politics

U.S. troop presence in Japan a concern for Russia: Lavrov

57 Comments
By FRANCK ROBICHON

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Obviosly. The purpose of U.S. troop presence in Japan is to be a concern for Russia - and others.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Unfortunately, Japanese don't know Russia as a neighbour.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I wonder which Japan would choose, the return of a couple islands or the US military staying here in Japan?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

He said Moscow's concerns "over its own security stemming from the presence, development and constant reinforcement of the U.S.-Japan political and military alliance" had been transmitted to the Japanese side, who had "promised to react."

I am sure Moscow also has concerns with Japan having its own military as well.

Translation: Russia wants a weak Japan. As does China.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

So the Northern territory won't be returned to Japan as far as there's U.S. military presence in Japan. But not only the U.S. is keeping troops in Japan but Japan is making the conditions of the presence of U.S. troops permanent by building new bases in addition to existing ones. The Henoko relocation is a good case in point. The Marine base in Iwakuni has also been expanded and strengthened. 

So how would Japan ask the Russian side for the return of the four islands in the western Kurils?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Translation: Russia wants a weak Japan. As does China.

Given Russia has as many nuclear weapons as the US, some say even more, Russia has much greater military strength than Japan. And given Japan is fossil fuel dependent and Russia has huge reserves of oil, gas and coal, Japan's even more vulnerable to Russia. And given Putin's Eurasian Economic Union is linking up with China's Belt and Road, and Trump's America is ceding control to Russia and China, Japan's caught in a vise.

China's Xi Jinping visits 'best friend' Vladimir Putin

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/china-xi-jinping-visits-friend-vladimir-putin-190605173303626.html

0 ( +3 / -3 )

US troops belong on US soil.

Japanese troops belong on Japanese soil

Turkish troops belong on Turkish soil.

If everybody followed that principle, we wouldn't have any of these problems.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

The two countries are locked in negotiations to conclude a peace treaty they never signed to end hostilities after World War II. Talks are deadlocked by a dispute over four islands, between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, seized by the Soviet army in the last days of World War II. Japan considers the four islands part of their territory.

Here's the way I see it. If there is no treaty and Japan considers the four islands part of THEIR territory, then just take it and put US troops there to really let the world know where it stands. That is what Russia understands. Of course they want a weakened Japan. Like in recent moves out in Syria, encroachment by Russia on US leased land during the recent pullout that took them only a few days before moving in. Same would happen to Japan and that is no secret. China from the South, Russia from the North. Who gains; everyone but Japan.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The US troops’ presence is a concern for Russia? They’ve only been here since 1945. Why are they ‘all of a sudden’ a concern?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

@PTownsend, that's a good, concise and unbiased synopsis. Before any more posters get all 'bleeding-nose' about the issue, I'll add only one thing. Those 'Northern Territories', or 'Kurils', aren't important in the long run. Politicians waste time on creating mountains out of molehills for the sake of nothing but their ego. This end of WW2, as in the signing of that peace treaty has nothing to do with anything. It's just paper. So are those islands.

Have you ever tried to walk barefoot on a paper floor? The distortions in the paper that you make (you're not a ninja or shaolin priest) will surely be blown away with the wind or washed away in the rain or next tsunami.

I remember 3/11, and the treaty and issues regarding it are nothing compared to the loss of the Great Eastern Earthquake and Tsunami.

So, to anyone who cares - get over it.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Correction:

second to last line - I remember 3/11, and the treaty and issues they're talking about now, about something that's 70 years old and counting, are nothing compared to the loss...etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can well understand the Russian concern over the presence of the US military on Japanese soil. Under the current US-Japan security treaty, the US can theoretically build military bases anywhere in Japan without getting the Japanese government’s consent. A full fledged Japanese military with nuclear capabilities would make this world a much safer place.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Russia has not seen the punishment, that will be meaded out against them, a year from now, when the Democrats control all branches of power in Washington

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Does Japan really even want close ties with Russia..... which is basically a country run by Organized Criminals.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Russia will NEVER give back those islands. In still doesn’t understand. Pride, not reason is still guiding this nation’s international policies. Russia has taken so much land from the world, it’s not about to start giving back land to a screaming government. Anyway, go. Try. Japan won’t lose anything trying. Maybe they’ll learn something.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Lavrov would love to weaken Japan!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The more I think about it the more it makes sense for Japan to become militarily independent of the US to make it that much easier to make decisions about its own sovereignty, trade etc. for its best benefit. Maybe it could negotiate being cut in on the Sino-Soviet Silk Road transport route!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Piffle from Lavrov and the Russians. They know the US military presence in Japan is aimed more at China and NK than it is at Russia, no matter how it might have started out in 1945.

They're either trying to use it as a bargaining chip to get they want, or as yet another excuse not to make any concessions to Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yubaru,

I wonder which Japan would choose, the return of a couple islands or the US military staying here in Japan?

Whichever devil you choose, it' the devil all the same. So don't pretend to think that the U.S. military presence, aka occupation, is far better.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The American troops and bases in Japan will never will never be withdrawn as long as the nations of Earth are still warring with each other.

I could see the military presence changing to United Nations troops. However for that to happen the UN would need to grow a spine and actually defend its members. I don't see that happening anytime in the near future.

If the US military left Japan it would bring about the mother of all wars. Russia, China and the USA would fight for this little country until they had destroyed one another, not to mention along with every island of Japan. That would be bad for every person on this planet.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The $8 billion demanded by Trump could change the U.S. military situation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan would be stupid to not be planning for Trump to follow through on his financial demand. And they should refuse. Until Trump I argued against changing the constitution to allow a military. But then the trumpets exposed the American system to be broken, and it’s dangerous to rely on a broken system that no one has any intention to fix. Japan needs to provide its own defence.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Russia trying to undermine its adversaries and their international relationships. Nothing new here.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Better US troops than Russian, North Korean, and Chinese troops.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

At the end of WW II, the USSR requested to occupy half of Japan, as they did to Korea. Since Soviet armed forces were not needed for an invasion of Japan, the US denied the Soviet request to occupy half of the country.

The occupation of Japan ended on April 28, 1952, restoring Japanese sovereignty except to Okinawa and Iwo Jima. If the Soviets had been allowed to occupy half of the country, it is likely that their occupation would not have ended until the collapse of the USSR, if then, and that today Japan would be a mere shadow of its current self.

The Russian leader has let it be known that he wants American forces out of Japan. If he stays true to form, we can look for Russia's Puppet to announce by twitter that the US is pulling its forces out of Japan immediately. Meanwhile, that portion of America which watches only Fox thinks that Mr. Puppet is a great leader.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Whichever devil you choose, it' the devil all the same. So don't pretend to think that the U.S. military presence, aka occupation, is far better.

Once again, same old nonsense! Never get tired of repeating the same lies do you?

The only "devil" is the guy in Kasumigaseki named "Abe Shinzo". And by the way, I didnt choose him nor the LDP either, as I am quite sure you have!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And what exactly does Russia bring to the table that is worth Japan giving up a majority of it's security arrangement?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's a concern for all of us. The occupation needs to end & the troops need to go back home. That doesn't let the Russians off the hook, either. They need to stop interfering and trolling.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

US troops belong on US soil.

Japanese troops belong on Japanese soil

Turkish troops belong on Turkish soil.

If Putin's Russia would follow this principle then all of Eastern Europe could live at ease BUT, seeing what Russia does to its neighbors it's obvious that this principle can not work at this moment in time.

Without the US presence in Japan, things could and probably would go downhill for Japan. Japan has to continue pushing for peace in the region while at the same time putting more resources into military technology of its own in order to defend itself against such unfriendly neighbors. IMO.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

As usual masterful tactics by the consummate professional Mr. Lavrov in throwing that particular banana skin in front of Japan. Trust me when I say that if Japan turfed the US military out of Japan overnight Mr. Lavrov would simply throw another Banana skin even more slippery in front of Japan ad infinitum. They will never give up that territory. Indeed, the only reason Stalin went after the Japanese in China was to secure a seat at the Japanese surrender table to seize territory. That was his only reason to open up a second front in China whilst still having one open with Germany on the European front. They are not going to let Russian lives lost there go to waste by returning those Islands back to Japan...ever! It I’ll be hot balmy 30 degree Celsius summers day in Oymakon the day that they do!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The American troops and bases in Japan will never will never be withdrawn as long as the nations of Earth are still warring with each other.

The US is behind most (all) recent and current wars. If US forces would just stay at home, the world would be a much better place.

Anyway, I trust Russia much more than I do the US. Japan should get rid of all US military.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

re: The US troops’ presence is a concern for Russia? They’ve only been here since 1945. Why are they ‘all of a sudden’ a concern?

Perhaps because Russian encroachment never left when they should have.

re: The US is behind most (all) recent and current wars. If US forces would just stay at home, the world would be a much better place. Anyway, I trust Russia much more than I do the US. Japan should get rid of all US military.

Sure because otherwise you have monarchies and dictators where only a few of the elite get to enjoy the best of life. If one was a part of this group yes your correct but only for the selected few. Be glad for the US that your entitled to an opinion openly without fearful to find you can't express that opinion openly and freely without recourse.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Russia going to milk Japan for all shes worth. lol

1 ( +4 / -3 )

He said Moscow's concerns "over its own security stemming from the presence, development and constant reinforcement of the U.S.-Japan political and military alliance" had been transmitted to the Japanese side, who had "promised to react."

Yeah, well....Japan,s reaction will consist of some head scratching , sucking teeth and mumbles of " muzukashii ne"....then saying" so can we have the islands back now Sergei ? " Nyet? Komaru naa....round and round we go....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So if Trump was Putin's puppet, wouldn't he be withdrawing U.S. troops from Japan, since the Russians are "concerned" about it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That was his only reason to open up a second front in China whilst still having one open with Germany on the European front

You're wrong.

The USSR was bound by the 1943 Yalta Agreement that stipulated that the USSR must join the war against Japan no more than 90 days after the surrender of Germany.

German surrender was on May 15th, 1945.

The USSR declared war against Japan on August 14th, 1945.

The Russians waited till the last possible minute hoping that Japan would surrender before the deadline and that they wouldn't have to go to war in the Pacific.

Most Japanese historians even argue that it was the Soviet entry into the Pacific that made Japan surrender.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Under the current US-Japan security treaty, the US can theoretically build military bases anywhere in Japan without getting the Japanese government’s consent.

Please refrain from spreading misinformation on the forum. This is factually wrong. The US can't even build facilities on the bases it has without GOJ approval. And who does the building? Japanese construction companies. No more fake news.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

if Trump was Putin's puppet, wouldn't he be withdrawing U.S. troops from Japan, since the Russians are "concerned" about it?

Is that not what his comment about Japan forking over billions of dollars meant to get everyone ready for?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The US is behind most (all) recent and current wars. If US forces would just stay at home, the world would be a much better place.

Agreed. But some people take such sentiments very personally. That's why there are rarely any upvotes for calls for the troops to leave. Note that nobody is saying Americans should leave the countries they live in, rather the military should be sent home.

Anyway, I trust Russia much more than I do the US

I trust neither. It's a very complicated and dangerous game the two of them are playing at the moment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru,

You aren't responding to the question I posed, getting derailed as always. Lavlov implies that the northern territories won't be returned if there's continuing U.S. military presence. In your post above, you asked which Japan would choose, the return of the northern territories or the U.S. military presence  

I said neither no return of the four islands in the western Kurils nor permanent U.S. military presence in Japan is desirable. In other words, whichever is a devil for Japan. So how do you respond?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good lord. In 1945 America moved into Japan and then never left. That's called occupation. Can you imagine if the UK or France were still under American occupation? There would be riots. Let's face it, America doesn't want to leave because it's in its strategic interest to stay..'defence' being the excuse. Do you think if Japan turned around tomorrow and said 'right lads, out you go' that the US would suddenly up and leave? I don't think so. I bet a 'crisis' would suddenly arise in the region. 'Oh look, see, we have to stay' and so on. The question to ask is, will America ever leave?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

U.S. troop presence in Japan a concern for Russia...

Good. It's working.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There will not be a North and South Japan. Sorry Russia.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

 So how do you respond?

It's called a rhetorical question.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There will not be a North and South Japan. Sorry Russia.

No, there won't. But neither should Japan be under American influence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here's the way I see it. If there is no treaty and Japan considers the four islands part of THEIR territory, then just take it and put US troops there to really let the world know where it stands. That is what Russia understands.

Yeah, right....Im sure thats gonna happen.

Like in recent moves out in Syria, encroachment by Russia on US leased land during the recent pullout that took them only a few days before moving in. Same would happen to Japan and that is no secret."*

US leased land in Syria?....Wow , thats new....., since when did the US sign lease agreement with the Damascus regime? Btw...the only thing that avoided Kurdish bloodshed over there was Russia rapidly moving in to keep the Turks and Kurds separated after Donny threw them under the bus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

I assume all you want to say in your post above is Japan had better keep U.S. bases in its territory (or Japan had better be under U.S. military control) forever rather than try to recover the long-disputed islands in the western Kurils.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I assume all you want to say in your post above 

Some advice for you, NEVER assume anything!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaaru,

NEVER assume anything!

This assumption of mine is based on nothing but what you said, never on my fancy. So what’s wrong with it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This assumption of mine is based on nothing but what you said, never on my fancy. So what’s wrong with it?

It's an assumption. Based upon a rhetorical question asked by me, and it surely is on your "fancy"!

I guess you never learned or just choose to forget about never making assumptions

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru,

I re-read your post (Nov. 24 | 07:14 am JST) and am convinced that all you want to say is that Japan had better keep U.S. bases in its territory (or Japan had better be under U.S. military control) forever rather than try to recover the long-disputed islands in the western Kurils.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I re-read your post (Nov. 24 | 07:14 am JST) and am convinced that all you want to say is that Japan had better keep U.S. bases in its territory (or Japan had better be under U.S. military control) forever rather than try to recover the long-disputed islands in the western Kurils.

And once again, you would be wrong! Read the article for once! You again only see things from one perspective, try again to understand what my question means, rhetorically.

IF you can do that, you will stop making assumptions.

Again, "Which would Japan choose? THAT is the question, and based upon the article, the inference is EXACTLY what Russia is saying to Japan.

Let me remind you when the 1956 declaration was being negotiated, the USSR said that it could only be fully implemented if there was an end to U.S. presence in Japan," said Lavrov.

I guess you can read but not comprehend!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh nowhere in any of my replies have I stated my opinion on either side!

You assume to think I have, and that is YOUR "fancy"!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Oh nowhere in any of my replies have I stated my opinion on either side!

But aren't you of the opinion that the U.S. military presence must be kept in Japan, especially in Okinawa as is, whereby Futenma's function must be relocated to Henoko by all means

So if you were asked to choose between (1)  no-return of the four islands if there was the U.S. military presence and (2) the return of them if there was no U.S. military presence, you would certainly choose the  first alternative.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh nowhere in any of my replies have I stated my opinion on either side!

But aren't you of the opinion that the U.S. military presence must be kept in Japan, especially in Okinawa as is, whereby Futenma's function must be relocated to Henoko by all means

So if you were asked to choose between (1) no-return of the four islands if there was the U.S. military presence and (2) the return of them if there was no U.S. military presence, you would certainly choose the first alternative.

You can read,but not comprehend, on this alone we will agree!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru,

You can read, but not comprehend, on this alone we will agree!

That's not a convincing argument. It's simply a parting shot. Nothing more. Shame on you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Obviously. the US bases in Japan are like a knife to the throat of China and Russia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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