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U.S. urges Japan to decide on base issue before Obama's visit

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okada.. just dont forget minshuto's main manifesto.. thats the reason why we choosed you..

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I don't see what the big deal is... They want to get rid of the Marines... Fine, they should just move them to Guam, and say screw it... Then let the people of Okinawa, find out that they probably should be careful what they wish for... Because it just might happen...

There are probably 3 Japanese National jobs, that go along with every 1 Marine on that Island....

btw: It's, "that's the reason you were chosen."

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would love to see Obama cancel.

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mindovermatter... wrong.. there are some jobs on Okinawa for locals, but less than 1% of the jobs on Okinawa are govt jobs. (8300 jobs/1,300,000 population) About 3300 of them jobs are on Kadena AB.. so figuring the valuable land space Camp Kinser, Foster, Lester and Futenma occupy in the most populous areas of Okinawa.. the potential is much better without the bases. In fact in areas taht were turned back to Okinawa you'd never recognize as an ex base because it is built up nicely.

It seems they really don't want the Japanese PM to talk directly with Obama on this issue.. I wonder why? Why do they want a decision made before President Obama shakes hands with Hatoyama? Obama might give the Japanese anything they want. Like George Bush gave Pueto Rico back the Vieques training grounds.. hmmm. Maybe they are afraid of this and want to tell President Obama "sir it is all taken care of". Maybe President Obama could care less as long as everyone agrees on something.

aw

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The Federal Reserve, not the White House, is actually running the U.S. government. Obama is a merely representative of the U.S. government. Ben Bernanke has more power because of his finanical manipulation on our nation, that is connecting to money which we are extremely depending on. No money = no living.

The Federal-Reserve-driven U.S. government is expecting Japan to help them in advancing their military adventures in the Middle East, otherwise harassment will be incited against Japan.

The U.S. government should be constantly reminded that we the ordinary Americans, not the high-ranked officials, owns it. We are growing tired of excessive military-related issues, news, and products.

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Japan should take time about relocation of Futenma air base. It seems that Japan does not want to be told what to do about it in big hurry as a big hurry makes a big mistake. As for Who makes final decision about it, That is Japan. The US should wait for the decision with decent respect. I think that DPJ would not accept it easily anymore as the same as LDP used to do it.

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This almost sounds like a threat.

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Foxie:

This almost sounds like a threat.

That's the idea. Although, just what Obama would do if not pleased, I don't know. Obviously it's not enough to have an effect on Russia or Iran...

Tennessee (and former governor) senator Lamar Alexander recently called out Obama in a speech on the senate floor. A Democrat senator followed him and warned "You don't want to go there". Again, meant as a threat.

When campagining, Obama talked of hope and change and rainbows and unicorns. But once in office, he and his "outfit" behave just like Chicago mafia. Only, as Russia and Iran have demonstrated, the Obama mob doesn't have any street cred. Maybe that's why they're focused on FoxNews instead of substantive issues?

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Okada is not helping things with his comments on relocating Futenma's heliport functions to Kadena. Gates has made it clear that is not feasible.

"would love to see Obama cancel"

That's not going to happen.

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This is not about Okinawa base.It is about entire US/Japan security relationship.Is Japan ready to take on resurgent China? Can it do it without Nukes anD cyberwarfare capability? All these years Japan was hiding under Hiroshima and nagasaki.Today it has to face facts with resurgent China doesnot want to compromise on territory at Spratleys,Vietnamese Border and ofcourse Indo/China border. China wants to take over from erstwhile Soviet union but with a coterie ruling the 1 billion nation. Japan must face FACTS.

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3 to 1 against them and one of these has nukes as well. last time they tried to invade Vietnam they got only a few km before bogging down.

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I say as an American that we should reduce our military footprint in Japan to zero. Time for Japan to officially recognize its army as an army and its navy as a navy. I would be very happy to see as rapid transition as possible to a Japan that can defend itself. WWII is in the past. Japan is no longer an evil empire, but a stable democracy. No more apologies to an oppressive China (see Tibet) about WWII. No more whining about Hiroshima and Nagasaki every summer WITHOUT mentioning why the bombs got dropped in the first place. I urge Japan to develop its own nuclear arsenal to keep both North Korea and China in their place(s). The funny thing about my opinion is that perhaps the only people who would agree to it in Japan are either far left or far right. Either way. Time to reduce the American footprint in Japan. Agreed!

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I agree with you, Kwatt. Japan should decide Japanese matters as it sees fit. Unfortunately, too many countries have grown dependent on America for defense and Japan is one of those countries. Japan is a very important partner of the US (and Obama does not seem to realize this) and while building up its own military and even afterward, the US should still make it clear that the US can be of military assistance to Japan in certain cases. The friendship must be maintained, but the US military presence in Japan should be a smaller one. Much smaller. Eventually, as I state, zero.

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Japan is a sovereign nation and can make, or break, commitments, deals, agreements, treaties or anything else it wants. Okinawa is called the “Keystone of the Pacific” and for a good reason, it’s location. If Japan asked or, demanded that the U.S. military and, all it’s interests leave, the U.S. would have to do so.

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what is japan without america? nothing man. nothing.

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Something unheard-of and extraordinary seems to be happening.

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I don't understand that why the US becomes so crabby about relocation of Futenma air base. Japan did not say "We don't you all anymore and so all go home". Japan just wants Futenma air base to move to another better place that DPJ thinks. Futenma base is one of many many US bases. and all US marines go to Guam. After all The US can keep all bases in Okinawa as almost same as before. Why is the US so upset about it? Because maybe Japan said "NO" for the first time?

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they become crabby because japan cannot seem to make up its mind. its yes, its no. you cannot just up and move all this stuff and people at a moments notice. these things need to be planned. japan - make up your mind.
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kwatt

Jpn has been dragging the futenma issue now for almost 15yrs, how much time do you think they still need, perhaps another 5,10, 50yrs.......its nuts

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heard on the news today it is more like dragging for 20 years.

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sillygirl - I think that Japan will make decision about it sooner or later. Japan wants to do it very carefully during peace time, but today is not war time for Japan. Why such hurry? There is no worry about workers, employees, other stuffs because new base has not been built yet and it takes 1-2 years for completion of the new base.

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GW - New government of Japan just started last month about 30 days ago and will decide it within one year but not yet before Obama comes. He will come to Japan whatever happens to Futenma issue. He will not cancel his visit because he will receive the Nobel peace prize except if he gives it up.

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There are at least three articles that came out in the last 24 hours with the US 'urging' Japan to do this and that. They DO have a lot of urges. I suggest just flat out TELLING them as Gates did with the relocation.

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smithinjapan, what has started off as an issue with one base is going to get bigger. Mr Gates visit to Japan was not a good thing at all. Here comes the American Secretary of defense coming to Japan and demanding that the PM of Japan follow an agreement with America. Scolding him like teacher or parent. If the PM gives in on this issue he is going to lose face. What will happen is he will stand tough before the inexperienced American President Obama's trip to Japan. He insulted the government of Japan by sending an underling as though it was beneath him.

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rogerbentham at 02:34 PM JST - 24th October

what is japan without america? nothing man. nothing.

so does the america without japan..

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*It is all so simple, turn all the bases over to the Japanese Self Defense Forces and return all the United States Military to their Bases here in the States. The biggest change will be, for 65 years those babies that were born to our Forces will not bear the label "Made in Japan"-- Yankee Come Home!

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The bases in JP is very important issue for the US so top officers concerned it. These bases symbolize the US global power and protect special status of US Dollar, especially during deep recession times lately. Suppose 1. JP didn’t hold 1.5 trillion green back and US bond; 2. JP weren’t major player of world economy; 3. Some countries didn’t discuss US dollar status, the bases issue wouldn’t be so hot. Actually it’s most important today than anytime before! I bet you if JP tries to get closer with Russia or China or even Europeans, you’ll see more funny reactions from the US~

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YANKEE COME HOME

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The US would never let Japan go out of the US-Japan alliance as long as the US thinks Okinawa is s very important world strategical base for offense/defense of the US. A big question is next year as the US-Japan security treaty is expired in 2010. If the US asks Japan too much about relocation issue, Japan might kick the continuation of the treaty for next some years. I guess the US still would need Okinawa bases for years for the advantage of the US rather than the US protects Japan. Hence the US would rather accept Japan's decision to keep the US bases staying ever there.

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"Kapuna at 02:00 PM JST - 24th October

Japan is a sovereign nation and can make, or break, commitments, deals, agreements, treaties or anything else it wants. Okinawa is called the “Keystone of the Pacific” and for a good reason, it’s location. If Japan asked or, demanded that the U.S. military and, all it’s interests leave, the U.S. would have to do so."

Exactly!

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"YuriOtani at 11:55 PM JST - 24th October

smithinjapan, what has started off as an issue with one base is going to get bigger. Mr Gates visit to Japan was not a good thing at all. . . .What will happen is he will stand tough before the inexperienced American President Obama's trip to Japan. He insulted the government of Japan by sending an underling as though it was beneath him."

I agree completely. But you must remember that Obama is making massive mistakes daily on both the domestic and foreign fronts.

Obama is an equal-opportunity pitiful president.

Two elections to watch in this regard are the gubernatorial (for Governor) elections in Virginia in which a conservative has the lead; and the New York 23rd District Special Congressional Election in which a democrat, a republican, and a conservative are competing in a hard fought race.

The results of these elections may show an American backlash against the President Obama that you criticize, YuriOtani.

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I think the military likes it's "country clubs" on Okinawa. Many places to be in command and provide oppertunity for advancement in the ranks. A new golf course opens in February 2010.. many nice clubs, theaters, housing allowances of up to $3000 a month, Cost of living adjustments of up to $1000 a month and a real sense of entitlement and colonial living. In fact the military are the few that have the luxury of a home with a yard (on base). I think they'd like President Obama to keep his hands off the Island, so they want the dicision to be made before he visits in Nov 09... Remember what happened when President Bush made the dicision on Vieques, Pueto Rico? He ordered the US Navy to shut it down and turn it back over... Obama may order the US marines off the Island... cutting some driving ranges and a nice new 18 hole golf course..

Of course the military is important and not everyone plays golf, but the Island is rediculously heavy and burdened with bases and the cold war is over. China is defensive.. they haven't taken over the PI yet and the military left there two decades ago. South Korea can take out North Korea without our help.. the threat is overblown in my opinion..but who am I. Just my opinion. aw

aw

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With technology changes, Okinawa is no longer stategically important as in the past 50 years. There are so many anti-U.S. resistance group in Japan that maybe it's time for japan to take leadership in taking care of themselves to be independent. Financially, U.S. is strapped with middle east and the economy. Let them handle China and North Korea politics and military directly and see how they do. This would save billions of dollars to U.S. in a long run. Japan really don't appreciate all the help the U.S. has given them and Japan is no longer the main importance to to future relations with U.S. The U.S. needs to focus on China for better relations and forget Japan.

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What will happen is he will stand tough before the inexperienced American President Obama's trip to Japan. He insulted the government of Japan by sending an underling as though it was beneath him.

I have no idea what you are talking about. What do you mean he(Obama) "insulted" Japan? I have never heard any moment of criticism on his foreign policy in the Asia/Pacific(except for War in Afghanistan) so far.

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I hope Obama-san decides a surprise visit to Obama-shi. I live only 30 minutes away, and maybe I can give him my own pair of hashii too.

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