politics

Anti-U.S. base incumbent mayor re-elected in Nago

41 Comments
By Yuriko Nagano

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41 Comments
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They should use the Senkaku Islands as an issue in the Nago mayor election.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I really cannot blame them (the Okinawans) we (US military) have not behaved well there. It is a tough situation because the US really needs a base in Okinawa.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The fact is the negotiation was between TOKYO, which has no skin in the game, and Washington DC Pentagon goons. The PEOPLE of Okinawa clearly want the US out!

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The city of Nago covers a rather large area and the majority of people voting in this election are separated from the proposed base move by a large range of small mountains. They will NOT be affected by the move, and the town that sits right next to the base has an almost exactly 50/50 split with regards to the move itself. (In fact a local election there was decided by 1 vote, FOR the base.

The city of Nago is hurting badly, there is over 10% unemployment in the city itself, and there are NO decent jobs available for the residents, many who have to travel many miles (hours) away to work.

The relocation of the base would mean a YEARLY influx of over $250 MILLION to the city, which would help them with development and creating jobs, and keeping social services afloat. Fishermen in the City are being GUARANTEED, over $200,000.00 EACH for the loss of access to fishing grounds that NO ONE in the city ever used in the first place because it's on the other side of the island and no one fished there from the city in the first place.

The benefits to the island as a whole, shutting down the southern bases which are in highly congested areas, for a relatively small and safe base to be built off an already existing base benefits the local people.

But Inamine, the anti-base candidate is likely to win the election, and the residents of Nago are going suffer further because of his short-sightedness. NO ONE is going to replace the potential influx of income that the city would gain. The work force is way, way, UNDER-EDUCATED and there is no way funding can be increased for education or training purposes either.

If he wins it's a losing proposition for the people of Nago and Okinawa in general.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Doesn't matter that Susumu is pandering to the public, as did Nakaima before him -- it'll happen. Deny the permits at the local level; they'll be approved at the federal.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why not just move the bases to America? Think of all the money it would save in commuting alone!

Fishermen in the City are being GUARANTEED, over $200,000.00 EACH for the loss of access to fishing grounds that NO ONE in the city ever used in the first place

So many things wrong with that picture I hardly know where to start. How about here: the money won't POOF into existence by the hand of God.

One great way to boost the economy would be to stop taxing people loads of cash and then handing it to a bunch of fisherman who will then have little reason to fish for a while, much less hire some help to do nothing.

The bases are a drain on the economy, over all, considering all the land they take up to grow grass when it could be used for anything from farming to factories.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

funny car, you need the American bases to prevent China from taking over more territory. It doesn't stop with China declaring an ADIZ over the Senkaku Islands. Didn't China recently start rhetoric that they want Okinawa also? I know most of the naysayers hate to admit it, but the only thing stopping them from taking the Senkakus and Okinawa is America..

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Good luck to Mayor Susumu Inamine! Shinzo Abe and the Americans cannot be trusted to take care of the interests of the people of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Nago citizens know very well what it means to have money pouring in for nothing else then saying yes to a US military base from an election at the end of the 90ies, when the carrot and stick policies of the central government did work. Then a sleazy construction business protege was elected on a comfort budget ticket, and where did he get Nago?

They know about useless roads that cut through their forests and about flattened mountaintops for pineapples fields to add to their excess supply of too expensive pineapples. They have experienced at first hand that oversized public works don't create a sustainable future for their kids.

Sorry to be so explicit, but your rosy comfort budget future vision for Nago is pure fiction.

Just look at what happened to the small town of Henoko. They were promised a rose garden and now they have a huge Technical college right in front of their village, a huge new community center, various oversized public works realized and they can't even have a relaxed chat anymore as their villages atmosphere is badly damaged by the carrot and stick policies that brought about a decade long fight that cut right through their community and families.

Nago citizens know very well why they don't vote for that shiny juicy comfort budget. They reject buckets of dirty money just to keep their dignity and independence. They have my deepest respect!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Eighty Five percent is well past super majority. The people of Nago do not want the new air base. Yet the Americans self proclaimed champions of democracy will force it on them. So what will the Americans do next?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Inamine WON!

This is going to get very interesting.

He is totally ANTI US BASES!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yubaru, The people have spoke.. and not only did they elect Inamine again, but they elected the Governor on the platform of removing Futenma MCAS off Island.. but he lied to them and at the last minute went with party loyalty, the LDP, and approved the relocation. This will throw a monkey wrench into big mainland contractors plans.. IF they want to move the base on Island, the cheapest way is to merge with Kadena AB, but that would put very few dollars into big business's pockets. The Henoko plan would drag on for 10 yrs and put billions in the bank for many mainland contractors however.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How is it relocation or reducing burden if it's just being moved from one part to another. One less base on Okinawa won't hurt anything.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm in the us military and I'll be stationed in Okinawa after being in kanagwa for three years. There are two many military stationed in Okinawa most marines are 18 and 19 and they have never been away from home before. Most of them don't want to be in Okinawa but are ordered there. So it's a burden on the Okinawa people. The burden on the Okinawa people will be relieved alittle because in congestion with the base relocation half the military stationed in Okinawa will relocate to Hawaii and Guam with half the bases closing including the ones in congested arenas. Camp futema is considered the most dangerous base in the world and will move to a rual area. It's not the United States who's forcing the base to move it's the US and the Japanese government.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All moving it north will do is cause the issues and service member problems to shift to that area. And just because he won doesn't mean much. Meaning sure he's anti base but even the most anti base politician knows some bases are good for economy. Issue at hand is there are too many on such a small island.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So what will the Americans do next?

Stay in Futenma? Gee, that sure worked out great!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

but they elected the Governor on the platform of removing Futenma MCAS off Island.. but he lied to them and at the last minute went with party loyalty, the LDP, and approved the relocation.

The Gov changes his spots as needed, as with politicians the world over. BTW he isnt the only "local" politician to change either. The people of Nago made their choice, now they have to live with the decision. The status-quo will remain for God knows how many more years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Politicians represent the will of the people. The vast majority of the people on Okinawa want this air field gone. I do not believe for a moment these bases contribute their cost to the defense of Japan. Yes Japan needs America's help defending itself from the Peoples Republic of China. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is a sick joke. They are no threat to Japan, so they have a few small atomic bombs. The Republic of Korea is their target. Even in that they will fail. Their Air Force and Navy are no better than target drones.

The people of Okinawa have said NO again and again. They want this base and the Marines gone. Again the USA says it believes in DEMOCRACY. How about respecting it and stop paying lip service? I am sure if there was a referendum the vast majority, a super majority will vote to get rid of them all. The Self Defense Force will protect Okinawa from the Peoples Republic of China! I demand the Americans stop occupying my farm, an illegal action. It breaks the Geneva Conventions and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The USA signed all of these agreements. It is time for the USA to start following their agreements or be condemned to be labeled as hypocrites and liars.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

funny car, you need the American bases to prevent China from taking over more territory.

ElCid95, I don't know what propaganda rags you read, but China has not taken over any territory in a long, long time. They have some claims on some tiny insignificant islands though, and are pushing those claims. Frankly, if Japan would just admit their past wrongdoings and give those worthless islands they stole back to China, China would probably not be building their second aircraft carrier right now. Funny how people just won't let you keep stolen property, isn't it?

Didn't China recently start rhetoric that they want Okinawa also?

Again, I don't know what propaganda rags you read, but no. Not true. Two academics claimed in a newspaper article that Japan did not own Okinawa, but neither did China. Seriously. Look it up and know who you are being played. For the love of all that is holy, really, really do look this up and know you are being lied to...constantly.

I know most of the naysayers hate to admit it, but the only thing stopping them from taking the Senkakus and Okinawa is America..

You are like the propaganda champeen! Japan has quite a Navy. China does not. Japan has outspent China on the military for a long time. China needs most of its military budget for home defense. China has no chance against Japan on the sea, even without America.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Politicians represent the will of the people.

Are you really that out of touch with reality?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The residents obviously don't trust Obama to manage the base relocation correctly, and based on Obama's performance in office thus far, they are wise to take that approach.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The residents obviously don't trust Obama to manage the base relocation correctly, and based on Obama's performance in office thus far, they are wise to take that approach.

Nobody in Japan cares about Obama, and this has nothing to do with Obama or his performance in office.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is certainly good news. It shows that the majority of Okinawans cannot be bought by promises of economic development in return for their souls. These gaijin have never been welcomed and have over-stayed. Time to show Shinzo Abe and America that they don't get their way all the time. In any case, Okinawans have never been really treated as ' Japanese ' anyway and therefore easily sold away by the central government. Perhaos the U.S. base there should be re-located to the main island. That could be a good solution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

funny carJan. 19, 2014 - 09:49PM JST

So many things wrong with that picture I hardly know where to start. How about here: the money won't POOF into existence by the hand of God.

The money comes from the Japanese Government.

The US has too many bases in all over Okinawa. I do not think they need to build another new base for closing Futenma.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yuri-san,

Politicians represent the will of the people.

They certainly are supposed to. And while they are standing for election they tell us that they do. Unfortunately, as in the case of Nakaima, these intentions are often weak and subject to pressure, and like Nakaima, they cave in.

The vast majority of the people on Okinawa want this air field gone.

I'm sure this is true. After all, Inamine got reelected.

In a democratic country, they would hold a referendum to find out exactly how many Okinawans oppose the bases. But, Abe's "Liberal Democratic" party is neither liberal nor democratic. And I think they know that the referendum would show that - as you say - the majority of Okinawans want all the US military bases off Okinawa.

I do not believe for a moment these bases contribute their cost to the defense of Japan.

Nor do I.

In fact they create danger.

Another thing politicians are supposed to do is get together and resolve problems. I don't believe there is any problem with China that couldn't be resolved by sitting down and working it out. But, unfortunately, Abe is more interested in doing things to "bullbait" China than create peace.

Yes Japan needs America's help defending itself from the Peoples Republic of China.

You know, I don't think there is any real danger there. I do believe that there are elements who are trying to create this danger. As I wrote, I don't think there is any problem that cannot be solved with honest communication. Abe should be in Pekin, talking directly.

But, he's a puppet. And puppets don't have initiative.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You know, I don't think there is any real danger there. I do believe that there are elements who are trying to create this danger. As I wrote, I don't think there is any problem that cannot be solved with honest communication. Abe should be in Pekin, talking directly.

And this is where you are always wrong on the issue., of course there is a real danger, Abe gong to Bejing will NOT in the long run solve anything, as long as he's not contrite and keeps visiting the Yasakuni shrine, the discussions between the two countries will always fall flat. The real danger is when people like you think there is no real danger. Communication is not enough, there are other elements that clearly need to be resolved first before you can a remotely peaceful conversation and both sides are stubborn. All the more reason why America will be here for a very! very long time.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Time to get rid of the bases and let the Okinawans have their own land back

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"base-related crimes such as rape" should not even be real terminology.

.

YuriOtaniJAN. 20, 2014 - 06:38AM JST Politicians represent the will of the people

Not these days. They represent the will of their buddies with whom they have deep and long term business dealings with - who are usually bankers, weapons manufacturers and "country rebuilding contractors"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

*Time to get rid of the bases and let the Okinawans have their own land back.

Politicians represent the will of the people*

If they did asked for independence, they should be given one, with no condition.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Military spending! Military spending! All it is is military spending! Could be doing four dozen other things with the money, but no we GOT** to spend it on the military.

Between Japan setting a record deficit and trying to boost expenditure, anymore military spending will turn Japan into the US!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

With regard to your last comment, Japan is in many ways almost a part of the US

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Time to get rid of the bases and let the Okinawans have their own land back

Simple. Move the US base to the Senkaku Islands.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That is hardly likely to happen, as the US would be directly intervening in the territorial dispute. At the moment, they are not inclined to do so

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

aussie-musashi,

With regard to your last comment, Japan is in many ways almost a part of the US

The US colonised Japan at the end of WWII and installed a series of puppet governments.

What we have now is just another one of these.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't think the people of Okinawa give a damn about the Senkakus anyway.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US colonised Japan at the end of WWII and installed a series of puppet governments.

What we have now is just another one of these.

But how did we get there in the first place? Japan has nothing to blame, but itself

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In this case, not exactly. Japan may have fired the first shots of the Pacific War, but the US set up the crippling economic conditions that induced Japan to do so

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

In this case, not exactly. Japan may have fired the first shots of the Pacific War, but the US set up the crippling economic conditions that induced Japan to do so

So then, I guess that gives them the right start a conflict they knew they could never, ever win. You reap what you sow. Deal with it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So then, I guess that gives them the right start a conflict they knew they could never, ever win. You reap what you sow. Deal with it.

Funny. I would have figured you for a "Japan is no longer a danger" and a "Japan is our ally" type guy and therefore figure that it was no longer necessary to keep a boot on Japan's neck. Instead you dig into 70 year old history for an excuse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Funny. I would have figured you for a "Japan is no longer a danger" and a "Japan is our ally" type guy and therefore figure that it was no longer necessary to keep a boot on Japan's neck. Instead you dig into 70 year old history for an excuse.

I never said, Japan is NO longer a danger and yes, Japan is our ally, so is Germany. Apparently you don't understand about stratigic positioning and deployment, not to mention, there is always that possibility that they can fall back to their nationalist past, always a chance. Do I believe so, given the current chain of events happening throughout Asia, you just never know.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I never said, Japan is NO longer a danger

Never said you did. But since we are talking about it, are they? To whom?

Apparently you don't understand about stratigic positioning and deployment,

Apparently, you think giving a rival no breathing space is the way to go. If China ever gets bases in Mexico, I doubt you will be lauding their strategic positioning and deployment.

It is my contention that China has been militarizing for many reasons, and a big one is having had to endure a militarized Japan and America just off their shores for decades.

The funny this is that "certain" people have been warning us about China even before they were militarizing, as an excuse to further militarize Japan and America.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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