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Noda says Japan will have to OK Osprey deployment

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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Monday that Japan will have to accept the deployment of 24 U.S. MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the Futenma air base in August.

Speaking on a TV program, Noda said the planned deployment is part of the U.S. government's defense policy which the Japanese government has no say in, NHK reported.

The U.S. military plans to replace its aging CH-46s with the Osprey after bringing them to Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture for assembly and testing.

The $70 million Osprey is the U.S. military’s latest-generation transport aircraft. It combines airplane-like wings with rotors that allow it to take off and land like a helicopter. Its engines roll forward in flight, allowing it to fly faster than a standard helicopter.

However, the planned deployment has generated fierce opposition in both Iwakuni and Okinawa over the aircraft's safety following two crashes this year.

Noda said Japan will do everything it can to ensure the safety of the aircraft. Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto will visit the U.S. later this month to discuss the issue with his counterpart.

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Noda said Japan will do everything it can to ensure the safety of the aircraft

Didn't he mean "its citizens" instead of "aircraft"?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How about Japan work with us to work out the kinks in this transport craft and maybe order some? Can't think of a quicker way to move JGSDF troops from Hokkaido to Okinawa and back. Much faster than those Chinooks.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

OssanAmericaJul. 17, 2012 - 09:25AM JST

Much faster than those Chinooks.

And cheaper, both fuel costs and human costs are much higher with the CH46

3 ( +6 / -3 )

'have to'????

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to Asahi newspaper, the US Air Force accident inspection committee on the crashing accident of an Osprey in Afghanistan in 2010 reported that it was caused by engine trouble. But the committee was ordered to change the report by a higher officer. If Noda has no say in because the deployment is part of the US defense policy, he is like also under some higher officers.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Yeah, like you have a choice.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Osprey has been crashing since I was in high school (graduated in 1987). This aircraft is not safe enough for the residential area of Okinawa where a crash will likely kill numerous people, mostly civilians.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The 'Wokka" is too old and too costly to maintain in addition the mission it was designed for can be done better. Why did the retire the F4-Phantom(Flying Brick), F-14 Tomcat?

Too old and don' fit current mission parameters. I know guys that worked on those Bids back in the USA.

So far the Osprey actually has a pretty good safety record.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The question is really: is the Osprey really necessary, or is it not?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Seiharinokaze

According to Asahi newspaper, the US Air Force accident inspection committee on the crashing accident of an Osprey in Afghanistan in 2010 reported that it was caused by engine trouble. But the committee was ordered to change the report by a higher officer.

And what's Asahi Shimbun's source? The Ryukyu Shimpo?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This comment thread is missing the key point, which is why a so-called sovereign nation still is occupied by a foreign nation's military and why the central government has apparently no say as to whether a noisy and dangerous aircraft is deployed. Noda, another US puppet, simply refuses to make this an issue. Prime Minister Hosokawa showed that it is possible to stand up to US policy in Okinawa (on the Futenma Air base issue) and he gained the Japanese people's support in doing so.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

puppet, see strings

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has no place banning a safe aircraft and they know it. (Fine?)

-3 ( +7 / -11 )

basroil

Japan has no place banning a safe aircraft and they know it.

Japan should have every right to say what sort of aircraft operate in its skies and anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously delusional.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Maybe if it crashes into the PM on his next visit to Okinawa the mainland will finally start to listen.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan should build their own. Work out the kinks and sell it back to the Americans. It'll be great for their export economy.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@warispeace

which is why a so-called sovereign nation still is occupied by a foreign nation's military

It's not occupied... If Japan wanted US to leave, all they have to do is ask. That's what the PI did, Thailand did it, etc. Japan sees a perceived threat (China and or Russia) and would like the US to stay.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

VTOL is the future.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

CletusJul. 17, 2012 - 02:13PM JST

Japan should have every right to say what sort of aircraft operate in its skies and anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously delusional.

There's a lot of reasoning behind why Japan CANNOT do that, and Noda understands quite clearly the implications of illegally doing so.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

basroil

There's a lot of reasoning behind why Japan CANNOT do that, and Noda understands quite clearly the implications of illegally doing so.

Oh ok so you claim its illegal for Japan to ban aircraft from operating in Japanese airspace? Proof please?

Given many many nations ban aircraft types and airlines from operating in their airspace l would say if Japan is not satisfied that this aircraft is safe then it is well within its rights to ban it. And as there are serious questions about its safety then it would be wise to look into it. Especially when the current accident rate is 1.93 deaths per 100,000 flight hours. Not a great figure really....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

mikemcfly87

It's not occupied... If Japan wanted US to leave, all they have to do is ask. That's what the PI did, Thailand did it, etc. Japan sees a perceived threat (China and or Russia) and would like the US to stay.

Obviously we disagree on the meaning of occupied. You, as well as other posting here would be informed to read: Jon Mitchell's "Beggars’ Belief: The Farmers’ Resistance Movement on Iejima Island, Okinawa" - http://www.japanfocus.org/-Jon-Mitchell/3370

Writes Mitchell: "On March 11th, 1955, with Okinawa a military colony of the United States, landing craft came ashore once again on the eastern beaches. Their mission: to expropriate two-thirds of the island in order to construct an air-to-surface bombing range. This time, the Army only brought three hundred soldiers - their new foes being but the island’s unarmed peanut and tobacco farmers...

"The following 50 years of struggle would prove just how much they’d underestimated the farmers. Initially, on the first day of the March 1955 invasion, the Americans made quick progress across the south of the island. Dragging families from their houses, they burned the buildings and bulldozed the smoldering ruins. Those who protested were arrested, then sent to the regional capital, Naha, for prosecution..."

We should also not talk of Japan as a monolithic entity. While the nationalists and Japan Inc. may want to retain the bases and continue the occupation, many people in Japan do not.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Many people, yes. Most, no. Most probably don't care. If the people want them gone; introduce it to your government. Democracy 101.

Occupied in 1945, yes. But in 1972, the U.S. government returned the islands to Japanese administration. And the Japanese then did not ask the American's to leave. I am not arguing the original occupation. But to say that it is still occupied is inaccurate. Okinawa is currently a prefecture of JAPAN, hence my previous statement.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

CletusJul. 17, 2012 - 03:57PM JST

Oh ok so you claim its illegal for Japan to ban aircraft from operating in Japanese airspace? Proof please?

For one, the defense treaty of 1951 that was extended in the 70s and again recently. Very likely technology swaps (allowing Japan to use military crafts for civilian purposes, like the S60j) also include provisions extending the terms of the airspace deal as well.

Second one would be from trade agreements, which allow US carriers in Japanese airspace, and very likely include provisions for military use.

While nothing would immediately happen to Japan if they break the treaties, it is very certainly not a wise move, and Noda knows it.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The issue is Osprey is the essential replacement that the US forces needs at this point. As of right now they have NO options either, since the US budge does not allow for any new and better transports. With Obama cutting the budget and money committed to Middle East problems, they have very little options.

However with China through N. Korea and Russia becoming major problems here in the Asia-Pacifc region, Japan has no options but to rely on US decisions. That is unless Japan decided to change the status of the Self defense force to become regular military force and "increase" the capability to defend itself.

Technologically USA has much more innovative and new weapons and equipment, however Japan has the ability to fine-tune and improve all of them. One reason why USA also needs to keep Japan on its side. The Aegis ships have been given to Israel and Japan only . Israel for a long tradition of political reasons a d Japan because of not only "reliability" to "honor" a contractual relationship but also for the ability to "improve" the functional capability of the Aegis and its weapons, making it a much more efficient ship.

With that in mind, Osprey is the ideal transport for now to bring to Japan to improve upon.

However the "key" to this issue lies with the Japanese people. Are the Japanese willing to continue to "deny" and "ignore" the fact that WWII was only 60 years ago and "peace" is NOT the idealistic "dream" world that they imagine to live in. Too many Japanese people still live in the idealistic dream world believing that the rest world is "better" than what they can offer. The Japanese people must take responsibility for their own survival and not on the USA. As long as they continue to do so, a simple transport like the Osprey becomes a major political issue. They only end up pointing fingers at others. They forget that when one finger points out to others, there are three pointing right back.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

mikemcfly87

Occupied in 1945, yes. But in 1972, the U.S. government returned the islands to Japanese administration. And the Japanese then did not ask the American's to leave. I am not arguing the original occupation. But to say that it is still occupied is inaccurate. Okinawa is currently a prefecture of JAPAN, hence my previous statement.

You make my point for me. If Okinawa is currently a prefecture of Japan and Japan is sovereign, then how can it possibly be, as the article states, "Noda said the planned deployment is part of the U.S. government’s defense policy which the Japanese government has no say in"?

This can only be possible if Japan is still occupied and at the whim of US aggression policy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

basroil

For one, the defense treaty of 1951 that was extended in the 70s and again recently. Very likely technology swaps (allowing Japan to use military crafts for civilian purposes, like the S60j) also include provisions extending the terms of the airspace deal as well.

sorry where in that treaty does it sa it is illegal for japan to refuse access to a specific aircraft type? It doesnt.

Second one would be from trade agreements, which allow US carriers in Japanese airspace, and very likely include provisions for military use.

Huh, how exactly is that relevant? If a US airline had a very poor safety record and did not adhere to the safety standards as set forth then it would be banned just like many airlines are in certain areas in the world.

While nothing would immediately happen to Japan if they break the treaties, it is very certainly not a wise move, and Noda knows it.

and how exactly is asking that an unsafe aircraft not be deployed on Japanese soil breach the treaty exactly? I think your grasping at straws here and making stuff up on the fly. Please show me a link that specifically states that the treaty will be voided if the Japanese ask that a single aircraft type not be deployed on Japanese soil?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Back in the 50's, the US were flying the U2 spy planes out of Atsugi Base (CIA base ). Ozzie (Oswald) was there too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The issue of choice for the people and rights of the people to speak up against violations, these are the values the US promotes but unfortunately its not always practiced.

If America stands for freedom, it needs to have freedom as a core value in its policies towards people of any race or nation. But in order to exercise American freedom, freedom of other nations come lower in the priority list.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tiger_In_The_HermitageJul. 17, 2012 - 05:58PM JST

But in order to exercise American freedom, freedom of other nations come lower in the priority list.

Not sure how that is happening here. Okinawa is not a nation, and support for US bases is over 74% nationally. In fact, the US was more concerned about issues at the base than the Japanese government and requested to have it moved away from major population centers. The Okinawans shot that idea down, and thus are now stuck with MV-22s in their back yards.

The same proposal they shot down was included as an extra piece to a larger agreement between USA and Japan on the reorganization of the armed forces in the country, including replacing the CH46, CH47, and CH53. Noda can't break an agreement that was a decade in the making simply over some angry farmers.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Futenma is a heavily built up, residential area, with schools, hospitals and shopping areas. This is NOT a place for a military base.

Osprey or no Osprey, the US military is not needed or wanted here.

It's way past the time they left.

There is no need for US "protection." US bases, notably Futenma and Kadena take up much needed land on this small island. The Osprey does NOT have a good safety record - especially considering the cramped living space that surrounds Futenma base.

US bases should be on US soil.

Go to Guam.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"A few angry farmers"????? Please bend over a bit farther, Mr. Prime Minister.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ungrateful people. Without US protection over the years they would not have been able to have the pacifist constitution and would have had to spend lots more money on defence.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Brother Wakarimasen,

So, are you implying that all that US "protection" was free of charge?

Done out of the goodness of their floppy altruistic hearts? (sound of violins off stage)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

US Defense Dept has no choice in the matter regarding. It was hatched by the defense-industrial complex with many politicians' hand in the till. Lots of jobs for the good people of the states. Doesn't matter if it a marginal airplane.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

BertieWooster

Futenma is a heavily built up, residential area, with schools, hospitals and shopping areas. This is NOT a place for a military base.

Yes yes yes and blah blah blah. It was once a very good place for a military base and that's why Futenma was built long BEFORE all of that urban encroachment happened. The strip was there before the houses, schools and hospitals or you for that matter; using them as reasons why the field should be relocated is expecting the tail to wag the dog.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is just wrong... the PM is saying Japan has no say in the matter? Noda, develop a spine!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

BertieWoosterJul. 17, 2012 - 07:00PM JST

Futenma is a heavily built up, residential area, with schools, hospitals and shopping areas. This is NOT a place for a military base.

Futenma is a busy military base with airplanes, choppers, and ground vehicles. This is NOT a place to build up a city.

The people of the area had a chance to help relocate the base elsewhere in expectation for the MV-22 almost 7 years ago. They knew the US would push forward with the rollout, and still rejected the idea. Noda can't back down from a bilateral treaty because of something that is safer now than when they originally set upgrade plans.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

And what's Asahi Shimbun's source? The Ryukyu Shimpo?

USNinJapan2,

I think it's already well known. A retired Air Force brigadier general told directly to the Asahi Shimbun.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201207160061

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@warispeace,

You make my point for me. If Okinawa is currently a prefecture of Japan and Japan is sovereign, then how can it possibly be, as the article states, "Noda said the planned deployment is part of the U.S. government’s defense policy which the Japanese government has no say in"?

I'll use REALLY LITTLE words so you can understand. The U.S. "army guys" are replacing their bad, old helicopters with a new plane that can also act like a helicopter. Japan has no say in what flying things the U.S. builds and uses for their "army guys", just like the U.S. has no say in what flying things Japan builds and uses for their JSDF. Was that written simply enough for you to understand?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Fadamor, you are using REALLY LITTLE words so that warispeace can understand. I wonder if you know the word "Patronizing," because that's what you are doing. And your comment on warispeace's statement is non-sequitur. (Don't got nuffink to do wiv it.)

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I'll use REALLY LITTLE words so you can understand. The U.S. "army guys" are replacing their bad, old helicopters with a new plane that can also act like a helicopter. Japan has no say in what flying things the U.S. builds and uses for their "army guys", just like the U.S. has no say in what flying things Japan builds and uses for their JSDF. Was that written simply enough for you to understand?

Difference is the JSDF don't fly their weird stuff over Americans... maybe Japan should annex part of America and base some weird crap there?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Both of you missed the mark. Read Noda's statement again. All Noda is saying is that Japan CANNOT tell another nation what aircraft to use in its armed services.

If:

A.) U.S. Marines need vertical takeoff-capable troop transport, and

B.) The Chinooks are being replaced worldwide because of age by the Ospreys as the U.S. Marine vertical take-off troop transport, and

C.) The Japanese government still wants the U.S. Marines to be able to perform their functions in Japan,

Then the Japanese government has to allow the Ospreys to be used by the U.S. Marines in Japan. A pretty simple concept but one that is apparently missed by the both of you. This has nothing to do with Japan, or Japanese bases, or Okinawa, and everything to do with THAT'S THE AIRCRAFT THE U.S. NOW USES TO MOVE TROOPS REQUIRING VTOL TRANSPORT. Japan CANNOT dictate U.S. Defense Policy - which includes which aircraft the U.S. determines it will use to carry out that Defense Policy. Noda is 100% correct and hasn't affected Japan's sovereignity in the slightest.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That;s right smith, Jaoan has no choice, And neither does Gernmany, England, Italy and even your beloved SKorea. No host nation has the option or right to dictate what transport craft are used my the US military, Issues can only arise in the event of weaponry, not transport craft.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Difference is the JSDF don't fly their weird stuff over Americans... maybe Japan should annex part of America and base some weird crap there?

If Japan doesn't want the Americans to "fly their weird stuff" over the Japanese, then Japan should stop asking the Americans to be there. They could easily do it. The treaty with the U.S. allows Japan to terminate the treaty at any time without having to give "cause". All they need to do is give 1 year's notice so the U.S. can pack their stuff up and leave by the treaty's termination.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Noda said the planned deployment of Ospreys to Okinawa is part of the U.S. government's defense policy which the Japanese government has no say in.

Fadmore (Jul. 18, 2012 - 12:19AM JST) says Noda is 100% correct. Is he? The Ospreys are deployed at Futenma in Okinawa, Japan, and not at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hi., U.S.A. The deployment may put Japanese citizens under constant foreign military aircraft hazards.

Is this what the head of a sovereign state should say? It's either that he is not qualified as a prime minister or that Japan is not a sovereign nation, or maybe both.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

To those who seem to have some confusion on what Futenma is.

At this point in time, Futenma is, as basroil correctly states, "a busy military base with airplanes, choppers, and ground vehicles," and, let us not forget, 4,000 marines. Futenma military base occupies ONE QUARTER of the space of Ginowan City, a highly built up residential district with schools, hospitals and shopping areas.

The land is currently on temporary loan to the US military.

It will, at some stage, be handed back to Okinawa.

Many people think that this time has come.

The Osprey deployment is an indication for those non-temporary residents of the area that a) the central government of Japan and b) the U.S.A. have little or no regard for the safety and wellbeing of their (unwilling) hosts.

One Osprey crash could kill tens or even hundreds.

If the Osprey had a good safety record, people would probably not complain, but, in spite of attempts to cover it up, it doesn't.

And so they do.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

BertieWoosterJul. 18, 2012 - 08:29AM JST

At this point in time, Futenma is, as basroil correctly states, "a busy military base with airplanes, choppers, and ground vehicles," and, let us not forget, 4,000 marines. Futenma military base occupies ONE QUARTER of the space of Ginowan City, a highly built up residential district with schools, hospitals and shopping areas.

You should really say ginowan city occupies 3/4ths the area which was previously just futenma

The land is currently on temporary loan to the US military.

99 year loans are very temporary I guess

It will, at some stage, be handed back to Okinawa.

It was supposed to be once okinawa approved the replacement site, but they shot down that idea.

One Osprey crash could kill tens or even hundreds.

Lets not start spouting nonsense. Airplane crashes, even in cities, rarely result in more than one family worth of ground casualties, even much larger craft. If anyone dies, it is usually the pilot and co-pilot, followed by anyone else inside the airplane. The most deaths ever caused by the V-22 experimental craft (not production MV-22 or CV-22) was 19, all aboard the craft (most by production models is 3). In fact, a single civilian was killed in the entire history of the craft is 1, and there's no evidence to say that civilian was on the ground at the time.

If the Osprey had a good safety record, people would probably not complain, but, in spite of attempts to cover it up, it doesn't.

The experimental V22 had a fairly poor record, but still better than PRODUCTION models of the CH-46 and CH-53d it replaces. In fact, the first twenty years of flight, the CH-46 and test platform had 49 deaths and 22 hull losses, including three losses in Japan (Japanese operators). The CH53 on the other hand, has so many fatalities that I won't bother going beyond 10 years. In those ten years, 243 people died including a dozen on the ground, and 32 hull losses.

I don't know what people complain about anymore, they should be pushing the marines to get rid of the CH46 and CH53 as soon as possible, especially the flying deathtrap that is the CH53. The V22 will make things much safer, and the Japanese government is fully aware of this and ignores Okinawan lobby groups for their own safety.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Fadamor

I'll use REALLY LITTLE words so you can understand.

It seems you prefer to use little words and repeat simple notions.

Both of you missed the mark. Read Noda's statement again. All Noda is saying is that Japan CANNOT tell another nation what aircraft to use in its armed services.

What Noda is saying is that he understands well that his country is still occupied and is willing to trade sovereignty and the safety of some of his citizens for GDP growth by siding with the strongman who feels no compunction when killing and maiming innocent people to guarantee access to the world's resources.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Bertiewooster here's the thing, you say the military is not needed or wanted here? Do you realize the economic impact troops have on Okinawa? What about the stores and mom and pop shops who depend on the toops and have for so many years. Sure there are in my opinion a few too many bases there but think about this, as soon as the U.S. Military is pulled from Japan do you really think the JASDF will be able to repel China or Korea with it's million man army? I have a feeling you would be the first to call the U.S. if that happened. And don't start on the crine BS. I was a military police officer here and I saw way more Oki on Oki crime than American on Oki. It just doesn't always make the news because that wouldn't be a good political weapon...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

tired2234 (Jul. 18, 2012 - 12:30PM JST),

Don't discuss things based on your sheer imagination. You seem to believe the Okinawan economy is supported by U.S. troops who spend their money as if it were running water (Japanese metaphor). Yeah, that was true in the 1960's and 70's when those troops temporarily back from war zones in Vietnam drowned their worries and traumas in drink.

The picture has completely changed since you as an MP patrolled broad districts in your charge. Let me give you the hard statistics of today's Okinawan economy.

In 2004, Okinawa's total revenues amounted to Y3.79 trillion (or $47.4 billion), of which revenues deriving from the U.S. military, U.S. service members and what not amounted to Y72.9 billion (or $960 million). That means the direct U.S. military contribution to the local economy is mere 2%.

Now, here's another of your bloated imagination and fear-mongering. You think China and North Korea will invade Japan with their million-man armies if "the U.S. military is pulled from Japan." On what basis and evidence can you say that? Besides, we are asking only the Marine's training bases in Okinawa be closed. Do you think those few thousand marines stationed in Okinawa can meet approaching million-man armies?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thank you voiceofokinawa for a voice of sanity.

I am so tired of the "if-the-us-pulled-out-of-okinawa-the-economy-would-collapse-look-at-what-happened-to-the-Philipines" line.

This is the viewpoint of the US serviceman who has never been beyond Gate 2 at Kadena.

Okinawa is LOSING money by allowing its land to be used for US bases.

For one thing, Okinawa is a prime resort area and for another, there are thousands of families wishing to move here, especially after the Tohoku disaster last year.

Korea and China are not attacking, nor are they likely to.

I repeat, the US military is not needed or wanted here.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You think China and North Korea will invade Japan with their million-man armies if "the U.S. military is pulled from Japan."

China or North Korea will not invade Japan if the us leaves but it would be a diplomatic game changer. How do you think the senkaku island dispute would play out if there were no us/japan security alliance? I'm willing to bet, Chinese warships would be there right now claiming total sovereignty over those islands. And how about those disputed fishing waters? And those missiles north korea fired over the sea of japan a few years ago? Japan would get run over by its neighbors who are still bitter about the war and would lose vital resources and territory. Okinawa is a location of strategic importance to keeping china in check. It would not be good for Japan if we were to pull out now.

That being said, I don't think the Osprey should be deployed here at this time. It's too risky. One accident and Okinawa will explode. It would be much worse than the 1995 rape case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawaJul. 18, 2012 - 04:05PM JST

BertieWoosterJul. 18, 2012 - 06:36PM JST

What do your arguments have to do with the decisions of the central government in regards to the deployment of MV22 rotorcrafts?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

darknutsJul. 18, 2012 - 09:45PM JST

That being said, I don't think the Osprey should be deployed here at this time. It's too risky. One accident and Okinawa will explode. It would be much worse than the 1995 rape case.

So instead they should use the CH53Ds they already have? You know, like the one that crashed into a university dorm due to the aircraft itself rather than pilot error as in most V22 incidents? Or the CH46, where even the Japanese have had a crash in the last five years killing a citizen of Japan? MV22 is far safer than any of those choppers, and the main reason the marines want to replace their half century old CH46s and CH53s.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

BertieWooster

If the Osprey had a good safety record, people would probably not complain,

LOL. How patronizing. Do you think we were born yesterday?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

darknuts (Jul. 18, 2012 - 09:45PM JST),

When Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972, the U.S. government took an ambiguous stance about which country has sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, thus seeding today's bitter territorial rows between Japan and China. If Japan and China are antagonistic toward each other, so much better for the U.S. military presence in Japan, Washington must have thought.

You wonder how the Senkaku dispute would play out if it were not for the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Remember, though, that China recognizes the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, so that the the Security Treaty has nothing to do with the Senkaku issue. Remember, also, that Japan has territorial rows not only with China but also with South Korea and Russia. Will the U.S. come to Japan's aid if conflicts flared up with South Korea or Russia?

Territorial disputes must be solved diplomatically, not by force, and there's no room for the U.S. military to enter the stage. So don't bring up the Senkaku issue to justify this excessive U.S. military presence in Okinawa.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the Osprey had a good safety record, people would probably not complain,

LOL. How patronizing. Do you think we were born yesterday?

Patronizing?

Far be it from me to patronize a gentleman of your obvious intelligence, sir.

Perish the thought.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As for the Osprey problem, I think it's what the Osprey represents to the people of Okinawa rather than the actual plane.

There are a lot of people reading this who do not live in Okinawa and have no idea of the situation and many others who do live in Okinawa, but are with the military and see things from a particular viewpoint.

Let's try to see it from the point of view of an Okinawan living in Okinawa.

Much of the land is occupied by US bases, there are military trucks on the roads and a huge population of US military, none of whom speak Japanese and very, very few of whom have any interest in Okinawa or even seem aware of where they are. Okinawans would like to build on this land. There is a lot of interest in Okinawa, people wishing to move here from the mainland and tourism is a huge and growing industry here.

The planes taking off and landing are often extremely noisy. And the bottom line is, from an Okinawans viewpoint, there is no earthly reason to have bases here. Except that the Japanese government seems to want it, and that is another point of contention, because Okinawa is not really (from an Okinawan's point of view) part of Japan.

So, the Osprey is the tip of the iceberg, the last straw. Not much in itself, perhaps, but underneath it is all the frustration that they feel at having to put up with this huge foreign military presence.

Personally, I think it's time Japan and Okinawa looked after their own defenses.

They could do it if they had to.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

BertieWoosterJul. 19, 2012 - 09:25AM JST

As for the Osprey problem, I think it's what the Osprey represents to the people of Okinawa rather than the actual plane.

No.

The airplane is an airplane. If you wish to treat it otherwise, have them give it temporary residency visa.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

mikemcfly

You must not meet many of those Americans. Many have a huge interest in Okinawa and the rest of Japan. And a lot of them actually meet/marry Okinawans. Go talk to those Americans, I promise you, you'll be surprised.

I have, Mike. That's what I base my opinion on.

Someone once told me that she "didn't have time to explore the town." She thought that what existed outside Kadena was a town and that was it.

Many servicemen I talk to hate it here.

I know that there are those to whom this doesn't apply. That US servicemen marry Okinawan girls. Many of those I've met on and off base have no interest in Japan or Okinawa. I don't have survey data, I'm afraid, just my own experience.

What about all the Okinawan on Okinawan crime that happens there? Sure there are cases of Americans doing dumb things, but I promise if you were able to go look at the police files downtown, you would see far more Okinawan on Okinawan crimes.

Sure, there is crime everywhere.

If the number of crimes committed by the US military was an arbitrary 50 in a year (just for the sake of argument) and there were 50 crimes committed by Okinawans, the total number of crimes would be 100. Take the Americans out of the equation and the number of crimes would drop to 50.

Because as you have so obviously pointed out, Okinawa doesn't see itself as part of Japan... That is a problem in and of itself. Where would Okinawa be without the Economy of Japan backing it?

I didn't get my point across very well.

I just wanted to try to express the Okinawan point of view to make sense of the Osprey problem.

Okinawa had an island kingdom, in a similar way to Ireland, that was attacked and exploited by Japan as Ireland was by the British. Their culture was suppressed by the Japanese occupiers. People who spoke the local dialect were ridiculed and had to wear a placard. Then WWII came and the Okinawans defended Japan, losing tens of thousands of lives. Okinawa was taken over by the U.S.A., land and villages bulldozed flat and bases built.

Until fairly recently, the Japanese government did their best to ignore Okinawa. However, pressure against the bases has been mounting and expressways are being built, there are signs of Japanese investment in Okinawa.

I understand that you may feel that this has nothing to do with you, yet I think it is important to get this viewpoint if you wish to understand the reaction to the Osprey.

It's not so much the aircraft as what it represents.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

mikemcfly (87Jul. 19, 2012 - 03:06PM JST),

Let me quote you first: "Okinawa doesn't see itself as part of Japan... That is a problem in and of itself."

The Japan you are talking about is the Japan that has lost pride as a sovereign nation, always acting as a vassal of the U.S. PM Noda represented that fact most aptly when he said: "the planned deployment (of Ospreys) is part of the U.S. government’s defense policy which the Japanese government has no say in."

What he meant was that Japan could not say "No" to U.S. military strategy to deploy any type of weaponry on Japanese soil. The U.S. military is free to use those bases for whatever purpose they want. Hey, is he the governor of the State of Hawaii?

It is this U.S.-subservient Japan that we are taking issue with. Viewed from Okinawa, Japan is not an independent nation; it's still under virtual U.S. military occupation that has been continuing since the end of WWII. Its prime minister is simply an errand boy for the U.S. president dictating him to do this or that.

You suggest that Okinawans "recognize the needs of the COUNTRY, just as much; if not more, than the wants of their prefecture." But of course you are suggesting "the needs of the COUNTRY" are primarily the needs of the country that is called the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Can't you see the stupidity you are talking about?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

VoiceofOkinawa, I can't agree with you more! Cheers!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

voiceofokinawaJul. 19, 2012 - 04:54PM JST

I still haven't seen an non-political reason for not accepting the MV-22. The vehicle is so much better for the region that they simply want to play political games like the base relocation initiative that was shot down. The less games okinawa plays the better off it will be.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

basroil

This isn't a game.

Some people have to live here.

That means that they stay longer than the two or three years of a US serviceman.

We are fed up with being occupied.

Okinawans don't want Futenma moved to Henoko.

That is NOT a solution.

We want US military bases OUT of Okinawa.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

BertieWooster

If the Osprey had a good safety record, people would probably not complain,

LOL. How patronizing. Do you think we were born yesterday?

I can't speak for Bertie, but I do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

basroil Jul. 07, 2012 - 02:22AM JST

As always, yours is a gangster's logic. No rationality but intimidation for area residents to accept what he wants. Here's local residents asking the gangster to evacuate their peaceful area and to not carry a machine gun in the broad daylight. The gangster retorts, "Yeah, I will do so only if you build a new house for me in the suburb." And as for the gun, he replies: "This is a cool, state-of-the-art gun. Make no complaint about it. Do as I say."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the Okinawans don't want the US bases, why don't they cut off the utilities, and quit serving the US military personnel from everyday dealings?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Tom - which facilities are you talking about?

Those in the Gate 2 area of Kadena?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawaJul. 19, 2012 - 04:54PM JST

Japan is not a vassal to the US. Japan has every right to deny anything they want; as a sovereign nation should. Just as basroil stated earlier, Japan has no say in what the US uses it's defense budget on. If it's an issue the country as a whole has, they need to voice it to their CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. You cannot claim that two areas in Japan seemingly don't want it, so it should leave. These machines are TENS of TIMES BETTER than the machines they are replacing. Basroil has also provided those statistics on several threads!!!! The arguement to keep the Osprey out is purely political! If the two areas are truely concerned over the safety of the machines flying over them, they would welcome this aircraft with open arms. Everyone here has been provided with cold hard facts as to how this airframe is safer than the one it is replacing; and the only arguement anyone has is, "Its not safe." HOW IS IT NOT SAFER!!! How is this not clearly a political arguement????

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But of course you are suggesting "the needs of the COUNTRY" are primarily the needs of the country that is called the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Can't you see the stupidity you are talking about?

On the contrary, I am actually suggesting that the needs of the COUNTRY should come before the wants of a single region. Of course, I'm also NOT saying that those wants shouldn't be of some concern to the central government, but the local government should understand the needs/wants at the national level too. They should be willing to "live with" the "undesireable consequences" (as you seem to be describing the situation) at the local government level. Most local communities in every country deals with some kind of an "undesirable conequence" in the local sector. And when an issue comes up, they route it up through the governments; local, prefecural, national. Do it the proper way, and listen to your government.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

mikemcfly67.

How many U.S. bases were there in the Philippines before they were closed and returned? Weren't Clark Air Force Base and Subic Naval Base the only U.S. bases planted in the Philippines? And how much money did the U.S. have to pay to the Philippine government as rentals for their use? Wasn't Manila asking for more when the Pinatubo volcano suddenly erupted and devastated those bases with an enormous amount of money estimated for their restoration and refurbishment? The Philippine government didn't ask the U.S. military to leave. Rather, it was the U.S. military that voluntarily withdrew from the country.

On the other hand, how many U.S. bases and facilities do you think there are in Japan? An astonishing 88, with 33 planted in Okinawa alone. Area-wise, those 33 bases and facilities in Okinawa accounts for 74% of all the bases in Japan. The surprising fact is that the U.S. doesn't pay a farthing to Japan for their use. On the contrary, the Japanese government must shoulder land fees because the bulk of the land where U.S. bases sit in Okinawa is privately owned and which the U.S. occupation forces encroached upon freely during and after WW II. Tokyo also has to share more than 70% of the maintenance costs for those U.S. bases.

Now, the U.S. is blatantly demanding to build a replacement base for Futenma at Henoko in northern Okinawa, apparently for flight training of the accident-prone Osprey aircraft. Can a sovereign nation ask another sovereign nation do the same? If you insist that Japan is not a U.S. vassal, saying "Japan has every right to deny anything they want," it's your discretion to say so. But the hard fact is that Japan is a U.S. vassal in all respects and Okinawa nothing but a U.S. military colony.

As far as the U.S. military presence is concerned, the Japanese government acts according as the U.S. dictates. So when you say "the needs of the COUNTRY should come before the wants of a single region," that COUNTRY you are talking about is not Japan but THE GREAT UNITED STAES OF AMERICA. In other words, you are simply suggesting U.S. interests in Japan must come first before the interests of its own nationals. Okinawa's burdens and sacrifice are negligible before the greater interests of the U.S., you want to say.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you are simply suggesting U.S. interests in Japan must come first before the interests of its own nationals. Okinawa's burdens and sacrifice are negligible before the greater interests of the U.S., you want to say.

That is not what I'm saying at all. If you have your interpretation of what's going on, fine. But don't twist my words into something they are not. Japan CAN say anything they want; they just don't have the backbone to do it. Very big difference there. Japan is not a vassal, it has become a country over time that has not learned to say "No". The US may very well be taking advantage of that, but vassals are forced into submission, Japan has conceded itself by not learning to say "No". So, no, vassal is not the correct term...

And please, PLEASE prove that the MV-22 Osprey is accident prone (the testing V-22 was, the CV-22 was slightly, the MV-22, not so much). Where is your evidence? Basroil has given everyone, on multiple occasions, statistics that prove otherwise. Yes, they had two crashes recently, but overall the MV-22 is a safe aircraft. Both accidents were pilot error. The vast majority of the CH-46 and CH-53 accidents are mechanical. Read the past statistics. These are airframes are safer than the ones they are replacing. This arguement is not valid.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

mikemcfly87 (Jul. 20, 2012 - 02:23PM JST),

You say "Japan CAN say anything they want; they just don't have the backbone to do it." Is the matter simply something having to do with politicians' backbone or guts? Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama suggested, when his Democratic Party took power from the LDP, that Futenma's function be relocated abroad or at least outside Okinawa. How did U.S. government react to this? Bitterly and scathingly to the utmost degree, and you know the rest of the story.

Japanese politicians know well, and publicly say so, that offending the U.S. is not good for Japan's national interests. Former PM Junichiro Koizumi represented that type of Japanese politicians the best of all, and two successive prime ministers after Hatoyama, Naoto Kan and Yoshihiko Noda, have followed suit. There's no doubt at all that Japan is a vassal of the suzerain U.S.

Now, according to the U.S. Marines, the accident rate of the MV22 Osprey is 1.93, which is lower than the average accident rate 2.45 of all Marine aircraft including standard helicopters. On the other hand, U.S. Air Force's CV22 Osprey's accident rate is 13.47. Probably based on these figures, you say "the MV-22 is a safe aircraft."

Tell me, though, in what specific way MV22 and CV22 Ospreys are different. Aren't they the same model of aircraft with only minor differences in specification? Do you think Toyota Corona Sedan and Toyota Corona Hatchback are the same model car or different?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Move the base from Okinawa to Tokyo... problem solved. Too many NIMBYs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The US seems to want to "protect" Japan.

One wonders why?

One can't help but wonder what the US gets out of this.

Surely it's not offering to "protect" Japan out of its guilt feelings for what it did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

No one wants US bases on their soil.

The Philippines didn't want them and Okinawa doesn't want them.

The Tokyo government, totally incapable of saying "no," especially to the US of A, will admit them PROVIDED they are as far from Tokyo as it's possible to get.

Ergo, the US bases are mainly in Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa-san

U.S. interests in Japan must come first before the interests of its own nationals.

You said it!

PS - nice to see the word "farthing" in use!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

****Corrections:

... the accident rate of the MV22 Osprey per 100,000 flight hours is 1.93, which is lower than the average accident rate 2.45 of all Marine aircraft including standard helicopters. On the other hand, U.S. Air Force's CV22 Osprey's accident rate per 100,000 flight hours is 13.47.

Do you think Toyota Corolla Sedan and Toyota Corolla Hatchback are the same model cars or different?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the case of MV22 vs CV22, the biggest difference is weight, with cv-22 adding radar and extra fuel. Lets also not forget that with only eight aircraft, you have both increased pilot error and slower normalization of the accident/flight time curves. Both the CH46 and CH53 had much higher accident rates in the first thirty years, with the 30 year accident rate for the CH53 being four times larger than that of the MV-22.

We are talking about the MV22 here, since the Air-force is not going to Okinawa. You are entirely ignoring every piece of information given on the increased safety of the Okinawan people to further your politically game at the cost of those very people you claim to represent.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

basroil (Jul. 21, 2012 - 08:20AM JST),

You imply MV22 and CV22 are different types of aircraft, saying "the biggest difference is weight." Isn't the MV22 Osprey equipped with a radar and auxiliary fuel tank attachments ?

The Air Force has already announced their plan to deploy Ospreys at Kadena.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawaJul. 21, 2012 - 12:32PM JST

You imply MV22 and CV22 are different types of aircraft, saying "the biggest difference is weight." Isn't the MV22 Osprey equipped with a radar and auxiliary fuel tank attachments ?

You talk about those things as small differences. It's much like saying the Honda Civic Si and Hybrid are the same car because they look the same and were made by the same company. The radar in the CV-22 is much larger than you think, large enough that you can see it in the silhouette. Gas tanks are also increased to the point that some planes have gas tanks in the cockpit area.

While the CV22 has a higher rate, there are just two accidents, one of which was in an active combat zone. Taking that one out would give you a lower rate than the CH53. The V22 overall including test flights has less accidents per flight distance and time than any other marines rotorcraft.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

basroil (Jul. 22, 2012 - 01:34AM JST),

Aren't MV22 and CV22 the same because they are both V22 Ospreys, the D&R of which started in 1982? I assume the engines and other fundamentals are exactly the same.

According to the Marines, the accident rate of MV 22 per 10,000 flight hours is 1.93, while the average accident rate of other Marine aircraft including standard helicopters is 2.45. Based on these figures, they tout the MV22 Osprey is much safer. But some experts say accident rates based solely on flight hours doesn't mean much. You need such other factors as the number of aircraft, number of years they are in actual service, number of take-offs and landings, and so forth.

If you insist the MV22 Osprey is such safe vehicle, it should replace aging VH-3D Sea King or VH-60N President Hawk for Marine One right then and there. President Obama may find it cool

Remember, however, that it's not only the safety concerns about the Osprey we are taking issue with. We are also protesting that the U.S. military is free to use those 88 bases here for whatever purpose they think fit. This soil is not U.S. soil. If the Marines want to train with the Osprey, they should go back to the U.S. and train in uninhabited deserts there with impunity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Correction:

According to the Marines, the accident rate of MV 22 per 100,000 flight hours is 1.93 ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do the readers and posters of this thread know what's happening in the Takae village in northern Okinawa today? In return for an unused portion of the U.S. Marine Corps Northern Training Area, Tokyo agreed with Washington to construct six hellipads (each 75 meters in diameter) for the Marines' MV-22 Ospreys in lush forests around the village. The Takae villagers and their supporters have been protesting against the construction of the facilities, sitting in nearby construction sites for 5 long years.

Apparently the hellipads are connected with the planned relocation of Futenma to Henoko, also in northern Okinawa, and the Pentagon's Osprey deployment plan set forth in 1992. Noise pollution from Ospreys is said to be beyond human tolerance, as exemplified by the Jan. 27, 2011 protest against Osprey maneuvers by the citizens of Brewton, Alabama. I wonder what measures were taken at Brewton thereafter. Did the Pentagon listen to citizens' voice?

On what legal and humanitarian basis can the U.S. keep coercing Okinawa into accepting these preposterous demands one after another? Mr. Barack Obama, Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Leon Panetta, please PLEASE answer.

If you say, it's based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, then I would appeal: "Down with the treaty!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let the people of Okinawa decide Mr. Noda. Don't be a puppet. That US military base in Okinawa is way overdue to leave Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Common... Japanese minister of defense will fly to the US to talk about .... Osprey? Really??? Isn't there something more important to talk about? Is it really important for the country? For me, Japan should focus on important matters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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