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Panetta says it is critical for Japan to press ahead with Futenma relocation

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“I think that’s very important that Japan proceed with obviously moving forward with Futenma

“I will make clear to them that we continue to support our commitment with Japan

"I Think?" ....."I will?".....Who does he think he is to demand anything?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He is in charge of guaranteeing Japan's security - that's probably why he's in a position to demand movement on the issue.

If Japan was willing to pony up more yen for its own defence then things could be different.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Gurukun it has been 15 years since the issue was brought to the table with the Japanese dragging their feet the entire time. The US is the arbitrator of the alliance and has every right to expect Japan to hold up it's end of their promises, which to this point they haven't.

Push is coming to shove and everyone better get ready to know who is going to lose out on this one, Okinawa.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yubaru: "The US is the arbitrator of the alliance and has every right to expect Japan to hold up it's end of their promises, which to this point they haven't."

Not only that, they've tried to renege at least twice in the past few years. Relocation is a win for Okinawa in terms of business. If Japan continues to drag their feet it's a win when relocation ceases to be an option and the local businesses can keep their businesses going. Sure, it's a bit noisier than the local bosozoku, but they keep you safe!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"But local objections to the move and policy flip-flopping by a former prime minister have stalled the plan..."

Even the media admits it. No more denying by right-wingers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Having US military based on this island actually presents a threat rather than defense.

If, in the extremely unlikely situation where another country wanted to attack Japan, the FIRST place to get hit would be Okinawa because of its US bases.

It doesn't make any sense whatsoever to have US bases here.

Why on Earth the US insists on maintaining bases here beats me.

Do they really feel a need to protect poor, defenseless Japan, out of the goodness of their hearts?

Or is there something else on the agenda?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It does not make sense. You move the base and all the workers there will follow it and build it up just like now.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Johninnaha, if we employ your logic then the same could be said for; Korea, Singapore, Diego Garcia, Germany, Spain, Portugal, England.... OH, and dont forget America! So lets just put all our toys up and call it quits for Defense (more appropriatly stated DETERANCE!!!).

We dont have troops to activly fight unless necessary. Its the THREAT or action that, for the most part, keeps would be agressors at bay. And even with this presence it still gets tested. It was just a few short years ago that Russia was running subs un and down the Japan/PI coasts and fishing "trawlers" with more antennas than nets. Now its China! And if no one is watching you will have a nice Red Star on your hat.

And Gurukun (a small insignificant, though tasty, fish); all he is asking for is what was agreed upon many times. Bilateral Agreement (note the BI) was made and was binding UNTIL the polititians went pandering to the miniority for votes. So how can you or anybody insinuate or blatenly state that the US is forcing or demanding this. It started at the behest of Okinawans/Japanese and the US asked for what it felt was needed to do what they are here to do; PROTECT the Japanese and American interests.

IMHO

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Panetta pressing for progress..."

Would be a more appropriate headline

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Those military bases originally had two purposes one was that following World War II Japan would allow American forces to be stationed there to provide for Japan's defense and ensured Japan would no longer be a military threat to Asia. Additionally those bases along with ones at Subic bay in the Philippines, Guam,, Thailand and Diego Garcia in the Indian ocean where meant to contain the old Soviet Union. Those bases are Cold War Relics yet the American government continues to insist that those bases are needed as there is a new enemy to fear China.

Even though China has increased its defense spending and is building and modernizing its military the amount spent in percentage of GDP is no where near the amount spent by the American's who have the largest defense budget in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get rid of all of the US troops and support. Let Japan find out the reality of the costs associated with supporting a full military to keep it secure. Pull them out of Korea as well. When they start complaining when things go wrong, close the door and lock it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

While my initial reaction would be to agree... I would hate to "punish" the mass' for a small though very vocal minority. It is real intersting that from country to country the media tends to promote a fringe radical point of view.

It is true that most dont really know what they get fromn the presence of the US but I really believe those that are trying OH SO HARD to push them out DO!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

smithinjapan, it is the people of Okinawa who are "dragging their feet" and not the people of Japan. The government in Tokyo and sign all of the agreements they want. Does not mean the people of Okinawa have to agree with them. It is my belief the new airfield will never be built.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Turning of the government seems to dampen the agreement. Japan needs American military force as long as they adopt the Article 9 of the Constitution. If Japan really hates the American force and want them to retreat, they, first, should revise the constitution in order to gain sufficient power to protect themselves. I think, however, this is not realistic because many countries around Japan would certainly accuse Japan of being back to militarism. All told, Japan is well-balanced with American force in reality, I think.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

kaketama, you need to separate Japan and Okinawa and the people of Okinawa do not hate Americans or their military. They do hate for Japan to dictate to them what to do. The people of Okinawa are suppose to be free and not slaves to the main lander.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kurumazaka, do you think having the US isn't a deterrence??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Listen to YuriOtani - She is the one closest to the actual truth of what happened some 66 years ago _ I know as I was there and I have the papers to prove it. I continually write the USA Military should return to the States and the Ryukyu Islands become a sovereign State w/o a military.

Hirohito gave the Ryukyu Islands to McArthur if he would not put the Army of Occupation on the Japanese mainland and instead put out military on Okinawa. McArthur put a three star General into a High Commissioner's job on Okinawa on Okinawa and everybody was happy. Okinawa is the greatest duty station in the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's suppose you are a landowner and you want your tenant, a habitual trouble-maker, to move out of the land he took illegally and forcefully like a crime syndicate member. Can the tenant demand a replacement built for him and for free at that?

Many of you may not know it, but the land where Futenma now sits was seized by the U.S. military exactly in that manner -- taken by force while residents were herded in concentration camps during the Battle of Okinawa. There were 5 villages there with a joint population of 12,994 in 1944. When they were allowed to go home after the retention, they found their villages and rich farmland all swallowed up into the 2,400-meter runway (later extended to 2,700 meters).

The U.S. military seized the land in clear violation of Article 46 of The Hague Convention, which states: “Family honor and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.”

Then, can the U.S. ever demand a replacement for Futenma Air Base? Just think about it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good grief, if the Japanese government is going to allow the locals to have their way ( no U.S. base, but bosozoku OK, lol ) they might as well give Narita Airport back to the Chiba farmers, lol.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Marion, I am glad you and I are old enough to know the truth in history.

Speaking about Okinawa becoming a sovereign islands, there are invisible Chinese influences among Okinawans fester. That's exactly what China wants to see, so that they can move (strategically )closer to Taiwan and Japan. .I think Okinawans would not be able stay independent too long as they wish and need to report to central government of China, Beijing.. Hope Okinawans understand this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "The government in Tokyo and sign all of the agreements they want. Does not mean the people of Okinawa have to agree with them."

The people in Okinawa already agree -- save for a very, very small percentage of them, whom you seem to think constitutes the entire Japanese prefecture. Approval for the US military is up in Okinawa, thank you. Hurts, but it's true. Let the cry-babies complain about the noise while they make money off the bases; they're not going anywhere -- especially if the deal is reneged by the moronic Okinawan governor who clearly only cares about votes, not the people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have a great idea. Just design a platform similar to an oil rig but make it wide. So wide you can land HC 130's, Osprey's, and helicopters on it. The lower levels will be the berthing areas and training area.

Problem solved when the marines want to train in jungle warfare or etc. They can use okinawa as they see fit.

During WW2 many servicemen gave their lives for taking control of okinawa. It was a bloody battle. I understand why the U.S. doesn't want to pack up and leave.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

smithinjapan, lets see the governor of Okinawa opposes the plan, the legislature of Okinawa opposes the plan, the Mayor of Nago City opposes the plan and the people of Henoko oppose the plan. Trouble with your thinking is the facts do not back you up. If the majority of the Okinawa people wanted the bases it would be reflected in their government. If the people are pro base the Governor would be pro base. So what will the Americans do about this fact? Send in the troops again to take away the land from the Okinawa people? My mum told me about how they were herded into camps. True luxury was having dibs on the Americans garbage. You say it is a "minority", I can show you as fact it is the majority.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good grief, if the Japanese government is going to allow the locals to have their way ( no U.S. base, but bosozoku OK, lol ) they might as well give Narita Airport back to the Chiba farmers, lol.

Good point, Serrano. Furthermore, are the people of Tokyo complaining about a noise of Haneda Airport? How about people living closer to Osaka airport? The noise issue in Okinawa has been used as a scapegoat and excuse IMHO.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the new airfield isn't built, then Futenma remains an active base and the Okinawans have accomplished ZIP-POINT-SQUAT towards their goal of getting American military off the island. Ginowan City still deals with daily flights in and out. If the new airfield is built, then roughly 1/3 of the American military currently stationed in Okinawa get relocated to Guam and Okinawans have accomplished 1/3 of their goal. Ginowan City no longer has to deal with the American jets every day (though there's no guarantee the JASDF won't take over the field for their own use.)

Go ahead Okinawa and keep shooting yourself in the foot on this. The rest of the world will scratch their heads in wonderment at your stupidity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I remember having watched a documentary where children were instructed to remain on school the peak hours of the landing of aircraft. The NHK's documentary about the noise Futenma base was a montage of lies, made ​​under the gaze of Okinawans who are against the base. Although the residents of Ginowan have the right to have built their residences around the Futenma base,is immoral now be complaining about the noise because everyone knew that there existed a military basis there. which has proliferated as a pest in Okinawa are pachinko stores. This is the fate of the tax money paid with so much sacrifice by Americans and Japanese??

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A minorities groups human rights are still import besides theirs a probally another way for realigning the bases in asia that still will work

0 ( +0 / -0 )

issa1, where else would they have built their homes? There is not a lot of available land on Okinawa. Still Panetta San, how is the Japanese government going to force the government of Okinawa to do anything? Just give up on it sir! you are not going to win! What I think does not matter the harder the brave Okinawa people push, the harder they will push back.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This meeting is the early warning message for Japan. The American taxpayers want less bases in all foreign countries.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why in the world do U.S. still need huge amount of troops in Germany and Japan? It is funny when people talk about U.S. pulling out of Afghanistan or Iraq, because U.S. never even pulled out of Germany or Japan after World War II. Once the U.S. military gets boots on the ground somewhere, they very rarely ever leave. Look, it is about time that nations like Japan and Germany learned to defend themselves. Nobody is going to invade them any time soon. Everyone knows they are protected by U.S. nuclear unbrella. So why do U.S.have to station so many troops in both countries? The U.S. military is spread so thin right now that they could not even respond adequately if a real threat did emerge. Trying to be the police of the world is not only incredibly costly, it is also strategic suicide. What possible justification could there possibly be for having U.S. troops in 130 different nations?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TO YURIOTANI - Sorry,I do not want to offend anyone. What I meant and that in the current situation it would be better for all,okinawa of governament accept this agreement.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A good part of those who oppose the contruction of U.S BASE not living in okinawa,they come from tokyo and from neighboring provinces. These people are driven by financial questions and ideological,such people is not even a little worried the welfare of ithe native inhabitants.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

issa1, I understand and wonder myself what is best. Am not stating my own opinion but what I think is that of the Govorner and Okinawa Assembly. Having things rammed down your throat by Tokyo is disagreeable at best. They do not have Okinawa's best interest in mind. I do not see the Marines moving to Guam and do not even see MCAS Futenma closing. It is all just a big bait and switch. Look you keep saying the government keep its agreement. Okinawa never agreed to the new air base, it was the Japanese in Tokyo. They want to keep the agreement but are being prevented from doing it. Again the people of Okinawa are not the slaves of Tokyo or Washington. No means NO! The Americans in Okinawa are suppose to protect our "freedom" but they take away our basic freedoms doing such.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "smithinjapan, lets see the governor of Okinawa opposes the plan, the legislature of Okinawa opposes the plan, the Mayor of Nago City opposes the plan and the people of Henoko oppose the plan"

Wow, what's that, a hundred people tops? There have been articles recently about increased support for the US presence in the face of Chinese incursions and Russian military build up. You don't like that fact, clearly, but you can look it up quite easily. Problem is you will continue to deny it. What's more, when it comes to raising one's voice in Japan the people here are by and large apathetic, with only right-wingers screaming about what they want. That is changing with the nuclear crisis and the government's handling of the disasters that hit on March 11th, but too slowly, and Okinawa is an example of the right-wingers I mentioned.

Sorry, Yuri, but you're just going to have to face the fact that the bases are there to stay. The more the few, angry Okinwans meddle in an already decided issue the less likely the bases will be moved, and the more the Okinawan authority makes an a$$ of itself.

Do us all a favour and go thank the next US soldier you see for keeping us all safe.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

YuriOtani: "where else would they have built their homes?"

Excuses, excuses. They obviously could have built them elsewhere, but chose the location they did for business purposes. No that they have bilked that for millions over time they are whining about it.

"Still Panetta San, how is the Japanese government going to force the government of Okinawa to do anything?"

Easily, same as they usually do. Fortunately they are aware that they made a legally binding promise with the agreement, much as a few Okinawan wingers protest.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

smithinjapan, well the government of Okinawa does not feel the need to honor the promises of the national government. promises that they had no part in making. What is happening in Okinawa would never happen in America. No American state would put up with this nonsense. Second, the new airbase will not help defend Okinawa. Just a training airfield and you are mistaken, once again the Marines are going nowhere and MCAS Futenma will not close, even if this new airfield is made.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Since my last comment the headline has changed and at least it includes the term 'press' now... but wouldn't

"Panetta presses Japan to press Okinawa ..."

be closer to reality?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapan, I wonder what data or information you base your assumption on that only a minority of Okinawans oppose relocating Futenma to Henoko? I haven't seen one poll that could corroborate your statement. Instead of letting us know what you would like to believe rather give us some facts to back up your elusive claims.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Meanwhile, Ichikawa and Panetta reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Japan security alliance as a “cornerstone” of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific."

To translate, the sentence means the U.S. will stay in Japan (Okinawa) for an unlimited period of time. In a Yokota Air Base speech, he indeed said that “[t]he U.S. is going to remain a presence in the Pacific for a long time. That means, we’re not anticipating any cutbacks in this region.”

Thus, the pseudo-occupation of Japan and the continued military colonization of Okinawa will never cease to exist and with them Okinawa's burdens and sufferings will continue for a long period of time despite our call for the reduction of this exorbitant footprint of the U.S. military. [Cf. "Futenma: Tip of the Iceberg in Okinawa's Agony" posted at http://www.japanfocus.org]

But, remember, this also means Okinawa will always be a thorn sticking in the Japan-U.S.relations and may undermine true friendship between our two nations .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fadamor, I'm glad someone else sees the reality of this situation and that swift implementation of the 2006 Roadmap Agreement is a win-win for all parties.

For Okinawa, Futenma, with all its attendant safety issues, is closed. Additionally, three other major US facilities all along the core Rt 58 corridor are also closed and the land returned to the local government. 8,000 Marines and their families are relocated to Guam. This is a major reduction of the US military presence on the island.

For Japan and the US, the bilateral security alliance is strengthened by reducing the military footprint and its associated irritants.

The only ones who lose are those currently opposing this agreement - the elites on the island who profit by their opposition to any US military presence. The politicians lose a "wedge" issue to spin and gain votes. The media lose an issue they can sensationalize and skew to sell newspapers. The Academics lose a soapbox to air their sainted views. As has been said before, these individuals and groups care nothing for the welfare and betterment of their fellow Okinawa citizens.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

YuriOtani said:

Look you keep saying the government keep its agreement. Okinawa never agreed to the new air base, it was the Japanese in Tokyo. They want to keep the agreement but are being prevented from doing it. Again the people of Okinawa are not the slaves of Tokyo or Washington. No means NO! The Americans in Okinawa are suppose to protect our "freedom" but they take away our basic freedoms doing such.

YuriOtani is sadly deluded into thinking prefectures make or break agreements with sovereign nations. They don't. SOVERIGN NATIONS make or break agreements with sovereign nations. Okinawa hasn't stood on its own EVER. it was either part of the RyuuKyuu kingdom (which was a tributary state first to China in the 15th century, then to both China and Japan), or part of Japan after they were annexed in the late 1800's. The sovereign nation of Japan agreed to the bases. The prefecture of Okinawa has little leverage to change that. Now if there actually WERE a sovereign nation of Okinawa that would be a different story but that isn't likely to happen as I see no huge movement for independence on the part of the Okinawans.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Fadamor, so the people of Okinawa are slaves to the Japanese people? Might as well appoint a Japanese governor to rule their possession. Eliminate voting, city councils, the Prefecture assembly as unneeded. Tokyo can just appoint all of the Okinawa "leaders" and the people of Okinawa would have to do what they are told. So the American troops are to protect their "freedom" but according to your thinking there is none. Bud, what you write would work in China, Korea or Russia but by God the people of Okinawa are free! We are a part of Japan as an equal Prefecture, not as second class people!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When I was a kid in London, the hoods used to run a scam called the "Protection Racket."

When you parked your car, someone would come up to you and ask for "protection money."

If you didn't pay it, when you got back to your car, you would find that the tyres had been removed, or the windows smashed or some such thing.

I don't really see a lot of difference to the operation the US is operating these days.

Japan doesn't need US "protection" and getting Okinawa to indirectly protect the rest of Japan AGAIN is just a pathetic cop out for the Honshu government.

Why can't they just tell the US military to get out?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

swift implementation of the 2006 Roadmap Agreement is a win-win for all parties.

As has been said before, these individuals and groups care nothing for the welfare and betterment of their fellow Okinawa citizens.

lincolnman, you should leave it to the Okinawans to decide on what is for their 'welfare and betterment'

The vast majority of Okinawans oppose the relocation of Futenma within the prefecture and they know why.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

YuriOtani, you're wrong that the Okinawans hate the Japanese, in fact they love Japanese and being part of them. Some may be a bit jealous as mainlanders are taller and fairer skinned but they don't hate them. Hate and Jealousy are different things.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Lincolnman, Why doesn't the US move bases not associated with Futenma MCAS to Guam now.. there is no reason to wait, such as Camp Kinser. It's almost like a ploy to get the base, then not move to Guam.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To Fadmore, who says, "If the new airfield isn't built, then Futenma remains an active base and the Okinawans have accomplished ZIP-POINT-SQUAT towards their goal of getting American military off the island." That's an intimidation likely to be entertained by a street gangster.

For starters, Futenma Air Base was constructed illegally and immorally on confiscated land while area residents were detained in a concentration camp. So it must be returned without any strings attached. Doesn't it sound very legitimate to you, hopefully, a law-abiding man on the street?

Let's suppose you were a landowner and you wanted your tenant, a habitual trouble-maker, to move out of the land he had taken illegally and forcefully. Do you think the tenant has any legitimate right to demand a replacement built for him?

There are 5 installations out of 33 that are subject to total return, according to the 2006 Roadmap. But the Japanese side (the landowner) must build their replacements all within Okinawa for the U.S. Marines (the tenant). Futenma is drawing the most attention of people . But the same difficulty and impasse as with Futenma will certainly occur with the other 4 installations, too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lincolnman, you should leave it to the Okinawans to decide on what is for their 'welfare and betterment'

I'm not advocating to the Okinawans or "leaving it up" to anyone - I'm merely expressing an opinion, relevant to this topic, which is what this forum is for.

The vast majority of Okinawans oppose the relocation of Futenma within the prefecture and they know why.

Without any factual reference, this is merely your opinion, which you're entitled to. I'm sure others have a different one.

Lincolnman, Why doesn't the US move bases not associated with Futenma MCAS to Guam now.. there is no reason to wait, such as Camp Kinser. It's almost like a ploy to get the base, then not move to Guam.

Because the US has tried to move Futenma away from its current congested location for almost 20 years (after 1995 SACO agreement) - in that agreement, the GOJ agreed to find and construct a suitable alternative location - and as we all know, the US is still waiting. After waiting 10 years, as an incentive to the GOJ to move more quickly, in the 2006 Road Map agreement, the US offered to close and return Kinser, Lester, and parts of Foster also - essentially all US bases south of Kadena.

It's a good agreement for everyone - Futenma, Kinser, Lester and Foster are all closed and returned to the local government - these are all large facilities along the major Hwy 58 corridor. 8000 Marines and their families leave Okinawa for Guam. For that, a small off-shore facility is constructed in a remote area (no noise impact) at Camp Schwab, that has been specifically sited to ensure all take-offs and landings are all done over water (ensuring safety).

Is the agreement 100% of what the local government wants - no. Nor is it 100% what the US and GOJ want. It's a compromise - but a good one which results in a significant reduction in the US military presence on the island - which is what the elites (politicians, media, academics) have been demanding for so long. Yet, when this opportunity presents itself, they strongly oppose it. So one has to ask, why? My answer to that question is at the end of my previous post.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

lincolnman, judging from your comments on the Futenma issue I suppose you don't speak and read Japanese. There have been numerous polls by the two Okinawan news papers about the issue and usually 70% of the polled Okinawans outrightly oppose the current scheme and want the base to move out of the prefecture. Around 20 percent say they agree with the current plan.

Just to give you one link:

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-152280-storytopic-3.html

Unfortunately it's in Japanese... but I'm sure you can find some info in English as well.

So where do you get you numbers from, lincolnman?

Also there has been a for Okinawan standards huge demo last year against moving Futenma inside the prefecture. There were several 10.000 people attending. This means one in 15 or 20 Okinawans were attending!

Compared to Tokyo metrop. region this would mean something like 1 or 2 million people on their feet! In Japan! If that is not a clear enough statement...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To Fadamore (for your reference):

The 5 installations that are mentioned in the 2006 Roadmap for total return are: (1) Camp Kuwae (0.7 square km), (2) MC Air Station Futenma (4.8 square km), (3) Makiminato Service Area (2.7 square km), (4) Naha Military Port (0.6 square km) and (5) Army Fuel Storage Facility (1.6 square km). The total area of these 5 installations amount to 10.4 square km.

Since the total area of all installations on Okinawa Island is about 218 square km, the above 5 installations that the U.S. has promised to return accounts for 4.7%. And since they are to be returned only when their replacements are built within Okinawa, like Futenma to a new facility in Henoko, if offset, the percentage will become infinitely close to zero. This is equal to no return.

As for the relocation of 8,000 Marines to Guam, the Japanese side must shoulder $6.09 billion for infrastructure development costs there, reported to be more than 70% of the total cost. It's really a strange deal. The redeployment of these 8,000 Marines to Guam is part of the U.S. Pacific war strategy in the face of emerging China -- particularly its development of a new type of long-range missiles with the attack capability of 1,500 km in radius.

So let me repeat: "Suppose you were a landowner and you wanted your tenant, a habitual trouble-maker, to move out of the land he had taken illegally and forcefully, do you think the tenant has any legitimate right to demand a replacement built for him?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Polls conducted by the elites on the island are hardly credible as all have their own agenda. The Ryuku Shimpo and Okinawa Times are far left, anti-US military media outlets that don't even try hide their bias.

Figures you cite for protest attendees are those provided by the organizers, which are routinely inflated. The figure I saw estimated by the Okinawa Prefectural Police was 3000. Even using your figure that is hardly a plurality.

Bottomline - if your assertion regarding the opposition to the Futenma Replacement Facility was true, then Iha would be governor today, not Nakaima.

But that's really not the central issue here - the main issue is that there is a plan to move major portions of the US military off the island, that would also close a dangerous airbase, that would free up large portions of key real estate to return to local control - yet a small minority of these elites on the island oppose this reduction - for their own self-serving reasons.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

lincolnman, you must be republican the way you react to factual information... ;)

Where are your numbers to prove the opposite?

And about the demo last year, I was there and I have no doubt that it was in the ten thousands and not in the thousands. And all streets that lead up to Yomitan, where the demo happened, were one continous traffic jam with ten thousands not even being able to reach the site. Thousands of people were continuously pouring in and out over the course of hours.

You say the prefectural police estimated 3000, according to my information there was no official estimation by the police and the prefectural government stated that there were around 18000 at once at the site.

Again, lincolnman, I ask you to give us any kind of factual information to corroborate your position. Official police statements etc etc. What ever is ok, just try to be factual and verify your rediculous 'elite' and 'small minority' claims.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Btw, Nakaima was only elected again because he clearly stated that he wouldn't agree to the relocation in it's current form. Not that Nakaima is an old anti-US base activist, but he wanted to be re-elected and he knew that he had to make his anti-Henoko relocation stance very clear in order to succeed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe, lincolnman can answer the question I posed above (Oct. 27, 2011 - 10:18PM JST) for Fadamore. They are all part of the same gang.

"Suppose you were a landowner and you wanted your tenant, a habitual trouble-maker, to move out of the land he had taken illegally and forcefully, do you think the tenant has any legitimate right to demand a replacement built for him?"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lincolnman, you must be republican the way you react to factual information...

my political affiliation is not pertinent to this topic, and oh by the way, I may not even be a US citizen. And I have yet to see any factual information presented.

Again, lincolnman, I ask you to give us any kind of factual information to corroborate your position. Official police statements etc etc. What ever is ok, just try to be factual and verify your ridiculous 'elite' and 'small minority' claims.

Note that I do call your opinions "ridiculous" - I would ask the same courtesy from you.

Btw, Nakaima was only elected again because he clearly stated that he wouldn't agree to the relocation in it's current form. Not that Nakaima is an old anti-US base activist, but he wanted to be re-elected and he knew that he had to make his anti-Henoko relocation stance very clear in order to succeed.

Your opinion. Another opinion holds that Iha stated directly he was against any relocation of Futenma and would not engage with the national government in any talks. Nakaima said he was against the relocation but stated he would be open to discussing with the central government. Naikaima won, Iha lost. That says quite a bit about the views of the residents regarding FRF.

Maybe, lincolnman can answer the question I posed above (Oct. 27, 2011 - 10:18PM JST) for Fadamore. They are all part of the same gang. "Suppose you were a landowner and you wanted your tenant, a habitual trouble-maker, to move out of the land he had taken illegally and forcefully, do you think the tenant has any legitimate right to demand a replacement built for him?"

Yes, but I don't believe I'm part of any "gang." Your analogy above is flawed, a more appropriate analogy would the following:

A police station that is helping protect and defend the neighborhood is located at a dangerous intersection. It is dangerous for the police cars to respond through this busy intersection and noise from the car's sirens bother the neighborhood residents. So the police HQs (national govt) decides to move the station to a much safer area - one where there are no residents to bother and no dangerous intersections. But some of the residents enjoy prestige and monetary benefits to have the station at its current location, so they oppose the move. So, they, in turn, put their own self interests above the safety of their fellow citizens.

Tragic, isn't it.........

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My apologies, this sentence should read;

Note that I do not call your opinions "ridiculous" - I would ask the same courtesy from you.

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Note that I do call your opinions "ridiculous" - I would ask the same courtesy from you.

I call your opinion ridiculous because it ignores factual and objective information you have excess to while living in Okinawa/Japan. And it is rude towards Okinawans.

You may not like polls conducted by Okinawan news papers, but to state that they are flawed without even trying to present any evidence is, like many of your statements, a slap in the face of Okinawans.

Here some more links to polls conducted by Yomiuri news paper and Okinawa Times that can show what I mean by ridiculous:

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/news/20101129-OYT1T00156.htm

http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2010-04-20_5881/

Yomiuri states that 74% and Oki Times states that 89% of polled Okinawans want to have Futenma move out of the prefecture.

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I call your opinion ridiculous because it ignores factual and objective information you have excess to while living in Okinawa/Japan. And it is rude towards Okinawans.

You may not like polls conducted by Okinawan news papers, but to state that they are flawed without even trying to present any evidence is, like many of your statements, a slap in the face of Okinawans.

Please provide factual data that shows you were elected to represent the opinions of all Okinawa residents. And it's interesting that you call me rude and at the same time call my opinions ridiculous. I don't share your views, but I have yet to denigrate, insult or personally attack you.

I have many Okinawa friends who I have known for over 20 years who are embarrassed by these elites who continually say they speak for them. These individuals are rude and arrogant. But what else can you expect from people that put their own self-serving interests before the safety and well being of their fellow local citizens.

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I don't share your views, but I have yet to denigrate, insult or personally attack you.

trying to make people in this thread believe that the majority of Okinawans appreciate moving Futenma to Henoko is trying to spread wrong information and I find that very insulting.

And I don't know who you are referring to with your fuzzy statements about the selfish, rude and arrogant Okinawan 'elites', but I find that personally insulting too as I suppose you are talking about at least some people who I would call my friends.

I have many Okinawa friends who I have known for over 20 years who are embarrassed by these elites who continually say they speak for them.

I don't know your friends, but I know that they apparently think different from the vast majority of Okinawans (including all my Okinawan friends) and this is not my belief, but this is common knowledge in Okinawa that I can corroborate manyfold with information from all kinds of channels.

still, lincolnman, where is your data?

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lincolnman:

I knew you couldn't answer the question I posed. In fact, there's no one anywhere in the world who could answer that question. So instead of answering it, you concocted your own analogy.

But your analogy is utterly wrong in two points. First, Futenma Air Base cannot be liked to a police station. A police station's function is to protect people from various crimes and accidents in the neighborhood -- robberies, arson, homicides, traffic accidents, etc. So it would be better for a police station to be located as close as where city dwellers live or engage in their activities.

That's why Ginowan Police Station is located in one of the busiest sections of the city -- along National Rd. 58 not very far from Futenma Air Base.

Second, Futenma Air Base is the very source of danger all by itself, and so if it were to be analogized to a police station, then the police station would be the source of danger for the neighborhood residents as well.

What a caricuture you are talking about!

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And I don't know who you are referring to with your fuzzy statements about the selfish, rude and arrogant Okinawan 'elites', but I find that personally insulting too as I suppose you are talking about at least some people who I would call my friends.

As I have said in previous posts, the elites on Okinawa are the politicians, the media, and the academics - all who rail against the US military presence but oppose any plan to reduce that presence - because of their own selfish interests. if you are a member of one of these groups, consider yourself insulted.

I knew you couldn't answer the question I posed. In fact, there's no one anywhere in the world who could answer that question.

You are sounding more and more like Don Quixote......

I'm sorry both your closed minds cannot open even slightly to see how your views only result in the US military footprint remaining at its current size. The bottomline is that I advocate a position that would reduce the US military presence by almost one-half. You advocate a position that doesn't. Who has more compassion for the Okinawa people?

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lincolnman:

But the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation plan set forth in the 2006 Roadmap wouldn't "reduce the U.S. military presence by almost one-half" as you hope. It's the exact opposite. Let me present the hard facts again.

The 5 installations that are mentioned in the 2006 Roadmap for total return are: (1) Camp Kuwae (0.7 square km), (2) MC Air Station Futenma (4.8 square km), (3) Makiminato Service Area (2.7 square km), (4) Naha Military Port (0.6 square km) and (5) Army Fuel Storage Facility (1.6 square km). The total area of these 5 installations amount to 10.4 square km.

Since the total area of all U.S. military installations on Okinawa Island is about 218 square km, the 5 installations that the U.S. has promised for total return accounts for 4.7%. However, since they are to be returned only when their replacements are built somewhere else within Okinawa (naturally, north of Kadena Air Base), for example, Futenma's replacement in Henoko, if offset, the percentage will become infinitely close to zero. This is tantamount to no return.

Do you claim these figures are indications for the one-half reduction of the U.S. military footprint in Okinawa?

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Voiceofokinawa

I don't know how many times I can tell you that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the 2006 agreement. With the exception of Futenma and Naha port, none of the facilities to be returned are to be relocated within Okinawa. And the FRF facility at Henoko is much smaller than Futenma (3000 ft runway vs 9000 ft runway).

Futenma is returned, Kinser is returned, Lester is returned, and portions of Foster along Hwy 58 are returned. The equipment and functions at those bases all transfer to Guam along with the 8,000 Marines. None of those facilities are planned to transfer to Kadena (or north of Kadena) - do you actually think that if this was even hinted at, that we wouldn't have heard loud opposition from the Kadena mayor?

Believe me when I say that I am not trying to argue a make a point - this is the truth - this agreement would move all these functions to Guam and they would not be relocated within the prefecture. I know this as I have been involved in the negotiations on the agreement since discussions began in 2003.

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lincolnman:

Let me quote the Roadmap directly. It says:

"Both sides will develop a detailed consolidation plan by March 2007. In this plan, total or partial return of the following six candidate facilities will be examined: ■Camp Kuwae: Total return. ■Camp Zukeran: Partial return and consolidation of remaining facilities and infrastructure to the extent possible. ■MCAS Futenma: Total return (see FRF section above). ■Makiminato Service Area: Total return. ■Naha Port: Total return (relocated to the new facilities, including additional staging area, to be constructed at Urasoe). ■Army POL Depot Kuwae Tank Farm No. 1: Total return.

All functions and capabilities that are resident in facilities designated for return, and that are required by forces remaining in Okinawa, will be relocated within Okinawa. These relocations will occur before the return of designated facilities."

You say the planned FRF facility is "much smaller than Futenma (3000 ft runway vs 9000 ft runway)." If you had been directly involved in actual negotiations on this matter, you should not bloat or shrink the figures arbitrarily.

The FRF will have two 5,.940 ft (1 ,800-meter) V-shaped runways and so their total lengths will be 11,880 ft, not 3,000 ft as you say. Besides, the new site will have a port facility on the Oura Bay side. Together with Northern Training Area and integrated with Camp Hansen and Camp Schwab, the area will surely become a more fortified military complex -- an apparent increase of the U.S. military function and footprint.

It is said that the plan will require 160 hectares of reclaimed land using 21 million cubic meters, thus resulting in an enormous destruction of environment. You know how beautiful and pristine the waters off the Henoko coast is. Can you allow such devastation to occur on U.S. soil for the sake of a foreign military?

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Voiceofokinawa,

This is the part of the agreement that is key to your misunderstanding.

All functions and capabilities that are resident in facilities designated for return, and that are required by forces remaining in Okinawa, will be relocated within Okinawa. These relocations will occur before the return of designated facilities."

Note the phrase "that are required for forces remaining in Okinawa". Kinser, Lester and parts of Foster all house facilities and equipment that are part of the III Marine Expeditionary Force that are moving to Guam. These facilities are not required for the forces remaining in Okinawa. Here is the applicable portion from the agreement:

(b) Force Reductions and Relocation to Guam Approximately 8,000 III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) personnel and their approximately 9,000 dependents will relocate from Okinawa to Guam by 2014, in a manner that maintains unit integrity. Units to relocate will include: III MEF Command Element, 3d Marine Division Headquarters, 3d Marine Logistics Group (formerly known as Force Service Support Group) Headquarters, 1st Marine Air Wing Headquarters, and 12th Marine Regiment Headquarters. The affected units will relocate from such facilities as Camp Courtney, Camp Hansen, MCAS Futenma, Camp Zukeran, and Makiminato Service Area. The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) forces remaining on Okinawa will consist of Marine Air-Ground Task Force elements, such as command, ground, aviation, and combat service support, as well as a base support capability. Of the estimated $10.27 billion cost of the facilities and infrastructure development costs for the III MEF relocation to Guam, Japan will provide $6.09 billion (in U.S. Fiscal Year 2008 dollars), including $2.8 billion in direct cash contributions, to develop facilities and infrastructure on Guam to enable the III MEF relocation, recognizing the strong desire of Okinawa residents that such force relocation be realized rapidly. The United States will fund the remainder of the facilities and infrastructure development costs for the relocation to Guam-estimated in U.S. Fiscal Year 2008 dollars at $3.18 billion in fiscal spending plus approximately $1 billion for a road.

(c) Land Returns and Shared Use of Facilities Following the relocation to the FRF, the return of MCAS Futenma, and the transfer of III MEF personnel to Guam, the remaining facilities and areas on Okinawa will be consolidated, thereby enabling the return of significant land areas south of Kadena Air Base.

If you don't believe me, then I encourage you to consult someone you do trust - I would suggest the Security Treaty or Base Affairs sections of the Okinawa Prefectural Government. Ask them if Kinser, Lester and Foster are to be rebuilt/relcocated somewhere within the prefecture. Please post the answer you receive here.

We'll be waiting..........

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lincolnman:

I'm discussing the matter all by myself, but you are doing so as part of a big machine, probably consulting with your peers and seniors.

The moot question that must be clarified is: If the substantial part of the III MEF is transferred to Guam, why are the Marine facilities to remain almost intact even if the 4 facilities excluding Futenma were to be integrated with the other areas used by the Marines? The total area for exclusive use by the Marines, in my calculation, amounts to 177.8 square km, of which the sites promised for total return account for 4.0 square km, a mere 2.2%.

As is well known, the relocation of 8,000 marines to Guam is carried out as part of the U.S. military's realignment of forces in the face of rising China. In other words, the Guam relocation is your own house cleaning Guam is going to be the U.S. military's hub in the Pacific. If so, why should we, the Japanese taxpayers, must foot $6.09 billion (in U.S. Fiscal Year 2008 dollars), reported to be more than 70% of all the cost for infrastructure development. That's the strangest deal the world has ever seen. No precedent in history, I'm sure.

Now, you haven't answered the second part of my question:

It is said that the plan will require 160 hectares of reclaimed land using 21 million cubic meters, thus resulting in an enormous destruction of environment. You know how beautiful and pristine the waters off the Henoko coast is. Can you allow such devastation to occur on U.S. soil for the sake of a foreign military?

And the more fundamental question I posed earlier:

On what legal and moral basis can the U.S. demand Futenma's replacement, for Futenma was constructed on confiscated land in clear violation of an international law and ethical principles.

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voiceofokinawa

Do I understand from your post above that you do not plan to contact the Okinawa Prefectural authorities to clarify the closure of Kinser, Lester and Foster?

Why? Is your mind so closed that you cannot admit that you could be wrong?

I'm not trying to debate or argue with you - I just want to ensure you have an accurate view of the agreement as a baseline for further discussion. You may have some points that are valid and correct - but the discussion cannot happen when you begin your argument with your basic premise being false.

Please contact the Prefectural authorities - you may be able to do so as simply as going to their website and e-mailing the question.

Once that is done, I will be glad to discuss with you the cost of the move to Guam and how the FRF will be built.

If you don't, I can only conclude that you do not want to know the truth, and will continue to evade it. That would disappoint me, for it means you are not serious in your desire to help your fellow Okinawa citizens and only desire to continue to "tilt at windmills."

Again, we'll be waiting......

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Thank you voiceofokinawa for being so concise about the facts of the roadmap.

Everybody who goes into the details of this deal-making between the US and the central government understands immediately that the whole process is everything BUT open and democratic and that there all kinds of hidden interests, on the side of the US as well as on the side of the central Japanese government. The Okinawan position is the weakest amongst the three players and just to gather the crucial information means a big effort for the Okinawan side.

And to get heard outside of Okinawa is a big struggle for Okinawans as well. This is one of the reasons that I'm following threads on this topic at Japan Today and feel the necessity to clarify things in an english speaking context.

So for example to find out that there was a plan from the US military for Henoko/Oura bay from 1966 that was almost exactly the same scheme like the one that is to be realized now was a lucky incident. It is like the US military was planning and waiting for 50 years to have their neatly arranged military airport with adjacent deep sea port in Oura bay. Looks like Oura bay provides an ideal ground for what ever kind of US military interests.

It is revealing for people who don't know much about the US base issue in Okinawa to read articles on the topic at japan focus, a great resource for unbiased information on the topic.

For example:

http://japanfocus.org/-Ryukyu_Asahi_Broadcasting-/3381

http://japanfocus.org/-C__Douglas-Lummis/3369

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lincolnman, Okinawans have been treated by the US military (and later also by the central japanese government) in way that it is perfectly understandable why they distrust every piece of information from the US side.

As voiceofokinawa and other pointed out, the way several of the US bases were established in Okinawa was against the Hague convention and against a number of internationally accepted human rights codes of democratic nations.

The US military cheated on Okinawans, held back crucial information, took their land away without consent and even created a 'double standard' legislation system in which Okinawans and US military personal were not treated equal.

Of course, there were geopolitical and security concerns at hand, but those could never justify the way Okinawans were treated by an occupying military force.

The link I had posted above gives a very clear account of this post war history and everybody interested in the topic should start from there:

http://japanfocus.org/-C__Douglas-Lummis/3369

lincolnman, have you read the article? do you know these accounts? Or do you shrug this stuff off by saying it is all made up by shameless Okinawan elites?

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To bam_boo:

Many thanks for your post. As you say, Japan Focus is a most reliable source to obtain correct information about Japan (and Okinawa in particular).

Now, to lincolnman:

My data are based on the "United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation May 1, 2006" posted at the Japanese Ministry of foreign Affairs web site as well as "Kichi no Gaiyo" (English title: "Summary of Bases") published by the Okinawa Prefecture Military Base Affairs Division.

Do I have to call on Okinawa Prefectural Government for further correct information? Do they have verbal promises made by the U.S. side not specified in these two documents?

The only mistake I found I had made in the above post was about the Army POL Depot Kuwae Tank Farm No. 1 (the area is unknown as far as I'm concerned). I mixed up about it with the Army Fuel Storage Facility (1.6 square km).

Even if I called on Prefectural Government and clarified the points you were suggesting to clarify, the moot question still remains. While the substantial part of III MEF relocates to Guam, why will 98% of the Marine facilities remain intact in Okinawa?

Besides, you haven't answered my two other questions as yet. I repeat:

It is said that the plan will require 160 hectares of reclaimed land using 21 million cubic meters, thus resulting in an enormous destruction of the environment. You know how beautiful and pristine the waters off the Henoko coast is. Can you allow such devastation to occur on U.S. soil for the sake of a foreign military?

And the more fundamental question I posed earlier:

On what legal and moral basis can the U.S. demand Futenma's replacement, for Futenma was constructed on confiscated land in clear violation of an international law and ethical principles?

Is it because, to borrow your words, "your mind is so closed that you cannot admit that you could be wrong" (Don't throw such parting shots at others, I mind you)?

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voiceofokinawa

As I mentioned above, I would be more than happy to discuss with you the method for constructing the FRF and the legal and moral basis for its move - after you have checked with either the prefectural or national government to verify that Kinser, Lester and parts of Foster are not going to be relocated within the prefecture. I believe you could even check with the Kadena town office as I'm sure they would be aware of any proposed increase in US facilities in their area.

Please check with them and verify this issue and post the reply here. As I note that you seem to enjoy pointing out my errors, this gives you the opportunity to legitimately say I was wrong. If these authorities confirm your view, I will offer a sincere apology for my incorrect interpretation of the agreement. By the way, what will you do if the authorities confirm my view?

Again, we'll be waiting........

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To lincolnman:

Whether Camp Kuwae (= Camp Lester) and Makiminato Service Area (= Camp Kinser) are to be relocated outside Okinawa or not is irrelevant to the question I posed above.

You urge me time and again to confirm the fact with the Okinawa Prefectural Government and even the central government that revisions have been made on the 2006 Roadmap. OK. But even if I called on them and clarified the points you were suggesting to clarify, I repeat, the moot question still remains. Even though the substantial part of III MEF relocates to Guam, why will 98% of the Marine facilities remain intact in Okinawa?

There's an interesting factor in what you say. That is, you are implying that the "United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation May 1, 2006" is not a final but a kind of interim accord subject to revisions anytime. Okinawa has been calling for an across-the-board repeal of the agreement. Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine won his office on this platform. So we will make every effort until that accord is repealed.

Now, there is no dispute that Futenma was constructed on illegally confiscated land while area residents were herded into concentration camps, in clear violation of an international law and ethical principles. Can you deny that?

You may counter that Futenma will be moved from crowded Ginowan City to thinly populated Henoko, Nago City, whereby the relocation is humanitarian and in accord with ethical principles because it will eliminate dangers arising from the base. You may also say that the relocation will be carried out in accordance with the bilateral agreement, the 2006 Roadmap, and therefor it's legally done.

If you say the U.S. Marines always give priority to Ginowan citizens' safety and quiet life environment above anything else, why then don't you suggest to close down the base now and forever?

As regards the legality of the base transfer, what one must never forget is that Futenma Air Base was constructed on forcefully confiscated land. Thus, the U.S.'s taken-for-granted rights to it is exactly like a fence's putative rights to stolen goods. Certainly, the U.S. can't demand Futenma's replacement in exchange for the stolen goods. Dealing stolen goods is severely punished by law in any country, Japan or the U.S.. The bilateral agreement is thus completely void in this sense.

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voiceofokinawa

You have alleged in this thread, and many others that according to the 2006 ATARA agreement, the facilities to be closed south of Kadena are to be relocated within the prefecture. I have told you time after time that this view is incorrect - it is a fundamental misunderstanding of the agreement.

I have offered you rationale and when you say I cannot be believed, I implored you to confirm the facts with your own government. It is an easy process - you can call or e-mail your question. I am quite confident the will tell you that the Makiminato Service Area, Lester and parts of Foster will be returned with no facilities constructed on Okinawa to replace them. They will also tell you that 98% of US military property will not be retained after the moves are made. You obviously don't believe me when I tell you this, so go to the experts in your own government. Place the answer here so this issue can be resolved and we can move forward.

Please don't continue to evade and ignore this issue.

Again, we are waiting........

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lincolnman:

According to the 2006 Roadmap (how many times do I have to repeat?), the 5 installations that are subject to total or return are: Camp Kuwae: Total return. ■Camp Zukeran: Partial return and consolidation of remaining facilities and infrastructure to the extent possible. ■MCAS Futenma: Total return. ■Makiminato Service Area: Total return. ■Naha Port: Total return (relocated to the new facilities, including additional staging area, to be constructed at Urasoe). ■Army POL Depot Kuwae Tank Farm No. 1: Total return.

The 2006 Roadmap then states: "All functions and capabilities that are resident in facilities designated for return, and that are required by forces remaining in Okinawa, will be relocated within Okinawa. These relocations will occur before the return of designated facilities." Literally interpreted, their replacements with due functions must be built WITHIN Okinawa. That's why Futenma must be relocated to Henoko with its function and capability almost intact (in my view with more increased function).

You tell me that "this view is incorrect - it is a fundamental misunderstanding of the agreement," adding (in your previous post) that Camp Kuwae (= Camp Lester) and Makiminato Service Area (= Camp Kinser) are to be relocated outside Okinawa. But nowhere can I find any hint of what you instruct me however hard I try to read it between the lines of sentences in the Roadmap. So revisions must have been made afterwards, which you urge me to confirm with the Okinawa Prefectural Government as well as the central government.

However, these are technical problems one may correctly interpret or misinterpret. If he misinterprets, all you have to do is just point it out. And that's what you are doing.

You haven't answered the more important and most fundamental questions I posed as yet.

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However, these are merely technical problems as to whether one does correctly interpret or misinterpret a clause. If you think the other party misinterprets, all you have to do is just point it out to him. And that's what you are doing.

Even though the substantial part of III MEF relocates to Guam, why will 97% of the Marine facilities (Estimated return areas: 5.94 square km ÷All Marine installations: 218 square km) remain intact in Okinawa?

You haven't answered the more important and most fundamental questions I posed as yet.

On what legal and moral basis can the U.S. demand Futenma's replacement, for Futenma was constructed on confiscated land in clear violation of an international law and ethical principles?

As regards the legality of the base transfer, what one must never forget is that Futenma Air Base was constructed on forcefully confiscated land. Thus, the U.S.'s taken-for-granted rights to it is exactly like a fence's putative rights to stolen goods. Certainly, the U.S. can't demand Futenma's replacement in exchange for the stolen goods. Dealing stolen goods is severely punished by law in any country, Japan or the U.S.. The bilateral agreement is thus completely void in this sense.

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Voiceofokinawa

The 2006 Roadmap then states: "All functions and capabilities that are resident in facilities designated for return, and that are required by forces remaining in Okinawa, will be relocated within Okinawa. These relocations will occur before the return of designated facilities." Literally interpreted, their replacements with due functions must be built WITHIN Okinawa. That's why Futenma must be relocated to Henoko with its function and capability almost intact (in my view with more increased function).

And how many times do I have to tell you that the phrase "required by forces remaining in Okinawa" means only those that are not going to Guam. It does not mean all those that are scheduled to move. I have answered this question time and time again, yet each time you deny my veracity, it's become merely a circular argument. You obviously don't believe me so the only way to resolve this issue is to consult a governmental authority as I have implored you to do.

Why do you continue to refuse to confirm your interpretation of the 2006 Roadmap Agreement with your governmental experts? It would take no more than 5 minutes to call them - less if you do so by e-mail. It would take you less time that it took to type your post above.

I will make it easy for you. Just cut and paste the following two questions and e-mail to the OPP Military Base Affairs Office. Their e-mail address is okinawa@pref.okinawa.lg.jp

1) Other than Futenma and Naha Port, are any other US facilities going to be relocated within the prefecture?

2) When the agreement is complete, what is the size of the total US land area to be returned to local government control?

Stop stalling and evading this issue. Send these questions to your experts, get the real truth on what the agreement says and post the answer here so we can all see.

WE ARE WAITING.........

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lincolnman, keep waiting the Governor is NOT going to sign the permits. If he signs them he might as well move to Hawaii. His political career will be over then the "fun" will really start. Perhaps he will be removed from office, perhaps even jailed from the crimes his has committed are "discovered". He is smarter than that, he will not sign the permits. Dude freedom means the right to make our own decisions. Am not sure what is the right thing to do but the people of Okinawa are against the move. Wake up and smell the coffee.

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lincolnman, the people of Okinawa did not sign the agreement. It was signed against our will by the central government in Tokyo. The Americans are suppose to protect the Okinawa peoples "freedom", yet by "protecting" them their freedom is taken away. Dude that is Orwellian doublespeak in its finest. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. All three conditions have been meet and Okinawa is just a prize of whoever controls it.

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lincolnman:

You insist my interpretation of the phrase "All functions and capabilities that are resident in facilities designated for return, and that are required by forces remaining in Okinawa, will be relocated within Okinawa. These relocations will occur before the return of designated facilities." I said in my post (Oct. 31, 2011 - 05:57PM JST) I interpret it to mean "their replacements with due functions must be built within Okinawa."

The replacements for the 5 installations to be returned may be smaller in size DUE TO the remaining marines that require them. Even so, their returns are conditional; that is, they must be built WITHIN Okinawa. But you say I'm wrong because Makiminato Service Area (a.k.a. Camp Kinser) and Camp Kuwae (a.k.a. Camp Lester) will move outside Okinawa (to Guam, no doubt). How could anyone know about that fact simply by reading the 2006 Roadmap? As a person you say directly involved with the negotiations, you may be right. No one can deny that. (Of course, I will check these matters with Okinawa Prefectural Government.)

However, those are technical problems like splitting hair. The most fundamental question is: On what legal and moral basis can the U.S. demand Futenma's function be moved to Henoko with the increased function and capability the Marines have entertained to realize SINCE the 1960's?

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lincolnman:

You insist I am misinterpreting the phrase "All functions and capabilities that are resident in facilities designated for return, and that are required by forces remaining in Okinawa, will be relocated within Okinawa. These relocations will occur before the return of designated facilities." I said in my post (Oct. 31, 2011 - 05:57PM JST) I interpret it to mean "their replacements with due functions must be built within Okinawa."

The replacements for the 5 installations to be returned may be smaller in size DUE TO the remaining marines that require them. Even so, their returns are conditional; that is, they must be built WITHIN Okinawa. But you say I'm wrong because Makiminato Service Area (a.k.a. Camp Kinser) and Camp Kuwae (a.k.a. Camp Lester) will move outside Okinawa (to Guam, no doubt). How could anyone know about that fact simply by reading the 2006 Roadmap? As a person you say directly involved with the negotiations, you may be right. No one can deny that. (Of course, I will check these matters with Okinawa Prefectural Government.)

However, those are technical problems like splitting hair. The most fundamental question is: On what legal and moral basis can the U.S. demand Futenma's function be moved to Henoko with the increased function and capability the Marines have entertained to realize SINCE the 1960's?

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Hello Yuri-san,

Thank you for your post. Regarding Govenor Nakaima and the land permit, yes , you may be correct - he may refuse to sign them. On the other hand, I think there is also a view that the central government will continue to increase the economic incentives to the point where there may be enough for him to say, this is "too good a deal to refuse", accept the agreement, then announce he will not run for another term. It will be interesting to see which way this unfolds.

Voiceeofokinawa

However, those are technical problems like splitting hair.

I disagree, I think it it a major issue - on one hand, you say that all of the facilities identified for closure will be relocated within the prefecture, and as a result, only 2% of current land will be returned. I believe that all the facilities with the exception of Futenma and Naha Port will be closed and that land returned to the local government, with no replacements built, and as a result, the US military footprint will be reduced significantly.

However, thank you for agreeing to check with the OPP on the correct interpretation of the Road Map agreement - we'll be waiting to see your reply. Once received, I look forward to answering your question on the legal and moral basis of moving Futenma.

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lincolnman:

I must admit that I made a mistake when I wrote in this thread that 98% of the land used by the Marines will remain intact. I was oblivious of the fact that, besides the Roadmap, the two governments agreed that the area amounting to 39.87 square km in the Northern Training Area would be returned (October 10, 2006 Ryukyu Shimpo).

However, there is a catch in this partial return of the NTA, as usual. In exchange for the return, Tokyo must construct six helipads (75 meters each in diameter) apparently for the MC V-22 Ospreys in the remaining area with lush forests surrounding the tranquil Takae village.

The return is thus offset by unavoidable environmental destruction and noise pollution. Again it's not "return" in the true sense of the word and therefor one can definitely say there will be no reduction of Okinawa's burdens from this partial return of the Northern Training Area at all.

Certainly, this is another major issue that is subject to serious discussion.

Imagine how horrible the lush, pristine nature would become if the construction actually started. The flight training and the resultant noise of the Ospreys would certainly destroy the peaceful life of not only the Takae villagers but also of those precious biological species indigenous to Yanbaru (Northern Okinawa Highland).

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lincolnman, I do not see him signing the construction permits. It would be the end of him in politics. As for a deal being "too good", I see the central government using the stick instead of the carrot. About the "legality" of the bases. The Americans came with their guns and herded the people into concentration camps. Wonders how many died or were killed during this process. Then the Americans took the land without compensation. The Americans never paid any compensation to the Okinawan people. They expanded their bases the same way at the point of a gun. The people became homeless from these actions. Having lost everything from the Americans they did the best possible. Some having to build close to the runways because there was no land available. It is true the Japanese government paid rent but from 1972 forward. The Americans enjoyed 27 years of rent free land. Now the legal owners of the land want it back. They do not care about Marine training or even how the bases make Okinawa "free". The word free is misleading since so many decisions have been taken away from them by Tokyo and Washington. The Americans demand a trade for something they stole by force. Tokyo is happy it is in Okinawa and not the "home" islands. To sum it up the people of Okinawa want their land back from American Occupation. They think they could do better without the Americans and bribes from Tokyo. it is self determination and this has been confirmed through the democratic process. All Tokyo and Washington have are excuses for their wrong doing. This in my humble view is the true position of the vast majority of Okinawa people.

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Voiceofokinawa, Yuri-san;

Thank you for your thoughtful posts. I also assume that English is a second language for both of you - your English skills and ability to express yourself in a non-native language are very impressive. And voice, let me commend you for admitting you made an error, I've noticed few people in this forum have the sincerity and courage to do so.

I think both your posts have merit. Let me reply to your posts and to voice's question regarding the legal and moral basis for the FRF move below. I apologize for its length.

Legal basis. This issue, is I’m afraid, somewhat simple. The US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Security and Cooperation forms the legal basis for this request. I know in your view this treaty is unlawful, given Okinawa’s history. But in terms of international law, and the governance of relations between sovereign states, the treaty is valid as it was ratified by both governments. And as the 2006 ATARA agreement was a supplement to the basic treaty, the conditions outlined in it are legally binding.

Moral basis. The moral basis of the request is much more complex. Let me begin by saying that my view is that the US acted shamefully during its administration of Okinawa from 1945 until 1972. It discriminated against the local populace and acted in a high-handed manner. Since 1972, the GOJ has acted hardly better, treating the prefecture as an after-thought and its residents as second class citizens. As such, I think there is an argument that can be made that the request to relocate Futenma within the prefecture lacks moral authority.

Unfortunately, as we know from the long history of foreign policy and international relations, nations conduct their affairs primarily on a legal basis. It may not be morally correct or right, but it is reality.

Let me add one other item. It may surprise you, but if I were “king for a day” or was in a position to influence the 2006 ATARA agreement, I would have advocated relocating Futenma, but closing and moving all other US facilities on Okinawa, with the exception of Kadena. The only facility to be re-built within the prefecture would be Futenma – everything else would move to Guam. As a result, there would be only two US facilities remaining in Okinawa – Kadena and the FRF. I would support the current plan to build the FRF off Henoko. But if local opposition was still too strong, then I would advocate building an island structure much like the Kansai International Airport, perhaps off White Beach.

You may ask why keep Kadena and the FRF. Kadena, as I’m sure you know, is irreplaceable. The US-Japan Security Treaty would not be credible if Kadena was closed. In addition, Kadena is key to the US fulfilling its security commitments to a range of other Pacific nations; SKorea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

Your next question is I’m sure why the FRF. It’s primarily a flight safety issue. As you know, Kadena has two runways but they are quite close together – it is possible for both to be inoperable. Naha is controlled by the GOJ and is also quite busy with civilian traffic. When a pilot lifts off the runway, especially if the location is an island, one of his/her first thoughts is where is my divert airport if I have a problem. Currently, pilots flying from Kadena or Futenma use the other location as a divert runway. Naha is a tertiary one. With no FRF, aircraft landing and departing Kadena would have only Naha as a divert. I can tell you that this is a significant concern and safety issue. And not only for military aircraft. As I’m sure you know, anytime there is a problem at Naha; weather, earthquake, etc., inbound civilian aircraft are diverted to Kadena and Futenma. I once remember seeing 18 civilian aircraft parked at Kadena and 8 at Futenma when there was a power outage at Naha. There are other reasons for the FRF but this flight safety issue is one of the primary ones.

With just Kadena and the FRF, the US military footprint on Okinawa would be reduced by approximately 80%. This would come at some risk, as I believe China would view the pullback of such a large portion of the US military force structure in Japan as a signal of a weakened US-Japan Security Alliance, and would become more aggressive and increase its provocations in the Senkakus and South China Sea, but I think the US and GOJ should assume this risk, if it is truly what the Okinawa people desire.

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lincolnman:

Thanks for your response.

You say the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is "valid because it was ratified by both governments." It's an international agreement and, no doubt, it is valid to that extent. But it cannot transcend a more universal international law as well as man's basic ethical principles. In other words, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty cannot validate the bilateral agreement on Futenma because the illegal and immoral nature of its construction still remains.

As I said in the above post, what one should never forget is that Futenma Air Base was constructed on illegally confiscated land during the Battle of Okinawa and afterwards. Private lands were encroached upon with impunity while area residents were herded into concentration camps. The encroachment of the land and the construction of the base were carried out in clear violation of an international law (Article 46 of the Hague Convention) and, above all, universal moral principles.

The U.S.'s "taken-for-granted" rights to the land where Futenma Air Base sits is thus like a fence's putative rights to stolen goods. Certainly, the U.S. cannot demand Futenma's replacement in exchange for such stolen goods. Dealing stolen goods is severely punished by law in any country, Japan or the U.S. The bilateral agreement is thus completely void in this sense.

Your argument doesn't refute my claim at all.

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lincolnman:

Thanks for your response, the very nature of the American bases themselves is a violation of the Hague agreement. If they just took the Japanese bases it would of been different. The Americans destroyed so much of Okinawa, like our railroad system. Then the thought of my ancestors suffering in pain and humiliation in the American gulags. Remember the land was taken long before any agreements and these agreements were made at the point of a gun. When Okinawa was signed away the acting PM had a gun to his head, sign it or go to prison or be hung. A forced agreement is not binding in International law. Therefore your "legal" agreement is not legal.

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Your argument doesn't refute my claim at all.

You misunderstood my post, I wasn't trying to refute your claim, but was sharing an opinion with regards to the question you asked.

You say the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is "valid because it was ratified by both governments." It's an international agreement and, no doubt, it is valid to that extent. But it cannot transcend a more universal international law as well as man's basic ethical principles. In other words, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty cannot validate the bilateral agreement on Futenma because the illegal and immoral nature of its construction still remains.

the very nature of the American bases themselves is a violation of the Hague agreement. If they just took the Japanese bases it would of been different. The Americans destroyed so much of Okinawa, like our railroad system. Then the thought of my ancestors suffering in pain and humiliation in the American gulags. Remember the land was taken long before any agreements and these agreements were made at the point of a gun. When Okinawa was signed away the acting PM had a gun to his head, sign it or go to prison or be hung. A forced agreement is not binding in International law. Therefore your "legal" agreement is not legal.

You both may be right. But here's the problem with a strategy that argues that the security treaty is not "legally valid" - what do you do after that? What action do you take? The only course of action I know of is to proceed to the specified forum used to adjudicate whether something is legal or not - a court. If you think that the Security Treaty is illegal, and I'm not saying that view is correct or incorrect, you then have an obligation to do something about it. You should then take that position to an appropriate legal forum to have it adjudicated. In this instance, you must file suit at the national level in Tokyo and/or at the federal level in the US and have this issue vetted. If you fail to win your case in those forums, you could take it then to the World Court at the Hague and specially request a ruling that the bases are in violation of the Hague agreement. If you did that, then there would be real change.

But if you merely argue that the security treaty is invalid, but do nothing other than that, what changes? Is any land returned? Is the US military burden reduced? Words without action change nothing. If the objective is to reduce the US military presence, we have to do something that realistically (not ideally) causes that action to take place.

I happen to think the 2006 Agreement does that - it reduces the military presence. Not to the extent that I, you, or others would hope for, but the presence is reduced. And it's also a start - I think once the agreement is done, it sets the precedent for further reductions.

But again, that is my view and you are free to disagree with it - and I'm not trying to change your view or advocate you see it my way, merely sharing my opinion. You both seem to think that I am somehow arguing or debating with you - trying to change your view or score some point. I'm not.

If your goal is to convince other readers of these forums of the illegality of the Security Treaty and FRF, then I think your strategy is a good one. But if your goal is to convince readers of the illegality of the Security Treaty and FRF, AND reduce the US military burden, then I fail to see your strategy to accomplish that.

Talking about the illegality of the Security Treaty and FRF is one thing, taking action towards reducing the US military burden is another - what is your action strategy to accomplish the latter?

By the way, I'd be interested in your views and opinions on the other portions of my previous post.

Thank you.

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lincolnman:

If you think that the Security Treaty is illegal, and I'm not saying that view is correct or incorrect, you then have an obligation to do something about it. You should then take that position to an appropriate legal forum to have it adjudicated.

I didn't say the Security Treaty was illegal. In fact, I said: "It's an international agreement and, no doubt, it is valid to that extent."

Of course, I think there is no dispute that the land Futenma sits was illegally confiscated in violation of an international law and universal human ethics. Apparently, you seem to believe otherwise because you suggest to take the case to court, either domestic or international, if I think I am correct. I will take that into consideration.

But for now all I want to do is to let the world know about the true picture of Futenma and the criminality inherent in it. You do play your part in the capacity of an adjutant of the public relations desk with the Marine Corps. Then, the readers of this thread will judge who is telling the truth.

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lincolnman:

You write: "If you think that the Security Treaty is illegal, and I'm not saying that view is correct or incorrect, you then have an obligation to do something about it. You should then take that position to an appropriate legal forum to have it adjudicated."

I didn't say the Security Treaty was illegal. In fact, I said: "It's an international agreement and, no doubt, it is valid to that extent."

Of course, I think there is no dispute that the land Futenma sits was illegally confiscated in violation of an international law and universal human ethics. Apparently, you seem to believe otherwise because you suggest to take the case to court, either domestic or international, if I think I am correct. I will take that into consideration.

But for now all I want to do is to let the world know about the true picture of Futenma and the criminality inherent in it. You do play your part in the capacity of an adjutant of the public relations desk with the Marine Corps. Then, the readers of this thread will judge who is telling the truth.

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Of course, I think there is no dispute that the land Futenma sits was illegally confiscated in violation of an international law and universal human ethics. Apparently, you seem to believe otherwise because you suggest to take the case to court, either domestic or international, if I think I am correct. I will take that into consideration.

No, I only suggested that if you believe that Futenma was illegally confiscated, then you should act upon that belief, not just talk about it, and the appropriate way to do that would be to pursue a legal remedy through the courts.

But for now all I want to do is to let the world know about the true picture of Futenma and the criminality inherent in it.

That's all you want to do - you do not want to reduce the US military presence and burden on Okinawa?

You do play your part in the capacity of an adjutant of the public relations desk with the Marine Corps. Then, the readers of this thread will judge who is telling the truth.

I don't understand this statement.

Again, I'd be interested in your view of the other portions of my previous post.

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lincolnman:

You know my basic position concerning the U.S. military presence in Japan (Okinawa). The USFJ is the direct descendants of the former occupation forces. So by nature they have a lot of characteristics the former occupation forces had even though their presence is guaranteed by a mutual agreement called Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Under this treaty they are stationed in Japan (Okinawa) not as occupation forces but as defenders of Japan. Tokyo accepts this reasoning and therefor provides the U.S. with exorbitant amount of money (sympathy budget) and excessive number of bases for free use.

I see this is an abnormal situation that must be corrected. This overly excessive U.S. military presence must be eliminated someday if not tomorrow.

I assume that you share with me the view that the U.S. military presence is excessive whereby it must be reduced somehow. That's the reason why you proposed your personal base reduction plan in your previous post. OK.

But there are a lot of problems with your proposal also. Naturally, there will be an enormous amount of environmental destruction if the extensive sea area is to be reclaimed to house many of the existing bases and installations. Who's going to foot the bill for its construction and who's going to suffer from the resultant environmental destruction?

Second, such plan runs counter to our hope that the U.S. military presence must come to an end someday if not tomorrow. In other words, building a new base for the U.S. military is like our sanctioning their permanent presence in Okinawa. This must be prevented by all means.

And this is the very reason why we are opposed to the construction of a new base in Henoko, Nago City.

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Hong Kong was returned to China on July 1, 1997 after 99 years of occupation by the U.K. Okinawa has already been under real and virtual occupation by the U.S. Forces for well over 66 years -- 33 years short to 99 years. When do you think the U.S. will return Okinawa, in name and reality, to Okinawans -- the original and legitimate proprietors of the military land?

Do you think the U.S. can promise either specific or approximate date of its return?

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Very different situation.

England bought a 99yrs lease of the Hong-Kong territories, there was no occupation and the area was returned when the lease expired. History-Books to help for not confusing things. ;)

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To it"S ME:

Thanks for the correction. But how much did England pay for it? None, I suppose. Besides, the section leased to England was only part of Hong Kong Territory. Most of it was war spoils England won by the Opium Wars. Please correct if I am mistaken.

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Do the research yourself, ALL the info is available online. Hint: the territories were acquired by 3(THREE) treaties.

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To It"ME:

Whatever, England returned Hong Kong Teritory in 99 years, thus shedding itself of the cocoon of old-day colonialism. The U.K. commands my respect for that.

When British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to Okinawa for a G8 summit in 2000, he apparently took notice of the abnormality of this excessive U.S. military presence on the island, and so asked U.S. President Bill Clinton why the U.S. wouldn't return the bases just as Britain did about Hong Kong. Clinton didn't answer a word.

Did he want the U.S. to remain an only superpower forever that won and survived successive colonial wars?

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voiceofokinawa

When British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to Okinawa for a G8 summit in 2000, he apparently took notice of the abnormality of this excessive U.S. military presence on the island, and so asked U.S. President Bill Clinton why the U.S. wouldn't return the bases just as Britain did about Hong Kong. Clinton didn't answer a word.

Somehow l find this story incredibly hard to believe. As if the head of the UK would be surprised at the level of troops on Okinawa!

Did he want the U.S. to remain an only superpower forever that won and survived successive colonial wars

What colonial wars are you refering to, are you refering to WW2 hardly a colonial war now is it? Its not like the US went to war with Japan with ambitions of occupying Japan. Sorry but these statements are ludicrous.

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voiceofokinawa

You know my basic position concerning the U.S. military presence in Japan (Okinawa). The USFJ is the direct descendants of the former occupation forces. So by nature they have a lot of characteristics the former occupation forces had even though their presence is guaranteed by a mutual agreement called Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Under this treaty they are stationed in Japan (Okinawa) not as occupation forces but as defenders of Japan. Tokyo accepts this reasoning and therefor provides the U.S. with exorbitant amount of money (sympathy budget) and excessive number of bases for free use. I see this is an abnormal situation that must be corrected. This overly excessive U.S. military presence must be eliminated someday if not tomorrow.

And what is your action strategy to correct this abnormal situation and eliminate the US military presence?

I assume that you share with me the view that the U.S. military presence is excessive whereby it must be reduced somehow. That's the reason why you proposed your personal base reduction plan in your previous post. OK. But there are a lot of problems with your proposal also. Naturally, there will be an enormous amount of environmental destruction if the extensive sea area is to be reclaimed to house many of the existing bases and installations. Who's going to foot the bill for its construction and who's going to suffer from the resultant environmental destruction? Second, such plan runs counter to our hope that the U.S. military presence must come to an end someday if not tomorrow. In other words, building a new base for the U.S. military is like our sanctioning their permanent presence in Okinawa. This must be prevented by all means. And this is the very reason why we are opposed to the construction of a new base in Henoko, Nago City.

I can understand that. However, we have a saying in English – “all or nothing” – is your view that ALL US military facilities and personnel must leave Okinawa? Any reduction other than complete withdrawl is unacceptable and must be opposed? If so, what is your action strategy to accomplish that and how realistic is it?

Hong Kong was returned to China on July 1, 1997 after 99 years of occupation by the U.K. Okinawa has already been under real and virtual occupation by the U.S. Forces for well over 66 years -- 33 years short to 99 years. When do you think the U.S. will return Okinawa, in name and reality, to Okinawans -- the original and legitimate proprietors of the military land? Do you think the U.S. can promise either specific or approximate date of its return?

I really can’t reply to that since I don’t believe that the US “occupies” Okinawa (in reality or virtually), but if you are asking when the US military might completely leave Okinawa, I think the answer to that question resides not in Washington or Tokyo, but in Beijing and Pyongyang.

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To Spidapig24:

You say, "Somehow l find this story incredibly hard to believe. As if the head of the UK would be surprised at the level of troops on Okinawa!"

I wrote this line based on a newspaer article kept in my memory. I searched for the article in my stockpile of newspaper clips to substantiate it but couldn't find the article. That's all I can say about it for now.

I think the two world wars were basically wars fought between two antagonistic blocks of colonial powers. You say the U.S. didn't go to "war with Japan with ambitions of occupying Japan." You may further say Japan started the war by launchng a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. That's very true.

But do you remember how the other U.S. allies acted after the war? First, they all disposed of their former colonies one by one after the war. Second, they withdrew their troops from occupied Japan when it regained independence in 1951.

But the U.S. was different. In exchange for independence, the U.S. had Japan be obliged to sign a security treaty to perpetuate its military presence. And in exchange for Japan's independence, Okinawa was kept under direct U.S. administration like its military colony until 1972, an aborminable situation still evident even today.

In 1853, Commodore Mathew C. Perry came to the then Ryukyu Kingdom before he went to Japan to pry open the country's doors to the outside world. About the same time he recommended to then U.S. President Millard Fillmore that Okinawa be occupied and made a beachhead for U.S. advance to Asia.

So the occuping of Okinawa and making it a U.S. colony was a long-cherished dream of the U.S. since Perry's days. World War II gave the U.S. a golden opportunity to make that scheme come true.

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To lincolnman:

Most Americans don't know anything about Okinawa, particularly its problems vis-a-vis the U.S. military presence. My "action strategy" is, then, first to let them know about the burdens that Okinawa is forced to shoulder and secondly to appeal to the world about injustice and illegality inherent in Futenma Air Base.

You may suggest I take immediate action for litigation but the first thing I must do is to call people's attention to this forgotten aspect of the problem. As far as I know, I am the first and only person who paid particular attention to illegality inherent in Futenma. This would not be a personal lawsuit like libel litigation but social litigation by one people against a foreign country. So it's not an easy task as you suggest. I just want to be a catalyst for that social movement.

Futenma is not an "all or nothing" issue, as you suggest -- not so as far as Okinawa is concerned. We are not calling for eliminating all bases immediately, although someday they must go also because that is the "law of nature." You cannot keep your military on foreign soil forever.

Whether or not China is a real threat is a moot question that must be clarified. There may be skirmishes between Japan and China over remote islands from time to time. But the two countries are interdependent economically to co-prosper. The same thing can be said about the U.S.-China economic relationship. All nations are mutually and intimately interdependent in today's world.

My belief, therefor, is that there will be no flare-ups or full-fledged war born from such small skirmishes. If you say territorial matters are the reason why the U.S. must keep its military presence in Japan (Okinawa), then the U.S. must be deeply involved with territorial rows Japan already has with South Korea and Russia.

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voiceofokinawa

Most Americans don't know anything about Okinawa, particularly its problems vis-a-vis the U.S. military presence. My "action strategy" is, then, first to let them know about the burdens that Okinawa is forced to shoulder and secondly to appeal to the world about injustice and illegality inherent in Futenma Air Base.

That's not an "action" strategy, it's an "advocacy" strategy - it may change people's minds, but it doesn't result in any real, immediate improvement in solving the problem.

You may suggest I take immediate action for litigation but the first thing I must do is to call people's attention to this forgotten aspect of the problem. As far as I know, I am the first and only person who paid particular attention to illegality inherent in Futenma. This would not be a personal lawsuit like libel litigation but social litigation by one people against a foreign country. So it's not an easy task as you suggest. I just want to be a catalyst for that social movement.

Understand, as long as you recognize that this will not result in any immediate change, and that there are options currently available that do.

Futenma is not an "all or nothing" issue, as you suggest -- not so as far as Okinawa is concerned. We are not calling for eliminating all bases immediately, although someday they must go also because that is the "law of nature." You cannot keep your military on foreign soil forever.

I am glad to hear that - that means your mind is open to a negotiated solution to this problem.

Whether or not China is a real threat is a moot question that must be clarified. There may be skirmishes between Japan and China over remote islands from time to time. But the two countries are interdependent economically to co-prosper. The same thing can be said about the U.S.-China economic relationship. All nations are mutually and intimately interdependent in today's world. My belief, therefor, is that there will be no flare-ups or full-fledged war born from such small skirmishes. If you say territorial matters are the reason why the U.S. must keep its military presence in Japan (Okinawa), then the U.S. must be deeply involved with territorial rows Japan already has with South Korea and Russia.

Your assessment of the threat from China and the effect of the global economy to hold tensions in check may be accurate, but what if it is not? What if China sailed into the Senkakus with force and took over the islands, and essentially challenged the GOJ to do something about it - what would you suggest your government do?

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lincolnman:

You are not responding to my basic thesis that Futenma was usurped from the Ginowan villagers in violation of an international law and universal human ethics. This fact is undeniable to anyone. Or do you think your discussion in this thread can deny that hard fact easily?

The U.S. cannot demand Futenma's replacement as if they had inherent right to it. Futenma is stolen goods by nature. So, the U.S.'s "taken-for-granted" right to Futenma is like a fence's putative right to stolen goods. Apparently you don't think so because you are suggesting to take the case to court if I think I am right.

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voiceofokinawa

You are not responding to my basic thesis that Futenma was usurped from the Ginowan villagers in violation of an international law and universal human ethics. This fact is undeniable to anyone. Or do you think your discussion in this thread can deny that hard fact easily?

What I think is irrelevant, I have no authority to influence the situation. if you think that Futenma was usurped in violation of international law, then do something about it - prove it, in an appropriate judicial forum. Again, you are all talk, no action.

The U.S. cannot demand Futenma's replacement as if they had inherent right to it. Futenma is stolen goods by nature. So, the U.S.'s "taken-for-granted" right to Futenma is like a fence's putative right to stolen goods. Apparently you don't think so because you are suggesting to take the case to court if I think I am right.

See above.

By the way, What if China sailed into the Senkakus with force and took over the islands, and essentially challenged the GOJ to do something about it - what would you suggest your government do?

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lincolnman:

Is that your response? Suppose your son, a well-known bully at school, took money from a classmate in front of the whole class. Do you tell the poor classmate, "I have no authority to influence the situation. I can't believe what you say, so do something about it, for example, take it to school court (if any such exists) to prove that my son really did anything wrong."

Maybe, I'm talking to a person who has no qualms about what the U.S. military did to construct those bases in Okinawa. Many of them were constructed while area residents were herded into concentration camps. Futenma was no exception. As a specialist in post-war Okinawa history and Japan-U.S. Relations (sorry if I'm mistaken), you know all these facts.

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Is that your response? Suppose your son, a well-known bully at school, took money from a classmate in front of the whole class. Do you tell the poor classmate, "I have no authority to influence the situation. I can't believe what you say, so do something about it, for example, take it to school court (if any such exists) to prove that my son really did anything wrong

I haven't the faintest idea what type of analogy you are trying to make. By the way, I'm not advocating anything, you are. And as such, it's incumbent upon you to then do something, which I've yet to see. As I've said before, all talk, no action.

Maybe, I'm talking to a person who has no qualms about what the U.S. military did to construct those bases in Okinawa. Many of them were constructed while area residents were herded into concentration camps. Futenma was no exception. As a specialist in post-war Okinawa history and Japan-U.S. Relations (sorry if I'm mistaken), you know all these facts.

Speaking of knowing all the facts, who, by chance made this statement in this thread?

I knew you couldn't answer the question I posed. In fact, there's no one anywhere in the world who could answer that question.

By the way, the question I posed on the Chinese taking the Senkakus, and your promise to follow up with the OPP ref the Roadmap Agreement, how you doing on those? Or is that all talk, no action too...

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lincolnman:

You are not yet answering the most important thesis I posed. The U.S. cannot demand Futenma's replacement because Futenma is stolen goods in its beginning. There's no legal and moral basis on that claim.

The Senkaku issue has nothing to do with Futenma, just like other territorial rows Japan has with South Korea and Russia.

Am I correct to assume that you are a specialisst in post-war Okinawa History nd Japan-U.S. Relations? I've been arguing with you on that premise. And how did I know about it? Your argument in this thread and the two articles this gentleman wrote in two local newspaers (Dec. 19, 2004; Sept. 19, 2005 Okinawa Times) are of the same content.

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Correction:

Dec. 19, 2004 Ryukyu Shimpo; Sept. 19, 2005 Okinawa Times

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You are not yet answering the most important thesis I posed. The U.S. cannot demand Futenma's replacement because Futenma is stolen goods in its beginning. There's no legal and moral basis on that claim.

I gave you my opinion regarding the legal and moral basis of the FRF above, after you said you would contact the OPP to verify the contents of the Roadmap Agreement....I'm still waiting.........

The Senkaku issue has nothing to do with Futenma, just like other territorial rows Japan has with South Korea and Russia.

Not according to your government.

Am I correct to assume that you are a specialisst in post-war Okinawa History nd Japan-U.S. Relations? I've been arguing with you on that premise. And how did I know about it? Your argument in this thread and the two articles this gentleman wrote in two local newspaers (Dec. 19, 2004; Sept. 19, 2005 Okinawa Times) are of the same content.

I don't read these two papers, they're nothing more than supermarket tabloids.

I answered your question, stop evading mine. What would you recommend to your government if China invaded the Senkakus? And fulfill your promise to contact the OPP ref the Roadmap Agreement.

We are WAITING........

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You say you answered me as regards Futenma's inherent illegality and immorality? But in what way? All you said and asked me to do was to take action, if I think I am right, or to take the case to court. In other words, you are simply insinuating that I am wrong. But you gave no specific reasons why you personally think I am wrong.

I haven't received an answer from the Okinawa Prefectural Government yet, but it doesn't matter. There was nothing wrong in my interpretation of the 2006 Ropadmap, and I already noted I was oblivious of the SACO agreement in which a portion of the Northern Training Area was promised to return.

You said somewhere in your previous post that you were not an American citizen. But you are not Japanese, either. So naturally you don't read these local papers. But you can contribute articles to the papers after having someone translate your English manuscript into Japanese for you. Incidentally, is it by the volume of circulation or the content of political analyses and editorials that you judge whether a newspaper is "supermarket tabloid" or not? I'm very much interested to know about it because I still think you are an established political scientist,

As for the Senkaku issue, I am not evading to answer you. I'm simply saying the territorial issues have nothing to do with Futenma.

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You say you answered me as regards Futenma's inherent illegality and immorality? But in what way? All you said and asked me to do was to take action, if I think I am right, or to take the case to court. In other words, you are simply insinuating that I am wrong. But you gave no specific reasons why you personally think I am wrong.

I replied above as to my view of the legal and morale basis for Futenma. if you didn't like my answer, that's your problem.

I haven't received an answer from the Okinawa Prefectural Government yet, but it doesn't matter. There was nothing wrong in my interpretation of the 2006 Ropadmap, and I already noted I was oblivious of the SACO agreement in which a portion of the Northern Training Area was promised to return.

I see you fail to keep your word - another reason for me and everyone else who reads this post to suspect anything you say.

You said somewhere in your previous post that you were not an American citizen. But you are not Japanese, either. So naturally you don't read these local papers. But you can contribute articles to the papers after having someone translate your English manuscript into Japanese for you. Incidentally, is it by the volume of circulation or the content of political analyses and editorials that you judge whether a newspaper is "supermarket tabloid" or not? I'm very much interested to know about it because I still think you are an established political scientist,

I haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about.

As for the Senkaku issue, I am not evading to answer you. I'm simply saying the territorial issues have nothing to do with Futenma.

Evade evade, evade.....all talk, no action.......failure to keep you word.........that about sums it up.

I'm done wasting my time with you.

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