a significant part of the land where logistics facilities are concentrated won't be returned.

I asked lincolnman for his answer about this on another thread but in vain. Could he answer it now?

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@Osaka Doug: Thank you for your help on behalf of the people of Okinawa. I agree that the U.S. should not be able to pull the strings from the shadows and remain blameless. Anyone who thinks that the U.S. does not have the final say on the bases and there is any Japanese bureaucrat who can stand up to them is IMO sadly mistaken.

@lincolman: I agree that there should be daily protests outside any Govt. office that has anything to do with the bases. I don't believe all of the land south of Kadena Air Base will be returned. I know all of Kinser and Lester will be but I think only small portions of Foster will be returned and that Plaza Housing Area. Kishaba Housing Area which includes Kubasaki High School and Marine Headquarters Bldg. 1 will remain as is.

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Seeing Nago Mayor and Nago people voicing, I think they know freedom of speech better than mainland people. Some USA people believe that their tax dollars are wasted to keep bases in Japan. So, Nago mayor does not have to say Japan pay 'Empathy Budget' every year. If rumors of Okinawan people came USA to talk about base, false belief that US waste their tax dollars ,may help Nago people's desire.

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I asked lincolnman for his answer about this on another thread but in vain. Could he answer it now?

Yes, and against my better judgement, I replied to you in a courteous, forthright and considerate way as reflected in the link at this thread;

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/okinawa-oks-relocation-of-u-s-air-base-from-futenma-to-henoko#comment_1700164

In turn, you resulted to immature name-calling and insults - no more, I've learned my lesson.......

For others, the agreement with specifics on the consolidation of US military facilities on Okinawa is at the below link.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/usa/hosho/pdfs/togo_20130405_en.pdf

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@voiceofokinawa:All of Camp Kinser is scheduled to be returned when replacement facilities have been provided. All of the land south of Kadena will not be returned. Only small portions of Camp Foster will be returned. Plaza Housing Area, Kishaba Housing Area which includes Kubasaki High School, and Marine headquarters Bldg. 1 will remain intact which is still a lot of land which is mostly Military Family Housing which brings up the question of why there are so many military dependents allowed on Okinawa.

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This is 11 hours ago info. He was invited. New York Times means that media is not ignoring.

Mayor Inamine's trip to New York was sponsored by the New Diplomacy Initiative, a think tank that seeks to cultivate peaceful diplomatic relationships between the US and East Asia through the dissemination of information that is not generally seen in mass media. The non-profit NGO helped organize several events for Mayor Inamine, including a lecture at Columbia University, an audience with The New York Times, and an afternoon discussion session at the Gallery of the Community Church of New York on Saturday, May 17. The mayor also took his message to Washington, DC, on Monday and Tuesday.

Mayor Inamine was re-elected to his second term in January of this year, running on a platform against the construction of the base in Henoko, Oura Bay, a pristine ecosystem of mangrove forests and rivers in eastern Nago. His demeanor during his speech at Community Church was calm and reserved, but his message was passionate and reflected the urgency of the base situation.

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Let me give you one more example of deception involved in the "total return" of land south of Kadena. On September 7 last year, about 2 ha of the land used as a U.S. military road was returned unconditionally. The road is about 700 meters in length and has 54 private land owners. Apparently, the land was requisitioned by the Occupation army to construct an access road to one of the entrances of Camp Kinser, while allowing area residents to use it as their daily-life road.

The road will be operated by Urasoe City as a city road from now on. Note, however, that U.S. military vehicles can use the road freely under Section 2 of Article 5 in the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

If someone criticizes such dealing, according to lincolnman, he would be dubbed as an "anti-U.S. hater" or a visceral anti-American.

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Do you people notice Wiki English versions that got info from original Japanese writings are just summary skipping detail? It is not revealed what kind of SDF bases will be built in southern islands but when I read 350 SDF members, I think it will be built in robotic era construction. Maybe Japan will retire out-of-dated manpower using bases and replacing with new ones utilizing $2.1 billion a year? If the money has been back to Japanese economy, Japan sure can demand US Military out from Okinawa. Oh I forgot. Return to Japanese Economy...Does that include Okinawan economy>

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lincolnman (May. 25, 2014 - 05:55PM JST):

Yes, and against my better judgement, I replied to you in a courteous, forthright and considerate way as reflected in the link at this thread;

The return plan for bases south of Kadena was also reported by local papers in detail. Still, I have some doubt about it as I mentioned above.

You didn't answer my question as to why Naha Military Port facilities must be relocated to Urasoe. The port facilities stand there almost idly whenever I pass by them by car.

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lincolnman,

I take no position whether he is to be applauded or criticized – all I have ever said is that he is focusing on the wrong audience – he should be advocating in Kasumigaseki instead of Washington.

I agree. He should be.

But Kasumigaseki doesn't listen to Inamine.

They only listen to their own "advisors."

One wonders who they might be.

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I agree. He should be.But Kasumigaseki doesn't listen to Inamine. They only listen to their own "advisors." One wonders who they might be.

Yea right - he sure listened to his "advisors" when they told him to pass on going to Yasukuni, cool the hot rhetoric against China and SKorea, sign on to the sanctions against Russia re Ukraine, and to sew up that TPP agreement.......

Let's get real - one of PM Abe's true "special advisors" is Eto Seiichi, a long time Abe aide....interesting what he's had to say recently.....

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/19/national/politics-diplomacy/abe-aide-pillories-u-s-on-youtube/#.U4H23vmSySo

Something else I find quite interesting; that you, VOO, Bamboo and the other anti-US conspiracy theory crowd here share such strikingly similar views with Mr Eto and others in the anti-US faction of the LDP, and such distinguished US critics as Shintaro Ishihara and Toshio Tamogami....

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Another cut and paste of Inamene plea in USA.

After they promised to return the land to Okinawa, they decided to change the conditions and say that it would be moved to a different location on Okinawa," says Mayor Inamine. "We have struggled mightily ever since then, and we believe that in 69 years after the war, we have suffered enough under the presence of the US military bases. We have no more capacity to accept a new base on the island. And as a result, the anti-base movement has grown strong. Eighteen years later nothing has changed at Futenma airbase; it is still exactly the same."

The plans for the relocation include expansion well beyond the dimensions of the current airbase, calling for landfill to accommodate its new dimensions. The building out of the bay to create space for runways and docks will negatively impact the biodiversity of that area, effectively destroying the coral and the natural habitat for the dugong.

"They're not just moving Futenma, they're adding a great deal of additional facilities that now Futenma lacks," says Mayor Inamine. "An armory for storing ammunition, ports for battleships, runways. They're basically turning it into a military super-fortress. This extremely dangerous airbase apparently is built to last 100 years."

Mayor Inamine says that 74% of Okinawans are opposed to the new construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility. When Okinawa reverted to Japanese control in 1972, citizens had two demands, that no nuclear weapons would be stored on Okinawa and that the distribution of US military bases would be proportionate to the rest of Japan. Clearly, those demands were not met, as published accounts name Henoko as a storage location for nuclear weapons, and Okinawa continues to shoulder the burden of the bases.

"What this means is that since we survived the end of the war, the San Francisco Treaty, the 'return’ to Japan, we still have to live with 74% of US military bases in Japan on Okinawa, and not just that, for the next 100 years. We will have to live not only with the bases, but with the accidents and the crimes that they cause, so that after we die we will leave our children and grandchildren a legacy of misery."

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Thank you for an excellent post, Toshiko.

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Something else I find quite interesting; that you, VOO, Bamboo and the other anti-US conspiracy theory crowd here share such strikingly similar views with Mr Eto and others in the anti-US faction of the LDP, and such distinguished US critics as Shintaro Ishihara and Toshio Tamogami....

Wow, this is first time someone lumped me together with right wing Japanese nationalists. Interesting concept, just have absolutely no idea what similar views are you talking about... except for being critical towards the US in one or another way maybe?

Could it be that in your view lincolnman everybody who criticizes the US has strikingly similar views? You might consider adding Fidel Castro, Al Qaida and the Pope to your list.

Anyway, back to the main discussion... Nobody here says that the base problem is solely in the US responsibility. What several people here point out is the active and direct involvement of the US.

If there is any kind of conspiracy it is one between the GOJ and the US on one side and the people of Okinawa on the other. It is documented in the public domain that Okinawans have been cheated on and that such conspiracy has happened in the 1960ies and then again leading up to the reversal of Okinawa. From that experience it is quite natural to be at least suspicious that such shady action might still be going on between the US and Tokyo in order to pressure and cheat Okinawans into accepting more of a military burden then any other prefecture in Japan or region in East Asia.

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The anti-US base folk can continue to bloviate until the cows come home but it will not matter one iota as long as the Chinese pose a threat to the islands. And that threat is present, very real (based on land grabs using faulty logic in Tibet, Vietnam and the Philippines) and is not going to just go away if the US were to pack up and leave. So with every Chinese ship that enters the waters around the Shukaku Islands, or Chinese fighter jet locking onto Japanese ships or North Koreans ships penetrate Japanese waters in the Sea of Japan the case is made for a strong US presence. This is a fact supported by the majority of Japanese.

Okinawa is part of Japan and its with the greater good of the entire nation that they are host to US bases. Now there may be a case to moving the troops to Honshu and lessening the burden of those in Okinawa but the idea that the US is going to leave is just not even remotely realistic.

If anything, with the new Japanese defense laws, the Japanese and US will further their global power projection abilities. However all is not lost to the anti-base crowd and the anti-US people; who should not fret...as the US is their Raison d'être is opposition to a strong and powerful USA they don't have to worry about not having something to wake up mad about. Their activist groups existence will continue to be validated. Because, the USA aint going nowhere.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

given the choice to have Okinawa protected by military action from lets say Chinese aggression or other have Okinawa become a part of China, I would without doubt chose the latter as I, my family and all Okinawans would have a much higher chance of surviving. I'd rather become a disruptive element in the works of the Chinese system then be dead or see anybody around me die.

You value your own lives over country? Sounds an awful lot like treason to me.

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How many people have ever been inside a base on Okinawa? What everyone needs to do is to take a look at the composition of these bases. Most of the land is taken up by what I call non-essential military mission use which includes Military Family Housing Areas, dependent schools an leisure facilities. The bases on Okinawa are more military resorts than military bases. There are more dependents on Okinawa than there are troops. Dependents require a lot of land space. O'Donnel gardens, Chibana Housing Area, Camp Mctureous, Plaza Housing Area, Kishaba Housing Area , are all separate bases that have nothing but Military Family Housing on them. Kadena Air Base is probably half military housing, dependent schools and leisure facilities.. Camp Foster and Camp Kinser have large housing areas on them. The problem on Okinawa is not the military bases but the military resorts.

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but with the accidents and the crimes that they cause, so that after we die we will leave our children and grandchildren a legacy of misery."

The mayor is being disengenuous here. The crime rate among US forces in Japan is 1/4 what it is among the native Japanese population. This statement makes me doubt the veracity of his other statements.

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japan4life,

I formed a similar opinion when I visited US bases in Okinawa.

They waste space. With huge spaces between buildings, they are built on a layout that would be more fitting in Nevada. All this while Okinawans live in tiny houses in narrow streets.

The Japanese government is so eager to please the Americans by giving them facilities "just like home" and ignoring the people who actually own the islands.

The Japanese government’s 2013 budget allocated almost $3.6 billion to cover costs associated with running American bases in Japan and providing for the 38,000 United States military personnel and their 43,000 dependents stationed there. This includes not only utility costs but also luxury housing, pools and golf courses. In 2008, the Japanese government built a middle school for 600 children of American troops at Kadena Air Base that cost twice as much, and was six times as large, as a school built nearby for 645 Okinawan children.

The government in Tokyo also completely ignores the wishes of the Okinawans to have NO BASE IN HENOKO. In a recent survey, this was 74%.

That is why Mayor Inamine took the problem to the U.S.A.

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Toshiko, yes, thank you for posting this – I had not seen it before. If these are indeed the words of Mr Inamine, then it gives us clear insight into his credibility and truthfulness. And in that vein, we can see it is filled with fabrications, distortions and just outright lies.

After they promised to return the land to Okinawa, they decided to change the conditions and say that it would be moved to a different location on Okinawa," says Mayor Inamine.

Really, what location was previously agreed to? Since 1995, the reason Futenma has not been closed is that the cenreal government couldn’t or wouldn’t identify an alternate location, until selecting the Henoko option in 2006.

The plans for the relocation include expansion well beyond the dimensions of the current airbase, calling for landfill to accommodate its new dimensions.

Just a flat lie – the FRF facility at Henoko will be significantly smaller than Futenma and less operationally capable. Futenma has an 8,000 ft runway that can handle both small and large aircraft – the V shaped runway at the FRF will only accept small fighter type and tactical airlifters.

"They're not just moving Futenma, they're adding a great deal of additional facilities that now Futenma lacks," says Mayor Inamine. "An armory for storing ammunition, ports for battleships, runways. They're basically turning it into a military super-fortress. This extremely dangerous airbase apparently is built to last 100 years."

Another flat out lie – there are no ammo storage facilities being built at the FRF – there are plenty of unused storage areas in the Kadena munition storage area. But that’s beside the point – the only aircraft being stationed at Camp Schwab will be the MV-22 – it is not an armed aircraft.

Mayor Inamine says that 74% of Okinawans are opposed to the new construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility. When Okinawa reverted to Japanese control in 1972, citizens had two demands, that no nuclear weapons would be stored on Okinawa and that the distribution of US military bases would be proportionate to the rest of Japan. Clearly, those demands were not met, as published accounts name Henoko as a storage location for nuclear weapons,

Here’s where we really see how divorced from reality Mr Inamine is – nuclear weapons at Henoko? Sure, and flying saucers and little green men are stored in a Hanger at Kadena…….. If he had any credibility, it’s long gone after this statement.

"What this means is that since we survived the end of the war, the San Francisco Treaty, the 'return’ to Japan, we still have to live with 74% of US military bases in Japan on Okinawa, and not just that, for the next 100 years. We will have to live not only with the bases, but with the accidents and the crimes that they cause, so that after we die we will leave our children and grandchildren a legacy of misery."

What is conveniently left out, is once the FRF is built, a majority of US bases south of Kadena will be returned and half of the military population will move to Guam, resulting in Okinawa hosting less than 33% of US facilities in Japan and 33% of the total US affiliated personnel.

As I’ve said before, by playing loose with the facts, the anti-US crowd just undermines their credibility. If Inamine made these remarks above during his current US visit, no one is going to meet or listen to him – more importantly, he undercuts those on Okinawa that have legitimate space and environmental concerns – and paints the entire movement as a bunch of far left, anti-US loonies…….

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lincolnman,

Sorry, your post must have been deleted by Moderator for the reason of "Off topic", but anyway I post the following:. :

You are avoiding to answer my question on Naha Military Port: why it should be relocated to Urasoe, just one block from Camp Kinser, that is listed as a "total return" item in the 2007 ATARA. My suspicion is that the significant part of Camp Kinser where logistics facilities are to be concentrated will not be returned after all.

Instead of answering this question, you bring a totally different topic into discussion.

Note that many of the people you name are the staunch supporters of the Henoko plan. Abe and his cronies think relocating Futenma to Henoko is a must in order to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance -- that is, to show Japan's genuine friendship toward the U.S. Yes, it is the ultra-right or right-wing section of Japanese society who identify themselves as the best friends of the U.S. and so strongly support the U.S. military presence in Japan.

Haven't you ever seen an ultra-right "patriotic" sound truck blaring a Futenma-to-Henoko propaganda with Hinomaru and Stars and Stripes hoisted on the sides of the truck? Yes, they are America's (or Washington's) best friends who don't care about constant noise pollution and agony inflicted upon their own compatriots that is caused by U.S. aircraft's field carrier landing practice late into the night all around the year.

Seiichi Eto's complaint is that, despite their efforts to work for the U.S., Washington won't repay them by sanctioning Abe and conservative lawmakers' visit to Yasukuni Shrine.

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@lincolnmanMAY. 26, 2014 - 09:16AM JST Toshiko, yes, thank you for posting this – I had not seen it before. If these are indeed the words of Mr Inamine, then it gives us clear insight into his credibility and truthfulness. And in that vein, we can see it is filled with fabrications, distortions and just outright lies.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

If you think I fabricated that post, I did not/ I just copied and pasted. Notice there is no my usual mistyping and broken English, You did not see before, maybe. I live in USA and I nose around various places that you may not have connections, That was Inamine speech.

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If you think I fabricated that post, I did not/ I just copied and pasted. Notice there is no my usual mistyping and broken English, You did not see before, maybe. I live in USA and I nose around various places that you may not have connections, That was Inamine speech.

Toshiko, no I do not believe you fabricated this post - I believe these are Mr Inamine's true words and beliefs.

. あなたの英語は非常に良いです

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@lincolnman: I agree that Mayor Inamine should not make statements about nuclear weapons being stored on Okinawa presently unless he has concrete facts. The U.S. stored nuclear weapons on Okinawa up until reversion in 1972 and it was revealed in the late 1990's that a secret agreement was signed between President Nixon and PM Sato giving the U.S. The right to store nuclear weapons on Okinawa in cases of emergencies even after reversion which I assume still applies today. There is a munitions storage area in Camp Henoko adjacent to Camp Schwab and of course the massive 18th MUNS Area next to KAB. The U.S. Seems to have the right to store nuclear weapons on Okinawa which maybe what the mayor was referring to whether they do or not only the U.S. Knows and for sure they won't say.

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@ Steven C. Schulz

You value your own lives over country? Sounds an awful lot like treason to me.

Having lived in various countries since early childhood I just wonder which one should I die for?

LoL

Here’s where we really see how divorced from reality Mr Inamine is – nuclear weapons at Henoko? Sure, and flying saucers and little green men are stored in a Hanger at Kadena…….. If he had any credibility, it’s long gone after this statement.

@ lincolnman, as you seem to be a well informed military guy you should know about the various cases of misinformation, disinformation and cover ups in which the US military was involved in Okinawa.

The ugly nuclear weapons story is just one in a long line of incidents of disrespect towards the people in Okinawa.

Just recently we had the case of the massive PCB contamination in a former part of the Kadena base, but one can be sure that this is just the tip of the iceberg and high levels of PCB as well as other US military related toxins have been found in various places around the US military locations. It seems though as if neither the GOJ nor the prefecture really want to know in detail...

It is this experience of having been cheated on for so many times that Okinawans don't really trust any of the US statements in regard to Okinawa, even though the majority might well be truthful.

Just a flat lie – the FRF facility at Henoko will be significantly smaller than Futenma and less operationally capable. Futenma has an 8,000 ft runway that can handle both small and large aircraft – the V shaped runway at the FRF will only accept small fighter type and tactical airlifters.

So why do MV-22 (a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability aircraft) need a 6,000 ft runway?

And I also wonder why lincolnman staunchly avoids to even mention the harbor facilities that are planned in Henoko? Maybe for the reason hinted at in the quote below?

A quote from the Makishi Yoshikazu article "US Dream Come True? The New Henoko Sea Base and Okinawan Resistance":

At the 2005 two-plus-two meeting, the two governments agreed on the construction of a - pier for refueling and relevant facilities -, that is, nothing less than a military port: Oura Bay is more than 20 meters deep, enough for a nuclear aircraft carrier to enter alongside the pier.

For the full article:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-makishi-yoshikazu/1819

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I doubt that you are able to understand what the place means and has meant for the locals.

And I doubt you ever learned to not assume things either. I live there!

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lincolnman (May. 26, 2014 - 09:16AM JST),

Can you dare say Mayor Inamine's remarks during his U.S. trip are filled with "fabrications, distortions and just outright lies"? What person are you?

The day after the total return of Futenma was announced by then P.M. Ryutaro Hashimoto and Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale with a provision that its facilities would be relocated to Kadena Air Base, Kadena townspeople raised a strong voice against Kadena relocation. Kadena-based U.S. Air Force 18th Wing took no time either to oppose the Kadena integration plan right away. If Japan hands at the Pentagon had expected such opposition beforehand and targeted Henoko as the final relocation site from the very beginning, they were the real culprits of making Futenma a complex diplomatic issue.

If Kadena was No, then Okinawans must find possible relocation sites within Okinawa themselves, the Pentagon suggested. Thus, various proposals were offered in local papers. Some offered the idea of land reclamation off the west coast of Okinawa Island; others, like Tsukenjima islanders, suggested the shallow waters lying between Yokatsu Peninsular and Tsukenjima to be reclaimed, thus connecting their island with the main island of Okinawa by bridge. I remember an American academic publishing articles on a local paper advocating a proposal very similar to Yokatsu-Tsuken reclamation.

The Pentagon didn't give a nod to any of these proposals, only hinting they preferred the east coast to the west coast. Then, someone (construction firm?) at Henoko came up with a proposal for the Henoko coast. Whether he was approached by U.S. military authorities or not nobody knows. At any rate, the Pentagon bought this idea and the hitherto-stalled problem began to move. Henoko was fixed matter-of-factly as a relocation site from then on. The problem was how. Should it be reclamation of the coastal area or a mega-float anchored off the coast?

The Japanese side (Shigeru Ishiba was then Chief Defense Agency) had initially proposed an area in Camp Hanse as a relocation site but at the insistence of the U.S. side agreed to the Henoko reclamation plan. Nobody in the Japanese government, including Ishiba, must have known about the existence of a blueprint already drawn by the Marines in the 1960's. See how strikingly similar today's plan and the Marines' 1960's blueprint is at:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-makishi-yoshikazu/1819

Can lincolnman call Mayor Inamine an outright liar and fabricator now?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Obama has to go to war with Russia

Oh my God, really? Are western people became such stupid, that admit the thought of war with Russia, which still has nuclear bombs to destroy half of the world? Mutual destroying, yeah, brilliant end of the world! I wanna back to Cold War period, 'cause at least people knew that better not to piss off Russia, because it has nuclear bombs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One thing is for sure. The Mayor is too busy to plea his cause to American that he hasn't spent time in Park Avenue or Time Square. He is not totally ignored by USA. After Calif. massacres case simmer down, we might hear about USA media picking issue of Military bases in Okinawa.

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"The plans for the relocation include expansion well beyond the dimensions of the current airbase, calling for landfill to accommodate its new dimensions."

MCAS Futenma currently encompasses approximately 480 hectares. The new V shaped FRF replacement facility at Camp Schwab will be approximately 205 hectares (GOJ Draft Environmental Impact study). Fact - the new FRF will be less than half the size of MCAS Futenma.

"They're not just moving Futenma, they're adding a great deal of additional facilities that now Futenma lacks," says Mayor Inamine. "An armory for storing ammunition, ports for battleships, runways. They're basically turning it into a military super-fortress. This extremely dangerous airbase apparently is built to last 100 years

They adding no additional facilities that Futenma lacks; there is no armory being built. Ports for battleships - White Beach is the designated military port for large ships. Runway - yes, its a replacement airfield - why would you want to build a replacement airfield without a runway - and the new runways are significantly less operationally capable than the old ones. Military super fortress......just the kind of inflamatory rhetoric and exaggerations that appeal to the anti-US conspiracy theorists in their far left wing echo chamber .......

Bottomline - these statements above by Mayor Inamine are factually incorrect - he either was mistaken or he lied. In either case, he needs to apologize and correct the record. My bet is that he'll double down and reference the flying saucers and little green men tomorrow.......

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They adding no additional facilities that Futenma lacks; there is no armory being built. Ports for battleships - White Beach is the designated military port for large ships.

I'm repeating myself, but lincolnman is wrong, a port facility is of course lacking in Futenma and is included in the Henoko plan. Also convenient enough there already is an armory in camp Schwab. So this combination of features not available in Futenma (and not in White Beach) seems to be the reason why the US military is so keen on the Henoko deal.

I suppose that this is related to some kind of deployment strategy of the Marines. The military guys here probably know more about this topic, but surely will take care not to share any of their information with us.

he needs to apologize and correct the record.

Inamine has no reason to apologize because, in contrast to the US military in Okinawa, he didn't harm anybody.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Lincoldnman: Because USA has current VA patient dumping scandals, New Nago base plan that will have to accomodate all military members and their dependents will be rechecked before it will be constructed. It burying seashore plan is not done yet, anyway, It is not done deal yet.

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lincolnman (May. 26, 2014 - 08:22PM JST):

Mayor Inamine is not a military specialist and he was talking through an interpretor, and so his remarks on the new Henoko base may not be as accurate as a professional military specialist. But I wonder if lincolnman is correct and accurate on his part when he says:

They (are) adding no additional facilities that Futenma lacks; there is no armory being built. Ports for battleships and so on.

Here are some new facilities added to the new base that Futenma lacks:

(1) Facility for LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion) (2) Pier for the the USS Bonhomme Richard, LHD-6 (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship (aka aircraft carrier) with the displacement of more than 40,000 tons) (3) Two V-shaped runways with the length of 1800 meter each (4) 4 helicopter pads (5) 1 ammunition depot

The new base may be smaller area-wise than Futenma, but its function will certainly increase manifold with these newly added facilities. Furthermore, the new base will be functionally integrated with adjacent Camp Schwab, Camp Hansen Central Trainig Area and the Northern Training Area and therefore increase its function three times as much Camp Shcwab has weapon storage facilities already, which were rumored in pre-reversion days to be nuclear (or Mustard gas (my conjecture)) arsenal because goats were kept loose in the area.

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Kennedy met with students at the peace park, and said she was reminded of the importance of working together to reduce the burden of the American military presence and create opportunities for Okinawan students.

The U.S. has proposed a broad plan to consolidate and reduce its troop presence in Okinawa, including a 1996 agreement to move the Futenma air station away from its current populated area.

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Futema relocation plan is not just relocating part of Futema, That is why Kennedy visited there to see what will affect residents and environment. she left on May/17 after her inspection. She and her bodyguards did not play golf in base.

The new base will be (if constructed) larger than current Futema base as entire equipment and jousings, buildings have to be relocated. Japanese Tokyo Govt did not hide that. It never said new location is smaller than Futema. Neither US. That is why Nago Mayor is invited instead of Okinawa Governor. The new base if created will be way larger than current Futema base. It will add nuclear weapons facility, too. The filling the seashore plan is, a lot bigger than Odaiba in Tokyo bay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don’t know if this is true or not but here’s what I heard about Mayor Inamine’s trip to the US today:

Day 3 Transcript;

“They are building a super, mega, jumbo, mammoth, immense, gargantuan, base in Henoko. I have heard it is so big, the base McDonalds doesn’t serve a regular hamburger, only “Mega-Mac”…….”

“They are partnering with their capitalist vulture friends in Las Vegas and building a huge casino inside the base and will allow foreign tourists to enter – they will steal our tourist revenue…..”

“ I have heard they have selected the new commander for the base – one who is clearly in-line with their illicit values and morals – Elvis Presley……..

“They are building a special pad that allows docking by flying saucer – you do know they have flying saucers and little green men stored in a Hanger at Kadena, don’t you?
-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The tragedy involved in this new base construction is that Japanese taxpayers are obliged to shoulder all the necessary costs, which are estimated to amount to almost 10 billion dollars, and offer it to the U.S. Marines free of charge and keep paying its maintenance costs forever thereafter.

Can anyone think of such absurdity? By opposing such absurdity to come true, in truth, Mayor Inamine is contributing to Japan's sovereignty far more than those treacherous, sycopahntic politicians and bureaucrats in Tokyo. What an irony!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mayor has been in USA since May 15. I wrote his speech on May 24 on last my post. It is Memorial Day in USA and so US Congress people were all at Arlington Memorial So there is no activity of Mayor today, He must be resting today for change. President was speaking to soldiers in battleground (Afgan?). I missed all as I was watching Angels losing in Seattle. Probably he will be back very soon without enjoying Park /Avenue or Time Square or new Memorial Museum in New York. But I am pretty sure he watched TV in USA that has Okinawa Life commercial and he noticed Japanese ad speakers speak in Tokyo Yamano-te elegant speech, not Okinawan dialect. Maybe he may get an idea that US people's understanding of Okinawa is long life of Okinawan people, not US military bases in Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No one knows what this new base will look like until it is completed. Just like there were secret agreements made prior to reversion that allowed the U.S. to store nuclear weapons on Okinawa in cases of emergencies and that the J-Govt. paid 6 Million dollars to the U.S. for retribution, there are probably agreements that allow for the building of additional facilities. Once the initial construction has finished and it is an official military facility the U.S. and Japan Govt. can build anything they want to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The plans for the relocation include expansion well beyond the dimensions of the current airbase, calling for landfill to accommodate its new dimensions."

MCAS Futenma currently encompasses approximately 480 hectares. The new V shaped FRF replacement facility at Camp Schwab will be approximately 205 hectares (GOJ Draft Environmental Impact study). Fact - the new FRF will be less than half the size of MCAS Futenma.

Inamine has no reason to apologize

Of course he should apologize - Mayor Inamine either spoke in error or he deliberately falsified this statement. In either case, he owes an apology to the American people for being factually incorrect. He has two options - he can say;

I unfortunately misspoke when I said the relocation area includes expansion beyond the dimensions of the current airbase. In fact, the proposed new area will be less than half the size of the current MCAS Futenma. It was not my intention to mislead anyone, but I was provided inaccurate information. I regret this misstatement and apologize for any confusion. I will reflect on this error and in the future strive to be accurate and factual at all times.

I deliberately misinformed you previously when I stated that the relocation area includes expansion beyond the dimensions of the current airbase. In fact, the proposed new area will be less than half the size of the current MCAS Futenma – but I don’t care about facts or accuracy – I want to demonize the US because I believe it is the focus of all evil in the world, and I’m willing to say or do anything that promotes that view. So there, take that……..

Anyone want to take any bets on which one he’ll choose? I know which one I would bet on……..

And with that, I think that’s all I have to say on this topic….though if anyone hears anything about him mentioning the little green men at Kadena, please let me know……….inquiring minds want to know about that one.......

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sangetsu03, what about the millions of Vietnamese the Americans killed? How are they paying for that? Did they even apologise?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lincolnman:

Your barb about Mayor Inamine's U.S. tour is like a robber shouting at the poor unfortunate, "Don't tell a lie. I didn't steal the amount you say. It was less than that. Appologize for the inaccuracy!"

Remember Futenma sits on stolen property; most of the land is private lands that were confiscated after the Battle of Okinawa in blatant violation of international law. The U.S. has no inherent right to demand its replacement for starters. Return the land unconditionally and with apologies.

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Following is cut and paste. No fabrication, not my opinion, no guess on history. Extremely popular former PM Satoh has nothing to do as anything he said and did had too big support in Japan., When he was a bureaucrat of Ministry of Railroad, Yamaguchi-ken people begged him to be a politician. after he decided not to be PM in 1972, he preached anti- A bomb in the world and he received Nobel Peace Prize. In his time, there was no missile. Just A-bomb was known.

A 2012 book, Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States, argues that the U.S. presence on Okinawa, which has provoked strong opposition and resistance among the island's inhabitants, is not geared towards defending Japan, but rather to serve as part of an American forward deployment strategy aimed at Southeast Asia and China, the stability of which is not important to Japanese commercial or defense interests.[verification needed Main article: Operation Red Hat

In 1969, chemical weapons leaked from the storage depot at Chibana in central Okinawa. Evacuations of residents took place over a wide area for two months. Even two years later, a report by government investigators found that Okinawans and the environment near the leak were still suffering because of the depot. In 2011, it was reported that the U.S. military --- contrary to repeated denials by the Pentagon --- had kept tens of thousands of barrels of Agent Orange on t he island. The Japanese and American governments have angered some U.S. veterans, who believe they were poisoned by Agent Orange while serving on the island, by characterizing their statements regarding Agent Orange as "dubious", and ignoring their requests for compensation. Reports that more than a third of the barrels developed leaks have led Okinawans to ask for environmental investigations, but both Tokyo and Washington continue to refuse such action Jon Mitchell has reported concern that the U.S. used American Marines as chemical-agent guinea pigs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So, in your mind, retaliation against Japan for the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor is still going on. In other words, World War Two has not ended yet and it's natural that Japan should be a U.S.-subjugated poor vassal. The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a cover to carry over the post-war Occupation regime to keep Japan under subjugation, no doubt.

That is complete nonsense, but it is amazing how you always play the victim card as if the U.S. just decided to Waltz into Okinawa and just set up shop. Everyone is where they are because of what Japan did as the end result. Live with it.

@bertie

They waste space. With huge spaces between buildings, they are built on a layout that would be more fitting in Nevada. All this while Okinawans live in tiny houses in narrow streets.

Japan needs to just retrofit the living accommodations it does that so well everywhere else in the country, Okinawa should be No exception.

The Japanese government is so eager to please the Americans by giving them facilities "just like home" and ignoring the people who actually own the islands.

Well, that's the price you pay for freedom, however, the Japanese government SHOULD make sure the living conditions of many of these people are livable and appropriate.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I I wrote before following to explain why Japan is stuck with US bases. After war, Japanese Govt was the one which requested US military stay as Red scare was all over in Japan. If you think USA decided, check any history book of after WW II reconstruction of Japan. I think US bases in Japan is not necessary but that is my personal thinking and that does not change fact of Japan requested, not USA.

Years ago, Tachikawa area people sued constitutionality of US bases and won. However Supreme Court overturned the verdict. That is why mainland Japanese with less military men's criminal activity behave with Shikata-ga-nai (Wouldn't do any good.) attitude. Originally, bases were created to accommodate US Military Forces in case Russian attacks Japan. Many bases were former Japanese Military camps and facilities. Japan paid as Japan was the lose of WW II. Every year, Japan pay USA Empathy Budget (Donation) to Japan that include maintenance, updating, base employees and military forces.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bass4Funk (May. 28, 2014 - 06:29AM JST):

You are answering my post dated May. 25, 2014 - 01:03PM JST. But I assume you are also responding to my post addressed to lincolnman. I said, " Return the land (Futenma) unconditionally and with apologies."

Of course, you want to say there's no need for the U.S. to return Futenma unconditionally, much less with apologies. Everything today is the end result of what took place yesterday, you say. In other words, Okinawa's predicament today is the natural consequence of what Japan did on December 7, 1941.

Officially, World War II ended with the conclusion of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. With it, Japan regained sovereignty and the Occupation was supposed to have come to an end. Did it? As I see it, a virtual occupation is still going on and you confirmed it by saying it's the natural consequence of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

You and I then share the same conclusion: The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (revised as "Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America) is nothing but a facade to camouflage the post-war regime of Occupation.

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As a local government official he does have the right and should represent his people. He must also view the situation within the scope not just between the USA and Japan or economic and social consequences, but as being mentioned, within the entire world history and current existing as well as possible circumstances. It is not just a local social or economic problem, it is a problem for the entire Japanese nation as well as most SE Asian countries close by to S. Korea and China.

To begin with ALL based used by USA forces are TOTALLY funded by the Japanese government and NOT the USA.

USA may be obligated by treaty to defend Japan., but no USA national will be willing to sacrifice any of its soldiers lives on foreign soil. As an example, as much as S. Korea may not want USA presence in their country, because USA soldiers are present, they will be the first to be protected by the USA military. That is something which Japan shares with S. Korea despite the differences. So if soldiers are not physically present there is possibly less concern. But in order to fulfill their mission USA is even with some opposition, getting access to Philippines and helping Thailand and Malaysia.

If anything, Okinawan bases are needed and they probably should all be Japanese and not USA. That was not possible till now, due to extreme pacifism of the people of Japan after WWII. But given only two and a half generations (70 years) after WWII and many wars (Korean and Viet Nam included) since then, the THREAT of war and the NEED to defend is not minor. It may be too late for our host Japan even with Abe's efforts.

As ALL of you have in other political issues here in Japan have commented, the political structure and politicians in Japan are often corrupt, indecisive, unproductive, inefficient, and mostly out of touch with reality. That may also be the case with the USA, but USA has the military power to save it till some changes can be made. For Japan and many SE Asian countries the "threat" is real and imminent.

It is evident in what provocative actions even the common people (fishing boats) from China and S. Korea are taking to start a war. Post war treaties, agreements, the rights and the wrongs, the legalities and the like really does not matter when there is war and life and death is the issue. Are we still dreaming and trying to live in an idealized world?

If war does start, what will the people in Okinawa and other southern islands of Japan face? With or without USA presence what can be envisioned is not nice.

In spite of the highest technology and skill of the Japanese military and the USA presence, the physical proximity and sheer numbers of the Chinese and even Russians are initially overwhelming. And there is no time... war today is instantaneous.

We need some solutions... and not criticisms... I wish I could offer a good one... Have been and still trying to find the most meaningful one for a while... What could you offer???

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I would like to offer a solution and appreciate any responses you care to make.

I believe Okinawa should be an unaccompanied tour of duty. That means a military person would come to Okinawa without any dependents do their job and go home when their tour is finished. The main reason the bases require so much land space is because of the number of dependents. They require family housing. Dependent schools, leisure facilities etc. Without all the dependents, almost all of the land that now is used for family housing, schools, leisure facilities could be returned to Okinawa for local use and the military would still have enough land to perform their military mission. The military would still have the same capabilities they have now but without all of that fat they have now. What do you think?

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bass4funk the new base is obsolete before being built. It would be a sitting duck for Chinese missiles and they only have to be high explosive. In fact all of the American bases are obsolete and while there are some Pac3 missiles operated by America. They could be deployed by the SDF instead. Next you will tell me about the threat from a bankrupt starving nation.

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Japan is under legal obligation to keep these bases here due to a treaty that they signed, after fairly losing a war. That's the way the real world works, folks.

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The single service men's quarters are called barracks. Housing for dependents are luxury comparing Okiinwan housings. However, don;t compare them with Nevada or California where lands are plenty and people don;t live loke Eastern states ghettos or mid west cowboy town;s shacks. Just compare with Okinawan housing with dependent housings as they are not in Nevada. Schools, too. Compare with Okinawan schools, not Nevada school buildings. .

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1000 sq feet is huge in Japan! Our last apartment in Japan was 1/2 that with our large family.

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Of course, you want to say there's no need for the U.S. to return Futenma unconditionally, much less with apologies. Everything today is the end result of what took place yesterday, you say. In other words, Okinawa's predicament today is the natural consequence of what Japan did on December 7, 1941.

Yes

Officially, World War II ended with the conclusion of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. With it, Japan regained sovereignty and the Occupation was supposed to have come to an end. Did it? As I see it, a virtual occupation is still going on and you confirmed it by saying it's the natural consequence of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

Which it was. Also, if you want to call it an occupation, you have the right to do so, although it's not. But remember, that is the price Japan has to pay, add to that, if Japan came under attack, what could it do to protect itself from a 2.5 million man army once it mobilizes? The answer is it can't.

You and I then share the same conclusion: The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (revised as "Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America) is nothing but a facade to camouflage the post-war regime of Occupation.

No, we don't share the same opinion.

@gaijinheiwa

Japan is under legal obligation to keep these bases here due to a treaty that they signed, after fairly losing a war. That's the way the real world works, folks.

That's exactly right.

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That's exactly right.

That's what happens when you surrender unconditionally from a war... It isn't always on fair terms.

Legally, the Americans own that land the bases are on. I am not sure many Japanese are aware of this fact.

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@japan4life

I like your positive and meaningful response to my last entry requesting solutions. Apart from whether the bases are needed or wanted, your response is well considered and merits attention. A barracks type accommodation for single personnel with a very short tour of duty at any foreign outpost may be a partial solution not just for Okinawa but all over the world. It certainly makes the outposts economically and physically efficient.

One of the problem with Okinawa has been with the single men getting out of hand among the local population. So that must also be addressed. For that it takes BOTH sides to accommodate and change as needed.

Other than logistics and military strategies being included and discussed here, the Okinawan people should send similar recommendation to both the USA and Japanese military and government officials. Those with more information can at least try to work with your idea.

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I am not sure this will have any effect. The US federal government is a political class completely removed from the American people. We cant even get these parasites to not take everything we own or pass maybe one or two less of the hundreds of thousands of laws they pass which allows them to basically completely ignore the American people and they do. So even if this Mayor does convince America people to help him, it wont matter, the are politicians, greed for money and power is all they concern themselves with.

I have no opinion one way or the other on the location of this base, but really if the people of this city truly do not want it there, then pick another location or island.

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bass4funk:

World War II officially ended with the conclusion of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. You say the occupation was the price Japan had to pay. It paid and the payment must have ended in 1951. But Japan was obliged to sign a bilateral treaty totally different in nature from the Peace Treaty solely with the U.S. and the U.S. military presence continued just as before. In other words, virtual occupation continued.

In Okinawa, on the other hand, actual occupation continued until 1972. The administration of the islands was returned to Japan all right, but nothing has changed as far as U.S. bases are concerned. Okinawa was returned to an also-occupied nation, so what could have changed?

U.S. bases are located sparsely all across mainland Japan (there are 55 U.S. military facilities there, though), so it's hard for mainlanders to see the real picture under which Japan is put under. But seen from Okinawa, Japan's state of affairs is crystal-clear. Japan is nothing but a U.S.-occupied country; it's a vassal of the U.S.A.

How could you threaten the people of an already-occupied country by saying there's a 2.5 million-man army ready to invade and occupy your country any time soon?

Look, the problem at issue here is the Futenma issue. So I repeat: "Return the land (Futenma) unconditionally and with apologies." The U.S. has no inherent right to demand a replacement for the return of the stolen property.

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@gaijinheiwa: I would like to know why you think that America owns the base land as I have never heard an U.S. Govt. or Military Official say they do. Prior to Japan taking over base land lease payments, the U.S. was paying the Okinawan Landowners for leasing their land. I find it hard to believe the U.S. or Japan would pay the Okinawan people land rent for land that was legally owned by the U.S.

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@gaijinheiwaMAY. 29, 2014 - 09:31AM JST

legally, the Americans own that land the bases are on. I am not sure many Japanese are aware of this fact.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

How? Write source of info or if you know what kind of official agreement? USA never claimed it oun that land.

How come USA never claimed in past?

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@gaijinheiwa @toshiko @japan4life

Your entry regarding land ownership may or may not be an issue here. However, it does affect the negotiations. So therefore, your point is well taken as far as use and rights are concerned.

Military bases are afforded and have similar status as would a consulate of a foreign country, have privacy so that any activity within may be kept independent and autonomous of the country within which it exists. Technically the host country by mandate such as eminent domain or lease in some cases, procure that property for the foreign government to use. Otherwise it will be a hostile take over or occupation of that property by a foreign country.

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@kazetsuaki: Thank you for your comments. I believe this is a solution that should be pushed by the Okinawa side instead of just saying we want all of the bases gone because that is not going to happen. There is always going to be someone who causes trouble but the majority in the Military are professionals who just want to do their job and I don't believe there would be a lot of crime just because Okinawa was an unaccompanied tour of duty.. Like I said a lot of land could be retuned for use to improve the quality of life for the local people and there would still be a very capable U.S. presence on Okinawa. The problem with @gaijinheiwa's remarks are that he claims America owns the base land legally which the U.S. has never claimed. the people who own that land have legal proof of ownership which allows them to be paid for leasing it. The U.S. owns the buildings and equipment inside the base but not the land.

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@gaijinheiwaMAY. 29, 2014 - 09:31AM JST legally, the Americans own that land the bases are on. I am not sure many Japanese are aware of this fact. ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; How? Write source of info or if you know what kind of official agreement? USA never claimed it oun that land. How come USA never claimed in past?

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

@lazstsukai: You are not answering to my question for gaijinheiiwa/ Do you have answers to my question to gaijin heuwa?

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U.S. bases are located sparsely all across mainland Japan (there are 55 U.S. military facilities there, though), so it's hard for mainlanders to see the real picture under which Japan is put under. But seen from Okinawa, Japan's state of affairs is crystal-clear. Japan is nothing but a U.S.-occupied country; it's a vassal of the U.S.A.

If you believe it as such, then NO problem. Again, had Japan NOT done what it did, we won't not be here on JT discussing the issue, deal with it.

How could you threaten the people of an already-occupied country by saying there's a 2.5 million-man army ready to invade and occupy your country any time soon?

Okinawa is not being threatened by the U.S., there are problems that need to be attended to and ironed out, but threatened, No and if the U.S. is NOT there, China will be.

Look, the problem at issue here is the Futenma issue. So I repeat: "Return the land (Futenma) unconditionally and with apologies." The U.S. has no inherent right to demand a replacement for the return of the stolen property.

If there is ANY apology that is forthcoming then it should come from Japan for the record, but if you insist, then you should go to the mainland and demand an apology for them. But if you even remotely think that particularly while China and North Korea pose a threat to Japan's sovereignty that the U.S. is going to leave, you will be sadly disappointed. Deal with it.

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bass4funk (May. 30, 2014 - 07:11AM JST):

(1) If you believe it as such, then NO problem. Again, had Japan NOT done what it did, we won't (not) be here on JT discussing the issue, deal with it.

Formally bases are offered to the U.S. military under a provision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. The treaty was signed under an abnormal situation, though, as if Japan's restoration of sovereignty were in exchange for signing it. So the bases remained intact after Japan's independence; not only that, Japan has obligation to help the U.S. military operate them without a hitch. Thus, a virtual occupation continued as in the Occupation era.

Now, you say time and again that had Japan not done that, that is, if Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, such problems as the Futenma issue would never have arisen. Loser Japan must act as the victorious U.S. dictates. Everything is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

If you stick to that opinion, the logical conclusion is that Japan is still under U.S. occupation. In this sense, you and I are of the same opinion that Japan is still U.S.-occupied -- Okinawa especially. Live with it, you say. The corollary of your argument is that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is nothing but make-believe to camouflage the fact that Japan is still occupied as in the Occupation era.

(2) If there is ANY apology that is forthcoming then it should come from Japan for the record, but if you insist, then you should go to the mainland and demand an apology for them. But if you even remotely think that particularly while China and North Korea pose a threat to Japan's sovereignty that the U.S. is going to leave, you will be sadly disappointed. Deal with it.

Of course, Tokyo must apologize to Okinawa. But that's not what you should suggest: Demand an apology from Tokyo, not Washington. It's like the real culprit asking the victim to go to his guardian for an apology that permitted this to have happened.

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Formally bases are offered to the U.S. military under a provision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. The treaty was signed under an abnormal situation, though, as if Japan's restoration of sovereignty were in exchange for signing it. So the bases remained intact after Japan's independence; not only that, Japan has obligation to help the U.S. military operate them without a hitch. Thus, a virtual occupation continued as in the Occupation era.

If you believe so, deal with it.

Now, you say time and again that had Japan not done that, that is, if Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, such problems as the Futenma issue would never have arisen. Loser Japan must act as the victorious U.S. dictates. Everything is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

Yes, exactly!

If you stick to that opinion,

Fact!

the logical conclusion is that Japan is still under U.S. occupation. In this sense, you and I are of the same opinion that Japan is still U.S.-occupied -- Okinawa especially. Live with it, you say. The corollary of your argument is that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is nothing but make-believe to camouflage the fact that Japan is still occupied as in the Occupation era.

If you feel more comfortable to use occupation as a vernacular, then please by all means.

Of course, Tokyo must apologize to Okinawa. But that's not what you should suggest: Demand an apology from Tokyo, not Washington. It's like the real culprit asking the victim to go to his guardian for an apology that permitted this to have happened.

Must??? And how will you get them to do that?

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bass4funk:

The official reason why the U.S. must maintain its military presence in Japan is stipulated in Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. It says that, in order to defend Japan and to maintain peace and security in the Far East, the U.S. is "granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and bases in Japan." (This last portion in Japanese equal to English in force is: "granted the use by its Army, Air Force and Navy, thus excluding the Marines!)

A retiring top brass of USFJ recently wrote a farewell message in The Japan Times that U.S. service members stationed in Japan were ready to sacrifice their life for the defense of Japan. This, as well as the relevant article in the security treaty, declares that the U.S. military presence in Japan is mainly for the defense of Japan.

But you say the U.S. military footprint, especially the excessive one in Okinawa to the degree that you may call it occupation, is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack. In other words, in your view and I'm afraid you may be right, Okinawa's suffering is the continued retaliation for that attack. Of course, one can ask why Okinawa should take the full brunt of Japan's past mistake all by itself.

Anyway, there's a gap between yours and Washington's official explanation why the U.S. must maintain so big a military footprint in Japan (Okinawa in particular). Could you explain it in detail?

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But you say the U.S. military footprint, especially the excessive one in Okinawa to the degree that you may call it occupation,

I said, you can use any euphemism you like to fit with your narrative, that's all, I said.

is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack. In other words, in your view and I'm afraid you may be right, Okinawa's suffering is the continued retaliation for that attack. Of course, one can ask why Okinawa should take the full brunt of Japan's past mistake all by itself.

Then you should bring the complaint to Tokyo and let your voice be heard in person. Call your local media and get them involved and instead of whining, make a change, get out there and take the initiative, that's the ONLY thing you can do at this point. Everything else is just blowing off steam.

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bass4funk:

You are not refuting my argument. You are simply howling and barking because you can't counter my argument logically. If you insist on your Pearl Harbor argument, the natural consequence of it would be to dub Washington's security policy toward Japan was hocus-pocus, thus undermining the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and making it a sham as I think it is.

We are of course taking our complaint to Tokyo. But we know who's really behind the scene manipulating all these problems. That's the reason why Mayor Inamine went to the U.S. to appeal for the solution of the Futenma issue.

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You are not refuting my argument. You are simply howling and barking because you can't counter my argument logically.

But throwing out insults will win you an argument? No barks or howls, I think it's the other way around. People like you and Bertie ONLY come on to JT to complain primarily about one topic if JT puts it up and that is about the Okinawa military issue. Anything else usually on JT, I almost hardly ever hear anything from you two. The only thing you both do is just bash the U.S., bash the Japanese politicians, bash the military, rant and whine that they don't belong there and they should go. Ok, we get it. But complaining will NOT solve the problem and as I said before, if you guys don't like the current climate of the situation, go on TV, get the media or your local politicians involved, if you don't do it at least get the ball rolling, venting on JT is NOT going to help your cause. Because whatever you want to call it, occupation, protection, one thing is for sure, the U.S. presence is NOT going anywhere anytime soon. No matter how much you guys throw a hissy fit. Get used to it or relocate somewhere else where there are no troops. That is as logical and factual as it gets.

If you insist on your Pearl Harbor argument, the natural consequence of it would be to dub Washington's security policy toward Japan was hocus-pocus, thus undermining the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and making it a sham as I think it is.

If you think so.

We are of course taking our complaint to Tokyo. But we know who's really behind the scene manipulating all these problems. That's the reason why Mayor Inamine went to the U.S. to appeal for the solution of the Futenma issue.

Well good luck with that.

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bass4funk:

Still, you are not arguing logically. You are simply giving vent to your frustration due to your being unable to answer me logically and rationally.

If you take this an insult, please to so. But what about your suggestion that Okinawans relocate somewhere else if we don't like bases? Don't you think this is an insult?

You are like a member of a crime syndicate telling turf residents to leave the town if they didn't like their presence. There's no logic here but intimidation and extortion.

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Still, you are not arguing logically. You are simply giving vent to your frustration due to your being unable to answer me logically and rationally.

No, it's logic, the problem is, you are emotionally conveluding the issue and trying to put a spiel on the narrative. I'm not frustrated about anything, why? I have no reason, I accept the status quo and acknowledge it as what it is. That is the best rational analytical answer I can give you.

If you take this an insult, please to so. But what about your suggestion that Okinawans relocate somewhere else if we don't like bases? Don't you think this is an insult?

Not unless you take it as such. Since you can't change the current situation and are not happy with it, there are options which I have already explained to you and one of them was to relocate. How is that insulting? The troops are not going anywhere, so deal with or look at your other options and one of them is to relocate.

You are like a member of a crime syndicate telling turf residents to leave the town if they didn't like their presence. There's no logic here but intimidation and extortion.

No, I am just dealing with reality, people like you and Bertie do not. If Japan and Washington really wanted the troops out and wanted the bases to close in all sincerity, that would have happened a long time ago, but it hasn't and it never will, at least for the foreseeable future. Both sides will keep the SOFA intact and there is nothing you and I can do about it, it's not about gloating or feeling good, it's about dealing with reality.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bass4funk:

OK, then. Let me re-post what I wrote on May 30 (11:40PM): I'm looking forward to your logical and not emotional answer to the question I raised there.

"The official reason why the U.S. must maintain its military presence in Japan is stipulated in Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. It says that, in order to defend Japan and to maintain peace and security in the Far East, the U.S. is "granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and bases in Japan." (This last portion in the Japanese version, probably equal to the English version in force, goes: "... granted the use by its Army, Air Force and Navy of facilities and bases in Japan," thus excluding the Marines!)

A retiring top brass of USFJ recently wrote a farewell message in The Japan Times that U.S. service members stationed in Japan were ready to sacrifice their life for the defense of Japan. This, as well as the relevant article in the security treaty, declares that the U.S. military presence in Japan is for the defense of Japan.

But you say the U.S. military footprint, especially in Okinawa, which is very excessive to the degree that one may call it occupation, is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack. In other words, in your view and I'm afraid you may be right, Okinawa's suffering is the continued retaliation for that attack. Of course, one can ask why Okinawa should take the full brunt of Japan's past mistake all by itself.

Anyway, there's a discrepancy between Washington's official explanation and yours as to why the U.S. must maintain so big a military footprint in Japan (Okinawa in particular). If you believe your Pearl Harbor theory is correct, then Washington's Japan-protection theory would become hocus-pocus, thus making the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty a sham."

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And if you think it's a sham what will you do about it, better yet, what can you do about, 1) not much. 2) Tokyo and Washington will always look at the bigger picture and that means, to protect Japan, which means the troops will be stationed here until both sides decide to renegotiate or terminate the SOFA agreement and as long as China and N. Korea are taking a hostile stance, they'll continue to stay put. Whether you think the treaty is a sham or not is totally and completely irrelevant. As I said, I'm fine with it, if you don't like the current situation, you do have options and one is, take your fight to Tokyo or Washington, see if you can persuade them. Good luck! Or you can always relocate and find a new home and a piece of mind.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's your argument that naturally leads to this conclusion: the Japan-U.S. security Treaty is a sham. In this regard, you and I are in agreement even though you may not like it.

What should be done then? The treaty and the concomitant SOFA should be either scrapped or revised to the extent that the U.S. military presence may not be called occupation.

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It's your argument that naturally leads to this conclusion: the Japan-U.S. security Treaty is a sham. In this regard, you and I are in agreement even though you may not like it.

Now you want to dump it all in my lap? LoL! It's NOT about like or dislike, it's about dealing with reality, for me that is the best way when dealing with social issues.

What should be done then? The treaty and the concomitant SOFA should be either scrapped or revised to the extent that the U.S. military presence may not be called occupation.

I have NO idea, as I said, I have no problems with the current situation, but you and Bertie always rant about it, so you guys should be more proactive, get on TV, talk to your local newspaper, make your own movie or documentary, try and see it it can be shown at the Tribeca and see what happens, complaining is easy, but if you really want change, you need to grab it by its horns, but just basic whining and disagreeing won't help much.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bass4funk (Jun. 03, 2014 - 02:48PM JST):

Reality can be captured from various aspects. My understanding of the reality under which Japan is put is this. As you say, Japan started the war by attacking Pearl Harbor. It was defeated and occupied. The Occupation lasted from August 1945 to May 1952 when the Peace Treaty took effect. The Occupation was supposed to have ended that year. But Japan was obliged to sign a separate treaty with the U.S., the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, with which the U.S. was allowed to maintain bases and military capacity as in the Occupation era. Japan is said to have recovered sovereignty in 1952 but a virtual occupation continued (See Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty).

Okinawa was incorporated into this tight regime in 1972 when its administrative right was returned to Japan. But bases and their function remained intact even after the reversion. These bases occupy 18% of Okinawa Island's land mass. Not only that, the U.S. military designates vast water areas and airspace around the island as its exclusive-use training areas. Noise pollution caused by aircraft and their engine tests just across the street and the fences late into the night (the case in Kadena Town) is beyond human endurance. Come and experience it for yourself.

Now, you say all this is the end result of what happened in 1941. So if we have any complaint, take it to Tokyo, not to Washington, because Tokyo is solely responsible for all this. Thus, in your view, the war hasn't ended yet and retaliation for Pearl Harbor is continuing, with Okinawa taking full brunt of it.

Washington, of course, wouldn't accept your view that Okinawa's plight is the end result of Pearl Harbor. Nor would they accept my view that the Occupation regime is still maintained. Their official line is this excessive military presence is for the defense of Japan and their service members are always ready to sacrifice their life to defend Japan.

Thus, there's a huge discrepancey between your view and Washington's official line. I've been asking you how you explain this discrepancy. But you are evading my question.

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