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Okinawa gubernatorial election set for Nov 18

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"he relocation of a U.S. base in the southwestern island prefecture continues to be a contentious issue."

This relocation of Futenma to Henoko Bay could have been accomplished decades ago if it weren't for the peaceniks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Serrano,

This relocation of Futenma to Henoko Bay could have been accomplished decades ago if it weren't for the peaceniks.

Why are you and your government so eager to relocate Futenma to Henoko when Futenma's function can be moved outside Okinawa completely? What's your explanation of this?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

voiceofokinawa Nah, no other prefecture wants it either. Every square centimeter of usable land in the rest of Japan is being used. Tell me, where would you relocate it?

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In May, part of the local business community formed a new support group for Onaga.

Yeah, because the the presidents and CEO's of all the major businesses in Okinawa, anyway the one's that count dropped their support for Onaga. Hence a "new" group of minor players.

Why you may ask? Because they are sick and tired of his being a one-issue Gov, AND his weaseling out of his promises (numerous times) to hold a prefectural referendum on the Futenma to Henoko move.

Onaga is not trusted by the business community, he lies, he has changed sides (former LDP leader in Okinawa) fails to keep promises, and is overall, a poor leader, because he can only focus on one thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why are you and your government so eager to relocate Futenma to Henoko when Futenma's function can be moved outside Okinawa completely? What's your explanation of this?

Why do you keep asking the same questions over and over again?

You have been given answers from both sides, and yet you continue to spam this site with the same bs every time it comes up? I initially chose to ignore you, but, as another poster commented, if folks like me stay quiet, then others who post here will begin to think that your information is true, but it's not.

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Yubaru,

Hosting foreign military bases with no time limit in sight may be something you imperialism-minded people can't understand.

Yes, I've asked the same question of you time and time again. But you haven't answered it at all. When I pressed you to answer, you said I have no right to order you, saying only your mom has such a right.

Serrano,

Futenma was constructed on illegally confiscated private property. In other words, the Marines are occupying the land as if they were squatters.

So, when Okinawa tells them to return the land, they can't disregard or make short shrift of it if they consider themselves to be law-abiding.

Can't you understand this simple logic that it's none of our business to find a relocation site for Futenma? Isn't there ample land, air and sea space in the U.S. mainland for the Marines in which to train their combat skills for expeditionary purposes?

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The majority of the Okinawan people want the US bases to close. Our land was taken at the point of the gun. The Americans killed so many Okinawa people both during the war and after the war. The US bases are not there to protect the Okinawa people but to project US power. The island of Okinawa would be safer without these bases and the economy of Okinawa would grow. The people of Okinawa do not want to be part of any conflict between China and the USA. The people of Okinawa want peace and stability and reject the American war mania.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

YuriOtani

the part I don't understand is that your are married to a serving American and living on an American military base stateside, having served yourself in the ASDF?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi, my husband was medically retired from the US Army. He got hurt in one of those senseless US wars. He would tell me about how "it was all just a lie". We do not live on a US base stateside. Since he is retired, we both have ID cards to enter US bases in both Japan and the US.

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YuriOtani

copy that!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can't you understand this simple logic that it's none of our business to find a relocation site for Futenma? I

You are not Japanese, you have no say in the process and you lie. So...you have nothing valid to add to the conversation. It's that simple!

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The U.S. Marines have the most bases and take up the most land on Okinawa but the U.S. Marines have no capabilites on Okinawa that would prevent or deter an attack on Okinawa. If Okinawa was attacked, the U.S. Marines  would only get in the way of the U.S. Air Force and JSDF who would be the ones fighting to protect Okinawa. Instead of the Japanese Govt. wasting all of this money on Henoko, they would be better served spending the money on the JSDF or the U.S. Airforce who are the ones who have the real fighting abilities to defend  Okinawa. Most of the Marines on Okinawa are support troops and they have more Marine Dependents than fighting troops and they spend more time on the golf courses and beaches than they do training.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Prefectural Governors don’t dictate national security planning or sign international treaties. Constantly bringing up the base issue as if the governor has a vote is a moot point. Nagasaki, Yamaguchi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Aomori don’t get votes in the disposition of military installations in their prefecture and neither should Okinawa.

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The main focus of the race will be the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded residential area in Ginowan to the less populated coastal district of Henoko in Nago...

And what about other issues? Just going to elect another anti-base politician who blows hot air all day and doesn't get anything done in the long run because they're powerless to change the issue. Seems like such a waste, I'm sure they could focuse their efforts elseware but that wouldn't get them the ojiisan vote.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As it has been said a number of times, not one uniformed individual (or civilian/contractor) on this island make decisions on where the bases will go. This may shock some of you who question why the base is going to Henoko, these decisions are made by the government in Tokyo. I cannot understand the attacks on military members and Americans that work on base, when all Okinawans have to do is complain to their own government. If the government in Tokyo does not listen, that is not on any American to have to deal with that wrath.

I also do not believe the statement that the majority of Okinawans want the bases gone, every time there is an open base event, it makes me think otherwise. Most people would like politicians who aren't afraid to speak about actual issues: childcare or the lack thereof here on island, unemployment, school test scores are still among the lowest in Japan here, etc.

@YuriOtani  "The Americans killed so many Okinawa people both during the war and after the war."

So....you are just going to act like the Imperial Japanese military did nothing wrong while they were on Okinawa? If you are going to bring up one side, let's not forget the lies that were told to Okinawans by their own fellow countrymen that made them think jumping from a cliff was better than being captured. But let's not talk about that right?

What happens during was is indeed ugly and brings out the worst in humankind, however American did not start the war. The reason the bases are here today is due to the actions of the Japanese military at that point and time in history. Again, any hatred towards any of us is misplaced and should be redirected.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru (June 24 08:40 pm JST),

Why do you say I'm not Japanese? Is it because I don't think as you -- a U.S. Marine-turned naturalized Japanese who cannot shed his jingoistic "semper-fi" past?

That much said, I ask you again why you think it necessary for the U.S. Marines to maintain training bases such as Futenma or its replacement at Henoko, Iejima Auxiliary Air Field on Ie Island and Jungle Warfare Training Center in northern Okinawa Island. 

They are training bases for the Marines to hone their combat skills for expeditionary purposes and have nothing to do with deterrence because (1) the most active elements of the Marines are to move to Guam, and (2) Japan and the U.S. struck a deal two years ago to the effect that primary responsibility to defend Japan's outlying territories rest with the JSDF, not with the USFJ.

Answer these questions logically and convincingly before resorting to simple name-calling.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

CrucialS: June 25 | 01:17 am JST

Prefectural Governors don’t dictate national security planning or sign international treaties. Constantly bringing up the base issue as if the governor has a vote is a moot point. Nagasaki, Yamaguchi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Aomori don’t get votes in the disposition of military installations in their prefecture and neither should Okinawa.

You sound nice, but, No, you are wrong. A Prefectural Governor has a responsibility for the security and welfare of the people he represents. If the U.S.-sycophantic central government unscrupulously forces a locality to host the bulk of foreign military bases, saying it agreed with the U.S. government to do so, the head of the locality must rise up and defend his people.

Japan hosts U.S. bases in the total amount of 26,322 ha (6,504 acres) area-wise, of which Nagasaki hosts 1.78%, Yamaguchi 3.29%, Shizuoka 0.46%, Kanagawa 5.6%, Saitama 0.77% and Aomori 9.02%. But note that Okinawa's U.S. base hosting share is 70.28% (18,499ha = 4,571 acres)! (http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/zaibeigun/us_sisetsu/2_prefecture.pdf)   What's the ratio of Okinawa's land mass in whole Japan? It's mere 2%! 

You nonchalantly say other prefectures don't complain about hosting U.S. bases, so that neither should Okinawa. LOL!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

StevieJ: June 25 | 07:48 am JST

And what about other issues? Just going to elect another anti-base politician who blows hot air all day and doesn't get anything done in the long run because they're powerless to change the issue. Seems like such a waste, I'm sure they could focuse their efforts elseware but that wouldn't get them the ojiisan vote.

Of course, there're other issues besides U.S. base issues that the Governor must deal with and solve. But he is forced to spend a large amount of his time and energy to deal with the multitudinous issues deriving from this exorbitant U.S. military presence. If it were not for these excessive U.S. bases, he could direct his efforts and attention more to people's inherent welfare.  

The U.S. base affairs sections of the prefectural as well as local municipal governments with so many human resources and so much finance spent can be dispensed with considerably only if the number of bases is reduced. Can you help?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why not hold a referendum in November to decide whether the entire U.S. forces and not just the Marines, should be removed? Probably because Onaga and his anti-US supporters knows they can't get enough votes, maybe?

If you use the argument that the mainland Government won't listen to the Governor of Okinawa, maybe it is time to think about seceding from Japan and become an independent sovereign country. Then it use the argument that no legal treaty exists between the U.S. and the Government of Okinawa, and it can legally demand removal of the U.S. military.

China will back independence and help the Independent Okinawa remove the U.S. military....if that's what you all want.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Halwick,

Okinawa has been entreating the U.S. for a substantial reduction of bases, many of which, like Futenma and Jungle Warfare Training Center, are planted here just for Marines to hone their combat skills in expeditionary warfare, not for deterrence purposes. They can have such training outside Okinawa, not necessarily in Okinawa.

Now, you suggest a very fanciful idea for Okinawa to secede from Japan and become independent so that it can exercise its newly acquired sovereign right to "legally demand removal of the U.S. military" -- all of them. No big dea,l, indeed. I would buy your idea off my hands. But that's a very fanciful process the U.S. will never agree to, let alone Japan. A down-to-earth process will be to remove those excessive Marine bases one by one, Futenma for starters. Very simple and practical solution, isn't it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Japanese government and the U.S. government agreed that the relocation of Futenman to Henoko is a "mutually viable solution." As long as Okinawa is a Japanese prefecture, Gov. Onaga or his successor will have to accept and abide to that decision.

And given Okinawa's proximity to Japan and the China Seas and given the increasing Chinese covert threat to the region, Japan will continue to favour hosting U.S. bases in Okinawa.

If Gov Onaga and Okinawans do not wish to abide by mainland Japan's decision to continue to host U.S. bases, and if they really want the U.S. military out, then they are going to have to go the secession and independence route. Then and only then Okinawa will no longer be under Japan and U.S. control and can do whatever it wants......including ordering U.S. military off the island. It's up to Okinawans to make up their mind.

Otherwise, "put up or shut up".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Halwick,

Certainly, the two governments have agreed that the relocation of Futenman to Henoko is an only viable solution. But that agreement was struck over our heads without any consultation with us. 

Certainly, Okinawa is part of Japan today, as you say. Okinawa opted for it in 1972 when its administrative rights were returned to Japan. But that doesn't warrant the Japanese government to do the same thing as selling it to the U.S. over the heads of the 1.4 million people who live here. 

As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe often flaunts ostensibly, Japan and the U.S. share the same democratic values and principles unlike some other dictatorships. The bilateral agreement to relocate Futenma to Henoko, however, runs counter to these democratic principles blatantly. I wonder if the U.S.is genuinely a democratic state in name and substance as it boasts.

There's a rising sentiment among some people in Okinawa who are in favor of what you are suggesting here: secession from Japan and independence. Movements in Scotland and Catalonia are encouraging precedents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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