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Okinawan news editors lash out at LDP calls for press curbs

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Abe and his mob are fascists.

45 ( +49 / -4 )

As there is press freedom for medias, politicians also have freedom of expressions.

-40 ( +7 / -47 )

Punishing the press for not toeing the party line? I hear the sound of boots and the preparing to burn books.

35 ( +37 / -2 )

Two Okinawan newspaper editors on Thursday warned that democracy and press freedom

I agree with freedom of the press wholeheartedly.

However freedom of expression should also be paramount as well, and while they may not like what the guy said (yeah it was tasteless at best) he should have the same right to free speech as well, and the press should be able to rebut his comments as they see fit.

Next let's try for accuracy in reporting too, and not just half a story.

-32 ( +7 / -39 )

I agree with Schopenhauer. Onishi can not abolish any publishers, nor does Abe. There are readers, and there are publishers. No problem.

-26 ( +3 / -29 )

Good on them for standing up to the growing authoritarianism of Abe and his LDP cronies.They should be ashamed of their actions.Threatening to take Japan do a road that only them and the aged seem to want to go down.But they ain't going to be here when the shiz hits the fan.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Japan of 2015 is just like Japan of 1935.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

I agree with Kurosawa, "The Bad Sleep Well."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who reads these newspapers anyway? I suppose Okinawans make up the majority of readers and therefore viewers of advertisements placed in them. Could this mean that companies that advertise in them will be seen in a favourable light by Okinawans, as suporters of their cause and opponents of the LDP's?

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

Punishing the press for not toeing the party line? I hear the sound of boots and the preparing to burn books.

I want to believe that the majority of people would never let Japan become a militaristic, right wing country again. But after things happen time and time again, it is disturbing and a bit scary.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Japan’s foreign press club said Thursday that Onishi’s remarks show an “extremely disturbing pattern” in Abe’s government.

Japan ranked number 61 on the 2015 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (https://index.rsf.org/#!/index-details/JPN). Those results, which I think were overly generous, were based on developments in the prior year.

In the next press freedom index I expect Japan's ranking to fall substantially given this "disturbing pattern" particularly over the last two years involving the Abe administration's attempts to strong-arm coverage in Japan and overseas that is more to its liking, enlisting lawmakers, the foreign affairs ministry and even Japanese companies.

This article touches on but one of the tactics that is being used by the LDP to rein in the Japanese and foreign-language press, that of having companies play a role in censoring the media and generating favorable coverage.

One example is this story where lawmakers ask corporations to pull advertising from newspapers that don't report favorably. Another example we are seeing is Abe-friendly media corporations buying stakes in foreign language publishers, as was the case with Nikkei taking a stake in Monocle, soon after which Monocle named Tokyo the world's most liveable city.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

It is important that newspapers and media remain supportive of the governments policy. Otherwise there might be "confusion" and "misunderstandings". Onishi is a fine fella doing his best to nudge some irresponsible upstarts back into the harmony of "Beautiful Japan" and the wonderful democracy it has become.

Again, for those who need a reminder. Democracy as defined by the Oxford dictionary:

Relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state:

‘a democratic regime’*
3 ( +6 / -3 )

Both papers are historically anti base. If these papers are advocating both sides I beg to differ. All these remarks are supporting these bias papers.

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

Politicians have always made ridiculous remarks during my 28 years here. It is not unusual. Remarks have often been anti-democratic. I think politicians in particular and Japan as a whole do not really understand what democracy is and what supports for it are necessary, including press freedoms. There is no ideal of democracy to match behaviors and institutions to. Even the constitution rarely acts as a brake on anti-democratic policies because the system has been corrupted.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It sounds like Abe and the LDP want a bite of the fatted calf that is the "defence" industry. The last thing Japan needs now is to start pouring its citizens money into annoying the Chinese. That is unless they plan on instituting a reverse draft where anyone over retirement age has to join the military.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe needs to GTFO

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Welcome to the fanciest state of Japan! Do these wombats even know the definition of democracy?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

However freedom of expression should also be paramount as well, and while they may not like what the guy said (yeah it was tasteless at best) he should have the same right to free speech as well

the newspapers aren't criticizing his right to free speech. but when a member of the gov't says that newspapers should be punished for publishing anti-abe remarks then that's a whole different bag of apples. there is a stark difference.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

2016 looks promisingly more and more like 1984 ... Don't you dare disagree with the Party, my friend

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Sure the LDP politician can express his view but not when it becomes a threat to the opposition's existence which in this case it is. The comment of the politician can be viewed as either extremely arrogant or dumb. I believe he shows both. Abe and his bunch of thugs (because thats what they are) are going to stuff up Japan and the next generation with their "beautiful views".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Government influence and control of a free press are tools used by dictators and totalitarians who fear their own people more than they do any external threat - Russia, China, and most middle eastern countries come to mind. The LDP should censor and cast off this gentlemen for even hinting that state control of the media is a good thing.

But I agree with Yubaru and True Okinawa, for these editors to get on their soapbox while their papers consistently engage in falsifications, fabrications and distortions related to anything having to do with US bases in Japan is laughable. Its similar to the National Inquirer complaining about "sensationalism" in the media.

A further discussion of this issue is at this thread;

< http://www.japantoday.com/category/quote-of-the-day/view/freedom-of-speech-is-the-element-of-democracy-that-must-be-protected-most-thats-true-no-matter-which-party-is-in-power-crushing-freedom-of-speech-would-plant-the-roots-of-a-terrible-evil-in-japan#comments>

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

actually, politicians should not have the right for freedom of the speech since they are supposed to speak for their electorate. Politicians should be punished for any detour of the pre-election declared policy

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Totally agree with Shop-san and Yuba-san. Freedom of speech. If we told Onishi he is not allowed to express his own opinion, then we would be just like him.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

To the people who are expressing relief that Onishi was reprimanded -- you're being naive. Notice there were others joining in but he is being singled out; this suggests to me he was asked, or volunteered, to be the fall guy in a "toes in the water" initial salvo. This is only the beginning. As for "the people will never allow" -- since when did the Japanese people really have a voice in what the higher-ups do? Most of the elders will just do as they are told, as they always have, and too many of the young are too apathetic and self-absorbed to defy the government.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

lincolnman,

If the Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times consistently engage in falsifications, fabrications and distortions related to anything having to do with US bases then why do the pro-base people allow them to get away with it. All of those pro-base people on Okinawa should publish their own newspaper telling all of the good the U.S. Military has done and continues to do for the people of Okinawa and how the people of Okinawa should be eternally grateful to the U.S. Military. They could also have pro-base demonstrations and express their love for the bases.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I believe one of the LDP's proposed constitutional revisions is an end to the freedom of expression, replacing it with a Chinese-style responsibility not to cause "trouble", i.e. not to oppose the government. If Abe does condemn Onishi it is not for the sentiments he expressed, which Abe and many others in the LDP share, but for spouting off in an uncontrolled manner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe is out to kill democracy and set up his dictatorship. There needs to be redistricting in Japan so the people and not a few farmers determine who gets seats. It is a very bad sign calling on reducing freedom of the press. The Americans do not care as long as Abe and his LDP follow their orders. FYI the old term "free world" had nothing to do with freedom but being anti communist. George Orwell really hit the nail on the head. Meanwhile in the "land of the free", there is a "freedom bill" that takes away freedom from people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Clearly some commenters, b/c they fancy Okinawa remaining an outpost of the US empire, would like to reduce this to the frothing anti-Americanism of a few journalists. But this is part of a much larger pattern of meddling and intimidation, by the ruling party and their bosom net-uyoku chums. How anyone can watch NHK today after watching say 10 years ago when their coverage was almost entirely dedicated to LDP scandals.

The selfsame forces who destroyed this country and carried out ghastly atrocities against our ancestors are in complete control today of Japan today. It's bad enough that the US and their western allies are down with whatever these wingers want to do (b/c it's in their own geopolitical interests). But it never fails to amaze me that certain foreigners in this country excuse this rightward lurch, as if these extremists have ever gone to any trouble to disguise their xenophobia, as if they're distinct from the swine we read about in our history books.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"Newspapers owe their existence to the publication of truth." -Walt Gardner

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BertieWooster is right: Abe and his crew are fascists. Only they are sneaky airbrush fascists who want the media to coverup anything bad about Abe and the LDP. When Abe was heckled in Okinawa NHK didn't report it, like much of the rest of the media. The Asahi reported it. JT reported it. Yahoo, USA reported it.

Anyway, the LDP people in question here are good old boot in the face fascists. No, they are not breaking down doors and smashing press yet, but they have advocated the closest thing to it: a collective conspiracy for bring these Okinawa newspapers to ruin.

Why are these LDP types being "punished" or "reprimanded" ? For letting the truth about Abe and the LDP out of the bag?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

U.S. Military has done and continues to do for the people of Okinawa and how the people of Okinawa should be eternally grateful to the U.S. Military.

New papers must be published as not only being eternally grateful to the U.S Military and J government but also Okinawans should bow deeply to the each base in every hour for everyday. Without these bases, Okinawa will become the uninhabitable land which has been ruined by invading armies of evil, barbaric, babies eating monsters from commies of China and NK.

It is the Abe way of expression of freedom from responsible media.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

This is a shining example of why, with the deep-rooted kisha clubs, news reporting here is a JOKE.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“When you hear these things, you cannot help but worry that this country has stopped being a democracy and is steadily moving toward totalitarianism,” Yoshikazu Shiohira, managing editor of the Ryukyu Shimpo, told the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

“On top of the comment that our newspapers have to be crushed, I was extremely upset by the remark that public opinion in Okinawa was distorted and needed to be guided.”

Both gentlemen are spot on in their statements. Similar thoughts have been expresssed here by numerous posters, including myself. NHK is way too subservient to the LDP, and, the continued existence of the notorious kisha club system make it far too easy for the government to "guide" the public's opinions. Japan would be a far better society if it had a truly functioning 4th Estate.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Saying that holding Onishi and Hyakata and Co. responsible for what they said is the same thing as doing what they suggested and aboloshing the papers that don't agree with amending the Contitution, you are making an invalid comparison. If they were just opinions, then yes, I agree. But what we saw here was a growing trend of politicians literally trying to control the media in order to sway popular opinion. Some were making SUGGESTIONS that the government do something. That's not opinion -- it's an attempt to control the media, censoring what they don't like and playing up what they do in order to sway the public. Holding the politicians accountable for THAT is just fine, in fact, it's necessary.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

If the Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times consistently engage in falsifications, fabrications and distortions related to anything having to do with US bases then why do the pro-base people allow them to get away with it. All of those pro-base people on Okinawa should publish their own newspaper telling all of the good the U.S. Military has done and continues to do for the people of Okinawa and how the people of Okinawa should be eternally grateful to the U.S. Military. They could also have pro-base demonstrations and express their love for the bases.

Unfortunately, your comment typifies the kind of “zero-sum” thinking articulated by most of the anti-US/anti-base crowd. I think having some right wing, pro-base paper that is the equivalent of the Times/Shimpo would just add more fabrications and distortions, when what we really need is a more balanced presentation. I have no problem when the papers report on some accident or environmental problem caused by the US military, my problem is they censor and ban any coverage favorable to the US military, Sure, there is the occasional small article on page 29 about how Kadena hosted the Special Olympics for 3000 local special needs children – they throw those in every six months or so just to offer as evidence that they cover both sides. But any empirical study would show that 99% of their content is virulently anti-base – they have zero credibility as a journalistic entity.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

@ lincolnman JUL. 02, 2015 - 09:18PM JST

for these editors to get on their soapbox while their papers consistently engage in falsifications, fabrications and distortions related to anything having to do with US bases in Japan is laughable.

Please provide us with verifiable evidence for your claims.

While the two papers have a clear agenda, which is basically that of the Okinawan people, they do not deliberately fabricate or falsify. They look at the reality in Okinawa from a different perspective then most of the Japanese media and rightly so because Okinawans face discrimination from the US and from Tokyo.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

lincolnman,

If the U.S. Military and the Central Govt. want a more balance opinion about the U.S. bases then they should start dealing with the people of Okinawa in a more balanced way and not force things on them that do not want. The U.S. Military took the best land on Okinawa and without any regards to the needs of the local people made these massive military bases. 70 years after WWII the U.S. Military with the help of the Central Govt. still occupies most of the best land on Okinawa and there is still no real concerns for the needs of the local people. The Central Govt. needs to truly represent the people of Okinawa in negotiations with the U.S. instead of just saying yes to everything the U.S. wants. Once the people of Okinawa see that the U.S. and the Central Govt. are truly concerned about them and are doing everything they can to improve their standard of living and quality of life then their opinions will change. But as long as the current policy of threats, blackmail and coercion remains in place then the opinions of the people toward the bases and the Central Govt. will not change.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Stop the press talking about the preparation for war..... the Japanese people have the right to know!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh, it's just a few stylistic tweaks, and in addition, just a few more things: 1. Henceforth, sports articles in which Japan won are approved, while others are not. 2. The word, "Glorious" is to be inserted before the word, "Japan" or "Prime Minister." 3. Historical and political articles will need the guidance of the newly-created "Ministry of Truth" before they can be released. This is just to ensure accuracy.

Really, all this fuss about the news in Glorious Japan is totally unnecessary. You will receive all the news we feel you need for a harmonious life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If the U.S. Military and the Central Govt. want a more balance opinion about the U.S. bases then they should start dealing with the people of Okinawa in a more balanced way and not force things on them that do not want.

Well, I think everyone should want a balanced presentation of the news, both the anti and pro-base camps. If all you want is coverage slanted towards your views, then you don't want news, you want to be entertained, similar to the cable news channels in the US.

The U.S. Military took the best land on Okinawa and without any regards to the needs of the local people made these massive military bases. 70 years after WWII the U.S. Military with the help of the Central Govt. still occupies most of the best land on Okinawa and there is still no real concerns for the needs of the local people.

I agree - the US military footprint on Okinawa is way too large - and should have been reduced years ago. That's why I support the 2006 ATARA agreement that would make substantial reductions - its a plan, and its ready to be implemented. What's the plan of the anti-FRF folks? Get rid of all the bases? Does anyone realistically think that is going to happen?

The Central Govt. needs to truly represent the people of Okinawa in negotiations with the U.S. instead of just saying yes to everything the U.S. wants. Once the people of Okinawa see that the U.S. and the Central Govt. are truly concerned about them and are doing everything they can to improve their standard of living and quality of life then their opinions will change.

I can tell you firsthand that what's driving the US basing on Okinawa is the Govt of Japan. They are deathly afraid of China, and have a deep suspicion of nKorea and Russia. You may not think that fear is justified, but that's their view and what drives their decisions. As long as they have that fear, they will always want some US military presence on Okinawa. Which gives even more credence to the ATARA agreement - its a bilaterally agreed to plan ready to go - lets get it moving so Futenma can be closed and returned, along with Kinser and major parts of Foster. Those are real reductions that will benefit all the people of Okinawa.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I really believe in fascism. I love the way the editors deal with Onishi.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Great. The Abe governmet can join Canadas Harper government as a totalitarian regime. Here in Canada scientists are muzzled from speaking the truth and if your organiztion (eg. bird watchers newsletter) speaks out against government policy, Harper sicks Revenue Canada on you for an audit. I dont know which government is worse. ABe should compare notes with Harper. Could shut those newspapers up with an audit. Shoot! Gotta run. There is a knock on the door. Probably the Feds. Long live the union!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In order for this new liberal agenda to get thru the media must be controlled at all costs. Those that cannot be controlled must be shut down. -The LDP has spoken-

I am actually more surprised that the typical Libs on this forum are not promoting the controlled media agenda.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, I think everyone should want a balanced presentation of the news, both the anti and pro-base camps.

Well, there is no recognizable pro-base camp in Okinawa. There are some individuals, a few corrupted politicians who made a living on channeling Tokyo comfort budgets to local construction companies and a few rather odd organizations that are openly pro-base, but to call that a "camp" would be misleading.

So the Okinawan news papers provide a very balanced presentation of news related to Okinawa and Okinawans do really appreciate that.

Talking about outspoken pro-base groups in Okinawa, I believe there are a few hundred followers of the "Happiness Realization Party", who I personally believe should get more coverage in the media as there's hardly a political party anywhere in world that could compete in terms of ludicrousness. Their members drive around in cars with stickers that say something like "thank you US military for protecting our freedom". I think you would love them, lincolnman.

And once again, lincolnman, where is the evidence that Okinawan news papers consistently engage in falsifications, fabrications and distortions? You don't have any evidence, right?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well, there is no recognizable pro-base camp in Okinawa.

Folks who think this way have ZERO knowledge about the politics in Okinawa.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Folks who think this way have ZERO knowledge about the politics in Okinawa.

I have asked you repeatedly to substantiate your weird claims about the "pro-base movement" in Okinawa, Yubaru, but you have yet to provide us with one piece of evidence.

So up to know your claims have ZERO substance.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Wow is this not a shock. The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

America should have kept Okinawa

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

For crying out loud, a politician not liking what might appear in some newspaper is not exactly news - freedom of the press is guaranteed in Japan and some other countries. Obama, for example constantly complains about Fox News and several Democratic politicians have stated they wish it could be shut down.

In a country like China those newspapers would simply be shut down or their editorial board replaced and no left-winger would say a peep about it. That this entity, JapanToday, which is as left-wing as they come is allowed to operate proves that there is freedom of the press in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would hope that the idiots who voted these idiots in would vote them out. Unfortunately, I can't see it happening.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

have asked you repeatedly to substantiate your weird claims about the "pro-base movement" in Okinawa, Yubaru, but you have yet to provide us with one piece of evidence.So up to know your claims have ZERO substance.

You have been given the information, you are just blind. And btw there is a difference between pro-base movement and people who are not against the bases.

You assumed something I did not write.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Their members drive around in cars with stickers that say something like "thank you US military for protecting our freedom". I think you would love them, lincolnman.

Thoughtful people can engage in discussion and debate, hoping to enlarge everyone's understanding of an issue. Others, merely desire to label, insult and denigrate, confident in their closed-mind righteousness. It's clear which category the poster above falls in.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Abe and his mob are fascists.

A fact that was readily apparent on election day 2 years ago - but the LDP still got in. Freedom of the press is a guaranteed right of any civilised country

0 ( +2 / -2 )

lincolnman,

Do U.S. newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Washington Times give much space to reports on social events happening in other countries or societies? Those in Okinawan society, for example? Never.

U.S. bases in Okinawa are fenced-in societies completely isolated from Okinawan society in general. So almost no social events taking place inside the bases are reported widely in local newspapers. Yes, they sometimes do, but they know readers aren't much interested in them except a few right-wingers such as revisionist-minded Channel Sakura viewers.

You said on another thread: "These two media outlets have a long history of failing to adhere to any journalistic standards of professionalism. They are part of the anti-US military elite on Okinawa, and can be considered merely tabloid journalism at best ("Considering moving U.S. base outside Okinawa could stall talks: Kan," Japan Today: Jun. 27, 2011)

I want to ask you why you consider them as "tabloid journalism." That's an affront to Okinawa, which fully supports their editorial stance to guard democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and people's dignity of life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I want to ask you why you consider them as "tabloid journalism." That's an affront to Okinawa, which fully supports their editorial stance to guard democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and people's dignity of life.

His assertion is spot on, those newspapers are tabloids.

Do U.S. newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Washington Times give much space to reports on social events happening in other countries or societies? Those in Okinawan society, for example? Never.

Are you so blind? This comparison is ludicrous, and btw yes they do give space and a lot of it, even JT does it too.

The Shimpo and Times also do not report "news" that should be reported from events that happen here in Okinawa. How about the JHS kids that nearly nearly beat a classmate to death with steel and wooden rods? Never in the papers, tv, anywhere, or how about the Naha Airport runway construction/landfill where concrete blocks were dropped on existing coral reefs and destroyed them?

Huh? Where is you indignation? Why is it you are free to give a pass to the press here because they are anti-base, but then hypocritically overlook things in society that matter just as much if not more?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru:

Why is it you are free to give a pass to the press here because they are anti-base, but then hypocritically overlook things in society that matter just as much if not more?

The essentials of journalism, I think, are digging out injustice in society in and out. If Okinawa's media pick up stories related with U.S. bases far more often than those in Tokyo or Washington, it's because they see lots of injustice involved in this extraordinary U.S. military presence to the extent that one can call it "occupation."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru makes some excellent points. I would only add, as has been discussed on another thread, that the only two newspapers, out of thousands Japan-wide, to directly criticize the US Humanitarian and Disaster Relief effort called Operation Tomodachi in support of the Mar 11 earthquake and tsunami were these two papers;

Tthe Ryukyu Shinpo criticized the U.S. Marine humanitarian assistance as a “tool for political manipulation and an attempt] to gain the support of the Japanese people to keep the FRF within Okinawa.” The Shinpo editorialized that the U.S. statements highlighting the benefits of having the Marines available to assist Japan was “very discomforting” and “tricks.” The Okinawan Times chimed in as well, posturing that the U.S. was using the disaster as a “political tool [to] manipulate our political decision-making…. [I]t is something we cannot allow."

While US servicemen and women were saving lives, and bringing needed necessities to thousands pf others, these two papers were criticizing it, for their pwn purely partisan reasons. Knowing the Okinawa people and their caring and compassionate nature,, I am sure they were embarrassed and ashamed by this "tabloid-like" journalism.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The essentials of journalism, I think, are digging out injustice in society in and out. If Okinawa's media pick up stories related with U.S. bases far more often than those in Tokyo or Washington,

You have to admit if you believe this then you also have to admit that neither paper reports accurately on the subject as well and are biased vs doing their jobs reporting the news without dialogue.

If you believe "digging out injustice in society" is an essential in journalism then you also have to admit that neither newspapers is doing their job, hence they are tabloids.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

lincolnman:

If you complain loudly that the Okinawa media didn't do enough to report on the U.S. military's "Operation Tomodachi" in 2011, in which Okinawa-based Marines were reported to be mobilized in large numbers, then there is no doubt that the "Operation Tomodachi" was politically motivated. That is, the U.S. side wanted to use this opportunity to ballyhoo how good it is to have the U.S. military in one's neighborhood, that come to aid when disasters hit the area.

You cannot deny the "Operation Tomodachi" didn't affect the knee-jerk approval by the Japanese Lower House Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 31, only three weeks after the triple disasters in Tohoku occurred on March 11, of a bill to appropriate an annual Y188.1 billion (about $220 million by 2011 exchange rate) for host nation support for a 5-year period from fiscal 2011. (Incidentally, they've started negotiating the next phase because the five-year period terminates next year.)

Neither can you deny that that relief operation didn't affect Tokyo's decision to facilitate speedy implementation of the U.S. military realignment in Japan, particularly, the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation plan.

Yubaru:

You are not responding to my contention that the Okinawa media arre digging out injustice involved in this exorbitant U.S. military footprint on Okinawa. Show how justified they are to maintain this much military footprint.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Voice you are not responding to the ludicrous remarks that you made about "social" events not being reported either.

Seeing as how I am Japanese I have a right to vote either for or against and I will say that you obfuscate the issues to the point that your arguments are not logical.

Okinawa is a part of Japan, Okinawa has a responsibility for the collective defense of Japan. Oh and move Futenma to Henoko and the footprint will be lessened.

Why should the lives of a few sea creatures be more important that the lives of the humans that live around Futenma? It's one or the other, and you choose the animals over humans. Does say quite a bit to me about your (lack of) morals.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If you complain loudly that the Okinawa media didn't do enough to report on the U.S. military's "Operation Tomodachi" in 2011, in which Okinawa-based Marines were reported to be mobilized in large numbers, then there is no doubt that the "Operation Tomodachi" was politically motivated. That is, the U.S. side wanted to use this opportunity to ballyhoo how good it is to have the U.S. military in one's neighborhood, that come to aid when disasters hit the area. You cannot deny the "Operation Tomodachi" didn't affect the knee-jerk approval by the Japanese Lower House Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 31, only three weeks after the triple disasters in Tohoku occurred on March 11, of a bill to appropriate an annual Y188.1 billion (about $220 million by 2011 exchange rate) for host nation support for a 5-year period from fiscal 2011. (Incidentally, they've started negotiating the next phase because the five-year period terminates next year.) Neither can you deny that that relief operation didn't affect Tokyo's decision to facilitate speedy implementation of the U.S. military realignment in Japan, particularly, the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation plan.

Well, that was a very informative post – thank you for honestly providing your opinion. The fact that the US military helped save untold number of Japanese lives, re-opened the Sendai airport, and provided assistance and support at the Fukushima nuclear power plant helping contain it from getting worse spreading contamination, means absolutely nothing to you – you couldn’t care less. That’s very informative – and shows you lack the ability to express compassion or consideration for anyone, let alone the people of Okinawa.

Again, thank you for your honesty - it helps us all understand your lack of basic human sympathy and "closed-mind self righteousness".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru,

Okinawa is a part of Japan, Okinawa has a responsibility for the collective defense of Japan. Oh and move Futenma to Henoko and the footprint will be lessened.

Okinawa is a part of Japan all right, and so you insist but Okinawa follow what is dictated by Tokyo faithfully. But Japan, as I see it, is nothing but a vassal of the U.S., following whatever Washington dictates it to do, especially regarding defense matters. It's a pity to see conservative-minded Japanese, all the way from Abe henchmen to right-wingers in the street firmly believe that Japan is a genuine sovereign state and an equal partner to the U.S.

The U.S. military presence is a mere carry-over of the post-World War Two Occupation that was supposed to end in 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect. The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty that was signed concurrently with the peace treaty was a camouflage to hide this reality. Japan was kept under virtual U.S. occupation just as before. Look at the hard reality in Oinawa to confirm this.

Washington maintains a mechanism, a hotbed of political intrigue, to maintain the status quo ante to communicate its will to Japanese bureaucrats as a suzerain: Japan-U.S. Joint Committee headquartered at Sanno Hotel in Tokyo (officially named New Sanno U.S. Forces Center).

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@ Yubaru JUL. 04, 2015 - 05:46AM JST

And btw there is a difference between pro-base movement and people who are not against the bases. You assumed something I did not write.

So then what exactly are you trying to say? Nobody doubts that there are Okinawans who are not against the US bases.

@ lincolnman JUL. 05, 2015 - 08:10AM JST

Again you are repeating wrong Quotes here.

the Ryukyu Shinpo criticized the U.S. Marine humanitarian assistance as a “tool for political manipulation and an attempt] to gain the support of the Japanese people to keep the FRF within Okinawa.”

The Ryukyu Shinpo did not criticize the "humanitarian assistance", but the attempt to use it as "tool for political manipulation".

Neither the Okinawans nor their news papers were against the help that the US military provided to Tohoku, but they didn't like the PR spinning of some US military officials in Okinawa who tried to use the disaster relief to justify Futenma and their extra large military footprint in Okinawa.

Don't get the fundamental difference?

To try to make it look like the Okinawan news papers didn't like the help that the US military provided to the victims is a mean distortion of facts.

Anybody who can read Japanese can check firsthand what the Ryukyu Shinpo actually wrote:

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-174865-storytopic-3.html

Nowhere does it criticize the disaster help as such, but only the PR spinning efforts by the US military in Okinawa.

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The Ryukyu Shinpo did not criticize the "humanitarian assistance", but the attempt to use it as "tool for political manipulation". Neither the Okinawans nor their news papers were against the help that the US military provided to Tohoku, but they didn't like the PR spinning of some US military officials in Okinawa who tried to use the disaster relief to justify Futenma and their extra large military footprint in Okinawa. Don't get the fundamental difference? To try to make it look like the Okinawan news papers didn't like the help that the US military provided to the victims is a mean distortion of facts.

If anyone is doing any distorting my friend, it is you - trying to somehow spin these editorials to say that they only mean to criticize the reporting of the effort, and not the effort itself.

The message of these papers regarding Operation Tomodachi is very clear - in fact our friend Voice summarizes it well;

"Operation Tomodachi" in 2011, in which Okinawa-based Marines were reported to be mobilized in large numbers, then there is no doubt that the "Operation Tomodachi" was politically motivated.

Or there's this passage;

The Ryukyu Shinpo newspaper (March 18th) was critical: “Why is Futenma base, which is located so far away from the areas affected by the earthquake, important now? It took three days to dispatch units, so saying “immediate response” sounds very strange.”

Every newspaper from Wakkanai to Kagoshima reported OP in a fair, accurate manner - only the Shimpo and Times "took the low road" and offered criticism and slander. Criticizing a humanitarian effort that saved hundreds if not thousands of lives and labeling it as "politically motivated" is cheap and cynical - clear evidence of tabloid-like journalism.

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trying to somehow spin these editorials to say that they only mean to criticize the reporting of the effort

There is no spin. That is exactly what the editorial bam_boo linked to says. Did you bother to read the link? It quotes the American consul-general in Okinawa crowing about 普天間基地が本土に近いことは極めて重要 (the vital importance of Futenma Base being close to the main Japanese island) - a propaganda statement if ever there was one - and points out that if being close to Honshu and potential earthquake disaster areas is of such importance, there are much closer places than Okinawa. Like, um, Honshu.

Criticizing a humanitarian effort that saved hundreds if not thousands of lives and labeling it as "politically motivated" is cheap and cynical - clear evidence of tabloid-like journalism.

If that were the case, then yes it would be. But the criticism was not of the humanitarian effort, which was very much appreciated. The criticism was of the cheap, cynical and politically-motivated use of the humanitarian effort to try and justify the continued American occupation of way too much Okinawan land.

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There is no spin. That is exactly what the editorial bam_boo linked to says.

This is total spin. Bamboo's link was from an editorial on 17 Mar - my quotes were from one on 18 Mar. In addition to criticizing Operation Tomodachi support efforts being flown out of Futenma, that editorial also said;

"Disaster Relief is not a publicity stunt"

Several days later the Times said the effort was like;

"Robbery at the scene of a fire"

These words speak for themselves, you cannot re-interpret them. Your efforts remind me of the worst of the far right wingers who try to distort and white-wash Japan's WW II history. But in your case, you can't because the actual quotes are there in black and white for everyone to read.

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hese words speak for themselves, you cannot re-interpret them. Your efforts remind me of the worst of the far right wingers who try to distort and white-wash Japan's WW II history. But in your case, you can't because the actual quotes are there in black and white for everyone to read.

The only problem is that "black and white" dont count with people who have already made up their minds about their version of the "facts", (much like Abe and his cronies about the IJA and other issues) they CAN NOT admit that the military did "good", even if one of their own was saved or helped, because admitting such puts them in a position of having to admit as well that they serve a purpose while in Japan.

So then what exactly are you trying to say? Nobody doubts that there are Okinawans who are not against the US bases.

Learn reading comprehension, then I will educate you!

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my quotes were from one on 18 Mar.

For which you omit to provide a link, instead 'quoting' in English from a newspaper that publishes in Japanese. Do we take it that instead of reading the original, you rely on translations (by the military? Fair and unbiased?) to tell you what to think?

These words speak for themselves

....except those words never appeared in either paper. Wrong language.

you cannot re-interpret them.

But you do (or whoever provided the translations you are relying on does). You are taking words that refer to the American consul-general's blatant use of Operation Tomodachi to make a propaganda spiel and trying to claim that they refer to the humanitarian activities themselves. They do not.

the actual quotes are there in black and white

I see no 'actual quotes' apart from the one I gave you. Would you like to provide a link to the original article(s)?

Your efforts remind me of the worst of the far right wingers

lol not often I get called a right-winger. In fact I think it's a first. You could not be farther from the truth, lincolnman.

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So the people of Okinawa are supposed to accept their situation and accept whatever the U.S. and Japan tells them to and be proud of the fact that the U.S. Military takes up most of the best land on Okinawa just because the U.S. Military does good deeds in Mainland Japan, the Philippines etc. Since Okinawa is not as prone to natural disasters like Mainland Japan then maybe more of the U.S. bases should be in Mainland Japan but wait Mainland Japan does not want anymore bases, they want Okinawa to bear the burden. The Philippines kicked the U.S. out but they want the people of Okinawa to host U.S. bases to provide for their defense and provide aid in the event of a natural disaster. And what do the Okinawan people get, they get to have most of their best land enclosed in fences where they cannot enter and they get to be the poorest people in Japan.

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@ lincolnman JUL. 05, 2015 - 08:39PM JST

This is total spin. Bamboo's link was from an editorial on 17 Mar - my quotes were from one on 18 Mar.

So you are talking about the following article I suppose:

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-174892-storytopic-11.html

The article doesn't even remotely criticize that humanitarian aid is provided, but solely points out that it is not appropriate to capitalize on disaster aid in any form.

In addition to criticizing Operation Tomodachi support efforts being flown out of Futenma

Nowhere does it criticize that Tomodachi support efforts were being flown out of Futenma. It criticizes the fact that US officials were trying to capitalize on the support in order to push their agenda in relation to Futenma and to justify the ridiculously large footprint of the US military in Okinawa.

As Cleo rightly points out you are the one spinning here, lincolnman, though I don't know whether you do this on purpose or because you rely on wrong translations.

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For which you omit to provide a link, instead 'quoting' in English from a newspaper that publishes in Japanese. Do we take it that instead of reading the original, you rely on translations (by the military? Fair and unbiased?) to tell you what to think?

Yes, interesting isn't it that the Shimpo has deleted that day's editorial from it's archive - but understandable, it was quite embarrassing. No problem though as it was captured by many others. Interested in a link? Let me introduce you to this new thing called a search engine, there are several offered on the internet...........

As Yubaru mentions, I'm really not providing these facts to convince or influence you and the other Times/Shimpo employees posting here, it's for others who may be reading this thread who's minds remain open.

not often I get called a right-winger. In fact I think it's a first.

Well, there's a first time for everything. On second thought, since you're so intent on having a link for everything, maybe this a more appropriate English phrase;

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/if_the_shoe_fits

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interesting isn't it that the Shimpo has deleted that day's editorial from it's archive

What are you talking about? You mean the editorial from the 18th March? That's the one bam_boo's second link leads to. It's there, it hasn't been deleted, it isn't at all embarrassing, it does not criticise the rescue efforts at all. In fact it praises the men and women putting themselves on the line for others - 放射能への被ばくリスクがある地域で救援に取り組む人々には敬意を払いたい。(We want to express our respect for the people who are engaged in the rescue operations in areas where they are risking exposure to radiation).

Interested in a link? Let me introduce you to this new thing called a search engine

Funny you should say that. I googled your 'Ryukyu Shinpo criticized the U.S. Marine humanitarian assistance ~' quote, and found it was taken from an article on the Heritage Foundation website entitled 'Top 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Marines on Okinawa Are Essential to Peace and Security in the Pacific'. Yup, fair and unbalanced. And also incorrect.

I'm really not providing these facts to convince or influence you ..... it's for others who may be reading this thread

-and who, like you, don't have access to the original editorials to judge for themselves?

you're so intent on having a link for everything

Not everything, just the relevant ones.

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I'm afraid your efforts to whitewash the left wing slander of these newspaper will fail just as Abe and his cohorts will fail whitewashing Japan's right wing history. And as I close out my comments, allow me to help some of the open minded readers here understand the dynamic of US bases on Okinawa;

There are two competing groups on Okinawa who have opinions on the US military presence – one group wants a reduction in the US military footprint, the other group wants no reduction. What may surprise you is who composes these two groups……..

Who composes the base reduction group? Two entities – the first are the peace advocates, Okinawa sovereignty and environmentalists on the island. They want a reduction for the ideas and beliefs that they hold. I don’t agree with their beliefs, but respect their views and sincerity to their cause. The other entity is the US military and central government – they understand the current number of US facilities is too large, and must be reduced – this was the genesis of the 2006 Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement (ATARA) that closes essentially all US bases south of Kadena (a small port facility at Urasoe and small portions of Camp Foster in Kitanakagusuku would only remain). That’s a reduction of over 50% in total land area to be returned to the local government.

Which groups wants all US bases to remain? Again, two entities. One groups is composed of the politicians, the media and the academics – though they say they want the bases removed, in reality they want them to stay - for all the usual craven reasons; money, self-importance and influence. The other group, many of whom post on this site, are the anti-US folks, who are so consumed by their hate they they couldn’t exist without the US and its bases to rail against. They are easy to identify, they use words like “evil, occupation, unlawful, etc.” They care nothing about the Okinawa people or any real reduction in US forces. Their self-identity is so linked to their US hate that they wouldn’t know what to do if there was any meaningful reduction in US forces. So while they cry for the bases to go, what they really desire is the status quo – and this is easy to see in their actions; to stall and impede any real measurable reduction.

Which group best reflects the interests and desires of the Okinawa people?

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lincolnman:

This is not a comment on your post immediately above. But haven't we discussed the matter you mention above elsewhere many times?

It was unfortunate that the Operation Toimodachi was used as a convenient tool by the U.S. Marines to promote their presence in Japan and in Okinawa in particular. It was this aspect that the Okinawan press criticized most severely.

The signed March 17, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo article writes: "the U.S. Marines Okinawa has explained that Futenma's location was proved very important for the Third Marine Expeditionary Force to engage in such rescue operations," implying strongly that they are intent on gaining understanding of the mainlander Japanese that the relocation of Futenma within Okinawa is the best solution..

The March 18 editorial of Shimpo writes: "It's urgent that search for the dead and missing as the result of this unprecedented disaster be carried out. We pay respect to those engaged in rescue operations exposing themselves to the danger of radiation. However, this is not the time for publicity and advertisement," citing again what the Marines Okinawa publicized: "Futenma's location has been proved very important for the Third Marine Expeditionary Force to engage in such rescue operations."

The Shimpo editorial didn't say "Disaster relief is not a publicity stunt" as you wrongly assert. Rather, it said: "This is not the time for publicity and advertisement." But the Marines authorities in Okinawa took full advantage of Operation Tomodachi relief efforts to justify their presence in Okinawa and the early implemenation of the Henoko relocation plan.

lincolnman also says in his July 5 post that the Okinawa Times editorialized the relief efforts by the Marines were like "robbery at the scene of a fire." How could a rational mind say such stupidity? As I remember correctly, the Times criticized the Marine brass' "mission-accomplished" comments to the effect that the importance of the Marines presence in the vicinity of mainland Japan were well understood by the Japanese people.

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Thanks Cleo for the Heritage Foundation info. Quite revealing.

It's obvious that we are dealing with people who are so keen on depicting the Okinawan news papers, and thus also the Okinawan people, as being heartless and cynical that they don't even bother to properly back up their insulting claims.

They don't shy away from distorting facts and using wrong translations of Japanese texts to promote their pro-base-anti-democracy agenda.

@ lincolnman JUL. 06, 2015 - 10:47AM JST

I'm afraid your efforts to whitewash the left wing slander of these newspaper will fail

You haven't managed to provide us with one proper quote from the Ryukyu Shinpo article to corroborate your weird claims that the Okinawan news papers were criticizing disaster relief as such. As others here have pointed out what you quoted here were simply incorrect translations.

I suppose you are not even in the position to check facts yourself as you apparently are not able to read any Japanese.

Cleo and voiceofokinawa have given correct translations and everybody able to read Japanese can check that the accusations against the Shinpo and Times lincolnman is repeating here again and again are void of any substance.

There are two competing groups on Okinawa who have opinions on the US military presence – one group wants a reduction in the US military footprint, the other group wants no reduction. What may surprise you is who composes these two groups……..

As someone who does research in Okinawa, I would be curious to hear on what kind of objectifiable evidence or data you base your far-fetched theories, lincolnman.

One groups is composed of the politicians, the media and the academics – though they say they want the bases removed, in reality they want them to stay

Again, on what kind of evidence do you base those weird assumptions on?

Without even attempting to back up your claims about Okinawan society and the motivations of the Okinawan people we are entering the realm of fairy tales, but then we can get a quite good an idea about how people cook up reality to fit their worldview.

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