politics

Osprey deployment to Okinawa postponed due to typhoon

61 Comments

The Defense Ministry said Thursday night that Friday's planned deployment of 12 MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft by the U.S. military from its air base in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, to the Marine Corps' Futenma airbase in Ginowan, Okinawa, has been postponed due to an approaching typhoon.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that typhoon No. 17 is expected to hit Sakishima on Friday morning before bringing downpours to Okinawa over the weekend.

The Defense Ministry did not give a new date for the Osprey deployment, NHK reported.

Earlier Thursday, officials from three municipalities and journalists rode in an Osprey as part of the U.S. and Japanese government effort to convince local governments that the aircraft is safe.

Okinawa refused to send officials for the test flight. Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima has repeatedly opposed the deployment and said he can't understand how the Tokyo government can disregard the feelings of local citizens.

Last week, the Japanese government gave the green light for the Osprey to fly over the country from next month after tests found the American hybrid plane safe despite a number of crashes.

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Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima has repeatedly opposed the deployment and said he can’t understand how the Tokyo government can disregard the feelings of local citizens.

Because it's a decision made by the country. Nakaima should shut up and stop yapping on about everything whenever he has the chance.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Sabre rattling again from Tokyo. Of course they don't care about the people of Okinawa.This will be linked from pressure from America to accept the Osprey and for Tokyo to indicate its present stance over its confrontation with China. Politics is a very dirty game with total disregard for its citizens.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It should be a magnificent sight, those Ospreys flying very slowly to Okinawa.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

True. They are striking crafts, performance issues aside.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Because it's a decision made by the country.

Indeed, the Okiniwans must now accept their status as second class citizens bearing an unfair portion of the U.S. military hosting burdern, because the central government willed it.

I don't really care. I live in Kanagawa, near to the Naval Air Facility in Atsugi, and Camp Zama. I have no problems with Ospreys flying anywhere near here. Then again, I'm not an idiot who just believes anything I'm told like Nakaima.

Also, Okinawa is where the U.S. military is needed. It's a far more important and strategic position than... I don't know, Saitama? Also, last I heard, Okinawa was a part of Japan, and Japan had a central government who decides on defence policies and agreements.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Government making a national level decision that the local level doesn't like makes the locals second class citizens?

That's a pretty low standard you have there. Most people need to hear about mistreatment or neglect. Some are even satisfied with limited rights and opportunities, but for you, all you need is a general disagreement, and now they are second-class citizens. I'm sure all the other second class citizens living in all but slavery sympathize.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima has repeatedly opposed the deployment and said he can’t understand how the Tokyo government can disregard the feelings of local citizens."

Correction, "a small FRACTION of the local citizens", who all seemed to have shut up since China came knocking at their door. Protests two Sundays ago; next day China sends heaps of boats; no more protests. Nakaima should indeed just shut up along with him and remember the US presence there is the ONLY thing keeping China at arm's length. And THAT is the big reason why the central government allowed them so quickly in light of any opposition.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Protests two Sundays ago; next day China sends heaps of boats; no more protests.

Yeah, they have a potential war with a major world power brewing. Think their plates might be a little full right now?

That said, some people did protest on the 21st, by holding up placards as the Osprey's were making test flights.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/us-marines-begin-japan-test-flights-of-mv-22-osprey-aircraft-despite-protests-over-safety/2012/09/20/aba3f176-0389-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html

Give it time though. Organizing mass protests require it, and they don't often come back to back you know. The last one came right on the heels of the government's decision to ignore their pleas, right where you would expect it to. Its hardly their fault that this blow-up with China and Taiwan happened after that!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probie-san,

Okinawa is NOT where the US military is needed.

They take up much needed space and they make the environment dangerous.

It is here directly against the wishes of the people of Okinawa.

It's way past time for the US military to leave, taking their Ospreys and everything else with them.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

@bertie

Okinawa is NOT where the US military is needed.

Well then, I'd like to hear your opinion on where the best place is to put the U.S. bases in Japan, taking into account strategic positioning.

They take up much needed space and they make the environment dangerous.

So would an invading Chinese army ;)

It is here directly against the wishes of the people of Okinawa.

You've spoken to and polled EVERY person in Okinawa then? How long did that take you?

It's way past time for the US military to leave,

I think, to be honest, Japan needs them more than ever right now. They're probably one of the reasons why China hasn't tried to do anything even stupider than they already have.

taking their Ospreys and everything else with them.

Ospreys are a lot safer than Chinooks, which have a worse record for accidents and fatalities.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

So when do we think the first one will crash?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Don't really care about the time as much as the reason. Ideally, it will be due to some sort of mechanical failure, as opposed to being shot down.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Probie-san,

Well then, I'd like to hear your opinion on where the best place is to put the U.S. bases.

Is US soil.

They are US bases. Not Japanese bases or Okinawan bases.

They belong on their own land.

How about Guam?

Weren't they supposed to be moving there?

They take up much needed space and they make the environment dangerous.

So would an invading Chinese army ;)

Oh come on!

Don't just give me the party line. We've heard it before.

You've spoken to and polled EVERY person in Okinawa then? How long did that take you?

Very reasonable question.

Of course I haven't.

I cannot understand, given the amount of anti-US military feeling in this part of Japan, why there hasn't been a referendum. I can only assume that it would be an overwhelming percent that doesn't want US bases here. The turnout at the recent event in Ginowan was massive, considering the population of this small island.

My suggestion is for a referendum to find the real feelings of the Okinawan people.

It's way past time for the US military to leave,

I think, to be honest, Japan needs them more than ever right now. They're probably one of the reasons why China hasn't tried to do anything even stupider than they already have.

I think, with all due respect, Probie-san, you've swallowed the propaganda.

Ospreys are a lot safer than Chinooks, which have a worse record for accidents and fatalities.

Then get them BOTH off the island!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Last time in Iraq a farmer took down a stelf fighter suppose to be the most high tech in US arsenal with a rifle.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Osprey is not an real issue for Okinawan people but too many US bases and facilities in such small island that is a real problem. Japanese government should consider it more for Okinawans as they are living there.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Until Japan can elect some decent politicians unlike the current Ishihara type trouble makers I wouldn't complain too loudly about the Americans being here..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@bertie

Is US soil. They are US bases. Not Japanese bases or Okinawan bases. They belong on their own land.

No. You obviously just don't want to understand why bases in Okinawa are important.

How about Guam? Weren't they supposed to be moving there?

Okinawa is a better position.

Oh come on! Don't just give me the party line. We've heard it before.

Just because you don't like it, that doesn't mean it isn't true.

I cannot understand, given the amount of anti-US military feeling in this part of Japan, why there hasn't been a referendum. I can only assume that it would be an overwhelming percent that doesn't want US bases here. The turnout at the recent event in Ginowan was massive, considering the population of this small island.

It's not for the people who live there to choose. The central government makes decisions like that.

My suggestion is for a referendum to find the real feelings of the Okinawan people.

Yeah, sounds great. But, it still should have any political sway. The U.S. want to be in Okinawa for a reason.

I think, with all due respect, Probie-san, you've swallowed the propaganda.

No, I haven't. I'm just a realist. Japan's "military" is a joke. China would knock seven shades out of them before breaking a sweat. The reason China aren't just sailing over to those islands and occupying them, is because the U.S. supports Japan, and they have bases in Okinawa. That's not propaganda. It's obvious.

Then get them BOTH off the island!

By that thinking, you'd also be up for banning cars too then? They cause a lot more accidents and fatalities every day, than an equal comparison of Ospreys and Chinooks combined. Or banning the new year mochi. I'm betting that in the last 20 years, more people have died from choking on mochi than Osprey accidents.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

True. They are striking crafts, performance issues aside.

Absolutely agreed, and that's why you can see them featured in near-future SF like Terminator or Resident Evil.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@bertie You are gravely mistaken!! Okinawa would collapse without the bases here!! Do you live in Okinawa or are you a mainlander who has no idea about okinawan life!?! Yes there are a lot of Things that the us military needs to do to improve the relationship between the okinawans and the military! A LOT OF THINGS!!! BUT getting rid of the bases is not an option at all!! The economy would collapse and Tokyo will not support them fully. Basically Tokyo would say, THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED. So now you figure it out. But it will never happen. The us military and Okinawa are intertwined!! They both need each other.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Going to go watch them come in!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's no sense fighting this locally. This can only be resolved at the government level between Tokyo and Washington DC. Protesting outside the gates is useless. Not even the highest ranking official (U.S. military or Japanese government) on Okinawa can resolve the issue. Only at the top. Can't we all just get along?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kinja-san,

I live in Naha. You may have heard of it, it's that town at the end of Rte 58 where the airport is.

The US military leaving Okinawa would BOOST the economy here like you wouldn't believe.

Okinawa is making peanuts from the US military, who employ little more than a few hundred supermarket baggers at near starvation wages. Plus there are a few "massage parlours" and other "establishments" to "refresh" the guys in uniform.

The areas that used to be US bases are making big bucks, Oroku, Shintoshin, Hamby town. Many people from mainland Japan would like to move here - especially people in the Tohoku area. Returning Kadena and Futenma to peaceful use would - as I say - boom the economy.

Okinawa is a prime area for development.

As for being intertwined, apart from the few local girls who have married US military, where is the intertwining?

If the military would mix in with the Okinawans more, it might be a different story, but they don't. Many of them don't want to be here - I've heard that from so many - and the locals don't want them here either.

It's mutual.

So, time to go.

WWII ended quite a long time ago.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Wait, seriously...Telecaster, Seawolf, and myself posted about how we liked the design of the Osprey, and someone marked us down for that?

If you are marking people down because you don't like their stylistic preferences, you really need to re-consider the purpose of a discussion forum.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

WWII ended a long time ago... But WHO LOST? Sucks loosing .. people years and years down the line will pay for what a country did so many years ago.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tom DeMicke-san,

There's no sense fighting this locally. This can only be resolved at the government level between Tokyo and Washington DC.

What you say is, sadly, true.

Unfortunately, the guys in Tokyo choose to ignore Okinawa.

To tell the truth, NOBODY in Japan wants the US military.

When it was suggested, a year or so ago, that some of the bases move to Kyushu, there was a hell of a flap and it was squashed before it started.

The bases are in Okinawa because this is the furthest you can get from Japan while still being on Japanese soil, plus the fact that Okinawans are possibly the most laid back and least likely to complain. Well, at least they were, things are changing, however. I think they've had enough.

Protesting outside the gates is useless.

Not totally.

It communicates. Even if it only ends up as a note at the bottom of a memo, "PS, the natives are restless!"

Can't we all just get along?

That, Tom, would be the best thing. After all, we are all on the same planet. Nowhere else to go. You would think that, instead of taking pot shots at each other all the time, or at least, threatening to, we could use our hard earned money more wisely.

If we used the same money that we have used to level large areas of cities and kill hundreds of thousands of people for peaceful, survival purposes, we might have international understanding in place of hate, new forms of energy, no more famine, cures for major diseases and so on.

But no, bang bangs are more important.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The Marines are not needed for the protection of Okinawa or Japan. The 7th Fleet and America's nuclear umbrella protect Japan from whichever bogeyman is currently in favor. Marines remain on Okinawa as a symbol of victory and dominance over Japan and to provide logistic support America's past and present wars in Asia and the Middle East. The US only seeks its own interests. To that extent, Japan will be protected simply because its beachhead location in Asia serves the interests of the US.

The issue of the Senkakus is about seabed oil and gas reserves, not land. How this will fall for Japan depends on whether US corporations make deals with the Chinese or the Japanese to develop those resources.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Hey enemies of Japan, invade during a typhoon cause the US military is afraid to fly in high winds. Unless their Japanese masters tell them to.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Hey enemies of Japan, invade during a typhoon cause the US military is afraid to fly in high winds. Unless their Japanese masters tell them to.

That...actually sounded witty in your head, didn't it?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It is now China do something to help the Okinawan to free themselves from the Japanese. American irritates more, the Chinese push a little and the Osprey frightened them most, its a matter of time.

Then, Okinawa back to a normal country again with no disturbing landing and taking off noises. Live happily ever after!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Bertie You have got to be kidding me!! You really think the economy would BOOM!?! REALLY?!? Think of the domino effect that would happen!! How many ppl work on base! There r no Japanese baggers! Most of them are high school students or dependents!! Think of the housing market, taxi companies, kokusai st, cocoichiban!! Lol Kadena alone has hundreds of Japanese workers. Good workers. People with families to take care of!! Part of okinawa's tourist attractions that there is a mix of American culture too! With the bases gone , and no American culture to add to the mix of okinawan culture, many mainlanders won't come here. And def no more American tourist! You need to look at the big picture Bertie!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okinawa is a prime area for development.

The problem here bertie is that your assuming that if the US left Okinawa that the JSDF wouldn't just move in and occupy those bases. What makes you think that if the US left that the JSDF wouldn't just take their place?

Okinawa is extremely strategic to Japan's self defense and national interests. There is no way you can deny that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Last time in Iraq a farmer took down a stelf fighter suppose to be the most high tech in US arsenal with a rifle.

Okay, again, the whole "Making shit up doesn't impress anyone" thing really needs to be incorporated into the training manual.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The V-22 provides a significant increase in operational range over the legacy systems it will replace and is the only vertical platform capable of rapid self-deployment to any theater of operation worldwide This is our future. Except it or continue protesting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A helicopter can fly but an Osprey cannot? Of course, only typhoon chasers fly through a typhoon, but there still is no justification for the Ospreys to be in Okinawa other than the USA military doesn't know what to do with them. "Put them on an island, any island, just get them out of sight." Keep the protests going, people!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

T-Mack Sep. 28, 2012 - 01:03AM JST

The V-22 may be all of those things. But that has little to do with Okinawa except for the burden they carry in hosting it. The people of Okinawa have been involved in war and militarization not of their own choosing for over a century. One would think that their sacrifice for the Imperial Japanese and, post-war, the Americans would be enough. But war, like the retail business, is all about location, location, location and Okinawa is deemed to be the best location to serve the interests of the US. Discussions about the efficacy of war machines deployed by the US is a moot point to those who continue to be oppressed simply because those who profit from war lust after this tropical garden paradise. Okinawa's human rights end where US interests begin.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I certainly sympathize with the Okinawan People regarding a very very few knuckleheaded Jarheads and Squids that less than often get a little bit too much "Liberty Call" and makes the headlines of the front papers, however, let's not forget that the presence of the U.S. Military is well defined under the U.S.-Japan Treaty and considering China's Wild Commie Thuggish behavior in the past few days has given our presence in Okinawa a more respectable standing among the Japanese People. KAMPAI!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

While the 12 aircraft will be delayed what can 12 Ospreys do to swing the tide of battle? While they are fast they have problems in hover and cause problems on the ground in hover. So while they can reach the Senkaku Islands they would not have much time to linger. The Marines would be better off with their Naval support ships. Ships which the Osprey can not operate. While the old Helios are slower they can auto-rotate in case of mechanical failure and land on Navy ships without damaging them.

The Americans will be able to enjoy some time off except in barracks. Remember General order 1 prohibits the consumption of alcohol during the storm. Then being under confinement to quarters until the storm is under 45 knots. At least the Osprey crews will not be bothered.

KingJa the government of Japan pays for the base workers. They could be paid to do something else. With the decline of the dollar most Americans on Okinawa just stay on base. AFFES brings most of their merchandise from America. Selling American spec products that do not work well "out in town". Then the commissary brings in most things from America too.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Saketown Sep. 28, 2012 - 02:01AM JST

Yes, fear is the great tool to suppress opposition. It seems that poor Okinawa (and Japan) has been under threat for decades from one bogeyman after another and would not have survived to this day without the presence of the US Marines on Okinawa. And yet, Okinawans have historically suffered the most at the hands of Imperial Japanese and Americans forces.

So, how exactly will the Marines stationed on Okinawa be involved in any naval or air engagement, the most likely scenario predicted by the US military as regards the defense of Japan or in actions around Japan? Are there plans for Okinawa Marines to storm the rocky shores of the Senkakus? Other than training (which could be done in the US), what are the operational imperatives that necessitate the Marines presence on Okinawa?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Saidani: To answer your question, America will do whatever necessary to protect Japan. We bombed Japan during WWII City by City, Farm by Farm, and dropped 2 Atomic Bombs. After the surrender of the Emperor, we signed a Peace Treaty and later a Joint Treaty between our Nations. We ordered the Japanese to surrender every single weapon, including Samurai Swords, Sushi Knives, and anything considered to be a potential weapon towards U.S. Forces during the occupational and rebuilding phase of Post WWII Japan. Therefore, since we essentially disarmed Japan, it became our responsibly to protect Japan and General Douglas McArther signed his name to that promise, and that promise remains as sound today as the day it was signed. We will protect Japan - Whatever it takes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No. You obviously just don't want to understand why bases in Okinawa are important.

Probie, you might want to understand the Okinawans feelings towards all of this. It sounds that you obviously just don't want to understand why so manu Okinawans are protesting the Ospreys coming. Its not only about the Ospreys, but many other base, military, incidents, rolled into thhe bigger picture.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Saketown Sep. 28, 2012 - 07:13AM JST

Actually, you didn't answer my questions about the purpose of the Marines. You should also note that the Japanese are no longer disarmed and have a well-trained, well-armed force capable of defending Japan from all but all-out war against a larger force. In fact, the US has been pushing Japan to rebuild its forces and dump Article 9 of the Constitution since the beginning of the Korean War, not so much so that Japan could protect itself, but so that Japanese forces could join US forces on the battlefields.

While your answer is touching and highly patriotic, America has shown itself to be more opportunistic than steadfast and tend to fight wars in foreign lands for economic benefit rather than in defense of America or its allies. With so much US investment in China, one can reasonably doubt if the US will go to war to defend Japan when such actions would bring harm to those investments.

As you seem to be a military man, you should understand that you have no say in the matter of war or the reasons for it. Your duty is to protect those you are ordered to protect and fight those you are ordered to fight. Your sense of honor for McArther's promise means nothing at all to the politicians, bureaucrats, and business leaders who decide to send you into battle.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Kingja,

US bases provide 4% of Okinawa's income.

Not a big deal.

http://www.asiadailywire.com/2012/05/okinawa-will-rely-less-on-us-base/

You could build a whole city in the area used by Kadena. Hotels, shopping centres, residences, hospitals, schools, restaurants, etc.

All of which would benefit the area and benefit Japan.

As Saidani points out:

The Marines are not needed for the protection of Okinawa or Japan. The 7th Fleet and America's nuclear umbrella protect Japan from whichever bogeyman is currently in favor. Marines remain on Okinawa as a symbol of victory and dominance over Japan and to provide logistic support America's past and present wars in Asia and the Middle East. The US only seeks its own interests. To that extent, Japan will be protected simply because its beachhead location in Asia serves the interests of the US.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You could build a whole city in the area used by Kadena. Hotels, shopping centres, residences, hospitals, schools, restaurants, etc.

All of which would benefit the area and benefit Japan.

Bertie, right on! Thats what I said a while back about the Maki Housing area. ShintoShin is thriving with business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Noliving-san,

The problem here bertie is that your assuming that if the US left Okinawa that the JSDF wouldn't just move in and occupy those bases. What makes you think that if the US left that the JSDF wouldn't just take their place?

I doubt very much that they would use the whole of Kadena, for example. That base would function perfectly in one tenth of its land area. It's a total waste of space. It's laid out as if it were California with huge green spaces between buildings.

The JSDF would never do that. If they did, there would be complaints and their complaints would be listened to.

Also, IF - a big IF, mind you - the JSDF took over the US bases, the one good thing about that would be that they are not FOREIGN MILITARY.

The US bases belong on US soil.

Okinawa is extremely strategic to Japan's self defense and national interests. There is no way you can deny that.

Awfully sorry, Noliving-san, but I do.

With the ability to deploy thousands of troops and attack from air and sea of modern weaponry, it almost doesn't matter where they are. Weren't they supposed to be moving to Guam at ENORMOUS Japanese expense?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You could build a whole city in the area used by Kadena. Hotels, shopping centres, residences, hospitals, schools, restaurants, etc

.

Yes and do a google earth view of the back side of Futenma and you will see two golf courses that could do the same.

How many people benefit from Kadena and how many benefit from a golf course? Targeting the bases and the US presence at every turn seems to be your agenda.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Protests two Sundays ago; next day China sends heaps of boats; no more protests. Nakaima should indeed just shut up along with him and remember the US presence there is the ONLY thing keeping China at arm's length. And THAT is the big reason why the central government allowed them so quickly in light of any opposition.

First off, you obviously haven't watched or don't get the news from Okinawa. There are protest going on daily outside of Futenma as I write this even now. There are also those that are considering a sit-down anti-Osprey campaign as well right out side the gate.

Just because YOU don't hear about it in the news somewhere dont assume it isnt happening.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Bertie, you need to be educated quite a bit about your ideas about the bases.

Is US soil. They are US bases. Not Japanese bases or Okinawan bases. They belong on their own land.

No you are 100% wrong. The land is Japanese land, leased by the Japanese Government for use by the US Military.

Okinawa is making peanuts from the US military, who employ little more than a few hundred supermarket baggers at near starvation wages. Plus there are a few "massage parlours" and other "establishments" to "refresh" the guys in uniform.

Huh? Tell this to the literally THOUSANDS of Japanese workers on the bases, many if not most that are making well above and beyond the average wage in comparison to the people who work off base. The bases account for a bit over 10% of Okinawa's total economy and that is not peanuts either. We are talking about literally BILLIONS of dollars annually through direct and indirect spending. Go ahead and live in your glass house but be careful when you start tossing rocks.

Okinawa is a prime area for development.

In reality no it isn't, due to the costs involved with any type of major development Okinawa would be in the same bag if and when the land was returned and developed. Mainland businesses and international companies would possibly invest in Okinawa but the money, AS IT DOES NOW, will not stay here but leave the island. Positions in any development as well would be low paying service industry type jobs as well (LIKE NOW) And Okinawa does not need anymore AEON's (JUSCO). Your head is in the clouds if you are not aware of this.

As for being intertwined, apart from the few local girls who have married US military, where is the intertwining?

If the military would mix in with the Okinawans more, it might be a different story, but they don't. Many of them don't want to be here - I've heard that from so many - and the locals don't want them here either.

This is so wrong on so many levels, if I wanted to tell you what I was thinking my post would be censored! Intertwining? You obviously are ignorant about all the activities and organizations where the military and local population work together for the betterment of everyone. There are yearly festivals, cooperative organizations, the Special Olympics, the International Clean Beach association (going on over 20 years now), the countless volunteers from both sides interacting to make things better. I can not write it all here as the post would take forever to read.

Bertie, you can be forgiven for your ignorance about this I guess because the local press and mass media WILL NOT publish or air anything that puts the military in a positive light, even when lives have been saved. You need to get out of your box in Naha and open your eyes and learn about a bigger better world of Okinawa that is out there WITH the US Military in it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You need to get out of your box in Naha and open your eyes and learn about a bigger better world of Okinawa that is out there WITH the US Military in it.

Bigger and better than what? Unless you over 70 years old, you can not compare the current reality of Okinawa to a time when the US military was not on Okinawa. Your one-sided defense of the US military occupation of Okinawa was not bad until you claimed the improbable. That said, there seems to be more than a handful of Okinawans who would seriously like to find out what life without the US military is like. So far, 3+ generations of Okinawans haven't a clue.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If they wanted to prove how safe they are, they should fly them right through the middle of the typhoon there!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Your one-sided defense of the US military occupation of Okinawa was not bad until you claimed the improbable. That said, there seems to be more than a handful of Okinawans who would seriously like to find out what life without the US military is like. So far, 3+ generations of Okinawans haven't a clue.

Look, having the Military here for many Okinawan's is not a bad thing, many (if not most) are pretty ambivalent about their presence here and actually appreciate the jobs that they provide and international flavor too.

Sure there is no one on either side for that matter that likes it when crappy stuff happens but for Okinawa, in the current economic malaise that Japan is in, having them here provides quite a steady income and stability for thousands.

There are those Okinawan's that are going to complain about the military no matter what, they also complain about Jietai too, and plenty of those folks have no realistic options for what to replace the bases with, they just talk.

Politicians too, they complain about the bases and Osprey deployment, out of one side of their mouths, and from the other they just keep wanting more money from the national government for hosting them. Illogical to say the least.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That said, 4 of those crashes where during the testing phase, which is when crashes tend to happen. Not making excuses, but let's keep it in perspective. The aircraft has been out for 25 years. Many of the failures, including the engine failures, were traced to the hydraulic system, and much of that system has been replaced with modern fly-by-wire technology. The advantages the craft offers still outweigh the risks, particularly the speed and the combat radius (twice that of the Seaknight). It is currently one of the least expensive rotor craft in the US arsenal. In the past ten years, there have been only two crashes, one in combat, and one where pilot error resulted in a high-speed crash that completely flipped the aircraft over, but due to the safety features, had 16 of the 20 passengers survive.

Actually, when one looks at the entire service history of the Osprey, the safety records isn't just good, it is actually one of the better ones in rotor craft. 25 years gives one a lot of time to work out the bugs from the early years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Protests two Sundays ago; next day China sends heaps of boats; no more protests.

I have to add something here that happened just today, no protests you think? All the Japanese workers on Futenma could not get onto the base because the protesters there blocked the entrance and there was quite a bit of tussling, pushing and shoving going on between the protesters and Japanese police.

The base closed the gates to the public and of course the Japanese workers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

it will forever be a military colony of the Americans, an agreement made between the Japanese and Americans even before the reversion.

Please, please, please......don't ever think that Okinawa is a "Military Colony", it's not!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With the ability to deploy thousands of troops and attack from air and sea of modern weaponry, it almost doesn't matter where they are. Weren't they supposed to be moving to Guam at ENORMOUS Japanese expense?

Guess why they are suppose to be moved to Guam and not Seattle or New Orleans or how about New York city? I'm willing to bet that distance (this also includes logistics) and timing still account for something.

So yes it does matter, timing, distance and logistics still means everything. If a foreign force is able to occupy and deploy their forces in a defensive position on a national interest of Japan's before Japan can get their forces in position to launch an attack it could be game over because they would not be able to penetrate the defenses of that force. What also makes you think Japan has the logistics to deploy such a force at such a distance? China for example does not have the logistics capability to launch a sustain amphibious attack on Taiwan.

The UK no longer has the force and logistics capability to defend or recapture the Falkland islands if Argentina was to take them by force without an aircraft carrier.

That base would function perfectly in one tenth of its land area.

Based off of what analysis?

It's a total waste of space. It's laid out as if it were California with huge green spaces between buildings.

Or maybe their spaced out so that no single bomb or missile attack could destroy all the buildings at once or multiple buildings at once. Having the buildings that close together would also make them vulnerable to secondary explosions if one of the targets has any type of explosive munitions in them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

News flash people, no aircarft can fly in a typhoon.

Also, only bagging jobs? Really Bertie?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru-san,

Please, please, please......don't ever think that Okinawa is a "Military Colony"

In what way isn't it?

The people who live here have no say in whether US bases are here or not.

Sadly, a colony is what it has become, a joint Tokyo/Washington colony.

And that is why the protests continue.

I'm pretty sure that the majority of Okinawans don't want the American military presence here. I don't know, because I haven't talked to EVERYBODY. But, the consensus of people whose opinions I have listened to are that they don't want them here.

How to find out?

Hold a referendum.

Any democracy worthy of the name would do so.

But then, neither Japan nor the U.S.A. are democratic countries.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Bertie, from reading your posts here on already know you are biased against anything regarding the US and it's presence here in Okinawa.

It isn't possible to hold an intelligent conversation with someone who only wishes to consider one side of a discussion, just like the Okinawan politicians.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru-san,

I'm not at all biased against American people.

I strongly disfavour military aggression. The U.S.A. is right now the worst offender for this. They tore up Iraq for WMDs that knew didn't exist, and they ripped into Afghanistan "to get Bin Laden," in the "War on Terror."

US Military presence in Okinawa is part of this. Okinawans don't want the US here.

Like me, most of them are fine with Americans, it's the military they don't like.

I've been accused of being a retired hippy and maybe I am in some ways, but I believe that we need to find ways to get along. All of us on this planet. There's only one of it, after all.

This site:

http://costofwar.com

Shows the utterly incredible amount of money the U.S.A. has spent on wars in the last 11 years.

Just take a moment or two to look at what could have been accomplished if this money had been spent on beneficial activities.

If this money had been put into developing a new energy source, for example, it would have solved the Middle East problem, which is basically about oil anyway.

America USED TO BE a dream country. A place where a person with nothing could go and with hard work and a few bright ideas, make enough to live comfortably and put his kids through college.

What with the TSA and the Patriot Act, Guantanamo and the rest of it, the country is beginning to resemble Soviet Russia or Modern China.

Those are the things I dislike about the States.

There are many, many more that I love and admire about the country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru-san,

I am not anti-American.

I do not support military aggression from any country.

This includes the US military in Okinawa and their Ospreys.

The protests at the gates continue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not support military aggression from any country. This includes the US military in Okinawa and their Ospreys.

But that is not military aggression though, what offensive role is there by changing out seakings for ospreys?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Noliving-san,

In spite of the PR, the Osprey has a pretty poor safety record.

Deploying such an aircraft in the middle of a densely populated area shows total disregard for the people living there.

This is military aggression.

Okinawa doesn't need US "protection."

It doesn't need US bases and it doesn't need Ospreys.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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