Takeshi Onaga, the 7th Governor of Okinawa prefecture, at Camp Foster. Photo: Cpl. Henry Antenor
politics

Okinawa governor takes steps to retract U.S. base transfer approval

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Well, this will be short-lived like his attempt to revoke the transfer approval. Can't wait for November when the Anti-Base politicians are completely voted out proving once and for all its a loud minority voice... It's just him and the Naha Mayor, Shiroma Mikiko remaining at this point.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

He will lose this one as well, and it will be his excuse for not running. I applaud the man for coming back from his fight with cancer, but he looks old now. This is an old picture.

He can not arbitrarily revoke the approval, and any arguments or steps he can make have already been taken up with the courts here, and be on the losing side again. It's a foregone conclusion and a waste of tax payers money.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20180727/k10011551131000.html?utm_int=nsearch_contents_search-items_001

This is a shot from NHK.

Onaga has lied and reneged on promises numerous times, and the biggest one is his promise to hold a prefectural referendum on the base issue.

Since he never brought it off, he has lost the backing for his "All Okinawa" push against the bases from all the MAJOR businesses leaders in Okinawa. He still has fringe support, but they have little power.

People are sick and tired of his one issue stance, and in local elections, candidates he has supported, have been losing left and right. It's not so much as a stamp of a approval for the base, but a pragmatic view that there is more that needs to be taken care of here in Okinawa than just the bases.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Pack them all off to Guam.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Okinawa belong to Okinawans, not Abe. It seems Okinawans can have priority to decide anything about their islands there.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

re: Kwatt: If that is the case I know of many Ryukyu folks actual bona-fide blue blood, who want the bases. By the way they refer to themselves a Ryukyu not Okinawans.

Question is how did Onaga make his money? Yes the bases, but only few know this.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Guam is better as Americans are not hated, and well, it is American.

sad point is they have probably already destroyed the area. As posted before, I have snorkeled there a few years ago. It was really amazing.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Guam is better as Americans are not hated, and well, it is American

They're not hated in Okinawa either. People who actually live here know that and what you read from the Times or Shinpo is a distorted one sided view meant to fuel the false opinions such as the one you stated.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Japanese Govt. destroying a beautiful ocean spot and wasting a lot of money to build a facility for the U.S. Marines who contribute very little to the defense of Japan. Kudos to Gov. Onaga who even though he is a sick man is still keeping his promise to the voters to try and stop this project with what ever means he can use.

Gov. Onaga is keeping his word unlike his predecessor Nakaima who lied to and betrayed the trust of the voters who elected him. I would still like to hear Nakaima explain why MCAS Futenma is not being being closed within 5 years of his signing of the Landfill Agreement even if no replacement was ready which is what he said Abe promised him and why he signed the agreement.

Every since Okinawa has been a part of Japan, the people of Okinawa have been bullied and discriminated against. The Central Govt. would never attempt to try and build a Facility like this in any other prefecture except Okinawa.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Although most Okinawans disagree with the distribution of US bases between Okinawa and the mainland, they're far from anti base.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"The Central Govt. would never attempt to try and build a Facility like this in any other prefecture except Okinawa."

Except for the expansion of MCAS Iwakuni that has been used as the relocation for NAF Astugi (a Wing of Squadrons so far) and a squadron of C-130s from MCAS Futenma... yeaaa expanding bases to on mainland to relocate another base.. That will never happen!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CyburneticTiger,

For the expansion of MCAS Iwakuni, was there a massive landfill of the ocean ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"For the expansion of MCAS Iwakuni, was there a massive landfill of the ocean ?"

Yea, they build a 2,500m runway on the sea. I think the one on Camp Schwab is planned around 1,800m. So that's a pretty massive landfill project.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Abe cabinet, let alone successive LDP governments, colluded with Washington by agreeing to the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation, parroting what Washington dictates to them for justifying the relocation: that it reduces a potential danger the current site poses and that the relocation of the base's functions within Okinawa invariably maintains deterrence against an enemy attack on Japan.

Look, however, that Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private lands, so that the U.S. has no right to demand its replacement be built at Henoko, for starters. The land must be returned without any strings attached. As for deterrence, both Tokyo and Washington must explain why the most active elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines can be moved to Guam and why they need to have training bases in Okinawa the same as always. Is it worth squandering Japanese taxpayers' money (a total estimated amount for the transfer: $10.3 billion) and further destroying pristine natural environment altogether just to build a new facility for foreign troops, the U.S. Marines, who are stationed here for no reason other than for their own sake?

Onaga’s action shouldn’t be judged in terms of legal technicalities only. The whole relocation issue must be discussed in light of a broader picture of why it’s absolutely necessary for Futenma’s functions to be maintained in Okinawa at all.

Kudos to Onaga, a bit belated though his decision is

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@crucial. I Admit I have only been to Okinawa about 8 times and I’m a foreigner. But when I go there, and I meet okinawans, they are cold to me. But when I tell them I am not American, they invite me to their house. When I go drinking with them, 90% of them say they hate America and it’s bases.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CyburneticTiger,

I stand corrected, but that ocean at MCAS Iwakuni does not even come close to the beautiful ocean at Henoko.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Goodlucktoyou on there being a shred of truth to that massively anecdotal claim. I could believe it if you were drinking with tourists from Beijing or one of the many Chinese exchange students who study at the Universities... Whoever you talk to does not seem very Uchinanchu in mannerism and politeness.

Onaga’s action shouldn’t be judged in terms of legal technicalities only. The whole relocation issue must be discussed in light of a broader picture of why it’s absolutely necessary for Futenma’s functions to be maintained in Okinawa at all.

That's not how the law works. A legal standing agreement gave permission to build the expansion to Camp Schwab and Onaga is reneging on the agreement and it will be judged on whether he has the legal right to renege or not. The broader picture no longer matters in regards to constructing the expansion and hasn't for years.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

CrucialS:

According to Japan's administrative law, the prefectural governor can call off an already sanctioned reclamation of a coastal zone if hitherto unrecognized problems were found in the process of reclamation. These are the legal technicalities that I mentioned must be examined during trial deliberations at court.

However, more important than these court deliberations is to determine whether Futenma is illegal properties or not, built on private lands that were  encroached upon with impunity and confiscated while area residents were incarcerated in camps like POWs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CrucialS, again:

You say Japan agreed with the U.S. to relocate Futenma to Henoko and so it can't renege on that promise. 

But your logic is like admitting fencing, in which you say a dealer can't renege on his previous promise to sell stolen goods.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some information on why Gov. Onaga is taking this action.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201807280023.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These are the legal technicalities that I mentioned must be examined during trial deliberations at court.

No they don't as like the previous decisions , the issues have been decided.

Onaga promised to abide by the decisions of the court and now he is reneging once again. Typical of him, like the chameleon he is, changing parties, once one of the head of the LDP in Okinawa, but for election purposes changes parties, makes promises on a number of issues, fails to come through, lies and backs out.

Can't trust him, it's plain and simple.

Look, however, that Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private lands, so that the U.S. has no right to demand its replacement be built at Henoko, for starters.

Quit beating the horse, it's dead already. No one with any true authority to make any decisions on this topic agrees with you. You may not like it, but it's a fact.

Onaga’s action shouldn’t be judged in terms of legal technicalities only. The whole relocation issue must be discussed in light of a broader picture of why it’s absolutely necessary for Futenma’s functions to be maintained in Okinawa at all.

He only has legal technicalities to even take this case to court, and odds are high the courts may not even accept to hear the case BECAUSE the issue was already decided upon in the courts. He's pulling at straws and will lose again.

Anywhere else the courts would throw this out as it it a nuisance case.

built on private lands that were encroached upon with impunity and confiscated while area residents were incarcerated in camps like POWs.

It's 2018 not 1945, time to catch up! Okinawa version of Nathan Algren. If you didnt know that was fiction too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japanese Govt. destroying a beautiful ocean spot 

Selective, hypocritical, fake outrage! Where is your anger and contempt for the same destruction at Naha Airport? Where is the anger and outrage for all the landfill fill projects all over the island and outlying islands that have destroyed so much of the coral, from red soil runoff, which is the direct cause of JAPANESE development, not base?

Where is you contempt for all the destruction of the environment all over the island and prefecture?

Ahh you as well as others turn a blind eye to everything the Japanese do to destroy the island, and only focus on the base extension at Camp Schwab.

You really should take the forest out of your own eyes first. Hypocrite, you probably don't care to hear it, but it's true. IF you are going to complain about Henoko you have to have the same furor for the rest, if you dont, your opinions become moot!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru,

It's 2018 not 1945, time to catch up! Okinawa version of Nathan Algren. If you didnt know that was fiction too.

True, it's 2018 now and not 1945, as you say. You then suggest the land requisition took place in 1945 -- so many years ago that the U.S. occupation army's action to forcefully requisitiion private lands to build an air station later called USMC Air Station Futenma can be exonerated because of the 73-year time lapse.    

If your argument is correct, then in the U.S. you can't punish offenders under U.S. criminal law, most of which must have been enacted more than 73 years ago.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

True, it's 2018 now and not 1945, as you say. You then suggest the land requisition took place in 1945 -- so many years ago that the U.S. occupation army's action to forcefully requisitiion private lands to build an air station later called USMC Air Station Futenma can be exonerated because of the 73-year time lapse.   

Which is all off topic with regards to this article. You have selective memory, it isnt just Futenma that had land taken, and you also are selective in choosing to only recall parts of the history to support your weak argument.

I dont suggest, I stated a fact that the land was taken after the war starting in 1945. again it isnt a suggestion* as you attempt to again obfuscate and deflect the point.

There are treaties that exonerate the actions. Better still if you want to keep playing these games, then lets find out why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor and drag America into the war in the first place? Why did the Japanese think in the first place they could win? Oh let:s go back further to the Russia-Japanese war, where Japan first got the idea it could win....

Including your opinions, it's all academic, and NO ONE accepts your opinions as facts, because they no longer matter TODAY.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

You have selective memory, it isnt just Futenma that had land taken, and you also are selective in choosing to only recall parts of the history to support your weak argument.

Of course, Futenma isn't the only case in which the U.S. occupation forces took up private lands to build bases you see now all across the island. In the 1950s, they even brandished rifles to evacuate protesting farmers and land owners to expand already existing bases.

I dont suggest, I stated a fact that the land was taken after the war starting in 1945. again it isnt a suggestion as you attempt to again obfuscate and deflect the point. *

are treaties that exonerate the actions. Better still if you want to keep playing these games, then lets find out why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor and drag America into the war in the first place? Why did the Japanese think in the first place they could win? Oh let:s go back further to the Russia-Japanese war, where Japan first got the idea it could win....

So you are asserting things, not just suggesting. That is, this forceful land requisition by U.S. occupation forces was an undeniable fact. And yet you assert that the U.S. occupation army's action was nothing wrong and can be nade short shrift of because it took place 73 years ago. 

So that the U.S. has every right  to demand a replacement be provided if Okinawa wants Futenma to be returned? LOL.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@crucil. I only speak English and a little Japanese. Okinawa Ben is a little difficult, but I’m not lying. The folks orf these islands hate American occupation. But as we Japanese people pay for their 3 story housing, internet, gas and electricity, for their whole families... and they drop suspicious things on schools, crash their planes and ships which may have nuclear arms...really they are happy in their own land?

only people who like American occupation forces are landlords that charge ¥80000 for a 1DK apartment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is, this forceful land requisition by U.S. occupation forces was an undeniable fact. And yet you assert that the U.S. occupation army's action was nothing wrong and can be nade short shrift of because it took place 73 years ago. 

Have YOU ever wondered why NO ONE from the Okinawa government has brought YOUR issue up in any legal proceedings with the Japanese court or any court for that matter?

Do you actually think that you are smarter or more clever than all these Japanese lawyers who have been fighting this case and others for a couple of generations now?

Wait I do believe that you think you are, yet you do nothing other than make the same comments here......not very effective is it? Its truly narcissistic behavior at best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru,

I've been arguing Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private lands and therefore that the U.S. has no inherent right to demand a replacement be built at Henoko in exchange of its return. Against which you argued, asserting that the land requisition took place way many years ago, in 1945, whereby U.S. occupation forces' action at the time can be exonerated altogether now. No, Futenma’s illegality is still alive under international law (Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land).

Your comment in your post above is nothing different from a personal attack on me; it’s not a convincing argument at all.  So there’s no counterargument about it on my part.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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