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Okinawans vote for governor with Futenma base as focal point

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Anyone but Mikio. He's a flip flop, loser, with no back bone and speaks with forked tongue. If he's elected, every construction project including Henoko, Futenma etc will be funneled to the family construction business. That's all this is for him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In an election flier distributed by the Organization to Seek Earlier Realization of "Okinawa 21st Century Vision," a Nakaima support group, raw recruit Okinawa entrepreneur Shigenobu Asato mentions: that Japan is currently in great financial difficulties with about $9 trillion in debt and therefore that it was a great feat for Governor Hirokazu Nakaima to have been able to coax the promise of a lump-sum subsidy of more than $1.7 billion per annum out of the central government.

Needless to say, this money was a kind of kickback to induce Nakaima to sanction the infamous Futenma-to-Henoko relocation plan.

As Asato says, the nation is currently under strained financial conditions. And yet why does the government press ahead with the relocation plan with so much tax money to be squandered with such impunity? It is estimated that costs for the relocation will amount to over $3 billion. In addition, Japanese taxpayers are obliged to shoulder a total $2.8 billion for U.S. marines to be relocating to Guam as well as for the refurbishment of bases in northern Mariana Islands.

The rosy picture painted in the 21st Century Okinawa Vision, with the Henoko relocation plan taken for granted and the bulk of bases remaining intact, or rather functionally strengthened, can be said to be nothing but an illusion born of a parasitic way of thinking.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Okinawans will go to the polls today with their families and their children's future in mind. They are angry to being treated as second class citizens even after losing one third of their wartime population in the war effort.

Okinawa is the first place that the Chinese or the Russians will bomb into kingdom come if push comes to shove in dealing with the US.

The American military families will be the first to evacuate the island leaving the Okinawans to seek refuge in the caves again as their homes would be unsafe.

The Okinawan people, unfortunately always docile and amicable in character, are now scared for their future. The poor are getting poorer, the rich with their ties to the military economy or the Liberal Democratic Party are getting richer. Onaga has it very correct when saying that the bases are an obstacle to Okinawa's development.

However the money scattered to each city, town and village on the island by the national government is taking effect. The closeness of the election votes will show this before the clock strikes midnight tonight.

A word of advice: Even after 70 years the victors, the American military, (note: not referring to the American public) claim they have the right to Okinawa since 12,000 military lives were spent. The American public should ask for an audit fo the actual American tax dollars spent here while the rest of my American friends and families go hungry, lose homes, and are jobless back in the US.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The candidates can not win the election unless they show their anti-base stances in one way or other to answer the sentiments of the people living there. Okinawans are always in a dillema they want money from the Japanese government in return for the U.S. bases there and they don't want the U.S. bases which cause nuisances for their daily life. There is no answer to satisfy both.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is an obvious solution to the base issue--eliminate all of them and send the US military home so Japan can finally end decades of foreign occupation and call itself a sovereign nation.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Okinawa is just 0.6% of the total land area of Japan. Yet more than 70% of the US military are located here. As minokomonalex says, if there were an act of aggression, Okinawa would be the first to be hit. The bases wouldn't suffer as they are well protected and in any case, if it got heavy, the troops would evacuate.

Many of the bases are on prime land for development. Kadena is a good example. It's HUGE and designed with a layout that would suit Nevada rather than Okinawa. There are wide spaces between buildings. The base could function perfectly adequately in one tenth its size.

This area alone would make huge money for Okinawa. Tourism is booming here and with extra facilities, would boom even more. Okinawa is ideal for tourism. It has a good location, mild weather, beautiful beaches and its own distinct culture.

But few entrepreneurs want to invest here. What would be the point if their investment was demolished in a battle?

And so the Okinawan economy is tied to Tokyo. The "bribe" being offered by Abe is not a present to Okinawa. It consists of the regular money allocated for regional development in every prefecture in Japan and money to support projects owned by Tokyo, such as the Naha airport.

Nakaima, the local Abe puppet has lost it. His election promise was "move the US bases out of Okinawa," yet, last December he lied that he was sick and needed to check in to a hospital in Tokyo, but in fact had a secret meeting with Abe. What was discussed we don't know, rumour has it that Abe helped him out of a financial hole, however, the outcome was that Nakaima returned, gleefully declaring that the plan for Henoko would go ahead, Futemna would be returned and that he had secured huge money for Okinawa.

The US military completely denied that Futenma would be handed back in five years, saying that it was completely impossible. They hadn't even been consulted.

And to add insult to injury, Nakaima is 75 and his election posters show a Nakaima who looks 95.

Last night, there were 8,000 demonstrators in a huge show of support for Onaga around the Kencho building. Onaga is popular, fiery and a very proficient speaker. He doesn't use speeches written by speechwriters. He doesn't speak reading from a piece of paper. He just speaks. He is the ideal person for the job and will be a thorn in Abe's side. That's why Abe is going to call for an early election - in an attempt to overshadow Nakaima's defeat and gain some clout.

Things are going to get interesting here.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Much of the some $100 billion? the national government has poured into the prefecture in the past 42 years has gone into contracts with mainland Japan firms, meaning the money has made a U-turn, filling mainland business coffers and leaving Okinawa's all but bare. There's mutual benefit to keeping U.S. forces in Asia, including the Marines on Okinawa. America defends forward - not from California. If only U.S.-based forces responded to Asian crises, not only would they need more time to get there but also a larger force if they have to fight their way in.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It's almost FUNNY if it were not as DANGEROUS a situation with the chinese & north korean situation, to read the utter RUBBISH that some people ( Anti-USA clods, most or some of whom are American) to say the bases are " Not Needed". With all the BLANENT violatons of the chinese of late (REPEATEDLY violating Japanese / Okinawan Air Space, the newly announced ADIZ; "Aeronotical Defence Identification Zone " & the North Korean Missle Tests ), I can't believe so many people on here are REALLY that BLIND / LOST , but OBVIOUSLY, they ARE. Continue with your head burried in the sand, and soon you will be MEETING some of those "non-existant" aggressors.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"Anyone but Mikio. He's a flip flop, loser, with no back bone and speaks with forked tongue"

Damn. All the other candidates, especially Nakaima, are too old.

"Okinawa is just 0.6% of the total land area of Japan. Yet more than 70% of the US military are located here."

Yeah, but the rest of the Japanese don't want any U.S. bases in their backyard, lol.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe pledged a Hugh CASH INJECTION? I love how they invent new phases to replace the word BRIBERY!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Its not that easy to move that base. It will never be moved

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nothing's going to change, this is all about optics and nothing more, the bases are not leaving, will not leave and as long as China and NK can't be trusted, Okinawa can have hundreds of elections, the bases will stay, don't kid yourselves.stratogiacally, logically.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Perhaps they could replace the "roaring engines meters from their backyards" with quieter meters?

Looking out of the window (I'm in Okinawa) I see lots of empty properties and closed businesses. The Okinawa economy does not work, if the Americans go, there is nothing to replace that income. Basically, it's small island economics, most people will end up fleeing to the mainland to work.

//Okinawa is the first place that the Chinese or the Russians will bomb into kingdom

Probably not, it's an island, once the source of jet fuel runs out then all those bases are not a threat to anyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What bass4funk wants to say in his 09:53AM JST posting is that nothing's going to change in whatever results this gubernatorial election may end or how many elections may be held. U.S. bases will remain here forever, he wants to say. His reasons for saying so is that China and NK can't be trusted.

The issue being contended in this election is of course the Futenma relocation, not the U.S. bases ingeneral If bass4funk keeps insisting that no single base can be removed from Okinawa and therefore that Futenma's replacement must be built within Okinawa, he would be a troglodyte, saying things only out of greedy motivations. His China and NK threats are mere justification for camouflaging the real intentions of his and his cronies'.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Okinawa agitators again. What a problem for Japan and an embarrassment from ignorant right wing communist lovers who know what is at stake for Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The issue being contended in this election is of course the Futenma relocation, not the U.S. bases ingeneral If bass4funk keeps insisting that no single base can be removed from Okinawa and therefore that Futenma's replacement must be built within Okinawa, he would be a troglodyte, saying things only out of greedy motivations. His China and NK threats are mere justification for camouflaging the real intentions of his and his cronies'.

Troglodyte? I was just saying the truth, it doesn't matter what I think OR what you want, I'm just telling you, it's not going to happen, it just won't. I'm just being a realist and if you can put the emotion aside for a moment, I'm right or do you seriously in all honesty think that the bases will be relocated to some other area in Japan or maybe the mainland? Good luck with believing that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

dumb. lets see the world in only black and white. that always works out

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"ignorant right wing communist lovers who know what is at stake for Japan."

Can somebody be an ignorant right winger and a communist at the same time?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bass4funk (Nov. 16, 2014 - 12:52PM JST):

Sure enough, you were just telling the truth, but what is that truth about? Isn't it about the U.S. greediness to keep the bases here forever regardless of whether there is a "China or North Korea threat"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sure enough, you were just telling the truth, but what is that truth about? Isn't it about the U.S. greediness to keep the bases here forever regardless of whether there is a "China or North Korea threat"?

Mostly about NK and China and maybe a small percentage of mistrust, but don't quote me.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Upon these shaky grounds, you keep so many bases occupying so much land mass, sea and air spaces as if Okinawa exists in U.S. bases and not vice versa?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Better us then the Chinese or the NK and I'm not trying to be cynical about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

seriously in all honesty think that the bases will be relocated to some other area in Japan or maybe the mainland?

I am not the local of Okinawa. When I visited it, I seriously believe that bases in Okinawa are more likely holidays resorts unlike middle eastern bases. Service Men in Okinawa are more likely tourists who are having good time unlike other US bases around the globe. They are more likely holidays makers instead of battle hardened middle east based service men. Therefore some bases should be rotated to harsher than toucher location from Okinawa.

Relocation of bases command will come from Pentagon not because of local demand. Not all bases will be relocated. It will be gradual and slow process. US military has been shrinking budget and service men. Modern warfare does not need high level of man power and land spaces. Therefore it will be less bases and less service men will be very likely in the future.

Nothing lasts forever including Futenma base.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@heynong: You are correct, the U.S. bases on Okinawa are more resorts than Military Bases but that is something most people dont want to talk about. They dont want to talk about the 4 golf courses, the 5 private beaches, the boat marina and all of the tennis courts. Most of the land used by the bases is taken up by Military Family Housing, Dependent Schools and Leisure Facilities. The U.S. Military requirement that they bring their families with them and be provided an American style quality of life requires a lot of land and that means less land and a lesser quality of life for the people of Okinawa who have to live, work and raise children there for their lifetime not just 3 year tours of duty.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bjohnson23

ignorant right wing communist lovers

I got lost after communist.

How can anyone be a RIGHT WING communist?

Must be a new breed of politics I'm not familiar with.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bass4funk (Nov. 16, 2014 - 04:48PM JST):

Better us then the Chinese or the NK. LOL. On what basis can you say so, -- that the U.S. occupation of Okinawa is better than the Chinese or North Korean? At any rate, you have admitted that Okinawa is being occupied by the U.S., thus its military colony.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

japan4life " You are correct, the U.S. bases on Okinawa are more resorts than Military Bases but that is something most people dont want to talk about."

Japan4life sama, you might be opening the real Pandora's box on this issue of todays elections and relations to keeping the US military bases. If I was in the military, god-forbid, I too would not want to move out of Okinawa. It's too enjoyable and comfortable. Away from the US in-laws, money problems, family problems, etc the military families never had it so good. If US Congressmen are reading this from the othe side of the Pacific, just check and see how much rent is being paid by the servicemen for living off base in luxury. Around an average of $2400 per month for is being paid to the Japanese apartment owners while so much land and rooms are available on base. There's a loophole allowing ordinary service to live a life of luxury in offbase quarters. Again all this while my friends are losing their homes, jobs, health, and education cutbacks while the military families and soldiers are enjoying a life of luxury on Okinawa at Okinawa's expense based on the pretense that "we fought for it 70 years ago"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

May the people of Okinawa stand up to the Yamato aggressors in Tokyo. Okinawa is a beautiful place which should be shared with the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Correction: Osaka_Doug, The Yamato aggressors and the DC Yanks, bullies on both sides of the Pacific.

This just in: According to NHK, the poll taken on election exiters show that Onaga has won the governor election.

This type of election results given 15 minutes after the polls close is pure stupidity. I like to see NHK get sued if it happens that Nakaiima wins it after all the votes are counted.
0 ( +1 / -1 )

Better us then the Chinese or the NK. * LOL. On what basis can you say so, -- that the U.S. occupation of Okinawa is better than the Chinese or North Korean? At any rate, you have admitted that Okinawa is being occupied by the U.S., thus its military colony.

I never said that, I meant if you think or the powers that be think that Okinawa is a part of the U.S. territory which is preposterous to say the least. Having said that, the Okinawa people live in a democracy and as to what the politicians in Tokyo and Washington decide it is still under a country that has freedom to do as they wish. It matters not if you or I like it that Okinawa is caught up in the middle, but the reality is, that's how it is and that's how it will be.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Re: what are right wing communists: those who support big-government and Stalinist policies as a way to preserve political survival. Through totalitarian extremism, they achieve political goals and act with extreme nationalist sentiment

0 ( +0 / -0 )

//soldiers are enjoying a life of luxury on Okinawa

Okinawa is pretty boring (but that's just my opinion), and then there's the curfews, and base typhoon lockdowns etc....on the other hand you can buy brown bread and cans of pork and beans in the supermarkets. The oddest bit is the online list of places service people are not allowed to go to, which has the wrong addresses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mitokomonalex,

When you talk about luxury, you're not kidding are you?

Extensive golf courses, schools that occupy ten times more space than Okinawan schools for the same number of students. All there to defend this nation from non-existent aggressors.

Anyway, as you said, Onaga is IN by a HUGE MARGIN!

Nakaima got THRASHED!

Now things are going to get interesting!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

US Military made and make sure bases in Japan are not like Okinawan people's living standard as Japan pay $$$$$ ever year. Forgot amount bu was it $2 billion last year?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I hope this is the last of Nakaiima that we will see. He could have understood the mind of the Okinawa majority and made it in the history books or even stayed incumbent as an Okinawa "hero". He blew it. He sold the Okinawans for money promised to him and his underlings from the Tokyo bigwigs.

The only people who voted for him were those thinking of becoming richer by staying in the Liberal Democratic Party's favor, those who worked in the military bases or had relatives working there, or contractors with the US military paid via Japanese government funds.

However unknown to the powers-be in Tokyo, many Okinawa subcontractors joined in in voting Nakaiima out of the office because all they got for their subcontract work was scraps. Mainland companies with enough capital are the only ones allowed to bid on the defense contracts. In other words there isn't any Okinawa company that meets the Japanese defense agency's stipulation, paticularly on the insurance criteria that only big companies can afford and Okinawan contractors so would kowtow to being sub or subsub contractors. Nakaiima now will have to face the music, the music of justice, as so many crooked things happened during his tenure.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bass4funk (Nov. 16, 2014 - 10:23PM JST):

Of course you didn't explicitly say the U.S. occupation of Okinawa was better than the Chinese or North Korean. But your logic boils down to this conclusion whether you actually said it or not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Okinawa bases are not resorts, with the possible exception of Kadena. There once was water rationing, because the Okinawans complained so much that water was cut off once or twice a week. It got pretty stinky as you couldnt flush the toliets etc. The base mess halls served powder milk and the same grub for a long time. The scenery was nice, but most of the places were off limits. Base lockdowns were not fun either. It was anything but a resort atmosphere. Some squad ays had no A/C. Okinawa doesnt have a winter, so it was hot 365 days a year. The bases in the mainland are resorts, not Okinawa. And most of us single service men didnt get any off base allowance to live like a king. Maybe things have changed, but I think you are refering to the AF.

"Looking out of the window (I'm in Okinawa) I see lots of empty properties and closed businesses. The Okinawa economy does not work, if the Americans go, there is nothing to replace that income. Basically, it's small island economics, most people will end up fleeing to the mainland to work"

If Okinawa was allowed to develop, as Bertie and others have suggested, it could be a Singapore, Tapei or HK. The location and weather are excellent. A large English speaking and exposed to Western values, educated abroad could easily assimilate outside investment, as Singapore once did. Singapore was a swamp until Lew Quan Yew developed it. The Okinawa economy does not work due to decades of crushing oppression by the mainland. The US bases have the right to be there due to their victory, but eventually, shouldnt they be relocated to Kyushu?. Is it right to keep a people impoverished or dependant on the government? How can they reach their fulfillment, if all of their dreams must first be approved by Tokyo?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course you didn't explicitly say the U.S. occupation of Okinawa was better than the Chinese or North Korean. But your logic boils down to this conclusion whether you actually said it or not.

Which is not a bad situation when you really think about it in the bigger picture of logic.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

bass4funk:

You are like a Godfather telling innocent turf residents, "Our control over the area is not so bad a situation when you think about it in a bigger picture where you have to pay turf fees to other crime syndicates.

Does that morally justify the Godfather's control over the area?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Bertie,

I think a the guy who mistakenly used the right winger communist description is somebody who lives off the governmet, paranoid his benies are going to be stopped, and defines all those out to get him as a right wing communist conspiracy...:-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nice one, voiceofokinawa!

Interesting to see the Godfather using the word "logic."

I wonder if he knows what it means.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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