politics

Okinawa urges U.S. to do more to stop virus outbreak at bases

36 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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*Gov Denny Tamaki flew to Tokyo to ask Defense Minister Taro Kono to share the concerns of local communities that host American bases and urge the U.S. military to be more cooperative with them.*

The cluster infections of coronavirus in U.S. bases on Okinawa are not Okinawa's local problem alone but genuinely a national one because U.S. bases are not in Okinawa alone but they are planted all over Japan.

Thus, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the accompanying agreement SOFA may come apart at the seams when people realize Japan is unequally put under and bound by these documents.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

How about J-Gov do more to stop the spread of COVID-19 in red light district areas. The base reports 130 for 2020. Where as Tokyo is reporting above this number daily. But for some reason the base is the big news.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Deny is one of many hypocrite politicians here and throughout Japan! Quit trying to obfuscate the issue by pointing at numbers alone!

It was generally accepted that the numbers reported locally were far below the actual number of infections, and that goes for all of Japan as well.

Take the damn forest out of your own eyes before you start talking about a sliver in theirs!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

so that the infections on bases will not spread to the Japanese community

The virus is likely already widespread across Okinawa, and not just because of US military personnel. We just don’t know it because the Japanese government does so little testing compared to what’s done on base.

And no, I’m not pooh-poohing the concern over this issue.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The cluster infections of coronavirus in U.S. bases on Okinawa are not Okinawa's local problem alone but genuinely a national one because U.S. bases are not in Okinawa alone but they are planted all over Japan.

Even YOU must totally admit that the US Military is doing a far, far, better job of testing and identifying people who are infected, and tracing their contacts with others to test and quarantine them as well.

You MUST also admit, with absolutely no reservations, that Deny and the politicians are hypocrites as well for not taking the same approach locally.

Not to mention that your illogical statement here also makes the cases that have popped up in Tokyo, literally hundreds a day, are our problem here in Okinawa too, as people from "there" have traveled to "here" as well!

Also you MUST lastly admit with no reservations too, that with the military, EVERYONE who comes in and out of the country is placed in quarantine before being allowed any further movement within the country, or to leave.

By your statement here, everyone who travels out of Tokyo should automatically be placed into a 14 day quarantine before being allowed any further movement.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Spot on once again Yubaru!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The virus is likely already widespread across Okinawa, and not just because of US military personnel. We just don’t know it because the Japanese government does so little testing compared to what’s done on base.

And this is downright scary for all the old folks living here too!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good thing Tamaki san made the flight up to Tokyo, how else could he express his concern.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It seems to me US military bases would be like their homeland sooner or later if they try not to stop infections spread.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How about urging your (the Japanese) too.

Just sayin'.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The problem with the outbreak, you can't properly say whether it began on the base or if someone contracted it off base and brought it back to the base. Because the government , outside of Tokyo, isn't testing or trying to stop the spread anyway. Right now, both sides are just throwing blame.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The problem with the outbreak, you can't properly say whether it began on the base or if someone contracted it off base and brought it back to the base.

Actually they can, if they check the virus itself, they can identify where the source of the infection came from, as it varies according to location.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

“We are extremely concerned about the impact of the spread of the coronavirus infections on American troops' rapid response capability,” Kono told reporters.

Seriously? They still America out of JAPAN right? So why are they worried about the response capability?

Maybe the US needs to go ahead and get this war with China going? So Then all the Military assets on Oki can deploy and then when the US is done putting the boot to China, those assets can go somewhere else and not return to Oki:)

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This exposes the problem of just how weak the Japanese Govt. is when it comes to dealing with the U.S. Military. Japan allows massive U.S. Bases on their soil but have absolutely zero control over them. Hopefully this will lead to a proper revision of the SOFA Agreement and allow Japan more control over these bases but I have my doubts. In the 1990s, both Germany and Italy demanded and got major revisions to their SOFA Agreements and you should look at the link below and compare the controls that Italy and Germany have versus Japan.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180422/p2a/00m/0na/005000c

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When Japan stops forcing us to drive "Y" plated cars that easily puts us at risk, stops demanding we all wear the same "stripped" shirts sold at the exchanges because that is how "THEY" can distinguish us from other foreigners and stop making us wear the same "black" masks so that "THEY" can distinguish who is from base, then perhaps the bases will be more cooperative.

re: japan4life: this is not Germany nor Italy. Neither country started war with the US. So with that in mind they got concessions. Here is Japan, we lost. That's it.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Isolate them. Restrict them to base. Pay locals employed on bases to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

rgcivilian1,

So what you are saying is that the United States does not consider Japan to be an equal ally and because of WWII will always consider Japan to be under its control and will never give them any concessions or renegotiate the SOFA.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@japan4life

Yes, I would say that just about sums up the situation here.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

American imperialism at its finest. Japan: you are a colony. Accept this fact and start fighting back.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

U.S. military on Okinawa is doing fine in controlling COVID-19. So, butts out! Is that what you are saying? If U.S. military is doing fine, why do you not do the same thing in U.S.? We are worried about seeing what's happening in the states.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This utter disregard for others -- and at a level of incompetence you'd expect from some kind-of-tin-pot dictatorial Banana Republic -- is being displayed GLOBALLY by the US military. Check out what's happening in South Korea, Germany, the UK, ANYWHERE they come in with a total idiocy in play the likes of wich NO ONE has EVER seen.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's really a pity that people of supposedly a sovereign nation has to host so many foreign military bases, over which they have no  control, and entreat them to be more cooperative in this coronavirus affair.

Germany and Italy are more assertive and resolute about U.S. bases in their countries.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I'm just curious, but is Okinawa doing mass-testing on its' communities?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

American imperialism at its finest. Japan: you are a colony. Accept this fact and start fighting back.

By peaceful methods, of course.

Boycotting works. And sit ins, chaining to fences, etc.

Love Americans, loathe imperialists.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Can really feel the Americans from other foreign nationals to the locals in the statement/s

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This exposes the problem of just how weak the Japanese Govt. is when it comes to dealing with the U.S. Military. Japan allows massive U.S. Bases on their soil but have absolutely zero control over them. Hopefully this will lead to a proper revision of the SOFA Agreement and allow Japan more control over these bases but I have my doubts. In the 1990s, both Germany and Italy demanded and got major revisions to their SOFA Agreements and you should look at the link below and compare the controls that Italy and Germany have versus Japan.

you are right!!!

And specially Okinawa is very weak since Tokyo is not supporting them at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Even YOU must totally admit that the US Military is doing a far, far, better job of testing and identifying people who are infected, and tracing their contacts with others to test and quarantine them as well.

No, they are not, otherwise they would had contacted the taxi driver who got infected when transporting people from Hansen to other places. OR you mean they are only tracing US personnel? and locals are not of their concern?

Also you MUST lastly admit with no reservations too, that with the military, EVERYONE who comes in and out of the country is placed in quarantine before being allowed any further movement within the country, or to leave.

This is what you say... but what it seen is different.

With the people who came in kept in quarantine in Hotel outside base, in Chatan. Are you sure they did not came down to the beach on July 4 to celebrate? with all fireworks there and the BBQs? Was there any military police checking it? No.

By your statement here, everyone who travels out of Tokyo should automatically be placed into a 14 day quarantine before being allowed any further movement.

Yes, this is what many people have been doing. Is it easy? NO, but it is better than an massive infection at your workplace or community? YES

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"So what you are saying is that the United States does not consider Japan to be an equal ally and because of WWII will always consider Japan to be under its control and will never give them any concessions or renegotiate the SOFA."

Not true. It is much more complex than that. Until the last few years all of Asia wanted Japan to depend on the US for its defense. Japan had no real friends in the region. Most nations still had a deep distrust of JApan from WWII and did not want Japan to have any excuse to re-arm. It is significant that the JASDF doesn't have the sorts of portable and thus deployable support equipment the USAF has. Their support equipment is built into their flight lines and not movable. They are tied to their bases. Likewise the JMSDF lacked big replenishment ships to permit long range deployments and no real amphibious lift with which to bring their army to a foreign shore. Lacking aircraft carriers the JMSDF had to stay close to Japan and rely on ground based air cover. To deploy they required US support and thus were constrained to operate with US forces. Japan could not go it alone. The general consensus in Asia was that as long as Japan was dependent upon the US for its defense, it was harmless and could not repeat the horrors inflicted on them during WWII. The rise of China and the fact that China is making claims to Japanese territory has completely changed this dynamic. Now much of Asia feels directly threatened by China and sees Japan as one of them, likewise facing the threat of territorial aggression from China. They have also seen the hot tempers and sharp elbows of the Chinese tourists and compare this to the Japanese in their countries. It's a real difference. Moreover unlike any other nation in Asia, Japan has significant economic might and a large professional military, excuse me, "self defense force", that can act as a counterweight to China. Japans neighbors now want to see Japan be more assertive in the face of Chinese aggression. The US too. The tables have turned! I will also add that while Japan has beaten Russian (twice), Chinese, Korean, UK, French and Dutch forces in combat, the US is the only nation that outfought the Japanese and forced them into defeat. I think the Japanese respect that fact. We did awful things to Japan to defeat them in WWII. No apologies btw, I had uncles and a father in combat in WWII. My mom was part of the Manhattan Project. The US learned a very hard lesson on 7 December 1941. Japan attacked a nation at peace that didn't want to go to war and they paid a heavy price for it. Asia understands that, so do Japanese old enough to have been alive then and maybe their sons and daughters. But the Japanese were also amazed that US soldiers treated them well during the occupation and were not the devils they were taught to expect. The US was magnanimous in victory, helping Japan rebuild and offering it sons and daughters to protect Japan while they became for a time the worlds second most powerful economy. Few nations in history have treated their former enemies with so much respect.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Dessert Tortoise, that is well thought out. I don't agree with some of it, but I do agree with a lot of it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Dessert Tortoise, what I think is missing is most of it requires someone in their 70's or older.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"@Dessert Tortoise, that is well thought out. I don't agree with some of it, but I do agree with a lot of it.

My wife is from China. We have some pretty vigorous arguments over Japan. I've been under a Japanese Admiral in a Japanese task force once, have had lunch on a Japanese destroyer during another big military get together (nothing like what gets passed off as "Japanese" food in "Japanese" restaurants, lol, and I wasn't prepared for some of the interesting foods that turn up on my metal tray) and am generally well disposed towards the Japanese. Worked for a time for a Japanese company in the US and liked the Japanese managers. The Japanese have a perfectionist streak that appeals to me. But my wife, oh my goodness. She likes Japanese products preferring their quality to that of Chinese products but she always warns me to never trust the Japanese say they will "stab us in the back" and start another war with us. Her words not mine but no argument I can make will change her mind. That distrust of Japan among the Chinese is very real, diligently nurtured by the CCP. Sad but true.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"@Dessert Tortoise, what I think is missing is most of it requires someone in their 70's or older."

I know. I'm not that far away. We forget our history too often and as a result repeat too many mistakes. I was in grad school during a nasty years long trade dispute with Japan if anyone remembers that. That trade war and its aftermath informs a lot of what is going on between China and the US today.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru,

They lie through their teeth daily and suckers believe them!

...............

I can not believe how people can blindly believe the press or politicians! It's because YOU want to believe it, even if it's not true.

You must prove yourself to be correct first before you say local newspapers always carry false reports.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'll be the first to call out the anti-base types who got out of their way to blow everything out of proportion when it comes to base issues. But this is totally unacceptable IMO, the US military should be publicly reporting cases across ALL branches and ALL bases in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The governor of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa urged the government on Wednesday to pressure the U.S. military to do more to stop an escalating coronavirus outbreak at American bases there that has infected more than 130 Marines.

Such a request is impossible since Okinawa is still the Crimea of Asia and the Americans are more powerful than even PM Abe. So what can Defense Minister Taro Kono do?

Almost da-kine nothin!

He said 36 more cases were reported at Camp Hansen, one of several U.S. bases on Okinawa hit by the outbreak, bringing the total to 136. Most of the cases are at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is at the center of a relocation dispute. Others were at Camp Kinser, Camp McTureous and Kadena Air Base.

Okinawa is the only place in the world where American bases outnumber their Russian counterparts in Crimea!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Today's local papers, The Ryukyu Shimpo and The Okinawa Times, report there were two new cases of coronavirus infections in USMC Air Station Futenma, toting up the number of infections to 143 among U.S. service members. On the other hand, local communities have seen no case of infection since June 1 with infections toting up 149 among the local population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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