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SDP leader wants U.S. base off Okinawa

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This lady is really irritating.

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Okayyy...well, I want a million dollars, but, seeing as I have no PLANS to accomplish my goal, I guess I'm SOL.

Seriously?? "Wants" is the best this politician has to offer? How about alternative locations? Got any suggestions? Why are the people of Japan wasting their tax money on this woman?

At least the Osaka governor has some ideas. What does she bring to the plate besides empty words? Being a politician here must be the easiest job ever! You don't even have to pretend you have a clue what you're doing. Sigh....wish I was Japanese, I'd run for office and get a piece of this free money.

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What are you gonna do? Get some more seats and maybe you'll have power.

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thepro -- possibly the understatement of the year. Not only is her demeanor irritating, but having to look at her rather unattracive mug (I'm being kind.) every night on the news is really adding insult to injury. Sad that the DPJ has to allow her and her equally irksome side-kick, Kamei, of the NDP, have this much influence.

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Sorry lady, but this ain't Burger King, and you can't have it your way.

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Who truly cares about the SDP and what they have to say? "If the base isn't moved, We're leaving the government!" squeals the SDP, throwing a tantrum. They'll threaten to leave everytime they don't get their way.

If Ozawa gets more powerful, he'll dissolve this ineffectual party before they have a chance to leave the coalition.

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"Want" is one thing. Being able to practically "do" is another.

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It is as if Americans get soo upset at this base issue. Almost like, "if you don't accept all the bases, then you don't accept me" aw

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When it comes down to it, what Hatoyama says is what counts.. everything else from the "peanut gallery" is just throwning out "feelers" and I think it is on purpose so the US responds.. aw

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Where is the news in this?? Fukushima has been saying that like every day. We all know what she wants. Now that we have been told yet again, will she get down to her real cabinet job? Haven't heard a peep out of her about Consumer Affairs and Food Safety (her REAL job). All she does is whine about helicopters all day.

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Japan and Okinawa need to both wake up and realise that they are paying their dues for a war they started as recently as 68 years ago. These dues will be continued to be paid for a long time regardless of the bickerings of a minor party.

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The SDP did not enter into a coalition with the DPJ to be left high and dry for 2010. With the DPJ placing so much significance in the younger members, this demographic slant must have the SDP concerned as well. SDP must do some quick calculations with respect to the benefits of the arrangement in which it now finds itself. If distrust increases in the SDP, or if the SDP sees writing on the wall that it finds alarming, it might choose to make a sudden exit. Fortunately for Hatoyama, the chances of this happening are quite slim.

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Ah the socialists, got to love the comrades. Still living in the 1950s and very proud of the fact. Also have to admire this woman who, despite leading a party who actively supplied information to North Korea for years and frustrated issues regarding the kidnapping of Japanese nationals, nevertheless sees herself as being fit to educate the rest of us regarding the real evil, The United States. Indeed, once she warms up to her task, I reckon Fukushima will start calling the Americans by that tried and true moniker, "US Imperialists."

What a joke!!! And who does this woman actually represent? The socialists? You mean that rump of party that has been singularly unsuccessful in elections for the last 20 years. Indeed, perhaps this clown should keep crowing, because sooner or later she and her party will be joining the Dodo.

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People in Hell want ice water.

The fact is that Okinawa's economy relies heavily on the US bases, and unless the government wants unemployment there to climb even higher (already worst in Japan), they'll just have to stand the vocal opposition and do what the quieter majority of residents want: For there to be jobs.

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Sure will put a lot of Japanese out of work if the base leaves.

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YuriOtani, if you're reading this you may want to contact AP and let them know that your name isn't spelled M-i-z-u-h-o F-u-k-u-s-h-i-m-a... : )

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Wow, I love her! I hope she becomes our next prime minister.

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Alphawolf- Your post is too funny!

When it comes down to it, what Hatoyama says is what counts.. everything else from the "peanut gallery"

LOL How can anything and I repeat, ANYTHING Hatoyama says be counted on? Unless he lays out the Japanese position regarding Futenma tomorrow 12/18, it will just be the latest spewing from the clueless leader's mouth. Do you recall?: "Trust Me" directly expressed to Pres. Obama; "We cannot make a decision by the end of the year"; and so on and so on.

I agree the "peanut gallery" is out there flapping their lips whenever a notion comes to their empty minds but to say that only what Hatoyama has to say counts is ridiculous. In this case, Hatoyama is Mr. Peanut.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Peanut

Don't be fooled. The one really calling the shots is Kuromaku Ozawa. Did anyone stop to think why he went to China to meet Hu Jintao with 600 people in tow? Chinese VP meeting the Emperor on such short notice? Think people. Hatoyama is a puppet with no clue and even less power! Maybe mommy can give him some more money to buy himself some respect.

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She may get her wish, but not necessarily the Futenma Base issue. Reading former Prof. Chalmers Johnson's trilogy, the 700plus US Bases have/will undermine US National Economic Security. If Prof. Johnson's thesis is correct, a contraction/consolidation will occur whether the US wants to or not. It seems dangerous to have a network that is soooo costly.

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I'm not American or Japanese but it always gets me when I hear all this crap about the bases here!

Japan got lucky on how and when the war ended, they only lost the southern half of Sakhalin and still halve 4 tiny specks of an island under Russian control!

The US occupied Okinawa until 1972 and has only maintained bases there since, Japan faired a lot better then the Germany did!

With tensions as they are with North Korea and the mounting power of China I would like to see what would happen to Japan in the next decade!

Here are some possibilities:

1-) It becomes subservient to China

2-) It is attacked by North Korea

3-) It remilitarizes ( and then attack by Korea, North Korea and China)!

I am known for being fairly socialist but even I know that if the US troops had not been here in 1950 Korea would basically all be "North Korea" and in all likelihood Ms Fukushima and the rest of the Japanese population would probably be speaking Korean without free speech!

Lessen the burden on Okinawa but use your heads folks no US presence here, well something will be needed to fill the void!

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With tensions as they are...

That's why I feel nervous with the US military protecting us. They might one day choose (or be told to) stand down, as they did on 9/11.

I would feel much safer with Japan protecting itself with its own military.

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sabiwa: I know the Japanese history teaching is lacking but I hope you can remember at least what happened the last time Japan had a real standing army not to mention the remarks made bynumerous Japanese politicians (pro-military like Tokyo governor Ishihara) about the dangers of "foreigners"

Korea and Japan are tenuous friends at best and even they would not put up with a remilitarized Japan and I don't want to even think how China let alone Nuclear armed North Korea would react!

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sabiwabi,

I don't think the other Asian nations share your feelings. Did anyone think Germany would start another war after being beaten so badly and all of the reparations after WWI?

Japan continues to consider itself a hegemonic society. Having a fully capable military is not the smartest idea for a country with this thinking. And that is what the majority of the region dealt with in the 1930's and 40's.

US military presence in Japan ensures to the surrounding nations that Japan will not militarize and seek to expand itself. Remember, this country has very little to no natural resources. Do you know of the Japanese motivations for it's past aggression?

It is true though, US commanders can be ordered to stand down.

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I would feel much safer with Japan protecting itself with its own military.

I wouldn't. Do you know who ultimately commands the military? Hatoyama (and by Hatoyama I mean Ozawa...and by Ozawa I mean China and the Yakuza) Would you want a sizeable military force under his indecisive command?

Everyone acts like the only U.S. bases are in Okinawa. There's a high concentration there, granted, but there's still hundreds more throughout all Japan. Moving bases in Okinawa =/= U.S. presence in Japan.

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ElJeffeEnJapon at 02:26 PM JST - 17th December US military presence in Japan ensures to the surrounding nations that Japan will not militarize and seek to expand itself.

What Japan's new government is trying to adopt a less subservient relationship with U.S. The fact that the U.S. military, once in a foreign country, has the tendency to stay forever since WWII. Japan, just like Germany and many other countries in the world are getting tired of it.

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I love this often repeated thing that Japan is just "trying to adopt a less subservient relationship with U.S."!

I for one (and remember I'm not American ) would love to know on what Japan has ever been "subservient" to the U.S. or any other country for that fact.

Japan has done what it pleases on everything from trade policies ( unilaterally blocking most imports they fear will harm Japanese businesses), U.N. resolutions, whaling, child custody, etc.. and I can go on for ever!

The issue are simple:

1-) The presence of U.S. troops in Okinawa is a reminder that Japan lost the war and was occupied!

2-) The presence of these strange beings known as "Gaijins" in large numbers!

And please no comments about how they are committing crimes without being accountable (especially considering the news of the past few days concerning crime committed by the Japanese police) The SOFA agreement is there, and though its process may not be the same a regular Japanese law and may even be time consuming, in the end if the accused is found to be at fault he or she will be prosecuted and convicted in the end ( usually under Japanese law and in a Japanese Court)!

I would also love to know how the Okinawa economy would fair without these bases! They are still the main part of it economy despite numerous attempts by the local and central governments to encourage new business there!

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MizuHO just needs to shut up... her opinion and position are of no consequence...

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sfjp330,

And oh how short people's (and nation's) memories are.

Though the US may have entered defeated nations after the war, they remained to protect them from the aggressions of the Soviet Union and communist allies among other reasons. If there was no immediate threat, you would not see as many established installations in Japan and Germany. Granted, there is no longer a USSR but there are still nations with armed forces and leaders who feel they may be able to exert their force unto neighboring countries (Iraq 1991 for example. And yes, I know Saddam was supported by the US in the Iraq/Iran war).

I do not necessarily agree that the overall amount of US military presence in the US and Europe is completely warranted in this day and age (Germany has a military again). But to read the postings of uneducated people on this forum calling for the expulsion of US bases in Japan and whatnot is misdirected.

What other options does Japan have for its national defense? (and no, the SDF's are no way capable of defending this country) I can only see a partnership with China and that is a trade off of being subservient to the current world leader on one hand and to a growing super power on the other.

Japan is taking a stance that they cannot maintain. Major re locations are based upon the 2006 agreement. 8,000 Marines will most likely not move until Japan abides by the arrangement. Lesser of two evils?

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I know the Japanese history teaching is lacking but I hope you can remember at least what happened

Yes, I have some idea of what is taught, but I don't believe most of it. Its in the interest of all of Asia to learn what really happened in WWII and not listen to the usual crowd that always pops up crapping on Japan, many of us know very well why you're doing it.

Everyone acts like the only U.S. bases are in Okinawa. There's a high concentration there, granted, but there's still hundreds more throughout all Japan.

Yes, and they should all go away. Look at what is going on in the world, its clear that the US are NOT the good guys.

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sabiwabi: "Its in the interest of all of Asia to learn what really happened in WWII"!!!!!!!!!!

I think most Asian nations (as well as the rest of the world) knows what "really" happened in world war 2 with maybe the exception of JAPAN, and that is why the U.S. troops are still here because your neighbors just don' trust you!

The fact that every other country in the world agrees on the events of the war except Japan should make even the most obtuse start to think that maybe they have it wrong.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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Simple question. If the Futanma base’s status is “absolutely vital to the defense that they provide for the entire region" as the U.S. Marine Corps commandant argues, why will approximately 8,000 III Marine Expeditionary Force personnel and 9,000 dependents be relocated from Okinawa to Guam by 2014 which would continue to support U.S. commitments to provide for the defense and security of Japan from "on the furthest forward element of sovereign U.S. territory in the Pacific capable of supporting such a presence, thereby maximizing their freedom of action while minimizing the increase in their response time relative to their previous stationing in Okinawa" as is described in Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Guam?

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Yes, and they should all go away. Look at what is going on in the world, its clear that the US are NOT the good guys.

Are you comparing the war in Iraq to U.S. bases in Okinawa? I hope not. You do realise those are 2 VERY different things right? Totally out of scope of "Indecision of behalf of the Japanese government" You're showing how little you know.

Either way, lodge a complaint with the Japanese government. Better yet, join the SDP. They have the power to expel the yanks, for better or worse. If Japan truly wanted the U.S. out, they'd be out. They're NOT the good guys, right? Ask yourself: The Phillipines expelled the U.S. years ago, why hasn't Japan?

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Are you comparing the war in Iraq to U.S. bases in Okinawa? I hope not. You do realise those are 2 VERY different things right?

Yes, Okinawa is very different from Iraq, and your point is? It’s the same military and their leaders are the same. So why do you think the US military stood down while the US was being attacked on 9/11?

You're showing how little you know.

That’s not very nice.

Ask yourself: The Phillipines expelled the U.S. years ago, why hasn't Japan?

Japanese leaders have so far been spineless. Maybe this lovely lady will change that.

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Seiharinokaze-

To lighten the burden on the Okinawan people. That is what was negotiated and agreed upon by the US AND Japan over several years and finalized in 2006. How do people not understand? The relocation of Futenma out of a densely populated area to a safer and less populated area. 8000 Marines and 9000 dependents transferring to Guam. All parts of the plan to lessen the US presence in Okinawa or am I completely off target??

I'm not military personnel but do you understand logistics in regards to smaller aircraft? It's not like they can magically appear from Guam in the event of a situation (hostile act or natural disaster in an allied country). By the time they make it to Japan they would most likely be out of fuel or require risky mid flight re-fueling. And what if the event is in Korea?

If someone can correct any errors in my judgment, by all means..

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As stated before, it is in US interests to conclude the issue immediately, while for the Hatoyama Cabinet, it would be a better situation as the decision approaches March 31, 2010.

Amazingly, I actually got reaction to that post here on the US West Coast, so it is a HOT topic. Former FM Kawaguchi was mentioned, so she probably was heavily involved w/ the 2006 Agreement - again, I am flabbergasted.

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What is Fukushima going to do about the situation?? The only leverage she holds is leaving the 3 party coalition. Which is completely absurd anyhow. That would put the SDP right back into obscurity as they are the junior of the 3 parties. Good luck ever getting anywhere close to a cabinet position or the PM's office.

Japanese leaders are in fact spineless and Ms. Fukushima will do absolutely nothing to change that. Other nations must be loving the comic display of inaction on the part of the Hatoyama administration. Keep up the great work boys n girls!

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This is an unusual situation, where APEC meetings occurring in Japan til next fall. It may be enlightening to have a debate on Japanese TV between former FM Kawaguchi and SDP Pres. Mizuho Fukushima, if my intelligence source is accurate. I and my friends would like to know more about this Futenma Base issue.

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In Oct. 2005 it was decided under the Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement (ATARA) that the Marine Corps in the Futennma airbase together with the base be relocated to Henoko. But next year in May 2006 U.S.-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation (the “Roadmap”) outlined details of different realignment that the Marine Corps in Okinawa including those in Futenma move to Guam and the Futenma airbase is relocated to Henoko. At this point is still Henoko so vitally important with no room for listening to the voice of the local people who are even willing to move a no-confidence vote in the governor if he approves the plan, when Guam will take the place of Okinawa and become the keystone for the U.S. military operation in the west Pacific and Asian region?

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The absolute and only logical answer to this situation is for the USA to remove its entire presence from Asia and return them all to the USA. Allow me to also make mention that with today's technology, one man can control any area anywhere in this world. Immediately - we should leave these peaceful green islands to those wonderful Ryukyuans who were happy, until the Japanese annexed them. Free them and allow them to return to their idyilic days before 1879....

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ElJeffeEnJapon t 03:40 PM JST - 17th December What other options does Japan have for its national defense? (and no, the SDF's are no way capable of defending this country) I can only see a partnership with China and that is a trade off of being subservient to the current world leader on one hand and to a growing super power on the other.

The question I would like to contemplate is whether the U.S. is earning a good return on its national-security “investment,” for it is clearly an investment in peace and safety. perhaps The bottom line is, probably not. One way to consider the size of U.S. military expenditures is by comparison with other countries. Other countries such as Japan face security threats, and they respond by allocating funds to security. Is it plausible that the U.S. faces a variety and severity of objective security threats that are equal to the rest of the world put together? I would think not. Unlike Israel, no serious country wishes to wipe the U.S. off the face of the earth. Unlike Russia, India, China, and much of Europe, no one has invaded the U.S. since the nineteenth century. U.S. have common borders with two friendly democratic countries with which U.S. have fought no wars for more than a century. Only one country has nuclear weapons that can seriously threaten our existence. One conclusion from this thought is that either the U.S. has a vastly exaggerated sense of threats to it; or that other countries, even the richest ones, like Japan are universally neglectful of the threats to their security.

The future might be different from the past, and we may be facing a different kind of enemy. If that is indeed the case, then we would presumably be restructuring our spending to better meet the enemy rather than retaining the same basic structure. Additionally, it might be that national security is a global good that the U.S. is supplying for the rest of the world and that it will have difficulty substaining for the future. This is a complicated issue. During the cold war, some countries probably felt that the U.S. was indeed protecting them. The U.S. did go to war to defend or liberate dozens of countries over the last century. However, more recently, many countries, even U.S. traditional allies in Western Europe, and especially their populations, appear to believe that U.S. supply of the public good of security is in fact harming their security rather than enhancing it. Additionally, under the Bush doctrine, whatever the rhetoric, it is clear that U.S. military strategy and actions are driven primarily by U.S. security issues, and alliances are primarily ones of convenience and opportunity.

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limboinjapan at 03:29 PM JST - 17th December I for one (and remember I'm not American ) would love to know on what Japan has ever been "subservient" to the U.S. or any other country for that fact.

What does this mean to you? This still exist today. Article 9.2 States: Re: Japan: In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

If people wish to protect Article 9, Self Defense Force which violate Article 9 need to be abolished. If Japan have to admit Self Defense Force, we can add that to Article 9. However, the situation can go much further. For example, to confirm three points: “Bear no nuclear weapons, Dispatch no troops overseas, Have no military draft”, will make the person who want to protect Article 9 to reassure to join the discussion. Japan alone “from the point of view of "self defense” should be the country entitled the right to bear nuclear weapons. However, Japan relinquished that right permanently. That should be clarified in the Constitution and appealed to the world. Japan should recognize self defense force, not as a military or national security military, but as today’s self defense tha. force. Further, in future that should be abolished as well to come closer to the idealism of Article 9, and it need to be written.

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This still exist today. Article 9.2 States...

Its about time Japan drafts its own constitution instead of continuing to follow one that was imposed on them. And they should have their own defenses, and not rely on a foreign military.

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The SDF are useless and even dumber than I thought if they believe they hold any sway here.

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I think America should withdraw from Japan totally (oh and Europe too). However, I would like the Japanese to get the guts to ask, thats what I feel America is waiting for.

Yes and I'm American(I mean really I'm just a human who lives on earth but hey nations are all the rage these centuries). I love it, for all the good and bad. But if these countries don't want us there, then by all means ask us to leave but don't whine and complain about it, man up.

Write your own constitution, don't be mad about August 6th(historically Japan has been particularly hostile to the nations that birthed it like China and Korea, so look at it as karma), restart your military, treat your women better, stop being xenophobic your ancestors walked from the continent of Africa just like everyone else, and procreate then raise your kids.

Oh and for god sakes do some push ups, that metrosexuality is suspect, and probably is why you wont get a permanent UN security seat.

Just my opinion....

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Truth is Japan has always treated Okinawa badly, like 3rd class citizens. Because they do not share the same Korea..err, Yamamoto blood line, they are a lesser people. The Okinawans would love to be left alone, but they have no industry to allow them to survive. If Japan wants the prefecture, and the US gone, they will need to invest in this place.

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If the United States Leaves Japan, then Japan has no choice and has to have manditory enlistments in its military. I think that should include foreigners who live here and are permenant residents. You will be forced to join their military. GOOD LUCK! oh by the way why do you really think the chinese VP wanted to visit the japanese emperor. MMMMM! yeah china is not going to do anything hu. keep on thinking that.

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After reading all of these threads my thought has changed. I once just wanted the removal of MCAS Futenma and those Marines. Now I think they should all leave Japan. American bases or no bases is an internal Japanese affair. America has no "right" to have bases in Japan. It is time to required all of them to depart. The PM would inform the Americans they must close ALL of their bases in Japan within 6 months and be done with it. Grow a spine is my message to my government. The people of Japan are ready to be truly free and coexist in a peaceful world community. China is not a threat to Japan! North Korea is a joke and Russia has its own problems. The American bases are the problem not the "cure".

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USNinJapan2, I am not Mizuho Fukushima, I am just an ordinary resident of Japan. She is a much more intelligent and important person than me. Thus I will take your "insult" as a compliment :) Maybe one day I can be more like her.

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China is not a threat to Japan! North Korea is a joke and Russia has its own problems. The American bases are the problem not the "cure".

You're right YuriOtani, the US has app 900 military installations overseas, not including embassies and consulates. Russia and China have none (0).... It cost the US over 260 billion a year to maintain these bases. The US got spoiled by the Omoiyari Yosan sympathy budget and still thinks Japan is rich.. but it isn't and doesn't like supporting the US foreign policy in a non cold war period. aw

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I would feel much safer if Japan was protected by the Japanese military rather than by the American military; I just don’t trust the American one.

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