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Okinawa marks 49th reversion anniversary as pandemic limits base protests

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So how many protestors are from mainland Japan? Seems like the same sort come out for the protests, and it's not chock full of locals. With that being said, I do believe that the forces there should be reduced.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No wonder. Korean and Chinese protestors were not local in the 1st place.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Okinawa should become independent. It was before.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Of course, there were other alternatives for Okinawa to consider than a simple reversion to Japan. But Okinawa's sentiments to return to Japan were very strong.  Why?  People thought that the reversion would free them from a harsh state of affairs that was U.S. military occupation and administration.  Bases and the damages derived from them would naturally be reduced as the result, people thought. The Rising Sun flag was thus the symbol of this reversion movement.

The Nixon administration agreed to Okinawa's reversion to Japan in 1971, thinking it would guarantee the stable and sustainable use of bases without being bothered by anti-base voices. Eisaku Sato, then Prime Minister, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1974 for his non-military, diplomatic measures to recover a former territory.  It's apparent, though, that both Nixon and Sato only took full advantage of Okinawa's reversion movement.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The forces on Okinawa were critical in America's response to the invasion of South Korea in 1950. The bases there were also critical for use in the bombing of North Vietnam. Of course China wants the bases gone.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

1glenn,

Your U.S.-centered view made you say what you said. As you point out, U.S. forces used Okinawa bases as forward bases to invade the Korean Peninsula and the Vietnamese panhandle, and also used them as transit points to engage in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Note that these bases are functioning as watchdogs also not to let the genie out of the bottle -- that is, U.S. bases are planted not only as putative deterrents against America's current rivals like China, North Korea and Russia, but also as a lid to prevent Japan from rising again to militarily challenge the U.S.

So, U.S. forces will never pack up and go home from Okinawa in the foreseeable future, in my view. Do you like it to go on that way forever?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Voice, as I have said before you are no voice for Okinawa. My relatives there spoke of the horrors of the IJA and the fact they were committing horrible crimes against the locals, and it was the Americans that were good to them. Actual on the ground witness to the events of 1944. Not a political ideologue who thinks they are a shining voice for the people like you suggest to be. And from my small discussions with every day Okinawans, they are kind of ambivalent on the American presence. They know that a nice piece of the budget comes from Tokyo because of the US presence, and they know that is direly needed.

While I do believe that there should be a reduction, the bases are pivotal to keeping China in check. As you are currently witnessing in the South China Sea, if there is little resistance, China will take what is not theirs. This is why the US is there. The US has no reason to think that Japan will rearm and become a militant force. They have become beyond passive, similar to Germany.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the_sicillian,

Voice, as I have said before you are no voice for Okinawa. My relatives there spoke of the horrors of the IJA and the fact they were committing horrible crimes against the locals, and it was the Americans that were good to them.

It's true that the invading U.S. troops behaved very nice to the locals who came out of caves to surrender. People had been brainwashed to believe Americans were demonic, killing men and raping women instantly if they were caught, and so they were very surprised to find it the other way around.  

When the ground battle was over and all the island started to be administered by the occupation forces, it was the Navy that was responsible all for it. The U.S. Navy "military government" was enthusiastic to propagate the American way of democracy and freedom, establishing the so-called "Shijunkai" administrative body composed of war-survived local leaders, thus administering Okinawa philanthropically and democratically. It was a fresh experience for the people who were used to living under harsh militarism and autocracy before the war. People felt free and emancipated from the oppressing yoke of militarism.

But such happy days didn't last long. The U.S. Army took over the administrative authority from the Navy and people began to find what military occupation really was. It was hardship and suffering to the extent of suffocation under the U.S. administration out of which people's yarn to return to Japan was born.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Voice: For once I agree with you. The above is very correct. And believe me, I do understand that the Okinawans got the worst of it. That is no joke. But today, the island can't survive on tourism alone. Having the US there does keep it free, but there's also the land issues and some crime (but never a real mention / comparison of the Japanese military and their crimes there. Of course any crime is bad, and there should be none.

So a combination of tourism, mostly service industry (because the agriculture and manufacturing there are really low), and the US military are the economy there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The IJA was "our" forces for locals at the time of the Battle of Okinawa. There were many locals, young and old, who had joined the Okinawa Defense Corps, an arm of the 32nd Battalion of IJA under the command of Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima. So it's strange of you to allude that in comparison with IJA soldiers the occupying U.S. troops were more humane and philanthropic.

Comparison, if needs be, should be done between two foreign forces, for example, between U.S. forces and the Soviet army that invaded and occupied Manchuria and Southern Sakharin.  

All in all, you want to say that Okinawa will be better off economically or whatever, if it continued to host U.S. bases. So, shut up, noisy voiceofokinawa. Lol.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Voice, basically you advocate for the total removal of forces. I do not. There are a lot of expats that really do not understand the political/socio-economic/military reasons to have forces there. The economic is a small part. The thought of Japan rearming and becoming an offensive force makes sense on the surface, but is not reality. China would be on the island faster than you could drink awamori. And lastly it is not a clear majority of Okinawans that want the bases gone. The Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times are both in the bag for get rid of the forces but continue to pay the "omoiyari yosan". Every governor does this.

So, no LOL. It's not shut up. It's your supposition you speak for Okinawa and you don't.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the_sicilian,

Voice, basically you advocate for the total removal of forces. I do not.

Okinawa's virtual occupation by U.S. forces, or the so-called U.S. military presence, has been going on for 75 long years since 1945. Some say this is the end result of Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. In other words, like it or not, Okinawa is shouldering the debt incurred by Imperial Japan. That's unfair and unjust. This state of affairs can't go on forever.

It is in this sense that I advocate the total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Okinawa one day. Of course, you don't like it at all, thinking instead, and egoistically at that, that the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, aka the semi-occupation of it, must continue forever. Okinawa bases are important for the U.S. to keep and expand its hegemony in this part of the Pacific.

By the way, do you know that occupying Okinawa and making it a staging post for the U.S. to advance to Asia didn't start in 1945. Making Okinawa a U.S. bastion was a brainchild of Commodore Matthew Perry, who pried open the door of the secluded Japan in 1854.

So, the U.S. military presence in Okinawa is not just a recent makeshift measure, but it's part of the U.S.'s long-range military ambition. Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with it but worked only as a catalyst.

There's a fringe group of people among us Okinawans who support this aberrant state of affairs. Are your Okinawan relatives in this group?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nah, they are just normal every day working people that really don't care either way as it doesn't effect them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the_sicilian,

Whether your Okinawan relatives are political of nonpolitical doesn't count much here. There should be a lot more counterargument for you to make than just that. 

Note that the majority of general Americans at the time of the American Revolution were nonchalant about the independence campaigns. Can you say then the American Revolution was wrong? Certainly, it was wrong in the eyes of the British sovereign, but was it/is it in the eyes of today’s Americans?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here's the thing: I believe that a fair portion of the population on Okinawa (and not the flown in protestors) really don't see the American presence as good or bad because they have been there so long. Now, does this mean it's right? Maybe, maybe not. The Okinawan politicians just want the money but no Americans. Can't have it both ways. And if you think that once Futenma is shut down, the JSDFAF will be in there very quickly.

Just look at how long it took China to assert it's domiance in the Scarborough Shoals and Spratleys, and you see what not having a US presence does. The Philippines is not strong enough to defend themselves. The Us presence keeps Japan from losing out to the Chinese. The people who think that if America leaves there will be everlasting peace and nothing bad because it's just the Okinawans, then you really don't understand why the US is there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the si_cilian,

Is this what you want to say? That is, there’s a large portion of the local population who are nonchalant about the U.S. military presence in Okinawa and so just because of this fact it’s quite alright for the U.S. to maintain bases here forever. 

Sits-in against the new base construction have been going on for than 6,000 days or 17 long years in front of Camp Schwab's main gate. The number of protesters these days is about 200, mostly retired generations (young people can’t come here on a daily basis, taking off from jobs)

but these people are the hard core of the protestation against the construction of the new base. You can’t say that, since the majority of the population is nonchalant about whether the new base may be constructed or not, it's OK for the U.S. to demand Futenma's replacement be constructed there, especially in view of the fact that China is doing the same in South China Sea.

Your logic is nothing different from that of a crime syndicate. “We are protecting you from attacks by another crime syndicate and so be thankful”!?

It seems the Pentagon is designing a “hub and spoke” strategy for the western Pacific, making Guam the hub and other bases in mainland Japan, Korea and Okinawa spokes. In this framework, how will Marine bases in Okinawa, especially the Henoko new base, play a role? These Marine bases are here primarily for training, you know, as the name “USMC Jungle Warfare Training Center” indicates.

 

Besides, Japan and the U.S. have agreed recently that primary responsibility to defend Japan’s territory rests with JSDF, not USFJ.

How do you respond? Is the Henoko new base absolutely necessary?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Voice, how's your Mandarin? Just curious.

Honestly, I think the whole USMC presence could go. The AF and the little bit of Navy and Army could stay. That would reduce the burden and keep the US presence needed so you don't have to change languages.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the_sicilian,

I think the whole USMC presence could go

The U.S. Marine Corps is to stay here forever no matter what? No other reason than that? Is that all you can say about the deployment of the Marines to Okinawa with so many bases and facilities free to use?

I asked you what role the Marine bases, most of which are for training, can play in the hub and spokes war strategy putatively designed by the Pentagon. I also said Tokyo and Washington had agreed that JSDF, not USFJ, would have primary responsibility to defend Japan's territory.

So, what's the reason why the U.S. Marines must occupy so much space in Okinawa, on land, at sea and in the air?

Why are they given such special preferential treatment when they play almost no role as deterrents?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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