politics

Noda to visit Okinawa to discuss U.S. base issue

65 Comments

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday that he intends to visit Okinawa, possibly in early October, to outline the government's stance on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' base at Futenma, Ginowan to a less populated site at Nago.

Addressing the Diet, Noda said he will explain Tokyo's position to Okinawan Gov Hirokazu Nakaima and win the understanding of local residents.

The central government and Okinawa have been locked in a stalemate over the issue since the accord was first agreed upon with Washington in 2006.

Last week, on the sidelines of the U.S. General Assembly in New York, Noda and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the issue, with Obama saying he wanted see progress as soon as possible. Successive Japanese governments have failed to win the assent needed from Okinawan residents, although the plans aim to reduce the U.S. military footprint on the island that hosts more than half of the 47,000 American troops in Japan.

“Both sides understand we are approaching a period where you need to see results,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, Kurt Campbell, said.

There has been no sign any headway has been made in the re-basing plans, which would involve building a new airfield in Okinawa and shifting 8,000 Marines would to the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. The two sides in June pushed back the 2014 deadline for its completion.

Some influential U.S. lawmakers have criticized the plans as unworkable and too costly. Japan, which faces a massive post-quake reconstruction bill, is to foot much of the multibillion dollar cost of the base relocation.

© Japan Today/AP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

65 Comments
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stop wasting time and money. get to the real problems in this country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Watch what you say Noda-san, remember what the last guy who visited our lovely island promised.

Look how that worked out for him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So sorry fat chance, you would have to hold a gun to the Okinawa Governors head and then I bet he will sill not sign off on it. The new airfield will never be built. Again so sorry but Japan is a Republic and not a dictatorship. The American plan is another outright lie, it will NEVER happen. Just how stupid do they think the Okinawa are with their lies?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Yuri. It is going to happen. Remember your place. Okinawa will cooperate with mainland Japan and the U.S. Government.

The few don't outweigh the needs of the many. Japan will do what's in the best interest of her security. You might not like it but freedom is never free.

You'll call anything you don't like evil or try to associate it with some sort of deception.

When it does happen I know you'll be upset so I'll send you a pizza. Make way for the pizza delivery man, everybody else move back.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The few don't outweigh the needs of the many

I beg to differ. Regardless of who has the majority in Okinawa, the pro-base population, or the anti-base population, the majority of the people of Okinawa (both groups included), are in favor of moving Futenma out of the prefecture. It really has nothing to do with being anti or pro base. It has more to do with the majority of Okinawans being tired of Mainland Japan dragging them through the mud.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

NetNinja, it matter not what I think. What makes you think the Governor or government or Okinawa will cooperate with the national government? MCAS Futenma has little to do with defending Okinawa from our foes. If the Chinese can land their ground forces in Okinawa, the small amount of Marines will not make a difference. The battle for Okinawa will be fought in the air and the high seas.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Its going to fail this base should just go, my grandpa and okinawan grandma do not understand why its still open. my grandpa helped built futuenma.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Addressing the Diet, Noda said he will explain Tokyo’s position to Okinawan Gov Hirokazu Nakaima and win the understanding of local residents.< Yeah, right, this issue has been around for 5 yrs. and has gone nowhere. What P.M. Noda should do is demand that Gov. Nakaima present his detailed plan, and I mean down to the last shovel full of dirt , that WILL satisfy all parties.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gurukun, why do you blame the Japanese for "dragging" Okinawa through the mud? What about the US dragging them through the mud? A little bit of self protection going on??

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

YuriOtani: Either the base WILL be built and the military relocated or they will stay where they are right now. Either way, they are not about to pack up and leave, especially with their increased support thanks to China and Russia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

realdoll, Maybe there is some American mud dragging. But, let the past be the past, but for the longest time, Japan has, and still does consider the Okinawan people as 'outsiders'. I would put money down and say that if you ask most Japanese mainlanders in Japan about the bases on Okinawa, it would be on the bottom of thier lists. But ask them if they want a military base in thier backyard? and all hell will break loose. The Okinawan's have dealt with this type of prejudice for some time now. Hell, back in the day, the Okinawan high school baseball team wasn't even allowed to take dirt from the Koshien field as suveniers. Okinawans that lived in Japan found it difficult to get jobs once they were known to be from Okinawa. For once, the people of Okiawa want to be heard and listened to. That's all. Noting to do with should all the bases be here or not. When the Hatoyama came to Okinawa and made his promise to move Futenma out of the prefecture, it gave the Okinawana a glimps of hope that finally they would be able to make a decision that they could make, and deal with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smithinjapan, I agree with you and think Futenma will remain open. I was just stating political reality and the Governor, etc were elected as being "anti base". It would be hard for them to turn around and support it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"issue" - he by this we mean PROBLEM - number one: Okinawa is NOT and never was part of Japan. They stole it in the 1890's, and illegally annexed it.

Now after years of abuse (we won't mention the 1/3rd or so civilians the Japanese used to be slaughtered to protect the "homeland" when the US attacked it), now they want to demand the US have bases there.

As a foreigner, I can sympathise with the Ryuku people. You tax us but ignore us. NO TAXATION without representation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's not going anywhere anytime soon. Eventually, maybe; but not now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No taxation without representation...

It is my understanding that the Okinawans are already represented in the Japanese government as required by their constitution.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They should relocate it to another Japanese prefecture...like Hawaii.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He should go there to apology for DPJ who couldnt live up with promises!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Noda's not going to Okinawa to discuss the base issue, he's going there to tell these people that the lawfully elected central government has made a decision that benefits the nation and they'll have to live with it, just like the Chiba farmers have to live with Narita Airport..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@YuriOtani-You're right that the few Marines stationed on Okinawa wouldn't really be able to do much against a full scale Chinese assault. It's their mere presence that prevents a Chinese assault from even being contemplated by the Chinese military.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Adjyctant

"It is my understanding that the Okinawans are already represented in the Japanese government as required by their constitution."

Try reading what I wrote: I was saying that both Ryuku and foreigners have their POV's ignored. I never said the Ryuoku people don't have a representitive, rather that the foreigners do not have the right to vote and can therefore SYMPATHESISE with the violation of rights the Ryuku get.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toguro, there are Army, Air force and Navy personnel to do that. The Marines are on Okinawa for training purposes. Free bases to train the Marines in tropical warfare.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What are we talking here? We all know that the governor will never sign off on it. But remember this, Yuri and everyone else who does not like the bases being there, It doesn't matter what the governor or the people of Okinawa actually want at all. Not one bit. You can thank China for that. China's recent actions in the past have made it to where the central government and the U.S. government really have no choice in the matter. The bases will either stay there or grow larger.

Yuri: You seem to think about war as just something that starts all of a sudden. That is incorrect. In a lot of cases it starts by a lot of aggressive actions and who is going to chicken out. If the US pulls back, China will happily step in to that area to establish dominance. Way before missiles and all that come to play. Ships follow each other until some one makes a mistakes and fires a warning shot. Then that country retaliates a bit, Then after quite some time, things escalate. That is how the big boys will fight each other at first. The Chinese are not just going to start just taking over Okinawa. The Chinese are overzealous in some areas but they aren't stupid enough to go after Okinawa as long as there are bases there. They understand that if they were to do such a thing, there would be a serious chance of Nuclear war, which is not what anyone wants. So, that point is pointless. Sorry.

And as Netninja said:

The few don't outweigh the needs of the many. Japan will do what's in the best interest of her security. You might not like it but freedom is never free.

Thumbs up, Netninja. You hit the nail on the head. That is something that soooooooooo many people conveniently forget. I don't know how, but they do. "We live in a peaceful society. We don't want war with anyone. We will never attack anyone, so nobody is going to bother us. BULL. You are protected and that is the reason. That is why freedom exists here. So, many people work in the military, and that is why so many non-military can live in peace, drink their cappuccinos at Starbucks and stick their middle fingers up at the military. Freedom is provided to you. Not the other way around. Okinawa will have the bases. LIke it or not.

Now, figures from the Okinawa prefecture government report that 74 percent of facilities used by U.S. forces in Japan are located in Okinawa. The Okinawa government also says the island receives about 10 billion yen a year in a "sympathy budget" from mainland Japan for hosting the bases. There is not much industry on the island to speak of, other than tourism. Okinawa is made up of 49 separate islands, has the highest unemployment rate in all of Japan and the lowest per capita income in the country. The bases are pretty much, economically, all that Okinawa has going for it. Who wants to argue with me about that? That is how it ACTUALLY IS. What do you with no-economic plan to actually speak of? Dream jobs up?

Should Japan pay a further 10 billion yen per year, plus unemployment benefits support for the 9,804 people who are employed at the US bases and than a further 100 gazilioon yen to the people who will get their land back from the bases in order to help them build up new business'? Yes, many Okinawans want the bases to leave but fail to realize that it would be economic disaster for those base to leave? So many Okinawans are paid more quite high fees for the occupation of their properties. What happens when that well dries up?

I hear people complaining that the Japanese government considers the Okinawans subordinate. They often say that it does not care anything about them or their wishes. Well, if you feel that way, than a lot of people should stop getting all worked up after to listening to the troublemakers who are left-wing, environmentalists (ACTUALLY MY group of people), people who are not dependent on the bases and/or people who do not even live there. Because these people do not have the best interest of Okinawans in mind.

Only 12 years ago when a referendum was done on the issue a total of 541,000 out of 909,000 voted on it. Now I know someone is going to say something about the crimes being committed by the military is an outrage and out of control. Don't even bother. Here are the facts:

Okinawan/SOFA population: 1,400,000/41,000. Arrests of Okinawans: 5/1,000: Arrests of SOFA: 2/1000 Heinous crimes by SOFA were well below 1/1000.

Now let's not get into the violent, criminal American must be evicted garbage. Don't want to hear it. What do you think is going to happen when there are 40,000 people. Somebody is going to do something stupid.

Now, anyone who thinks that I support the military being there and am anti-Okinawan has completely got me wrong. I want the US military to go back to the US and let those who enjoy freedom at the expensive of military people who are sent half way across the world, away from their families, cultures and everything they love to be hated by those who enjoy freedom without sacrificing anything at all. People who enjoy freedom without having to do anything to support it, need to do their own protecting and find out what it is really, all about.

As for me, I love OKINAWA. I would rather live there than anywhere in Japan. I love the food, the culture and I love the music so much, but for now, there is nothing there for Okinawans economically, and people don't realize that the real people in government who wanted to bases out where left-wing and not concerned one bit about Okinawans and their livelihoods.

One said thing, A lot of people are ungrateful to the Japanese government for what they actually get from it. That is wrong. Everyone has to sacrifice. Okinawans get a lot in return for having the bases. I don't like this idea that Okinawans are bearing the brunt. It is not true. There is employment there. They do get top yen for land. And they do get a lot of financial support from Tokyo. Everything has price. I really don't want to step on anyones toes. LIke I said, "I love Okinawa". I want to see a happy Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

people don't realize that the real people in government who wanted to bases out were left-wing and not concerned one bit about Okinawans and their livelihoods.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

troyinjapan, it is called crisis escalation. Somebody hits back but hits back too hard. Anyhow how is the central government going to get around the prefecture government? The PM of the time goes down to Okinawa and says please allow construction and the Governor of Okinawa says no. So the new airfield is not built, the Marines stay on Okinawa and nothing changes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese central government has treated the people of Okinawa as a spoiled child. these idiots believe the Chinese are like Americans who just open the door of your house and say welcome and will be good neighbors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People think of me as "anti base", however I have become "neutral" due to my life events. Not that the Governor of Okinawa asks me for advice. So I am just stating the facts. So unless the national government pulls a fast one and changes the law or convince the governor to sign it, the new airfield will not be built. Another fact the Chinese will not swarm into Okinawa if this airfield is not built. The scare tactics are not going to work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gurukun:

But, let the past be the past, but for the longest time, Japan has, and still does consider the Okinawan people as 'outsiders'.

Why let the past be the past when it still continues. Yes, the US killing 30% of the civilian population on the Island is past and over with, but the occupation hasn't stopped. Also the US military's occupation attitude at times shows clearly that they consider the Okinawans as obsticles. I don't know how often I heard know it all americans say that "we" should have just kept Okinawa or that the Okinawans are stupid etc just because they want more control of their own Island. The US doesn't have to have such heavy presence there. It's a waste of money as it was in the Phillipines and Taiwan. South Korea can defend itself also... just one big military empire as Ron Paul and others pointed out. It takes forever to turn around such a big ship.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry got to disagree.

The past is the past but when you let the past define the future it becomes a major problem. Yet on the same token the past(good or bad) defines and makes us what we are today. We are slaves to our past as we hopefully grew/learned from it.

But people also need to be honest with themselves and accept their past(good or bad) and acknowledge that it is what shaped them into what they are now.

Most European, etc countries did that and have moved on, why can't other countries do as much?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't like this idea that Okinawans are bearing the brunt. It is not true.

Okinawan/SOFA population: 1,400,000/41,000. Arrests of Okinawans: 5/1,000: Arrests of SOFA: 2/1000 Heinous crimes by SOFA were well below 1/1000.

Now let's not get into the violent, criminal American must be evicted garbage. Don't want to hear it. What do you think is going to happen when there are 40,000 people. Somebody is going to do something stupid.

Since you brought it to the "All The Bases" level, you anwsered your own comment in your post. By what you state, the Okinawans are bearing the 'brunt'. As you mention crimes, why is it that the Okinawans must deal any crime at all. Is the Military not guest of Japan/Okinawa? (The Military teaches this to thier service members as well). Why must the Okinawans accept the fact with "40,000 people" here, that "somebody is going to do something stupid?" If I was a guest in your house, do you expect me to commit crimes? Are you saying that just becasue there are 40,000 U.S. Service members/families here, that violent crimes should be ignored like nothing ever happened? That's what I do not want to hear. Yes, there are many crimes that the Okinawans do as well, but it's thier island....thier own home. So I see the Okinawans commit more crimes then the US personnel arguement as irrelevent.

I too, love Okinawa. I also have no problems with the bases here, (Albeit, I think there are too many bases here). But like I mentioned in my earlier post, the Okinawans should have the final say on Futenma.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

troyinjapan, you have missed the mark by quite a bit. The presense of the bases for the most part, is why there isn't much industry in Okinawa (or farming). All of the useful flat land is taken up by these bases. When former bases were closed and given over, they redeveloped the area with lightning speed and they are all now bustling, successful commercial areas. The only areas that have been slow to redevelope, are the ones with a great amount of pollution (most of which stems from 60's-80's lack of enviromental control). The area in Chatan which is now being developed, took a while, but it was littered with old ammo, guns, trash, etc from when it was a base. The now "shintoshin" area in Naha converted super fast, into a really nice commercial, residential, and recreational area. The impression you have that the local Okinawan economy is based on the bases, is very incorrect. Only a small amount of money is generated locally from the bases, the majority of which, goes to MAINLAND companies for construction. Fact is, Okinawa IS much better off when a base closes and the land is given back, there is no denying that and it has been proven over and over again. The interesting thing about the Futenma closing issue (which started in the 90's) is that all parties want it closed. The Marines don't want it there, the Okinawan's don't want it there, and Tokyo doesn't want it. They just can't agree on HOW. Hatoyama is mostly to blame for the latest backlash, the people had accepted it, although not happily, then he came down with his promise and stirred it all up again. Thanks to that, there is more support now than ever against the relocation to Nago. They really just need to re-write the SOFA and reduce the "required minimum number of troops in country" which is around 50,000 if i remember correctly. Once they reduce that number, then it's easy to simply close Futenma (and all the other bases which are waiting to close once it closes) and no relocation is needed. However, the way the current SOFA is written, it requires a minimum amount of US troops to be in country, thus, requiring some to stay (relocate) in Okinawa after closing Futenma.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All of the useful flat land is taken up by these bases. When former bases were closed and given over, they redeveloped the area with lightning speed and they are all now bustling, successful commercial areas.

Great Post! (Thumbs up!) That's what I used to say, but then you have the posters that keep asking for the data to back this claim up. Screw the numbers, go out there and take a look! is what I say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Societymike?? All that useful land? So how much land are we talking about here? Could we compare that to the whole of Japan?

You make a good argument but you left the most important out. You have missed the mark by quite a bit. Here let me help you out.

All that useful land is DEFENDED and PROTECTED by the armed forces of Japan and the U.S. My mother-in-law can grow goya in her backyard. Japan doesn't need more Goya at this time. What she does NEED is security at a time when the lights are barely working and people are losing their jobs, plus the economy is limping.

No one can predict how the economy will be affected if the base were to be removed. I know life would go on.

The problem with Okinawans and their argument is their limited scope of the situation. The doctor is in: "IT's definitely island fever" Japan wants and needs to maintain it's borders and it's economic zones.

Personally, I think Okinawans lack the conviction needed to effect change and/or removal of the base. It would take all of them, to lock arms, and march on the gate. Will the military fire? Will the Japanese fire? I'd say don't do it. Not only would people die or be injured but they would destroy the relationship between American and Japan if we had to open fire.

Okinawans might consider that a success but it would be a Pyrrhic Victory at best.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All that useful land? So how much land are we talking about here? Could we compare that to the whole of Japan?

That's what I was talking about. The guys that want data. Take a car ride out to Chibana, Shintoshin, etc. and see for yourself.

And if you want to compare, try taking a close hard look at comparing the land usageratio of Military Bases on Okinawa to the land usage of Military Bases in Mainland Japan? Seem Fair? If the military is here to protect Japan, should't most of the bases be in Japan? If not, at least spread equally between Okinawa and mainland Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Franklin D. Roosevelt, through the Cairo Acords of 1943, wanted to return the Ryukyu Islandsto the Chinese and today 66years later Japan has used the Ryukyu Islands and the USA as a bulwark to protect Japan proper. I suggest the Ryukyu Islands be given thier independence and make them a sovereign State. I am sure the first thing they would do is request the USA bring their military back to the States. Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands would become the epitome of success. due mainly because of their highly educated people and thier ability to get along with their neighbors

Japan is still fighting WWII

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Marion - I doubt the majority of the citizens on Okinawa, who are Japanese citizens, would vote for independence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serrano, Japanese citizens but not Japanese and receive no respect from America or Japan. A formal vote would be nice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway the meeting will not be "productive", the governor of Okinawa wants changes in the SOFA. The American MP's should not have law enforcement powers off post. This is a violation of our sovereignty. This issue is more than just a new airfield.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The American MP's should not have law enforcement powers off post.

They do not have law enforcement authority off U.S military Bases. For example they can't write a speeding ticket, and or arrest a Japanese National. The only semblance of Law enforcement authority that they have is the ability to apprehend U.S military members and return them to a military installation. That's it. And you said it yourself. how can it be a violation of Sovereignty if it's in the SOFA? Which both countries continue to reaffirm. As usual your statements don't pass the common sense test.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aaron Okoro, they should stay on the bases and let the local police arrest the sofa people. It is one way they can escape back to base. As I wrote there are other issues and the PM is wasting his time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani, MP's never arrest people that break Japanese laws. Break Japanese law, and get arrested by Japanese Police. Period!! MP's only apprehend service-members off Bases for breaking military laws and regulation that most often then not have absolutely nothing to do with Civilian law whether it is in the U.S or on Okinawa. Curfew, AWOL, Missing a movement, or other Military related offenses. These sort of offense rarely have any applicability to any civilian jurisdiction.(regardless of the country or Jurisdiction) Asking Japanese Police to apprehend Military members for these sort of offenses would be like me asking you to put my kids in timeout for cursing at me just because I am visiting your house. You rarely make any sense when you attempt to apply your twisted logic to serious matters that affect peoples lives, and when you are confronted by people that actually challenge your BS you just lie or make stuff up not adding anything to real discourse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aaron Okoro, one time the MP,s tried to arrest a pair of Marines for fighting. So they used pepper spray and sort of got most of gate 2 street around Music City. Many civilians were affected by this action. The MP's do not bother me but I do not hang out in the bars. I am trying for people to understand the Okinawa point of view. I do think the MP's need to be escorted at all times by members of the Prefecture police while off base and especially when do anything that is remotely police functions. Sorry for getting off topic but the PM's of Japan come down to Okinawa and talk down to the local politicians. They will never get anywhere with their superior attitude and condescending ways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@gurukun I am sorry, but reality is exactly that. If you have 40,000 people there are going to be crimes. It is sad, but it is human. And nobody says that crimes should be ignored and they are punished quite severely whenthey break the rules now. this is not the 70's.

If I was a guest in your house, do you expect me to commit crimes? Are you saying that just becasue there are 40,000 U.S. Service members/families here, that violent crimes should be ignored like nothing ever happened? That's what I do not want to hear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fact is, Okinawa IS much better off when a base closes and the land is given back, there is no denying that and it has been proven over and over again.

@societymike Maybe you know something I don't, but I have never heard of such a thing. I could be wrong.

A small amount of money is generated by the bases? Not hardly at all. A lot of money is generated by the bases. And what about those 9,000 people who lose their jobs on the bases? Can the local economy recover from the loss of 9,000 jobs? I don't think so. It is going to have to have a trickle down effect and that can not help a prefecture that has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Are you trying to tell me that it is because of the bases? Nothing could be further from the truth.

All of the useful flat land is taken up by these bases. When former bases were closed and given over, they redeveloped the area with lightning speed and they are all now bustling, successful commercial areas. .

I am so sorry, but I have to say, "Not Hardly".

So you are saying that all of the jobs that will be lost and all of the money that is given to Okinawa, that when it is all gone, Okinawa will be better off. I am sorry, I have to doubt that. Show me some proof, please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, tourism and farming is going to be able to take the place of all the money that the central governments sends down there. A prefecture with the highest unemployment rate is suddenly going to make a turn around with those bases gone? That is very optimistic to say the least. Whatever happens I hope Okinawa will be prosperous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

troyinjapan, please enlighten me on how the old Maki housing generated money, alot of money. Then enlighten me on how many japanese employees lost thier jobs when the Maiki housing base closed. Then, if you could explain why you think the Shintoshin area is "Not Hardley" a husling, successful business area. I'd like to understand what I'm missing. I pass this area almost everyday coming and going to work.

As for crimes? So as a guest at your house, it's expected for me to do a crime? You summarized it as human nature, but isn't the military supposed to uphold honor, respect, etc.....I can understand, housewives, and/or other dependents doing petty crimes. But members of the military? Yeah, okay...whatever....

Also, when did this discussion turn into an "All base issue (like it always does."). I could have sworn it said Futenma at the top.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you invite 40,000 people to anything you will have crime. Period! The crime rates of U.S service members are much less than that of general Japanese population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am just saying that on the whole I don't see a full pull out being financially sound for Okinawans who depend on the bases for their livelihoods. You say that this and that has been successful and you might be right. But I have heard differently from people in Okinawa as well. Plus, the Makiminato area and it's development are a little different then the other bases that you are talking about. The Makiminato area didn't employ that many Okinawans in the first place, did it? Don't throw a housing unit out there like it was a functioning base. A functioning military base creates far many jobs to the local community than a housing base. That is not fair.

Instead of me enlightening you, why don't you do the same thing and tell me how you expect to create jobs and money in place of the bases. I would love to hear that and I am not being cycnical at all. Honestly. I know that you think after the bases leave that companies will come in and build their business there, right? You will be dependent on the J-gov for a lot of funding as well, right? I have no doubt that eventually if the bases are closed and given back to the Okinawns that their is a strong chance that the economy in that area might recover but it will not be done without a lot of hard work and luck.

As for your philosophy that military people should be honorable and not commit crimes and that if you were in my house that you would be expected to commit a crime, give me a break. Your philosophy is unpractical and you expect the impossible. It is laughable. Humans are not machines!!!! Are you going to honestly sit there and tell me that you would expect thousands of people to all be on their best behavior and that that should be what actually happens? That can only be had in a DIsney film. Come on, man. Get practical. YOU expect way too much of people. When I read how impractical you can be on how the military MUST behave and how you EXPECT it makes me wonder if you are also that impractical when talking about the redevelopment of the Okinawan land as well. NO disrespect but issues like these should be done void of emotion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First, I do not need to enlighten you. If you read my posts, I have no beef with the bases being here. My only concern is with Futenma. Does it need to go? Does it need to stay? I'd rather see it gone, but it should by the Okinawans to decide if it stays or goes. Anytime there is an article on the FUTENMA issue, it's posters like you that turn it in to an all base issue. Let's talk FUTENMA. Where are the 9000 local employees that work on that base?

Now you are retracting what you said about bases that were given back? A base is a base is a base. You call using Maki Housing was unfair. It was a BASE that was returned and is now generating more money then any bases on Okinawa. You want data, feel free and look for it. But I can almost promise that the Shintoshin area generates all kinds of money.

Humans are not machines. You are right. They are not machines. However, the military are held to a higher standard than a "Normal Human"...anybody that works for the Government is held to a higher standard. When rules are passed down from the Top Brass in the military, when you break those rules they call it Disobeying a Direct Order. Is there a reason for that? It means regardless if there is one military member, or 5 million military personnel, any crime should not happen. You tell a General your thoughts on how a service member is EXPECTED to behave, and tell me what kind of answer you will get. I promise you he won't say, "Because of 40,000, there may be a little bit of crime that is okay."

Getting back to FUTENMA. You ask how the Ginowan area would create jobs and money in place of the base. Hmmmmmm. Again, I ask you to take a good look at the Shitoshin area. My guess would be the same way. Base gone, Companies come in and build, and presto, more jobs created then the amount of local workers on FUTENMA. I really doubt there would be any reason for J-Gov fundinig.

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troyinjapan, Also, take a look at where Camp Haig used to be. Not as hustle-bustle as Shintoshin, but more developed then the base was contributing to the local econmy.

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Furthermore Gurukun, personally I want to see the US bases out of Okinawa, Yokota, Zama and every base there is in Japan.

People live in Japan under the US nuclear umbrella and throw their middle fingers up at the US. They enjoy the freedom that the US Provides and then mock it. Well, I would love to see that US teet be taken out of the Japanese mouth and make the Japanese stand up on their own to defend this country. Instead of mocking and complaining. They enjoy freedom here without understanding that it is not THEM who makes this country free. It is not by THEIR actions that this country is and stays free. It is by the actions of the US military that Okinawans and Japanese enjoy their freedom. But, no people have to complain. Well, defend yourselves, by all means. You will find it quite difficult.

OKinawans, remember this as well. Although you have 75% of the bases in Japan, just as many people on the mainland are dealing with the bases as well. The population surrounding the bases in Japan is almost the same as the population of OKinawa so it is not only YOU who are being asked to deal with the bases. Let's remember that.

Gurukun, a concrete system needs to be set up to make sure that Okianwa will prosper after the shut down of the bases. Cool heads need to come up with a plan to make sure that jobs will be there to fill the void of the bases. I see a lot of people like yourself saying how it would be financially better if the bases were closed, but I have no seen any concrete ideas for development. Please show me something concrete, because I want the bases gone as well. But I don't want Okinawa to suffer as a result of such.

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I use to be in the ARMY. And I know that they try their best to instill the best in their soldiers.

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Most Japanese want the US bases in Okinawa. No one trusts China. There will always be malcontents and sh*t stirrers though.

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Lieberman2012, since I have moved could care less if they remain open. I just am trying to express the views of my Okinawa friends. troyinjapan, unlike the mainland there is no place in Okinawa that is not impacted by the bases one way or another. So the PM comes down to Okinawa to persuade the Okinawa Governor to sign the permit. Again it will not happen and their will be the devil to pay if they change the law. If the people really supported the bases a pro base governor would of been elected.

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@gurukun

it should by the Okinawans to decide if it stays or goes.

Yeah, you are right, if it were an independent country, but it is not. So, it is up to Tokyo to decided if it stays or goes. That is a fact.

Anytime there is an article on the FUTENMA issue, it's posters like you that turn it in to an all base issue. Let's talk FUTENMA. Where are the 9000 local employees that work on that base?

First of all, don't say posters like me. It is condescending. Furthermore, I have never weighed in on the issue. Plus what do you mean, "We turn it into an ALL Base Issue"? Please explain. My concern is not so much with the base as what the Okinawans will do after the base is gone.

"A base is a base is a base"?

Give me a break. Now you say that area is more profitable now than any other base. How long did it take? What were the circumstances with which that has turned a profit where bases could not? And show me the figures to support your claim.

You want data, feel free and look for it.

But you seem to feel so strongly in what you are saying. It sounds to me that you can't support your own claims which makes me feel like someone is pulling my leg quite hard now. Hmmmmmmm,

You tell a General your thoughts on how a service member is EXPECTED to behave, and tell me what kind of answer you will get. I promise you he won't say, "Because of 40,000, there may be a little bit of crime that is okay."

Well, I was in the ARMY and I know much better on that one. They expect their soldiers to not get into trouble, but they also know better. Gukurun, this is not what YOU want. It is just a reality. Police in Japan get in trouble all the time. So, do member is the self defense force. But you would rather stick it to the military and complain that they are not doing what is above humans to do. Mathematically impossible. It sounds to me like you just don't want the military there and are holding them to a standard that can't be reached to suit your own political agenda. Now, that is unfair.

Base gone, Companies come in and build, and presto, more jobs created then the amount of local workers on FUTENMA. I really doubt there would be any reason for J-Gov fundinig.

Sorry, buddy. That is really wishful thinking. There is no "PRESTO" in this situation especially because the situation is extremely different then before. And I do believe that Okinawa received a LOT of money from the J-Gov for that reconstruction. This is the real problem. I fear that your optimism is a little bit too much for reality. I hope it will be that way, but reality in this day and age begs different. Peace,

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@Yuri

unlike the mainland there is no place in Okinawa that is not impacted by the bases one way or another. Yes, that is true and I understand that.

Let me apologize to you for my comment. What I was trying to say is that sometimes it seems like Okinawans forget that they are not the only ones dealing with the base issue.

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troyinjapan, you can not get away from the bases. With the exception of the south most part of Okinawa, there is a base close to you. The bases restrict traffic flow and make emergency services go longer. The amount of land taken as a percentage is much larger than anywhere else in Japan. So it it not surprising a "anti base" governor and legislature is elected. The newest in one year tenure PM's is not going to convince him to sign the construction permits. So he might as well save the trip. About the Okinawa prefecture spoiling the plans of the national government? It is the law of the land and if they do not like it would have to change the law. However that is not going to happen since the poll watchers do not have the spine to do it.

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But you seem to feel so strongly in what you are saying. It sounds to me that you can't support your own claims which makes me feel like someone is pulling my leg quite hard now. Hmmmmmmm,

No, it's not that I feel so strongly, it strange that a person can't look at the area for themselves and figure out that the Shintishin area is a major economy area for Okinawa. If you cant realize the obvious......hmmmmmmmm.

Well, I was in the ARMY and I know much better on that one.

I was in the military too. And it is mathimatically possible. What is so hard about listening to the orders from a superior?

First of all, don't say posters like me. It is condescending. Furthermore, I have never weighed in on the issue. Plus what do you mean, "We turn it into an ALL Base Issue"? Please explain.

So, tourism and farming is going to be able to take the place of all the money that the central governments sends down there. A prefecture with the highest unemployment rate is suddenly going to make a turn around with those "bases" gone? These are your words, not mine. Did you happen to realize the word in quotes?

Yeah, you are right, if it were an independent country, but it is not. So, it is up to Tokyo to decided if it stays or goes. That is a fact.

That's my point. That is where all of the heat is coming from.

Well, I was in the ARMY and I know much better on that one. They expect their soldiers to not get into trouble, but they also know better. Gukurun, this is not what YOU want. It is just a reality.

Uh huh....If that is the case, please explain the lock down for all SOFA personnel we recently had. I wonder why the Top Brass went to those extreme measures.....hmmmmmm. Maybe because of crime?

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@Yuri, I understand everything that you have said and fully agree. I have been down there several times, myself. I know fully well that Okinawa is affected by the military presence more than any other country. I hope you understand that I get your point. I am not arguing with you about that point at all. So, please recognize.

@Gurukun, my exact words were:

A prefecture with the highest unemployment rate is suddenly going to make a turn around with those bases gone? That is very optimistic to say the least.

I was being cynical. I really don't believe that Okinawa can be successful financially in the next ten years if the bases close. LIke I said before, there will be a trickle down effect that will cause financial damage to ripple all across the okinawan society. Furthermore, I don't share your optimism when it comes to companies going down there and setting up shop. For a few reasons, one logistics, two the current state of the economy and I don't really think the J-Gov will put too much into revamping the economy there. Hell, they can't even have a diet session to pass a supplementary budget to assist the Tohoku region without arguing over if it should be done before or after the Ozawa hearing. Okinawa could very well lose out due to an incompetent political system in Tokyo. I also think Tokyo would lose interest with Okinawa's financial plight. Okinawa is sometimes in the limelight now just because of the base issue.

Anyway, if you would like to be optimistic about the financial future of Okinawa, great. As I have said before, I want the bases out as well, so that Japan can stop thumbing its nose at the USA. I want Japan to provide its own security so that its people get a a better understanding off what it take to protect freedom. People live under the US umbrella and have no idea what they have and what it would cost to provide the same thing. They walk down the street saying, "We are peaceful and would never attack anyone. We are against war. We don't need a military". But the Japanese have lived in a box for far too long with the cover closed and have not had to think about protecting their own freedoms. It is not a slight at the Japanese. It is a reality. Personally I deeply respect the South Koreans for installing that belief in their youth because every young able bodied male must serve in the military for a period of two years, unless they have a very good reason for not doing so. Freedom is only understood if it is earned and not given. Sorry.

Gurukun, you seem like a very intelligent person, but I can't understand how naive this next statement of your is:

Uh huh....If that is the case, please explain the lock down for all SOFA personnel we recently had. I wonder why the Top Brass went to those extreme measures.....hmmmmmm. Maybe because of crime?

Really? Are you serious? That was strictly cosmetic. That was to try to tone things down. The media was making the public hypersensitive to the base issue for sensationalism. It was just to sell newspapers and Ajinomoto products and whatnots on TV. A servicewoman in Yokohama was initially arrested for hit and run because she bumped someone at a crosswalk with the side of her car. The side of her car! The police were so excited about it because of the daily news of the "so-called" evil American service members that they originally arrested her for hit and run because she drove her car 100 meters away from the accident. She stopped after she realized that something was going on. She was arrested for hit and run and it went up all over the media. Such a minor thing was reported on every channel as the very first story of the 6pm news. The next day she was released because the police realized that it was not a hit and run and that the accident was just a minor one. Did it get on the news? Let me write it again. Did it get on the news? NO WAY. The media was going bananas on the military crime issue in the name of business. Trying to get everyone excited, so what did the military do? They put a lock down on all SOFA personnel to get the media to think that they were trying to do something about the situation. They were just playing possum. Now, go to any military installation and look at the crime rate. Crime happens with the military all the time at every base. Why? Because the military for the most part is made up of a bunch of spirited boys. And as the old saying goes, "Boys will be boys". Furthermore it is only here and in South Korea that the issue gets any attention at all. In Europe where there are military bases and there is crime near bases, the media does not sensationalize everything because it understands that boys will be boys and that you can't have a large group of young men and expect nothing bad to happen. The media here has sensationalized the issue to its own financial gain.

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@gurukun As I have said before, I support the bases closing, but not at the detriment of Okinawa itself. I don7t think farming and tourism is going to even come close to saving the economy there. Companies that you optimistically think will come, I doubt will. The J-Gov will lose interest because Okinawa will not be in the spotlight anymore.

Hey, why hasn't the J-Gov put more money into developing bussiness' in Okinawa up until now? Why hasn't it tried to help Okinawa become financially fruitful in the areas that are not controlled by the MIlitary? Why haven't companies already gone down to Okinawa in mass groves yet and use the property that is available in the first place? You can't tell me that there are no places that companies could actually set up shop and become fruitful down there if it were financially viable. I know you are going to say it is solely because of the military and the bases, but come on now. That is coop out. I will best this. If more Okinawans who have left Okinawa and have become successful in other parts of Japan would return and set up bussiness' of their own, Okinawa might have a better chance if there was a little more of that going around as well. Anyway, I would love to hear of any financial plans that you know about that are going to be able to assist the Okinawan society to become a more financially viable economy.

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Why haven't companies already gone down to Okinawa in mass groves yet and use the property that is available in the first place?

You name a place where there is open land, an I'll tell you why there are no companies or businesses there right now. If you haven't noticed all the land filling (which I oppose also) that is happening today, then how can I answer your question in the first place.

Companies that you optimistically think will come, I doubt will.

And you get this from where? Not debating the issue, however, Shintoshim is a good example. Albeit, the Awase Golf Course was not a "Base" per say, but since theis area was returned, have you seen the construction taking place there already? Jusco is planning on building the largest Jusco in Japan in that area. There rest of the area is aready claimed as well.

I think there is also a miscommunication between us as well. I do not support "all" of the bases leaving the island, but I feel there are too many here. Do the bases add to the economy. Yes, but they do not support the island. My main point point is the Futenma issue, Not Kinser, not McT, not Foster, not Hansen, etc. However, if all the bases were to pack up and leave over night, I do believe within a couple of years, this land that would be returned would not be used for farming, well not a majority of it at least. It would end up as housing, business, shopping districts, tourism, etc., all of which adds to the economy.

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Why haven't companies already gone down to Okinawa in mass groves yet and use the property that is available in the first place?

You name a place where there is open land, an I'll tell you why there are no companies or businesses there right now. If you haven't noticed all the land filling (which I oppose also) that is happening today, then how can I answer your question in the first place.

Companies that you optimistically think will come, I doubt will.

And you get this from where? Not debating the issue, however, Shintoshim is a good example. Albeit, the Awase Golf Course was not a "Base" per say, but since theis area was returned, have you seen the construction taking place there already? Jusco is planning on building the largest Jusco in Japan in that area. There rest of the area is aready claimed as well.

I think there is also a miscommunication between us as well. I do not support "all" of the bases leaving the island, but I feel there are too many here. Do the bases add to the economy. Yes, but they do not support the island. My main point point is the Futenma issue, Not Kinser, not McT, not Foster, not Hansen, etc. However, if all the bases were to pack up and leave over night, I do believe within a couple of years, this land that would be returned would not be used for farming, well not a majority of it at least. It would end up as housing, business, shopping districts, tourism, etc., all of which adds to the economy.

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@Gurukun. Okay, I will go with what you said. I will admit that I am not at liberty to say that I know of any place that is open that can be used. To be honest, that was more of a question than a proclamation on the land open for use issue. I should have rephrased it better. My apologies. And yes, Jusco is doing exactly what you said. I am fully aware of that from, I believe was your informative previous post. But how many companies will follow suit? Sorry, I am a pessimist on this issue, whereas you are an optimist. I do believe that you are overly optimistic in the time frame that it will take Okinawa to recover from a full pull-out. And I am extremely pessimistic about companies going down and setting up shop after the bases pull out and unemployment increases dramatically. See, my issue with the whole thing is this. Once the bases pull out, and most likely it will be a quick and all at once, if it ever happens, the huge problem is going to be the 9,000 jobs that are lost, the local shops that depend on business from those people and the base personnel. Once those jobs are gone, it will most definitely have a huge ripple effect that will be felt throughout Okinawa. This is going to give companies great cause for opening their business down there. That can't be helped unless there is a plan already set up to get these people working as quickly as possible. Gurukun, forgive me but, you can't deny that, right? This is what worries my the most. And please understand this, as I have said in my earlier posts, I love Okinawa and don't want to see it suffer immensely because plans were not in place to get people working. I don't want Okinawa to be put on the back burner of importance with the central government because the bases are no longer an issue anymore. As much as I greatly want to see Okinawa stand up on her own and become very prosperous, I don't want the people to just think that if the bases go than automatically the companies will follow and all problems will be gone. For me there must be concrete measures set up to make sure that that happens, because I believe that once the base issue is gone, Tokyo can and will look the other way. And your plight will become a "non-issue" to them. I am not very good about putting all my eggs in one basket and hoping that the basket doesn't break. I need to put my hand under it.

Once again, if the companies follow there is a good chance. Jusco is for now happening. But the big question is "IF" other companies will follow. A time frame of two years is just to short. I would say ten years if things go extremely well. Peace.

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Beside the 9,000 jobs, what about all the local business that support the bases? What about the local contractors that do business with the bases? How about the local "Mom & Pop" stores, if there are any? I know the military itself must do a lot of business when it comes to supply as well. What will happen with the other businesses that do business with the military there? It is not just about employment at the bases but also about the other entities that do business with the military.

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I don't want Okinawa to be put on the back burner of importance with the central government because the bases are no longer an issue anymore.

That's what irritates me. Even with Futenma as an issue, the J-Gov still looks the other way and wants the people of Okinawa to deal with the issue, more like shove the Futenma issue down thier throats. I feel that if the military is here to protect JAPAN as a whole, then the base need to be spread across the whole nation....or at least some of them.

And please understand this, as I have said in my earlier posts, I love Okinawa and don't want to see it suffer

Agreed. You and me both.

I also agree with your second post. However, it deals with ALL the Bases disappaering at once. But, to anwer your question, no matter what happens (if all the bases stay or disappear over night), there are going to be people that lose in the end. Now, if we talk about just Futenma disappearing, the loss would be minimal. There are not that many Japanese locals working on that base, nor is there much support from off base entities or local business. Do get me wrong, there are businesses that support the base, however, as an Air Station, most of the supplies, tools, parts etc, come from the U.S. The ripple effect would be minimal.

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Good to know, Gurukun. But let's be honest, the bases are not going anywhere. You see, the Tokyo government gets its protection without pissing everyone off on the mainland, and the US gets its bases in Asia for future conflicts too fight if they occur in the Pacific, East or South China Sea and even the Indian Ocean. I mean, can you really imagine them moving the bases to anywhere in Japan besides a site that is already set up? Maybe fifty years ago, but not now and most likely for the next twenty years. So, I guess we are just spinning our wheels in conversation over the bases moving. Hopefully, Okinawa will see the day when the bases leave much earlier than I can imagine and will be able to build up its economy. Peace

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