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Governor tells U.S. envoy bases are 'discrimination' against Okinawa

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OK, that's fine. Just tell us where you want us to put 'em in Kyushu or Shikoku, foot the bill,and we'll move 'em right out of the way for ya there, big feller.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

But Onaga has criticized the central government as "dishonest" because he had not been briefed about the operation in previous opportunities.

I wonder if you actually said this with a straight face? "Dishonest" Aren't you the one who said that you would abide by the decisions of the court, and then turned around and lied? Just who is being dishonest here?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Despite only accounting for 0.6 percent of the country's land mass, Okinawa is home to about 70 percent of the total area of land exclusively used by U.S. military facilities in Japan

This "fact", which is constantly repeated in just about every article about the bases in Okinawa, is misleading at best.

Anyone who has ever been to Okinawa knows that whatever the percentages may be, the reality is quite different.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Better Henoko than the middle of a populated area where civilians might accidentally be harmed, Wasn't that the original idea?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Better Henoko than the middle of a populated area where civilians might accidentally be harmed, Wasn't that the original idea?

Yes. The people who live with the current base in Ginowan have been waiting over 2 decades for this to get done.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Okinawa is actually pretty far from North Korea, Mr. Hagerty.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The people of Okinawa really need to be more grateful that the US is here in Japan to protect them.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

He's correct; it is discrimination by both Okinawa's owners - the Japanese Government and the US occupying forces. Perhaps it's time for Okinawa's independence. Such a beautiful and warm place in this region.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

JeffLeeToday 07:54 am JST Okinawa is actually pretty far from North Korea, Mr. Hagerty.

Without refueling an F-15 can fly from Okinawa to North Korea in under 2 hours.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Despite only accounting for 0.6 percent of the country's land mass, Okinawa is home to about 70 percent of the total area of land exclusively used by U.S. military facilities in Japan

I think it is meant to mean that 70% of the land mass of all U.S. military facilities in Japan are located in Okinawa. It does not mean that 70% of Okinawa's land mass is used for these facilities.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I think it is meant to mean that 70% of the land mass of all U.S. military facilities in Japan are located in Okinawa. It does not mean that 70% of Okinawa's land mass is used for these facilities.

It means this exactly, but unfortunately the way that it is written every time people are given the false impression that 70% of Okinawa's land is under US control.

The US bases amount to less than 10% of the land area of Okinawa.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I wonder if the Ryukyu islands would have been better off the way they were before the handover in 1972. They could be just like Guam and driving on same side as in the U.S. and no whining. Russia kept their Islands...

1 ( +6 / -5 )

29% of Guam are US military bases.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Kadena Air Base is the ideal location to replace Futenma. Two large long runways seldom used. The backside of Kadena- where the Navy is located has ample room for buildings.

Also, the backside of Camp Hansen there is ample room to accommodate Futenma's one airstrip and buildings. After all Hansen is where the troops are, only minutes away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kadena Air Base is the ideal location to replace Futenma. Two large long runways seldom used. The backside of Kadena- where the Navy is located has ample room for buildings.

Also, the backside of Camp Hansen there is ample room to accommodate Futenma's one airstrip and buildings. After all Hansen is where the troops are, only minutes away.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

True, Okinawa Prefecture has, in a way, been discriminated in terms of hosting the most U.S. troops in Japan. But there are mitigating circumstances that have to be carefully examined before classifying the nature of discrimination as oppressive. The U.S. Ambassador should be aware of the controversy and how that impacts the Japan-U.S. Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty. It sounds as if the governor is taking an environmental stance as the basis for protest against the Camp Schwab/Henoko Futenma Replacement Facility. One should consider the magnitude of other type projects on Okinawa sponsored by Tokyo such as the Naha International Airport land reclamation project. Anyway, this is not a simple case of "discrimination", but a complex and often contradictory set of circumstances.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make no mistake, the occupying forces are here to protect their own interests in the region. The people of Japan come much further down the list of priorities. As for the people of Okinawa they must suffer the ignominy of foreign hegemony and be demonised if they speak out or protest.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

“Occupying forces”? Really? So where is the resistance and the guerilla fighters who are heroically fighting in an attempt to free their country from the oppressors?

oh never mind they are happily playing Xbox and eating mcDonalds in a safe and protected country.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Kadena was first base I stopped at on way to VN in 72, I say pull all bases out of Jpn these ingrates don't deserve any protection.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Kadena Air Base is the ideal location to replace Futenma. Two large long runways seldom used. The backside of Kadena- where the Navy is located has ample room for buildings.

Easy to say, but inter-service rivalries prevent this from happening. The Commanding General on Kadena would instantly become junior to the Commanding General of the MC here on Okinawa and there is no way the AF is going to allow that to happen. The most senior Navy officer on Okinawa is lower in rank than the AF General.

This idea was floated a number of times, but dismissed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru  (Today 07:12 am JST),

The case disputed in court last year was over whether the sanction by the former governor of Futenma's relocation to Henoko was legitimate or not. Onaga promised he would abide by court ruling whatever the ruling might be. 

The case at issue this time around is over whether the central government can proceed with land reclamation in an area where fishing rights are still valid, says Okinawa prefectural government.  Issuing fishing rights permits and licenses fall exclusively under the jurisdiction of the prefectural governor.

The central government argues against it by saying there's no more fishing rights existing in the sea area because the fishermen (Nago Fishery Association) had already agreed with the central government to relinquish their fishing rights.

But look what the central government did to win the fishermen's agreement. In return for relinquishing their fishing rights, the fishery association was paid an amount of 600 million yen. In addition, in 2014, the central government promised to pay 3 billion yen to the relevant fishermen as damages for fishing.

The question is: Can the central government have legal authority to directly negotiate with local fishermen to relinquish their fishing rights? And using bribery tactics at that?

So who's dishonest here, the Okinawa prefectural government or the central government?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Onaga reminds me of that of South Korea. He is behaving like an activist implanting hate among Okinawans. This is not the way a politician or governor is supposed to do.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Discrimination? Somebody get this guy a dictionary.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The Japanese can take it from there. Thank you for your services. Give Tokyo nukes and all will be fine.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Kadena was first base I stopped at on way to VN in 72, I say pull all bases out of Jpn these ingrates don't deserve any protection.

Japan was used as a stopover base for US troops on their way to drop napalm and Agent Orange on a country that posed no direct threat to either the US or Japan, in a war that the US entered under false pretences and ultimately lost, after causing the deaths of millions? How philistine of Japan to be ungrateful 'bout that.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

yup, discrimination! All those people who have been making money hand over fist from the military presence would just love for those bases to pack up and leave . Hmmm hmmm

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

29% of Guam are US military bases.

Guam is a US territory. Not sure what your point is there, Ossan, unless you're saying Okinawa is also a US territory.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The case disputed in court last year was over whether the sanction by the former governor of Futenma's relocation to Henoko was legitimate or not. Onaga promised he would abide by court ruling whatever the ruling might be

It was found to be legitimate hence him having no further argument. That's it.

The rest is BS, delaying games, wasting tax payer money, and causing projects already started to be further delayed because of his not maintaining his promise.

Onaga has no idea what being a leader is about. He is on the losing end of every protest he makes, he needs to be taught how to negotiate.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Pacific war ended over 70 years ago, with okinawans paying a hefty price. Time for the occupiers to leave and bring peace to the region.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The US bases in Japan are hear to stay, no matter what the governor of Okinawa spouts. He and the people of Okinawa had better get used to it. These were stipulations of the treaty Japan signed at the end of WW2 and it will never change. Get over it!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Without refueling an F-15 can fly from Okinawa to North Korea in under 2 hours.

If they don’t crash, we have to foot the bill for fuel, land, hosting crew pilots and beauracracy, protesters punched in the face, hosting nukes on Japanese soil, three story beachside houses for US military families with free gas, electricity, internet and parking, tourist infrastructure underdevelopment, night-time no go zones. I believe F-15s cost $40000 an hour with up to $10000 for maintaniace. Then there is upgrades, training and investment in the next generation.

north Korea has never started any wars...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Give Japan nukes? I'd rather a nuclear free world but I suppose, for the sake of parity... have the nukes installed and pointed at the US. Just as a friendly reminder who Okinawa actually belongs to.

Also; following that logic of arms building and occupying, sorry, strategic defending - Japanese bases should be set up in Hawaii and around the US pacific.

Then everyone will be happy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

north Korea has never started any wars...

Still its a game of semantics, South Korea never started any either. But someone sure the hell did, and it wasnt the US either.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@OssanAmerica

Without refueling an F-15 can fly from Okinawa to North Korea in under 2 hours.

So what? F-16s from Misawa, a third the distance away, can get there a heck of a lot quicker.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yubaru (Today 01:16 pm JST),

It was found to be legitimate hence him having no further argument. That's it.

What do you mean by the pronoun "it"?  Does "it" mean the former governor's sanction of Henoko relocation or the central government's forging ahead with the reclamation of public waters off the Henoko coast without due permission by the prefectural government?  But that’s the very moot question that must be disputed in court. So let’s wait and see what the court ruling will be.  Don’t simply deliver a parting shot before giving your argument as to why the Henoko relocation is an urgent must .

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's not discrimination.  US wanted Okinawa ever since Perry first came to Japan in black ships in 1853.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

north Korea has never started any wars...

Korean War started when North Korea started invading the South.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NessieToday 01:15 pm JST29% of Guam are US military bases.

Guam is a US territory. Not sure what your point is there, Ossan, unless you're saying Okinawa is also a US territory.

Nessie, please read the post by bjones just before mine.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

JeffLee Today 02:52 pm JST @OssanAmerica

Without refueling an F-15 can fly from Okinawa to North Korea in under 2 hours.

So what? F-16s from Misawa, a third the distance away, can get there a heck of a lot quicker.

The point is that Okinawa is not as "far away" as you think. USAF bases at Onsan and Kunsan are even closer than Misawa. Okinawa serves as the hub and gateway to U.S. military operations in the entire region. Has done so going back to 1950 and right through the Vietnam War,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yet even with this new base, MCAS Futenma will not be closed. The Marines would lack an airfield for their long range aircraft. I have grown up with the Americans lies and it never ends. One thing is true the American bases put the lives of all Okinawa people at risk. If the bases are used to defend against the DPRK, their bases need to be in Mainland Japan or South Korea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yet even with this new base, MCAS Futenma will not be closed.

Where is your proof? The base is still in US hands due to the prefecture not cooperating with the central government. The Marines have been ready to relocate for years.

The Marines would lack an airfield for their long range aircraft.

The expansion on Camp Schwab provides an air field necessary to accommodate all Marine Coros aviation assets.

American lies

the US is pretty transparent in Japan. Those “lies” may be more insidious that you chose to believe

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Remember that closed American military bases always turn out to be toxic waste dumps. Ask the Fillippinos about the bases that we closed there are hear the full horror story

4 ( +4 / -0 )

According to a provision in SOFA, Japan has all responsibility for restoring the status quo ante of a returned base. This is a bilateral agreement between two independent states. But can such unequality be possible between two genuinely "equal" parties? That Japan agreed to it means Japan is never an equal partner to the U.S. but its subservient vassal. The occupation is still continuing and the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which the SOFA is an integral part of, is an intrigue that makes such absurdity possible.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

For those who can't see this is ridiculous, here's a metaphor to make it easier to understand. 

Suppose a  person rents a car but he doesn’t have to pay a rental. The rent-a-car company shoulders it entirely. Also, the company is all responsible for paying any damages to the car when the customer returns it. 

This is what the reality of Japan-U.S. relation is.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Besides, the customer has every right as to when he will return the car.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Onaga didn't care one wit about the environment when Ishigaki island airport was built. And he knows it's not discrimination. The man is a lunatic.

voiceokikawa: "Besides, the customer has every right as to when he will return the car."

Not if he's still demanding to use it whenever he or she wants, but demanding you make the payments for it. No free handouts, amigo. Onaga said, "The Okinawan people are working hard to stop this," and that would be the ONLY thing some of those people are working hard at, while demanding government money. They sit at airports and BEG for accidents so they can complain; it's their whole lives! Imagine if they worked as hard at something actually productive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okinawa serves as the hub and gateway to U.S. military operations in the entire region. Has done so going back to 1950 and right through the Vietnam War

Exactly. Key words: "U.S. military operations in the entire region". US bases at Okinawa are for US strategic interests, first and foremost, not because the good kind Uncle Sam magnanimously decided to burden himself with the defence of Japan, as some posters claim here. Japan should (and it can) defend itself.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smithinjapan,

You don't seem to understand the metaphor I illustrated.  Don't mix up our domestic issue with a U.S. military base issue. 

New Ishigaki Airport was originally planned at Shiraho, Ishigaki Island, in 1979 by reclaiming coral waters off its coast, but the plan was botched because of strong opposition, local and nation-wide, from concerns about destroying the pristine natural environment. The area preserves various kinds of WWW-sanctioned, now world-famous beautiful corals undisturbed by human activities. After twists and turns for more than 30 years the current site was decoded on in 2000 and the construction began in 2006.     

You haven't rejected my metaphor about a rent-a-car company (Japanese taxpayers) and the customers who Washington's Japan hands like to call "good neighbors" or invited "guests".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nessie, please read the post by bjones just before mine.

Done. (If you're referring to other posts, it helps if you quote them in your reply.)

Still not sure what your point is about Guam, but thank you for your civility.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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