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New governor vows all-out efforts to block base move within Okinawa

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Yubaru,

If it weren't for U.S. bases that occupy so much prime land in urban areas, such as Camp Kinser, USMC Air Station Futenma and what not, there wouldn't have been any necessity to reclaim land to expand existing commercial or residential areas.

Funny, you say the West Coast Maritime Road (Nishikaigan Dooro)shouldn't have been built over coastal waters but that the road should have gone through Camp Kinseer. Well said, but I think they had to build a maritime road as a bypass to detour Camp Kinser that sits there like a blocking hurdle.

You're also critical of the undersea tunnel, Umisora Tonneru, that connects with Naha Airport as a shortcut.

You accuse us for not protesting the construction of these facilities whereas we complain out loud about the Henoko new base. That's a double standard and hypocritical, you say.

But what's wrong with you is that you don't draw a line between domestic issues and an international one. The Henoko new base is to be constructed for the benefit of U.S. Marines and never for the benefit of Okinawa Prefecture or its citizens. You must not confuse the U.S. base issue with domestic ones.

Can you say the Seven Mile Bridge that connects Florida and Key West Island shouldn't have been constructed because it affected natural environment one way or the other? The construction of the maritime bridge is the U.S.'s internal problem per se about which no outsider can complain but U.S. citizens if there were problems with it. Same with the cases you list up.

But if a foreign country suggests an airport be built on Key West with U.S. taxpayers’ money for the benefit of its citizens, would and should the U.S. people be reticent about it? Can you blame protesting U.S. citizens for their double standard?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

埋め立て Umetate -landfill

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

 Part of Mihama might be reclaimed land, but wasn't most of it Hamby U.S. Army Airfield for light aircraft before it was returned in 1972?

ALL of Mihama is landfill, not "reclaimed" land.

Denny has his work cut out for him. If he is confrontational with the national government he WILL lose. If he negotiates, he will lose too with the people of Okinawa. He is in a no win situation as the government is going to keep on with the landfill at Camp Schwab.

It's Camp Schwab, not Henoko. Another attempt by media and everyone else to subtly make it sound like it is something different.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru,

First time I've heard Shin Ishigaki Airport is an airport jointly used by the JASDF. Part of Mihama might be reclaimed land, but wasn't most of it Hamby U.S. Army Airfield for light aircraft before it was returned in 1972?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

New Ishigaki Airport, for example., that was officially opened in 2013 as a commercial airport (it's not an Air Self-Defense Force facility as you say)

Cherry picking here once again, obfuscating and deflecting, Ishigaki is a joint use airport, just like Naha.

That wasnt the point though, and you know it. Selective protesting is hypocritical.

You have zero grounds to complain or protest from an environmental standpoint zero.

True, land fill was done in many places to our chagrin

You chagrin? You dont even vote so where is the group mentality coming from?

But just because it is so, large-scale land fill 

It is far from a large scale land-fill, quit with the over-exxaggeration!

http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/306824

Want to compare? Look at Mihama, Ginowan, Itoman, Okinawa City, Nishihara, etc etc.

DOnt even think for a second there is any comparison, there isnt, Henoko is minor!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

True, land fill was done in many places to our chagrin. But just because it is so, large-scale land fill at Henoko, affecting and destroying the prefecture-assessed class-one coral habitat, should be allowed in order to make for the benefit of foreign troops who have been here, occupying large areas of the island's mass, since the end of WW II. 

That's an infringement of sovereignty, nothing different from selling part of territory to a foreign power. In other words, the Abe government is committing treason to the nation, above all, the Okinawan people. Conservative people in some sector of Japanese society who are for the Henoko new base can be thus dubbed as traitors.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Don't mix up internal issues with bilateral diplomatic ones. 

If its a bilateral diplomatic issue then that means Gov Tamaki and the OPG have no involvement in this issue.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Inequality by "US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement" has caused Antipathy of People of Okinawa historically.

For example,

Dangerous Military-drill that is prohibited in US mainland is "OK" in Japan.

It threaten and endanger safe of Japanese Residents.

Unfair US-Japan Agreement unlike other countries such as Italia and Germany should be corrected soon.

What military drill are you even talking about? I've seen you post the same comment in 3 different websites...

It ironic you talk about "fake news" because that comment is fake news. The drills done on the continental US are far more dangerous and less prohibited that the ones the US does in Japan... I would know because I've participated in them in several different countries.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru,

Don't mix up internal issues with bilateral diplomatic ones. The cases you list up are all internal, domestic issues, some of which have a long history of protest and strife.

Take New Ishigaki Airport, for example., that was officially opened in 2013 as a commercial airport (it's not an Air Self-Defense Force facility as you say) . Its origin can be traced back to the visionary Shiraho Airport blueprinted in 1979. This airport was to be built off the coast of Shiraho Village by reclaiming coral-rich waters there. But the plan was shelved because of a strong opposition from inside and outside the island. 

The new base at Henoko is not a facility for a domestic and commercial use. It’s a facility to be built by Japanese taxpayers’ money and offered to foreign troops for free. You must not mix up internal, domestic issues with international, diplomatic ones.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

by garnering the largest-ever number of votes in the history of Okinawa's gubernatorial elections.

So? Only a little over 63% of eligible voters voted, he actually had a smaller margin of victory than Onaga had over Nakaima and Denny only received 55% of the vote compared to about 44% for Sakima, hardly overwhleming.

Oh and yeah it's going to be "largest" as the population of the island prefecture keeps growing so there are more eligible voters, this is a "no news" item you talk about here.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

All US military should just leave. They are not needed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

smithinjapan,

No, it's how I see people like you, who are not the majority by even a little, and should stop pretending to be, and who cry foul and blame the US and Japanese government for Heneko on environmental grounds when you don't give one iota about the environment for any other local case.

How do you see the result of the recent Okinawa gubernatorial election? The candidate who ran on the platform of opposing the new base construction at Henoko and demanding Futenma's immediate return won against the government/LDP-backed candidate by garnering the largest-ever number of votes in the history of Okinawa's gubernatorial elections. What you call "people like you" certainly belong to and are part of the majority of anti-Henoko Okinawans.

Environmental destruction is a very important factor in our opposing the new base construction, but it's certainly not all. More serioust than that, in my opinion, is the infringement of sovereignty of Japan as an independent nation if and when a military base were ever built for foreign troops, who've been here ceaselessly since the end of World War Two.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan version Alt-Rights still keep to forge stupid Fake News such as "Denny Tamaki cause Invasion of China".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Honestly, the sooner this base move is done, the better. People have other things to worry about.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Do the hustle,

So in your view, the Marine base plays an important role in the defense of Okinawa and ultimately Japan itself. 

But explain why the most active elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines are slated to move to Guam, leaving support units only in Okinawa. Explain also why Tokyo and Washington struck a deal to the effect that primary responsibility to deal with contingencies involving territorial disputes rests with the JSDF and not with the USFJ of which the Marine Corps is a part..

Explain, even under such circumstances, the construction of a new Marine base at Henoko, Okinawa is an absolute must.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

bam_boo: "Is that how you see the Okinawan people?"

No, it's how I see people like you, who are not the majority by even a little, and should stop pretending to be, and who cry foul and blame the US and Japanese government for Heneko on environmental grounds when you don't give one iota about the environment for any other local case.

"There indeed was a vivid discussion in Okinawa whether it is right to built the airport in Ishigaki and a new runway at Naha airport and many of the people who are actively opposing Heneko were opposed to both projects."

Really? Do show us, then. Where were you? Where are your comments or pictures of protest? Because I bet there is not a single one. You probably didn't even know or care about it.

"Besides, it is a completely different situation..."

Yeah, it always is. "When you destroy the environment for A reason, it's destruction of the environment. But when you destroy it for B reason, it's... ummm... it's... NOT destruction of the environment?" because that's what you just said.

"...or if they are forced to sacrifice without any consideration for their own good."

Oh, please. The minute the US bases are gone you'll be saluting a Chinese flag, with the 60 seconds in between demanding the US come and protect you. Your defense is your own good, whether you like it or not.

"So your comment misses the point."

Wrong. I pointed out hypocrisy, no matter how much you guys yourselves like to engage in syllogism and circular logic.

Just remember, my friend. Futenma stays until you guys live up to your promises.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If the US base goes, Okinawa will go too - back to the Chinese.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

smithinjapan Today  03:24 pm JST

Yeah, it's about utter BS. 

It seems that you are trying to say that a large majority of the Okinawan people are requesting "utter BS".

Is that how you see the Okinawan people?

You guys didn't raise a word when they destroyed "unique pieces of Okinawa nature" to build Onaga's pet project with the Ishigaki airport, among other places.

There indeed was a vivid discussion in Okinawa whether it is right to built the airport in Ishigaki and a new runway at Naha airport and many of the people who are actively opposing Heneko were opposed to both projects.

Besides, it is a completely different situation if the Okinawan people decide in a democratic process to sacrifice a part of their nature for economical reasons or if they are forced to sacrifice without any consideration for their own good.

So your comment misses the point.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Yubaru. You say "of course"? What a joke, Denny is no different than Onaga at this point, yeah he just started, but all he has talked about, like Onaga when he started too, is the base issue.

I sense something different in the "Denny" wave this time as I watched how he was able to inspire people both young and old. I agree any Governor needs to focus on the economy as well - but he can't do it all on his own. Denny needs the help with some wise and good people with vision to move forward. I intend to help this time. Are you help too?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If he does anything illegal, like Onaga, he should be locked up. Plain and simple. In the meantime, Futenma's indefinite existence is 100% on him.

bam_boo: "Stopping Henoko is about much more than stopping the destruction of a unique piece of Okinawan nature..."

Yeah, it's about utter BS. You guys didn't raise a word when they destroyed "unique pieces of Okinawa nature" to build Onaga's pet project with the Ishigaki airport, among other places.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Denny's focus on stopping Henoko is everything but irrational and meaningless! It is about getting democracy to work in Japan.

If the democratic process is corrupted, like it is now in Okinawa and to a lesser extent also in the rest of Japan, there is no way for the Okinawan people to build their future and develop their economy in a meaningful and sustainable way. 

Many Okinawans know very well that if they are not able to stop the Henoko Base from being built it means they will be confronted with Tokyo's deceiving and discriminating politics for another some decades to come. 

In order to be able to build a healthy and sustainable economy Okinawa has to reject the economic incentives created by the central government solely to keep Okinawa dependent and under its thumb.

Stopping Henoko is about much more than stopping the destruction of a unique piece of Okinawan nature... 

it is about equality, 

democratic self-determination of a region 

and about being able to build a healthy and sustainable economy based on democratic values and not on power politics.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

bjohnson23,

There is no new base but a closure and relocation of one.

As you suggest, the planned construction may indeed be for Futenma's relocation to Henoko. But it isn't simply a closure of one base and relocation of it to another place. The planned facility is an outright new base completely different in nature from Futenma. Nor is it an extension of Camp Schwab as some people claim.

If it's the simple relocation of Futenma's function, the construction of an airstrip and related facilities would suffice. But the planned facility would be equipped with a lot of new innovation Futenma doesn't have. It will house port facilities with a berth measuring 272 meters for large transport ships like the USS Bon Homme Richard to easily anchor (See my posts on the thread for "Denny Tamaki, critic of U.S. bases, elected Okinawa governor": Japan Today, Oct. 1).

The expected operation cost for the new base would amount to $200 million, according to a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee report, which is 70 times Futenma's current operation cost. You can't explain this multiplication of maintenance costs unless you think the planned facility is a new base.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Marine Aviators have small foot print on Okinawa, The entire operation could be moved to Kadena AB including the housing with little cost. Futenma was initially in a perfect location but no more. I lived on Futenma for six years, on Okinawa for twelve. I know the territory and the mood. Move the ground guys to Guam and the Aviators and support to Kadena. Awasi Golf course is closed, why not,

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Do your best, Denny Tamaki. We are all behind you, squarely and rightfully trying to prevent that evil project from being realized.

Yubaru,

I ask you to respond to my post on another thread ("Denny Tamaki, critic of U.S. bases, elected Okinawa governor": Japan Today, Oct. 1) before you dip into a discussion here.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Thats great and all, but maybe Okinawa should focus on something a little more important. Because if you somehow get ALL the US bases to magically disappear from Okinawa, guess what? Okinawa will still be ranked 47th out of 47 poorest prefecture in Japan.

"and the people here have no desire to be independent either." When I visited Okinawa and from what I have read, that is not the impression I got. I very much understood that a decent percentage of people do want to be independent from Japan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Wow some people think anti-base people Okinawa are right-wing. What a ignorance.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

YubaruToday  09:37 am JST

Okinawa and Japan are not like the UK so basically no, and the people here have no desire to be independent either.

So now you've become the official voice of the desires of all okinawans?

Until theres an office referendum vote, you're only basing your believe on unofficial surveys. While a referendum vote is unlikely, let's wait and see, as you said.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

dumb question but can okinawa secede from japan? 

Not a dumb question, Okinawa and Japan are not like the UK so basically no, and the people here have no desire to be independent either.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

dumb question but can okinawa secede from japan? because honestly that is the only solution. electing all these governors who will try with "all their heart[s] and body[ies]" to withdraw the bases from okinawa has done, and will do, nothing. the governors are trying to give the impression of the "immovable object meeting an unstoppable force" scenario, but that's a false premise. the central government has the power to do whatever it wants whenever it wants. when push comes to shove, the immovable object will be moved.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People forget the days when they were damn poor. NHK Radio introduced this morning on Oct. 5 the former village mayor of Ieshima Island Mr. Shimabukuro. He was the mayor of the village for thirty years. He accepted Harrier in '80s to the island. Ieshima is one of the richest place of Okinawa today. One third of the Ieshima island is used by U.S. Forces but many villagers live on money renting their lands to the government. By cooperating with the central government, poor Ieshima became a rich village and they have fine infrastructures built by the money they received from the government. The retired Mr. Shimabukuro is now in his 80s. He said asked about what he did, he does not regret anything. There was no other way poor Ieshima to survive.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Yubaru It's wait and see right now.

Yet it sounds as if you've already made up your mind of the present and future outcome.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

No matter what the people on Okinawa think the bases there are necessary to counter China and NK. There's no other option. The governor can do all he wants but it's a moot point.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

He can ‘vow’ as much as he likes, but the fact is, the US base in Okinawa is there to stay and there is nothing these disgruntled right-wingers can do about it. They need to get over it and start thinking of ways to better get along.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Denny won governor of Okinawa. This seems Okinawans clear public opinion that means no more Henoko and Futenma bases there. Because No need of Marines bases for Okinawa and mainland of Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Of course the governor and his team will address other issues such as diversifying the economy, providing tax incentives, and other social services . These other issues such are ALL related to the providing more autonomy which is the heart of the issue of not proceeding with Henoko.

You say "of course"? What a joke, Denny is no different than Onaga at this point, yeah he just started, but all he has talked about, like Onaga when he started too, is the base issue.

He can not "win" on this issue if he continues the same path as his predecessor. Onaga, by confronting the national government at every turn. If he makes promises he cant keep, like Onaga, he will lose any good will that he has entering the office he was elected to.

Denny is an entertainer/celebrity, he can charm people, as he has done so for many years now.

It isnt "of course" as he is "Onaga's" heir, with the blessing of the Onaga family too, He MUST put the economy on the table right quick,

It's wait and see right now.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

How does the governor focus on other issues if he is spending so much time on the base issue?

Of course the governor and his team will address other issues such as diversifying the economy, providing tax incentives, and other social services . These other issues such are ALL related to the providing more autonomy which is the heart of the issue of not proceeding with Henoko.

Okinawa needs more autonomy to manage its affairs if it is to develop from its current client status. I grew up on an island community similar to Okinawa that lost the old manufacturing industries, but now because of the beauty of the area, attracts, eco-tourism, software developers from Silicon valley, innovative educational institutes and retirees. It is now one of the preferred places to live in this world. I can see a similar opportunity with Okinawa. Okinawa was also a diverse and prosperous economy so it will return if the incentives are provided for local management. Okinawa still has a major base Kadena Airbase.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What measures can the govern take that haven't already been taken?

How does the governor focus on other issues if he is spending so much time on the base issue?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

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