politics

Q&A: Why is the U.S. air base relocation in Okinawa so contentious?

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The Japanese Defense Ministry plans to reclaim some 160 hectares of land in waters off the Henoko area and construct two 1,800-meter V-shaped runways.

Except that they can't, because the ground in the bay is too soft. "The seafloor in some parts of the Henoko reclamation area is “as soft as mayonnaise” to a depth of dozens of meters," writes the Asahi Shimbun in this article: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201902230024.html.

The original environmental assessment was rushed through and much data omitted. Onaga pointed this out.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Except that they can't, because the ground in the bay is too soft. "The seafloor in some parts of the Henoko reclamation area is “as soft as mayonnaise” to a depth of dozens of meters," writes the Asahi Shimbun in this article: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201902230024.html.

Mistakes were made in Okinawa, in particular, Nishizaki in Itoman, which had similar problems, also the problems in construction of Kansai Airport as well. The people in charge of the construction know very well how to deal with this problem.

Okinawa and Japan has a very LONG history of using landfills to extend and increase usable land areas, dont think for a minute that this problem is insurmountable.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This is an "anti-base" motivated Q&A, biased in that it does not provide balanced information for people to make an informed opinion.

There is no mention of the return of base property, and further returns that were connected to Futenma's replacement at Camp Schwab. There are huge tracts of land, in the most congested areas of south-central Okinawa that will be returned as well. Camp Kinser, a majority of Camp Foster, Camp Lester, the move of Naha Military port to Urasoe, and not to mention the return of nearly 2/3rds of NTA in the north, while a training area in the jungle, was large enough to house just about every base in Okinawa on it's own.

Also, the continued inference that it is a "new" base further proves the bias of the author.

It would be a better service to the readers to just give ALL sides of an issue without interjecting, however subtle, one's personal opinions into it. There is no mention of security issues, security agreements and the fact that the national government's have a standing treaty between them.

If national agreements are to be tossed aside based upon emotions, chaos would reign. Oh dont forget too that the "state" (Prefecture) has NO legal basis to negotiate terms and agreements for security issues with a foreign government.

Do not underestimate the intelligence of the readers, let them make informed choices based upon the facts of the entire situation and not just a small part of it!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

opposed the relocation plan as they think Okinawa needs no more bases, 

What part of "relocation" don't they understand ?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"U.S. occupation that lasted until 1972". Japan is still under US occupation and will remain so until the Japanese people vote for a PM with the spine to stand up to Washington.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

For a more balanced view I would ad some points:

• the Okinawan people were never directly democratically involved in any of the decisions regarding the US military bases, even those decisions have extremely long term and deep influences on the lives of every Okinawan citizen.

• the new base will also include a deep water port, a completely new feature available neither in Futenma nor in the current Schwab base.

• the central government continues to ignore the constitutionally guaranteed right of every prefecture (LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT Article 92) to have say in matters that are of concern for the prefecture.

• the unjust status quo is the result of illegal confiscation of private land during and after the war.

• there has never been any comparable case where one Japanese prefecture was forced to accept such a heavy burden unilaterally (and the LDP would never dare to even attempt something similar in any other prefecture)

• This kind of unbalanced and discriminatory burden forced upon one region (state, prefecture, you name it) would be unthinkable in any other developed democracy, because of local self-government clauses in all modern democratic constitutions.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In regards to the title: the words "U.S. military" is the answer. You never see any protests, etc when something happens with the JMSDF. They also have to bring up past crimes forever in these stories as a sort of justification, as if there is no crime on Okinawa except for whaf the Americans commit. I wonder what the actual crime rate is for servicepeople and for civilians? You may know why I am wondering.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The question not being asked is .......WHY 74 years after the last world war is the US still occupying Japan?,

3 ( +3 / -0 )

kurisupisu-san

The question not being asked is .......WHY 74 years after the last world war is the US still occupying Japan?

A lot of us are asking that question.

Why?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WHY 74 years after the last world war is the US still occupying Japan?

The U.S. is not occupying Japan, it is maintaining bases under agreement with the elected Japanese government.

The U.S. returned Okinawa, minus the bases, to Japan in 1972.

Why 74 years after the last world war is Russia still occupying the Northern Territories off Hokkaido?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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