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U.S. base transfer referendum for all Okinawa voters remains unclear

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Fearing a low turnout could undermine the validity of the referendum, Tamaki wants to conduct the referendum in all 41 cities, towns and villages, and has urged the five cities including Ginowan to take part in the referendum.

Yup, been saying all along, folks down here are apathetic to the issue.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

In a related development Tuesday, 16 Okinawa residents opposed to the transfer plan filed a lawsuit with the Okinawa District Court, seeking the revocation of Ishii's decision, which they argue is illegal as long as the minister cannot be neutral in a dispute involving the central and Okinawa governments.

Is it just me or do these folks come across as having their heads in the sand? He is in an appointed position. Appointed by Abe no less, and works for the central government. It's a no brainer he is going to follow the policies of Abe and implement them as instructed.

There is no where that states these ministers are supposed to be neutral.

This case is just another one that will be tossed out of court.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

With all of the little islands floating around in Japan's waters, is the U.S. so technologically backward that it cannot do what the Chinese have done and build themselves a quiet little spot away from civilized people to have the base? Why do we have to destroy an ecologically diverse and important piece of Okinawa's wealth to facilitate a military occupation of Okinawa that should have ended long ago. If the main islands want the Occupation to continue, they can host the new base. Leave Okinawa alone! They've paid enough for main island stupidity.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

 If the main islands want the Occupation to continue, they can host the new base. Leave Okinawa alone! They've paid enough for main island stupidity.

You ever actually BEEN to Okinawa? I ask that because the occupation ended in 1972. Slowly but surely since then, the land used by the US has been and is being returned to Japanese control, the economy no longer lives or dies with the US military, less than 5% of the GDP, and let's not even begin to talk about all the other bases scattered throughout Japan as well.

Point is, Okinawa is NOT under occupation, virtual, pseudo, or anything else!

Anyone who states otherwise is a drunken old fool!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The referendum is only a superficial attempt to show anti-base feelings of Okinawa. Having said that, It will help remind the mainland Japanese people and Americans about the hardships of people of Okinawa. However, the essence of the problem is rooted deeper. Japan cannot harm diplomatic relations with U.S. We cannot economically survive without good relationships with U.S. and in defense wise unless Japan change the peace constitution and defend our country by ourselves, it is difficult. Have a referendum if they want to be independent from Japan or not.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Have a referendum if they want to be independent from Japan or not.

Never going to happen. Okinawa is too far integrated into Japan for this to even be feasible. Not to mention that there would be no way to identify between ethnic Okinawan's and Japanese from mainland, to separate the two from each other.

I have often commented about this on JT. Far too many people think that Okinawa is totally separate from Japan, it's not, yes it has it's own unique culture and heritage but independence from Japan? Never going to happen.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

With all of the little islands floating around in Japan's waters, is the U.S. so technologically backward that it cannot do what the Chinese have done and build themselves a quiet little spot away from civilized people to have the base? Why do we have to destroy an ecologically diverse and important piece of Okinawa's wealth to facilitate a military occupation of Okinawa that should have ended long ago. If the main islands want the Occupation to continue, they can host the new base. Leave Okinawa alone! They've paid enough for main island stupidity.

While it is technically feasible, the monetary cost and environmental impact would be several times greater than simply expanding an existing base. Developing an uninhabited island would require the building of power stations, water works, ports, airfields, waste management facilities and road infrastructure before building the base could even begin. Not to mention finding an uninhabited island with sufficient land mass.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Once again, people show that they do not understand what a military occupation actually is. Let's clarify.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/military%20occupation

Definition of military occupation

: control and possession of hostile territory that enables an invading nation to establish military government against an enemy or martial law against rebels or insurrectionists in its own territory *

Nope, none of this is going on in Okinawa.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yubaru

Independence from Japan is the only way Okinawa can be free from U.S. bases. Independent Okinawa will have a free hand to deal with U.S. about the bases. No other prefecture in Japan is as defiant as Okinawa to the central government.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

for the spanking new base at Henoko

There is no new base being constructed at Camp Schwab. It's a landfill, and no matter how much people like to play word games, it does not change that fact. It's a landfill project, even the prefecture acknowledges that as well. It's just easier for people to get their undies in a bundle calling it a new base, even though they know it's an "alternative fact" a.k.a a lie!

The referendum question is going to be about the landfill, there will be no questions about a "new base", it's all about "Yes/No/No Opinion" about the landfill at Henoko/Camp Schwab.

If it was in fact a "new" base the referendum question would be about THAT a new base. It's not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Independence from Japan is the only way Okinawa can be free from U.S. bases. Independent Okinawa will have a free hand to deal with U.S. about the bases. No other prefecture in Japan is as defiant as Okinawa to the central government.

Barely 10% of the people in Okinawa want independence. Even if it led to the end state you discussed. It's the dream of a few hundred people.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Barely 10% of the people in Okinawa want independence. Even if it led to the end state you discussed. It's the dream of a few hundred people.

More like less than 1%. There are more cessationist movements in Hawaii, Texas, and California.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@extanker

Someine watched Full Metal Jacket and thinks they know all about the USMC.

If my memory is correct, Kokusai St and the Koza Strip were mostly off limits to Marines lower than SSGT.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The LDP are a disgrace for trying to deny the people of Okinawa their right to freely express their opinion on the Henoko Relocation Plan. Every eligible registered voter on Okinawa should have the right to participate in this Referendum. This has nothing to do with apathy, but is a campaign by the LDP on Okinawa with the encouragement of the Central Gov. to lessen the impact of the referendum and keep from embarrassing PM Abe.

Can you imagine what an embarrassment to the Central Gov. it would be if a majority of the voters in Ginowan City where MCAS Futenma is located voted not to relocate it to Henoko?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

For those that have done their research before posting, they'd know that an off-share facility similar to Kansai Airport was reviewed and assessed as part of over 10 different options to moving Futenma in the early to mid-2000s.  It was one of the top three finalists, but was judged less operationally effective and most expensive.

An example was highlighted with the recent typhoon that knocked out the bridge to Kansai airport - take out the one bridge, and the facility ceases to operate.  And as we all know, Kansai Airport is still sinking...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Can you imagine what an embarrassment to the Central Gov. it would be if a majority of the voters in Ginowan City where MCAS Futenma is located voted not to relocate it to Henoko?

That would only imply that the airfield would stay in Futenma indefinitely. Henoko relocation, while not a perfect solution is the most feasible and realistic solution. There is no doubt that residents around Futenma want the airfield relocated, and Nago city agreed over decade ago to host it at Henoko. Wealthy Ginowan land owners, however, who make millions of dollars a year from US land leases are trying tooth and nail to block the relocation. In one of the relocation discussions one of the representatives openly said that he was against the relocation unless the govt can subsidize the commercialization and ensure profits of the returned land. Payed agitators and communist backed 10,000Y baito protestors were thrown in the mix, and things snowballed from there. The actual residents of the Oura Bay Area hate the protesters who block traffic, litter, damage and trespass on private property.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The LDP are a disgrace for trying to deny the people of Okinawa their right to freely express their opinion on the Henoko Relocation Plan. Every eligible registered voter on Okinawa should have the right to participate in this Referendum. This has nothing to do with apathy, but is a campaign by the LDP on Okinawa with the encouragement of the Central Gov. to lessen the impact of the referendum and keep from embarrassing PM Abe.

You would prefer that a minority have a say over the majority? This referendum was forced on the prefecture by people OUTSIDE of Okinawa, who gathered enough signatures on a petition to force it on the people here!

Previous governors promised to hold one, but none did, for a plethora of reasons, so your trying to say the LDP is trying to undermine the vote is disingenuous at best! Seeing as how the Mayors and assemblies that were against it are for the overwhleming majority, do not have an LDP majority, quite the opposite.

More "alternative facts" because it's easy to lie because folks dont trust the LDP, for whatever reason!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Fearing a low turnout could undermine the validity of the referendum, Tamaki wants to conduct the referendum in all 41 cities, towns and villages, and has urged the five cities including Ginowan to take part in the referendum.

Yup, been saying all along, folks down here are apathetic to the issue.

And what if no clearcut resolution is reached, then what? More political delaying obstructionist referendum votes, thus delaying the closure of Futenma and relocation to Henoko? The problem will never be resolved. And what do the other 39 cities, towns and villages care about Futenma and Henoko? They have their own problems.

Let's be honest, Tamaki really wants the entire U.S. military forces, not just the U.S. Marines OUT of Okinawa. That's why he wants all 41 cities, towns and villages involved.

Would Tamaki prefer instead the JSDF to replace the U.S. military on the bases in Okinawa? Or does he wants ALL military forces including JSDF out of Okinawa and closure of all military bases ?  Let him be honest and straightforward about that instead of hiding his real intentions through meaningless referendums that only addresses part of the issue and offers no solutions.

It's time to fish or cut bait, as they say.  Why not a real binding referendum vote: "Do you want ALL military bases on Okinawa closed and ALL U.S. and Japanese military forces removed from Okinawa?" 

YES or NO. 

But this too will probably be a meaningless exercise and waste of effort as Okinawa is and remains a prefecture of Japan and under its jurisdiction, which includes compliance with its policies and directives. Mainland Japan government would ignore a "YES" vote as it and U.S. deems Okinawa to be an important buffer in the region and wants to continue hosting military bases there.

Independence from Japan is the only way Okinawa can be free from U.S. bases. . Independent Okinawa will have a free hand to deal with U.S. about the bases

Then hold a meaningful and binding referendum for independence and put it to vote. 

If and when that happens, Tamaki and Okinawans who do support independence will have to remember it will no longer be a Japanese prefecture and enjoy the economic benefits and protection as a Japanese prefecture. And the U.S. will also have no obligation in protecting Okinawa from a particular country that is expanding throughout the China Seas region.  

The Philippines kicked the U.S. military out. But after seeing China's expansionism in the area, they are begging for U.S. military to return and support in the region.

(Independence) Never going to happen. Okinawa is too far integrated into Japan for this to even be feasible.... 

Realistically true.  Japan central government will never allow independence for those very reasons.  Both Japan and U.S. agree Okinawa being militarily strategically important in the region.  

But if the majority of Okinawans are apathetic and uninterested in politics as suggested, the ones who do vote will no doubt be influenced by the very political active radical leftist forces who back the base protests, anti-U.S. sentiments and enabled Onaga and his successor Tamaki to be elected. They will make it appear that the "majority of Okinawans" support independence.  I hate to see Okinawa's fate determined by these noisy few but active and influential radical leftist factions.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"Many residents of Okinawa, which hosts the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan, want the Futenma base to be moved outside the prefecture."

I love how so many of the radicals who want what has been their bread and butter for décades out citing safety concerns and going ballistic if there's an accident, but suddenly it's all

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Honestly, I find it suspicious that the prefecture included such a half hearted question and responses for the referendum. It seems like the OPG isn’t confident in the support and participation of assembly memebers and public.

If they were confident and desires desires to make a statement their referendum would be:

Do you support the plan to relocate MCAS Futenma to reclaimed land at Henoko?

-Yes, continue with the current plan

-No, do not relocate MCAS Futenma

-Neither, relocate Futenma outside of the prefecture.

-I do not have an opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okinawa can never exist as an independent country. As soon as they break off from Japan, China will move in and snatch it up. The moon cannot float freely while the earth is near. Just like Guam and Saipan, it will always fall under the gravitational pull of one of the regional powers. Either US, Japan or China. Take your pick.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Schopenhauer (Today 07:23 am JST),

Japan cannot harm diplomatic relations with U.S.

The primary reason why the Abe government is so intent on constructing the new base at Henoko is not because it wants to eliminate the danger Futenma poses to residents in Ginowan City as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told today's plenary session of the Diet. If so, is Yokota Air Base the next to be relocated because it's also situated in a similarly densely populated residential area in metropolitan Tokyo. Following Yokota may be Camp Hansen in central Okinawa where stray bullet incidents have occurred so many times, 28 incidents in all since 1972.

But the truth may be that the Abe government is only cringing to Washington, subserviently implementing what was dictated to it by washington albeit in appearance it's a bilateral agreement. Schopenhauer nicely summarizes this sad situation in spite of himself: "Japan cannot harm diplomatic relations with U.S."

Rather than harm relations with the U.S. Japan had better build the new base in Henoko as the U.S. pleases even at the sacrifice and cost of its own nationals and the pristine natural environment, so must think the Abe government. As I've been saying on various occasions, if the construction is let go, it means Japan agreed that Okinawa can be a U.S.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As I've been saying on various occasions, if the construction is let go, it means Japan agreed that Okinawa can be a U.S. bastion forever. That’s why this ill project must be blocked by all means.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Since any vote us meaningless and will not change the outcome the OPG should ask that the new Henoko airbase be called "ONAGA Airbase" after the late Governor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about an independence referendum? Worked for Kosovo...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How about an independence referendum? Worked for Kosovo...

Yes! Okinawa shall once more become the Ryukyu Kingdom, free of the shackles of Nagatacho!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Abe will do as his US masters tell him. Like it or not, Japan is still effectively under US control and occupation. The Japanese vote for a Japanese PM who reports to and obeys his US masters.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

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