politics

Okinawa vote a blow to Japan-U.S. ties, say analysts

215 Comments

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

© 2014 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

215 Comments
Login to comment

This guy became the governor getting support from Japan Communist Party, Socialist Democratic Party and People's Life Party (Minna no To). Where is he heading for? What are Okinawans thinking? Are they serious?

-11 ( +17 / -29 )

Now that the Okinawans have spoken but with no one listening, it looks lihe the Okinawans will have to brush up their karate skills as it looks like they will need to do some kicking and chopping with the riot police at the Henoko site.

Quirks of history and developments: I recall Futenma used to be identified as "MCAS Futenma (H)" H meaning helicopter? "H" was removed in 1986.

And Henoko, if anyone cares to look into this in the recent history books, Henoko was identified as an alternative "heli-pad" initially after the Japanese government decided that Henoko would serve as an alternative site. Plans later changed to bring in a array of aircraft into Henoko such in case Kadena and Naha is taken out in an initial attack. Did anyone ever wonder how the Marines got into Henoko? Well, the Henoko village chiefs at one time wanted to be developed liked Koza and Naminoue where soldiers were dropping their dollars before heading out to Vietnam. All this taking place while other Marine facilities north, like Camp Hardy, Camp Hague were being shut down in Chibana and Ginoza (all northern camps). Yet Camp Schwab was welcomed by the Henoko community and now the villagers really have no one else to blame. Futenma is another story. The elementary school, the town office, the bullfight ring, homes, etc, the whole community was removed with bulldozers and the villagers like nomads were scattered throughout Nodake, Ojana, Isa, many deciding to live on the edges of the new Futenma airbase. Many built and lived in shanty houses with permission from other farmers who were lucky not to lose their homes. Reason for living close tothe wire fences was that many hoped to enter to toil their land not taken up by the airfield. And at one time many farmers were allowed in. There a little history for those interested from me, boy who grew up around this military base and lived and played with boys and girls who are today grownup and fighting to get their grandfathers and grandmothers and ancestoral land back.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Time to do your patriotic duty and take another one for the team, Okinawa. You don't really have much choice in the matter, sad to say.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

About time. There's no point for us to dump our country's tax dollars over the past three decades after the Vietnam war into keeping bases over there that have little to no value other than to combat the perceived "CHINA INFLUENCE". Seriously if the Okinawans and the Japanese people vote to not have our bases there, we don't need to be there. My country fights wars out of the cause of freedom from oppression.. what are we if we ignore our host nation's pleas for us to leave? The only benefit Japan has is maintaining military contracts with us so they can suck our money dry.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

"At the end of last year, Nakaima agreed to drop his opposition in exchange for a hefty annual cash injection to the local economy."

Abe bought Nakaima. Yes, that's called bribery. No wonder the fool had his axe handed to him 360,000 - 260,000. Voter participation is probably low due to the public presuming their voice matters not to Tokyo oligarchs.

Move some of the US Forces out of Okinawa. Not all, just some. Why should Okinawa have to bear the burden of "hosting" 62% of the 47,000 US servicemen when Okinawa is a mere 0.6% of Japan's land area? Should any thinking person really be surprised that there is deep-seated resentment to what seems like occupying forces to many residents? No, they don't sling rifles on their shoulders, but their presence is undeniably ubiquitous. Give more of Okinawa back to Okinawans.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

John Galt Nov. 18, 2014 - 07:54AM JST Why should Okinawa have to bear the burden of "hosting" 62% of the 47,000 US servicemen when Okinawa is a mere 0.6% of Japan's land area?

Constant whining from Japan. Close down all of U.S. military bases in Japan and save the money. U.S. has to reduce spending somewhere and paying for the Defense of Japan is a good place to start cutting spending. If the Japanese goverment actually wants U.S. military there, then their goverment should be paying all of the costs of having U.S. military there Instead of U.S. taxpayers footing the bill for protecting Japan. U.S. spends close to $700 billion annually in defense, and it's not sustainable in the future. Let Japan defend themselves.

For the U.S. base in Japan, how much of it is honestly still necessary, what is just plain obsolete, and what can be done away with, without really missing it? The military is the military, one thing they could do, is make these U.S. military facilities in japan into closed posts, no fraternization, no association, fly in, fly out, and that's it. For that matter, you could replace some of the facilities with an aircraft carrier or find someplace where no one lives to begin with.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Yes, Japan wants the US forces to protect them, as long as they're not on the mainland. It's a different story when the US soldiers are required to be stationed on the mainland.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

"a spanner"? giggles.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And all the people complaining about the Henoko facility fails to realize that by agreeing on Henoko, around 8,000 Marines will be removed from Okinawa, and the world's most dangerous air base will be closed down.

Unaga is self-serving, and if he moves to block the removal of the base(s) then he is merely giving the Okinawans the status quo. At least Abe and the central government were achieving tangible results in lifting Okinawa's burden. This next guy is going to do nothing for them.

The US is not leaving Okinawa anytime soon. It is too central to US interests in Asia. A slow withdrawal, and troop consolidation is the only way for the prefecture.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Okinawan have been requesting US bases to move for decades. So what? I don't know it's because Japan government don't care or they know that the US won't care even if Japan government request them to move because those bases are actually major part of pivot for the US in Asia!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you take a look to the map, almost half of the island is not property of the people of Okinawa, but the US army. I'd also want them to leave.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

It seems that the Okinawans are sensibly less worried about the growing assertivenes of Beijing than the growing assertiveness of Tokyo. History has taught them that the greatest threat to their island comes from Tokyo, and Tokyo is quite willing to sacrifice them.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

This should hardly be a surprise to anyone. The writing's been on the wall for years. Demonstrations have continued and increased in numbers.

Then, as John Galt points out, Nakaima accepted some money under the table from Abe and came back to Okinawa gleefully exclaiming that he had solved the problem, got lotsa bucks for Okinawa, Henoko would go ahead with Futenma closing down in five years. The money was for Tokyo projects in Okinawa, such as an extension to the Tokyo run Naha airport, not for Okinawa and the US military vehemently denied any intention to move out of Futenma within five years.

So it's not surprising he got thrashed in the election.

Also, Onaga is a much, much better choice. He has charisma, clear thinking and is a wonderful speaker. He is also not an easy mark like the jellyfish Nakaima.

There will be changes as a result.

Henoko will be stopped. There is too much pressure from Okinawans and environmental agencies outside Japan. It was given the OK only because of a heavily edited environmental assessment report. Onaga only has to resubmit the report with the omissions added back in for the plan to disappear.

A couple more Onaga's and we might even get independence!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

"If you take a look to the map, almost half of the island is not property of the people of Okinawa, but the US army."

Yeah, not quite kowaiicoffee. A quick look at the wiki-page shows the truth graphically, more like 10%-15% as a guesstimate, but that's still rather disproportionate.

How about moving most of them to Guam?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

"For the U.S. base in Japan, how much of it is honestly still necessary, what is just plain obsolete, and what can be done away with, without really missing it? The military is the military, one thing they could do, is make these U.S. military facilities in japan into closed posts, no fraternization, no association, fly in, fly out, and that's it. For that matter, you could replace some of the facilities with an aircraft carrier or find someplace where no one lives to begin with."

Agreed 100%. Many of the Marine units could be stationed on an amphib carrier docked outside the island, or another island developed near Kyushu. Dont need golf courses and other non sense. Wagging the finger at others claiming human rights violations and keeping all that...well makes no sense to me. while the local economies look like a 3rd world country. I was once in Okinawa and we didnt have access to all that luxury and we were all the better for it. Its unneccesary for the mission. A U.S. presence is important in Japan. It keeps the right wing nationalist in check, therefore keeping China from getting paranoid. Everyone has their own conclusions, but mine is that these people in this part of the world are unable to check themselves and need a 3rd party babysitter. This isnt Germany. You look at German with its reunification when the wall came down. Were there any riots? They have managed to put their past behind them, perhaps occasionally acknowldeging technological achievments under the Nazis, but otherwise I never hear any nostalgia for that era. I feel the people who say let the Japanese Koreans etc fend for themselves. Unfortuanetly, that is not feasible and by pullying out you will create more problems. Move the bases to Guam? Well did you ask the people if they want that?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@sfjp330

I wish it was like that. The truth is that US is still occupying Japan with these bases. Also after the war they forced the conquered Japan to vote laws so the bases are "legal" to be there and at the same time its on Japan's expenses.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Good on the Okinawans. Hurry and get those yanks out of there !

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The people of Nago voted against relocating MCAS Futenma to Henoko in a Legal Referendum back in 1997. The people of Okinawa bear no blame to whatever happens to ties between the US and Japan, the blame belongs on the U.S. and Japanese Governments for pushing a plan that a majority of Okinawans have never accepted and will never accept.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@siniestro:

You have to ask, why is the US gov still occupying those bases. If they all left tommorow, the US wouldnt have the leverage it now has in the region. The resulting vaccum, that resulted without big brother, what would happen? During the immediate post war, japan experimented with democracy, but the reverse course was soon implemented. Does somebody think Japan isnt able to be a progressive peace broker in the region? Would they remain a close ally of the US or would it be tit for tat, escalation that would drag the world into another war? We dont see mature behavior, instead visits to Yasukuni, China becoming more territorial etc.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Be careful of what you wish for. I don't have any stake in any of this. I'm not military, nor am I Japanese, but I'm smart enough to know you can't just remove 75 years of history and think everything will go back to "the way it was". The families who lost their land in 1945 (???) will not get "their land" back. Whose knows 100% for certain what will happen if zero US military personal are stationed in Japan??? There's a saying, "fences make for good neighbors". The US, Japan, China, and Korea all like talking tough, but we all know these countries are pretty well balanced or accustomed to each other's talk. What happens when these few local citizens get their wish, and the US leaves? What happens to that balance than? It's not like Japan and China were best of friends before the US built their base there. You really think each side will stop talking tough?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Move some of the US Forces out of Okinawa. Not all, just some. Why should Okinawa have to bear the burden of "hosting" 62% of the 47,000 US servicemen when Okinawa is a mere 0.6% of Japan's land area? Should any thinking person really be surprised that there is deep-seated resentment to what seems like occupying forces to many residents? No, they don't sling rifles on their shoulders, but their presence is undeniably ubiquitous. Give more of Okinawa back to Okinawans.

That sounds like a very reasonable plan – in fact it sounds exactly like the Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement (ATARA) concluded by both governments in 2006 – move the airfield at Futenma up to the much more rural and isolated Henoko, and also return almost all US bases south of Kadena to the local government (small area of Camp Foster remains – but Kinser, Lester, Futenma and most of Foster are returned). Along with that return of land, move 8K Marines and 10K of their families to Guam. 50% of US facilities are closed and returned (all along the valuable Route 58 corridor) and 65% of the US military population leaves Okinawa.

Wonder why it’s not being implemented? Could it be that various vested left wing interests on Okinawa, such as the politicians, media and academics, irrespective of what they preach to the public, don’t want to see any improvement or reduction in the US military presence; primarily for financial reasons, but also for their own prestige and self-importance? Is that why they so vocally oppose the Henoko facility?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can't believe you people that say that Okinawa should even host a single US marine. Why should they? And China? Please. China is not going to do anything to Japan. And in any case, why should the US protect Japan? Let Japan look after itself.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

The US should not leave Japan, they should just relocate. I cant see why a few hundred kilometers move to Kyushu area should make a difference. If Japan wants the US presence in its country in order to keep its right wing element in check and keep China aggression at a minimum level, then they should set aside land and pay for it. If Okinawa then wants to become an economic gateway to the region and develop, why shouldnt they?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If the bases leave Okinawa, the dollars leave with them.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Voters in Okinawa have thrown a spanner into Japan’s relations with the United States

... erm, no. The Marines stationed at the bases in Okinawa have, for a long time, displayed poor discipline, with numerous cases of skipping out of base to go drinking at night, and a number of criminal offenses. Not to mention the idiocy of ruining a great tourist area by forbidding the public to access large parts of the island, loud and disruptive fly-bys and a thousand other things that made the islanders lives very uncomfortable.

If anyone threw a spanner into the works then it was the Marines. Had they been good neighbours and exercised even the minimum amount of forethought and courtesy they wouldn't have had such a big problem.

But this is typical of the US all over the world. There was recently footage of an Osprey spraying a massive dust-cloud across a highway in Aussie that could have cause fatalities if the drivers hadn't reacted so well. It wasn't like this wasn't a known issue either, but they just chose to ignore everyone else and do what was best for them.

And this nonsense about Okinawa being strategically important? Give it a break. Guam, the Philippines, or a half dozen uninhabited Japanese islands would be equally strategically important.

The bottom line is that the Okinawa base is a thinly veiled R&R facility for stressed out Marines looking to blow off steam, and that makes it a hell for normal people trying to get on with their lives when 200 pounds of stressed out room-temperature IQ is barging around your town yelling, "Who won the war?!!" whenever they're called out for being rude.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I can honestly say I don't have much faith in Abe.

However, if they aren't going to let you be the hero then be the villain but do it with the utmost passion.

Abe is the BOSS right now. If you're on your way out of office so be it. Make the decision. See it through. Override this guy and be done with it. Just get it done.

When people are happy people forget! Put the base out of sight and out of mind. Doubt they'll waste the gas and time to go out there and protest. There are better things to do on a Sunday..........like rebuild that base with a new civilian airport....hahhahahahaha. Direct service from a LCC and pray tourism improves.

I'm sure Chinese tourists would love to fly directly there and enjoy the sunshine and delicious gyoya.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

5petals - If a few hundred kms don't make a difference, why not move the bases to wherever you live (Tokyo, Kansai?). Kyushu is not the natural dumping ground for bad ideas from Kanto, contrary to what some many believe.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@lincolnman

Wonder why it’s not being implemented?

Simply because Okinawans feel they have sacrificed more then enough.

They don't want another part of their island destroyed just to reduce the footprint of the U.S. military? The ATAR Agreement was a really silly idea from the very beginning and neither US side nor the Japanese government thought they needed to discuss it thoroughly with the Okinawans.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@commanteer,

Good point, but its about location. Many are claiming that Okinawa is strategically located, thus its so important to keep it. Its why I suggest Kyushu, or offshored in Okinawa. Tokyo, Osaka already have US bases. More important, is why the continued occupation of Okinawa. Well, like all things in Japan, we come to a dead end. Best to keep them nasty gaijin down there. But thats not the Okinawains problem, its Japanese people problem. They are responsible for keeping their right wing ambitions in check, and for diplomacy with China. Why not all US forces out of Japan? Back to square one and a dead end. Cant trust ourselves with our own military, so keep somebody elses military on somebody elses island so we are all safe.

So we need to keep them people in Okinawa entertained with more recreational facilities and tax money. More of their land etc.

I dont agree the Marines are the problem, they are the scapegoat for a much bigger probelm. The AF takes up quite a bit of land also dont they?

Id like to visit Okinawa and see an economic power house myself. No need to take money from a private sector worker and throw his tax dollars to support some dependant. If your talking about those tax dollars leaving, who cares?

I dont agree that

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The map above shows how U.S. forces occupy Okinawa on land and in waters, making it look like a worm-eaten leaf. But the map misses vast military training areas the U.S. Air Force is provided for exclusive use. According to Okinawa Prefecture statistics, the U.S. military maintains 20 air spaces in and around Okinawa Island, some of which extend far into international waters.

From the sky Okinawa Island may look like small patches of land seen through the openings of vast U.S. military clouds. In other words, Okinawa is in the U.S. military basesand and not vice versa, as photographer Shomei Tomatsu correctly observed once. What else can one call this disgusting situation except military occupation?

The focal point at issue in the gubernatorial election was over the construction of a new base for USMCAS Futenma at Henoko, Nago City, a case of stinky barter dealings between Tokyo and Washington from our standpoint. The dealings were rejected overwhelmingly by Onaga's landslide victory. End the egregious occupation or at least reduce Okinawa's burden of shouldering so many U.S. bases (74% of U.S. bases in Japan concentrate in Okinawa). That was the judgement passed by Okinawa's wise voters on Sunday.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In 2012 Japan and the U.S. agreed to separate the Relocation of some Marines and their dependants to Guam and the return of some land south of Kadena from the Relocation of MCAS Futenma. The U.S. and Japan agreed that they would go ahead with the Re-location to Guam and the return of the land south of Kadena regardless if MCAS Futenma was relocated or not. So it should be being implemented but if it is not it is not the fault of the people of Okinawa and has nothing to do with their opposition to the Henoko Relocation Plan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lies, Lies and more American lies. They do not intend on returning MCAS Futenma nor Camp Kinser. The Japanese government is building a bypass around Kinser at great expense. If it was going to be returned this would not happen. Also they will keep Foster as well. The Japanese government is going flat out to bribe the people of Okinawa. Well Honest Abe it is not going to work.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Washington has said a broader realignment of U.S. forces in Japan is to ensure their presence remains “politically sustainable”

Washington has to know that Japan is too broke for footing the more bills for holidaying service men. It has just got another recession. While occupants of base are having the good time in their holiday resorts, golf course and bar, Okinawa residents have to live like over crowded animals on their ancestor land. Annoying noise from Osprey are unbearable for them too.

Now Pentagon is reducing word wide budget, some bases from Okinawa should be reduced too because they are not like other bases around the globe. When I visited the Middle East, bases over there are battle hardened because of real life actions in the combat.

The nature of service man likes a sword. Without a fight, the sword will be rusted and blunted. The bases in Okinawa are approaching 70 years anniversary. It is just like the Circus team docking at the carnival festival without real fight with enemy. For political sustainability, some bases should be reduced because of the local resentment. Futenma base should be first one to go to mainland Japan.

As protest activities may intensify… we may see bloodshed if the government chooses to build the new base forcibly, which is legally possible

If Tokyo has a gut to go ahead, it will become the reality. Okinawa has been bullied for a long time. It is no longer tolerable.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@yuriotani

The bases in Okinawa directly make up for 5% of the Okinawa economy.

How many jobs will Okinawa lose if the bases are removed? What is the plan for replacing those jobs?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sir, The only way to de-militarise the whole world is to ban arms exports, boycott arms and ammunitions and pass a resolution in UN to ban manufacturing of arms. Let us have a borderless world in the era of globalisation. Let each one live for others and the whole world would be free from threats and violence

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's doubtful if there will be much effect on the construction of the new air station at Henoko. The base is virtually complete except for the runway extension. Once the base is functionally complete the people around Fuente will be demanding it's shutdown and return. There isn't much the new Governor can do about it except make noise or instigate a confrontation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Okinawa vote a blow to Japan-U.S. ties, say analysts? Are they trying to say that military installations are the strong ties between Japan and the US?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@SFJ330 Constant whining from Japan. Close down all of U.S. military bases in Japan and save the money. U.S. has to reduce spending somewhere and paying for the Defense of Japan is a good place to start cutting spending...

Please research before you speak non-sense like this. Japanese govt pays for all the on/base housing building plus maintenance. J govt pays for all the J-employes working on base. J-govt pays for on/off base electricity bills, gas bills. This is not the end they build schools for US military kids, U.S military recreational center (ex.Okuma, golf course etc). I don't to put all the links just google it and you will find endless list. U.S. govt spending will go higher if military leaves Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

hokkaidoguy the 5 percent will be multiplied 10 fold. Regaining our island would be worth a price. The return of our land, air and waters. Removing the bases would in truth be removing a string of targets from one end of Okinawa to the other. Removing the bases would remove the nest of American spies that watch the Chinese. The bases have little value defending Okinawa. The people of Okinawa demand the removal of ALL of the American bases. The people of Okinawa have spoken in a clear voice. This is much more than a single base that would be another priority target of the Peoples Republic of China. It is a vote to remove all of them.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@hokkaidoguy The U.S. military bases in Okinawa cover over 20 percent of Okinawa's total land area and 40 percent of the island's arable soil. I believe is really poor performance a 5% to economy of the island. At the same time is the #1 reason for criminality, pollution and noise.

And people come on, US is NOT protecting Japan, is occupying Japan. Whoever disagrees, let him has his country land taken over from US for protection. Its obvious and I am not even japanese.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@yuriotani

Soooo... No plans for jobs, then? Gotcha.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yup; No Problem. Get ready for ANOTHER 60 years of Futenma Air Base, right SMAK in the middle of Ginowan. Congratulations Okinawa....you HAD your chance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@linconman, yes there's a similarity between my comment and the plan to which you referred. But, there's a huge difference between moving the very unwelcome base facility within the prefecture and out of the country. The point is to reduce the footprint, not create a new footprint a short distance away.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Re: siniestroNov. 18, 2014 - 09:12AM JST @sfjp330

I wish it was like that. The truth is that US is still occupying Japan with these bases. Also after the war they forced the conquered Japan to vote laws so the bases are "legal" to be there and at the same time its on Japan's expenses.

Perhaps is the people would have been bright enough to overthrow their own militaristic power hungry tyrants rather than force the Emperor to order the attack on Peal Harbor of which he didn't want, not to leave out invasion of Korea, which today remains divided because instead of helping Korea from its oppressors the militaristic gov occupied and colonized them, what about China, the Phillipines. Japan has remained a Pacifist nation and was able to rebuild quickly because of the alliance with the United States, its commerce, and strength came from the US, the protection umbrella though at a cost nothing is free, gives you the individual right to post on these blogs because of these what name do you give them, "occupiers". If Japan were attacked, would you be the one with boots on the ground, no I doubt it very much, would any of your relatives, perhaps but behind the lines. It would be US blood being shed for stupid idiots like the anti-groups. But hey these guys paid the price for the right of the anti groups, however so I hope and wish that Japan moves to stomp out the anti groups once and for all so that Japan can continue its movement forward through peaceful means. Internally if they have to use force against the better good of Japan so be it. The current administration has every right and backing of the people of Japan to do what is best for Japan. The bases stay and will remain. The US will not leave an ally behind, despite who is the President. Look to the soon to become territory of China the Philippines and other southern parts of Japan should the US leave. China and Russia will quickly take what they want with no one to stop them. So think about that first.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

There are probably more Military Dependents and U.S. Civilians working inside the bases than Okinawans. The U.S. bases contribution to the Local Economy has been getting smaller and smaller. The on-base Japanese workers are paid by the Japanese Taxpayers and they are paid more than their jobs are worth to buy their support for the bases. The Japanese Taxpayers even pay the salaries of AAFES, MWR and MCCS workers under the IHA contract even though these organizations generate revenues through various businesses and can afford to pay the employees themselves. The bases cost too much money to be kept on Okinawa just because a few people might lose their jobs.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@bjohnson23 First of all fyi I am not japanese, but I have served the army in my country.

US doesn't have allies it only has partners that actually are threaten to follow what they want. They are not and they will not protect any over country if it is not to their interest. Which it makes sense, all the countries are like that, lets face it, as you said nothing is free. They proved that recently with Ukraine when they first messed it and then let it on their own just to play their political games with Russia. Ukraine may not was official "ally" to "protect" it but they did "protect" other countries not "allies" also in the middle east when they wanted, by invading them again of course.

What happened with Japan in the war is past now. Either admit that you are using the country that you conquered and keep the bases or go away and leave them alone to do whatever they want and stop this nonsense about protection and allies.

Also China that was not taken over by US and was even attacked by Japanese is now stronger than Japan without any US help. So this "its commerce, and strength came from the US, the protection umbrella.." is another tale they want you to believe.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Takeshi Onaga rode a wave of anti-U.S. resentment

This is 100% wrong. There is NO resentment in Okinawa against the US. There is resentment against the Japanese government for forcing crap down the throats of the Okinawan people, and it isnt just the issues related towards the bases either.

Onaga won on the Naha vote, just about every other district had Nakaima in the lead. Onaga was a popular mayor and carried that popularity over to his victory in the election.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Maybe in the next few days China will send a submarine nearby or more patrol ships and that'll shut up half the whiners for a little while when they realize they'd all like to keep the jobs they make from the US presence instead of waving to a Chinese flag.

In any case, they have two choices: the US moves the base to what has now been agreed on THREE times and delayed many more, or two, they keep the bases where they are now and with the people whining about the noise and dangers knowing full well it's 100% their own fault.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Okinawa vote a blow to Japan-U.S. ties, say analysts

True democracy at work. Japan has the option of putting more bases on the mainland, and watching the pro-base sentiment there plummet, (due to a minimal US military presence) or forcing the Okinawans - who've never really had a say in anything - to "bear their burden".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@smith

100% whos fault? The Okinawan? I dont follow the logic. Just move the base up to another location on the island. No need for you complain, see we did you a favor.

I agree China will surely try to influence this situation as Okinawa is another one of their renegade provinces according to the Chinese expansionist. This cannot be allowed to happen, instead China must be invited as an investor on Okinawans terms with the oversight of Tokyo and the U.S. in order to jump start their economic dream. Korea, China, Tawain, and Japan all investing in a wide open Okinawa. Not the trickle down, tax funded salarys and local spending on drinks etc that end up profiting the mafia, impovershing the locals. Real investment, real and sustainable growth.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How about moving most of them to Guam?

The people living on Guam would have to be asked (and would probably say no) unlike the Okinawans who were never asked.

Okinawa is another one of their renegade provinces according to the Chinese expansionist. No, Okinawa was a tributary, as was Korea (and Vietnam) at one time. China has no interest in invading Okinawa.

If Japan wants the US presence in its country in order to keep its right wing element in check and keep China aggression at a minimum level. Its right-wing element is hardly in check, US military presence or none. The only thing stopping Abe from building a "beautiful Japan" full of kimigayo singing patriots is article 9. As for China - well it always suits a leader like Abe to focus peoples' attention on an external enemy to forget about domestic issues

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I have a question, why dont they just built the military base on senkaku or nearby it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe in the next few days China will send a submarine nearby or more patrol ships and that'll shut up half the whiners for a little while when they realize they'd all like to keep the jobs they make from the US presence instead of waving to a Chinese flag.

It won't. You do this quite often smith as if people who are against the presence of U.S. bases really give a rats xxx about China.

Is it any wonder that when you state 'they' some posters are confused.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

There is probably a Chinese subversion element working there and the Okinawa people must resist it or they will be enslaved to a new master. Thats why I dont think they could ever be 100% independant; they need the clout and protection of the US and Tokyo, just not the occupation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I see gears in motion to spread the wealth. The cargo plane squadron has been moved to Iwakuni. Many sites are being looked at to host the Osprey aircraft throughout Japan. This includes Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Drills in places like Wakayama and Saga. A radar facility has been erected in northern Kyoto that can be accomplished by units on Okinawa. If I remember correctly, there have been plans in the works to close Camp Kinser, but that was supposed to come with a small expansion of the U.S. Army's Naha Port. Is there not talks of moving components of Atsugi west to Iwakuni as well? It just seems to look like there is progress towards splitting the burden of U.S. forces in Japan, but a slow, painful process. Okinawa will serve as a main hub for some time in my opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a question, why dont they just built the military base on senkaku or nearby it

Gee, that one is really well thought out. Still, Abe would get his shooting war with China - and be able to accelerate his nationalist agenda

There is probably a Chinese subversion element working there

There's probably a Japanese right-wing subversion element there. Actually not very subversive. Simply drown the Okinawan politicians with money until they can no longer object

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Glen The Okinawa people have a history and connection to China, though allot of it I think comes from Tawain. Their tombs are very different than the mainlander Honshu types. I dont have any connection to them, but as i recall, they dont cremate? They follow the Chinese ritual of washing the bones? Sorry if I got it wrong. I do remember the lions on every house and the womb shaped tombs. Their language is different as well. I dont see how the Japanese right winger can make any progress in Okinawa. They have the green bus with Asahi flag there? Such a scene would make me chuckle; Im sure he isnt well liked

As for Guam, I think many native guam people would welcome the economic boost by the military, but I dont know about sharing their towns with them. Guam doesnt have much to offer. Its military, tourism from korea and japan, what else? maybe they could make an old folks retirement community for Japanese. I dont see much progress in micronesia, its location is not like Okinawa. Okinawans have a lingustic, proximity and cultural connection to the mainland also. They could shed all the protectionism that impedes business in Tokyo and really develop the island. Not only Tourism and Telecom as Onaga is saying

0 ( +1 / -1 )

5petals: "100% whos fault? The Okinawan? I dont follow the logic. Just move the base up to another location on the island. No need for you complain, see we did you a favor."

Yes, 100% the fault of the Okinawans complaining about the current bases producing so much noise if they are responsible for delays in relocation to a place where the noise would not affect them. How do you not understand that? And they don't want the base moved 'up to another location on the island', they want it OFF the island for no reason other than they are unhappy with many other things and this is an issue they can focus their anger on. Trust me, these very same people -- the ones whining that they want the bases off Okinawa -- would not a SINGLE day after the US military left be demanding that the US defend them under the Japan/US alliance against threat of China, etc. You can't have both. There would also be heaps of sudden people jobless who would either demand compensation from the government, or else move to where the new bases are so that down the roads their kids and grandkids can complain.

nigelboy: "t won't. You do this quite often smith as if people who are against the presence of U.S. bases really give a rats xxx about China."

They most certainly do. In fact, whenever such ships approach the islands they shut up almost instantly.

In any case, all that's going to come out of this is more stalling. The US bases aren't going anywhere but agreed upon locations, so Okinawans ought to get comfortable and make all the money off the bases they can -- Onaga certainly is! -- especially with hawks like Abe in government who make it their business to help destabilize things in Asia.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I disagree, they can have both. They can have the protection of the US and Japan, with their own economy and destiny. This is the American story, correct? Divorced themselves from england, became a free and independant country? Okinawa cannot be 100% independant, but they can enjoy autonomy and a say in their development. Is this criminal to even suggest this?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Okinawa people have a history and connection to China, though allot of it I think comes from Tawain.

Fair enough. But I very much doubt China plans to invade Okinawa anytime in the forseeable future.

especially with hawks like Abe in government who make it their business to help destabilize things in Asia.

On this point I agree

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@YuriOtani said: "The people of Okinawa demand the removal of ALL of the American bases."

Weren't you ever taught the phrase " To the Victors go the spoils" ?

The US bases in Okinawa will remain until the United States decides to move them. Deal with it!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

With the bases there, they wont even entertain the idea. WIth them gone, Im sure they would be hard at work trying to undermine any movement and get closer to Japan. This is dangerous, and its exactly what Tokyo is scared of; a Chinese element near to them. This cannot be allowed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Okinawa cannot be 100% independent, but they can enjoy autonomy and a say in their development. Is this criminal to even suggest this?

Not yet....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Camp Zama is there to protect the golf course. Perhaps they can set up a lot of tents there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Chinese are coming,the North Koreans are coming! Do you really think the US Military would have all of these dependents on Okinawa if they were afraid of an attack?There are probably more dependents on Okinawa than there are troops. The people of Okinawa will start worrying when Military Dependents start evacuating.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is too much pressure from Okinawans and environmental agencies outside Japan.

ANYONE who thinks that Japan is going to be influenced in its decision making process by any complaints by "environmental agencies outside of Japan" is off their rocker.

The Japanese government doesnt care what the international community has to say regarding anything on the environment, there is a long track record proving it.

The landfill has started and that is going to continue, Onaga or otherwise. The ONLY thing that needs the Gov.'s stamp of approval is a yard area for placement of supplies, and one other portion of land. The government could very well come up with an alternative eliminating the need of Onaga doing anything.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US bases in Okinawa will remain until the United States decides to move them

If the US practiced what it preached and took "democracy" into account - as is clear by this election - then they'd have cleared out of Okinawa a long time ago

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I see we have one of those simple 200-pounders here: "To the victors go the spoils". Don't forget that China and the Soviet Union were our allies in the Pacific War too. If it's blood that he means, lots more Okinawan civilians died here than US troops. so by that accounting they deserve their island back.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

5petals,

The US should not leave Japan, they should just relocate. I cant see why a few hundred kilometers move to Kyushu area should make a difference.

Don't you remember the fuss when this was suggested?

As soon as the idea was put forward, there were 10's of thousands of signatures on a paper condemning it.

Kyushu doesn't want the US military at any price, but then nor does Hawaii or Guam.

Nor, let us not forget, do the Okinawans - perhaps the only Japanese who can say "NO!"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okinawa had good relations with China and most of their culture comes from China and that is Mainland China not Taiwan. There were Chinese living in Okinawa long before the Japanese came. The village of Kume in Naha was mostly Chinese. Some Okinawans used to go to China and live and study. All of the old Karate Masters who founded their own styles lived and studied in China at one time. Okinawa`s Obon is in accordance with the Lunar Calendar therefore different from Japan and some places still observe the Lunar New Year.

The debate over the last 20 years has been about the relocation of MCAS Futenma and all of the protest rallies have been about that with no mention of all of the bases must be removed so it is hard to understand why some people are saying that the people of Okinawa want all of the bases closed and all of the Military gone when that is not the debate that is going on presently. Onaga-san did not run on a platform of closing all of the bases, he ran on an anti-Henoko Relocation Plan platform. Make no mistake about it, the majority of the people do not accept the Henoko Relocation Plan and resent the fact that the Central Government is forcing it on them without any consideration for their feelings. They also feel that after the brutal rape of a 12 year girl by 3 Marines that MCAS Futenma should have been closed without any conditions.

The people of Okinawa are not anti-U.S. and if you talk to the older people a lot of them will express their gratitude for the help they were given by the American Soldiers after the war. But the Okinawan people have suffered a lot and continue to suffer and they deserve better than what they are getting from Tokyo. Before calling them complainers, whiners, trouble makers, Leftists, Communists etc. try to put yourself in their place and really take a good look at their situation.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Okinawa had good relations with China and most of their culture comes from China and that is Mainland China not Taiwan. There were Chinese living in Okinawa long before the Japanese came. The village of Kume in Naha was mostly Chinese. Some Okinawans used to go to China and live and study.

So? Your point is what? This is well over 100 years ago, how does that apply to today? Plus keep in mind that while the Ryukyu's (keep in mind that back then it was the Ryukyu's and not Okinawa) were paying homage to mainland Japan too.

try to put yourself in their place and really take a good look at their situation.

Just whose situation are you asking them to take places with? Those who relive the war everyday they see a base in their neighborhood, and sadly whose numbers a dwindling rapidly.

Or those that own base property and make a living off the rents and do not have to work?

Or how about those that work on the bases and support their families, literally tens-of-thousands who owe their livelihoods to the presence of the bases?

Or how about those that literally goes months at a time without ever seeing anyone from a US base anywhere near them and only know about what happens because of the leftist anti-base media?

Or how about those that are apathetic to the bases and are blown by the wind in their decision making process?

Or how about the folks from mainland who come down here and stir crap up just for the heck of it?

Just whose place are they supposed to take?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@yubaru: My point with the China connection is that maybe Okinawans are not as afraid of China as the Mainland Japanese who have all that blood on their hands.

Put yourself in the place of that person who is in the poorest prefecture in Japan because that is what Tokyo wants to keep the Okinawans dependent on the Central Govt. and the bases. Put yourself in the place of that person who can not step foot on the best land in Okinawa because of those fences. Put yourself in place of that person who has to drive an extra hour because he has to go around a base. Put yourself in the place of that child who looks trough the fences and wonders why those American children have those nice areas to play in when he has to play in the street. Do you really think that the people who work on base and the landowners if they had a choice to make the same money without the bases would not take it. They don't like the bases they only like the money. I don't know any mainlanders who come to Okinawa to stir up trouble, I only know Okinawans who are fighting for their beliefs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@yubaru: My point with the China connection is that maybe Okinawans are not as afraid of China as the Mainland Japanese who have all that blood on their hands.

Your point is off the mark. There is not one single Okinawan living today that was alive during the time period you are attempting to make your point about.

The history does not matter with regards to China, that is 100% a non-factor in the politics of today. That IS a fact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

5petals: "This is the American story, correct?"

Ummm... not one bit, and I notice you yourself even mention that Okinawa could not become independent from Japan. Or wait, are they going to pursue manifest destiny and wage war against Japan to become a state of their own? And no, they can't have both. You don't say, "Get out of here! We don't need or want you! (oh, but please do stay close by because you have no choice but to protect us if we're in trouble!)".

japan4life: "Put yourself in the place of that person who is in the poorest prefecture in Japan because that is what Tokyo wants to keep the Okinawans dependent on the Central Govt. and the bases. Put yourself in the place of that person who can not step foot on the best land in Okinawa because of those fences. Put yourself in place of that person who has to drive an extra hour because he has to go around a base. Put yourself in the place of that child who looks trough the fences and wonders why those American children have those nice areas to play in when he has to play in the street."

Perhaps you ought to remind those people that if not for the American and Allied forces they would not even have a say in what goes where, save that they might have a choice between a bullet and jumping off the Itoman cliffs as their emperor demanded. Also, ask them why their houses are so close to the bases.

Sorry, but the US is there to stay, in one place or another, and like it or not it is in part for the benefit of the Okinawans literally living under their protection.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

USA - just get out of Japan! Period!!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As I said many time. keep it real, please!

Moving some of the bases to somewhwere else, that might be doable, but to completely evict American bases out of Okinawa, that would be highly unlikely if not wishful thinking.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As an American I think this is great now the USA could save more money instead of using it on Japan(which they don't want us there anyway) all I ask if things get nuts with china please don't call us, take care of it yourself.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Let it be told the Okinawans played right into the hands of the Chinese. Once the american based are gone that only gives the Chinese to grab more land as they are already doing. If you look at Okinawa yes the US owns the base but for those who live near by look at all THE RECENT REAL ESTATE SALES who is buying the condos and land near by! The Chinese!!!! yes so hate now cry later don't call US!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@yubaru: We have both been in Okinawa a long time and I respect you and your opinions and lets just say that we have different views. I as an Army veteran believe that some bases are necessary for the defense of Japan. I do not believe that the People of Okinawa should bear the burden of defense for the Phillipines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries that do not want US bases themselves. I do not think that the US bases in Okinawa should be used for Middle East Wars and others, the bases in Okinawa should be for the defense of Japan only. I have no problem with Kadena Air Base, Torii Station, White Beach and the Army Communication Sites. I think those US bases along with the JSDF base at Naha and the various JSDF missile sites are more than enough for the defense of Japan. I would like to see the Marines out of Okinawa as I do not think they are needed or wanted.

@smithinjapan: I am a little surprised by your comments because I believe your wife is Korean and you post comments that are favorable to China and South Korea and you dislike Abe but you seem to have this dislike of the people of Okinawa and I do not know why. Could you please tell me why you dislike the people of Okinawa? You are always asking why the Okinawans moved their houses so close to the bases and you should ask an Okinawan person that but after WWII, the only way for the people to earn a living was to work on the base or in some way provide a service to the bases so the people moved next to the bases so they would not have to travel far. The people on base wanted the Okinawan people to work for them as houseboys, maids, gardeners etc. and also they wanted the Okinawans to open Restaurants Bars, and other businesses outside the bases so they could go to them. The only people who had money was the Americans, the only way the Okinawans could make money was to cater to the Americans so the Okinawans moved as close to the bases as possible. Also in order to make the bases the Americans forced the Okinawans off their ancestral lands and the Okinawans moved as near to those lands as possible. Remember the Americans were completely in charge of Okinawa and if they had not wanted the Okinawans to live close to the bases they could have prevented it very easily. So the Americans wanted the Okinawans to live close to the bases to take advantage of their cheap labor and go to their Restaurants and Bars and the Okinawans moved close to the base to make money and to be close to their ancestral lands that they were forced to leave.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Right now, USA do not have many billion dollars to move Marin bases in Okinawa, Several years ago, 8, billion dollars to Guamm Hawaii, etc was cancelled when USA was told to pay majority. Not because to protect Japan from China or N Korea but no money to relocate. Beside that, staying bases in Japan earn more than 2 billion dollars a year from Japanese Govt. Japan has been paying renter every year. Check which countries loaned USA more to rescue US Economy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In 1972 the U.S. returned most of Okinawa to Japan. When are the Russians going to return Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai islands?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think the only "blow to U.S. - Japan ties" is the fact that Tokyo can't seem to decide what to do about an upstart prefecture that thinks it's a sovereign nation when it hasn't been such for centuries. The U.S. is getting tired of Tokyo not making a decision. The U.S. wants to relocate the base on Okinawa and Tokyo has agreed, but won't let the process actually begin because they are playing "touchy-feely" with the Okinawan prefecture. That this new governor is against the move shouldn't actually make a difference at all. The problem is with Tokyo, not the Governor of Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They most certainly do. In fact, whenever such ships approach the islands they shut up almost instantly.

You're doing it again, smith.

Who are 'they'?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's really a moot point, Tokyo is not going to allow Okinawa to give the boot to the bases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

LOL Good luck with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In_japanNov. 18, 2014 - 12:19PM JST Please research before you speak non-sense like this. Japanese govt pays for all the on/base housing building plus maintenance. J govt pays for all the J-employes working on base. J-govt pays for on/off base electricity bills, gas bills.

For years Japan’s defense spending only averaged one percent of the GDP. U.S. spends 4 percent of the GDP in defense. Japan itself would not have an easy time if Japan has direct confrontation with China. Japan would be forced to turn to the U.S. for support under the mutual security treaty. Moreover, Japan has done little to prepare for a military confrontation, instead relying on U.S.to take up the slack.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Two things: 1.) the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security gives Japan the right to terminate it, alone, if it should wish and all bases would be removed, 2.) the US rightly does not find moving all US troops out to Guam as acceptable and still be obligated to defend Japan. Have you seen how far away it is on a map? This would be like defending Japan from Hawaii. So clearly it is up to Japan as a country to decide how they want to play a good host to their invited guests, given that they are already sleeping in the downstairs bedroom. Okinawa public opinion, I'm sorry to say, is irrelevant. Your land is too valuable strategically to simply give to China or even allow to be independent. This is the view of both Tokyo and Washington, DC. That is all.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

scipantheistNov. 19, 2014 - 05:42AM JST Two things: 1.) the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security gives Japan the right to terminate it, alone, if it should wish and all bases would be removed,

Japan already tried but U.S. won't let them. In 2009, when Hatoyama became a PM of Japan, the Obama administration was aware that there was a section of politicians in Japan who sought distance from U.S. Even many Japanese people started to view Japan’s policies as being dictated by the U.S. and described their own country as “America’s colony”. The right-wing nationalists vouched for reducing reliance on the U.S. and argued that Japan must not be afraid to take a confrontational position in foreign policy. Hatoyama was probably articulating his foreign policy with the national mood but at the end it proved disastrous. The Obama administration was instrumental in Hatoyama’s ouster from office because of the l handling of the Futenma base relocation issue. In 2010, Obama snubbed Hatoyama and weeks later Hatoyama resigned and was replaced by the more U.S. acceptable Kan. Kan immediately confirmed that the Futenma base issue would proceed according to the U.S. desire. No wonder, when the leaks surfaced, he declined to comment and said that the announcement of information was “not legitimate”. The J-government succumbed to the U.S. pressure to follow its line of thinking. Okinawa may be a problem for Japan but getting out of this is likely to be messy. Japan has no alternative than to preserve its alliance relationship with the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sfjp330 I think that was more like the following:

Hatoyama: I would like to renegotiate the base relocation we have been renegotiating for decades. Obama: ...... Hatoyama: Oh, wait, my poll numbers are through the floor. Someone will get back to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@SerranoNOV. 18, 2014 - 11:20PM JST In 1972 the U.S. returned most of Okinawa to Japan. When are the Russians going to return Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai islands?

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

How many Rssian ,Mlitary bases in Japan? How many in Northern Islands? Did Russia have war against Japan and won the war? USA won the war/ Notr Russia..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadamor so you think the Tokyo government should just use force? Make the base and if there are demonstrations have the US Marines go in with their guns and clubs? How about removing the Okinawa government and turning it into a occupied area. I love Americans they are such hypocrites! Smith, what happened to the American "love for freedom"? Oh as long as it is yours and not others huh? Yoda_Jedi_Master so the American Republic has been fallen and replaced with American Empire? scipantheist, Japan is in no dander from the Peoples Republic of China nor the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The Chinese mainlanders do not need another problem.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

While most Japanese value the protection the U.S. military alliance gives them, especially in the context of Beijing’s growing assertiveness...

Huh?

I doubt the anonymous CIA writer has any data to back up this statement up. But that's doesn't matter in the manipulative world of today.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Japan4life......fair enough. I have always believed that Futenma should be closed, history not withstanding, and with no finger pointing either as to who did what, where, when or why. It's a fact it is an accident waiting to happen (again).

The bases south of Foster impede development, of that there should be no argument either, and those bases and there functions moved up north to Hansen or Schwab. Naha port should be returned as well as Tengan and White Beach could be used to handle the same functions. With some upgrades and improvements of course.

However, the Marines are the first strike option, a land force that is necessary as a deterrent, and their air wing goes hand and hand with them. I have also stated that the MC could also use Kadena as a joint forces facility, but inter-service rivalries and petty politics interferes with any serious discussion about it. Heck the Navy uses Kadena, the MC could too, but the history between the services on the island is not good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

scipantheist think ALL of the American bases need to be closed in Japan. Japan needs to stand on its own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There may not even be any legal foundation for Okinawa to consider independance. I dont know the position the Japan Constitution has on this. Would be new territory, thats for sure. I think they should exploit their uniqueness and divorce themselves from the mainland as much as possible, then exploit that to reinvite Japanese companies who are now investing abroad to escape the economic prison known as Tokyo.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

5petals Nov. 19, 2014 - 08:50AM JST There may not even be any legal foundation for Okinawa to consider independance.

A 2011 poll found only 4.7% of Okinawans were pro-independence. Majority do not want independence, but a greater voice for future of Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I miss my days in Okininawa and would like to work there again. We had it great. Of course, as we were all onunaccompanied tours from the CO on down, (as it should be) but there was always somebody whos wife was having an affair back home or some other unrelated to the misson nonsense. They would make life miserable for everybody else as they didnt want to be there. These crybabies just wanted to go home and off the "miserable island", only to get divorced a few years latter. Okinawa was such a hardship for them (

Having said that, Okinawa is not my island and it does not belong to me. The drama etc on the bases there is not the Okinawans problem We used to say, "this is our island" when we were riding our mountain bikes across one side to the other. Its not my island, it belongs to those little farms and houses we would pass when we were cruising their roads. We were disconnected from them and in our own little world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Read the responses to this thread and it becomes clear that there are two views on the issue of moving Futenma to Camp Schwab and the overall reduction of the US military presence on Okinawa.

There are those who could be called realists – who understand that for all the beauty of Okinawa, its people and its culture, it is cursed with the reality of geopolitical significance – it just happens to be located in a strategically key area. As such, as long as the US-Japan Security Treaty remains in effect, there will always be some US military presence on the island – and given geopolitical trends, likely a much larger Japanese military presence. Both governments, understanding that the current US footprint, in terms of bases and personnel, is not sustainable, embarked on an effort to reduce this presence - that effort began in 2002 and culminated in 2005 – with the Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement for the Future (http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/scc/doc0510.html). It makes meaningful and significant reductions in both personnel and bases – 90% of all US property south of Kadena is returned to the local government and 65% of personnel and families move to Guam. Futenma, which the US and GOJ have been trying to close since 1995 will be relocated to the much more rural and less populated Henoko (Camp Schwab) area. These are real, agreed upon reductions – with a timetable ready for execution.

On the other side you have several groups that oppose this agreement; there are the idealists who have sincere and valid arguments for removing all US bases and personnel from Okinawa (these are a small minority), and then you have the opportunists, these are folks on Okinawa who derive their money and self-worth from their anti-US stance – these include left wing politicians, the media, and academics. Another group of opportunists are represented by the hard core anti-US haters – they are recognizable by their use of emotionally laden terms; “endless occupation”, “lawless”, etc. These people have allowed their visceral US hatred to consume them. They self-identify so much with their anti-US views, that they oppose any reduction in the US military presence. Who are they if the “evil empire” is suddenly not so evil? They typically try to deny or misconstrue the ATARA agreement, knowing that it will result in real, meaningful reductions in US forces.

In plain terms, its progress versus status quo – unfortunately with the election of Mr Onaga it seems that status quo is what’s in store…….and for the many local Okinawa folks who I know and call friends, that saddens me………..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes I think you have 2 positions. You have the government worker with an inflated salary due to all the "hardships" he will ecounter while stationed overseas. His salary is paid by taxes which contribute to the deficit. You have to house him, feed him, provide his hospital, water his golf course, clean his pool, school his kids etc. This takes manpower, provided by the GOJ using an Okinawa local, at an inflated salary, paid by taxes, once again contributing to a deficit. In return you get security and access to a prime location in the pacific.

Then you have the development of Okinawa position. A deep water port, prime location, excellent for outside investment. A monorail system could be built, interconncting telecom centers and other industrial areas. With deregulation and commited airlines to this, tourism would only grow more with dedicated flights from Tawain, Korea and mainland. With a cheap tax base and beautiful climate, retirement resorts could be built for the aging mainlanders. There are so many areas for growth. It would require short term debt but long term prepetual returns.

Agreed. The island is an excellent locaton for US interest in the region. I dont agree with all the use of the land.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

lincolnman the people of Okinawa did not agree to a new base. This would never happen to another prefecture or to an American state. I have never known a Okinawa that was not occupied by Americans. True to form the Americans call any disagreement with them "anti-American". They called people that wanted a free Okinawa communists and some Americans are doing it again. The American says they are occupying Okinawa to make us "free". However their presence is heavy handed and unwelcome. As long as there are American bases on Okinawa we will be in danger. After they are gone what appeal is there for China to invade? Today the American MP can leave base and take charge in the name of security. We the people of Okinawa have never been hostile and are peaceful people. Please go someplace else in the world. Abe please cancel the SOFA treaty and you will be respected by all of the people of Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@lincolnman; I am confused about you continuously saying that the implementation of the Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement for the Future is being held up because of the MCAS Futenma Relocation and the opposition of the people of Okinawa. According to an agreement in 2012 between the U.S. and Japanese Govt. the moving of some Marines and their families to Guam and the releasing of some land south of Kadena Air Base would go ahead as planned even without the Relocation of MCAS Futenma. So that part of ATRAF is going to happen whether MCAS Futenma is relocated or not. As far as I no there is no opposition from Okinawa to the relocation to Guam and the return of the land that is vacated. The opposition is to the Relocation to Henoko of MCAS Futenma but since that is no longer linked to the relocation to Guam I do not understand your comments that the people of Okinawa are holding up the ATRAF agreement.

I wish you would comment because you may know something that I am not aware of but that agreement in 2012 seems to make your claims invalid.

http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15220

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The American says they are occupying Okinawa to make us "free"

Show us where in the world "Americans" made this claim? You know it's also pretty poor form to speak for "all" Okinawans from your home in the US. Your opinion is of one expat Japanese person from Okinawa.

It would be arrogant as heck for me to speak for ALL Americans, I dont and you might want to learn from that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Plus keep in mind that while the Ryukyu's (keep in mind that back then it was the Ryukyu's and not Okinawa) were paying homage to mainland Japan too.

Yes, initially via the Shimazu clan. I wonder though, whether the Okinawan people have ever had a choice in anything

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I frankly am amazed the Brits let Scotland have their referendum

The Tories would have loved a "yes" vote: all those Labour MPs removed from Westminster, all that money that would no longer have to be spent on maintaining the Scots standard of living.

Any opposition from the Tories was false, pseudo-Patriotic nonsense designed to appeal to their misty-eyed English voters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish the Okinawans well in securing greater autonomy

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes, initially via the Shimazu clan. I wonder though, whether the Okinawan people have ever had a choice in anything

This is not accurate either, there are records showing that people from the Ryukyu islands were paying tribute to mainland Japan as far back as AD600 or so.

Choice? It all depends upon how one chooses to view the roles of smaller countries throughout history. Smaller, "weaker" countries have always been the pawns of the powerful, does that make it right? Of course not.

Don't forget however that the Okinawan people of today consider themselves citizens of Japan. It's the mainland Japanese that have to learn to accept THEM as equals.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am confused about you continuously saying that the implementation of the Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement for the Future is being held up because of the MCAS Futenma Relocation and the opposition of the people of Okinawa. According to an agreement in 2012 between the U.S. and Japanese Govt. the moving of some Marines and their families to Guam and the releasing of some land south of Kadena Air Base would go ahead as planned even without the Relocation of MCAS Futenma. So that part of ATRAF is going to happen whether MCAS Futenma is relocated or not. As far as I no there is no opposition from Okinawa to the relocation to Guam and the return of the land that is vacated. The opposition is to the Relocation to Henoko of MCAS Futenma but since that is no longer linked to the relocation to Guam I do not understand your comments that the people of Okinawa are holding up the ATRAF agreement.

Thank you for your comment. You’re quite correct – in 2012 Security Consultative Committee amended the 2005 ATARA agreement and “de-linked” the FRF issue from the rest of the land returns. My point, however, is that even with this amendment, you still have people who argue against the agreement - they in essence oppose making any progress in reducing the US military footprint. Many, as is readily evident in these posts, are merely blinded by their US hatred. Who are even worse, are the hypocrites; those that publically rail against the US bases, but do everything they can to oppose any progress in reducing them - for their own petty self-interest (money, power, self-importance).

One group has a plan that results in real measurable progress, the other group has no plan and opposes all progress; whether the land returns are linked or de-linked……….

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@toshiko I dont know what if any right Okinawa has to secceed or request autonomy. They were once an independant kingdom, so they have precedence; they are not like Hokaido with its Ainu situaiton. The Ainu were not a kingdom but more like the US Indians, loosely connected tribes, like a confederation. The AInu have more or less been bred out of existence, where the Okinawans are very much still a unique people. Both are seen as inferior aboriginals by the mainlanders.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the Americans move out, the Japanese government will fill it up with their own military.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They were once an independent kingdom....

Okinawa does not have a precedence, just about ALL of Japan were ruled as independent "kindgoms" or "fiefs" at one time or another.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gaijin6000 If the Americans move out, the Japanese government will fill it up with their own military

Also in such case it will be local troops

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@yub,

Perhaps you know more than me, but that doesnt seem entirely true. The Satsuma clan invaded and conquered their island, and as Japan did in WW2 to everybody they conquered, they forced them to give up their arms, taxed them and treated them like conquered 2nd class citizens, thus the underground self defense of karate was born and the peculiar weapons like the sai etc. The feifdoms in japan were controlled by the tanosama or shogun but the "king" was the emperor, like a dear leader or god, not as a soverign king. It was a very Japanese Yamato either your one of us or not with the holy man at the top. This wasnt the case in Okinawa. The Okinawans have always enjoyed some autonomy as they arent considered Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny how many posters simply see the US bases as only a drain on the US economy. The fact is the Japanese government helps to maintain the bases financially. I would say the Japanese people would benefit to a degree by US base reduction or closing. Apart from the money wasted coming from local taxes, the obnoxious behaviour of some soldiers disappearing would be a blessing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

lincolnman (Nov. 19, 2014 - 10:33AM JST):

Our good friend lincolnman says that "90% of all US property south of Kadena is returned to the local government" but former U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos offered a different figure while he was in office: 70%. Why this difference?

He (lincolnman) also speaks of "all U.S. property" as if U.S. bases in Okinawa were the God-given property of the U.S. This betrays his unfounded belief that Okinawa is nothing but a U.S. territory, a colony, that is. Anyone who whines about this is an anti-American visionary detached from the divine reality, according to him.

The total area of U.S. bases in Okinawa is 23,293 ha. The "U.S. property" south of Kadena Air Base is 1,466 ha, so that percentage-wise it is 6.3% of the total U.S. base area in Okinawa if the to-be-returned land is 90% or 5% if it is 70%. Note, however, that the lands promised to be returned are all strictly string-attached except a few cases.

Futenma would be returned only if its replacement were built in Henoko, Nago City. Naha Military Port Facility would be returned only if its replacement were built on the Urasoe coast adjacent to Camp Kinser, a sprawling logistics hub, which is, strangely enough, on the total return list.

Does lincolnman want to say Okinawa must be grateful to the U.S. for its generosity in giving back so much of the U.S. property?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@5petalsNOV. 19, 2014 - 02:15PM JST @toshiko I dont know what if any right Okinawa has to secceed or request autonomy. They were once an independant kingdom, so they have precedence; they are not like Hokaido with its Ainu situaiton. The Ainu were not a kingdom but more like the US Indians, loosely connected tribes, like a confederation. The AInu have more or less been bred out of existence, where the Okinawans are very much still a unique people. Both are seen as inferior aboriginals by the mainlanders.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

?????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

trial

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And this nonsense about Okinawa being strategically important? Give it a break. Guam, the Philippines, or a half dozen uninhabited Japanese islands would be equally strategically important.

@Frungy - Really? What uninhabited Japanese islands would be just as strategically important to Japan as Okinawa? How in gods name is Guam as strategically as important to defending Japan as Okinawa? Do you even know where Guam is? For crying out loud Philippines would be more strategically important to defending Japan than Guam.

Okinawa is probably the most important land that is under Japan's control, it is closest to its main sea trade lanes that it relies on for energy imports, as well as being nearly equally distant from mainland China, Taiwan, Korean Peninsula, as well as the main islands of Japan: Honshu and Kyushu.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the military alliance between the US and Japan is going to continue being what it is, the bases have to go somewhere. No matter where they are, someone will complain about them. There is no way around that, unfortunately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Satsuma clan invaded and conquered their island, and as Japan did in WW2 to everybody they conquered,

Things go back a heck of a lot longer than when the islands were annexed officially by Japan in the later half of the 1800's prior to the Meiji Restoration.

The Japanese did not "invade" Okinawa in WWII, it was already a prefecture of Japan. They did however subjugate the local population and did unspeakable horrors upon them.

You miss the point on the rest of it, and the Ryukyu's (not Okinawa), if you are going to try to make your points please use the right term for the islands.

The rest of what you need to know is searchable, as to write it here would take volumes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toshio

The AInu have more or less been bred out of existence, where the Okinawans are very much still a unique people. Both are seen as inferior aboriginals by the mainlanders.

Where did you get the information of Okinawans are inferior as Aboriginiespeople or Ainu? They had Ryuku kingdom since 1372. They were fully clothed with shoe. They have their dialect,identity, palace, garden, furniture, temples custom, art and craft even before Ryuku kingdom was unfiied by as one nation.

The earliest tex of Japanes written form, the Kojiki, dates to the early 8th century, and was written entirely in Chinese characters. The end of Old Japanese coincides with the end of the Nara period. During 8th century, Okinawas had own written form and spoken language. Many Japanese were making living with pirates and fishermen. They were not fully clothed back in 8th century. Japan had no own written language until end of Nara Kingdom of 794..

Back in 8th century, many Japanese prefer to eat raw fish and vegetables. Ryukyuans cooked the food in their kitchen with fire.

Ancient Ryuku Kingdom was civilized, peaceful and culturally flourished. Japan had to import a lot of art, craft and custom from Ryuku or Okinawa. Karate, folk dances, songs and Japanese lion movement were come from Okinawa to Japan. Not the other way around.

Comparing Okinawa with other aboriginal people and Ainu likes comparing Vegetarian Buddhist Monk with man eating Carnivalist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am picky, maybe. But there was no Satsuma Clan. Satsuma is the name of area now Kagoshima Prefecture. Lord's family name has been . (Shimadu)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Our good friend lincolnman says that "90% of all US property south of Kadena is returned to the local government"

Well, I’m honored you consider me your good friend, thank you……….

He (lincolnman) also speaks of "all U.S. property" as if U.S. bases in Okinawa were the God-given property of the U.S. This betrays his unfounded belief that Okinawa is nothing but a U.S. territory, a colony, that is. Anyone who whines about this is an anti-American visionary detached from the divine reality, according to him. The total area of U.S. bases in Okinawa is 23,293 ha. The "U.S. property" south of Kadena Air Base is 1,466 ha, so that percentage-wise it is 6.3% of the total U.S. base area in Okinawa if the to-be-returned land is 90% or 5% if it is 70%. Note, however, that the lands promised to be returned are all strictly string-attached except a few cases. Futenma would be returned only if its replacement were built in Henoko, Nago City. Naha Military Port Facility would be returned only if its replacement were built on the Urasoe coast adjacent to Camp Kinser, a sprawling logistics hub, which is, strangely enough, on the total return list.

And thank you again for providing examples that I referred to in my previous post on how the anti-US haters use emotionally charged language when they lack facts - words such as "colony", "betray" and "divine reality". No use wasting my time and others posting how incorrect all of your invalid assertions are – they are exhaustingly detailed on other threads.

Does lincolnman want to say Okinawa must be grateful to the U.S. for its generosity in giving back so much of the U.S. property?

Well this may be a record but thank you again - those are your words not mine and they reaffirm how little you think of the Okinawa people. What I’ve said several times is one group has a plan that results in real measurable progress, the other group (your group) has no plan and opposes all progress……….

Okinawa is probably the most important land that is under Japan's control, it is closest to its main sea trade lanes that it relies on for energy imports, as well as being nearly equally distant from mainland China, Taiwan, Korean Peninsula, as well as the main islands of Japan: Honshu and Kyushu.

That is absolutely spot on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Okinawa is probably the most important land that is under Japan's control, it is closest to its main sea trade lanes that it relies on for energy imports, as well as being nearly equally distant from mainland China, Taiwan, Korean Peninsula, as well as the main islands of Japan: Honshu and Kyushu.

Don't tell the Japanese in mainland this, they won't believe you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zanpan: Check all comments here. r5petal wrote Ainu story and I answered with ???? You can redicule me on what I wrote but not som I am not a man. eone's ignorant comment who wrote to me. BTW my name here is Toshilp/ I jid not write anything about emishi in jomon era.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i am not against us army in japan but i am against us army on okinawa. maybe senkaku would be a nice island for us army base.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lincolnman:

You quote me from my Nov. 19, 2014 - 11:36PM JST posting three times. The fourth quote is not from my posting; it's from Noliving (Nov. 20, 2014 - 06:59AM JST).

You haven't answered my questions posed in my posting concretely, particularly the question on the relocation of Naha Military Port Facility.

As for the quote from Noliving, what does that have to do with the Futenma issue? Do you think the Henoko new base and a few thousand marines deployed there will deal with maintaining the security of those sea lanes? How? I wonder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Yub, smith and others,

I can feel some hostility in your post, perhaps you reside in Okinawa? Make no mistake, I know if I were to move and live there I would still be a gaijin. When posted there, we were ignored by the locals. Upon revisiting, I experienced the same behavior. Once youve been cured of Asian fever by catching it and feeling the nasty, you are much more aware of it. I found the Okinawa people to be kind, shy but hesitant of outsiders. I think youll find this throughout Asia. After the paradise euphoria has worn off (with some gov types, they never get to transistion through this) you get to experience how it really is. But, I still contend that if the US presence were to leave tommorow, I dont think the sky would fall down. The location of Okinawa is ideal, their heritage also serves them well with their Chinese merchantile roots and work ethic. Out of reginal pride alone they would strive to succeed. I have no doubt the place would have investors coming in droves. If the present situation is allowed to continure for another 100 years, why not just make it a territory of the US? As this is improbable, I think we will witness a gradual return of the island to its citizens. As for the claim that some mainlanders see Okinawans as aboriginal; sorry to hurt your feelings, but Ive heard it from the mainlanders myself. I have even heard some say Ainu and Okinawans are actually related, but most important in their minds, they are not Yamato descendants. Mind you, this isnt all Japanese who think this way, but I have encountered it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lincolnman: You quote me from my Nov. 19, 2014 - 11:36PM JST posting three times. The fourth quote is not from my posting; it's from Noliving (Nov. 20, 2014 - 06:59AM JST).

You have a pretty high opinion of yourself if you think I only provide comments to just your posts........

You haven't answered my questions posed in my posting concretely, particularly the question on the relocation of Naha Military Port Facility.

I've answered it (in a courteous manner by the way) more than enough on other posts - yet you still continue to promulgate inaccurate and non-factual info related to the ATARA agreement, and engage in name calling and insults. You no longer deserve the courtesy of a reply.

As for the quote from Noliving, what does that have to do with the Futenma issue? Do you think the Henoko new base and a few thousand marines deployed there will deal with maintaining the security of those sea lanes? How? I wonder.

Noliving said nothing about Futenma, he expressed a very accurate summary of the strategic importance of Okinawa from a geopolitical perspective - it does not surprise me that you fail to understand it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@5petals....you have some pretty weird notions about the Okinawan people, but quite a bit of misses to go along with a few hits.

Okinawan's work ethics are nothing to really brag about, in fact it's due much in fault to their poor work ethics that have brought them to where they are today, and that is not a compliment either. As much as the people are kind, friendly, warm, and a bunch of other positive adjectives, much of what is wrong here is due to having laid back work (study) ethics.

Many mainlanders have an extremely difficult working with Okinawan's because of it, and that doesnt mean just here on the island, but the one's who work in mainland too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ive met quite a few in the mainland, seemed ok to me. I think your experiencing some exclusion etc. Dont let it jade you and try to keep perspective. Im not going to deny what your experiecing is very real, but I think your missing the mark with I dont know about Okinawans and they are lazy. That seems to be a superiority position, and therefore they deserve what they get. Take a look at their history, occupation by others etc. Im sure youll find the answer in that. Ive commented way too much on this thread, now you can have at it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I believe a half of US bases in Okinawa should be moved mainland if the pupose of base is to protect Ja[an from N Korea and Japan. Mainland is a lot closer to N Korea than Okinawa. But I doubt very much Japan is in dager to be attacked by China or N Korea. So, ship them back to USA. Then Hawaii does not want. Camp Pendelton does not want but Orange County is more enjoyable with ////////////////angels games and Disneyland beside beautiful beaches. So;diers can visit Holluwood. /then Navy can be stationed in San Diego. Better tourism atomosphere than Okinawa. If they want to eat ramen, Irvine city has Nisshin ///////////////////////top /ramen. People do not hate soldiers there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think your experiencing some exclusion e

Now let me drop the other shoe for you since you refuse to accept what is a fact take this; I live in Okinawa, have lived here for lets say well before the current century started, have worked for MAJOR Japanese corporations (mainland type) MAJOR Japanese corporations (Okinawan type), have ZERO to do with the military now, and live in an area where I can go literally months at a time without even seeing any military types, let alone a "Y" number.

Exclusion? Heck no, I have forgotten more than many if not most even know about Okinawa and I am not jaded about them either. They are a wonderful people, yet like any people of any culture, they have their failings and weak points too and their work ethics are one of them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well you definetly know more than me about Okinawa, but I think once you go over a certian mark in Japan, you just see it for what it is, some call it jaded. Youll find no matter how long you stay here, they always know more than you, and they hide that very well. Im curious where you can go in Okinawa and never see a gaijin? The island is only 60 miles long. NTA takes up allot of the north. You mean on the China sea side? You think Okinawa is your home now?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Im curious where you can go in Okinawa and never see a gaijin? The island is only 60 miles long

The island? Okinawa is made up of lots n lots of islands. From Haterumajima in the south to Yoronto in the north is over 570 km.

Yubaru said he didn't see military types, not that he didn't see gaijin. I spent my summer hols in Okinawa this year (Ishigaki, well away from the bases) and didn't see a single military type. Not many gaijin at all, in fact.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well you definetly know more than me about Okinawa,

That was most gracious, thank you.

but I think once you go over a certian mark in Japan, you just see it for what it is, some call it jaded. Youll find no matter how long you stay here, they always know more than you, and they hide that very well.

Those who call it jaded are confusing themselves with reality. Also I can say with quite certainty that I actually do know more than many of the people here about their own history. Sad part is that they study very little about it themselves, and I can also state with quite a bit of confidence that I know the island better than most as well. I had some excellent teachers and professors, both the "real" one's and one's that are professors in the university of life.

I will add as well that I know quite a few Japanese and Okinawan's that know a heck of a lot more about the USA, (my home country) than I do, and I applaud them for their knowledge as they do for mine.of theirs, it's called mutual respect.

Im curious where you can go in Okinawa and never see a gaijin? The island is only 60 miles long. NTA takes up allot of the north. You mean on the China sea side? You think Okinawa is your home now?

Let me clarify, I did not specify "gaijin" you did, I said US Military or "Y" numbers. Okinawa is my 2nd home, daini furusato, and I learned a long time ago that I will always be viewed as a "gaijin" by those around me, even if and when I took Japanese citizenship, and you know what, I am fine with that, because to think that I alone can change their ideas and thoughts and misconceptions would be a waste of my life. The people that "know" me "know" me and accept me as who and I and not my "gaijinness", the one's that don't know...screw them, they don't know what they are missing out on.

I can change my neck of the woods and to a large extent have, and that is all that I care about, because it starts the ripple effect. The rest I dont worry about, having too much fun.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thanks for that but we are discussing Okinawa, not the Ryukyu island chain. Many of us spent our youth in Okinawa and I personally bicycled from the south end to the north with friends several times. Please go enlist, be sent there and comment from that perspective, then you can relate.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Please go enlist, be sent there and comment from that perspective, then you can relate

Sorry, but I relate from the other end; I can see how the people of Okinawa (island and/or prefecture) are not happy with the bases and the people who run/operate them. If your time in Okinawa was spent as one of a group of people there under duress, who'd rather be somewhere else and who the locals would rather not have taking up huge chunks of prime land, I can see how you developed a rather jaundiced view of the place.

I don't need to be sent to Okinawa; given the chance I'd spend most of my summer leisure time there, I love it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Yub,

I contributed to many empty shelves at the package store during the typhoons and consumed way too much mojo. That got old so I started the bicycle thing. They said you either leave Oki a PT freak, a bible thumper or an alcoholic. After I got past the windshields etc (seems everybody I knew was getting hit by a local) I started to really like it. We explored every nook and cranny of the place, its why I asked you where you lived because it seems we were all over. On the side going up to Nago it was more farms and mountains , but you would still see military guys doing their cruise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We explored every nook and cranny of the place, its why I asked you where you lived because it seems we were all over.

In reality there are two (maybe more) Okinawa's, the one near the bases and the one where there are none, and are not close. I live in the mid-to-southern end of the island, near Naha, but not in Naha. Military folks do not frequent the area, because there is little if anything for them.

It's different being here temporarily and maybe seeing at an adventure vs living here day to day. I and others like me, see things differently, doesnt make it better, nor worse, just different.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Back in 1992, two,US Air bases known as Subic and Clark have shut down and left from Philippines. Okinawa had no luck like these two bases. Many thought it was because f the local resentment and protest. In fact they left voluntarily due to the threat of Volcanic eruption. Before that locals protested were ended on deaf ears. In 1991, Philippines got the large volcano eruption. Although it was very destructive, many locals were grateful for divine intervention for ripping off the unwanted bases. Government developed holidays resorts in former base area. Tourists were flourished. Near by residents prospered. Land value has increased three times after ripping off the bases.

Okinawa may be helped by Kamikaze wind or Typhoon on one day. As the neighbor, Philippines and Okinawa shared the Typhoons and Storms. Residents of Okinawa will be prospered too if they have been liberated. Never give up the hope for a better tomorrow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@5 petals: Please stop bashing Yubaru. You are disrupting comment section here. We can not get current Okinawa info from Yuvaru this time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe it is time for the US military bases to close in Okinawa. I can't imagine a "Red" invasion from China into the neighboring countries. North Korea is another story. But there is no need for the American bases in Okinawa to strike fear into North Korea. The US 7th Fleet is homeported in Yokosuka. One carrier task force is more than enough to take care of any aggression by the North Korea.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@toshiko...I am not being bashed, I am having an intelligent discussion with another member here. This is just a web forum, nothing more nothing less, the less you take things personally, the easier it is to participate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Americans died fighting for Okinawa and liberated it from Imperial Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

YUBARU: Dpm

Don't sound intelligent discussions, Between you and ignorant 5petals crowding this thread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The incoming Okinawa governor is a communist sympathizer to China and Russia and Muslims.......

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Zenpun

Thank you so much for your compliment about Okinawa history and culture. Comparing Okinawa natives with Ainu, other Aboriginal and Native Americans likes comparing mother Theresa or Pope John Paul II with blood thirsty mediaeval age warrior.

Most of the native people were illiterate, uneducated and did not wear the full clothes. For example Native Americans and Australian Aborigines did not need to be fully clothed. They did not need to stay at home. Native Americans used to travel with temporary tents. They ate the raw meat as ancient Japanese fishermen. Okinawa natives were even more educated, civilized and culturally advanced people comparing with Nara era of ancient Japan. Even now a days, many natives have better command of English comparing with mainlanders.

Native Americans cut the scalp of their enemy after his death. When Japanese warriors won the battle during the medieval time, they used to cut the head for their trophy For Ancient Ryukyuan people, those customs were too barbaric, violent and inhumane. They surrendered easily without fight when they were invaded. It is no surprise because they were passive and peaceful people.

Okinawa may be the poorest prefecture of Japan. The residents have the heart of gold and civilized manner. They have never been inferior people. They will never be too. During the post war era, Japanese work ethnic including post war generation of Okinawa were very competitive and motivated. It is no longer true! New generation Japanese have lost the motivation and strong will for good work ethnic unlike post war era. Pot and Kettle may be different in shape and size. Both are black as Mainland Japan and Okinawa.

Japan has lost decades since1990s. It may have impacted new generation Okinawa residents too. They need to be re-energized without oppression and treating them as inferior second class citizens. According Obama speech, everyone is equal under God eyes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They surrendered easily without fight when they were invaded. It is no surprise because they were passive and peaceful people.

While this is an image that people world-wide have come to believe as 100% fact let me tell you that it is not totally true. There was conflict here on the island during the period when the 1st Sho Emperor consolidated the 3 Kingdoms that eventually became the Ryukyu Kingdom.

On a separate note, do not ever believe either that they are "always" peaceful. Look at the Koza riots as an example.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

True Okinawa:

A "communist sympathizer" is, according to one definition run on the Internet, is "someone who agrees with positions held by communists. It's heard most often as an insult used by conservatives for anyone who doesn't agree with them."

Takeshi Onaga, an Okinawa Governor elect, won the election by a landslide on the platform that he would oppose the Japan-U.S. agreement on Futenma-to-Henoko relocation and do his best to scrap the plan. His platform was supported by all Okinawa, progressive or conservative, crossing traditional party lines. One of the Onaga supporting parties, among others, was the Okinawa chapter of the Japan Communist Party.

Can one call Onaga a communist sympathizer, a pejorative term unreasonably used during the Cold War to discredit a person's stand? I don't think so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Be nice for people to use adjectives appropriate to the situation; 当 翁長 雄志 360,820票 Onaga......... 仲井真弘多 261,076票..........Nakaima........ 下地 幹郎 69,447票 Shimoji....... 喜納 昌吉 7,821票 Kina

Hardly a "landslide" when one takes into consideration that Onaga won based upon the vote of the city of Naha. He was a popular Mayor, but that does not translate into being a popular Gov.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru

You are always splitting hairs. Large or small is a modifier telling how one looks at the world. In other words, adjectives are used subjectively on the basis of relativity.

A ten thousand vote differential was large like a landslide as far as I saw, especially in view of the fact that Nakaima was backed by the juggernaut LDP with a large amount of campaign funds larvishly injected into his camp. Cabinet ministers and LDP bigwigs came to Okinawa in a horde to bolster the Nakaima camp. So, initially, the race appeared to me neck and neck.

The ten-thousand vote differential Onaga garnered was the third largest in the past 12 gubernatorial elections.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You are always splitting hairs.

You really should look in a mirror some day when you talk about splitting hairs. Doing the same thing in your reply.

Onaga won based only upon his base in Naha. That is a fact. He is NOT popular everywhere in Okinawa That is a fact too. It's just a matter of time before he too shoots himself in the foot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru:

First, the correction of a figure. "A ten thousand vote differential" should be "one-hundred thousand vote differential."

Now I would like to ask you to read my posting addressed to True Okinawa once again. Instead of commenting on its main point (that is, can you call Onaga a communist sympathizer?), you wandered into a discussion of how the word "landslide" should be interpreted, presenting the number of votes each candidate garnered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@trueokinawa: Could you please explain what a Communist Sympathizer to Muslims is. I have been in Okinawa a very long time and this is the first time I have ever seen or heard of the Muslims being made a part of the debate. So I guess now the Okinawans have to be afraid of attacks by China, Russia, North Korea and the Muslims. Muslims would have a hard time getting the Okinawans to give up their pork.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan4life

I do not buy the theory of Okinawa will be attacked by PRC, NK and Muslim. They are all propaganda machine for robbing Okinawa land, water and air by puppet from Tokyo. NK has already flied rocket over Okinawa before. They do not need to come with ships or planes. There is no goat or sheep in Okinawa. There is no oil in Okinawa. There is no minerals in Okinawa. There is no rubber and teak in Okinawa. At least Philippines which has rubber is more attractive than Okinawa.

American loves Beef. Japanese loves fish. Okinawa loves pork. Muslim loves lamb.Therefore they will never get well with each other.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Heck, close all the U.S. bases in Japan, and let the Japanese build shopping centers and manshons on the land, and deal with the Chinese, the Koreans and the Russians on their own.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

you wandered into a discussion of how the word "landslide" should be interpreted, presenting the number of votes each candidate garnered.

I wandered? OMG whatever......He isn't communist and even if he was it wouldn't matter because a Japanese Communist is no where even close to being the same as what YOU are thinking they are.

Could you please explain what a Communist Sympathizer to Muslims is.

Dont bother...."trueOki wanna" is just a conspiracy theorist at heart.

The folks in Okinawa have a higher chance of getting skin cancer or dying from obesity than being attacked from either China or NK.

@Octagon...

NK has already flied rocket over Okinawa

Only over the ocean, not over the islands themselves, and anything coming from NK, while scary due to their inaccuracy, is really nothing to worry about down here. The folks in Tokyo should be more worried.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sometime ago, NK threatened that if will shoot missile to USA. So, it is time ti ship back US Military from Okinawa rto USA. How about Long Beachm Camp Pendleton and San Diego? Prople haven't talked for years but there is Nellis Air Forcew Vase in Nevada. It was the place WW II A-Bombs were tested before Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am sure there are many US Militar bases that welcome US soldiers from Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru

I wandered? OMG whatever......He isn't communist and even if he was it wouldn't matter because a Japanese Communist is no where even close to being the same as what YOU are thinking they are.

Sure, you wandered. You sneakily avoided to answer my question. I asked if you agreed with True Okinawa, who called Onaga a communist sympathizer. If you didn't agree, then you should criticize TO, rather than defend him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Yub, Wow, the hate ) If anybody was talking like you do about Okinawa and direct that towards mainlanders, well, you better watch out

A cure for that would be to live in Tokyo. I think in 6 mos you would forget all about the dysfunctions of Okinawa and want to return.

Its interesting, I havent seen any crackpot defender tell you "if you hate it so bad, then go home!"

Perhaps they share the same superiority of them inferior Okinawan situational ethic attitude

As for everything being communist and let wing in Okinwaw, there is also large Communist kyosanto in Tokyo. They are the party of desparation. During the civil rights struggle in the US, they had a large influence, but it declined. with the right leader, they would disappear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's interesting how nice the beaches are in Okinawa; unlike the mainland. It seems the central Japanese government didn't care enough about Okinawans to subsidize the old guys in the economy by paving over all the beaches like on the other 4 islands. Therefore, Okinawa has beautiful natural beaches like Hawaii or Australia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yub, I think if I was you man, I would turn off the TV and the negative and head outside. There are thousands of people who would trade places with you. You got the best beaches in the region. 365 warm weather. where Im at you spend 10 minutes in the water you got hypothermia if you dont get when your swimming in garbage. You got nice clean air, free of the mutated noro or influenza virus and people coughing on you. No doubt there are problems there, but you got options to escape from it. Allot of the tourist from the mainland are doing just that when they visit your island. You said there are no military where you live, so you cant complain about that. You could set up a biz or a little shop in your yard. When you dont have, then you think about what you could have. Maybe its time for a move to Tokyo? )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did a quick double check with a local person....this is how it works, the US personnel get to rent properties outside the base if they wish to. Most of the rent gets paid by the (mainland) Japanese tax-payers. The local landlords charge 3 to 5 times the real market rate, and so it's champagne all round for them, and maybe trickle down, when the landlords aren't buying Benz's.

So, if the bases go, they lose all that easy money...let's see how far the governor gets...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If and when the Marines are moved out, that will open up prime real estate for developers. Whomever has the most to gain there is probably crying the loudest !!!! Something to think about. I've long advocated a realignment and positioning of our Forces off of Okinawa. It is too close to China, we could lose too many combat personnel too fast due to quick strikes by either China or a lucky North Korean missile shot. Strategically, yes, Okinawa is vital, which is why both Kadena and White Beach Naval Facility must remain. Removing the Marines is an easy option. (Nay sayers - look how fast U.S. Forces were out of Philippines after Pinatubo blew up! It can be done.) Guam is already ramping up for the Marines, Australia is as well. Might sound odd to some, but a good local for 3rdMarDiv is Alaska. But for the next 40 years, Kadena and White Beach have to stay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This issue is a lot larger than simply Okinawa.... it is an issue if the Japanese government will listen to the people or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would like to see Okinawa. Japan is a big country. I will level with you. I fly to Mongolia as often as I can, via Korea. I fly over Japan every trip. After 12 hours in the air, the seconds over Japan are not representative of the size and importance of those islands. 40 minutes later, we touch down on Incheon airport island. Five more hours in the air, and I am in Ulan Bator city.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@morrison: It is my understanding that the off-base housing allowance is set by the Department of Defense and is based on a persons rank. That allowance is paid by the U.S. Taxpayers. The Japanese Taxpayers pay for a percentage of the utilities that the bases use but I am not sure about the utilities used by off-base occupants. While it is true that the Housing Agencies and Landlords charge a lot more for occupants who receive a housing allowance, that is the fault of the U.S. for giving such high allowances. The Housing Agencies all know how much the housing allowance is and based on a persons rank they will show you properties within your housing allowance. I don`t think you can fault the Locals for taking money that the U.S. Government is willing to give them. As far as them losing money if the bases go, that is their problem. The bases should be here because they are required for the defense of Japan.The bases cost the Japanese Taxpayers and the U.S. Taxpayers too much money to be kept here just because some people might lose their source of revenue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's interesting and it seems a tangled mess of everything being paid for by a taxpayer somewhere else, mainland Japan or the US.

Being notoriously difficult to get rich people's hands off the handle of a money pump, I'd guess absolutely nothing is going to happen with the bases, as otherwise the rich wouldn't have chipped in towards his election campaign costs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@morrison: Yes it is pretty complicated. I believe the Japanese pay for most of the new facilities that are built, pay a certain percentage of the utilities that the base uses, they pay the salaries for MLC and IHA base workers although I personally believe that they should not pay for IHA workers because those workers are emplyoed by AAFES, MWR and MCCS who make a lot of money on Okinawa and can more than afford to pay their employees, they pay the landowners, they pay for military vehicles to use the expressway, if a military vehicle gets in an accident off base they pay for any damage to local property. The US Taxpayers pay for some new facilities, a portion of the utilities the bases use, the salaries of Military and DOD civilian personnel including DODDS schoolteachers, a portion of utilities cost, the Housing Allowance, Cost of Living Allowance, Transportation Costs for moving families, and Maintenance Costs for the base facilities. If anyone knows of other items payed by either the US or Japanese Taxpayer please feel free to comment. Also if I have wrongly listed something I would appreciate the correction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okinawa is the Champion of longevity. Cardiovascular decease which has been caused by Obesity decease in Residents are so low. Obesity is American Export. If the residents get the obesity, he or she used to enjoy the fast food outlets chain of US. Some people of Okinawa residents are centurnarians and still relatively active. They are more likely to lose hearing due to air craft noise. They are more likely to get sick with pollution.

Actually it's not any longer and it's also a fact that the younger generation here is going the way of how other Asian-Pacific Islanders have gone, and that IS a fact. Obesity and inactive kids are are becoming more and more of a problem here as well. It all pretty much started with the first Lawson's and has been heading down hill ever since.

You sneakily avoided to answer my question. I asked if you agreed with True Okinawa, who called Onaga a communist sympathizer. If you didn't agree, then you should criticize TO, rather than defend him.

Might I suggest a reading program for you?

Which folks are you talking about?

Obviously sarcasm doesnt register too well with you does it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@japan4life

As I recall, the off base person is allowed BAQ and COLA, whereas the base resident gets only COLA. BAQ covers the rent and some of the utilities. If your married and living overseas, you can actually make good money. I think the individual picks up daycare cost, cant remember if its a freebie.

I dont want to even guess the cost of sending a family of 4 with school age kids for 3 years. I do want them to enjoy their stay but for all those that bash the USMC, please remember they dont do that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Talking about worsening US-Japan ties is just a mere speculation about things that did not happen, meaning US-Japan relations haven't really changed a bit at the moment. Japan is a unitary country and regional politics stand lower in the hierarchy than those of central government. So assuming there are going to be changes because there is some number of local people who are complaining about American presence, it would need to be approved by the central government. I personally don't see that's going to happen soon. Other users have wrote enough reasons to support this opinion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One may think the Okinawa issue is a local one involving only a small portion of the nation, a local people, complaining about the American presence.

I don't think it's a local issue. It's an international issue directly involving Japan and the U.S.

Okinawa represents Japan itself in a condensed form as far as the U.S. military presence is concerned. Mainlanders may not be able to see the true picture of the bilateral relations and the U.S. military presence because bases are sparsely located in the mainland whereas in Okinawa one can see them wherever he turns his eyes.

U.S. bases in Okinawa hark back to Japan's defeat in WW II, but so do those in the mainland. And so some posters on this thread claim that the U.S. has every right to maintaining these bases here with impunity.

The catch is that the U.S. bases are formerly planted here not because Japan was defeated but because Japan and the U.S. agreed to their presence through the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Is that a real McCoy?

We feel that treaty smacks of the post-war occupation despite its formal reasoning of why the bases must be planted here. The treaty is a mere facade to hide the ultimate intentions of the U.S.

So, in essence, the Okinawa issue is not a local one but genuinely a national and international one. It's time to reconsider the content of the bilateral agreement seriously and get rid of its colonial character.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In theory, Okinawa is one of the prefecture of Japan. In the reality, it is an unincorporated territory of the United States as Guam and American Samoa..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think this new generation of Americans is quite ready to let Japan fend for itself at its own expense. Of course, Japan, and South Korea as well, will have to re-think their own national security issues, particularly in regard to China and Russia. Japan may also have to consider major revisions to its constitution which will more than likely result in strengthening Japan's military and the far right. In a military sense, it will have to be a new and tougher Japan. A welcome sight for some and a scary thought for others.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow:

We feel the current state of affairs in Okinawa involving U.S. bases must come to a complete end someday. But of course not tomorrow. Much to our chagrin, Kadena Air Base, the most hazardous and noisy facility of all U.S. bases, may remain for sometime to come. So may the White Beech Naval Facility at Uruma City.

How about the Marine facilities that account for the bulk of U.S. military bases in Okinawa? They must go. MCAS Futenma must be shut down immediately. Building its replacement at Henoko is, therefore, totally out of the question.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

I can agree with most of what you say. I think that it's all too easy to forget why the U.S. occupation of Japan began in the first place, and that was to help Japan get back on its feet again and to keep potential aggressors at bay. When the day does come that the U.S. does end its stay in Japan, however, Japan will have to be prepared to defend itself. That will certainly lead to controversies regarding major constitutional revisions and strenghtening of its military forces.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stormcrow:

You seem to suggest that "the U.S. occupation of Japan" began when Japan was let to rearm with the establishment of JSDF (initially called Security Forces) in 1954. Do you also want to say that helped "Japan to get back on its feet again"?

Yes, the U.S. instigated Japan not only to rearm but also expand it, which encouraged rightist-minded people to forget history -- the grave misdeeds Japan committed during the war.

Today, the most pro-American factions in Japanese society are far-rightist fanatics followed by right-wing politicians spearheaded PM Shinzo Abe. Most of them identify themselves with U.S.nationals, and so when Okinawa opposes the Henoko relocation plan they are the first ones to come out and deliver the most vociferous criticism of it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

You're not trying to put words in my mouth, are you?

Has the partnership between the U.S. and Japan been perfect? Of course not!

Yes, it was a mess in Japan after WWII. The main question should be about whether things would have been better or worse had the Americans packed up and returned home when the war ended. With Stalin wanting Hokaido, had the U.S. not been in Japan, who else at the time would have been able to stand in the Soviets' way. So, yeah, I think things could have been much worse without the U.S. hanging around after WWII ended. At the same time, South Korea would not have survived the onslaught of a Chinese supported N. Korea, so S. Korea owes a great deal of thanks to Japan for its present condition. It could be argued that S. Korea isn't perfect, but at the same time it could have been much worse.

So, was and have the U.S. bases had a negative effect on Japan and S. Korea? Yeah, sure, but at the same time you need to carefully consider the alternative, meaning no U.S. bases in Japan and S. Korea.

I knew a Japanese man who wanted the U.S. bases in Japan shut down, but at the same time wanted to preserve Japan's peace constitution.

I asked him, "What would happen if the Russians or Chinese invaded Japan?"

"Simple.", he said, "The U.S. will come to our aid."

"From where?" I asked, "Hawaii?!"

On this issue of should the U.S. stay in Japan or should it go, it's truly is up to the Japanese to decide. At the same time, I think that the majority of Americans are tired and fed up with being viewed as the world's policeman regardless of how people from other countries think otherwise. I think if the Japanese government tells the U.S. taxpayer that they are tired of the American military being in Japan, then I think the U.S. taxpayers will say that they are also tired of providing and stationing U.S. military forces in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

stormcrow,

With Stalin gone and the Cold War long over, do you think this much U.S. military presence in Japan, particularly in Okinawa, to the degree that one may call it "occupation" is still necessary? Do you think the Henoko relocation plan is to the good for both countries and for the security of the region?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's true that Stalin is gone, but does that mean that there will never be another future threat in any other form?

As for as the relocation of U.S. bases in Japan, I honestly don't care if they set up their bases somewhere else in Japan, in Alaska or some other far flung place. However, if it turns into a silly game of musical chairs when it comes to stationing U.S. forces in Japan, then I'm all in favor of closing down all of the bases and letting Japan fend for itself.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I don't think the average American is overly concerned with spending U.S. tax dollars to provide American servicemen and women in Japan or many other foreign countries. Yes, they're a burden with the trouble they cause, but having them around also provides the host country with some peace of mind knowing that they're there to defend their host country with their lives if need be. On the other hand, I don't think the people of these host countries realize or appreciate this fact.

But, hey! I'm OK with that if the U.S. military is told to leave Japan or if they decide to leave on their own accord, but there will clearly be other major difficulties as a result, especially concerning Japan's peace constitution. If you think Japan looks like a right-wing country now, imagine how much stronger it will look with a U.S. pullout. At the same time, as uncomfortable as I am at the thought of that, Japan won't have much of a choice (Will it?), considering what the neighborhood in this part of the world looks like.

It's a very, very complicated problem in many different ways. What looks so bad today, could look a heck of a lot worse tomorrow.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

stormcrow:

Since you said things based on a hypothesis, I will do the same.

If the U.S. military had packed up and gone home when the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed and Japan recovered genuine sovereinty, which it didn't, Japan could have independently followed the path mandated by its peace consitution. Trust and friendship were thus to be engendered between Japan and all its neighboring countries. Earlier Japanese governments tried to implement that omnidirectional foreign policy ("zenhoi gaiko") volantarily.

But the U.S. didn't like it and interfared blatantly to keep Japan in its firm grip, arming it to the teeth despite its peace constitution and thus making it a strong member of the anti-communist camp searheaded by the U.S. What country is to blame for all this mess?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Much of this is about "what ifs". I hadn't been born yet during the 50s, so I can only rely on what I've read or heard about it. I guess it was the height of communist hysteria and paranoia in America, so it wouldn't really surprise me if MacCarthur was in favor of arming Japan to the teeth. He was indeed a controversial figure. Was he right or wrong in the way he was running things in Japan? I suppose he did some things right and some things right. Truman did fire him, so he did rock the boat from time to time.

In a perfect world, peace treaties and wars wouldn't be necessary. What they were thinking and how they felt was a different time, so I don't feel I'm able to answer that. In hindsight, we can say they were all a bunch of delusional nuts, but at the time, they probably felt they were moving in the right direction.

Eventually, the U.S. will have to clear out of the Pacific region because China will not permit it. Right now the U.S. is here, but as China grows ever stronger and bolder, the U.S. will have no other choice but to go. What happens to Okinawa? What we're watching unfold over the Senkaku Islands will probably replay itself over the issue of Okinawa. China has already made it crystal clear that they look upon Okinawa as belonging to China. That is still years away, but clearly Japan will have to be ready for that day if they expect to hold on to that chain of islands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow,

You say my posting is full of what-ifs. How about yours? Your last paragraph is more full of them -- even concoctions.

You say:

"... as China grows ever stronger and bolder, the U.S. will have no other choice but to go. What happens to Okinawa? What we're watching unfold over the Senkaku Islands will probably replay itself over the issue of Okinawa. China has already made it crystal clear that they look upon Okinawa as belonging to China. That is still years away, but clearly Japan will have to be ready for that day if they expect to hold on to that chain of islands."

In a nutshell, you want to say China will rise as a formidable empire, chase the U.S. out of the region and invade Okinawa, reclaiming its sovereignty because it was China's former territory. True? Isn't that a typical example of fear-mongering?

Okinawa never belonged to China, which they know full enough. Historically, China treated the Ryukyu Kingdom, the predecessor of Okinawa Prefecture, with utmost respect and dignity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Much of the what-ifs are in regard to this whole issue, not your comments in particular. I don't deny that I'm using plenty of what-ifs myself. That's my whole point. Has the U.S. involvement been good or bad is subjective and up to the individual.

As for fear-mongering, I see my remarks as being more realistic than anything else. The fact is China is growing and becoming bolder and as it does the U.S. is going to back off. That's nothing new and something which many U.S. foreign policy experts have been stating.

Does Okinawa belong to China? No, I don't believe it does, but does what I think matter if China does indeed hold such a view? Case in point, the Senkaku Islands debate. After the Senkaku Islands are occupied, Okinawa is next. This is not fear-mongering but a fact which many Japanese are aware of and deeply concerned about.

Again, Japan is going to have to be ready for the day when, as you call it, the U.S. occupation of Japan ends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

stormcrow:

You say, "Japan is going to have to be ready for the day when, as you call it, the U.S. occupation of Japan ends." I don't know when that day will come. Probab ly, neither you nor anyone.

But one thing is sure. The current state of affairs, this occupation-like U.S. military presence, cannot go on forever. When that day comes, it's up to Japan to decide what to do about its own defense. Democracy must be prevailing then.

Anyway, it's completely an internal matter, not something the U.S. dictates Japan to do -- like change the constitution, increase the military budget, or engage in collective defense along with the U.S., and so forth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In a perfect world, police officers and militaries wouldn't be necessary. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. Just as we have police officers to protect us within our own communities, we also have militaries to defend our national security. Yes, nobody knows when that day will come. Yes, it will be up to Japan to decide its own fate. Oddly enough, the U.S. never intended to invade and occupy Japan by choice, it was forced upon the U.S. by the Japanese themselves. Many lives, on both sides, were lost in that process. As one of my Japanese friends told me, the U.S. basically de-fanged Japan after the end of WWII.

Do you think Japan should be re-fanged before the last U.S. forces do leave Japan?

Personally, I don't think Japan has any other choice. I'm not trying to scare anybody here, but Japan lives in a pretty tough neighborhood. Japan will need a strong military just like a tough neighborhood needs dedicated police officers to maintain peace and stability.

In a perfect world it wouldn't be necessary, but this isn't a perfect world, is it?

At the same time, I think it should be pointed out that the economic prosperity Asian nations have enjoyed since the end of WWII has been to a large degree due to the peace and stability provided by the U.S. military presence in the region. As one Asian diplomat said to another U.S. diplomat regarding the growing power of China in the region: "Please don't make us choose, but don't leave us!"

I have many friends from Okinawa, and they are really nice people. In a perfect world, Okinawa would be an independent country surrounded by peaceful, benevolent neighbors. We're not there yet, but, hopefully, someday it will happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Concerning those U.S. bases, you said in an earlier posting that you agreed with me that U.S. service members must pack up and go home, thus ending "the occupation." But it soon turned out that that was not your real intentions. This state of affairs -- what former PM Junichiro Koizumi called a necessary evil -- must continue because ours is not "a perfect world," to quote your nice words.

However, as "a perfect world" is only a pipe dream, so the U.S. military presence must continue indefinitely. As police officers are necessary to maintain peace and stability of society, so are U.S. militaries in Japan (Okinawa in particular), you want to say.

The question is: Should the police officers be a horde of foreign nationals? When local people ask them to leave, they counter, "Can you protect your own selves? No, you can't. So we will keep on staying." Protecting themselves and how they will do it are the locality's internal matters and none of their business.

I wonder what ambassador from what country said: "Please don't make us choose, but don't leave us!" If the ambassador really believes that "the economic prosperity Asian nations have enjoyed since the end of WW II has been to a large degree due to the peace and stability provided by the U.S. military presence in the region," his country should take in all this U.S. military first and foremost instead of coercing sacrifice on Okinawa unilaterally. A greedy, egoistic and free rider his country really is, I should say.

There are a number of critics and security specialists on both sides of the Pacific who say it's not necessary for the Marines to be stationed in Okinawa and suggest they be brought home to the U.S. mainland immediately. The decision is up to Washington to make.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think you're assuming more about me than you know actually know about me. I don't have a problem with closing all of the U.S. bases down. Lord knows the crimes committed against the Okinawans by these U.S. hooligans is enough to make your heart break. I'm just saying that for all of the negatives, there are positives as well which you seem to neither realize nor appreciate. Besides, why should Americans put the lives of their brave men and women on the line to protect another foreign nation's national security, especially one that doesn't want it there in the first place? As far as economic interests the U.S. has in Japan, the only thing it looks like the U.S. would be protecting (from a purely selfish perspective) would be a bunch of fast food restaurant chains like McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken, junk food the Japanese shouldn't be eating anyway.

Have you ever seen the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart. It's an interesting old black and white film about how much worse this one man's hometown would have looked had he never been born. It's full of those what-if scenarios you and I like so much. Anyway, you should check it out, especially with the X-mas season coming up.

If they close the bases, that's fine by me, if they don't . . . well, maybe they will close them in the future. I really don't care, regardless of how much you think I love seeing the U.S. as a world policeman. Many Americans are getting tired of that stereotype so don't be surprised if you start seeing U.S. forces begin to back up and let the countries who have been hosting them take care of themselves. It will also be good for the U.S. in an economic sense because the U.S. will be able to take all of those billions of tax dollars which are being spent on these overseas' bases and allow it to re-invest those U.S. tax dollars on the U.S. tax payers themselves where they rightfully belong. Many Americans think Germany, S. Korea & Japan have been riding on its back for far too long. So, in a nutshell, that's about all I have to say. Again, I don't care one way or the other, but be careful what you wish for.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Let me recount what you are saying above. You say you don't care at all if the U.S. military withdraw from Japan or Okinawa, wondering out loud why U.S. service members should sacrifice themselves to defend Japan and why U.S. taxpayers should waste so much tax money to maintain bases in Japan?

You are asserting this on the premise that the U.S. forces are stationed here mainly to defend Japan. There are many Japanese who also think as you do. You, as well as they, should know that the U.S. military presence is for the defense of U.S. interests in he region that include the U.S. hegemony in the Pacific theater. The area is the U.S.'s turf that must not be lost to any new comers.

You naively think that the U.S. military will pack up and go home as soon as it is asked to do so. That was the case with two U.S. bases in the Philippines. But that doesn't apply to U.S. bases in Japan (Okinawa). Japanese taxpayers, believing what USFJ top brass like to boast by saying that their service members are always ready to sacrifice their life to defend Japan, are happy not only to provide so many bases with their forces free of charge but also shoulder 74% of base maintenance costs.

The Henoko relocation plan demonstrates how strongly the U.S. forces are determined to keep staying in Okinawa. USM Base Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which was expanded and refurbished recently with Japanese taxpayers' money of course, is slated to be the largest U.S. Marine base in East Asia, according to today's Okinawa Times. This also suggests that the U.S. military will be here to stay for an unforeseeable period of time.

Thus, the "occupation", which you also aknowledge, will certainly continue forever despite your "groundless fears". On our side, we must keep protesting the U.S. government against it all the more. Period.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is too expensive to have US 48,000 personnel. Japan should build the nuclear weapon. Maybe after the old people are gone, Japan can change the constitution.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What I don' like is that, not the US govt or US soldiers, but some private American individuals in Japan use threating rhetoric to Japanese individual, such as "You are a war loser" or "We are protecting you". I don't mind so much if it was addressed to me, but it is painful to watch if it was addressed to Japanese men. Sometimes I want to cry.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa,

As you pointed out, the U.S. has closed a couple of its bases already in the Phillipines, so, yes indeed, it does happen. Japan isn't more special than anybody else. As for the relocation, I'm not a military expert, but perhaps there is some strategic reason for it. It doesn't seem that the U.S. military wants to be closer to Naha just so U.S. service personnel can hassle the locals. As for what happens next after the U.S. does pull out, and it will happen eventually because as China grows in power it won't want the U.S. hangin' around in its front yard, it should be expected that the Chinese will zero in on Okinawa as they are the Senkaku Islands. Again, this is not fear-mongering, it's reality. Nii hao!! You wrote that the Japanese take care of 74% of the base maintenance costs. Big deal! I was talking about billions and you're talking about pennies. I used to cut my neighbor's grass once a week for $5.00, so stop your kidding and get real. You also said that the U.S. occupation will go on forever. Maybe in your dreams! In reality, again as China grows up to become the biggest kid on the block, they won't tolerate the U.S. being just offshore just like the U.S. wouldn't tolerate the Chinese putting bases just off of its shores. I'm thinking of the Cuban Missile Crisis right now as I write this.

tinawatanabe,

I agree. Nobody likes or wants to be around overly proud people, ever. The U.S. does have its share of those types, especially with the macho types who would join the armed forces. There's no denying that. All the more reason for the U.S. to vacate the bases and turn them back over to the Japanese government. BTW, I read your earlier post which was apparently taken down, but I thought it was actually a darn good idea. That would be one way Japan could avoid revising its peace constitution by following the Sampson Strategy. If you invade us, we're going to take the whole house down around us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you invade us, we're going to take the whole house down around us.

Why would Japan invade USA? I said Japan should change the constitution after the old Japanee people die and build up full military to better defend itself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

tinawatanabe,

In your earlier post (which has since been removed) you wrote something about Japan developing its own arsenal of nuclear weapons. Anyway, having those around would be enough to give any of Japan's neighbors second thoughts (mutually assured destruction) about invading Japan, not for Japan to invade the U.S. That was what I meant, but I'm not sure if you agree with that. As I wrote, the good part of such a strategy is that Japan would be rid of the U.S. bases and the problems they impose on the Japanese people, especially those living in Okinawa, and at the same time Japan would be able to maintain its present peace constitution to boot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow,

You've shown your true colors now. You say Japan is not more special than anybody else. So if Japan asks the U.S. to return bases, it will do so just as it did in the Philippines. Really?

When former PM Yukio Hatoyama hinted Futenma should be shut down and its facility relocated outside Okinawa, how did Washington react? It did all it could to break down his government.

You have acknowledged that the current situation involving the U.S. military in Japan is no different from occupation. I've been saying this egregious state of affairs must end as soon as possible. Scrap the current Japan-U.S. Security Treaty that is responsible for allowing all this abnormality. Strike a new treaty if needs be. An alliance doesn't necessitate the permanent planting of bases by one country on another.

It's become a common view that there is no military reason for the Marines to be stationed in Okinawa. Former Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, a scholarly expert on military matters, explicitly stated that when he stepped down from the post.

Building a new air base at Henoko, probably as a replacement for Futenma, has been a long-cherished project of the U.S. Marines Okinawa since 1960's, in case you didn't know (See "The World is beginning to know Okinawa": Ota Masahide Reflects on his Life from the Battle of Okinawa to the Struggle for Okinawa" by Ota Masehide and Satoko Norimatsu, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

You state that, "When former PM Yukio Hatoyama hinted Futenma should be shut down and its facility relocated outside Okinawa, how did Washington react? It did all it could to break down his government."

Myself: Maybe he hinted too softly and should have hinted a little louder. I can't recall hearing any Japanese PM saying loudly enough for the whole world to hear that the Japanese wanted the U.S. military to get the heck out of Japan.

You state that,"It's become a common view that there is no military reason for the Marines to be stationed in Okinawa. Former Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, a scholarly expert on military matters, explicitly stated that when he stepped down from the post."

Myself: Well, he's not exactly the PM, but I guess he was a cabinet member and they do tend to shoot from the hip with their mouths when they're stepping down, Leon Pinetta for one was like that. But I would like to hear a PM say something like that when he's just starting office, not from one of his cabinet ministers as he's slinking into the public background and about to write a book. These cabinet ministers always make the most powerful public statements as they're stepping down & leaving, not when they're in power. Can you really trust and believe these types of people? I can't. Anyway, I want to hear a Japanese PM loudly proclaim, not softly hint, that they want the U.S. military out of Japan in the immediate or near future. Funny thing is, though, I've never heard a PM say such a thing before. Why is that?

Again, I'm no military expert and don't understand why the U.S. military is against relocation unless there is a strategic reason involved.

I would like to propose a new idea or question to this difficult conundrum. Why not have a general election only about this issue in the entire country? Let the Japanese people vote on it to decide where they want the government to take Japan. Let the democratic process decide.

In the end, voiceofokinawa, I don't think you and I are all that far apart in certain ways. If the Japanese government demands the U.S. to close the bases down in Japan, I could live with that. I think it would more than likely open up other cans of worms, but if that's what the majority of Japanese people want then that is what the Japanese should get. I just don't want to hear them crying later on that they goofed up and want to go back to the way it was before when the base closings are complete, like the Phillipines has been doing recently especially with their eager neighbors, the Chinese, checking out their real-estate. Nii hao!!

How long do you think it will be before the Chinese navy begins circling Okinawa once the U.S. pulls out of there? I would bet that it will happen faster than you would dare to imagine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow,

Stick your discussion to the Futenma issue only, not the U.S. military presence in general.

Now, when a prime minister hinted the return of Futenma along the lines Okinawa wished, he was dealt with a hard blow by Washington and had to eventually resign. And you say, "Maybe he hinted too softly and should have hinted a little louder." LOL!!!

Morimoto said Futenma shouldn't necessarily be relocated within Okinawa, but it should because of political reasons and not because of military ones. You comment on this issue is based solely on your imagination and guesswork.

Finally, you suggest to hold a national referendum asking if all the U.S. bases should be closed. I would say it's not the time to do so. There's no meaning in it right now. As for Futenma, the majority of Japanese tend to think it's a local issue, not something that is subject to a national referendum. But Okinawa's wish is crystal-clear. It should be closed immediately and its facility should be relocated outside Okinawa, preferably to the U.S. mainland.

We know this is not an outlandish demand. Washington should listen to this voice sincerely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But Okinawa's wish is crystal-clear. It should be closed immediately and its facility should be relocated outside Okinawa, preferably to the U.S. mainland.

We know this is not an outlandish demand. Washington should listen to this voice sincerely.

I understand, But none of it is going to happen. I guarantee you that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm surprised you are still around.

I'm always around.

You're repeating an unmanageable child's selfish, willful demand, as always. Spank him.

Just being a realist. Don't hate the messenger, hate the message.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bass4funk:

Of course, you are a messenger. But if you are a realist, as you profess, and know that the child is really unmanageable, spank him. That's your duty unless you are part of the same gang.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa,

voiceofokinawa: And you say, "Maybe he hinted too softly and blah, blah, blah . . ."

Myself: You were the one who first mentioned that PM Hatoyama was making hints about the U.S. and other possible base locations. I thought that was pretty funny to use a hint instead of an actual statement to back up your own point of view. If you're going to quote somebody in the future to support your point of view, use somebody who makes statements not hints.

voiceofokinawa: "Finally, you suggest to hold a national referendum asking if all the U.S. bases should be closed down. I would say it's not the time to do so." (Me: Yeah, especially with the Chinese zeroing in on the Senkaku Islands. Nii Hao!! )

Myself: Are you kidding me?! When is ever going to be the right time with you?! Now your talking out of both sides of your mouth. I'm not sure if you think up is down or down is up. It seems like you want to see the U.S. forces leave Japan but at the same time you don't want to see the U.S. forces go either. What?!

Anyway, collect your thoughts and let me know what you really mean in your next comment. BTW, I still think letting the Japanese people declare to the world that they're going to vote on this issue is the best way to clear the air. Whether you agree or not with the vote is another matter, but you've got to respect the democratic process, not a perfect system but probably the best one out there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow,

Have you forgotten why I brought up the Hatoyama topic? You earlier said that if asked, the U.S. would return bases without a delay as if it was an easy thing to do. And you exemplified the two returned U.S. bases in the Philippines.

Htoyama didn't demand the return of Futenma in strong words (Mind you, it was about Futenma only and not all bases as you say; be precise). He actually said "Futenma must be relocated at least outside Okinawa." And what was Washington's reaction? You know the rest of the story.

Your response to this: "Maybe he hinted too softly and should have hinted a little louder. I can't recall hearing any Japanese PM saying loudly enough for the whole world to hear that the Japanese wanted the U.S. military to get the heck out of Japan."

No Japanese PM ever asked "the U.S. military to get the heck out of Japan." Don't put what I didn't say into my mouth!

I have some business to do now. I'll be back.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk:

Of course, you are a messenger. But if you are a realist, as you profess, and know that the child is really unmanageable, spank him. That's your duty unless you are part of the same gang.

We're not talking about kids, I am just merely saying that this is all a ruse. If you think the bases are going to leave or shut down, I highly doubt it. Tokyo and Washington will never go for it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bass4funk:

You say: "If you think the bases are going to leave or shut down, I highly doubt it. Tokyo and Washington will never go for it."

Stick your discussion to one particular base, not "the bases." My contention is: Futenma should be closed immediately and its facility should be relocated outside Okinawa, preferably to the U.S. mainland.

The kid story is only figurative, not literal. And you know who is like an unmanageable kid. It's Washington , of course.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa,

You stated, "No Japanese PM ever asked "the U.S. military to get the heck out of Japan." and "Don't put what I didn't say into my mouth!"

Myself: I know I didn't put those words into your mouth because those words came out of my mouth. The point being that it's important for the Japanese PM to make such a demand to everybody, but no PM has so far done that. Doesn't this fact seem to suggest that the U.S. is more like a welcome guest than an unwelcome occupier?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow:

My contention is always: Futenma and nothing but Futenma should be closed immediately and its facility should be relocated outside Okinawa, preferably to the U.S. mainland."

A Prime Minister suggested to the same effect. No, he only said, "Futenma should be relocated at least outside Okinawa." Did Washington listen to this as "a welcome guest"? Didn't its exorbitant reaction reflect that Japan was still under U.S. occupation, the fact on which you said you completely agreed with me?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Occupation, partnership, invited visitor, distinguished guest . . . in the end, does it really matter which of those I call it? As to your comments, I suppose the U.S. could relocate outside of Japan, but doesn't that kind of open up Okinawa for visits from one particular and unwelcome guest. If the bases are far from Okinawa, I would have to question the military strategy. At least with a strong military presence in the immediate Okinawa area, the Chinese will approach Okinawa more cautiously, wouldn't you agree? At least until the Japanese are strong enough to replace the U.S. military there in the same capacity. As I've tried to say, I don't have a dog in this fight. However, I would me more worried about the Okinawans safety without the U.S. military being there than with it. My thoughts are not about preserving American imperialism, but more about concern for Okinawa's and Japan's saftety. You don't seem to imagine any threat, but I do.

One thing's for sure, China would be more supportive of what you're suggesting than what I am because what you're suggesting plays right into their hands.

This is a critical time to let your guard down, and one grave mistake would be one too many regarding this issue.

Honor every threat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow:

Do you mean to say the words "occupation" and "partnership" are no different from each other?

Occupation is defined in a dictionary as: "a. Invasion, conquest, and control of a nation or territory by foreign armed forces. b. The military government exercising control over an occupied nation or territory." Partnership is defined as: "A relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility." So the two words and the situations they refer to are way different, nay, there's a sea difference between them.

The U.S. military presence in Okinawa is nothing but occupation. Eliminate or at least reduce this colossal military footprint even a little. Close Futenma and don't demand its replacement at Henoko.

The Marines are stationed here only for training. As their name "expeditionary force" indicates, after training here they are sent on or designed for military operations abroad as they were engaged so in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do you think they can execute similar operations against modern-day China? It's almost certain that their raison d'etre in Okinawa is over. If they need constant training of combat skills, they can do so in the U.S. mainland, thus without inflicting enormous burden on the people of Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa,

Whatever. The fact of the matter is that no Japanese PM has ever gone on the record taking a stance similar to yours. Could it be that Japan benefits from the relation ship? As for the U.S. executing operations against modern-day China, I'm not sure whose side you're on exactly (You're not Chinese by chance, are you?) but I don't think you or your friends need to worry about the U.S. the marines making an attempt to invade China, but I do expect them to defend Japan against any military actions China takes against Japan and the islands of Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow,

You are not responding to my argument logically. And you should stick your discussion to the Futenma issue only. Futenma is a Marine base, so the Futenma issue is a Marine issue by nature. That's why I touched on the Marines in passing.

As part of the ongoing realignment, the Pentagon is planning to move about 8,000 marines from Okinawa to Guam and Hawaii. Why? Because China has developed new-type ballistic missiles whose striking range easily covers Okinawa. It's also reported that China's missiles are targeted at major U.S. bases in Japan.

Should a war occur, how could the expeditionary Marines deal with it? That's my question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

In my opinion, you can't see the forest for the trees. If the U.S. completely abandons Okinawa, then Okinawa would be completely stripped and vulnerable. The Okinawa area would become a power vaccum and how long would it be before the same problem which is taking place over the Senkaku Islands would happen all over again regarding Okinawa. China will fill the vacuum, and you're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

Your argument is illogical, unless of course you are Chinese or pro-Chinese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stormcrow,

I've been suggesting you limit your discussion only to the Futenma issue. Relocating the Futenma Air Station outside Okinawa doesn't mean power vacuum. Explain why you think that means a power vacuum. You haven't answered yet the question I posed above, either, only frantically saying a power vacuum invites invasion by China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

Look at the whole picture. If you let your guard down, you can expect to be punched.

You just can't to see the forest for the trees, can you?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okinawa belongs to Okinawa, Not to US. We Americans love to justify our deployment in what little areas of mainland Japan and Huge Swaths of Okinawa to convince the Japanese that China is a real threat and that will invade them any minute we leave. No matter what you will hear from the "pro-base in Japan" side of us, the conclusion will always be the same: We need to be here for your peace and freedom! We are an imperialistic hegemony, and we use the words "Freedom", "Liberty" , & " Equality" to our occupied host nations and partner states while pressuring their government to concede to our trade pacts. The TPP is wrote majority by corporate lawmakers who are only interested in helping to grow their companies from their advantage. Too bad so few of us Americans are open to see the world from their perspective of us; instead most of us just think we're awesome and we are the world order. Please ask yourself everybody, international waters and airspace... who enforces these laws? Every country? or Every Country that follows them in accordance to OUR American set standard?

Its time for Japanese people to rise up and say enough is enough! No more strong alliance with America. Abe will only lead the Japanese to a dangerous road by amending their military to defend US interests. Itll be a sad time, when America one day decides to go to war with China or Russia, and have all the major cities that are near US bases get blown up and bombed. No more dependancy from us, we are not your protectors. We only in it for ourselves

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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