politics

Okinawa seeks Tokyo's help lowering tensions with China

57 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
Login to comment

The US maintained nukes on Okinawa several times.

True, but not since 1972 or so. And today the US has no nuclear weapons in any Asian nation. Even the nuclear storage facilities I was aware of in the US many have been closed. Nukes are expensive to maintain and keep secure, so nukes were withdrawn from ships entirely after the end of the Cold War and the number of nuclear weapons storage sites greatly reduced. It's easier and cheaper to guard fewer facilities. There was a proposal two years or so ago for the Navy to develop a nuclear armed cruise missile like they had in the 1980s, but the Navy rejected the proposal. Some in Congress still want the Navy to do this but the Navy isn't interested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are U.S. forces stationed in Japan mercenaries employed by Japan solely to defend it? If so, Japan must shoulder all the operating costs of the bases -- I mean, 100 percent of the base operating costs plus the purchase of "the ordinance, bombs, rockets, missiles and ammunition" which U.S. forces expend to defend Japan.

No they are not mercenaries. They are protecting the US, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Is it even a little bit possible for you to realize the relationship between the US and Japan is one of intertwined economies with shared values, shared dangers and shared burdens? Japan is part of a coalition that includes more than just the US and Japan. It includes all the democratic nations of the Pacific. Everyone in the coalition chips in. Alone none of us can stand up to China or Russia but as a team we are powerful enough to make them take a deep breath and think twice about attacking any one or all of us.

Most Marines are not terribly excited about deploying to Okinawa, or South Korea. I've heard my share of Marines grousing about "Oki". They are unaccompanied tours. You live in a barracks, you eat in a chow hall. No home cooking. You leave the wife and kids back home. They are constantly training while deployed. It's not a vacation for them. But we send our people out there in case the Chinese or Russians try to start something we are already there and can respond. Just having a large force so close deters a lot of mischief that otherwise might occur if US forces had to sail across the Pacific from the mainland US or even Hawaii. It's about a week to transit from Hawaii to Japan, two weeks from the US west coast. A lot of bad things could happen in that time that are deterred by having forces right there ready to fight. That is a hard lesson from WWII and the Korean War. And for the Japanese, you don't have to feel like you are facing down China and Russia all alone, or be turned into a vassal state. Some of you grouse that Japan is a vassal of the US. If the US were to abandon Japan you would find out soon enough what really means to be a vassal, of China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

painkiller,

Drive through Kadena Air Base and the abundant greenery contrasts with the cement jungle in Chatan and Koza.

I think you want to point out that Rt. 50 turns greenery and well mowed along the fences of Kadena Air Base in contrast to civilian sectors that are overgrown with weeds. But have you ever thought that the budget for maintaining U.S. bases clean comes from Japanese taxpayers' pocket money? 

He (the reporter) forgot to mention traffic accidents caused by locals, …

Traffic accidents or crimes committed by locals shouldn’t be discussed at the same table. They are different matters on different planes. You are like saying robbery committed by foreigners is not punishable because there are many Japanese who also commit the same crime and hordes of them at that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eisaku Sato, a former P.M. and a Nobel laureate for peace, agreed secretly with Richard Nixon, a former U.S. President, at the time when Okinawa was returned to Japan, to the effect that the U.S. could bring back nuclear weapons to Okinawa if needs be.

The US maintained nukes on Okinawa several times.

Because of the concentration of U.S. military, Okinawa is faced with noise, pollution, aircraft accidents and crime related to American troops and their bases on daily basis, Tamaki said.

He forgot to mention traffic accidents caused by locals, and dirtying of the ocean by mainland divers.

Drive through Kadena Air Base and the abundant greenery contrasts with the cement jungle in Chatan and Koza.

Those bases are pristine.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Joemusic1980,

 the US Military can only perform defensive operations from Japan

No, you are mistaken. Chapter 3 of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation says: "the United States will maintain its nuclear deterrent capability, its forward deployed forces in the Asia-Pacific region, and other forces capable of reinforcing those forward deployed forces." In other words, the U.S. military can use bases in Japan as forward attack bases, capable also of using nuclear weapons. So, you are mistaken to interpret the gist of the Defense Guidelines.

Note that Japan has the famous national policy of three non-nuclear principles: not producing, not possessing and not allowing the entry of nuclear weapons into the country.

So, the U.S. forces' nuclear capability in Japan is the blatant breach of these three non-nuclear principles. But no sweat. Eisaku Sato, a former P.M. and a Nobel laureate for peace, agreed secretly with Richard Nixon, a former U.S. President, at the time when Okinawa was returned to Japan, to the effect that the U.S. could bring back nuclear weapons to Okinawa if needs be.

Farce and shenanigans always gain the upper hand when Japan-U.S. defense alliance comes into play.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dear Voice of Okinawa,

Desert Tortoise is correct, the US Military can only perform defensive operations from Japan. Unless Japan is actually attacked. Please see link below

It’s actually more expensive for the US Government to station troops overseas. The Japanese government pays a lot. However the US Government pays for all of the housing, food, medical, dental, parts, fuel, equipment, transportation for it’s troops and equipment . Not to mention the cost of living overseas allowances each Soldier receives.

Have you ever looked at what the Americans pay for rent in Okinawa? It’s about double what Japanese pay (the US Government pays for that as well)

https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/guideline2.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Desert Tortoise,

Are U.S. forces stationed in Japan mercenaries employed by Japan solely to defend it? If so, Japan must shoulder all the operating costs of the bases -- I mean, 100 percent of the base operating costs plus the purchase of "the ordinance, bombs, rockets, missiles and ammunition" which U.S. forces expend to defend Japan.

Seriously, are USFJ personnel mercenaries who are deployed here solely to defend Japan?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Besides, it's much cheaper to maintain bases in Japan than in the U.S. because the Japanese government shoulders the bulk (74%) of base operating costs for the U.S. government.

The Japanese are only paying base operating costs. The Japanese are not paying for the ships, aircraft, or any of the vehicles the American taxpayer buys in order to defend Japan. They are not paying for fuel, overhauls or spares. The Japanese are not buying the ordnance, the bombs, rockets, missiles and ammunition US forces would expend to defend Japan. The US would not need such a big Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force and all the costs those impose on the American taxpayer if the US didn't have to defend Japan. The US could greatly reduce the size of its military and just walk away. No need to station those forces back in the US. Just demobilize and send them home. Let Japan defend itself on its own dime. But the US already knows what happened the last time the US withdrew into isolationism. Japan gets a darned good deal for what they pay. Japan could never reproduce the amount of protection the US offers them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Desert Tortoise,

The US is not stationing troops in Japan to take advantage of the Japanese people.

Are you sure? Isn't the U.S. stationing its troops, 50,000 of them, and maintaining so many bases and facilities in Japan, 30 in mainland Japan and 11 in Okinawa, according to MOD statistics, (conspicuously missing from the statistics is USMC Jungle Warfare Training Center located in northern Okinawa; is it subsumed under Camp Schwab?) partly not to let the genie out of the bottle? 

Besides, it's much cheaper to maintain bases in Japan than in the U.S. because the Japanese government shoulders the bulk (74%) of base operating costs for the U.S. government. These are the reasons why bases in Japan, and in Okinawa in particular, weren't closed while many bases in the U.S. and elsewhere were subject to closure in the U.S. government's worldwide base realignment in recent years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some poster accuses me by saying that I'm biting the hand that feeds me. Well, feeders feed his cattle with a vicious purpose in mind: to raise them by giving pricey fodder for free and sell them to slaughterers for a lucrative profit.

Sigh. The US is not stationing troops in Japan to take advantage of the Japanese people. The US learned a really hard lesson in WWII that it cannot sit back in isolation hoping wars fought elsewhere do not affect them or come to their shores. And then right after WWII was over a US that was sick and tired of war and that had demobilized much of its forces, closed bases, mothballed ships and sent the soldiers home got another rude surprise when the North Koreans swept into South Korea. Lessons learned the hard way. If the US wants to prevent wars coming to it then the US needs to keep forces forward deployed in sufficient numbers that no enemy is going to take its chances attacking a US ally like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, or the US itself. If the US wants to protect Taiwan and Japan from the Chinese then it has to keep the Chinese inside the first island chain. The US cannot do that from Guam and Hawaii. It has to have forces right there where they expect to fight otherwise we will have forgotten the lessons of WWII and at some point have to fight our way back across the Pacific to liberate the Japanese from Chinese aggression.

Or would you prefer to take your chances on the good intentions of the Chinese? Do you really believe their propaganda? Are you that gullible? Don't answer that question until you have had a chance to speak to some people from Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia. Ask them how the CCP keeps its promises. They can vouch for what I said earlier that Chinese aircraft are noiseless, never crash or lose parts and their soldiers are all gelded monks with no Earthly desires, alcohol never touches their lips and they never fight, gamble or abuse any of the locals. Nope, paragons of virtue.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Some poster accuses me by saying that I'm biting the hand that feeds me. Well, feeders feed his cattle with a vicious purpose in mind: to raise them by giving pricey fodder for free and sell them to slaughterers for a lucrative profit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China do not want war.

Who or what is "China". China is not a monolith. It's government and the CCP are riven by factional rivalries. The PLA is almost openly oppodrd to the current CCP leadership. They want Xi gone. The PLA and even attempted a coup in mid to late 2017. The Jiang Zemin and Communist Party Youth League factions want Xi gone too. The Jiang faction led by Bo Xilai led an attempt to oust Xi Jinping from the Politburo before he was elected General Chairman, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of Bo, his wife and several other high party officials from the Jiang faction. The Jiang and Youth Leage factions are two of the most powerful among the many factions competing for power and influence within the CCP. The PLA is upset with the CCP now because so many of their generals have economic interests in the big tech firms suffering the most damage from the economic isolation due to tariffs, Xi's policies of stripping tech firms from their founders and breaking them up and his Covid-19 policies. The PLA are angry that Xi's wolf warrior diplomacy has left China isolated and without allies anywhere while nations line up to oppose them and limit them economically. The PLA also worries that the CCP under Xi could drive them into a war to take Taiwan that they would lose but Xi keeps talking like war is imminent. Then you have to consider the long suffering people of China who have their daily lives to worry about who are not interested in much of what the government does. As my family in Shanghai likes to say "the government does what it wants and we do what we want". The CCP has no grassroots support among the Chinese people. None. The government and the CCP are reviled but for now people feel powerless to change anything. There is no one "China". Their government and society are highly fragmented. It is a western misconception that "China" is this monolith with a unified purpose. That is fiction.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

China comes a callin', asking for diplomacy will be like saying "stop!" while a two ton bull with sharp horns is barreling down on you.

Yeah, but everyone knows that Chinese aircraft all fly noiselessly, never crash, never lose parts and their soldiers are all gelded monks with no earthly desires who's lips never touch alcohol nor do they ever gamble or fight. Nope, paragons of virtue, ambassadors of peace. Right?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes please send ALL U.S troops home..and don’t call them when you need them. I am tired of hearing how everyone is blaming US military and US for all their problems..don’t want them there send them back..sounds like another country that wants US troops out of their country fine send them all home families won’t have to worry anymore and DO NOT expect no help no money no nothing when you need the US

2 ( +3 / -1 )

o wa heiwa dayo neToday 04:25 pm JST

@Mocheake

> Okinawa becomes its own self governing autonomous region and neutral ?

> Or its own independent country.

I was being sarcastic. The anti-U.S. crowd is always vocal about removing all the bases. Same for that governor, who seems to think dialogue and economic ties will be a deterrent. He may be a governor but he seems to know nothing about how countries with military might and nuclear weapons tend to act. When China comes a callin', asking for diplomacy will be like saying "stop!" while a two ton bull with sharp horns is barreling down on you.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I belong to an age group who experienced World War II 

You are fortunate to have been given the opportunity to do better than the "average" Okinawan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Tamaki seems always drunk. this is the guy who officially mentioned through public air that there's no tension

between China and Japan around Senkaku

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Yubaru - You are so correct!

Tamaki should know a lot about how to negotiate with China as a former kyosanto (communist part) member. Tokyo should take advantage of this opportunity and appoint Tamaki to the negotiating team. Maybe he could convince China that the Senkaku Islands are really part of Okinawa for starters.

Tamaki is just the latest line in the chain of Okinawa politicians that choose to please their supporters and not all Okinawans. Over the last 50-years, Okinawa has received subsidies and various forms of assistance from Tokyo to bring Okinawa up to standards with other prefectures. It is also intended to partially compensate for the burden of the US and JSDF bases located on the islands.

Yet, after 50-years of subsidies, Okinawa has the lowest education rate, the highest child poverty rate, and the lowest average income of all 47 prefectures. Where did all those subsidies go? Hint: right in the pockets of all the mainland contractors who built all the infrastructure (aka concrete structures) in Okinawa. If Okinawa prefecture had used the money to improve educational opportunities, bring in employers who can provide high-paying jobs, promoted trade, a tax-free zone, and international outreach, Okinawa would be much better off. Simple things like free high school tuition, tutoring, skilled guest teachers, college scholarships, high-quality English language education, and economic actions such as requiring Okinawan ownership and management content for government contracts. Over 50 years these kinds of actions would make a huge difference.

Governor Tamaki, stop whining and start making Okinawa a better place.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

China's history is one of the most bloody war histories. In its history, so many countries have came and gone through relentless fights among different ethnicities completely speaking different languages

They are also the most cruel when, torturing people, killing people.

wrong! When it comes to torturing no one is more cruel than the Japanese!

Wrong!. You just don't know it.

Have you heard of Lingchi 凌遅刑 which sounds similar to English word Lynch?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingchi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqqca2EmXa8

Have you also heard of Tungchow Incident?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tungchow_mutiny

https://www.google.com/search?q=Tungchow+mutiny&rlz=1C1QABZ_jaJP911JP911&sxsrf=ALiCzsblEgE19ucDuyAq_E1e6zoTi5Mf8A:1651909066334&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwif-eXo8Mz3AhXqqVYBHX8jA6kQ_AUoAXoECAMQAw&biw=1745&bih=845&dpr=1.1

How about Jinnan incident?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinan_incident

2 ( +7 / -5 )

TARA TAN KITAOKAToday  04:36 pm JST

China do not want war.

Really?

"Xi Jinping orders China’s military to be ready for war ‘at any second’

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3116436/xi-jinping-orders-chinas-military-be-ready-war-any-second

"Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on troops to "put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war"

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/14/asia/xi-jinping-taiwan-us-esper-intl-hnk/index.html

"China's Xi Jinping Tells People's Liberation Army to Get Ready For Combat"

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/combat-03102021110542.html

3 ( +9 / -6 )

China do not want war.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

I belong to an age group who experienced World War II and witnessed how war-time leaders and their cohort commanded imperialism and militarism while condemning the U.S. and the Empire of Great Britain, calling them Anglo-Saxon beasts. As soon as Japan lost the war, these same people flip-flopped on their attitude and began to praise political systems introduced by the Allies headed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

In school curriculum, too, anything reminiscent of war-time Japan was expunged from textbooks. As far as education was concerned, Okinawa was allowed to conform to mainland Japan. I remember part of a school song praising U.S. service members walking on streets or driving jeeps wearing nice uniforms and caps, valiantly.

Japan's LDP, a majority party, inherits this tradition of servile tail-wagging to the U.S. and there isn't much we can look forward to them.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@Mocheake

Okinawa becomes its own self governing autonomous region and neutral ?

Or its own independent country.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Okinawa seeks Tokyo's help lowering tensions with China

I think the headline is misleading or incorrect because - Okinawa is more criticizing and complaining about Japan's dialogue with China than asking for help.

Or perhaps they got it backwards.

Okinawa seeks China's help lowering tensions with Japan.

After all the Ryukyu kingdom originally did span from Taiwan to the southern tip islands of kagoshima or the now named Tokara islands before Japan invaded the sovereign nation of the Ryukyu kingdom and tributary or vassal state of China.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

More peaceful dialogue means less conflicts !

Tell that to the Ukrainians! China is watching closely

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I live in Okinawa and my wife is Ryukyu native 

Then she literally is well over 200 years old.

Tamaki isn't asking to remove the USA military

You see Tamaki's lips moving, but you don't actually listen to what he is saying. He has, on countless occasions, advocated for the removal of ALL US Military from Okinawa. In fact, as he sings his folk songs at the camp fire, he wants ALL military, including the JSDF gone from Okinawa too!

Your superficial ,sinister and ambiguous bigoted comments

Calling Tamaki an idiot politician isnt "bigoted", it's a fact!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There's that annoying "Voice" again

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If Xi and his boys come knocking when Tamakis wish come true…he’ll be wearing his palms out at the local shrine wishing he’d never made the granted wish to get the US out of town!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Just get rid of all the U.S. bases. China will see there's no threat and leave you in peace. There. Solved that.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Well said, Gov. Denny Tamaki. We're all behind you. Power to your shoulders.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

China's history is one of the most bloody war histories. In its history, so many countries have came and gone through relentless fights among different ethnicities completely speaking different languages

They are also the most cruel when, torturing people, killing people.

wrong! When it comes to torturing no one is more cruel than the Japanese!

my kids are half Japanese and I will make sure they are aware of Japan’s past…

but back on topic, Tamaki should be careful what he ask for… China will take advantage of Okinawa if they get too close

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

China's history is one of the most bloody war histories. In its history, so many countries have came and gone through relentless fights among different ethnicities completely speaking different languages.

They are also the most cruel when, torturing people, killing people.

It is no secret any more CCP China officially proposing the US to divide and separately rule entire Pacific area by two major super powers despite China itself does not border Pacific Ocean.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

This is all based on the premise of a military conflict between China and Taiwan, which imo will not happen.

Before the Nationalist Party (KMT) was defeated on mainland China and retreated to Taiwan, Madame Chiang Kai-shek was instrumental in making China into this image of a country of 400M Christian converts which would embrace Western values and accept US leadership without question. In fact, most Chinese were not the least bit interested in this image of China, and instead embraced Mao’s path for China’s future, which resulted in the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.

Taiwan is no longer under the control of the KMT mainlanders who retreated to Taiwan, and is now led by native Taiwanese in the form of the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) with Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan’s president. However, the DPP leadership is intellectually weak because they have spent their time fighting domestically in Taiwan against the KMT (the party led by Chiang Kai-shek), and while many Taiwanese like the idea of an independent Taiwan, they are not sure that they are willing to die for it against a much stronger People’s Liberation Army from the PRC.

Right now, the US is trying to convince the Taiwanese that freedom and democracy are values worth dying for, but the Taiwanese and their wishful thinking would like it better if Americans die for Taiwan’s freedoms and democracy instead of the Taiwanese having to die themselves.

The war in Ukraine has convinced the Taiwanese that while the US is willing to send weapons to Taiwan in event of war with China, it is NOT willing to send US troops to fight and die if China decides to invade Taiwan. This has made the Taiwanese ask a difficult question: “Is shedding our blood for Taiwan independence worth it when China is so much bigger and stronger, or is it just better to become part of the PRC without a fight because then we can become part of a strong and prosperous China?”

Of course, the US wants them to fight and die against China, but obviously the Taiwanese are having second thoughts.The most important element in the Party’s favor is the rising standard of living for Chinese, and the fact that Chinese are no longer living in poverty. If the Party has done so well for most Chinese over the past 40+ years, what is the reason for changing when no one has an organization offering a better policy platform?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan should do more for peaceful diplomacy with China and not just focus on arms deterrence as tensions rise around Taiwan to the west of Okinawa, said the southern island prefecture's governor Friday.

Appeasement is to give evil a chance to grow. It works against its intention.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So, let's put this in Perspective: You want US Troops OUT, and a half to construction of military readyness at a time when TWO World leaders are Raping both sides of the World...and you want Troop Reduction. Sure, What could Happen ?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Okinawa seeks Tokyo's help lowering tensions with China:

He is one of the rare Japanese leaders who speak their mind and talk sense.

They are highly aware of their nation's over-dependence on others. A revision has long been overdue.

Should Tokyo not take note..?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If you’re so worried about China, why have you allowed them to become the #1 growing investor in Okinawa real estate during your tenure?

hypocrite

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@Donald seekins

Taiwan is a self governing or autonomous province of China.

Taiwan has not officially claimed independence.

Many countries observe Taiwans quest to be independent .

However...

Taiwan is not officially recognized by Japan or the USA governments as its own independent country.

So NO ...! China will most certainly not be invading its own country.

Don't forget the atrocities committed dury the showa era resulted in more fatalities than Hitler.

Iam not defending China just clarifying the facts.

More peaceful dialogue means less conflicts !

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

In a perfect world, diplomacy and discussion would be enough and weapons would be unnecessary. Unfortunately we’re not there yet, just ask Tibet and Ukraine.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Donald Seekins.....agree with your sentiments.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

ongoing border conflicts

Yes, key word: border. As opposed to wars all over the world. China wasn't the one invading and colonizing Pacific islands like Guam, Saipan and Hawaii.

As usual, Okinawa is treated like cannon fodder by Tokyo. Where have we seen this before? China and Ryukyu have historically enjoyed peaceful relations. China wasn't the one who invaded Ryukyu and colonized it, forcing another language and culture on them and forcing them to commit suicide at the end of WWII.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@Yubaru

Tamaki isn't asking to remove the USA military.

He's asking to downsize the quantity and for the rest of the country to share the burden.

reasonable enough !

Tamaki is asking for more diplomatic condusive peaceful dialogue with China instead of just more weapons.

reasonable enough !

Okinawans are concerned of being sacrificed again.

completely understandable !

I live in Okinawa and my wife is Ryukyu native and its disgusting how the Japanese goverment treat the okinawans and have always taken advantage of them.

Even Japanese tourists come to Japan and have this disdain for the okinawans and frequently make comments about the okinawans being stupid or a lower class of people.

Just like you saying of Tamaki.

Your superficial ,sinister and ambiguous bigoted comments are a perfect example of how the Japanese are not capable of peaceful dialogue.

Only a complete idot wouldn't realize that building stronger dialogue with China would help Japan's economic crisis and territory issues.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

@Samit Basu

Yes, the last major invasion was Sino-Vietnam war (over 40 years ago), which is something I do very much hold against the CPC. I think it was badly motivated and very revisionist. I don't unconditionally support them, to some people's surprise. I don't think the CPC of today is the same as the party was then though.

I take some issue with their ongoing border conflicts with India as well, as I think that is something they can really resolve peacefully. China-India cooperation could be extremely powerful if they can improve their relations to that point.

My point though, is that China is not exceptionally aggressive in international affairs. Especially compared to other superpowers like the US or Russia.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Re: Thomas R Mountcastle: "The PRC will do exactly as it pleases. Everyone else will have to react. Do you imagine when the PLA invades Taiwan, they will ignore Okinawa, Sasebo, & Iwakuni?"

Here we go, the old rationale for war, war and more war. The PRC is identical to Hitler. Compromise on anything with Beijing, and they'll be the wolf at your door.

C'mon people, grow up. Try diplomacy for a change!

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Having lived in Okinawa for many years, I have great sympathy with Gov. Tamaki's request to lighten the prefecture's unfair military burden. But unfortunately, that will never happen for two reasons:

(1) given the tense atmosphere in the East China Sea, even if all the US military bases are shut down, they will be replaced by SDF bases. The military occupation of the island will have a mainland Japanese rather than an American face; and,

(2) given the determination of the rightwing hawks in Tokyo to use China (and North Korea) as a pretext for re-armament, tensions will continue, and become worse. At best, the future will be a new Cold War in Asia.

Tamaki is right to advocate for better Tokyo-Beijing ties, but given the attitudes in Tokyo and Washington, I am afraid his goal of regional peace will not be attained..

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

@THOMAS R MOUNTCASTLETE

Do you imagine when the PLA invades Taiwan, they will ignore Okinawa, Sasebo, & Iwakuni?

Yes. China doesn't want to take the blame for being the first to open fire.

If China doesn't attack first, then there is a chance that the US may stay out of conflict like it did in Ukraine.

If China attacks US bases first, then that 100% guarantees US military intervention. This is why China will not attack US bases first when it invades Taiwan.

@Yubaru

 fails to accept that the JSDF would replace them. Okinawa is never going to be free of the military JSDF or otherwise

The difference being

1) There would be less conflicts with SDF personnel given no language/culture issues compared to US troops.

2) SDF members are subject to Japanese law and justice when crime does happen, unlike US troops under SOFA.

3) SDF is a much smaller organization than the USFJ and could struggle to send 10K replacement troops to Okinawa. In other word, it won't be a 1:1 replacement of US troops hence the troop presence in Okinawa would be much much smaller, and have up to 80% of bases returned.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Historically China becomes aggressive when it is strong. It is not stupid to attack its neighbors when it is weak. Since 2008 or so it has become aggressive, first in the South China Sea and then over Taiwan and Senkaku, using dubious irredentist claims. Note that along its way it attacked what it thought were weaker countries, India and Vietnam. When it was most powerful during the 18th century it invaded and occupied Tibet, Xinjiang (meaning New Frontierland) and Taiwan. Not aggressive?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Okinawa is telling the people of Honshu to zip it

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Addfwyn

but what countries has China attacked in the past 10 years? 20? 30? The answer is 0. 

The last major invasion was 1979(Vietnam), but the military invasions continued since.

1) Ongoing border battles with India : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-e9cf7m9KI

2) Chinese occupation of Scarborough Shoals, the Philippines : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough_Shoal_standoff

3) Chinese intrusion into Bhutan : https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/05/07/china-bhutan-border-villages-security-forces/

5 ( +10 / -5 )

On one hand, I agree that ending US military occupation in Okinawa would be a good thing. If for some reason the US did start a war with China, it would obviously be a key territory for the US. At the very least, an assurance that the US would not use it as a base of aggressions, though I am not sure how meaningful that would be.

I don't see the line that China itself is a threat though. I have said countless times before, but what countries has China attacked in the past 10 years? 20? 30? The answer is 0. They are non-interventionist and (for better or worse) do not export revolution. Nor is Taiwanese leadership insane enough to actually declare a formal independence that would require any kind of intervention.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

His definition of peaceful diplomacy with CCP China is to let it annex Senkaku, Taiwan, ... and Okinawa+all smaller islands

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Seeing how Tokyo deals with international tensions in the area maybe it is not such a good idea for Okinawa to ask for help from the central government.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

 There is also concern that Russian invasion of Ukraine may embolden China.

On the contrary, given the way its been going for Russia and the economic sanctions, I would say its given China pause.

Historically you can’t negotiate with the CCP, they will never forget about WWII, it’s a trusted card to play when there are domestic problems.

To avoid conflict, the best thing to do is preserve status quo, trying to buddy up to China will only benefit China..

Exactly! Simply put, the CCP cant be trusted

10 ( +18 / -8 )

@moskolo: There is no status quo: The PRC will do exactly as it pleases. Everyone else will have to react. Do you imagine when the PLA invades Taiwan, they will ignore Okinawa, Sasebo, & Iwakuni?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Historically you can’t negotiate with the CCP, they will never forget about WWII, it’s a trusted card to play when there are domestic problems.

To avoid conflict, the best thing to do is preserve status quo, trying to buddy up to China will only benefit China..

12 ( +21 / -9 )

To guarantee Okinawa's safety, Tokyo must declare in writing they would disallow the US military from launching military intervention from Okinawa, on top of already pledged SDF staying out of Taiwan war.

But does Kishida have the courage to do so? I don't think so. In that case, the second option is for Okinawa to formally declare independence and order US troops off Okinawa.

Otherwise military conflict involving Okinawa is inevitable, as it appears that Chinese military invasion of Taiwan will happen soon, perhaps as soon as in 2024. It was originally scheduled this fall according to FSB leaked document but the Ukraine War delayed China's invasion.

-37 ( +4 / -41 )

One, Tamaki is an idiot when it comes to politics. He thinks that removing the US Military would keep China at bay, but fails to accept that the JSDF would replace them. Okinawa is never going to be free of the military JSDF or otherwise, and their presence in increasing in the outer islands close to Taiwan as well.

Sorry Denny, you cant have your cake and eat it too. Time to face reality.

f lands taken by the U.S. military are returned to the prefecture for economic use, it would triple Okinawa's U.S. military-related income, Tamaki said.

This is based upon some theory that tourism is going to replace everything, because Okinawa will never become a manufacturing base, and IT will not grow because wages wont rise to the level necessary to get quality talent.

Look at how badly we have been hurt here because of corona. It's been a slaughterhouse for numerous small to middle sized businesses, the very one's Tamaki thinks will "triple" the economy.

Tourism is a fickle business.

Also to get businesses to come, means you have to have people, qualified people to work, but Okinawan wages will always be low, so all the money floods right back OUTSIDE the prefecture, as most does now.

And we really DONT need any more AEON's, San Ei's or any other department stores, and we cant afford, with the current infrastructure any more people either!

Only and idiot would believe what he is saying!

19 ( +28 / -9 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites