politics

Okinawa governor revokes approval for relocation of U.S. air base

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Okinawa's governor on Tuesday revoked approval for work needed to relocate a U.S. air base from one area of the southern Japanese island to another, but the Tokyo government said it would still proceed with the plan.

Local residents object to living with U.S. Marine Air Station Futenma and want the base moved off Okinawa. Current plans call for moving it to a less developed area on the island called Henoko.

Gov. Takeshi Onaga was elected last year on promises to fight the move, revoked the local approval given in 2013 by his predecessor on the grounds of "legal defects."

"I will work to keep my promise not to allow another base in Henoko," Onaga said Tuesday.

Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga rejected Onaga's stance, saying the base must be moved for safety reasons.

"There is no change in our plan to proceed with the work," Suga told reporters in Tokyo. He called Onaga's decision "very regrettable."

The central government suspended the land reclamation work on Aug. 10 to allow for a month of talks to reach a compromise with the Okinawan government, but that proved to be too short of a period to resolve two decades of political fighting, and the reclamation work resumed last month despite strong protests by local residents and activists at the site.

The defense minister, Gen Nakatani, said work on the site would be suspended, but that it would restart as soon as possible. He planned to request an investigation and seek a court injunction to overturn Onaga's revocation.

Okinawa houses more than half of the 50,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan and U.S. bases occupy nearly a fifth of the land on its main island. But the local government says the bases are a drain on the economy, providing less than 5 percent of its business activity and employing only 1.4 percent of its workers.

A leaflet issued by the Okinawa government shows significant gains in the local economy from areas already redeveloped once land was returned by the U.S. military.

But safety concerns appear to be the main factor behind plans to move Futenma's airfield, which is surrounded by a largely residential area, including schools and hospitals.

The U.S. side says it is committed to the base relocation and views it as important to the health of the U.S.-Japan security alliance.

The dispute over relocating Futenma symbolizes centuries-old tensions between Okinawa and the Japanese mainland, which annexed the islands, formerly the independent kingdom of the Ryukyus, in 1879. In the final days of World War II, Okinawa became Japan's only home battleground, and the island remained under U.S. rule for 20 years longer than Japan's 1952 emergence from the American occupation.

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"But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” (C) guess who?

This is exactly what Abe administration is doing: arrogantly assuming that Dear Leader knows the people's needs better than the people themselves, scaring the population with the "Chinese threat", taking away human rights under the pretext of safety and dragging the country into war. American bases in Okinawa are a part of this game.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

I wish we had more governors with some cohones to cancel permits like f.e. nuclear reactor restarts etc. Until now I have witnessed only one, Onaga.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I am very pleased to see this. The original approval seems to be obtained in rather unscrupulous ways. More discussion and investigation into this issue is necessary.

@Yubaru

I don't believe there was a specific referendum in Okinawa about whether or not to proceed with the construction of a military base in Henoko (yet). If there was could you provide a reference. This would be helpful.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Aly Rustom

Declare independence? Quite a fantasy you live in.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Ok, this isn't actually unexpected news, as it was talked about quite a bit and it's Onaga's last chance in many ways to try to stop the work, but what reasons were given for revoking the permission?

Locals want the base moved off the island.

I wonder how many people actually know that the small village of Henoko where the extension to Camp Schwab is the focus of all these discussions held an election to choose their village respresentative (ku-cho) and the results were split at an even 50/50 for and against the construction. Literally 50 households voted for it and 50 against.

Everything is not so one sided (against) as the press/media would like people to believe.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

This is a great day for Okinawa no matter what Yubaru says.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Well, the governor is doing his best to fulfill his campaign promises, so nobody can fault him for that. Okinawans, enough of them it seems, elected him so that he could oppose the base.

On the other hand, if the U.S. can't depend on Japanese promises for multi-year agreements, even after negotiations, and has to wonder whether the agreements they make with the Japanese government are real, then that isn't such a good situation either. Large, long-lasting agreements depend on this idea.

Tokyo needs to do more to confirm such things with the affected people before making such agreements, but once agreements are made, they shouldn't have to be renegotiated for a long time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 

mitokomonalex at Oct. 13, 2015 - 09:08PM JST

This is a great day for Okinawa no matter what Yubaru says

hahaha,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can someone please answer these questions? How many U.S. Military Facilities are necessary to be on Okinawa for the Security of Japan? Why are so many dependents allowed to be on Okinawa even though it is said that Okinawa could be attacked by China or North Korea at any time?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is ignorance of the security needs of Japan speaking here. Do you even have the slightest idea of just where the island of Okinawa is?

@Yubaru. I used to be "pro-relocation" but all this bickering is nonsense. If the okinawans don't want it, so be it. Japan has passed the security bills, so it has enhanced it's security needs.

Yes, I know where okinawa is. LoL, when I was a "salty" Lance Corporal, our unit conducted a few training ops. No biggy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What I do "hate" is injustice, oppression, dishonesty and ignorance, exactly what Okinawans have experienced at the hands of the US military and the central government of Japan.

They’ve also experienced that from a succession of local political, media and academic leaders that have told them that the best way to reduce the US military presence is to refuse and stall any agreements – so there is enough “mendacity” to go around on both sides.

But the key point is that you, and the other anti-US crowd here, can’t acknowledge that someone else, with a differing view from you on how to best remedy those injustices, can also care greatly about the welfare of the local citizens. If they don’t agree with your views, then they are “insulting the Okinawan people”. Stilted. close-minded, two dimensional thinking – if you agree with me you’re right, if you disagree, you’re a far right wing propagandist.

I had thought that maybe you could evolve beyond that based on our respectful discussion on the previous thread, but your comments here prove otherwise.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They’ve also experienced that from a succession of local political, media and academic leaders that have told them that the best way to reduce the US military presence is to refuse and stall any agreements

Okinawans know quite well what they expect from their leaders, they deliberately choose their media and freely decide to who they want to listen to... and to who they won't.

And to be clear, the Okinawans are not stalling or refusing any agreement they have deliberately made. They simply have not been asked and never where able to have a direct say on any important US military related issues concerning their islands. They've been pressured, cheated on, bribed, ignored and forced to swallow things they don't wont to swallow.

If they don’t agree with your views, then they are “insulting the Okinawan people”.

Yes, you are insulting Okinawan people. If I tell you that the newspapers you are fond of are basing "their reporting on slander, conspiracy theories and salacious gossip - and the only reason they do it is because distorting the facts sells more newspapers" it is highly insulting.

The newspapers are a part of the Okinawan identity, they reflect directly what Okinawans believe and strive for and if you belittle them you are belittling Okinawans. So don't be surprised if you get heat for that.

The same is true if you just ignore or try to twist what Okinawans are demanding. It is disrespectful.

I had thought that maybe you could evolve beyond that based on our respectful discussion

Same here. You surely won't be taking any heat from me if you express your opinion in a way that is respectful towards the Okinawan people and their cause.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The GoJ and the Abe administration are under the US boot heel - but maybe not uncomfortable... US "encouragement" is the only way Abe could have been emboldened to do what hes done vis-a-vis the military/constitution. Hell do what he has to, to see that the base is relocated, or not, depending on US govt wishes, and the US military will stay in perpetuity - they`ve never taken a piece of ground they would willingly surrender.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

All power to Onaga.

The ONLY Japanese politician to actually say "NO!" to the "Lords and Masters!"

He should be PM in place of Abe!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Another example of how Japan and the United States has no respect for the government and people of Okinawa. FYI There is no intention to close MCAS Futenma at least not before 2100! I have know the US Military my whole life and they are such liars!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The U.S. side says it is committed to the base relocation and views it as important to the health of the U.S.-Japan security alliance.

Forget about relocating the base. If the people of okinawa don't want it, then nobody should force the issue. Besides, the US should be content that those security bills were passed.

Japan (SDF) can now assist the US . Collective self defense under 3 conditions. 1) SDF will use minimum necessary "force" 2) If Japan's survival is at stake 3) There are no other alternatives.

The passing of the new laws (although controversial) have already enhanced the "health" of the US-Japan Security Treaty. So who cares about one base and the bickering of it's relocation?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Apparently the Japanese government is incapable of carrying out agreements made with other countries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are many arguments about a local governor's action in japan because any local governor never defy japanese government's action. This is unprecedented incident.

In my opinion, i am on his side.

Fist of all, we should reflect where to keep the US based seriously, we need to take more time to consider about the issue.

Secondly, we will have a bad effect on the local economy in Futenma if the base will be relocated. We don't have enough funds to compensate for the loss.

Finally, the japanese government forced the decision about the issue.

For these reasons, i support his action about the incident. In order to deal with the issue, we should spend more time to conclude the result. The local government and japenese government should have a lot of meeting. We should take proper steps, and keep japan politic as democracy not autocracy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This only shows that a majority of those that voted, we're anti-FRF - it says nothing about what the majority of Okinawa citizens want.

If you think that democratic elections say nothing about what the majority wants then it will be difficult to engage in a meaningful discourse with you here.

I have yet to see an objective poll - one that wasn't conducted by a group without a left-leaning, anti-base agenda.

Hm, don't really know what you're trying to say here... probably that all polls in Okinawa are conducted by left-leaning anti-base people? The Okinawan newspapers give exact information about how their polls are conducted so if you think they are flawed then please tell us exactly what is wrong with them.

Also there is a nice poll by the NHK (not exactly left-leaning anti-base) and it has exactly the same result as all the others.

https://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary/research/report/2012_07/20120701.pdf

72% against the Henoko relocation, 78% for a reduction of the US bases in Okinawa.

Well, I think you're already very familiar with how we view the media on Okinawa......and their credibility.

Well, it doesn't matter what you think about the media in Okinawa, it matters what Okinawans think about it and they are very fond of their media as it largely reflects their ideas, hopes and fears.

If the media would go on stating opinions contrary to that of the majority in Okinawa nobody would be buying or viewing it, but the local media is wildly popular.

You need to stop believing the inflated numbers presented by these anti-FRF organizers - the actual numbers are quite small, and nowhere reflect the will of the Okinawa people.

I happened to be at two of the larger demonstrations so I know what numbers we are talking about. I have seen crowds that were at least several ten-thousand people and this doesn't include the constant in and out-flux of people and the crowds on the road to and away from the venues.

But even if you take the lowest numbers still we're talking about several percent of the adult population of Okinawa, wich projected to Tokyo would mean several million participants. Those are impressive numbers that speak for themselves, however you'd try to spin them.

You haven't presented any facts.

Well, you can easily check all the points I made above. They're all factual, though of course you might disagree on how to evaluate those facts.

But did you realize that it is not possible to check even one of the points you were trying to make above?

You're stating personal beliefs and participate in spreading Japanese right-wing propaganda about the Okinawan media, but where are your facts?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And it is clear from the statistics that only a minority of the citizens on Okinawa who were eligible to vote, voted for anti-FRF candidates.

In democracy this constitutes a qualified majority. Further the voters who didn't vote or voted for Nakaima are certainly not all pro-Henoko relocation.

We know that around 70% to 80% of the Okinawans are agains the Henoko relocation and for a reduction of the US bases. Those are the results of numerous polls and as such factual data if you like it or not.

You can dispute the facts, but you don't even try to do so except for your anti left-wing rhetoric.

everyone knows that they have a decided left-wing slant and as a matter of policy only publish anti-US and anti-central government information

This is pure right-wing propaganda.

The Okinawan news papers publish a plethora of opinions, including "pro-US" and "pro-Tokyo", and their reporting is based on factual evidence. As with every news channel they do make mistakes, but not in any way do they willingly and constantly violate journalistic standards.

I suppose that you're not able to follow what is going on in the Japanese language media at the moment otherwise I don't believe that you would so naively reiterate those generalized anti-Okinawan propaganda coming from far right-wingers.

They do look at the world from an Okinawan perspective and surely that is very critical of the US and the central government, for very good reasons. The US had established a military dictatorship in Okinawa and didn't care about the human rights of the Okinawan people. As far as I know there never has been an apology for that and the Japanese central government just took on that "tradition" and kept on discriminating Okinawans. So yes the Okinawan news papers are critical, but they base their critic on real experiences and factual evidence.

By the way what was that GI doing on somebody else's balcony? How can you know the "real story" and why are you in the position to judge better what had happened the the Okinawan news papers?

May I suggest a visit to the optometrist may be advisable……..

L 2.0 R 2.0 ;)

They’re not facts, they’re your opinion

I think you are mixing up things here. It must have been quite some time ago that you were involved in an academic discourse based on the collection and evaluation of factual data.

All of the points I mention are factual: election results, poll results, newspaper circulation, large demonstrations, public opinion as published in news articles... those are all facts and you can check them easily. You might dispute those facts or interpret them in different ways, but that only makes sense if you can provide other factual evidence and for obvious reasons you never even attempt to do so.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I suppose that you're not able to follow what is going on in the Japanese language media at the moment otherwise I don't believe that you would so naively reiterate those generalized anti-Okinawan propaganda coming from far right-wingers. .......and for obvious reasons you never even attempt to do so. You can dispute the facts, but you don't even try to do so except for your anti left-wing rhetoric.

I had hopes that you might be able to elevate yourself and conduct a discussion without personal insults or slander - I see now that was naïve.

The US had established a military dictatorship in Okinawa and didn't care about the human rights of the Okinawan people.

OK, we now know you have moved on to the far-left anti-US fringe and do not live in reality. If you believe the US military has a dictatorship on Okinawa I assume you also believe Gov Onaga reports to the senior US military commander on Okinawa each morning and goes "Yes, sir, what are my orders today?"

So yes the Okinawan news papers are critical, but they base their critic on real experiences and factual evidence.

Please.......they base their reporting on slander, conspiracy theories and salacious gossip - and the only reason they do it is because distorting the facts sells more newspapers.

By the way what was that GI doing on somebody else's balcony?

Sleeping - where he shouldn't have been - but he wasn't arrested for violently sexually assaulting someone where the article was buried on pg 29.

L 2.0 R 2.0 ;)

I'd suggest you try a different optometrist......

When you're ready to have a courteous, respectful discussion, let me know. Until then, best wishes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OK, we now know you have moved on to the far-left anti-US fringe and do not live in reality.

You are obviously not well informed about what happened in Okinawa between 1945 and 1972. The US military command treated Okinawans as second class citizens, and this is a polite way to put it.

It might be surprising to you but "military dictatorship" is how high ranking US diplomats and politicians called it, those are not my words.

Prof. Carl Kaysen, who was at the MIT, recounted that US diplomat George Ball and Bobby Kennedy had been in Okinawa in the 1960ies and were both horrified by what they saw. They described what was happening there as "we're running a very narrow-minded military dictatorship there".

Apparently it got a bit better later in the 1960ies, but still Okinawans were being ruled by an US military largely uncontrolled and felt badly discriminated against.

Please.......they base their reporting on slander, conspiracy theories and salacious gossip - and the only reason they do it is because distorting the facts sells more newspapers.

And what evidence do you exactly base such insulting and overly general accusations on?

I know quite some journalists of both news papers, I frequently read their articles and find such accusations quite outrageous, but as I said I know them well from the Japanese right-wingers, who use exactly the same expressions, in Japanese of course, as you do.

When you're ready to have a courteous, respectful discussion, let me know.

As long as you keep spinning information and go on insulting Okinawans be sure to have me objecting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As long as you keep spinning information and go on insulting Okinawans be sure to have me objecting.

Get real - the only ones insulting and demeaning the local Okinawa people are you and your radical anti-US cohorts who block and stall all progress towards reducing US bases - just drop the pretense and admit it - you wouldn't know what to if there was any real reduction - no one left to hate........

Those of us that really care about the welfare of the local people will continue to press for real, measurable reductions, irrespective of your duplicitous obstructions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the only ones insulting and demeaning the local Okinawa people are you and your radical anti-US cohorts who block and stall all progress towards reducing US bases

Unfortunately I'm not able to block or stall anything, but luckily a large majority of Okinawans are now determined to prevent that the US military destroys another precious part of their environment and I'm quite sure that they will manage to throw out the marines and Futenma all together unless Tokyo and the US military starts talking to them unconditionally, honestly and ready to make real compromises.

just drop the pretense and admit it - you wouldn't know what to if there was any real reduction - no one left to hate...

What exactly makes you think like that? Of course I can't prevent you from questioning my motives, but I don't see what you would base such wild assumptions on.

I would be more then happy if a real reduction could happen and I'm very concerned about the environmental destruction Henoko as well as the dangers that Okinawans face every day because of the ignorant US military in Futenma.

To say that the dangers in Futenma are due to the Okinawans protesting Henoko is complete nonsense. It is a daily decision of the US military to fly in and out of Futenma and if there'd be another accident, we all pray that this will never ever happen, it is the result of this decision. No Okinawan has ever had or will ever have to do anything with such decisions and one can only wonder how the US military can justify to keep operating this "most dangerous base in the world", that was constructed on illegally confiscated land, for so many years. In the US such a base would surely have been closed decades ago.

I do not hate the US at all and have many friends from the states. There's absolutely no problem I have with the US in general. I've been even living in the states when I was a child and I enjoyed my time there.

What I do "hate" is injustice, oppression, dishonesty and ignorance, exactly what Okinawans have experienced at the hands of the US military and the central government of Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Okinawans know quite well what they expect from their leaders,

Here we go again - such arrogance - to say you speak for the Okinawa people - or even a majority of them. Such nonsense.

And to be clear, the Okinawans are not stalling or refusing any agreement they have deliberately made

I wonder if you even read my posts or just deliberately choose to distort them - their leaders are stalling any progress, along with the media and academics - for their own selfish reasons.

Yes, you are insulting Okinawan people. If I tell you that the newspapers you are fond of are basing "their reporting on slander, conspiracy theories and salacious gossip - and the only reason they do it is because distorting the facts sells more newspapers" it is highly insulting.

Just how much stock in the Times and Shimpo do you own - or is a close relative the Editor? It is you who insult the Okinawa people by claiming that these newspapers reflect the views of all Okinawa citizens - again, just totally arrogant.

You surely won't be taking any heat from me if you express your opinion in a way that is respectful towards the Okinawan people and their cause.

And I'll continue to call you out when you so clearly denigrate and insult the local people of the island. Though as you lack of ability to elevate your tenor, I'll likely not waste my time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If Onaga really tries to declare independence through a referandum he will lose by a landslide.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan is in a dilemma. No US forces in Okinawa - No protection from adversaries/enemies like North Korea, especially from possible Nuclear attack by Kim the "Mad Max" Leader of DPRK. What's happening? Politics override the defense of the Japanese people? No more Samurai Spirit?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another example of how Japan and the United States has (sic) no respect for the government and people of Okinawa.

"President" Trump would probably say "If they don't want our bases there, shut 'em down and bring our troops home." I would tend to agree. If the Okinawan governmentpeople truly don't want US bases on their island, US forces should be withdrawn and, if any military defense of the island is needed, it should be the responsibility of JSDF or some type of Okinawan home grown force.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@mitokomonalexOCT. 13, 2015 - 10:00PM JST Yubaru, your point of view is very suspicious and self-serving.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

I'd bet you are suspicious because Yubaru does not write like a majority of us who do not live in Okinawa.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the people of okinawa don't want it, then nobody should force the issue.

This is ignorance of the security needs of Japan speaking here. Do you even have the slightest idea of just where the island of Okinawa is? That location alone should indicate to people with even half a brain the significance of the bases and the security needs of Japan.

Consider as well the history of the island again based upon location alone.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

From the Marine Corps Times October 1 article, "Marines identify units that will move from Japan to Guam," one can estimate that 14,900 Marines are stationed in Okinawa currently. The article says that 4,900 members of 4th Marine Regiment and 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade will relocate to Guam during a 11-year period starting this year and ending in 2026. The article also says that, of 4,900 Marines, only 1,600 will be deployed there on a permanent basis. The remaining 3,600 will deploy there on a 6-month rotation basis, probably going back and forth between Okinawa and Guam like migrating birds.

They say the move is largely meant to reduce the burden of Okinawa, but note that the reduced number is 1,600, not 5,000 as described in the article or nearly 9,000 as initially announced. That means the function of Marines' Okinawa bases will remain almost unchanged, used only for training and logistics, and not for the defense of Japan as the U.S. side bayihoos.

This is confirmed by what Lt. Gen. John Toolan says: "(the move) will allow Marines in the region to respond to crises quickly when time is critical, 'whether in combat or natural disasters'. "

The question why the U.S. side demands the replacement of Naha military port be built adjacent to Camp Kinser in Urasoe is well understood if interpreted in this context. There will be no complete return of the land Camp Kinser now is planted despite a promise by the U.S. side that there will be when all Marines relocate to Guam.

The Henoko issue must be considered in the same vein. If Guam becomes the strategic hub for the Marines, what's the meaning of relocating Futenma to Henoko? Apparently, the relocation has nothing to do with the Senkaku issue at all.

Construction projects including 500-unit housing are ongoing on Guam. The construction of Aviation facilities for a Marine air wing is in progress such as a parking ramp for 25 aircraft (Ospreys?), hangers, aircraft wash rack, fueling stations and others. They are also improving port facilities and will soon start building new ranges for live-fire maneuvering and training. Where has all the budget come from when the Guam relocation budget was all frozen by U.S. Congress until December 4, 2014?

All in all, it seems meaningless for Okinawa to be sacrificed to host 10,000 non-active Marines with training-only bases for migrating 3,600 troops moving back and forth between Okinawa and Guam.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well, I see we're back to our old disagreeable ways........

There are more then enough hard facts that tell us what Okinawans want: ... Recent elections...the governor and and all directly elected members of parliament were outspoken anti-Henoko

This only shows that a majority of those that voted, we're anti-FRF - it says nothing about what the majority of Okinawa citizens want.

... Multiple polls from various sources and with various different methods employed... all say the same, 70% to 80% of the Okinawan people are for a drastic reduction of US bases and against the Henoko relocation

I have yet to see an objective poll - one that wasn't conducted by a group without a left-leaning, anti-base agenda.

... the public opinion as expressed for example in the media in Okinawa... the two news papers, the TV stations, public discussions, town-hall meetings, etc. etc.

Well, I think you're already very familiar with how we view the media on Okinawa......and their credibility.

... the public statements of the large majority of locally elected politicians, including the mayors of Ginowan and of course Nago

Who all have an incentive to leverage the anti-base issue as an election tool. And what about the people of Henoko?

... demonstrations that are almost without precedent in size... (I have never heard of demonstrations somewhere else where close to a tenth of the population was on the road)

You need to stop believing the inflated numbers presented by these anti-FRF organizers - the actual numbers are quite small, and nowhere reflect the will of the Okinawa people.

You do believe this is a "lack of objective facts"?

You haven't presented any facts.

I have still to see one even remotely objectifiable fact to corroborate those absurd claims about strong Okinawan pro base opinion.

That may be true, but is irrelevant - I have yet to see any objective, credible facts about a strong anti-FRF option.

All that you and Yubaru keep bringing on here are completely subjective statements like "we know hundreds of people that say this or that..."

Please provide a quote from me that says "we know hundreds of people" - I haven't said that, so please stop providing false and misleading allegations.

The reason that you always default to such misty statements: There simply is no perceptible pro US base opinion in Okinawa.

"Misty" - as in the old song? I'm missing (misting?) what you're meaning here......

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

the second world war is long over ...of what use is an American presence in Japan / Okinawa any longer....other than for the United States to flex muscles and prove they still are dominant

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you think that democratic elections say nothing about what the majority wants then it will be difficult to engage in a meaningful discourse with you here.

Democracy means the will of the people – that includes all the citizens, not just those who had the time or inclination to vote. And it is clear from the statistics that only a minority of the citizens on Okinawa who were eligible to vote, voted for anti-FRF candidates.

Hm, don't really know what you're trying to say here... probably that all polls in Okinawa are conducted by left-leaning anti-base people? The Okinawan newspapers give exact information about how their polls are conducted so if you think they are flawed then please tell us exactly what is wrong with them.

Well, you hit the nail on the head – “The Okinawa newspapers” – which I comment on in more detail below.

Well, it doesn't matter what you think about the media in Okinawa, it matters what Okinawans think about it and they are very fond of their media as it largely reflects their ideas, hopes and fears. If the media would go on stating opinions contrary to that of the majority in Okinawa nobody would be buying or viewing it, but the local media is wildly popular

You need to stop acting like an employee or stock owner of the Times and Shimpo – everyone knows that they have a decided left-wing slant and as a matter of policy only publish anti-US and anti-central government information – they are not credible journalistic publications. Some young drunk GI falls asleep on a balcony and it's on the front page, a local girl is sexually assaulted by a local man, it's on page 29. And as to their popularity, as I mentioned on another thread, the National Inquirer is quite popular also.

I happened to be at two of the larger demonstrations so I know what numbers we are talking about. I have seen crowds that were at least several ten-thousand people and this doesn't include the constant in and out-flux of people and the crowds on the road to and away from the venues. But even if you take the lowest numbers still we're talking about several percent of the adult population of Okinawa, wich projected to Tokyo would mean several million participants. Those are impressive numbers that speak for themselves, however you'd try to spin them.

May I suggest a visit to the optometrist may be advisable……..

Well, you can easily check all the points I made above. They're all factual, though of course you might disagree on how to evaluate those facts.

They’re not facts, they’re your opinion – which is fine to offer on this forum – but you can’t pass them off as facts.

You're stating personal beliefs and participate in spreading Japanese right-wing propaganda about the Okinawan media, but where are your facts?

I was hoping based on our last civil discourse that maybe we had elevated our tenor – I see that was a false hope.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think that the funding is not sufficient to complete the transfer by a specific date.

His idea is so smart that we should reward him.

We should take an independent assessment of the out poll in local nation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Suppose a man stole juries from a jury shop. (Note Futenma is a stolen property because the U.S. occupation army encroached upon private lands with impunity while area residents were herded into camps.)

Naturally and legitimately enough, the shop owner asks the robber to return at least one set of the juries The robber then turns on the shop owner and demands for trade-off: "Bring another precious stone worth the same or more value if you want it returned."

Can the return of the juries be negotiable here as some poster suggests?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't believe there was a specific referendum in Okinawa about whether or not to proceed with the construction of a military base in Henoko (yet). If there was could you provide a reference. This would be helpful.

There hasn't been one, and there are more than a few people that would have loved to see Onaga have one before he started flying all around the place appealing for help.

There is a fear by some, not all mind you, that putting out such a referendum might just place Onaga in a position where the people are actually for the base and he can't have that happen. He could very well lose.

There has been talk about one as well, but it wouldnt occur until at least next year at the earliest.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

“I will work to keep my promise not to allow another base in Henoko,” Onaga said Tuesday. This is the best that Onaga has to say, well first of all, there is no another base but a relocation/added facilities to support a closure. The existing base land wise will be developed on undeveloped land but yet considered base and paid for to the land owner even if that part of the land was not being developed. Onaga is out of touch with the real people and those the bases support ie. jobs for local nationals and construction companies. Unlike the low wage part time jobs where only the developer and land owners rake up the big yen...Yea Onaga has too go for not being too keen on development and focused on the real necessities of the island populace.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The guy with strong ties to China doesn't want the US base at Henoko?

Who would have thought......

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is a great day for Okinawa no matter what Yubaru says.

Great day? When Abe starts playing hardball with Onaga and the budget comes around and Okinawa is shorted funding for all sorts of projects who is the "winner" then?

Who is the winner when Okinawa again slides into a recession because of lack of national funding?

What is so "great" for Okinawa when the Futenma Air Base stays in the same location because of obstinate politicians?

What is so great for the people of Ginowan?

What is so great for the people in Urasoe and other locations that will not have the bases residing there stay there for another generation or two?

Dont talk to me about utopia, the reality is this, the base will not be moved anywhere else in Japan. That is a fact. Reality also shows that Onaga is continually barking up the wrong tree and embarrassing Abe (not smart in the current political climate) by going around the world and trying to drum up support and empathy from associations that can do ZERO to assist him.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Yubaru, your point of view is very suspicious and self-serving.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"Japain is the new China"

This and other obscenities are repeatedly put forward from a certain JT Sage.

If Japain is really the new China, I'm a bit confused here.

Why is the "new China" not doing a "la old" China and get its way on this issue then???

Why not roll tanks over these Okinawa toe-rags?

Go on "new China", get done and dusted with it!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

At the end Onaga is going to burn out since the people of Futenma are frustrated due to the fact that Onaga is obstructing advancement of moving the base from their location. From what I have heard they really do not care where that base goes as long as they vacate Futenma and Henoko is not populated and there is already a large military base located aside to the proposed site.So the stall only infuriates the people of Futenma more.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru, the information you have been " sharing" on Okinawa comes from a lot of one sided military resources that you may have had access to in the past but no longer. Always enjoyable to hear people trying to sway the thinking and wishes of an island people with an agenda centered on their own distorted views. Keep your comments coming as your are shedding some good information for readers who are probably astounded by your posts.

I'm glad you enjoy his views, I think he provides an opinion that is shared by many who view Japan Today, and many more on Okinawa.

Your questioning his motives and weak attempt at sarcasm communicates more about your lack of objective facts to counter his views than it does anything about him.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

While revoking the reclamation permit will not solve any problem directly it is an important step. It manifests the Okinawan peoples opinion and it corrects a flawed backroom deal in which Nakaima betrayed a clear mandate of his voters in return for money.

Everybody with basic knowledge on how environment assessment works in Japan knows that the Henoko assessment was ordered by the government and that it was not scientific at all.

We will have to see now whether the courts are able to change their spots and deal with the matter independently, unfortunately there's not much of a precedent for that in Japan.

In any case Onaga is clearly fulfilling his promise and is answering the democratic mandate of the Okinawan people against all odds and that's a lot in a country where political elites are used to arranging things behind closed doors.

@ lincolnman OCT. 14, 2015 - 08:52AM JST

Your questioning his motives and weak attempt at sarcasm communicates more about your lack of objective facts to counter his views than it does anything about him.

There are more then enough hard facts that tell us what Okinawans want:

... Recent elections...the governor and and all directly elected members of parliament were outspoken anti-Henoko

... Multiple polls from various sources and with various different methods employed... all say the same, 70% to 80% of the Okinawan people are for a drastic reduction of US bases and against the Henoko relocation

... the public opinion as expressed for example in the media in Okinawa... the two news papers, the TV stations, public discussions, town-hall meetings, etc. etc.

... the public statements of the large majority of locally elected politicians, including the mayors of Ginowan and of course Nago

... demonstrations that are almost without precedent in size... (I have never heard of demonstrations somewhere else where close to a tenth of the population was on the road)

You do believe this is a "lack of objective facts"?

I have still to see one even remotely objectifiable fact to corroborate those absurd claims about strong Okinawan pro base opinion.

All that you and Yubaru keep bringing on here are completely subjective statements like "we know hundreds of people that say this or that..."

The reason that you always default to such misty statements: There simply is no perceptible pro US base opinion in Okinawa.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

USNinJapan2 Declare independence? Quite a fantasy you live in.

USNinJapan2, One would have said the EXACT SAME THING about Scotland 10-15 years ago. And the vote was REALLY close.

If Onaga really tries to declare independence through a referandum he will lose by a landslide.

Right now, maybe. Although I doubt by a landslide. In 5-10 years, who knows? Okinawa is fed up with the bases. That much is obvious. If Tokyo and Washington don't back off, what choice do they have?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@lincolnman

****They’ve also experienced that from a succession of local political, media and academic leaders that have told them that the best way to reduce the US military presence is to refuse and stall any agreements – so there is enough “mendacity” to go around on both sides.

you are true.

If someone claim their voice in public, that would lead others to stifle their standing viewpoint, not only go against them. We have a conference, and politic to take a step to consider how to solve. We do not have to race or decide which one is better, or stronger.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

onaga knows full well that this revocation is meaningless. the central gov't only seeks "understanding" from a community before doing what it pleases because it has the legal right to do so. it's something called eminent domain. if the gov't wanted to build a highway where your house is located, you just better try to get the best deal possible.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The ONLY Japanese politician to actually say "NO!" to the "Lords and Masters!"

Just goes to show how limited and narrow-minded your knowledge of Japanese politics is in reality. You are just as bad as Onaga if you think this way, a "one-issue" politic who can not see the forest for the trees.

There are plenty of Japanese politicians that say "no" to Abe, it's just because you only focus on Okinawa and follow the leftist media here that formulates your opinions for you.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I just turned on one of CNN channels ro read bottom display and read this short report It stated1990 something and sentencing was kind to okinawan people. It stated Govt Of Island Okinawa revoked etc and Japnese Central Govt and US plan to relocate etc. It had to display news of other countries that no more about Japan. I guess USA mesia ia uaed to indepemdemce of each state that Central Govt ignoring local Govt in Japan made writing kind fo Okinwa,

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

it's something called eminent domain. if the gov't wanted to build a highway where your house is located, you just better try to get the best deal possible.

Eminent domain does not come into play here seeing as the area in question is in the ocean! Plus the government is loathe to use eminent domain and is willing to wait the person out, meaning until they die.

The national government as well is loathe to end up forcing any project onto a prefecture, been nearly 20 years since the base was promised to be returned. But after this long, and Abe's making agreements with the US for the move, it will happen.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Yubaru,

I wouldn't worry too much about Abe.

His days are numbered.

Without Onaga's support, building the spanking new super base for the Americans in Henoko is going to be an uphill climb!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yubaru, the information you have been " sharing" on Okinawa comes from a lot of one sided military resources that you may have had access to in the past but no longer. Always enjoyable to hear people trying to sway the thinking and wishes of an island people with an agenda centered on their own distorted views. Keep your comments coming as your are shedding some good information for readers who are probably astounded by your posts.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

" Good LUCK with THAT " Sponge Onaga.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Good on the governor. Ny guess is that the facist Abe government will try to override his motion. When that time comes Okinawa will be left with no choice but to declare independence. The right wing will have themselves to blame for losing Okinawa.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

The government needs to stop all funding for Okinawa aside from that relative to its contribution to the GDP, now, and to make a statement that the current base will remain at Futenma indefinitely.

-19 ( +12 / -30 )

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