A view of the U.S. Futenma airbase in Ginowan, Okinawa Photo: Reuters
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U.S. may review plan to relocate forces in Okinawa to Guam

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That's going to go down like the proverbial lead balloon in Okinawa!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Maybe if they weren't spending so much time and effort blocking relocation if might have happened to a greater extent already and some of these marines be in different places. Now some in Okinawa will get what it probably TRULY wants -- a reason to complain for longer while demanding handouts. And if those people are actually concerned about the environment, as they say they are despite not caring about the new Ishigaki Airport being built, they'll agree that the troops should not be relocated to Guam if it means damage to the environment, right?

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Losing large Japanese government subsidies will mean that a long-term presence in Guam could get expensive.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Marines relocate to Hawaii or Australia? Doesn't make sense. The threat has always been in North Korea.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Darwin will welcome them with open arms. If they don't mine using a port controlled by for the next 100 years by a Chinese Government Company.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So I see there is concern about environment in Guam and other islands, but not in beautiful Henoko, Okinawa.........

6 ( +9 / -3 )

When North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, it was the rapid relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to South Korea that prevented the complete overrunning of the South. Okinawa is centrally located between the main islands of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. No doubt the PRC would like to see the US Marines relocated out of Okinawa, but if they have no aggressive plans in the area, there is nothing to worry about.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yet more broken promises?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Yet more broken promises?

Yeah you are right here, Onaga and company have broken a ton, and look what it gets them!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The U.S. Marines were never in favor of removing their troops and dependents from Okinawa, that was a political decision between the U.S. and Japan to try and get support for the Henoko Relocation Plan. The U.S. Marines have it made on Okinawa with their 18 hole Golf Course, private beaches and other leisure facilities, Central Air Conditioned Family Housing and some of the best dependent schools in the world. The good weather, low crime rate, hardly any drug and gang problems that plague the U.S. makes Okinawa one of the best duty stations for Military Families especially Marines in the world. I always thought that the Marines would try to find some way to get out of that troop removal plan but I thought they would wait until the construction at Henoko had reached the point where there could be no turning back.  Making these type of statements at this time could increase the opposition to Henoko because some people support it because of the planned Marine Corps troop reduction and closure of Camp Kinser. This is not the fault of the people of Okinawa who protest the Henoko Relocation Plan, this is the Marine Corps saying publically what they have been saying privately ever since the troop reduction plan was announced and that is the U.S. Marines don't want to leave Okinawa.

It is funny that there is Environmental concerns for Guam but not for Okinawa but that is because the Marines know that if they cause environmental damage on Guam they will be held accountable but on Okinawa the Japanese Govt. wont do anything to the Marines and the J-Govt. will pay for the cleanup.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

what an uneducated thing to post about those who are posting that it is the Okinawa people protesting, when the instigators, which has been proven by media have been Korean instigators.  The original Ryukyans not Japanese and should have the voice not the other way around seem to be ok with the US forces.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The title: U.S. may review plan to relocate forces in Okinawa to Guam

The quote: "We are still on plan to have Marines go to Guam," Neller said

What is this article? It's all based in conjecture!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Osaka Doug and Japan4life: "So I see there is concern about environment in Guam and other islands, but not in beautiful Henoko, Okinawa"

Actually, the opposite can be applied quite easily. Onaga and Co didn't, nor do they still, care one wit about the environment EXCEPT when it comes as an excuse for delaying the thrice agreed upon relocation. I mean, again, the new Ishigaki Airport required excavation of a large swath of land which threatens still the coral reefs, protected as part of a national park, and may destroy them. But where is your outrage? Why did Onaga not object? because there are no dugongs -- something he never cared about previously? And again, if they really do care about the environment, they should admit that for that reason relocating to Guam is not a good idea, no?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Osaka_Doug: Besides, if you're honestly just concerned about the environment then you might suggest keeping them indefinitely in Futenma. But wait... you guys don't want that, either.

Just remember that with all the delays (and demands for handouts) it's ultimately you guys that end up causing the bases to remain there.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

When North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, it was the rapid relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to South Korea that prevented the complete overrunning of the South.

What can the US Marines stationed in Okinawa do when North Korea launches their ballistic missiles at South Korea? The game has changed since the 1950's. For immediate troops, they already have some stationed in South Korea. Why can't other places in Japan, like in the north, have US bases?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Once again the US Government is lying to the people of Okinawa. The USG never had any intention of returning those southern bases and will use North Korea as an excuse to keep open MCAS Futenma. I have lived with the lies of the US Government all of my life. Americans have no ideal what it is like to grow up on the US Government occupied Okinawa.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It is time the Japanese people regained their independence, regained their dignity from the US. It is time Japan told the US that it does not want its bases on Japanese soil. The US will only involve Japan in more wars and expect Japan to supply more troops so the US can continue on its world domination and expansionism.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That's great news .. BRAVO !...I hope US follows through with it..It's time all US forces leave Japan..This a good defense move also . North Korean fat dictator will probably launch few missiles at Japan...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Staunchly opposed? Says WHO? Everyone in Okinawa is not represented by SOME who are "Staunchly Opposed".

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Staunchly opposed? Says WHO? Everyone in Okinawa is not represented by SOME who are "Staunchly Opposed".

The last four electron results would support your statement. Four mayors that have supported the relocation plans have easily won in races against the opposition candidates. I'm looking forward to Inamine taking the loss in Nago and truly changing the false narrative of "All Okinawans are opposed."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The original Ryukyans not Japanese and should have the voice not the other way around seem to be ok with the US forces.

Please enlighten us all here just how you would go about identifying who is an "original Ryukuan" and not "Japanese" your answer should be quite entertaining.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yubaru (May 25 | 07:06 pm JST),

"Onaga and company have broken a ton" of promises? What promises did he break? In the last gubernatorial election, he won the voters' overhwelming mandate by promising he would do his best to prevent the Henoko relocation plan from being realized. Yet the construction has already started. Is this what you are criticizing him for?

Onaga still has the trump card to play to botch the whole plan, though. And that is to recant his predecessor's approval of reclaiming work off Henoko. So, Yubaru, let's urge him to play that card as soon as possible.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

smithinjapan,

Do your research and you will see that residents of Ishigaki vigorously opposed the construction of the new airport and forced the original plan to be abandoned and the Govt. was forced to go with a second plan. Below is some information for you.

Plans for a new airport on the Ishigaki Island date back to 1979.Residents of Shiraho opposed the construction of New Ishigaki Airport, among other reasons, due to concerns about the destruction of the Shiraho Coral Reef. The 10 kilometers reef is home to over 120 species of coral, and is one of the most diverse coral reefs in Japan, and is named as one of the "Global 200" coral reefs by the World Wildlife Fund. The Shiraho district and its reef is protected as part of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park (205.69 square kilometers) , which covers both the land and marine areas of much of the Yaeyama Islands. The Shiraho reef is particularly vulnerable to destruction by red clay discharged from small rivers and other discharge from Ishigaki Island. This plan was abandoned in 1989.

A second plan, which was ultimately adopted, called for the airport to be built inland from the coast, using both agricultural land and excavating a section from Karadake, a prominent 135.9 meters hill on the relatively flat landscape of Ishigaki Island. Construction on the new airport started in 2006 with the excavation of Karadake. 270,000 ha² of soil from Karadake were removed, significantly changing the appearance of the landscape of Shiraho. The excavation of Karadake posed a continuing threat to the Shiraho coral reef. The hill is composed of red clay, and discharge of soil from the excavation presented a serious threat of destruction of the reef.

I know that some people try to portray the people of Okinawa as not caring about the environment but the people of Okinawa love their ocean because it is really there greatest treasure and they do try to fight to protect it but unfortunately economic issues dictate the construction of and additions to commercial airports but that does not mean that the U.S. Military should be allowed to destroy the environment to build a facility that a lot of Military Experts will tell you is not even necessary to be on Okinawa.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What promises did he break? 

He promised to abide by the ruling of the court.

 In the last gubernatorial election, he won the voters' overhwelming mandate by promising he would do his best to prevent the Henoko relocation plan from being realized. Yet the construction has already started. Is this what you are criticizing him for?

No he did not win an overwhelming mandate and you know it, but you keep on regurgitating alternative facts meaning....BS

Onaga still has the trump card to play to botch the whole plan, though. And that is to recant his predecessor's approval of reclaiming work off Henoko. 

No he doesn't, as it is already been shown in the courts as well.

Oh and the people have been speaking very loudly too, 3 local gubernatorial elections in a row have gone AGAINST Onaga and his "One Issue" politics.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru,

The three municipal elections you are talking about are Miyakojima, Urasoe and Uruma mayoral elections, held in January, February and April this year respectively. True that the three candidates backed by Onaga lost to the conservative incumbents backed by LDP and New Komeito parties.  Note, however, the Henoko relocation issue was never an issue in these elections - but only local economy. 

So please don't judge the future of the Futenma/Henoko issue based solely on the results of these local elections. The majority of the people of Okinawa strongly support Onaga’s call for the unconditional return of Futenma and the scrapping of Henoko relocation plan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Note, however, the Henoko Relocation issue was never and issue in these elections - but only the local economy.

That's not true at all and I have some of the campaign fliers left at my door to prove it. Nearly all the All base opposition candidate's flyers has 「新基地建設ストップ」 right on the top with Onaga's photo. Those candidates made base opposition a major part of their platform and they all lost because of it. Meanwhile the ruling coalition parties have been very successful in Okinawa because only those candidates have focused on the economy. The truth is that the majority of Okinawans are focused on the economy and education and have very little focus on the bases issue.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All Okinawa/base opposition*

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

CrucialS:

The conservative candidates were clever enough not to make the base issue an election issue, thus dodging Onaga-backed candidates' challenge, ,because, if they did, they knew they would be at a great disadvantage. They instead concentrated on economy -- appealing how good it is economically to vote for government-backed candidates. 

Do you still claim what I said in the post above is not true?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Note, however, the Henoko relocation issue was never an issue in these elections - but only local economy. 

Just how deep do you have your head buried in the sand? Even local assembly elections use the Henoko issue as a platform for their candidacy even when they have ZERO bases and ZERO money coming in from military sources.

"All Okinawa" is Onaga's key phrase these days, and those local elections as well had Onaga backed people running in them and BOTH Urasoe and Uruma city have LARGE military presences and money and they were DEFINITELY military and Henoko based platforms for all of them EVEN in Miyako.

You truly have problems with accepting reality that Henoko is happening,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you still claim what I said in the post above is not true?

Sure do, and it's you that continue to pout about the facts.

The conservative candidates were clever enough not to make the base issue an election issue, thus dodging Onaga-backed candidates' challenge, ,because, if they did, they knew they would be at a great disadvantage. They instead concentrated on economy -- appealing how good it is economically to vote for government-backed candidates. 

Not clever, smart, as the people of Okinawa are getting sick and tired of Onaga being a one issue Gov.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you still claim what I said in the post above is not true?

Yubaru already hit it but I'm going to go in for the finishing blow.

Your comment makes it even mores so obvious your claim is untrue.

The massive and unmistakable difference between the opposition candidates and conservative candidates is this simple. The opposition deliberately chose to make the bases a part of their platform thinking it would draw massive support. Meanwhile conservatives deliberately chose to ignore the bases because they believed it was not a major enough issue to run on. Who lost in that battle, my friend? The Opposition because Okinawans aren't focused on bases and they don't want leaders focused on one issue.

Ginowan: MCAS Futenma

Miyako: JSDF/Missile defense

Urasoe: Camp Kinser and Naha Port replacement

Uruma: Camp Courtney and Camp McTureous

If Okinawa is so opposed to the bases then why didn't the base opposition candidates win in base populated cities?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru,

How deep do I have my head buried in the sand? Isn't it you, on the contrary, who have your head buried hopelessly deep in the sand, always repeating the same mantra that the Henoko relocation is the best alternative for the solution of the Futenma issue? That's what the central government has been telling us, citing two reasons:

First, it will eliminate the danger posed by the current Futenma base that is located in a densely populated residential area. Second, deterrence capability must be maintained the same as ever, and the Henoko relocation will answer to that requirement.

I have argued against this reasoning of the central government's many times on other threads. I also asked you, not once but many times, why you thought the U.S. Marines must maintain bases in Okinawa whereby the Henoko relocation must be realized by all means. But you have dismissed my questions nonchalantly. This may be a good chance for you to explain your case – why the Marines must occupy so much precious land in Okinawa as a deterrent force..

Crucial S, 

I’ll come to you presently.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No bickering please.

CrucialS,

If Okinawa is so opposed to the bases then why didn't the base opposition candidates win in base populated cities?

There are 4 LDP Diet members from Okinawa constituencies (originally 5). They all opposed the Henoko relocation initially but flip-flopped their stance after then Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba had them sit in a row like truant students on an open stage and admonished that they must toe the party line.

In the following elections they were naturally all defeated but narrowly retained their seats thanks to the proportional representation system. One representative, Aiko Shimajiri, has been completely obliterated from Okinawa's political scene now.

You're posting your comments on the premise that this much U.S. military presence in Okinawa is good and necessary. So please help Yubaru try to answer my question and more: Why the U.S. Marines must maintain so many bases occupying so much space on land, at the sea and in the air, training their combat skills such as in jungle warfare and midair refueling skills for Ospreys to further extend the aircraft’s cruising distance -- all this “for the defense of Japan”.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CrucialS,

Ginowan: MCAS Futenma, Please tell me how many times that you have heard the Mayor of Ginowan say that he is in favor of the landfill at Henoko and that he believes that Henoko is the only suitable replacement for MCAS Futenma? All I have ever heard him say is that he wants MCAS Futenma closed as soon as possible which is what we all want.

Miyako: JSDF/Missile defense, There are no U.S. Bases on Miyako which I am sure the people of Miyako are thankful for but again, has he ever said that he supports the landfill at Henko and that Henoko is the only suitable replacement for MCAS Futenma.

Urasoe: Camp Kinser and Naha Port replacement, The Mayor of Urasoe won his first term because he opposed the building of a replacement for Naha Port at Urasoe. He changed his mind during his first term and accepted the building of a port for the U.S. Military at Urasoe and recently won a second term. Also Gov. Onaga has given his support to this replacement so I don't see this as an issue. My question is that if the U.S. Military is serious about closing all of their facilities south of Kadena, then why do they need a port at Urasoe which is way south of Kadena. They already have a Military port at White Beach which has 2 piers and at Tengan Pier and also Japan made a law several years ago that commercial ports can be used by the U.S. Military in times of emergency.

Uruma: Camp Courtney and Camp McTureous, Again, when have you heard the Mayor of Uruma say that he supports the landfill at Henoko and that Henoko is the only suitable replacement for MCAS Futenma.

You are trying to portray Gov. Onaga and the people who are against Henoko as being against all the U.S. Bases on Okinawa and wanting them all closed but that is not the truth. This is only about the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

same mantra that the Henoko relocation is the best alternative for the solution of the Futenma issue?

You have NEVER seen anything like what you wrote here written by me.

Never said it was the best, but I am pragmatic and also want Futenma closed and the construction is going on and I do not want to wait another 2 plus decades for the people of Futenma to have to wait to have the base moved because of idiot politicans like Onaga.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No nitpicking in my wording, please. Whether you actually said it or not is not very important, but the fact that you've always supported the Henoko relocation is. 

Answer the question I posed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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