politics

Okinawa governor, Nago mayor not happy with U.S. forces plan

68 Comments

Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima and Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine have expressed reservations over Wednesday's announcement by the U.S. and Japanese governments to proceed with plans to transfer thousands of U.S. troops from Okinawa, leaving unresolved the fate of the contentious U.S. Marine base at Futenma.

Nakaima welcomed the agreement to move ahead with the Marines' relocation and a return of some of the bases as serving "Okinawans' desire to reduce the U.S. military presence," but repeated his rejection to move Futenma to another location on the island.

"A relocation without local consent would be impossible. We want Futenma moved out of Okinawa," Nakaima said in a statement.

He added Thursday that he will wait until he sees more details about the plan -- which he said was vague on specifics -- before issuing further statements.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Nago Mayor Inamine said the plan was totally unacceptable because it ignores the wishes of the Okinawan people. Inamine is in Washington to explain his views on the Futenma issue to U.S. government officials. He said the Futenma base has to be moved out of the prefecture.

Inamine added the the people of Nago are not going to change their mind on this issue. He said that the central government in Tokyo has ignored the feelings of the Okinawan people all along.

© Japan Today/AP

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68 Comments
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The Japanese acting as if they actually have a right to Okinawa yet again. These islands were never part of Japan in the first place. They only became 'Japanese' after the war, when the indigenous people had been killed or driven from their lands.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

You can't please all the people all the time.... What about Mr Nago ignoring the wishes of the Okinawan's that want the Base and Marines to stay because they have made a living and or business servicing this base, there will now be 4,000+ less "people" (Marines) to provide for and that won't be spending there money in the Okinawan economy (Japan).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They only became 'Japanese' after the war, when the indigenous people had been killed or driven from their lands.

If you read the history of Okinawa it officially became a part of Japan around 1870. To say that they are not a part of Japan does them a huge disservice. It would be like saying Texas is not a part of the US because it was once a republic of it's own.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Right, Yubaru! Japanese claim over Okinawa can be traced to the Satsuma invasion of 1609. That predates the American colonies' claim to most of what became the U.S. Clearly, Japan used Okinawa horribly in 1945 as a buffer between the rest of the nation and the invading American forces with monstrously heavy civilian losses. After the war it has continued to use Okinawa as a buffer to insulate the rest of Japan from American forces as much as possible. The bases are on prime real estate that would bring much more economic benefit if it were privatised. At 75 yen to the dollar, Marines cannot afford to spend much off base in any case and Japanese employees on base are not well paid, either.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Okinawa is part of the EMPIRE of Japan. Banzai!!!! Banzai!!!!! Banzai!!!!! Okinawans must accept Japan's rule. There is but one option for you.....pick up a rifle and declare your independence. It's going to cost you blood. How much do you want your independence? What is it worth to you?

You will do as your told until you stand up for your rights with ARMS. Fire and Brimstone is what it takes.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Looks like the govenor & mayor are not happy with being taken out of their spot lights!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Warnerbro, true except the Japanese employees on base are for the most part paid better than the average Okinawan worker off base and have better working conditions.

Heck there are special technical schools in Okinawa that people pay tons of money to go to just to get the right credentials to apply to work on base. Base jobs are highly sought after and are more stable and pay better than many if not most off base positions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well I don't much care what either of these two "think". How about a vote? Isn't that what democracy is all about?

What about Mr Nago ignoring the wishes of the Okinawan's that want the Base

The majority should win the vote.

There is but one option for you.....pick up a rifle and declare your independence.

Or vote. Its happened before. But there is no need to declare independence to exercise the basic right of voting. Why is everyone so afraid of that simple concept? Why is everyone silent about it? All this empire and part of Japan stuff, and economic consequences to are just distractions. What do the people want? Its all that matters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They'll never be happy no matter what the US does. At least the US are putting up with their moans and groans..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course they aren't happy. Being happy would mean not getting their name in the newspaper and pretending that they actually care about the people and not their power - or lack there of.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think it will be interesting to see what will happen in 10-15 years after American troops are moved off Okinawa and into a place like Guam. Eventually, I think that they will live to regret the decision. The American military bases provide high paying jobs and a big economic boost to the region.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Okinawa belongs to japan eventhough it was occupied and cobtrolled by usa until 1972... I do believe the japanese has the right to complain and protest. I remember when a marine raped a 12 yrs old girl and was not handed over to japan right away.. There is so much anger in okinawa people because they feel betrayed by their own government ....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Economical boost!? Yes and no. They can survive with tourist industries without the base. I was told okinawa people are mad at the emporer of japan for selling them out to the usa in 2 wwar .. What i hear the " controll" by the usa was not what they wished for. Felt like fed to the wolf. Even it was returned to japan the anger has been passed on generation by generation... Heck it is noisy near bases ....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Best way to express about Okinawan's, feelings, (meaning Okinawan politicians), can be best summarized by what former Consul General Kevin Maher described. He was not off target at all. From my observation, they play a flip flip game when they are around American and mainland Japanese. Just a way to lift themselves up in the scales. As far as I know, Japanese can not pronounce the letter L. That is why they call the archipelago the Ryu Kyu islands and not the Lyu Kyu islands as they have been known for centuries by the Chinese, who have been around way before any other Far Eastern nation. Are they overburdened with a disproportionate number of bases and troops in such a small area? You bet they are. Who is causing this problem? A combination of factors. The US values Okinawa for its strategic importance, and at the same time Japan does not make an honest effort to move them to other prefectures. Can Okinawans be blamed for accepting the bases? Yes they can. If they in their honest heart really wanted us out by peaceful means, they could have done it long ago by boycotting work on base, contracts for supplies, services, and construction. If they did that, the US could not afford to bring employees from the US to replace the locals. But the reality is that the bases generate too much economic activity and Okinawa does not have other industries than can fill in the void. It is like saying I do not want you here, but if you pay me more I will not mean what I am saying. The base issue is simply and election tools politicians exploit in order to be elected to government office, and to secure increased funding from the central government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It seems strange that the rape case is continually brought up yet no one mentions the American high school student who was murdered in November by a Japanese man/teenager over a girlfriend. I have not met any Okinawans who seem to be unhappy with us Americans. Our real estate agent told us that the protesters here are mostly mainlanders who are paid to come protest.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

if there is any time of conflict in asia, the base will be back in operations

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zesta, very good point. That rape was YEARS ago and gets brought up ALL the time. Funny, I think if you looked at rape stats and compared the numbers the locals would come out on top in terms of the numbers. Was it disgusting? Indeed but failing back on that just belittles the actual victim and overlooks the reasons why they are always fighting about the bases. I get that Okinawans don't like the bases but blame Tokyo, not the US. They can also blame their local politicians who are never willing to budge - more interested in their 15 mins that actually solving the issues.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"We want Futenma moved out of Okinawa"

Hey, I want the moon, but I can't have it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

WHERE'S YuriOtani?! I have to say "I told you so!" Okinawans got Japan and the U.S. to agree to move the 8,000 troops regardless of what happens to Futenma, yet "the plan was totally unacceptable because it ignores the wishes of the Okinawan people." What is it NOW?! We didn't agree to put a widescreen TV in each Okinawan's house?! I have to agree with that Maher guy... Okinawans are masters of extortion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

remove all american servicemen from japan & let the japanese fend for themselves . i wonder how long before japan would become part of the republic of china ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"remove all american servicemen from japan"

Heck no, I'm planning to be here for a little while longer!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tough!

"Meanwhile, in Washington, Nago Mayor Inamine said the plan was totally unacceptable because it ignores the wishes of the Okinawan people."

No, it ignores the will of a Mayor who is clearly only concerned about scoring points from the people, not concerned about the people themselves, a mere few of them siding with this mayor to move the bases out of Okinawa. Okinawa is part of Japan -- a nation that has agreed twice to relocation. So, I'm afraid, it's the mayor who has no choice and his denial is what's 'impossible'.

So once again, too bad, Mr. Mayor. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can see the headlines in 10 years- Okinawans demand more yuan for stationing of Chinese soldiers. Complaints increse about jet noise during final exams....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sorry..increase..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadamor, I expected nothing less from them. Does this really surprise you?

budzie, China will not invade just because there is no marines on Okinawa and this plan has 10k of them on island.

bilderberg_2015, we are still on our island. True the culture and language have been weakened but we are still around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zesta, very good point. That rape was YEARS ago and gets brought up ALL the time.

I suppose you are talking about the rape case from 1995? It is just one incident on very very long list of Okinawan traumas in relation to the US military occupation of their island, but the one that was to be the straw that broke the camel's back. The trauma started with the illegal and unscrupulous seizure of private land that was the livelihood for many Okinawans. Then the treatment of Okinawans as second-class citizen who were deprived of basic human rights by the US military rule. Next the deceiving of Okinawans by the US and the central government through secret agreements during the reversion (making Okinawa to a kind of US military colony within Japan), which again was to deprive Okinawans of their rights, this time as Japanese citizens. And we could go on and on...

That the rape in 1995 arose such an strong sentiment amongst Okinawans is a result of this story of defiance and it probably became a symbol for the helplessness that Okinawans felt towards an unwanted occupying force that was acting in a disrespectful often brutal way.

It is also this historic backdrop that makes it perfectly understandable that Okinawans don't start rejoicing immediately when the US and the central government 'kindly' pronounce the result of their back-room arrangements.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bam_boo, you sum up the problem better than me. The Americans destroyed my families business. They were never paid by the Americans a yen for their loss.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Economical boost!? Yes and no. They can survive with tourist industries without the base.

That's what the Filipinos said when Clark AFB left the Philippines. The P.I. has never become the tourist mecca they hoped it would be. It ended up being an economic loss for the surrounding areas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zesta, very good point. That rape was YEARS ago and gets brought up ALL the time. Funny, I think if you looked at rape stats and compared the numbers the locals would come out on top in terms of the numbers. Was it disgusting? Indeed but failing back on that just belittles the actual victim and overlooks the reasons why they are always fighting about the bases

I get where you are coming from but that particular rape was so grisly, so ghastly, and premeditaded to boot that it left a permanent scar on the people of Okinawa. What made matters worse was a Marine Corps general making a statement that for as much money as they had spent on rape supplies, they could have got a whore.

The only analogy I can give to put that statement into proper context is that the Okinawans went off like Nitro-glycerine in a paint mixing machine.

The rape was horrific. The comment from the general put people over the top.

Hell, I'M still upset about that rape. I can only imagine how the Okinawans feel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yuri,

True the culture and language have been weakened but we are still around.

And what a great culture it is. I spent a few months in Okinawa in my Navy years and was kind of adopted by a live house that played traditional Okinawan music. It turned me on to Rinken Band and Parsha Club. Good times. I love Okinawan music.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Truth Matters, you need to come back and visit Okinawa sometime. As I always say it is not an anti-American thing or really an anti-military thing. Some people make it seem like the American bases are besieged and nothing could be further from the truth. I do not blame the Governor and Mayor being upset. Once again Tokyo and Washington decide and leave the Okinawa people out of it. I would want to see details before making a comment. Then they would have to act according to the plan. It would seem the announcement came after a drinking party between the Americans and Japanese. There is no substance to it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You have to remember that Okinawa is not a country. The Guam Agreement is between two sovereign nations, Japan and the U.S. Japan goverment should work with Okinawa to address local concerns, but it must also make clear that Japanese national security and Asian peace and stability trump local Okinawan convenience and seeking understanding and consensus has its limits. There are cases in which the central government has to take certain actions, even if those actions go against a resolution of a local assembly. Remember that the budget sword cuts both ways.

It is important that both the U.S. and Japan realize that maintaining and strengthening their alliance best serves their respective national interests. The U.S. military in Asia deters those nations that would otherwise try to influence weaker nations through coercive diplomacy or the threat of force. The allies should focus on expanding the two nations’ military relationship to address growing regional and security challenges.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bam_boo, you sum up the problem better than me. The Americans destroyed my families business. They were never paid by the Americans a yen for their loss.

Yuri that happened over 40 years ago yet you still use it as an excuse to complain about the bases, there is a time when you have to let it go.

People have to adapt to a changed situation,.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sfjp330, the problem is Japan did not let the sovereign prefecture of Japan have any input. Just think what would happen if the USA made and agreement with another country leasing land to them. Then make it a state in which the majority population has been oppressed by the majority in the country. It would never happen. So why does America assume the Japanese majority has the right to oppress the Okinawa minority? I blame Tokyo for this problem being the empowers of the USA to have the bases. If they would not give their obedient consent it would never happen. The Governor of Okinawa will not sign the construction permit. He is not obligated to sign that permit. We are not slaves to Tokyo.

Yubaru, The USA needs to pay my brother for the farm they destroyed. My family suffered because of what they did. I suffered because of what the Americans did to me and my family. My families land could be released now. It is on the east side of the runway and the offices and barracks could be relocated to Camp Foster quickly. It is not even a 15 minute drive. It is not done because the Americans have zero flexibility. Look at google map and tell me how much land they really need, also why they need to use it for fix wing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Blushes, meant to write west side.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani Feb. 10, 2012 - 06:29AM JST. the problem is Japan did not let the sovereign prefecture of Japan have any input. Just think what would happen if the USA made and agreement with another country leasing land to them. Then make it a state in which the majority population has been oppressed by the majority in the country. It would never happen. So why does America assume the Japanese majority has the right to oppress the Okinawa minority?

The U.S. deployed presence is a burden on the U.S. as well. There is a monetary cost to maintaining U.S. forces overseas, and more important the U.S. has pledged the lives to defend Japan. An alliance is about achieving objectives, not reducing burdens. Removing the Marine air base on Okinawa does not eliminate the alliance mission.

If people in Okinawa is disatisfield with present situation, Japan would have to amend its constitution, alter its interpretation of collective self-defense, significantly increase its defense budget, develop military capabilities it does not now have, and gain domestic and foreign support for a dramatic shift in Japanese military policy. Japan has shown no inclination to push forward on any of these issues and has been strongly resistant to any such change.

Resolving the situation requires bold, decisive leadership, which unfortunately is not characteristic of Japan’s political system. However, U.S. should increase its public diplomacy efforts to convince the Japanese and Okinawan legislators, media, and public that the U.S. military presence is critical to the security of Japan, as well as to regional stability. U.S. should explain that U.S. military capabilities depend on coordinated and integrated strategies. The U.S. Marines on Okinawa are an indispensable and irreplaceable component of any U.S. response to an Asian crisis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The way I see it, it his little to do with the wishes of the Okinawan people, but that these Okinawan politicians want to get their hands on that land once the US is gone, so they can divvy it up to their buddies and make a HUGE amount of cash in kickbacks and under-the-table deals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would the Okinawans rather be part of Taiwan? China? South Korea? or an autonomous American territory?

Being part of Japan is the best thing you can get around that part of the Pacific.

If the jobs for Japanese on the base aren't the best paying, at least they are the most secure. People I know up here in Kanto that work on the bases have been in the same job for 20-30 years. They get raises every so often, own houses and cars and sent their children to university.

Sure the planes are noisy, the Americans commit a crime every once in a while (no more then Drunken SalaryMan Corps), the Americans can't spend as much off base these days as they used to with the strangely strong Yen. Yet we get a pretty good deal out of it. The Japanese can claim all day to be against nuclear weapons while enjoying the safety of American nuclear deterrence.

Only thing going on in Okinawa I bet is that some companies are just wanting to get that base land for cheap and are having their corrupt local government cronies stir up some noise for them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru, The USA needs to pay my brother for the farm they destroyed. My family suffered because of what they did. I suffered because of what the Americans did to me and my family. My families land could be released now. It is on the east side of the runway and the offices and barracks could be relocated to Camp Foster quickly. It is not even a 15 minute drive. It is not done because the Americans have zero flexibility. Look at google map and tell me how much land they really need, also why they need to use it for fix wing.

Yuri, your brother is getting paid, quite handsomely for the land they appropriated. The land has not been destroyed it's still there and your brother will continue to receive payments for as long as it is part of the base.

It sounds to me like someone is either jealous and or greedy because they are not getting the money that the government pays out for use of the land. If you have a problem with the US Government take your case there and see what they have to say about the issue.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The way I see it, it his little to do with the wishes of the Okinawan people, but that these Okinawan politicians want to get their hands on that land once the US is gone, so they can divvy it up to their buddies and make a HUGE amount of cash in kickbacks and under-the-table deals.

Once the land is returned there won't be any urban planner's that come up with any viable options besides building more apartment buildings, houses, and a new JUSCO (AEON) or SanEi.

But heck it's their land and they are free to decide as they choose right?

It's sad because in the end the land won't be used for anything that benefits the island only the individual.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait, Yuri's brotheris getting money now and they complain about it? Unreal.

Indeed the rape is on a long list of thing. But Japanese nationals/Okinawans ALSO have a long list of things done wrong. People keep harping on the Americans while failing to look at what their fellow countrymen have done and continue to do. Like I said, blame Tokyo, take it up with them, not the US.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait, Yuri's brotheris getting money now and they complain about it? Unreal.

I have never heard of one base land owner, with the exception of the 1 tsubo club, that complained about their land being used for the bases. They are paid very well, and plenty have never had to work a day in their lives because of the money they received. I know of a guy who gets nearly $1,000,000.00 per year from the base rent money he gets. He's not complaining. Oh and btw people's land that is used for JIETAI bases are paid rent as well, a guy I used to work for owned some of the land where Naha airport's runway currently sits, he's doing quite well too.

The 1 tsubo folks bought the land with the express intent of having a voice as a landowner and trying to force the government to return their land or give them free access to it. Many bases that have open land unused land allow the owners to go on base, tend their land as farmers too. Not too many people are aware of that either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If that's the case Yuri needs to pipe down and stop looking a gift horse in the mouth! There are plenty of people in Okinawa without jobs and no income... Will only get worse if the bases are gone. Like I said before, there are many other pressing issues in Okinawa - level of education for example - that need more focus. Thing is, those don't get the politicians in the news....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Come on folks, enough beating on Yuri. Her rhetoric has turned down dramatically in recent months. She is not naive about the reality of the situation and a lot of what she says is quite reasonable, unlike a certain few others who who continue to cling to the "if it's bad it's America's fault" hypothesis.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait, Yuri's brotheris getting money now and they complain about it? Unreal.

tmarie, may I remind you that the money Okinawan landowners get is not the result of a fair and mutual agreement between equal parties.

As such it is not lease or rent (eventhough the US and Tokyo would like to make it look like that), it is compensation.

I believe it is perfectly ok to receive compensation for something that has been taken away from you against your will and still complain about the fact that it has been taken away from you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe it is perfectly ok to receive compensation for something that has been taken away from you against your will and still complain about the fact that it has been taken away from you.

I agree with this, let's not forget though that Yuri never had anything taken away, her brother maybe, but he's not here complaining about it either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are plenty of people in Okinawa without jobs and no income... Will only get worse if the bases are gone.

I have described in former posts how the base economy prevents Okinawa from developing a healthy and sustainable economy. I wouldn't say that getting rid of the bases will in itself bring salvation, but it certainly is the first crucial step towards an economy that is based on the values Okinawans create themselves and in the end thats what any healthy economy relies on.

Like I said before, there are many other pressing issues in Okinawa - level of education for example - that need more focus. Thing is, those don't get the politicians in the news....

No, the base issue is the most pressing one as it hampers democracy and as such the solution of all other pressing problems in the prefecture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

may I remind you that the money Okinawan landowners get is not the result of a fair and mutual agreement between equal parties. As such it is not lease or rent (eventhough the US and Tokyo would like to make it look like that), it is compensation.

It is a lease and rent is paid, hence the bi(?)yearly meeting held in Okinawa to discuss the renewal of said leases. Many problems happened in the past when then Gov. Ota refused to sign the lease agreement.

Outside of the 1 tsubo folks it seems everyone else thinks they are getting a fare share of the pie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The sad fact with these Okinawa politicians is they are so wound up in the CIRCUS aspect that has been going on that even though they wont admit(or dont even realize) thats what floats their boat, they to me are mostly pretending to care about what happens, I think the last thing these mayor & governors want is for the circus to end so.........get this..............they simply have to do their job of running their cities etc.

Without the circus these politicians likely wudnt much like or even being in their current jobs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, I never knew the security of growing up on our family farm. My parents worked hard to put food on the table. We were forced to live under the flight path to Futenma, there was no place else to go. My brother inherited because he is a boy. The Americans paid no rent from 1945 to 1972, nothing. When I was a kid a lot Americans told me "you will be a good prostitute one day". So today I hear "how dare you have the nerve to disagree with your betters". I use to watch the American planes and dream of a better life. I was able to achieve it and unlike my brother speak passable English. Against all odds I meet my old love from college again. Now I live a new life.

bam_boo Thank you for your kind words :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is a lease and rent is paid, hence the bi(?)yearly meeting held in Okinawa to discuss the renewal of said leases.

To call it lease is an euphemism. You might call it a 'forced lease'.

Outside of the 1 tsubo folks it seems everyone else thinks they are getting a fare share of the pie.

Are you talking about the cake that Okinawans want to have and it as well? Just kidding...

To be serious, no not everyone thinks they are getting a fare share. The whole lease scheme is a very blatant example of a divide and rule strategy devised by really cunning Tokyo bureaucrats, make some people rich, divide the community and rule. The old romans kept their empire together with this strategy for centuries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Americans paid no rent from 1945 to 1972, nothing.

No need to it was sadly called the spoils of war, so 27 years with no rent, but now it's 2012 and 50 years with rent, At least your brother is getting something and there comes a time when the past has to become history and not forever part of the present.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, well my brother wants to be a farmer. Our land is not being used by the Americans. We do not want to rent our land. The amount of rent he gets stinks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No need to it was sadly called the spoils of war, so 27 years with no rent, but now it's 2012 and 50 years with rent,

to help with the math... it's 40 years with compensation payed.

At least your brother is getting something and there comes a time when the past has to become history and not forever part of the present.

Yubaru, despite all your rationality you miss the point completely.

The problem is not past for Okinawans it is very present, in the form of US military bases occupying 20% of their island.

And a majority of not-corrupted Okinawans is just working very hard on eliminating the cause of their suffering and to make history really become history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yuri, I empathize with you and your Okinawan cause, which, in many respects, is my cause as well as it is a fight for very basic human values which are dignity, freedom and the right to self-determination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As many here try to depict all Okinawan landowners as happy pittance receivers, I want to mention one really remarkable example of a base landowner who has turned his fate into a captivating lifework. I'm talking about Michio Sakima who first fought until he got his occupied land back and then created an art museum focused on war and peace.

The land of the Sakima Art museum is literarily cut out of the Futenma base and the building is a unique example of contemporary yet local architecture. The architect has designed the building in a way that one can enter the roof and oversee Futenma and once a year, on the Irei no Hi (end of the Okinawan battle), a sunlight beam crosses a hole in the wall and lights up a stairway that leads up into the sky. Quite stunning.

Sakima is an impressive personality who rejected to becoming corrupted and turned something that could have been a story of landowner subservience into a positive and creative vision.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, well my brother wants to be a farmer. Our land is not being used by the Americans. We do not want to rent our land. The amount of rent he gets stinks.

So just how much is a pittance in comparison to what he would or might make as a farmer?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My mistake, typo, on the 50 years, couldnt edit the post after submitting it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe it is perfectly ok to receive compensation for something that has been taken away from you against your will and still complain about the fact that it has been taken away from you.

I can agree with that. However, the person complaining should be a little more honest and state they get compensation rather than making it seem they get nothing.

I have described in former posts how the base economy prevents Okinawa from developing a healthy and sustainable economy. And I disagree with your line of thinking. I don't think Okinawa would be okay without the bases.

Yubaru, I never knew the security of growing up on our family farm. My parents worked hard to put food on the table. We were forced to live under the flight path to Futenma, there was no place else to go. Oh boo hoo! Do you think your life would magically be better if you lived on the land? Doubt it. You were "forced" were you? Was it like NK where you HAD to live there? Or couldn't your parents have moved? Okinawa has lots of places to move to.

Yubaru, well my brother wants to be a farmer. Our land is not being used by the Americans. We do not want to rent our land. The amount of rent he gets stinks. So perhaps your bother could take the money he gets and buy some land somewhere else to farm? There are many places in Japan dying for farmers and the land is cheap. Guess its just easier to sit in Okinawa and complain about it though, eh? The amount of "rent he gets stinks". So you admit it is rent?

No, the base issue is the most pressing one as it hampers democracy and as such the solution of all other pressing problems in the prefecture. Solving the base issue isn't going to deal with the education and unemployment issues in Okinawa. Sorry but education is key. The bases aren't anywhere near as important as the crappy scores and lack of education Okinawa faces.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The U.S. deployed presence is a burden on the U.S. as well. There is a monetary cost to maintaining U.S. forces overseas, and more important the U.S. has pledged the lives to defend Japan. An alliance is about achieving objectives, not reducing burdens. Removing the Marine air base on Okinawa does not eliminate the alliance mission. If people in Okinawa is disatisfield with present situation, Japan would have to amend its constitution, alter its interpretation of collective self-defense, significantly increase its defense budget, develop military capabilities it does not now have, and gain domestic and foreign support for a dramatic shift in Japanese military policy. Japan has shown no inclination to push forward on any of these issues and has been strongly resistant to any such change. Resolving the situation requires bold, decisive leadership, which unfortunately is not characteristic of Japan's political system. However, U.S. should increase its public diplomacy efforts to convince the Japanese and Okinawan legislators, media, and public that the U.S. military presence is critical to the security of Japan, as well as to regional stability. U.S. should explain that U.S. military capabilities depend on coordinated and integrated strategies. The U.S. Marines on Okinawa are an indispensable and irreplaceable component of any U.S. response to an Asian crisis.

sfjp330 - Great post and right on the money. I would only add the following:

While Japan could take the option of amending its Constitution, irrespective of how difficult this would be as a domestic political issue, I think we all know what type of response it would elicit from all the other countries in Asia, and it wouldn't be good.......

I happen to think the US had done a fairly good job of strategically communicating the importance of the US -Japan Security Treaty; not only for Japan's benefit, but how important it is to regional stability and more broadly, economic stability worldwide. Unfortunately, no Japanese politician, other than perhaps Koizumi, has had the political strength of will to honestly and factually state how critical the US -Japan military relationship is, and the long string of benefits Japan, and its people, enjoy because of it. It just doesn't fit with the "victimhood" and "burden" lens that the public sees and evaluates the Security Treaty, and the one the government caters to - though recent "ham-fisted" actions by China in the SCS and Operation Tomodachi have helped "open some eyes"......
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I happen to think the US had done a fairly good job of strategically communicating the importance of the US -Japan Security Treaty; not only for Japan's benefit, but how important it is to regional stability and more broadly, economic stability worldwide

The one place where I believe that both the Japanese and American governments have not communicated the rational for the security needs of both countries is to the people of Okinawa. There is a distinct lack of education regarding this subject in Okinawa.

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Yubaru - agreed, but it's not for lack of trying. I think you're aware that the politicians, academics and media on Okinawa form an elite that control 90% of all information on the island - and only allow far left wing, anti-US views are accepted.

Obviously, anything that sends the message that the Security Treaty has benefits as compared to only burdens threatens them; for the politicians it takes away an issue they can skew and leverage for votes, for the academics it reduces their their stature and prestige, and for the media it denies them of stories to exaggerate and sensationalize.

And as the previous Consulate General pointed out, you can't extort money from someone unless the argument is framed as "we are victims carrying all the burden".....

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lincoln I concur, the media is a HUGE stumbling block to say the least.

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Yubaru, the Americans keep forgetting they are the guests of the government of Japan. They are unwelcome guests to the prefecture of Okinawa. The Americans always have to get their own way on well everything! They control so much land because they do not pay for it. The US Government needs to examine every last plot of land and ask if they really need it? There are large plots of land that are not being used or could be moved to another base. The burden should be on the guests and not unwilling hosts. Second Tokyo needs to include Okinawa people in talks with the Americans.

I ask you how would you like this if it happened in America?

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Yuri until you tell us just how much a pittance is for the rent that your brother receives I am going to ignore you and your posts.

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzz

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Hey, I want the moon, but I can't have it.

No, you can't. Accept it and move forward.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LoveNot - Exactly, exactly!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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