politics

Panetta hails 'important' deal on Marines in Japan

17 Comments

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just close the base, we don't need a second cold war the first 1 was a mistake

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hey - that's a great idea, nudge.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Nudge--If the towns are abandoned, who is going to hold the welcoming party? There are two possible reasons that towns were abandoned in Tohoku. One is because all the buildings were washed away. The other is that the radiation contamination was so high that the government told everyone to leave. In the first case, there is no place for the marines to stay unless they want to pitch tents and camp out in one of the coldest regions in Japan. In the second case, when the residents are allowed to return to their homes, they are going to be mighty surprised and ticked off if they find marines living in their homes! Next idea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

nudgenudge: "Perhaps the remaining marines could be moved to Tohoku where they would be more appreciated? I understand there are entire towns abandoned there that the marines would probably be welcome to!"

You mean the towns abandoned because of radiation levels? And besides, everyone knows it would be less of a strategic advantage to be in Tohoku and no Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have a real hard time understanding why America has to take up prime real estate with sprawling, sparsely populated bases and an overwhelming presence on the tiny islands of Okinawa.

The simple and easy answer? Because they are already there. Staying is easier than moving.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The island of Okinawa in 1945 was like the Tohoku region that was devastated by great earthquakes with almost all houses washed away by tsunamis. In post-war Okinawa, taking advantage of this nothingness, the U.S. occupation forces freely encroached upon private land -- towns, villages, farms and schools all cheek by jowl -- to build an enormous number of bases.

Can the U.S. Marines do the same thing in Tohoku today? Of course, not. Because it would violate all manner of law as well as basic human ethics.

But why do the negotiators of both governments turn a blind eye to the fact that the Marines did as much the same thing in post-war Okinawa, blatantly violating international law and built such bases as Futenma Air Station? Article 46 of Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land stipulates that private property must not be confiscated in an occupied area.

The Futenma issue has been nonnegotiable for starters because the air base sits on illegally confiscated land -- stolen goods, that is. Dealing stolen goods is severely punished in any country in the world.

So what's it that the U.S. Defense Secretary is praising so much? Apparently, it's the money Tokyo promised to pay for the construction on Guam of infrastructure for 4,000 military personnel and their families plus newly appended maintenance costs for to-be-refurbished military facilities on Tinian and Pagan islands, with Tokyo's share totaling up to 2.8 billion dollars. Washington says the total costs for the marines' transfer from Okinawa and base maintenance costs in Tinian and Pagan will amount to 8.6 billion dollars so that Japan's share is putatively only about one-third.

The catch is: Will the U.S. side appropriate two-thirds of the total 5.7 billion dollars albeit in the face of the U.S. Armed Services Committee's strong objection to unnecessary spending by the military? I doubt it.

The bottom line: all costs for this U.S. military realignment, by nature the U.S. military's own house cleaning, might be carried out solely with Japanese taxpayers' money. No doubt, Tokyo will never fail to regret for what it stupidly agreed to with Washington not only in regard to Futenma but also the marines' Guam relocation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'important' as highlighted -- how important ? Japanese Tax payers should be ready to raise total fund of US$ 7-8 billion to finance the U.S. Marines' redeployment operation ! Tighten your belt !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US marines were running away from asia instead of 're-engage' of asia! Mr Obama was an expert of 'deceptions' making empty promises again The North Korean were ready to take the third nuclear test very soon, they were sent thousand miles out of asia instead were ready to fight along way to Pyongyang! America is no where to challenge the rise of China in the region, their retreat is to save their 'face' from defeats!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In a way like in the U.S. neighboring Cities near a military installation seem to all have the same trend when it gets shut down, lack of money flow takes a major dive especially for home businesses which is far greater in japan vs the U.S. but being put out there. Economically it would have a direct affect on the community because they have been there so long most don't realize what the impact would do. Doing it slowly is better then all of a sudden. And sure sure the U.S seems to be the biggest debt producers but so isn't the rest of the world. There really isn't a justifiable amount without debt to not realize there is more debt in the world then actual money. Just a trickery of each countries political saying we have money in each. Some food for serious thought

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Relocate them to Tohoku and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strategically less close to surf, sand and bikinis smithinjapan?

Tohoku is a lot closer to North Korea and Russia, and China is already partially checked by our ally Taiwan. So I have a real hard time understanding why America has to take up prime real estate with sprawling, sparsely populated bases and an overwhelming presence on the tiny islands of Okinawa. Are they expecting Imperial Japan to attack from the past?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

US is already taking our money with their sanctions to Iran, now prepare for more waste of taxpayer's money.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And who will be declared the winner of this action? Will it be China - or Japan -or Australia - ot he USA -or maybe even the original Korea; definately not Guam. I would be better if the powers to be just sent the USA home.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

9,000 Marines leaving Okinawa.

Good news.

Now, when are the remaining 41,000 US military leaving?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

What is puzzling to me is the American Government is BROKE, I mean totally BROKE, but they continue to spend money on their Armed forces. Nobody in the world wants War except the Idiots in parts of Africa and Washington D.C., trying to make themselves rich.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All we need now is a reminder of Operation Tomodachi, as if Okinawans benefited from it, or as if it could not have been done without bases in Okinawa.

Perhaps the remaining marines could be moved to Tohoku where they would be more appreciated? I understand there are entire towns abandoned there that the marines would probably be welcome to!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Canadianbento-san

What is puzzling to me is the American Government is BROKE, I mean totally BROKE, but they continue to spend money on their Armed forces.

I wonder too. Supposing the plan is to totally ruin the economy, make the environment dangerous, so that it is necessary to build up the armed forces to "protect" people. It could get to a stage where the only really secure job was in the military.

Then bang goes democracy.

There is no such thing as democratic armed forces. How could there be?

So you would have total control.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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