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U.S. to hasten return of Okinawan land to Japan

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By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced a plan Friday to return two sites totaling 7 hectares (17 acres) now controlled by U.S. bases to local authorities by the fiscal year that ends in March 2018.

Bakani suru na..... this is playing games here. It shouldn't take another year to return land that was already scheduled to be returned.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Just LEAVE! Build an island like the Chinese did or even Japan near Osaka. Japan has built TWO island for the airport and has the ability to build more. Nobody is going to lose his or her job supplying the islands. In fact, Okinawa could be the greatest "Las Vegas" of the orient if it chose to do that.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Okinawa could be the greatest "Las Vegas" of the orient if it chose to do that.

This is one thing that few here want as a "replacement". I would SERIOUSLY consider selling my paid off house, moving my family, and literally pulling up the roots on over 3 decades of planting them here if Okinawa ever became what you are suggesting here! Okinawa does not need more gambling!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

After reading this article I wrote to both my congressman and senators asking a simple question...Why do we have 50,000 military personal stationed in Japan? Why do we any stationed there..? The war has been over for 70 years, enough! japan and the other pacific nations need to defend ****themselves.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

"Nobody is going to lose his or her job supplying the islands. In fact, Okinawa could be the greatest "Las Vegas" of the orient if it chose to do that."

I see some are already salivating over how they can get quick money for nothing -- even more than now, that is.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Okinawa, by history is Ryuku...

I have lived in Tokyo 4 and half years, Yokohama 2 years, Kyoto 4 years, Kumamoto 5 years, Okinawa 2 years and Fukuoka 17 years. Before that I have lived in China, Hong Kong and Singapore etc... (I study, I did research on Karayuki-san and local culture.) I come to see that Okinawa people are truly different from these mainland Japanese...

Firstly, Okinawa needs to be Ryuku and then let the Ryuku people come up with their own remedy (conclusion).

5 ( +10 / -5 )

The U.S. is hastening the return of some land it holds in Okinawa, seeking to soothe local resentment over the huge American military presence on the southern Japanese island.

Just return all of it. Bingo!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

That's a start, now what about the rest of it?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What a dinky piece of land to shake hands over, at a 'top-level' meeting, to boot (if we can call it that). Shame on all involved.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Such a small plot of land and bound to be turned over to cronies of Abe. The people of Okinawa never get their land returned to them.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

What a brazen publicity stunt! They just want to look nice so they can take Henoko and destroy it.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Shenanigans, chicaneries, trickeries -- that's what all this Henoko relocation issue is. Don’t be insincere and dishonest, my dear honest Abe.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

the Treaty of San Francisco stopped just short of turning Japan into an American colony. it Donald Trump has his way that would become a reality. just leave the excuse for using Japan and Okinawa is long past.

I remember my Air Force days and the smirking Yank G.I.s talking about their time in Japan or Okinawa or Korea and the girls ......

Korea does still have some cause for a presence but at what cost. why do the Japanese want to endure that same cost to their civilian population

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The ambassador of the USA to so condescending to the people of the Ryukyu islands. The amount of land is a sick joke. Looking at Ms. Kennedy, she reminds me of the condescending women's groups that use to travel to Okinawa to "help". More like push an American agenda of some sort of pure nonsense. The people of Okinawa can see through this lying gesture as propaganda. The people of Ryukyu are becoming more angry each day and wonders when the CIA and marines will be sent in to quash Ryukyu independence? It has happened before and will happen again.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Good-by, Y. however, if it does become the "Las Vegas" of the orient, the value of your home quadrupled. Nice profit. Meanwhile, SK and other places take in the money.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

1st of all Japan would never give up Ryuku to their own as this little island a thousand miles south of the mainland is what keeps Japan having massive rights of navigation of the sea and for an island already sparse on resources, a million peoples opinion doesn't come before the homeland's 120 million and Ryuku would never be able to survive as their own nation without any military economy anyways and if they tried I'd love to see who they would come crying to for help when the Chinese only a few hundred km away comes and takes over like they did in the South China Sea or the the 5 other nations in the region that would love to lay claim to breaking through the 1st island chain...then truly having the ability to become a direct threat to the US and 2nd island chain...ya'll think America would just allow that...well maybe under Obama America's foreign policy has weakened, but not for much longer...

Its called balance of power and strategic pivot to Asia...

<Okinawa, by history is Ryuku... I have lived in Tokyo 4 and half years, Yokohama 2 years, Kyoto 4 years, Kumamoto 5 years, Okinawa 2 years and Fukuoka 17 years. Before that I have lived in China, Hong Kong and Singapore etc... (I study, I did research on Karayuki-san and local culture.) I come to see that Okinawa people are truly different from these mainland Japanese...>

How is Ryuku culturally different from Japan...where is their native tongue? Maybe 500 years ago yes...but after being there a day anyone can see the Okinawans, live , eat, breath and speak Japanese, language in itself is the roots of an ideological culture and force of bringing together a community and nationalism...Ryuku has gained so much more than they have had to suffer under American military co/occupation. Thats the same thing as saying Osaka or Kyushu people are different from Tokyoites or Hokaidoans or Texans are truly different from New Yorkers, of course they are but the larger unification is English and the fact that they are all American or Japanese and the fact that they are all Japanese.

At this point, all it has become is opinionated pointless rhetoric.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

YuriOtani: "The amount of land is a sick joke. Looking at Ms. Kennedy, she reminds me of the condescending women's groups that use to travel to Okinawa to "help". "

They give back nothing, you complain. They give back something, you complain. If they gave back all, you'd complain. When Okinawa became China, you'd complain. The women do nothing, you complain. They help, you call them condescending (when it's you doing the condescending, isn't it... no question mark). YOu live in the US, you complain about how terrible the US is.

"The people of Ryukyu are becoming more angry each day "

The people of Ryukyu are OKINAWANS, and Okinawa is a part of Japan, like it or not. Okinawa is subject to the nation's laws, not its own, and the land that the bases are on belong to the US -- you can thank your ancestors and the Japanese government of old for that, but that's the way it is. Now they are giving something back. Hopefully it becomes more later, and then even more, until you DO have it all back. Until then, I think thanks are in order, not wounded pride and misdirected anger.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

When Okinawa became China,

Doubt it

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm sure I'll get some flak for this but I'm glad usa is in Okinawa it keeps the Chinese at bay if they leave Okinawa will be first to be invaded because its so strategic

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Christoper Glen: "Doubt it"

Of course you do! That would never happen while the US is here. I'm saying if the US were to suddenly leave like some angry hypocrites want them to.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As long as Obama is in control the weakening of the US will continue.much like the fall of Rome...

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@bjohnson23,

Not sure what this has to do with the Obama administration, as there have been other areas of land given back under other President's and there was no fallout or problems then. Giving back land reduces the military footprint (no matter how small) in a country that has long had issues with its presence and if anything frees up military members to be placed elsewhere. How is the return of a few acres weakening the U.S?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How is Ryuku culturally different from Japan...where is their native tongue? Maybe 500 years ago yes...but after being there a day anyone can see the Okinawans, live , eat, breath and speak Japanese, language in itself is the roots of an ideological culture and force of bringing together a community and nationalism.

And yet, everybody throws a hissy fit when they think Tibetan culture is dying. The fact is, the Tibetan language will never die out because it's being promoted more than the Ryukyu languages ever were. Japan has done a wonderful job of exterminating some of the native languages and culture. Ainu culture has been reduced to a freak circus act.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

My my so much anger here. Too bad none of us will see the completion of any of return in our lifetimes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about the return all of the land of Okinawa and build a US-based on battleship island near Nagasaki? There are also some other sparsely or completely uninhabited Islands in Japan which the US military can use.

Doesn't have to be in Okinawa

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am not Japanese but I am a Japan lover. the only thing about Japan bothers me is that how your government can be so coward and insensitive to give up your country to USA and give its control in USA's hand? Just look at the photo he smiles and pretend to be happy!!!! like a scared rat. I am sorry for Okinawa people just I pray for freedom of Okinawa and all Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The people of Ryukyu are OKINAWANS, and Okinawa is a part of Japan

No, they are Ryukyuan by ethnicity and are Japanese by citizenship, the name Okinawa came about much much later, and it is commonly used today, but if one is to get technical, they are Ryukyuan.

The islands were the Ryukyu's when it was an independent kingdom and became Okinawa when annexed as a prefecture by Japan. The name Ryukyu is still used in many places, but in Japanese the islands are called "nansei shoto" .

Yes, Okinawa is a prefecture of Japan, no one should argue any differently, and people who suggest it should go back to being independent are totally ignorant of the reality of today.

, and the land that the bases are on belong to the US

Please, and I sincerely hope no one else thinks this way, because it is 100% FALSE. the land that the bases are on DO NOT belong to the US, it belongs to the Japanese owners, and the land is leased to the US military for their use.

The majority of the land used for US bases in mainland is owned by the Japanese government, here in Okinawa however the situation is hugely different as the overwhelming majority of the land is owned privately.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"the huge American military presence on the southern Japanese island."

It was an American island from 1945 to 1972.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It was an American island from 1945 to 1972.

No it was not an American island either, it was a Japanese island that America took control of after the war, it never was an American island, it was and still is a Japanese island.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The people of Ryukyu are becoming more angry each day and wonders when the CIA and marines will be sent in to quash Ryukyu independence? It has happened before and will happen again.

Really? When?

My my so much anger here. Too bad none of us will see the completion of any of return in our lifetimes.

Hmm, so you plan on ending all our lives before March 2018? What are you, a terrorist?

Doesn't have to be in Okinawa

As I've noted many times before, out of ALL the prefectures in Japan, Okinawa is the most ideally suited to station a rapid response force for most of the large East Asian cities. As long as the world expects the U.S. to play "police officer", then yes, it HAS to be in Okinawa.

Regarding "Ryukyu Autonomy", it will never happen because Okinawans who promote this concept live in this little fantasy world where "if only the Americans and Japanese left then things would be REALLY REALLY PEACHY KEEN!!" - as if the U.S. forces on the island were the cause of all their troubles. Ryukyu is too small to mount a credible defense on their own, and as my paragraph above notes, the islands are prime strategic acquisitions for any country wanting to control the majority of East Asia. Okinawans like to play the "What, little ol' us? NOBODY wants to invade little ol' us!" game, but believe me, there isn't a large country in the region that doesn't covet the islands occupied by "little ol' you" - China especially. If China had bases on the Ryukyu islands, it would provide a strong control point in their dealings with Taiwan. You can't deny it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think the Koreans got the better deal. They were able to become Koreans again after being "Japanese" for so many years. It was all "legal" and they were "Japanese" but are not any longer.

Yubaru, I do not own my land as the government of Japan forces me to lease it to them. The leasing is done at the point of a weapon. The great Americans making Okinawa free by occupying it for their bases. When home I often see armed Americans off base. I remember not long ago American MP's using tear gas against a non cooperating Okinawan crowd. This was just a few years ago.

As for never being an American island, look around and tell me who really runs my home. The Americans will get their new airfield and not close Futenma.

Lets see in 1968 the CIA broke Ryukyu independence. The organizers ended up in American prison.

As for Ryukyu Independence, it is the Americans that want their bases to threaten China. Yes they serve no other purpose and to support their spy planes. More if there is a war, the war can be fought in Okinawa again and no Americans will be killed back home again.

There are smaller countries than a new Ryukyu nation and no one has invaded them! Really the USA is doing things in the same old way. Being condescending towards the people of the Ryukyu islands. It is going to piss them off more and more! Something is going to have and give. When will the USA send in the marines again?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Yubaru, I do not own my land as the government of Japan forces me to lease it to them

You sound like a one tsubo activist, you will complain when you get your way or not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The land to be returned appears to be a small strip of woodland along the edge of the base. As soon as it is returned the woodland will be cut down and a road built. I'd prefer the Americans kept it and the woodland was saved.

People in Okinawa keep claiming that the area around the base is dangerous, yet the first thing they do on getting land back is to build a road. According to their own logic that would endanger motorists.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Americans will get their new airfield and not close Futenma.Lets see in 1968 the CIA broke Ryukyu independence. The organizers ended up in American prison.

You really have some serious delusions.

As for never being an American island, look around and tell me who really runs my home

Do you ever listen to Onaga? Roughly 5% of the GDP of Okinawa comes from having the bases, 2000 億 or roughly 1.7 billion dollars annually. So what you are saying is that the US at 5% of the local economy runs the other 95%?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As of 2014 the US still maintains Air Force, Marine, Navy, and Army military installations on the islands. These bases include Kadena Air Base, Camp Foster, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Camp Hansen, Camp Schwab, Torii Station, Camp Kinser, and Camp Gonsalves. The area of 14 U.S. bases are 233 square kilometres (90 sq mi), occupying 18% of the main island. Okinawa hosts about two-thirds of the 50,000 American forces in Japan although the islands account for less than one percent of total lands in Japan.[22]

It's hard to say who really runs things in Okinawa but the US clearly has a big influence on the Island. A foreign country that occupies 18% of another country with their Air Force, Marines, Navy and Army. They might only account for 5% of the local economy but I bet their political influence goes further than that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

...at their own pace, of course...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"the huge American military presence on the southern Japanese island."

Better that than a huge Chinese military presence.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I have to say I find it extremely humorous that when the US does what the anti-base and anti-US zealots continually call for, and gives back some land to the local government, all these folks can do is complain more, engage in mockery and posit wild conspiracy theories – it’s quite entertaining. Sad, but entertaining........

Yubaru is the lone voice of reason on this whole thread.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These bases include Kadena Air Base, Camp Foster, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Camp Hansen, Camp Schwab, Torii Station, Camp Kinser, and Camp Gonsalves.

You use google often? What about Fort Buckner? Camp Shields? Okuma rest area? Naha Port? Awase Communications Site? White Beach? Camp Courtney? Camp McTureous? Ie Island? Kin Red? Kin Blue?

It's hard to say who really runs things in Okinawa but the US clearly has a big influence on the Island. A foreign country that occupies 18% of another country with their Air Force, Marines, Navy and Army. They might only account for 5% of the local economy but I bet their political influence goes further than that.

Please show me where America occupies 18% of the country of Japan?

Your ignorance is showing!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there a huge Chinese military presence in HongKong?

No, not military, but Hong Kong is ruled by China. No one gets to run for government in HK with out CCP blessing. That's a fact.

I answered your question, now please answer mine: What does HK politics have to do with Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru: (Thank you for adding the remaining long list of unnecessary, foreign military bases that are occupying Okinawa.)

You use google often?

(Yes, this was the top of the list from google search.) Okinawa Prefecture https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Okinaw...

Please show me where America occupies 18% of the country of Japan?

(Please excuse my mistake, replace the words "another country" with Okinawa and that 18% will apply. Though that number didn't seem to include all the other bases you mentioned, so maybe it's even higher than that.)

Your ignorance is showing.

(Im pretty sure you realized the mistake in my wording and just wanted to be anal about it. All the prior wording and percentages were specifically focused on US bases occupying Okinawa, not Japan as a whole, I even pointed out that the US bases occupy less than one percent of Japan itself.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What does HK politics have to do with Japan?

If no military presence in HK, why does Serrano thinks "Better that than a huge Chinese military presence" ?

US has started interfering even Yasukuni lately, I wonder which is worse, US or China.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"I wonder which is worse, US or China. At least China does not complain Japan's eating of whale and dolphin meat"

At least the U.S. doesn't constantly sail ships into waters around the Senkaku islands.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

At least the U.S. doesn't constantly sail ships into waters around the Senkaku islands

They are occupying Okinawa.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Though that number didn't seem to include all the other bases you mentioned, so maybe it's even higher than that.)

Put your feet on the ground here before you start spouting off like you know something. You and too many other arm chair professors know little if anything about Okinawa, other than what you read on a web page.

You can look at a map and think WOW, in reality? Not quite the same.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

lincolnman,

You should watch the stage where a farce is being performed, never the audience.

Okinawa is demanding a total closedown of the Futenma Air Station and an unconditional return of the land. But what are these actors playing? You seem not to understand the real meaning of the comedy on the stage.

Instead of watching the stage, you simply look around you and find the audience's reaction "extremely humorous."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YubaruDEC. 07, 2015 - 05:13AM JST Though that number didn't seem to include all the other bases you mentioned, so maybe it's even higher than that.)

Put your feet on the ground here before you start spouting off like you know something. You and too many other arm chair professors know little if anything about Okinawa, other than what you read on a web page.

(It's true I've only been to Okinawa 16 times for surfing and visiting friends, it's not much but it's a little more than arm chair knowledge. Though I definetly don't have the many years of military experience on the Island as you.)

You can look at a map and think WOW, in reality? Not quite the same.

(I have several maps of Okinawa, sorry I didn't run through the street maps of the whole of Okinawa and try and calculate the total land space occupied by a foreign military. Again, if you google, "how much land does US bases occupy in Okinawa?" you get a variety of answers from as little as 10% and as high as 20%. Since Wikipedia came of first, I posted their numbers at 18%.

It's funny because what ever the numbers really are, your deflecting away from my point. You said the US only accounts for 5% of Okinawa economy, therefore that is the only measure of influence. I pointed out that the US has more influence on Oknawa than just financial, it has large amounts of land and it has great political influence which you ignored.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@YuriOtani,

How is it that you keep posting about seeing armed Americans off base but you have no proof and this has nothing to do with the article and JT does nothing about it? I am pretty sure the leasing of the land is not done with a gun, but with a checkbook. Last time I checked, Satsuma had something to do with the breaking up of the Ryukyu independence, not the CIA.

@Stuart Hayward, "(It's true I've only been to Okinawa 16 times for surfing and visiting friends"

You just invalidated everything that you type after saying this, as there are plenty of people who actually are ten toes down on this island and have been for years. You would seem to define the arm chair professor that you speak of.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I pointed out that the US has more influence on Okinawa than just financial, it has large amounts of land and it has great political influence which you ignored.

Well, there’s two things very wrong with this sentence;

The US does not have “large amounts of land” – as has been pointed out by Yubaru, US facilities on Okinawa are on land that is provided to them by the Government of Japan, consistent with the provisions outlined in the Treaty of Mutual Security and Cooperation, and associated Status of Forces Agreement. That land is owned by private individuals and corporations that receive subsidies from the government for its use. The Japanese government agency responsible for coordinating use of land for US facilities on Okinawa is the Okinawa Defense Bureau, part of the national level Bureau of Local Cooperation of the Ministry of Defense. Both the US and Japan have agreed that sustaining the Alliance requires a reduction in US facilities on Okinawa, so they negotiated and signed the 2006 Alliance Transformation and Realignment Agreement that significantly reduces the number of facilities and personnel. That reduction is now being stalled by the local Okinawa government, which goes to the next point……..

The US has “great political influence” on Okinawa? Please tell that to the US government because that would be a big surprise to them – I’m sure the Japanese government would be interested to know also as that would be a rather large intrusion into their sovereign affairs. And please provide some specific examples of how this influence has been executed and the Okinawa political body or politician that has been “greatly influenced” by the US.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Stuart Hayward: "It's true I've only been to Okinawa 16 times for surfing and visiting friends"

well, guess you can't cry about others being "armchair knowledge" commenters anymore, since that's all you are, if they are. Especially to Yubaru, who actually lives there and is Japanese.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I'm saying if the US were to suddenly leave like some angry hypocrites want them to.

No, it won't happen at all, in either scenario.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The December 6 Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun) also editorializes the issue, saying to gain public understanding of this enormous U.S. military footprint on Okinawa "it is important to tangibly reduce the prefecture's burden." What a brotherly love and a fraternity!

The total area U.S. bases occupy south of Kadena Air Base makes 16.41 square Km, of which, the U.S. government ballyhoos, about 70% will be returned to Okinawa. Sounds nice, but note that U.S Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Naha Military Port Facility, both of which are on the total return list of the 2006 agreement, must be relocated within Okinawa. Can any serious-minded call this "return"?

Since the two bases account for 33% of all the bases south of Kadena, the land promised for return becomes 37%, not 70%. It was bilaterally agreed in 2006 that all returns would be completed only when the construction of Futenma's replacement was completed at Henoko.

So this accelerated return of base land is a great boon for Okinawa, they say. But the two pieces of land for accelerated "tangible" return make only 7 ha (0.07 square Km). Is this Washington's response to Okinawa's decades-long demand that Futenma be closed and the land be returned without any strings attached?

What else can one call this except "chicanery"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some posters here continually post false, incorrect and nonfactual information – I don’t reply to their posts anymore because they have demonstrated an inability to converse in a civil manner. Yet even when confronted with the facts, they keep posting these same fallacies over and over. Like this one;

The total area U.S. bases occupy south of Kadena Air Base makes 16.41 square Km, of which, the U.S. government ballyhoos, about 70% will be returned to Okinawa. Sounds nice, but note that U.S Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Naha Military Port Facility, both of which are on the total return list of the 2006 agreement, must be relocated within Okinawa. Can any serious-minded call this "return"?

That is a patently false assertion with no basis in fact. Naha Port currently resides on prime real estate between downtown Naha and the Airport – it will be relocated to an existing industrial area with a smaller footprint in Urasoe. Futenma, as has been noted, sits in a major residential area along prime sections of Hwy 58 – it will be relocated to a much smaller facility in rural Henoko. Both Naha Port and Futenma will be closed and all land returned to the local government (along with Camp Kinser and prime Hwy 58 sections of Camp Foster). All that land can then be used however the local government and people want – tourism, industry, schools…….

But some argue against this progress – they strive to block and impede any reduction in US bases – they use “chicanery” like the quote above to promulgate their skewed views. It's as if they stand on a stage and laugh at the local Okinawa people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Lincolnman: I never said the US owns large amount of land in Okinawa, only that they occupy it! No average citizen can buy and build their own house on those bases, nor are you even welcome there, unless your in the military, have a military ID, or are invited by someone in the military. US political influence #1, the Japanese government subsidizes the US occupied land and allows so many forign bases because of the treaty you speak of, which is a political agreement. US political influence #2,3,4,5,

Between 1965 and 1972, Okinawa was a key staging point for the United States in its military operations directed towards North Vietnam. Along with Guam, it presented a geographically strategic launch pad for covert bombing missions over Cambodia and Laos.[9] Anti-Vietnam War sentiment became linked POLITICALLY to the movement for reversion of Okinawa to Japan. In 1965, the US military bases, earlier viewed as paternal post war protection, were increasingly seen as aggressive. The Vietnam War highlighted the differences between the United States and Okinawa, but showed a commonality between the islands and mainland Japan.[10]

As controversy grew regarding the alleged placement of nuclear weapons on Okinawa, fears intensified over the escalation of the Vietnam War. Okinawa was then perceived, by some inside Japan, as a potential target for China, should the communist government feel threatened by the United States.[11] American military secrecy BLOCKED any local reporting on what was actually occurring at bases such as Kadena Air Base. As information leaked out, and images of air strikes were published, the local population began to fear the potential for retaliation.[10]

The US military bases on Okinawa became a focal point for anti-Vietnam War sentiment. By 1969, over 50,000 American military personnel were stationed on Okinawa,[14] accustomed to privileges and laws NOT shared by the indigenous population. The United States Department of Defense began referring to Okinawa as "The Keystone of the Pacific". This slogan was imprinted on local U.S military license plates.[15]

In 1969, chemical weapons leaked from the US storage depot at Chibana in central Okinawa, under the so-called Operation Red Hat. Evacuations of residents took place over a wide area for two months. Even two years later, government investigators found that Okinawans and the environment near the leak were still suffering because of the depot.[16]

As you probably know, there has been many crimes commited by US personnel yet they are not held to the laws of local government, only US military law, also political influence. If you need more proof of political influence, there's a long list to choose from.

Ingtimewndr & Smith It was Yubaru who brought up the phrase "arm chair" I humbly admitted I've only been a visitor, multiple times. The phrase "armchair knowledge" implies someone who makes comments about a place or places they've never been and claim to have extensive knowledge. I've never claimed to have vast knowledge of Okinawa, nor can I say I have "local"insight of Okinawa. But I can see Injustices, Hypocrisy, and US political influence, only someone in denial wouldn't.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

lincolnman,

Thanks for quoting the passage I posted:

The total area U.S. bases occupy south of Kadena Air Base makes 16.41 square Km, of which, the U.S. government ballyhoos, about 70% will be returned to Okinawa. Sounds nice, but note that U.S Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Naha Military Port Facility, both of which are on the total return list of the 2006 agreement, must be relocated within Okinawa. Can any serious-minded call this "return"?

But I don't understand why you say this is false, incorrect and nonfactual information. Are the figures incorrect or false? Aren't Futenma Air Station and Naha Military Port Facility to be moved within Okinawa? Do you call this genuine "return"? And explain why these arrangements (relocations) are necessary when the 4,900 core elements of the Marines will move to Guam with 10,000 combat service support elements left behind in Okinawa. Aren’t these 10,000 service members engaged mostly in logistics operations? One poster jeered at them by saying many are killing their time at game centers and on golf courses.

People in the street in Japan think that Marine bases are necessary in Okinawa because they, together with Marine units, are deterrence against outside threats. But then why are the most active elements moving out?

The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation agreed upon this April stipulate primary responsibilities for Japan's SDF, among which is: "The Self-Defense Forces will have primary responsibility for conducting operations to check and repel such invasions." In all cases the USFJ plays only a supporting role for the SDF.

In other words, all these Marine bases have nothing to do with deterrence and Japan's defense. Could you explain it because you must be deeply involved in the Marines Okinawa’s daily affairs?.

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voiceofokinawa: "Could you explain it"

Yes, but you won't listen, as usual. The US is currently there in a support capacity, and also works with the SDF on joint operations, but make no mistake it is the US presence there -- in ANY capacity -- that keeps Japan's enemies at bay, because in the event of any attack the US would join in, not sit back and watch. You are unwilling to understand that.

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Lincolnman: I never said the US owns large amount of land in Okinawa, only that they occupy it!

I cut and pasted your exact quote – if you now want to modify or change that quote, you are free to do so – just acknowledge that change. In addition, the US does not “occupy” any land in Japan, as I explained, it is provided use of that land by the Japanese government to operate US facilities as specified in the Security Treaty.

Between 1965 and 1972, Okinawa was a key staging point for the United States in its military operations directed towards North Vietnam........

The information you provided for the time period of 1965 to 1972 was when Okinawa was a US administrated area – at that time the US did influence the island politically – because it was a territory under administration of the US. That political influence ended upon reversion – and Okinawa became the sovereign territory of Japan. So back to my question – what examples do you have of US influencing Okinawa politically and who was this influence directed at post reversion?

As you probably know, there has been many crimes commited by US personnel yet they are not held to the laws of local government, only US military law, also political influence. If you need more proof of political influence, there's a long list to choose from.

You didn't specify a time period, but if you're talking about the period after 1972, then this is just patently false, and if you live on mainland Japan as you say I encourage you to drive to Yokosuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture and visit the Japan Ministry of Justice run Confinement Facility (Prison) and ask to speak to the 20 or so US military members and SOFA-sponsored civilians who are serving time for offenses committed off-base, that were prosecuted by a Japanese Prosecutor, found guilty in a Japanese court, and sentenced to a Japanese jail.

Ingtimewndr & Smith It was Yubaru who brought up the phrase "arm chair" I humbly admitted I've only been a visitor, multiple times. The phrase "armchair knowledge" implies someone who makes comments about a place or places they've never been and claim to have extensive knowledge. I've never claimed to have vast knowledge of Okinawa, nor can I say I have "local"insight of Okinawa. But I can see Injustices, Hypocrisy, and US political influence, only someone in denial wouldn't.

I wouldn’t call you an “armchair” expert, and I commend your honesty in saying you don't live on Okinawa and have just visited - there are quite a few others who post here that claim to live on the island that obviously don't. I just think based on the information you provide in your posts, you are uninformed about the facts, and maybe have been influenced by some of the clearly false anti-US/anti-base rhetoric that some readers continually post here.

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but make no mistake it is the US presence there -- in ANY capacity -- that keeps Japan's enemies at bay, because in the event of any attack the US would join in, not sit back and watch. You are unwilling to understand that.

Nope, that is just the establishment line. Okinawa serves as a rest and recreation facility for military personell. That is the real reason for the US wanting to keep a foothold there. While I'm at it http://nation.time.com/2012/01/13/marines-on-okinawa-time-to-leave/

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smithinjapan,

U.S. forces in Japan, particularly in Okinawa, are "in a support capacity" to help JSDF? In spite of it, why do they occupy so much land -- 18% of land mass in the case of the main island of Okinawa? Add to this the water areas and air spaces the U.S. forces use with impunity.

The situation is like Okinawa being located within U.S. bases, not vice versa. Bases are offered to the U.S. forces free of charge with more than 70% of their maintenance costs being shouldered by Japanese taxpayers. Washington's spin doctors have kept saying this big military presence is nothing extraordinary because they are there to defend Japan.

Now, for the first time, the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation signed in April stipulates that Japan's SDF has primary responsibility for repelling invading enemies, that is, defending Japan. The U.S. bases will remain intact and yet the U.S. forces are here merely in a support capacity? This is indeed adding insult to injury.

The Time article Christopher Glen referred to is a good reading, I think. Smithinjapan and lincolnman, can both of you argue against it and justify the construction of Futenma's replacement at Henoko?

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Bottom line: The Okinawans have painted themselves in a corner. They demanded Futenma be closed, not expecting the government to agree AND thinking, "If by some miracle they DO agree, that means less troops in Okinawa." As that Ferengi used to say in Star Trek: DS9, "Foolish HOOmaans!" Just because the Okinawan land developers are salivating at the thought of more land to exploit in Ginowan City doesn't change the defense needs of the country. The base at Futenma would be closed once a replacement was available elsewhere on the island. A simple concept that Okinawans hadn't apparently considered at all. So the government agrees and the plans are to move the units at Futenma north away from the city. But wait! This wasn't in the Okinawans plans for dictating to their national government how things will be! Don't mere provinces ALWAYS get their way when they demand that they know more about the national security needs of the nation than the national government does?! Ehhh... NO.

I remember not long ago American MP's using tear gas against a non cooperating Okinawan crowd. This was just a few years ago.

The only case I can find of tear gas in use by American MPs against Okinawan civilians was the "Koza Riot"... in 1970. You CAN'T be talking about that one, though, because in that one thousands of Okinawans rioted over a couple of fender bender accidents that U.S. soldiers had that day. The end result was:

It was not until 6 a.m. that the riot finally died down. Around 80 cars had been burned and 60 Americans injured.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2011/01/08/general/ex-mp-revisits-okinawas-koza-riot/#.VmXd0Jc-coU

Lets see in 1968 the CIA broke Ryukyu independence. The organizers ended up in American prison.

You can't "break" something that didn't exist at the time. In 1968 the entirety of Okinawa was still under U.S. control and would continue to be for another four years. If a group fomented a rebellion in 1968, I'm not surprised at all that they ended up in U.S. prisons. Now, tell me how many times U.S. troops have left the base to attack Okinawans in the 43 years SINCE the islands were returned to Japan in 1972?

There are smaller countries than a new Ryukyu nation and no one has invaded them!

Because they don't hold the strategic leverage that the location of Okinawa does. In short, they wouldn't be worth the effort to invade. Okinawa is a different story.

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Lincolman: I cut and pasted your exact quote - if you want to modify or change that quote - you are free to do so - just acknoledge that change.

(There is no need to modify or change that quote, here it is:)

"I pointed out that the US HAS more influence on Okinawa than just financial, it HAS large amounts of land it has great political influence which you ignored."

HAS definition: to posses, own or hold. The US military posses and holds large amounts of land in Okinawa, right? And since I have continuously used the word occupy as well, here is that defintion.

Occupy defintion: To reside or have ones place of business. That is also an accurate quote describing the US military in Okinawa.

Since you continue to deny that the treaty itself has anything to do with politics or political influence over that Okinnawa, here is another defintion.

Political defintion: Of or related to the government or public affairs of a country. The "treaty" definitely falls into that catigory and IS still a great influence in Okinawa and the nation.

As for US military crimes, the examples you selected only apply to crimes commited of base otherwise it can fall into this catigory. Once the U.S. military asserts its jurisdiction, a host country is often precluded from initiating its own criminal charges under the terms of the SOFA.

So it all depends on how much blowback happens wether or not the US government allows these crimes to be judged by themselves or local law but the US military have first say.

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HAS definition: to posses, own or hold. The US military posses and holds large amounts of land in Okinawa, right? And since I have continuously used the word occupy as well, here is that defintion. Occupy defintion: To reside or have ones place of business. That is also an accurate quote describing the US military in Okinawa.

Perhaps English is not your first language so I won't be too critical - I'll just say that the US does not occupy or have control over any land on Okinawa - it all falls under control of the host nation - that's what it says in black and white. To infer otherwise is to engage in fairy tales and debunked conspiracy theories.

Political defintion: Of or related to the government or public affairs of a country. The "treaty" definitely falls into that catigory and IS still a great influence in Okinawa and the nation.

How? And for the third time what empirical examples do you have to support that assertion?

As for US military crimes, the examples you selected only apply to crimes commited of base otherwise it can fall into this catigory. Once the U.S. military asserts its jurisdiction, a host country is often precluded from initiating its own criminal charges under the terms of the SOFA.

You need to consult a lawyer or read the SOFA - Japan has sole jurisdiction on any crime committed outside a US facility or area - it is up to the Japanese Police to investigate and a Japanese Prosecutor to decide to indict. Again, that's in black and white - specifically Art XVII, para1 (b) of the SOFA - if you'd care to look it up.

........judged by themselves or local law but the US military have first say.

Complete and categorically false - see above reference - you need to stop posting clearly inaccurate and misleading information.

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HAS definition: to posses, own or hold. The US military posses and holds large amounts of land in Okinawa, right? And since I have continuously used the word occupy as well, here is that defintion. Occupy defintion: To reside or have ones place of business. That is also an accurate quote describing the US military in Okinawa.

Perhaps English is not your first language so I won't be too critical - (That's funny comming from someone who denies the very simple definitions of words such as, HAS, POLITICAL & OCCUPY.

I'll just say that the US does not occupy

(since the bases are physically occupying Okinawain land, I'd say you're delusional.)

or have control over any land on Okinawa

(So you're saying that no one controls the entries to these bases, we are all free to just walk right past the guards and buy what ever we want from the PX and then leave. The heck with leaving, let's all just rent or buy a house on base.)

it all falls under control of the host nation - that's what it says in black and white. To infer otherwise is to engage in fairy tales and debunked conspiracy theories.

(I see, you're saying that it would not be the US MPs who stop me from doing those things I mentioned, it would the Japanese government. Lol)

Political defintion: Of or related to the government or public affairs of a country. The "treaty" definitely falls into that catigory and IS still a great influence in Okinawa and the nation.

How? And for the third time what empirical examples do you have to support that assertion?

(No, you have now added the word empirical, you've changed the wording to your question three times and I've answered you but you're deeply in denial.)

(Question, does the treaty have a great influence on Japan? Yes! Is Okinawa part of Japan? Yes! Is the treaty itself, a political agreement? Yes!)

As for US military crimes, the examples you selected only apply to crimes commited off base otherwise it can fall into this catigory. Once the U.S. military asserts its jurisdiction, a host country is often precluded from initiating its own criminal charges under the terms of the SOFA.

You need to consult a lawyer or read the SOFA - Japan has sole jurisdiction on any crime committed outside a US facility or area - it is up to the Japanese Police to investigate and a Japanese Prosecutor to decide to indict. Again, that's in black and white - specifically Art XVII, para1 (b) of the SOFA - if you'd care to look it up.

........judged by themselves or local law but the US military have first say.

Complete and categorically false - see above reference - you need to stop posting clearly inaccurate and misleading information.

(I corrected the obvious type-o from "of base" to "off base" So my statement IS correct.)

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So my statement IS correct.

Well, I see you prefer to remain uniformed, even when presented with factual references – best of luck with that.

I'd say you're delusional.

And I see like many that hold views similar to yours, use resort to insults and name-calling when you lack facts to support your assertions.

Finally, allow me to offer one suggestion - learn to use the “Quote” button in the comment block – your posts are extremely difficult to understand, not that I’ll be reading any more of them.

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linolnman,

Are you deflecting my question I asked both you and smithinjapan in my post above? It's time to answer the question. Perhaps, you may not have noticed it, so I repeat it below.

The question was: The Jan. 13, 2012 Time article by Kirk Spitzer which Christopher Glen referred to tells there's no need for the Marines to be stationed in Okinawa. I totally agree with what it says. Can you deny it and justify the construction of Futenma's replacement in Henoko -- a refurbished facility with many new functions added as if it was a completely new base ?

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Lincolman: And I see like many that hold views similar to yours, use resort to insults and name-calling when you lack facts to support your assertions.

(It was in responce to your condescending remark of, "Perhaps English isn't your first language, I won't hold that agaist you" That was your reply after I gave you the most common definition for the words, (political, occupy, & has)

(It's a fact that the US military bases OCCUPY land space it HAS Okinawa, they strictly regulate who can enter or use those facilities. The treaty itself, is a political agreement and it HAS tremendous influence in Japan. All things you deny, including the simple defintion of each word.)

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It was in responce to your condescending remark of, "Perhaps English isn't your first language, I won't hold that agaist you" That was your reply after I gave you the most common definition for the words, (political, occupy, & has)

You deliberately misquoted me again – may I suggest you use the cut and paste option so you quote someone accurately. My quote was “Perhaps you don’t speak English, so I won’t be too critical” – I was trying to be courteous given your rambling and disjointed use of English in your posts – but I see now that courtesy is not something you recognize or practice.

(It's a fact that the US military bases OCCUPY land space it HAS Okinawa, they strictly regulate who can enter or use those facilities. The treaty itself, is a political agreement and it HAS tremendous influence in Japan. All things you deny, including the simple defintion of each word.)

US bases do not occupy or control land on Okinawa – they RESIDE on land given to them to operate as outlined in the Security Treaty. That ability to operate includes the authority to grant or deny access. I’d provide you the requisite citations from the Treaty or SOFA, but it is obvious from your reply to my last post that black and white facts are not something you are interested in or understand.

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The treaty itself, is a political agreement and it HAS tremendous influence in Japan. All things you deny, including the simple defintion of each word.)

Agreed

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lincolnman,

You wrote in the post dated Dec. 07, 2015 - 03:57PM JST that posters who are for the unconditional closedown of Futenma Air Station and so against the Henoko relocation plan "promulgate their skewed views" on the issue. This is indeed a serious and non-negligible remark you made.

So you must answer the question I raised. You simply can't disregard it. If you can't answer, go to Washington's Japan hands for help. Without any reasonable reasons, Washington can't ask Tokyo to build the new base in Henoko. NEVER at all.

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Actually you've decided to use my word - reside - thank you for acknowledging that you agree with me.

And I’m sure it won't be taken, but allow me to offer one more bit of advice;

Learn how to use the “Quote” button

Spell check your words before posting

If you’re going to quote someone, do it accurately

Don't resort to personal insults just because you lack facts

Do your research before posting

Don’t post clearly false and inaccurate information

This advice is courteously provided with all good intentions........best wishes.

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