politics

U.S. Marines will not be transferred from Okinawa to Iwakuni

75 Comments

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba on Thursday told Yamaguchi Prefecture Gov Sekinari Nii that a U.S. proposal to transfer 1,500 Marines from Okinawa to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Iwakuni Air Station in the prefecture will not take place.

The U.S. first made the proposal in February as part of a revised plan on the realignment of its forces in Japan.

Nii said the prefecture was firmly opposed to accepting any more U.S. military personnel, TBS reported.

Nii also said that the city will sell a plot of land to the Defense Ministry, which had been held up due to the U.S. proposal, which Washington dropped during vice ministerial talks this week.

The latest development means that more Marines will stay in Okinawa than had originally been planned.

The issue remains a contentious one between the two countries and is likely to top the agenda when Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda visits Washington in May for talks with U.S. President Barack Obama.

© Japan Today

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75 Comments
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Is anyone surprised?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To TOKYO AND WASHINGTON, LIAR LIAR LIAR YOUR PANTS ARE ON FIRE! I do not think any of them are leaving and have stated that in the past. The Marines are also NOT going to Guam or Australia. It is all about the free bases and why should they care? It is not like we are Americans or Japanese.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Maybe they could work out a deal to trade some troops for the tsunami debris……. It’s only a matter of time until someone comes up with the idea to dump the stuff on Okinawa anyway.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"The latest development means that more Marines will stay in Okinawa than had originally been planned."

The Okinawan government is reaping what it sows. When you renege on agreements and promises you end up with a negative result. 自業自得

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It’s only a matter of time until someone comes up with the idea to dump the stuff on Okinawa anyway.

It's here already (0_0)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"To TOKYO AND WASHINGTON, LIAR LIAR LIAR YOUR PANTS ARE ON FIRE!"

"Yamaguchi Prefecture Gov Sekinari Nii ...said the prefecture was firmly opposed to accepting any more U.S. military personnel, TBS reported."

YuriOtani: Maybe a little bit of blame can be put on Gov. Nii.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't get how ungrateful Japan is for the continued protection that US presence provides.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

paulinusa, it has to do with promises that Tokyo and Washington can not keep. Remember the government of Okinawa mad NO PROMISES to the Americans. They should of asked them first, not as an afterthought. smithinjapan, the government of Okinawa does not feel obliged to fulfill promises that they did not make. I think that the government of Okinawa should for instance. Make every attempt to catch the SOFA criminal off base and not allow the American military police to exercise any police powers off base. The SOFA criminal gets into a MP car, a ride on base where they can destroy evidence and work on their story. The SOFA is the instrument of our enslavement. The American bases are the occupation and the reason Okinawa is the poorest prefecture in Japan.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

That is correct. The Americans can stay as long as they want because their presence there was an agreement at the end of WWII.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

peanut666, the agreement was never with the people of Okinawa. What the Americans did was unspeakable. The skull of a young girl was just sent back to Japan. 67 years after she was murdered by an American. America has to respect Okinawa and not just force the Japanese government to keep us as second class people. They disrespected the Yamaguchi Prefecture by not even asking first before making promises.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Hmmm, let's see... the people of Yamaguchi don't want the Morines, the people of Okinawa clearly don't either, but the people of Guam DO. So the best choice is to keep them where they're LEAST wanted. Yup, that makes perfect sense!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@YuriOtani I feel sorry for you. I know you're upset. I know you feel betrayed. We all have our plights and we all think the government is going to change but they're not. They are old men that continue to rule because of some ridiculous cultural idea that you must respect your elders.

Truth be told, YuriOtani, it's actually your fault. You can only blame yourself. Those of you who have been affected by these decisions personally are at fault. You see, you sat back and tried to let government sort this out.

Your too scared to go out and lay waste to those Benz and Bimmers parked outside the government offices. You're scared of the friction or the pepper spray and rubber bullets. You want change but you aren't willing to go out there and make it happen. In your hearts, you know what must be done. It is not peaceful and it's against people that look just like you, your own.

The American military is already in HOT water over events in Afghanistan. They dare not lift a weapon against you now. So what are you waiting for? Go out there, make it happen and keep the cameras rolling and post it on YouTube. Occupy Okinawa. If you do, let me know and I'll send you some lunches or drinks.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

What this article fails to mention is that Iwakuni is already in line to host the Naval Carrier Air Group from Atsugi when that base reverts back to sole JMSDF control in 2016...(but seeing how many agreements with the 2006 realignment plan are already broken who knows if this will come to fruition) I imagine with the proposed additional housing area to be built on the land that once was a mountain that was removed and used to build the new runway out in the bay hung up in bureaucratic red tape... (i.e. local resident opposition rallied to protest its construction before it was actually built) I have a feeling this is only the beginning the news were going to here about transferring military personnel to Iwakuni

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@NetNinja:

Excellent post. I'm sure all of the "Yankee Go Home" noise will die down as soon as the next incident involving provocative actions by China towards Japan happens.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

...it has to do with promises that Tokyo and Washington can not keep. Remember the government of Okinawa mad NO PROMISES to the Americans.

Yuri, the United States does not negotiate directly with local governments - imagine the furor there would be if it did! The United States has consistently acted in good faith along the lines of reciprocity: America will help to defend Japan and maintain peace in East Asia as long as Japan provides them with the means to do so. It is fully the responsibility of Tokyo to ensure that Japan fulfills its responsibilities.

The ineptitude shown by Tokyo has been breathtaking: two decades of hedging and broken promises that have deeply hurt feelings on both sides while resulting in not a smidgen of progress. The US must accept the status quo because Tokyo is completely unable to effect change, and as unfortunate for Okinawa as that may be, it is arguably better than tossing the US-Japan security treaty out altogether.

The blame lies squarely with Tokyo - and, dare I say, as a part of Japan, partially with Okinawa itself.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

WW11 ended in 1945 for Japan. The US no longer need to "protect Japan" from her enemies. The US should withdraw all military forces from Japan. The die-hards at the State and Defense also need to swept out as well so that a focused US military can enter the 21st Century.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@tom Webb WW11?? Where there 8 that missed?? 0_0

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tokyo had better get its you know what together otherwise its going to reach thge point where the yanks will blow this popcicle stand.

And sadly Tohoku will likley end up with similar, endless STUPID BORING STUPID discussions that go in circles then fling off a cliff & the rinse, repeat forever!

The people of Japan DERSERVE BETTER, but, until the people of Japan DEMAND they wont get squat!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TIME TO GET GOING, US MILITARY!

We don't need you.

You take up space.

You make the place dangerous.

GO HOME!

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

America and Japan are working to gether to defend the reagon and both sides benifit. (japan doesnt have to learn to speak chinese and america spends less gas money for its ships protecting free trade in international sea lanes the American and Japanese governments will do what ever they want to do and no one can stop it. So not worth crying over. I recommend moving if you dont like your niehborhood. Are we seriously still talking about WW2? Get over it! All sides of that war commited war crimes. Sad but true. If your japanese you cant seriously think Japan didnt do horrible things, and your just as ignorant if your american and think nothing happened there either. Chances are you have a hard time remembering what happened during WW2, because you most likely were not born yet or were very young at the time. LET IT GO!
2 ( +3 / -1 )

I find it sad that Okinawa has to bear the burden more than any other part of Japan.That IS unfair.

I also see that despite one of the largest militaries in the world, Japan would be toothless without the USA.

I also believe that it is the Japanese who treat the Okinawans like poor cousins. They want Okinawa to be Japan in name only, but still consider Okinawa an 'overseas holiday' at best. Japanese arrive in Naha, get a rental car and then cut most of the local businesses out of the loop.

Despite being a mere three hrs away from most of Japan, the likes of JTB and ANA charge international prices for airline tickets. It IS cheaper to go to Seoul or Taipei.

Yes, Okinawa needs roads and hospitals and pretty much everything, Maybe it is time Tokyo and the bulk of the Japanese population stopped treating Okinawans as their exotic cousins and started spending some money then?

The Okinawans do get a raw deal. From every one of the major players.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

To Laguna (Mar. 16, 2012 - 03:08PM JST ) and smithinjapan (Mar. 16, 2012 - 09:13AM JST):

Most of the land the Futenma air station or any other U.S. base sits on is private properties that were encroached upon with impunity by the invading U.S. forces immediately and some time after WW II -- in violation of Article 46 of Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which the U.S. also ratified. In other words, the land is stolen goods.

The U.S. side, then, cannot demand a replacement for Futenma or set any conditions whatsoever for force reduction in Okinawa. So it's totally off the mark to say, "The Okinawan government is reaping what it sows (自業自得)." Let the world and man's common sense judge who is acting a villain here.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The only people who actually believed they would be moved anywhere other then somewhere else in Okinawa were naive Okinawan politicians. Politicians who cater to the mainland protestors and old generation that is dying off. The same politicians who haven't got a clue and like to go to Hawaii to "protest" the US government directly, which is why no one takes them seriously outside of their little backwards island.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well said, voiceofokinawa, and yet the injustices of the past do not change the realities of the present. That Okinawa considers itself only tangentially a part of Japan and that Okinawa has suffered disproportionally both during and after the war fundamentally have nothing to do with the United States, and the solutions that Okinawa seeks will not be found in Washington but in Tokyo.

The very concept of "Japan" among the majority of its inhabitants is no earlier than Meiji, and the impotence and incompetence of its central government is encouraging a return to provincialism. Witness the pathetic concept of "kizuna" - it is a word only, for any real sacrifice by any prefecture outside of Tohoku is avoided like a nuclear plague. The fact is that the US requires the capacity to maintain a certain level of forces in Japan key to justify the US-Japan security treaty, and if they are to be shrunk in one area, they must be expanded in another - and I say this as a matter of fact, not of opinion.

Okinawa was given the opportunity to move Futenma operations to a less-populated area and has rejected it; Japan was given the opportunity to move many Okinawa functions to other prefectures and has not responded. There are no villains here, but there is an astounding amount of incompetence. That Okinawa is asked to carry such a great burden for the sake of Japan as a whole is not fair, but that is the responsibility of Japan as a whole. Thank "kizuna" for that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

To TOKYO AND WASHINGTON, LIAR LIAR LIAR YOUR PANTS ARE ON FIRE!

Amazing. It's perfectly alright for your PREFECTURAL government in Japan (you haven't been a sovereign state for centuries) to reject a movement of soldiers, but when ANOTHER prefectural government in Japan does EXACTLY THE SAME THING, Tokyo and the U.S. become "liars". This despite the fact that the movement to Yamaguchi prefecture was not a promise, but only a PROPOSAL. Look up the word if you're unclear on the concept.

In short, nation-wanna-be Okinawa rejects a move which Tokyo accepts: Fine. Yamaguchi Prefecture rejects a move which Tokyo accepts: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE! Anybody else see the double-standard here?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Laguna (Mar. 16, 2012 - 09:10PM JST ),

I'm flabbergasted to hear you say "the injustices of the past do not change the realities of the present." How dare you say robbery could be justified as far as it had been done in the past but were benefitting now.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

To Laguna, again:

Besides, we Okinawans don't feel this excessive U.S. military presence is of any benefit to us at all. On the contrary, it's unnecessary burdens and an indescribable sacrifice forced upon us. Your contention that closing one base in one area and relocating it to another place is a bad equation that may be correct in calculation but totally wrong in morality.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Fadamor, the government and people NEVER made ANY PROMISES to the Americans. We are not the slaves to Tokyo and Washington. Both have to consider the desires and wishes of the local population. Also please note I am not just blaming the Americans. My guess is Tokyo will try and build the new airfield anyway. I really doubt the police of SDF will attack demonstrators blocking construction.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

voiceofokinawa, morality does not always jive with reality. Life is not fair, my father always told me, and he was right. You are welcome to fight for what you think is right, but if you take that fight to Washington, you're taking it to the wrong place.

I have no problem with Okinawa resisting American pressure to maintain its presence there; I have no problem with Okinawa trying to right past injustices. My point is that the venue for this is not Washington but Tokyo, because it is only from Tokyo that alternatives to the base problems will come from, and it is only from Tokyo that retribution for land confiscation will be addressed.

Japanese often bemoan their subservience to America yet turn to America to solve problems that are Japan's to solve. This is illogical. If you feel so unable to influence the policy of your own country, perhaps what would be in your best interest is to simply secede from Japan. This would give you the unilateral ability to order the American forces to leave, and believe me, if that order came, they would leave.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Laguna, the people around the new airfield site do not want it. They are not pensive peasants that have to be forced to obey their betters. The people of Okinawa have rejected MCAS Futenma and any new bases or airfields. This is not like new news. We also feel the military presence is a benefit only to the Americans and while they might help guard the otter islands of Okinawa are not needed. Marines on Okinawa are of no help to defend us from China, North Korea or Russia.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The central government in Tokyo wants to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in Okinawa for geopolitical reasons. All anyone needs to do is look at the back-and-forth with China over the Senkakus and the surrounding oceans rich with natural resources for one of the specifics.

Japan can't do the job alone, primarily due to issues with Japan's U.S.-imposed post-WWII constitution, but also because of a disinterested public so accustomed to not providing for its own security for six+ decades that it is unwilling to change in the drastic ways necessary to effect the change required to get the U.S. military out of country.

For example, many Japanese think the "omoiyari yosan" annual money is some sort of gift to the U.S. to make life easier for the Americans. No, it is a partial payment for services rendered and is still far less expensive than the Japanese going it alone. And a significant part of the money provides for the salaries of thousands of Japanese employed at U.S. bases and other facilities across the country.

The Okinawans bear an unfair burden. This is very true. But what has Japan as a whole done since the end of the Cold War to change the status quo with the U.S. military in country? Not a whole lot, and there is little reason to believe more is coming soon. Yeah, the removal of a few thousand U.S. Marines and their dependents will lessen the U.S. footprint on Okinawa somewhat, but the overall JOINT U.S.-Japan plans for military preparedness for whatever may come in East Asia are largely the same.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They are not pensive peasants that have to be forced to obey their betters.

And their betters would be in Tokyo, not Washington. Yuri, you're well aware that the United States is bound to accept whatever conditions Tokyo puts on its presence in Japan. The United States has a duty to do what is best for itself, just as every country does. As long as the status quo offers the best advantage for the US, it will stay with it; only change from Tokyo will offer a solution, but this does not look likely.

As an American, I feel that the US and Japan should reconsider their relationship. More than that, I feel that the United States needs to seriously reevaluate its role in East Asia. South Korea could reasonably defend itself against the North, and China's rise is uncertain in shape and at any rate no skin off America's nose. On a small island like Okinawa, it is easy to forget that others have interests, too, but it is true.

If Okinawa were really serious about this issue, they would push for secession. As a sovereign government, their command for America to leave would be binding, and believe me, America would leave. With international institutions such as the WTO and the UN, the imperative for minority cultures to cleave themselves to some larger majority for protection has lessened - there are many recent examples of minorities spinning off their own countries. Perhaps it is time for Okinawa to consider this, in response to the treatment they have received from Tokyo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

YuriOtani: I find it amusing you cannot address the issues I put forth and instead choose to ignore the realities of the situation. Are you, by chance, an Okinawan politician? I mean, said politicians not only tend to ignore the facts presented to them but create alternate realities and what not.

Do you have any comment, seriously, on how Okinawa has currently gotten what they asked for? Which is to say, since I probably have to spell it out, they are being screwed for screwing a deal they already agreed on?

Ah... let me guess... you think the people who agreed on record did not actually agree!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yuri: If the government really cared for the people of this or other nations, they might have thought about how they could fulfill their promises before they made them. Get cranky about Okinawa all you want, most of Japan is different.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Laguna. you are 100% right. I am surprised that the JT monitors allowed you're expression to be printed. I am a 90 year old Marine (Once a Marine, always a Marine.) I know that Hirohito gave Okinawa to McArthur "if he would not put the Ocupational troops on the three main islands of Japan proper. Okinawa hosted a High Commissioner from the Army and the Corps didn't figure in the original troops that came unto Okinawa. Over the years the Army left and turned it over to the Corps and the UN. I suggest that Okinawa secede from Japan and as a sovereign State, immediately tell the USA to bring thier troops home. If they need help, I will return to Okinawa and make it so. We are supposedly closing all our bases all over this world (801) and this would be "piece of cake."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

smithinjapan, the people of Okinawa NEVER agreed to "hosting" the Americans. They came to Okinawa in what we call the Typhoon of Steel. The shelling was so intense it was like a storm. After 96 hours of this they came ashore to find it "lightly defended". Suppose they were shooting the policemen, postal workers, etc since they were wearing uniforms. The did not discriminate in who they were firing at for their "safety". Then came the rapes 10000 of them. The Americans killed over 100,000 people in an orgy or rape and death. http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/26/news/bangor/japanese-trophy-skull-finally-returning-home/ is the story of a female skull returning to Japan but not Okinawa. The story has a mistake as it could not possibly been found in a grave. It is our custom the bones are placed in jars and the skull is never intact. Anyhow the Americans occupy Okinawa for 27 years. I would never forget how condescending most Americans are to us. As a young girl many of them said "I will make a good prostitute". Then America turned us over to Japan and nothing changed. America is still today the master of Okinawa. They hide behind the curtain while their puppets in Tokyo do their bidding. People keep writing about our promises. To set the record straight the people of Okinawa have NEVER agreed to the American presence, past, present or future. As for leaving Japan, the Americans destroyed our industry and farms. They made Okinawa to be dependent. They are still making sure Okinawa is dependent. If we are to be Independent it would cost the USA hundreds of billions of dollars they owe us in war reparations. It is not going to happen. Best we can hope for is to be a member of Japan. Second to regain control of our island. If the Americans should listen to the Okinawa people, they know they are NOT welcome.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

USA should really consider leaving Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtaniMar. 16, 2012 - 10:20AM JST:

peanut666, the agreement was never with the people of Okinawa. What the Americans did was unspeakable. The skull of a young girl was just sent back to Japan. 67 years after she was murdered by an American. America has to respect Okinawa and not just force the Japanese government to keep us as second class people. They disrespected the Yamaguchi Prefecture by not even asking first before making promises.

I think you read into my comment too much. It was meant as a sarcastic comment. Agreements are made by those in power, not by the people. At the end of WWII, the people of Okinawa had no say in the matter, in fact neither did Japan. No choice. It was an "agreement" created by the U.S. for fears that Japan was going to rise up militarily again.

It's just not Okinawa that is like this. All over the world in every location where America has a military base there has been numerous complaints and issues. It all gets buried under the national security clause.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

peanut666Mar. 17, 2012 - 03:30AM JST. At the end of WWII, the people of Okinawa had no say in the matter, in fact neither did Japan. No choice. It was an "agreement" created by the U.S. for fears that Japan was going to rise up militarily again. It's just not Okinawa that is like this. All over the world in every location where America has a military base there has been numerous complaints and issues. It all gets buried under the national security clause.

Gov. Nakaima and people in Okinawa wants to transfer the problem of US military bases elsewhere, specifically from Okinawa to the rest of Japan. Governor wants to move the bases out of Okinawa to another part of Japan Still a problem of Okinawans living in Okinawa are continously discriminated. Even though it is the Japanese government that desires U.S. military bases, there is not a single example anywhere in Japan where residential areas are enveloped by bases and civilians live adjacent to shooting ranges as there is in Okinawa. If the J-government desires the US-Japan Security Treaty along with the stationing of the U.S. military, that is fine. Well then, let’s act like a civilized nation with military bases and immediately remove bases like Camp Hansen where live bullets shoot through the villages and have them taken back to Yamato. Okinawans become incapable of saying, ‘Take U.S. military bases in Okinawa back to Yamato!’ because they feel they have to defer to people working hard for the anti-base cause in Japan. If the purpose of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is to protect the peace of all Japanese nationals, then it is only natural that this is recognized by having the burden of the Treaty shared by the entire people of Japan.

Every Japanese person, whether of a rightist or leftist persuasion, shares the same benefits that result from forcing U.S. military bases onto Okinawans. Are they not guilty of a most atrocious colonial discourse when they oppose relocation of U.S. military bases to Japan, thereby protecting their own interests? The Japanese fail to abrogate the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and then concentrate U.S. military bases in Okinawa.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I was hoping for some enlightened comments from Okinawan posters here on this controversy, but instead we get typical right wing extremist revisionism from Yuri Otani about how Americans wasted Okinawa...But of course nothing about how the Imperial Army used and brutalized native Okinawans before and during that invasion. Likely more women and children were killed by the suicidal intentions of deluded Imperial soldiers and officers than by American forces. And undoubtedly a number of those Imperial cave detonators have been enshrined in Yaskuni along with Imperial Army participants from other Pacific War atrocities around Asia. But I am curious if Americans did draw down from Okinawa, as I believe they should, what assurances do the Okinawan people have against further manipulation by mainland pols and investors eager to snatch up these lands for their own interests and profits? I sense such an impact on the weak Okinawa economy would play right into the hands of mainland power brokers who are poised for any such opportunity.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Laguna,

Wrongdoings are justified if their fruit served current needs? Is that what your father taught you as a child? Is that what you will teach your children, if you have any? Terrorists will buy your argument with a grin.

You say primary responsibility for the base issue rests with Tokyo but not with Washington. No, that's not true. Washington wants to maintain the status quo of military presence forever by all means. Justification for it always comes after that.

During the Cold War era, it was the communist threat that served well for this excessive military presence. Today, it's North Korea's missile testing -- and the rise of China. In the future, who knows, it may be Japan itself. The genie (that is, Japan's militarism) must not be let out of the bottle, as some posters in other threads argue, carelessly betraying their real minds.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Chubaka, very true the Japanese troops were fiends but so were the American ones. I do not believe China would attack Okinawa without American troops. The United States would still be pledged to defend Japan. I am not sure how useful the American bases would be once the war starts. America's effective defense would be it carrier groups. Not sure how useful the few Marines would be if the Chinese can land troops on Okinawa. The key of the defense is to keep them off.

What puzzles me is why don't you think the Americans killed civilians over 100 thousand people? The Americans bombed the island without regard to it there were military or civilians. There is a lot of material out there documenting the American war crimes on Okinawa. As long as America is in denial, there is a chance they will repeat their actions. Did you know it was common practice for Americans to loot the tombs of the Okinawa dead after the war? Did you read the article? There are still a lot of Japanese skulls and body parts in America. What I wrote is not revisionist but the truth. In America the war criminals are buried in Arlington. The truth is America was the one that white washed its history.

So what is right wing about me? I want my home to be free of the ongoing American occupation. Okinawa land from one end to the other and foreign armed troops off of our land.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

For what earthly reason would China attack Japan?

For its mineral wealth?

Oil reserves?

Vast stretches of empty land for the Chinese to populate?

Or just good, old, world domination?

Any act of military aggression on a large scale would totally ruin their economy. They can't afford to lose customers. And it doesn't have anything like the fire power it would need to go up against the U.S.A., South Korea, Japan, NATO, etc., etc.

Anyone who seriously believes that China is about to launch attacks on its neighbors is either with the fairies.

This "yellow peril" line smacks so much of the enemy-that-never-was USSR and the "cold" war.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Foe what earthly reason would China attack Japan?"

Revenge comes to mind.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Serrano, what revenge does China want against Okinawa? What has the descendants of the Ryukyu Kingdom done to them? As far as I know China has never attacked Okinawa unlike the Japanese and our "protectors" the Americans. One of my friends asked me "why do you fear China?". I said "ah......"

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

YuriOtani - Not so much Okinawa as the rest of Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@johninnaha:

For what earthly reason would China attack Japan?

As far as the Japanese are concerned, China has been attacking areas Japan claims as its own due to its possession of the Senkakus and EEZ it believes it controls from them. And perhaps you've forgotten how desperate Japan is elsewhere to keep its dubious claim from the Okinotori Rocks. Or take into mind while we're on the subject the intractable territorial issues with Korea over Dokdo and with Russia over the Kuriles.

Japan has troubles with its neighbors all around its many islands. Nobody is expecting any of the above to attack main Japanese islands. But as far as Okinawa is concerned, it happens to be situated in an area of vital geopolitical importance.

Do you think if the U.S. left Japan to its own devices on Okinawa that all the base land would become parks and shopping malls? Do you think the SDF would not have to take over and perform many of the duties the U.S. has done for a long time?

I'd like to see permanent U.S. forces out of Japan. This should have been put into motion two decades ago after the end of the Cold War. It was not because, first and foremost, the people who run Japan know that it is easier and cheaper to largely keep the status quo with the U.S. doing the bulk of the work.

Until Japan institutes the necessary changes over many years, the U.S. will stay. And Okinawa will unfairly bear the lion's share of the burden.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What the hell are American troops doing in Okinawa in the first place? "Protecting "Japan from what???

Mmmmm I don't buy that protection And I won't start with the tsunami provoked by the us gov topic coz I may be banned for been out of topic" Check Benjamin fulford and get informed!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The U.S.A. has changed greatly since the sixties. At one time, it was the land of the free. Alas, it is no longer. It has left a trail of destruction from Korea, through Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The country that was once the liberator has become the jailer. It was a country that started off with such good intentions, and a wonderful constitution, but it's now operating on some weird, unspoken agenda.

It uses words such as "defense," and "protection," but, in reality, it neither defends nor protects.

The U.S.A., a country that at one time welcomed everybody with open arms, that trusted as a matter of course, has changed to a country that rules by force and suspicion, where its "opponents" are branded as guilty without recourse to trial and where law and justice are meaningless.

For these reasons, I am very much against the US military presence in Okinawa.

Like many other Okinawan residents, I cannot understand why they are here.

The stated "reasons" do not add up in any kind of logic.

This land is NOT American soil.

They have no right to be here.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The U.S.A. has changed greatly since the sixties. At one time, it was the land of the free.

Despite its problems, it still is the land of the free compared to most of the rest of the world.

It has left a trail of destruction from Korea, through Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

I won't disagree with the basic premise of this statement, but it really has nothing to do with the discussion at hand, nor do your many questionable comments throught the world "meaningless."

This land is NOT American soil. They have no right to be here.

They have a right to be there because the Japanese government wants them there. Okinawa, fair or not, is not a sovereign state. It is merely one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. As such, the central government makes the final decisions on state security, not the people of the prefecture.

The U.S. stays because Japan wants to be a part of its security net in Asia. Japan does not want to make the necessary constitutional changes and altering of public attitudes to pretty much go it alone. It is cheaper and easier to basically maintain the status quo.

To remain any sort of an economic power in the coming decades, Japan-a country nearly devoid of natural resources and deficient in food self-sufficiency, to name a couple other problems-needs the help of a more powerful "friend," and the U.S. is top dog.

The Japanese government looks at the big picture and makes its decisions. Okinawans who are dead set against the U.S. military presence, for example, continually drone on and one about how unfair it is to them. YES!, it is unfair. But Okinawa has long been a pawn among stronger neighbors going back easily to Satsuma/Tokugawa. Do you think the 21st century would bring any different?

I'll ask you one more time: Would the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Okinawa enable the people of the prefecture to use all the land freed up and facilities left behind for their own private uses? Or would the central government use what it deems necessary for the resulting increased presence and power projection of a more potent SDF? (Remember what the JCG is doing around the Senkakus where it MUST provide for the defense of claimed Japanese territories.)

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Patrick, just because the government in Tokyo gives permission to do a wrong it does not make it right. The people of not PAWNS to be used by the Americans and Japanese as they see fit. Also Patrick, this is OUR island and we are prepared to take our chances with China. I looked again at those papers "claiming" Okinawa and it seems more like China would support an independent Ryukyu Kingdom. About our friend the Americans and our cousins the Japanese, they both have killed so many of us. What has the Chinese ever done to Okinawa? Why should we be afraid of them?

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Patrick Hattman Mar. 17, 2012 - 11:15PM JST. They have a right to be there because the Japanese government wants them there. Okinawa, fair or not, is not a sovereign state. It is merely one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. As such, the central government makes the final decisions on state security, not the people of the prefecture.

As you pointed out Okinawa is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, but the problem is half of the military base is located in Okinawa. If the purpose of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is to protect Japanese people, then it is only natural that the burden of the treaty should be shared by the entire people of Japan and move some of the U.S. military bases to mainland of Honshu. Why don't other 46 prefectures of Japan take some responsibilties for their protection instead of dumping most of the garbage into Okinawa? The treaty is a two way street and U.S. goverment should demand diversifying the base location to Honshu.

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sfip330, only way the new airbase will be built is by force. The people of Okinawa are against it. Protestors will block construction by their bodies. Is there going to be a repeat of the protestor stopping the tank? This time Okinawa people in front of American tanks? Also American has no right to demand anything, the guest does not make demands on the host. I do not believe Japan will use force to remove protestors. If they did there would be the devil to pay! The only question is will America use its troops and guns on peaceful protestors? Again a new American airfield being built over the dead bodies of Okinawa people.

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What the Americans did was unspeakable. The skull of a young girl was just sent back to Japan. 67 years after she was murdered by an American. America has to respect Okinawa and not just force the Japanese government to keep us as second class people. They disrespected the Yamaguchi Prefecture by not even asking first before making promises.

If an american service member indeed murdered anyone, especially a young girl they are a Criminal, and belong in prison if not executed... And the U.S. has and still prosecutes anyone, anywhere, that commits crimes...

That said... You are going to spew this same old righteous rant, you sound so ignorant.. With all the things Japan did, they made Nazi Germany look like "Little Lord Fauntleroy."

Yes, there probably are too many troops concentrated on Okinawa, and YOU need to address that issue with the Japanese Government, and also you need to to take responsibility and research Japan's own history, from other countries history books (pick a history book from any asian country except Japan, it won't vary much) and read about what Japan did from say, oh, 1920 ~ until they were forced out of these countries at the barrel of a gun.

This is that same righteous victim mentality... Holocaust denying is a crime in Germany, Japan should follow Germany as a role model, you would have a totally different outlook, and the rest of asia wouldn't be so suspicious of you. Time to grow up and take responsibility for your own actions.

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Why don't other 46 prefectures of Japan take some responsibilties for their protection instead of dumping most of the garbage into Okinawa? The treaty is a two way street and U.S. goverment should demand diversifying the base location to Honshu.

Have you paid attention lately to what happened in Iwakuni?

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Patrick, just because the government in Tokyo gives permission to do a wrong it does not make it right. The people of not PAWNS to be used by the Americans and Japanese as they see fit. Also Patrick, this is OUR island and we are prepared to take our chances with China. I looked again at those papers "claiming" Okinawa and it seems more like China would support an independent Ryukyu Kingdom. About our friend the Americans and our cousins the Japanese, they both have killed so many of us. What has the Chinese ever done to Okinawa? Why should we be afraid of them?

No, Yuri, the Ryukyus don't belong to you as Okinawans-they are simply a part of Japan-as are the other 46 prefectures that constitute Japan's territory. Sad as it is, the only way for the people of your prefecture to effect change to your advantage is to accept reality and deal with Tokyo and Washington from within this limitation.

Because of the intransigence on the Futenma relocation by Okinawans, far fewer U.S. Marines and their dependents will be leaving your island in the next few years than planned.

As with you, I'd like to see all permanent U.S. forces out of Japan at the earliest date. But this is not going to happen for reasons discussed previously. So now Okinawa will continue to be stuck with hosting the bulk of U.S. forces on a sliver of Japanese territory. But you could've had it a bit better....

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Okinawa belongs to the people of Okinawa and not the mainland Japanese. The Yamato people are no longer able to command us like in the old days. If the American bases were no longer on Okinawa they would not be targets. Having them on Okinawa compromises our status as neutrals. I say to the American President, if you believe in freedom for all people. Let the people of Okinawa be free of American bases. The government is Tokyo can not give you moral justification for the continued occupation of my home. Show the world your message of freedom is true and not propaganda.

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The premise that some posters seem to take for granted on this thread is that U.S. service members are stationed in Japan at the behest of the Japanese government in order to defend Japan. Schematically speaking, yes, the U.S. service members in Japan can be regarded as salaried mercenaries to fend off enemies from invading and attacking Japan.

But if so, why do some of them, especially marines, train here and deploy to other places like Iraq and Afghanistan? Some pundits dub their bases as staging posts for deployment elsewhere. And yet, 75% of the maintenance cost of bases and the transportation of troops and heavy weapons to and from training areas is shouldered by Japanese taxpayers.

These soldiers are the direct off-shoot of the invading U.S. forces during WW II that invaded and occupied Japan (Okinawa). Japan formally recovered its sovereignty in 1951 in exchange for signing a security treaty under which the U.S. Forces were to be given the same extraterritorial privileges as they had enjoyed as occupation forces.

There are 88 U.S. bases and facilities in Japan today (33 in Okinawa). So virtual occupation has continued for the past 67 years to this day and may continue into the future. Anyone who wants to dip his toes in the waters of the U.S. military base issue in Japan and in Okinawa must bear this fact in mind. Please don't pretend that this U.S. military presence is for the defense of Japan nor demand us to do this or that -- like relocate Futenma to Henoko in northern Okinawa. Futenma must be returned to Okinawa immediately if so demanded. The U.S. has no legitimate right to counter this demand. Period.

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@Yuri if you want Okinawa to belong to the Okinawans then you to get the Okinawan goverment to seceded from Japan. Even if the Amercian base leave the JSDF or if Okinawa secededs from Japan then the OSDF would move into the bases.

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Takuma7, we do not have the resources to be Independence. Second the Americans through their CIA would crush any independence movement. Third if need be their troops on Okinawa could be used to crush any independence. Sometimes I think the Americans are not here to protect us but keep us in our place.

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Sometimes I think the Americans are not here to protect us but keep us in our place.

That's how it looks to me too.

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Land expanse all is at the heart of China's actions. They would take Okinawa if they can. They keep trying to annex Taiwan. They are already disputing all the previous international agreements made at the end of WWII and outright ignoring them. An independent Okinawa? Are you kidding? That is as ludicrous as Hawaiians trying to secede from the United States. It is a ludicrous as when the Native American indigenous peoples (American Indian Movement - AIM) took over Alcatraz in 1969 thinking that they could make it an independent country. They all failed. Do you know why? It's because without the U.S. they will have no trade (no food, no clean water, no sanitation), no electrical power, no infrastructure. How is an independent Okinawa going to generate enough taxes or money to maintain their infrastructure? They can't. Who will trade with them if they go independent? Japan? Nope. If they broke away from Japan, Japan would sanction and block all trade coming in and going out of Okinawa. People forget that the ONLY current reason why the U.S. Military bases are in Okinawa is their proximity to protecting Taiwan, and Japan, as well as the rest of S.E. Asia from China. It used to be protecting China and Taiwan and other S.E. Asian countries from Japanese imperialism, but now they are there to protect Taiwan, Japan, S.Korea and the rest of S.E. Asia from Chinese territorial imperialism.

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Patrick Hattman Mar. 17, 2012 - 11:15PM JST. The Japanese government looks at the big picture and makes its decisions. Have you paid attention lately to what happened in Iwakuni?

What big picture? From prefectural goverments perspective, a series of weak Japanese leaders have lacked the political support necessary to negotiate a compromise deal. The Japanese government also has strained ties with U.S. may also explain prefectural goverments harder line. U.S. goverment does not have any confidence in J-goverment. The J- government cannot respond strongly to prefectural goverment moves given its current strained relations. There is no incentive to make major concessions with Tokyo goverment.

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peanut666, not sure if Tokyo has the political will power to do such. I suppose China could back up any independence movement. Crushing any independence movement will result in the condemning of the Tokyo government worldwide. The Americans could crush it but would they? They would be in danger to finding themselves isolated by the world community. Bearing this in mind, I am not saying Okinawa should succeed from Japan. I do ask for respect from the Tokyo government.

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Okinawa is NOT part of Japan and that is the crux of the problem.

Ryukyu was annexed by Japan. The Yamato people tried to suppress the Ryukyu culture by banning the use of their dialect. And then at the end of the second world war, Ryukyu was forced to defend Japan - a foreign country and one that it had not exactly invited in. After the war finished, Ryukyu was (in name only) US territory. And now, in present time, Okinawa finds itself in the unenviable position of having to host a HUGE foreign military force in order to defend a country (Japan) that had invaded it centuries before.

It is VERY similar to the problem in Ireland.

They finally got their independence.

Let's hope Ryukyu (Okinawa) does too.

And the US military, finally departs the scene.

To be missed by NOBODY.

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YuriOtani: "If the Americans should listen to the Okinawa people, they know they are NOT welcome."

Until the next Chinese sub goes by -- then they'll be thanking the US for their presence until they forget about said sub a week later.

Quick question, Yuri: To what country do the islands of Okinawa belong? That's actually a rhetorical question; they belong to Japan. Where is the central government of Japan? Tokyo. Did or did Tokyo not make an agreement (twice!) with the US?

It doesn't matter if you shake your fists down there at the US and Tokyo, because YOU voted the people in Tokyo into power. You must therefore abide by, and stop complaining about, Tokyo's decisions. Your politicians in Okinawa simply pander to an audience when it's convenient, then agree with Tokyo when it's not.

So once again, you made your bed, you lie in it.

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johninnaha: "Okinawa is NOT part of Japan and that is the crux of the problem."

Actually, it is part of Japan. It's just not treated as such aside from when it benefits politicians. As for Okinawa getting independence... dude, Japan won't even give up islands LONG lost to China, Korea, and Russia... do you think they'll ever give up Okinawa?

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smithinjapan

Until the next Chinese sub goes by -- then they'll be thanking the US for their presence until they forget about said sub a week later.

Exactly right. But as soon as its forgotten it will be back to the usual oh poor Okinawans suffering under the rule of the Japanese and US.

Quick question, Yuri: To what country do the islands of Okinawa belong? That's actually a rhetorical question; they belong to Japan. Where is the central government of Japan? Tokyo. Did or did Tokyo not make an agreement (twice!) with the US?

So once again, you made your bed, you lie in it.

I must disagree with this point you make. And l disagree because Yuri doesnt even live on Okinawa. She is living in the US of all places.

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Cletus and Smith in Japan, no American state would put up with this nonsense. The people of Okinawa are not toys to be played with.

About where I live, am in America for only a short time, until he retires. Then it is back to Okinawa, I find the people of Oklahoma to have a shallow politeness. Also Cletus as a gaijin what say do you have? How would you like the Americans to come to Australia and take over the Northern territories?

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I think what really should be kept in mind here is the undeniable fact that the US and allied powers conquered the Empire of Japan in 1945. Like it or not - try to hide from it or change the history of it, sorry it's true. Historically conquering and occupying armies have laid waste to lands taken, enslaved the people, exported all available resources and made it part of their own territories. The US and allied powers did not do this. In fact, arguably the US did quite a bit to rebuild Japan and make it, for any of it's current problems, a self-sustaining economic power. I'm not even really saying the Japanese should be grateful, but I don't think it's such a crime, nor should it be so shocking that the US might want to maintain bases and a military presence there. Historically speaking we aren't that far from the end of the war. Okinawa being a prefecture of Japan, you just happened to be in the cross-hairs for these bases.

In short, considering what we could have done - whether you want to play the Japanese denial of guilt game, or the evil satan Uncle Sam nuking us card - Japan should consider herself lucky to have gotten off relatively easy.

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TigermothII, grateful for the allies killing off most of my family? Grateful we were occupied by condescending petty Americans for 27 years? Grateful for destroying our economy and preventing the reestablishing of a new one to make us dependent on the bases? Grateful for having the bases, another country within ours? Tell me again why I should be grateful? Oh lastly grateful for having laid waste to our island? Just how grateful should we be to the country that has nothing for us, anything done was so their slaves would not die.

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Excuse me Yuri - despite what your twisted education system might have taught you, the militant Japanese started that war in the Asian theater of operations and did their very best to murder and rape their way from mainland Japan all the way to the Aleutian Islands. Sorry for your family, but are you sorry for the millions of Chinese, Americans, British, Australians, etc. killed? I'll bet not. Condescending petty Americans?? Tell that to the family of the soldiers beheaded during the Bataan death march, or the the mothers of Chinese babies thrown on bayonets. We've done this dance before. I don't shed a tear for you my dear.

If you would actually read my post you would note that I stated I do not expect the Japanese to be grateful. But rather consider yourselves lucky that the worst thing you have after such atrocities and murder carried out as a nation against the world community that all you have are a few bases today. If sentiment at the time in the US would have prevailed we would have likely dropped a dozen more bombs. How dare you cry about the deaths of your family. What about the family of those killed on December 7th? What a load of utter rubbish. Typical indoctrinated Japanese - victim with head in sand. Guess same goes for Okinawan folks.

With that sort of attitude is there any wonder you haven't made friends in Oklahoma?

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TigermouthII, Pearl Harbor was a military target. I do not consider Okinawa "lucky", the Iraqi people have gotten rid of their Americans. You see only one side of the story. Oh the last one was a blow, well do have some friends here. Not everyone is a potty mouth racist. Back on subject what happened to the Allied pow's was sad but killing indiscriminately does not bring back the dead. Nor is occupying a peaceful island forever. The Marine bases need to go, all of them. The other bases need to be run by Japan with the Americans as tenants. You keep saying how dangerous the Chinese people are to us. I know who killed my aunts, uncles and cousins. It was not the Chinese. The people that killed my grandparents. Look BUB! We are no victims and guess again who ran my primary school. I was born in the 33 year of Showa.

You write so causality about killing hundreds of thousands of people. Perhaps millions of people, what makes America any better than Imperial Japan? Some people say America set Japan up to go to war, feeding their paranoia. There could of been peace in 1940 but America did not want peace.

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johninnahaMar. 20, 2012 - 07:40PM JST Okinawa is NOT part of Japan and that is the crux of the problem. Ryukyu was annexed by Japan.

If Ryukyu was annexed by Japan, then it is part of Japan.

For example, America didn't just spread into it's current continental territories. They were all annexed. The area known as the state of California today was colonized by the Spanish and formally ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in1848. It was admitted as the 31st state in the United States.

Hawaii is the same way. The incorporation into the United States of the Republic of Hawaii Date: August 12, 1898.

Regardless of how Okinawan's feel, or how Hawaiian's feel or even how Californian's feel, it doesn't change the fact that they are part of the country that annexed them.

So even though they might not like it, Japan controls and governs Okinawa. The Okinawan's themselves have NO power trying to kick out the U.S. Military. So basically, if Okinawa wants the Japanese to kick the Marines off Okinawa, then the Okinawan's better be less silly and more grateful to Japan.

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TigermothIIMar. 24, 2012 - 01:37AM JST --- the militant Japanese started that war in the Asian theater of operations and did their very best to murder and rape their way from mainland Japan all the way to the Aleutian Islands.

Despite the lies and propaganda that you use to attack Yuri, I do not believe that the Japanese military were all murderers and rapists as you want them to appear to be. During WWII there were a number of war crimes involving Allied personnel that were investigated by the Allied powers and that led in some instances to courts-martial. But many were ignored.

Canicattì massacre: killing of Italian civilians by Lieutenant Colonel McCaffrey. . This incident remained virtually unknown until Joseph S. Salemi of New York University, whose father witnessed it, publicised it.

The Dachau massacre: killing of German prisoners of war and surrendering SS soldiers at the Dachau concentration camp. In the Biscari massacre, which consists of two instances of mass murders, U.S. troops of the 45th Infantry Division killed roughly 75 prisoners of war, mostly Italian. Operation Teardrop: Eight of the surviving, captured crewmen from the sunk German submarine U-546 were tortured by US military personnel.

So Yuri's version of history is not that much different than yours. The only difference is that you fail to mention U.S. murdering and raping Okinawan. You have neglected that U.S. soldiers raped Okinawan women during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Soon after landing, the Marines found no signs of Japanese forces. Taking advantage of the situation, they started "hunting for women" in broad daylight and those who were hiding in the village or nearby air raid shelters were dragged out one after another. There were also 1,336 reported rapes during the first 10 days of the occupation of Kanagawa prefecture after the Japanese surrender.

The only thing you are correct is that the U.S. Marines will not leave Okinawa because they need to monitor the activities of China's imperialism and if given the chance, China would take over and control S.E. Asia, including Okinawa.

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