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Do you agree with U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for Japan to drastically increase its financial contribution to maintain American military bases?

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Quite the opposite. Time to get rid of the Sympathy Budget (omoyari). If the US insist on having their bases here, they should start to pay rent. WWII ended 70 years ago!

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Ditto.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I voted "no," because I was unsure.

I feel that the U.S. provides a valuable defense for Japan right now, considering Japan not being able to adequately do it in case of an emergency (I have a feeling that might change later [20-30 years]).

However, I also feel that the United States has the upper hand in military dominance with its positions all over Japan. Being close geographically to China, Russia, and North Korea probably provides them with the capabilities to strike back and defend quickly in case something happens.

Japan needs the U.S, but the U.S. doesn't necessarily need Japan. There's no doubt about that. But, at what cost? I think that's up to the leadership and taxpayers of Japan.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

jt missed the needed 3rd option of unsure/undecided.

The yanks have protected Japan for decades now, in the early part this allowed Japan to concentrate on re building, Japan owes the yanks big time for that alone.

Fast forward the yanks are still keeping Japan safe, with little thanks, but they are also here for themselves as well.

So clearly Japan needs to pay, question is only how much.

And with NK & China being what they are sensible Japanese should see the need for the yanks being here.

Now on Okinawa, clearly the burden is too high & should but basically ISNT being addressed in meaningful ways.

And as FernG says now Japan needs the yanks MORE than the US needs Japan, so here we are.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

USSR in the past, China, NK, and Russia. All to be trusted? All keeping in line? W/O USA what would history be?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

MarkG,

W/O USA what would history be?

A lot more peaceful.

No Vietnam War. No Korean War. No Iraq "Wars" No bloodbath in the Middle East.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

A lot more peaceful.

Quoted for truth. It's amazing how many Americans have been deluded into believing their country's actions on the world stage are honorable and justifiable.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Japan pays the most Host Nation Support by far. They have built golf courses, Military Family Housing, Dependent Schools , Military Clubs and other facilities that have nothing to do with the defense of Japan. The Japanese Govt. pays 25% of the costs of accidents by Military Personnel if they are determined to be in the line of duty even if Japan is not involved and 50% of the costs if Japan is found to be at some fault. When that helicopter from MCAS crashed into Okinawa International University several years ago Japanese Taxpayers had to pay 25% of the costs of that accident even though the U.S. was 100% at fault. The U.S. has the sweetest deal with Japan than with other country in the world and for anyone to complain that Japan is not doing enough is absurd. The primary mission of the bases in Japan is not to defend Japan but to protect American interests in the region. The bases in Japan have been used to fight the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Time for Japan to start spending less money on the U.S. and more on JSDF personnel. Go inside a U.S. Base on Okinawa and see how the U.S. Military lives thanks to GOJ Host Nation Support and then go inside a JSDF base and see how they live.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

i voted yes but on the premise that japan tell the US that its not going to pay and they can go home and the money saved will be used to develop nukes to provide for the defense.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I don't know about paying more, but they need to keep paying what they have been at least. And they need to stop being so utterly ungrateful to their protectors. They've saved far more on defense over the last 70 years with the Americans here than they would have if they paid for their own defense completely. They could use this to rise from the ashes and prosper, focusing only other things. Need proof? Why all the talk of yanks leaving more than ever? Because Jaoan has increased its defense spending exponentially while the rest of nation suffers under cost and tax increases, with the debt growing at an incredible and unsustainable rate. If they cut all that defense spending and put even a fraction towards the costs of hosting US forces they would still save trillions and could solve all social welfare cost problems like pension, nursing care, nurseries, pay-raises, etc.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

I do not Trump's call for Japan to "pay its fair share" because Japan already pays its fair share and I don't support fictional causes. In the same way I don't support sustainable unicorn farming, further investigation into Benghazi, tax deductions for UFO abductees, or a Mexican border wall.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Need to find what the real true costs are before any determination of payment can be made.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Its time for the US to leave Japan, they don't need to be here, Japan claims it doesn't need any American influence or assistance anymore, and that the American presence is a distraction, and produces a lot of crime! Not sure how much the American presence here drops on the economy, but the JAPANESE claim not to need it, I my self will giggle my ass off as they pull out, and JAPAN realizes what has just happened, as for jobs and money! Remember what happened to the Philippines.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I hope Donald Trump will become president of the US if he is going to let us have nuclear weapons to protect ourselves. More than 70 years after the end of WW2, it is high time we learned to stand on our feet again.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I voted "yes" not because I want Japan to pay America for it's defense, but rather for the U.S to pull out and Japan to defend itself.

Japan is not some country that can be taken lightly militarily, it has the intelligence, technological know how and experience to deal with foreign threats.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

so, Trump is willing to withdraw the U.S forces from Japan if Japan doesn't pay more if not 100%.. my question is, does the U.S. actually want to leave?

To protect Japan surely is NOT the only reason why the U.S want it's bases here, don't they want to keep the bases in Japan for their strategic reasons?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I voted "yes" not because I want Japan to pay America for it's defense, but rather for the U.S to pull out and Japan to defend itself.

Agree with AiserX. I'm tired of seeing young sleezy japanese guys smooch off their mum&pop. They watch anime and listen to j-pop all day and live carefree lifestyles.

They don't care about their country, so why should young American GI's have to?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

There are some dangerous sentiments about the U.S. going around here. I'm American, and I'm not saying we're saints when it comes to our history. We've defended slavery and used Manifest Destiny as a tool for imperialism. However, no country is pure, in my opinion. Our countries have all made mistakes. Let's be patriotic, but not nationalistic.

What I want to say is, the U.S. provides a strong and necessary defense for Japan. If all U.S. forces pulled out today, Japan would be too easy for other strong geo-political powers to take over if war were to happen. That can't happen. That's why the U.S. is here.

Yes, there is a history of aggressive military action from Japan in the past. But in my opinion, that's a relic. Japan isn't a puppet-state, it's just really dependent on the U.S., like a child needs its parents. If Japan really wanted to mature, step up its defense, start building a strong military, and have the US start pulling out troops and packing up the bases, I don't think the U.S. would mind. If anything, I think the U.S. wants strong, independent allies, but Japan has to want that, and I think that's why Trump has the attitude that he does. This is my speculation, but Trump doesn't want American assets spread too thin across the world and wants Japan to be self-sufficient.

If charging Japan a higher "rent," so to speak, will give Japan more motivation to become self-dependent, then that is a viable and logical strategy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Our countries have all made mistakes.

But America has made bigger and more mistakes than most countries. And many of those mistakes have been in recent history, unlike most countries.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Colluding with China, US is preying on Japan. Nothing else.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

The US wants those bases so they should pay for them, not the Japanese.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan needs the assistance and the presence of the US not only for defense but to discourage any unwanted militaristic movement in the region.

But paying more money I don't think so. There are a lot of US bases in Japan and in all of them the the US has way more mobility and freedom in how to use those bases. Other US bases overseas doesn't have as much freedom in using the base as those bases in Europe for example....

If anything maybe, in some bases (not all) maybe a joint management of the base between the US forces and the JSDF could be nice... More close training and exchange of knowledge and techniques perhaps?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

More importantly than the cash, the US should tell Japan, Korea and Taiwan that we've had enough of the wasteful bilateral arrangements. Either they quit whining about ancient history and get their act together for a collective NATO style common defense, or we leave them to deals with the Norks & the dragon. Enough with the free-loading.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

How did Japan ever survive for those 1,000 years before the US existed?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Not sure what Trump wants.

On one Hand he wants to remove Soldiers from Korea and Japan.

He will ALLOW Korea and Japan to possess Nuclear Weapons after the Troops are gone. Not that he is any position to allow anything for other countries whose Constitution forbids them.

Another hand he now wants Japan to pay more for the bases

Maybe he should make his mind up as building bases for over 50.000 Troops is not cheap and people will resist like the Okinawans are doing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No, the U.S.military should leave both Japan and South Korea at this point.

"Go inside a U.S. Base on Okinawa and see how the U.S. Military lives thanks to GOJ Host Nation Support and then go inside a JSDF base and see how they live."

We tried to teach the Japanese how to live, but they insist on living in rabbit hutches, lol.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

AiserX,

Japan is not some country that can be taken lightly militarily, it has the intelligence, technological know how and experience to deal with foreign threats.

True, but it's such a pity it doesn't have politicians capable of even basic diplomacy.

If it did, it wouldn't need any weaponry.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Not sure what Trump wants.

Trump wants Trump.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@fishy

To protect Japan surely is NOT the only reason why the U.S want it's bases here, don't they want to keep the bases in Japan for their strategic reasons?

Of course it isn't, but then I doubt that Drumpf really gives a toss about that.

Any headline that he can play up to the great unwashed that would be at the expense of those "foreigner leeches" that gives him even one extra vote is a headline that he will use, even if the rest of the world begins to view America as an insular pariah on the rest of the world.

He has done it with the Mexicans. He has done it with the middle east. He's doing it now with Japan. Who's next, I wonder?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Bertie, if USA had not helped Korea in the '50s, there would be no South Korea now. They'd all be living under Kim's rule, the entire peninsula. I hate war, been in one myself, but we must be prepared to deal with tyrants. The world keeps producing plenty of them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sorry GyGene, I can't buy it. You can also imagine that Kim's regime would have gone belly up in a massive Korean Civil War. And how in the name of "help" can you excuse the blood bath in the Middle East caused by the US? Vietnam? etc., etc.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I had kind of supported Trump up to recently, but after his calls to reduce NATO and our bases in Asia, a situation of relative peace paid for by millions and hundreds of thousands of American lives, I have to swallow hard and vote for Hillary.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I currently have no idea how much Japan is paying for the US military presence. That said, it is in the best interests of the US to have bases maintained in Japan as a strategic ally in the region. As much as I support Trump for president, I don't entirely agree with raising "taxes" on Japan for US presence.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan shouldn't pay even one doller to US unless they remove their bases from the capital overlooking the Diet. Japan spending $7 billion a year is utterly ridiculous. No money left for the Japanese people.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@tina, you are dead wrong. You should sing the Star Spangled Banner every morning with tears in your eyes.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

America is here because it benefits America to be here. Any other reason is by-the-by.

Japan should not be paying anything to maintain American bases on Japanese soil. America should pay for the use of the land, plus alpha for the nuisance factor (pollution, noisy jet planes flying overhead at all times of the day and night, major re-routing of traffic around huge bases, drunken servicemen running riot, etc., etc.) If they think the cost is too high, they could save money by reducing the nuisance factor and/or occupying less land.

It's certainly long past the time the 'omoiyari' budget could be justified.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@cleo, in English speaking countries there is a wise proverb that "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" or something like that. In any case, gonna be a lot more expensive for Tokyo to deal with Russian invasion from the north, defective North Korean missiles dropping who knows where in Japan, naval skirmishes with Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and every other single neighbor within 3000 miles for bird poop islands, if the US leaves Yamatoland.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

in English speaking countries there is a wise proverb that "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" or something like that

And there's an older, Latin one that goes aegrescit medendo (The treatment makes the disease worse).

If the US goes, then Japan will have to bat its own innings. Fair enough. With the US bases gone, we'll be a much smaller target. Why shouldn't Japan sort out its own tiffs with Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and every other single neighbour ?

(You don't need to tutor me on what they say in 'English-speaking countries', by the way. I suck eggs pretty good, too. :P)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan would not just roll over and die if the us left as some people state. Good gods Japan has arguably one of the best Navies and airforce in the region. At this point it is other Asian countries coming to Japan to seek help, Vietnam, Phillipines etc. Point being not a whole lot would happen in terms of Japan being invaded and conquered in the matter of a weekend if the us left. Japan would divert more to its own defense which any modern nation does and should. Child as it needs it's parent, give me a break....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The US should be paying Japan rent and also be subsidising the Japanese military in return for allowing the US to keep a large base in Central Asia. I think Trump is just an idiot! Realistically, there is no real reason for the US to keep their military bases in Japan. They could move them all down the road to Guam and stil be in the thick of it. Come to think of it, it would not be such a bad idea for the US military to pull out of Japan altogether. It would crush the economy of Okinawa though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No! I will never agree with this idiot on anything, even if it makes sense. Because it all about him! If it promotes in this idiotic in the slightest, I will be against it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I worked on Zama for years. Trump is an idiot. The Japanese pay for all the buildings and maintenance of them, the grounds and infrastructure and all utilities.

It is by far cheaper for the Americans to have bases here in Japan rather than stateside or other US territories.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

MsDelicious,

It is by far cheaper for the Americans to have bases here in Japan rather than stateside or other US territories.

Well said.

And that is the ONLY reason they are here.

It's about time we had a politician with the cohones to tell them to pay up or get out.

Okinawans live in tiny cramped spaces, whereas the US military base and accommodation planning is as spacious as if this were Nevada. They leave the air conditioning on all day, even when they are not at home, because they don't have to pay utilities. If they really have to be here, they should pay their way and live under the same conditions as we do.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

America is here because it benefits America to be here. Any other reason is by-the-by.

It benefits Japan. The Japanese government provides nearly US$2 billion per year to offset the cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan. That's a lot of bang for the buck. Just a little more than the cost for upgrading two BMD-capable Aegis combat systems to Japanese destroyers ($1.5) That doesn't include the R&D to develop the system.

Japan currently spends around 42 billion on its military. It has the second most powerful military on the planet. Because it gets great deals on tech transfer from the US. Bargain prices.

And it buys a lot of protection.

Plus, it gets the worlds most powerful military backing it with its squabbles over the senkakus, stc

Finally it gets a relative free ride. in two ways: No Japanese coming home in body bags. Open sea lanes to trade. The US 7th fleet keeps the oil coming in, and the goods flowing out.

Setting aside national pride, which is not really possible, the 'mutual' security alliance is a great deal for Japan. They could double the 2 billion a year, and it would still be a great deal.

But national pride is as real as trade deficits, though harder to measure. Japan's conservative want to dump Art 9, and have a more equal, more mutual security pact.

.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But America has made bigger and more mistakes than most countries. And many of those mistakes have been in recent history, unlike most countries.

That is almost entirely due to the fact that the USA was the sole country that was in a position to make decisions that could have those types of results if they went awry, for most countries it wasn't for lack of trying but a lack of capacity to even make such important decisions in the first place and someone has to make those types of decisions.

Look at China in the south china sea, if that goes awry for them it is going to be a big problem, same for the USA.

No Vietnam War. No Korean War. No Iraq "Wars" No bloodbath in the Middle East.

Considering how the North Korea turned out I think everyone would agree that the Korean war was well worth it, especially when looking at the success of South Korea. Desert Storm was worth it, the second Iraq war for now is not worth it but in the future it may in fact become worth it. Vietnam war was already a bloody war before the USA got involved and it had already been going on for at least a decade.

The truth of the matter is that the USA role in securing the international sea trade lanes has been immensely positive for the entire world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Donald Trump says Japan should pay 100% of total military expenses, though someone says it pays 70% of it now. If so, 30% of US facilities (and soldiers) better go back to America from Okinawa. If all US bases all over the world returned to America, many soldiers would lose their jobs back home. I'm sure they would cause much more crimes there in the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Considering how the North Korea turned out I think everyone would agree that the Korean war was well worth it,

Acheson annouced the defense line of outside of the Korean peninsula, then NK started invading the South. Then UN army was formed ( US army). China and Soviet, permanent members of UN, did not veto it. After the war, the defense line went back to the 38 line. Very strange war, even MacArthur said so.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Those who abjure violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf."

------George Orwell

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Difficult it is to be born. Difficult it is to live. But... so easy to die.

To live, one must survive... That is difficult.., and it requires expenditure. If not in using one's own energy, one must pay a price.

That applies to defense as well as offense. One cannot survive by defense alone.

But ultimately one must be able defend himself, by himself, for himself. For those he may depend upon may have to defend themselves.

In both cases one must pay a price, as NOTHING is FREE. It is time for one to set himself free and start taking responsibility for his own survival by having both defense and offense in mind. (It takes energy/power/action, not words and rhetoric or ideals to find and maintain physical peace and well-being.) To be free of dependency it cost double... one to keep the current relationship and two to build to be free and independent. There is a price to pay either way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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