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Okinawa legislators protest U.S. military incidents

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Don't just sit there and complain. Do something, anything to get the USA military to move OUT. There is an old saying, "Accept, Expect." As long as the legislators accept something, they can expect it to be repeated. It is like the USA election. If a person didn't vote (take action), don't complain and expect the same.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There is only one solution for this problem.

Ultimately the US has to relocate its bases.

Okinawa isn't US soil. US bases should be on their own land. The U.S.A. is the only country to have bases in foreign countries - as far as I know. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Curfews and other restrictions on US servicemen won't cut it. The number of sexual assaults ON BASE to fellow Americans has reached a record high: http://closethebase.org/2012/11/04/owaamv-issues-statement-to-us-consulate/

These guys are military. Violence is part of their make up. They should not be in the middle of a populated area.

The Okinawans have had more than enough and anti-US base sentiment is building and spreading to the mainland.

No attention has been paid to the Osprey problem. In spite of promises to keep Osprey flights away from built up areas, Osprey pilots have ignored the warnings.

And the bottom line is that Japan simply cannot afford to pay out 8.6 billion dollars a year to subsidise the US military.

It's time to leave.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

The U.S.A. is the only country to have bases in foreign countries - as far as I know. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Russia, Britain, France, India, Canada, Cyprus, Swiss, and of course the US, and NATO.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I am surprised that the Okinawa government isn't demanding the grounding of the F22s after the crash in Florida.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And the bottom line is that Japan simply cannot afford to pay out 8.6 billion dollars a year to subsidise the US military.

Yes it can, because you really don't want to consider what the option is for Japan to have to foot the entire defense bill if the bases weren't here. You can easily multiply that number by 10 and still not have enough money in the current system is used to "protect" Japan.

It's very easy to sit back and toss comments around without actually thinking or considering the consequences, it's like being a "Monday Morning Quarterback".

3 ( +7 / -4 )

So where is the resolution protesting crimes committed by Japanese citizens?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And your not thinking about who would move into the bases onces the US left. I'm sure the JSDF would move in. So you would still have a foreign military (non-Okinawan). Not one base is going to be moved untill the new runway is built on Camp Schwab.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@ BertieWooster : "These guys are military. Violence is part of their make up. They should not be in the middle of a populated area".

That is one of the most ignorant and insensitive comments made to sound like an excuse that I have ever heard. More than 95% of the military will never see combat, those that do are more often than not plagued with PTSD. Because you didn't have the stomach to wear a uniform doesn't mean you can equate us to savages who can't live among the rest of the population. I myself, have PTSD and permanently live here in Okinawa and do just fine among the populated area.

Were you ever in the military? Or are you basing your ideas and opinions off of what you have heard and off of websites like Closethebase.org? Which neither are very reliable. I would like to see how many of those writers and protesters will be on Kadena for the Special Olympics with their children this weekend, although they despise the base and the military.

The "whole" of the US Military is not a problem. A good percentage of us are here and love it here with no problems and no incidents. The problem is that many people including the media only report negative news without taking on both sides of a story, which I thought was good reporting. Until the media stops its one sided reporting, how can the Okinawans and Americans ever understand each other and get along?

As far as sexual assaults on base, the link does not state how many of those sexual assaults reported actually saw a military trial. A large number of the sexual assaults (at least on Kadena) are false reports. I was a SP on Kadena and now live here still in the security field, so I'm not just making blanket statements about this. Instead of worrying about what is going on on base, maybe Okinawans should worry about their own problems. We all know there is more crime that occurs on Okinawa than what is reported but the news media will only report what they can, giving their own people a chance to not have their crime reported on television.

As far as America being the only country with a military base in a foreign country, Japan has a Navy base in Africa, link:http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jvlyKeSUEy8lsdNPRIFVIz_6b5OA . This base is supposedly here to stop the pirating of ships in the Gulf of Aden. Sounds a lot like they are protecting their own Japanese ships who frequent that area, or "protecting their own interests'. But I guess that's OK because it isn't the big bad Americans although there is an American and French military base in the area.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

No attention has been paid to the Osprey problem. In spite of promises to keep Osprey flights away from built up areas, Osprey pilots have ignored the warnings.

Actually you have it wrong. The flight paths were agreed upon and the pilots are keeping to the paths. The only "problem" is that on a few occasions the pilots changed into hover mode prior to being over the base or uninhabited areas, which was agreed upon as well.

Those are training issues which are being dealt with as well.

It will be fun to see what or who will protest the Ospreys when Japan buys them, which the current defense minister has not ruled out as a possibility in the future as an enhancement to Japanese defense.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yubaru the SDF does not want them! They are too expensive to operate, too unreliable and offer no real advantages.

What I dislike about the bases is sovereignty or the Americans imposing theirs on us. American mp or sp should never be armed off base or ever do any police work. If an American needs to be taken in custody it needs to be done by the Japanese Police. I would be happier if the bases themselves were run by the SDF and the Americans only allowed to use them. The days of Americans imposing themselves on the people of Okinawa must end. If they do not like it they can leave.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

US should have it base in the US.Period. Out of Japan, out of Korea,out of Guam and out of the Worlds business.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Ah, the freedom to protest. This freedom won't be available when the Chinese take over.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What's interesting is that I just left the 13th Annual Special Olympics that was held on Kadena AFB. Yup, hundreds of evil military folks and their families supporting and cheering on the developmentally challenged here in Okinawa.

Last week, I attended an event for the Okinawa American Animal Rescue Society. Yup, evil military folks trying to do some good for the abandoned animals here in Okinawa.

In October, my command put on two different Halloween events for the local communities.

We are also assisting the AmerAsian School in health fairs and tutoring for their students. We go and speak to the children about having positive body images and self esteem.

It's what these evil folks here do. And I could go on and on about the good things we do, but I suspect that's not what some of the people on this site want to hear/read.

Yes, the crimes committed by those few are terrible, and those individuals should be punished, but that is the minority.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Serrano,

Freedom to protest is getting more and more difficult here, too.

And, just for your information, China is not the enemy. Trying to make it seem like a dangerous environment in order to justify the US military presence doesn't work.

As China gets freer and more democratic, it seems the U.S.A. is moving in the opposite direction.

I still say the only solution is for the US bases to be relocated on US soil.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Yubaru the SDF does not want them! They are too expensive to operate, too unreliable and offer no real advantages.

Not according to the defense minister.

Freedom to protest is getting more and more difficult here, too.

Again WRONG, anyone can protest as long or just about where ever they want. You THINK it's more difficult because you end up leading a parade of one. There is a difference. You only want to protest when there are others to back you up,

As misguided as many of the protesters here on Okinawa are, one has to give them credit for their resilience.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As China gets freer and more democratic, it seems the U.S.A. is moving in the opposite direction.

Don't know what planet you are living on but China is not getting more democratic, it fact dont be surprised when the next Tianemon happens. The gap between the haves vs have nots in China is coming to a head with demonstrations and protests happening all over the country. If you would expand your horizons a bit you's see that the Senkaku problem is just one way that China is trying to get the people focused on an external problem instead of leaving them time to think about internal ones.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Has anyone ever heard of the USA Navy? Drones? Missiles? Ospreys-they are deadly. The USA needs to prioritize and eliminate many of the USA military in Japan. The USA taxpayers know that it is a waste of money to support the military, families, schools, etc in Japan and other foreign countries. The USA military screams if cuts are made because it is a "Not me" attitude that keeps demanding the same amount of money. Yanks come home, now!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Biagon thank you for posting that! As many times as I have said it there are too many people that are basing their opinions and ideas about the US Military in Okinawa only on half-truths and in some cases down right lies.

The press/media in Okinawa will never admit that the military does some great things in the community. BUT the people know and that's what matters.

Try to tune out the harpies and feel good about the wonderful things you guys do! The Okinawan people are not dumb, they know what benefits the military brings to them, and they know the politicians are just blow-hards looking for more money. I

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As Yubaru (Nov. 17, 2012 - 08:28AM JST) flauntingly says, countries such as Russia, Britain, France, India (?), Cypress (?) and Swiss (?) may also have bases in foreign countries. So what's wrong with the U.S. to have bases on foreign soil? he wants to say. LOL. Does any of these countries he mentions have 611 bases in 39 countries all over the world, of which 88 are planted in Japan with 33 in Okinawa? Does any of these countries keep bases in a foreign country, the areas of which total 1,011,359 sq. meters in toto?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

As Yubaru (Nov. 17, 2012 - 08:28AM JST) flauntingly says, countries such as Russia, Britain, France, India (?), Cypress (?) and Swiss (?) may also have bases in foreign countries.

Flauntingly? ROFLMAO.......It's a given that the US has MORE than anyone else, but that wasnt the question was it? Do a little research and as noted even JAPAN has a base overseas too! Time to get off your high horse.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yubaru,

You remind me of a Rev. Kennedy, a retired U.S. serviceman turned missionary to teach people how important U.S. bases in Okinawa are for the containment of China. For people like you and your ilk, then, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly's unanimous resolutions over U.S. bases are nothing but a nuisance -- notihng to think about.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Yubaru,

Do a little research and as noted even JAPAN has a base overseas too!

You mean the one in Djibouti?

Surely that's illegal! How can this be "self-defence" for Japan when it's in Djibouti?

I wonder who persuaded them to put a base there?

Hmmm?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru,

By the way, "Cypress" is a tree. I think you meant "Cyprus," which is one of the places where there is a U.K. base. This and most of the other places where there are UK bases are colonies or similar. The same holds true for Russia and France.

In any case, the sheer volume of US bases around the world is HUGE. And the pressure to return them to the control of the countries where they are is increasing. It's not just Okinawa.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

VoiceofOkinawa-san,

Good to see your post.

For people like you and your ilk, then, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly's unanimous resolutions over U.S. bases are nothing but a nuisance -- nothing to think about.

I'm sure they have it "explained" in their own way.

"Ultra right wing"

"Communists"

"Conspiracy theories"

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

For people like you and your ilk, then, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly's unanimous resolutions over U.S. bases are nothing but a nuisance -- notihng to think about.

Ilk? Again your choice of words, meant to get a specific response fail again.

But you got one thing right, "nothing but a nuisance--nothing to think about", you hit the nail on the head there!

It isnt the responsibility of the Okinawan politicians to dictate national or international policies, those rights and privileges are reserved for the national government. How many countless and meaningless resolutions have been passed over the years? Too many to count, and how many have actually led to anything of substance: ZERO.

Wasting prefectural taxes.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Kind of an interesting statement in the article" The resolution also called for a review of legal procedures for military suspects". It seems like the last few incidents have followed the Japanese laws with no big issues. No one fleeing the country or being shielded by the bases, the Japanese legal system has been able to serve justice to these folks as it would to their own people.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yubaru (Nov. 17, 2012 - 01:44PM JST),

ROFLMAO! to you. Outwardly, Japan seems an independent sovereign state but the reality is that Japan is no other than a U.S. vassal always acting as Washington dictates.

You taunt the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly's resolutions calling for both Washington and Tokyo to do something about this excessive U.S. military footprint by revising the SOFA agreement for starters, saying their countless resolutions have been meaningless and led to no substance. Do you know why it has been so? It's because, I say again, Japan is a U.S. vassal that cannot act in an independent manner deviating from what the U.S. wants and dictates.

So our struggles are substantially against Washington, an ultimate dictator of the terms of these lopsided bilateral relations. You may taunt. But we will keep voicing our fundamental demand because we believe the world's conscience is on our side.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

By all mean, review away. If you find something missing that could help make the situation run more efficiently, great! We can incorporate it and make everyone's lives better. If you can't, well, you might have to accept that there comes a point when you have done everything humanely possible to minimize bad things, and will have to deal with the remaining incidents as they come.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Americans are here saving Okinawa from other Asian countries. If they leave Chinese will conquer Okinawa. I think okinawans prefer Americans better than Chinese. Now a crime is a crime... So punish the one who has done it why everyone should get punish.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You taunt the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly's resolutions calling for both Washington and Tokyo to do something about this excessive U.S. military footprint by revising the SOFA agreement for starters, saying their countless resolutions have been meaningless and led to no substance

I'll forgive your misunderstanding and misuse of the English language as it appears you are not a "native" English speaker.

I never "taunted" anything, the definition of which is; 1. To reproach in a mocking, insulting, or contemptuous manner;

I merely stated a fact.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Yawn"!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's interesting that things only happen in Okinawa. If troops were really such an issue, why haven't other places plastered themselves in the news every time a clearly local judicial issue crops up? The statistics prove that the troops are no different than anywhere else in the world, and like everywhere else have an incredibly low crime rate, far lower than the places they inhabit. Clearly this is just political games by angry old men that resented losing a war, and outside interests that simply wish to incite anti-american sentiment for personal and other gains.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

YubaruNOV. 17, 2012 - 08:31AM JST ...... You can easily multiply that number by 10 and still not have enough money in the current system is used to "protect" Japan.

protect from what? rape? random punching?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

martymanNov. 17, 2012 - 02:46PM JST

Kind of an interesting statement in the article" The resolution also called for a review of legal procedures for military suspects". It seems like the last few incidents have followed the Japanese laws with no big issues. No one fleeing the country or being shielded by the bases, the Japanese legal system has been able to serve justice to these folks as it would to their own people.

Exactly. And even worse, passing such a law would run counter to various treaties signed by Japan, not only with USA but UN as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

awaniko (Nov. 17, 2012 - 03:27PM JST),

You sound off that if Americans leave, "Chinese will conquer Okinawa," totally forgetting the fact that Okinawa was conquered by Americans in 1945 and has remained in real and semi-occupation conditions since then. Remember that the U.S. occupation of Okinawa from 1945 to 1972 was harsh and oppressive -- the reason why Okinawans wanted to revert to Japan and regain human dignity and human rights under its Peace Constitution. Okinawa, formerly the Kingdom of Ryukyu, had a most friendly relationship with China, that treated us with respect and cordiality. So don't try to sell us a groundless China fear.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

You taunt the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly's resolutions calling for both Washington and Tokyo to do something about this excessive U.S. military footprint by revising the SOFA agreement for starters, saying their countless resolutions have been meaningless and led to no substance

Your misuse of the vernacular not withstanding here; I "taunted" no one or nothing, I merely stated a FACT.

The countless numbers of resolutions and time wasted by POLITICIANS have had no positive effects. They are merely wasting taxpayers (MY) money, when they could be trying to do something more productive like fix the Okinawan economy, make improvements in education services, work to create jobs for those who want to work at something more than minimum wage (653 yen/hr) amongst a host of other pressing needs of the people.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It is sad that a very few service-people are giving the rest such a bad reputation, but I am all for turning them over to the local government for their punishment and the U.S. should also punish them the second they are released by the local government.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa, that China hasn't existed in half a millennium. The closest thing to a remnant of it is the Taiwanese government up to about year 2000. The Chinese parking their boats off the coast are completely different people that need the constant prodding of the US military to stay in line. They already took over some islands that belonged to the Philippines forever, and not that long before they start chipping away at okinawa island by island.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@megosaa

protect from what? rape? random punching?

No, from rape and random punching on a much, much, larger scale, and along with it, shooting, forced labor, genocide, and all the various other things foreign militaries do to countries they land on without peace treaties in place.

@voiceofokinawa

You sound off that if Americans leave, "Chinese will conquer Okinawa," totally forgetting the fact that Okinawa was conquered by Americans in 1945 and has remained in real and semi-occupation conditions since then.

Wait...How does the American conquest of Okinawa have anything to do with the probability regarding a Chinese invasion of Okinawa?

Remember that the U.S. occupation of Okinawa from 1945 to 1972 was harsh and oppressive -- the reason why Okinawans wanted to revert to Japan and regain human dignity and human rights under its Peace Constitution.

Was it now? I won't doubt your word on that, as I haven't really looked into the matter. I would, as a matter of intellectual curiosity, be interested in some sources regarding this. I am assuming, of course, that you are referring to an approved (officially or otherwise) behavior intended or resulting in the systematic stripping of human dignity and rights by US military, and not just isolated incidents.

Okinawa, formerly the Kingdom of Ryukyu, had a most friendly relationship with China, that treated us with respect and cordiality.

Ah, yes, back when Okinawa was an acknowledged tributary of China.

So don't try to sell us a groundless China fear.

I would submit that however respectfully an cordially China treated you in the 1500's (as long as you paid your tribute), and however you felt about paying tribute to both China and Japan in the 1600, neither of these cases makes for a very strong argument that the China of today is a groundless threat.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Readers, China is not relevant to this discussion. Please stay on topic.

Americans are here saving Okinawa from other Asian countries. If they leave Chinese will conquer Okinawa. I think okinawans prefer Americans better than Chinese. Now a crime is a crime... So punish the one who has done it why everyone should get punish.

That's what the Japanese are led to believe because America keeps making threats those. All nations have their own defense and they don't rely on somebody else for their protection like Japan does. If Japan doesn't want to be attacked by other Asian countries then maybe it should play nice with them. Maybe Japan should work on establishing a coalition like NATO or EU. But they won't because they'd rather subordinate themselves to the US and the US is more than happy to provide that role.

Maybe the US needs Japan more than Japan needs US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What's ironic is that by relying on US for protection and not being able to engage in joint military coalition with the other countries... Japan gets more and more isolated from the rest and hence more threatened by its neighbors. America is keeping Japan trapped like a DV partner.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

cabadajeNOV. 17, 2012 - 06:05PM JST @megosaa protect from what? rape? random punching? No, from rape and random punching on a much, much, larger scale, and along with it, shooting, forced labor, genocide, and all the various other things foreign militaries do to countries they land on without peace treaties in place.

aaah.. gotcha. thanks for the info. now i feel relieved to think what atrociously happened in okinawan news was just a "small scale". :)

after all, she's only a local girl and him a 13yo boy.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Ah, the freedom to protest. Not something to be taken for granted.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bas/yubaru et al.,

This article, may I remind you, concerns Okinawa legislators protesting U.S. military incidents.

You can whine and moan and criticise posters who don't agree with the party line you are trying to feed us, but it doesn't change the fact that there have been some pretty antisocial activities by US servicemen and that this is unacceptable to the people who live on these islands. The US military is not wanted here.

Whether they should want the US military here or not is not the issue. That they don't is the point. This has been proven time and time again. In a public opinion survey conducted earlier this year, the Asahi Shinbun found that 49 percent of Okinawan residents want the number of U.S. bases to be drastically reduced and 37 percent said they should be removed completely.

The demonstrations against the bases are increasing year by year and the anti-base sentiment is spreading to the mainland of Japan. Until now, news about Okinawa has been contained and people in mainland Japan had no idea what was going on here. I know this, because living in Tokyo and Sapporo, I had no idea of the situation until I came here. Very little was reported. Now this is changing.

And, in fact, I found, after a bit of googling that it's not only Okinawa, not only Japan, but the public feeling toward hosting US troops on their land is turning decidedly negative in MANY places.

And, by the way, if posters use vocabulary that's unfamiliar to you, please use a dictionary.

English is an international language. People from countries all over the world use it. Not only Americans.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

voiceofokinawa-san,

You write:

You sound off that if Americans leave, "Chinese will conquer Okinawa," totally forgetting the fact that Okinawa was conquered by Americans in 1945 and has remained in real and semi-occupation conditions since then. Remember that the U.S. occupation of Okinawa from 1945 to 1972 was harsh and oppressive -- the reason why Okinawans wanted to revert to Japan and regain human dignity and human rights under its Peace Constitution.

Animosity toward the US occupation was formed in the years from 1945 to 1972. People were forced out of houses and bulldozers flattened five villages to build Futenma airbase. It was harsh and oppressive, as you say.

In a recent Asahi Shinbun survey, they found that 39 percent of Okinawans were disappointed with the reversion to Japanese administration. The figure probably would be higher, but 1972 is rather a long time ago and there are not so many alive today who remember what it was like before this time and even fewer who remember what it was like before WWII.

Okinawa, formerly the Kingdom of Ryukyu, had a most friendly relationship with China, that treated us with respect and cordiality.

That is correct. It was a trading relationship, very profitable on both sides. Interestingly, the relationship between China and Yamato (now mainland Japan) was not good. Japanese ships were attacked by Chinese pirates, but they left the Okinawan ships alone.

I'm glad that Okinawan legislators have taken this action and that now, it seems that Tokyo is beginning to listen. How much this will change things, I don't know, but it's a good start.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

aaah.. gotcha. thanks for the info. now i feel relieved to think what atrociously happened in okinawan news was just a "small scale". :) after all, she's only a local girl and him a 13yo boy.

"small scale"? That is pretty cold-blooded of you. It is nowhere near the scale of wartime invasion assault, but you really need to button your yap if you are going to be calling rape and drunken child abuse "small scale".

See how the word-twisting thing works both ways?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

mpoki-san,

"These guys are military. Violence is part of their make up. They should not be in the middle of a populated area".

That is one of the most ignorant and insensitive comments made to sound like an excuse that I have ever heard.

I stand by what I said.

What do military people do?

Spread sweetness and light and hand out flowers, telling people to "make love not war?"

Whether they are directly involved in blowing up men, women and children or acting as support staff, any military in any country is concerned with violence, either real or threatened.

This is why they are unwanted in Okinawa.

And this is why these Okinawan legislators went to Tokyo to deliver their constituents' message.

Okinawa has seen more than enough violence. The Japanese came along and they brought wholesale violence and death, both directly where they caused it and indirectly by involving Okinawa in their war and sacrificing Okinawa to save their Emperor.

And then the US military arrived.

And are still here . . .

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Whether they should want the US military here or not is not the issue. That they don't is the point.

I hated my college dorm mate. Didn't really matter too much though. I couldn't afford to live elsewhere, and neither could he. So I had to get along with him, like it or not.

Chances are pretty good that if I had made a habit of telling him I wanted him out of my room at every opportunity and used a bunch of unreasonable excuses to justify it, things would have been much worse. He had little say in the matter (that was up to the housing department).

And, in fact, I found, after a bit of googling that it's not only Okinawa, not only Japan, but the public feeling toward hosting US troops on their land is turning decidedly negative in MANY places.

You know what "Supporting Evidence Bias" is, right?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the Asahi Shinbun found that 49 percent of Okinawan residents want the number of U.S. bases to be drastically reduced

When will you get things right and stop the soap-box grandstanding? It said they wanted them reduced, nothing more nothing less.

Oh and I agree with having them reduced, starting with Futenma.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru-san,

I'm glad we see eye to eye with reducing the US military presence in Okinawa. And Futenma, yes, that is the one to go first. The space is desperately needed.

The Asahi Shinbun didn't say that they wanted the bases reduced, "nothing more nothing less."

They found that 49 percent of Okinawan residents want the number of U.S. bases to be drastically reduced AND that 37 percent wanted the bases to be be removed completely.

37 percent is rather a large figure, don't you think?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Part of the ill feeling is that the Okinawans feel that the US military are here as guests. But they certainly don't act like guests. Guests do not usually go on drunken rampages - the recent case is not a single, isolated case - and guests do not gang rape girls.

Okinawan leaders are making their feelings felt to Tokyo about recent crimes involving U.S. servicemen. They are also demanding tougher regulations and a reduction in the number of troops and bases here.

It is good that they are speaking out about this.

I wish them luck.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I'm glad we see eye to eye with reducing the US military presence in Okinawa. And Futenma, yes, that is the one to go first. The space is desperately needed.

First off the "space is desperately needed" is off the mark. The space is needed if and only if a viable replacement for the economy is decided upon prior to the return of the land. The Okinawa economy CAN NOT withstand a removal of the bases without something other than another JUSCO/AEON to take it's place.

You have NO idea how many open apartments, houses, and land, that is available. Just removing the bases will cripple the economy AND make Okinawa an even bigger burden on the national goverment.

Futenma needs to be moved for safety purposes that I agree with, however Henoko or Kadena are currently the ONLY viable options.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They found that 49 percent of Okinawan residents want the number of U.S. bases to be drastically reduced AND that 37 percent wanted the bases to be be removed completely.

37 percent is rather a large figure, don't you think?

I take just about all "surveys" with a grain of salt.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

abadaje (Nov. 17, 2012 - 06:05PM JST),

You think "the American conquest of Okinawa" has nothing to do with "the probability regarding a Chinese invasion of Okinawa." The American conquest of Okinawa is a historical fact but the Chinese one is only hypothetical. You can't argue the Okinawa issue based solely on a hypothesis but you can do so based on hard facts -- the American occupation, that is. In this sense, "the American conquest of Okinawa" has a lot to do with "the probability regarding a Chinese invasion of Okinawa."

You seem to doubt my assertion that the U.S. occupation from 1945 to 1972 was harsh and oppressive." The invading U.S. troops behaved like liberators toward captured Okinawans, who had been brainwashed to believe the enemy was beastly. To their surprise, the Americans were very nice and even hospitable unlike their own compatriots -- the Japanese soldiers. But soon they realized the American occupiers were equally atrocious as well.

Masahide Ota, the former governor of Okinawa Prefecture and himself a student soldier conscripted by the defending Imperial Japanese Army stationed in Okinawa, writes:

"As the occupiers began turning Okinawa ... into a vast military base, it was only natural that people came to regard the United States as closer to an oppressor than a liberator."

He also writes: "The military government's ruthless expropriation of this land at bayonet point and occasionally with tanks made it no wonder that popular attitudes toward America began reversing." (The quotations are from his book titled "Essay on Okinawa Problems.")

The vast U.S. military bases in Okinawa have such history behind, always reminding us of the harsh and oppressive days of the U.S. occupation. Certainly, they represent injustice and inequity however hard Washington tries to launder them with treaties.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

When the Americans invaded they turned Okinawa into a huge prison camp. Unlike Japan ALL Okinawa people were placed into concentration camps. They was not enough food or medical care. The Americans raped at will. My ancestors were reduced to the level of animals. By the time they were "released" over 1/2 of Okinawa was a US base. Things did improve though for a long time it was a special privilege to be able to go through the Americans garbage.

By the time I was born things were better but American troops kept control by force of arms. They were the absolute masters of us. Nothing could be done without their approval and in a lot of ways it is still true. The American bases are the form of our oppression. After all of the years so much of our island is under direct foreign occupation. Instead of doing things directly they force the Japanese government to do it for them. The bases are forced on us using their tools or the Japanese government.

Will China invade a baseless Okinawa? Of course not as the Americans and Japan is suppose to defend us. Any Chinese aggression would be meet by defensive forces. So what people write is not true. Okinawa is for the people of Okinawa and as long as there are so many foreign bases we are oppressed as a people.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What puzzles me is why the Americans don't take a hint and take their troops back to the U.S.A. For some reason they seem to be blind to the fact that their party is over.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

canadianbento-san,

What puzzles me is why the Americans don't take a hint and take their troops back to the U.S.A. For some reason they seem to be blind to the fact that their party is over.

It puzzles me too.

Defies logic.

And when you can't work things out easily, it's usually because you don't have enough information to come up with an answer. So, I think there is more to this situation than either the Japanese government or the U.S.A. are prepared to reveal.

And I don't think it's the "Yellow Peril" slavering at the thought of annexing Okinawa, either.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Bertie, you said;

"Part of the ill feeling is that the Okinawans feel that the US military are here as guests. But they certainly don't act like guests. Guests do not usually go on drunken rampages - the recent case is not a single, isolated case - and guests do not gang rape girls"

Neither do the military in Okinawa. Those incidents, thought tragic, are also extremely rare. By and large, the US military personnel are far more peaceful and law abiding than the general public.

Yuri, you exaggerate the military presence. Even if you consider just the main island of Okinawa, the bases take up only 18% of the land, NOT half.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yuri and Voiceofokinawa,

Thank you for your voice of sanity.

The Japanese humiliated the Okinawans and forced them to speak their language before WWII, and then during the war, used Okinawans as human shields, even forcing them to kill their families and commit suicide so that they would not be captured by the American "devils" and become spies.

Then the US invaded Okinawa. And, as Yuri said, rapes didn't make the newspapers in those days, getting a girl was as simple as going into a village, grabbing one and hauling her to a secluded part of the beach. People were dumped out of their homes, and whole villages bulldozed to build the bases.

That the bases are here creates a danger for Okinawans in just the same way as the presence of the Japanese did in WWII. Anyone attacking Japan will hit Okinawa first, because that is where most of the military muscle is. And anyone getting in the way will become victims of that ghastly euphemism, "friendly fire."

These are important reasons why the Okinawans want the bases out of their land.

And this is why Okinawan legislators have issued this protest at this time.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Vast the 18 percent is today after the invasion the percentage of bases was much higher.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

When the Americans invaded they turned Okinawa into a huge prison camp. Unlike Japan ALL Okinawa people were placed into concentration camps. They was not enough food or medical care. The Americans raped at will. My ancestors were reduced to the level of animals. By the time they were "released" over 1/2 of Okinawa was a US base. Things did improve though for a long time it was a special privilege to be able to go through the Americans garbage.

This occurred nearly 70 years ago. You attempt to create a link between what "they" did with what "they" do NOW. You have to quit living in the past.

I could just as easily blame the Japanese of today for the losses my family and country had because of WWII, just like you. But I and just about every other sane and intelligent Japanese and American person living today dont, we try to live for today, for our future, and for our children. Remembering the past is one thing, constantly rehashing history that everyone here knows is just plain.................(leave the rest of what I was going to write to your imagination)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru,

I'm sorry to hear about the losses your family and country suffered in WWII. I didn't fight in this war, but I was born soon after it and I remember the topics of conversation at that time. Children were supposed to be "seen but not heard," so we couldn't do anything else but listen to the conversation of adults at meal times.

The topic that kept coming up, almost daily was, "we must never let that happen again."

Our losses were great too. We were missing uncles. Dad had lost a brother and countless friends. Wives lost their husbands and thousands died in the blitz in London. We were rationed for several years after the war. Food was poor, meat and sweets were a rare treat.

But our losses were NOTHING compared to what the Okinawans went through. In comparison, the war for us was a temporary inconvenience. But WWII was a living hell for Okinawans, and the aftermath was basically more of the same.

That's why Yuri feels so strongly about this.

In fact, I'm amazed by how forgiving Okinawan people are. That they tolerate the US bases at all is quite amazing and a tribute to their wonderful, kind and peaceful nature.

What Okinawans want, is close to the dinner table topic mentioned earlier.

We must make sure this never happens again.

Tradition, the verbal history passed from father to son is much more powerful than any school text book.

They forget words in print the day after the exam.

But they will never forget what Granddad told them about the war and the horrors that came after.

Ultimately, the only way to make sure that this doesn't happen again, is for the US bases to close.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Bertie, I dont need nor want a condescending history lesson, there is probably more I have forgotten about what's happened on this island than you have yet to learn.

Yuri, only feels strongly about things when she doesnt get her way. She plays both sides of the fence, putting down the US Military when it suits her needs but wanting it there to protect the Okinawan's too. She doesnt live here, she lives in the USA and comments from afar, meaning from history and not from today.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

There's no need to be rude. I wasn't trying to give you a condescending history lesson. I was just trying to tell you some things that are important to me.

And we could do without your comments on Yuri, too.

Please try to learn to respect other people's points of view.

Peace.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The US Chief of Naval Operations made it clear last night on US TV that the marines stationed on Okinawa will be moving to Guam and to Australia, many of them or not most of them. I am glad the US military has finally realized that they have worn out their welcome and they are not needed on the beautiful island of Okinawa ..in fact the US should be doing more as amends for the terrible damage done to the inhabitants and the island over 60 years ago. US awareness of the impact of their actions on Japan is deplorable and I apologize for it and for the sad recent events. Thank you for covering these events and the commendable efforts of the Okinawans to move in a positive direction.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yubaru,

There's no need to be rude. I wasn't trying to give you a condescending history lesson. I was just trying to tell you some things that are important to me.

And we could do without your comments on Yuri, too.

Please try to learn to respect other people's points of view.

Peace.

Rude? No, pointing out facts to you. When it suits you, you attack others posts like a rabid dog, and yet when it comes back at you the fangs get pulled back and you whine.

Get a thicker hide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yuri, today is what matters, not 70 years ago. Besides, it was 70 years ago that the JAPANESE Imperial Army was occupying Okinawa, and under the IJN that thousands died/were forced into suicide/etc. If you want to assign "original sin", then assign it where it belongs.

TOday, in the present, Okinawa is not economically sustainable. It depends on handouts, both from Tokyo and from Washington. If you want the money, you take the rules.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

CrisGerSan-san,

The US Chief of Naval Operations made it clear last night on US TV that the marines stationed on Okinawa will be moving to Guam and to Australia, many of them or not most of them.

This is excellent news!

Soon, I hope.

I am glad the US military has finally realized that they have worn out their welcome and they are not needed on the beautiful island of Okinawa

Well, as you say, they certainly are not needed here.

..in fact the US should be doing more as amends for the terrible damage done to the inhabitants and the island over 60 years ago.

Thank you. I understand your feelings, but, as has been pointed out time and time again, the past is the past. Time for the US military to leave and time for Okinawa to move on.

US awareness of the impact of their actions on Japan is deplorable and I apologize for it and for the sad recent events.

You don't need to apologise. I am sure that people in mainland Japan know as little about the suffering of the Okinawan people as people in the U.S.A. Both countries have news media that is, well, selective might be a kind word to use.

Thank you for covering these events and the commendable efforts of the Okinawans to move in a positive direction.

And thank you for your good wishes and understanding.

Let's hope the matter gets resolved quickly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@BertieWooster

Part of the ill feeling is that the Okinawans feel that the US military are here as guests. But they certainly don't act like guests.

No more so than Okinawans act like hosts. Life, aside from the vociferous extremists, is a pretty basic professional give and take, not so much host and guest, but more shop and client, or reluctant roommates.

Okinawa isn't the host. Okinawa isn't even the landlord. Okinawa is just another student forced to live with someone they don't like.

Guests do not usually go on drunken rampages - the recent case is not a single, isolated case - and guests do not gang rape girls.

You know that, do you? Or is it just something you are assuming because it supports your claim?

Statistics vary, of course, but in the U.S., at least, Date Rape tends to hover in the 35% to 60% of all reported rape cases. Is Japan different? Probably. Better or worse? Well, that's up to the people to decide.

@voiceofokinawa

You think "the American conquest of Okinawa" has nothing to do with "the probability regarding a Chinese invasion of Okinawa."

Actually, I'm asking you to clarify the connection.

The American conquest of Okinawa is a historical fact but the Chinese one is only hypothetical.

Hypothetical? How so?

You can't argue the Okinawa issue based solely on a hypothesis but you can do so based on hard facts -- the American occupation, that is.

Well then, you shouldn't have argued that the (hypothetical) Chinese occupation was so much better than the American occupation.

In this sense, "the American conquest of Okinawa" has a lot to do with "the probability regarding a Chinese invasion of Okinawa."

Not...seeing the connection. In all honesty, I'm having a hard time understanding your perspective. How does China 500 years ago, regardless of whether they where hypothetically nice or not. relate to the entirely different China of today, and how does the American invasion 70 years ago affect that in any way?

You seem to doubt my assertion that the U.S. occupation from 1945 to 1972 was harsh and oppressive."

Not at all. Pretty much all military occupations tend to be harsh an oppressive. What I was wondering about was the level of oppression, as you posted that there were so many violations of human dignity and rights that Okinawa begged to be turned over to Japan; but more importantly in the context of the discussion, you were implying that this behaviour was so extreme that being occupied by the PRC would actually be better. That's what I wanted to know more about.

(The quotations are from his book titled "Essay on Okinawa Problems.")

Excellent, thank you for providing a source. I will look into it.

The vast U.S. military bases in Okinawa have such history behind, always reminding us of the harsh and oppressive days of the U.S. occupation. Certainly, they represent injustice and inequity however hard Washington tries to launder them with treaties.

I am sure they do. So, my question to you is this: Do you believe that an occupation by China would match the current status quo of uneasy peace, or would it be harsh and oppressive like it was right after the war? I personally can't see a Chinese occupation being too just or equal, not because they are Chinese, but rather because freshly conquered regions tend to require a rather heavy hand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Readers, China is not relevant to this particular discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@canadianbento

What puzzles me is why the Americans don't take a hint and take their troops back to the U.S.A. For some reason they seem to be blind to the fact that their party is over.

Perhaps the reason you are puzzled is that you think Americans are here to party.

@BertieWooster

It puzzles me too. Defies logic. And when you can't work things out easily, it's usually because you don't have enough information to come up with an answer.

Or that you ignore the information that you do have because it leads to an unwanted conclusion.

There is a base in Okinawa for the very simple reason that it is the best option we currently have to field a presence in that region. We want to field a presence in that region in order to provide a modicum of stability, so that our economic interests don't come crashing down. We aren't going home because we have no assurance that anyone else can step up to provide the same stability.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cabadaje-san,

There is a base in Okinawa

No, there are 38 - thirty eight - US military installations in Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And you want all of them gone and lump them together under the general umbrella of "American military", so why are you bothering with the division now? It doesn't matter if there is 1, 38, or 100. The point is not the number of bases. The point is that there is a pretty obvious reason why the bases are still there.

Jeez, the two of you are acting as if abandoning a strategic military command post is right about at the same level as getting rid of the drunk guy who can't figure out he's ruining the party for everyone else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just a word.

The above post of mine (Nov. 18, 2012 - 11:54PM JST) is addressed to cabadaje (Nov. 18, 2012 - 04:57PM JST).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vast reversion was not 70 years ago but 40. Even today the Americans still act like they own Okinawa. The military police go about off base with their badges and guns. The "sins" are not of their ancestors but of today. An example when 311 happened and a lot of Japanese were hungry the Americans made it "illegal" even to give them food from the commissaries. The bases are for the Americans not Japanese.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yuri I'm confused. First, you think the military personnel are a danger to Okinawans. THEN, you don't like it when Military Police go off base, presumably to try and control the "dangerous" military personnel. You can't have it both ways, my friend.

I'm not sure what 3/11 has to do with Okinawa. As far as I recall, the US military made huge efforts to help the victims. Ever hear of "Operation Tomodachi"? 24,000 US military personnel dispatched to Tohoku? Hundreds of TONS of food, thousands of gallons of water? Among the first to respond were, ironically, US Marine Corps aircraft from Futemma, who were dispatched the NEXT DAY to the disaster area. I understand you have a political axe to grind, but to dare say that the US response to the tsunami was to not give them food is more than wrong. It is bordering on immoral.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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