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Does Okinawa need to host any U.S. military bases?

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Take away the bases and watch all the locals cry about not having any work or regular income from lack of custom! Then watch as China plays cat n mouse with the Japanese coast guard again, daring to encroach further into Japanese waters, knowing that there is less protection than before! I know of people who have moved to Okinawa to work, and then spend a lot of time complaining about the US presence there. To those people I say, get out or shut up!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Bookowls - Take away the bases - Good idea!

With all that space made available to the people who live here, there will be PLENTY of work.

Okinawa is an ideal resort area. Japanese people don't need a passport to come here and people speak the same language.

There are also a lot of people from other parts of Japan, especially the Tohoku area who would like to live here.

And please don't give us the "Yellow Peril" angle. We're getting just about the "dangerous environment" stuff the U.S.A. feels it has to give us. It used to be the USSR and encroaching communism, then it was the insane "War on Terror," and now it's China.

BO - if you are in Okinawa, I urge you to go out and meet Okinawans. Talk to them. Find out how they feel about foreign bases on their soil. And, if you're going to do this, and really want to know what Okinawans feel, please try to go a little further afield than the street outside Gate 2.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

How is it that Okinawa is the ideal resort area? If this were true then it would be so today. Okinawa cannot be a great resort area due to the costs associated with staying there. I travel down to Okinawa on a monthly basis and never bring my family for vacation with as all of the "resort" and regular hotels charge a per person rate for the same room as most do in Japan. It's cheaper for me to put the entire family on an airplane and go to Saipan, Guam, Singapore, Thailand, or any other country outside Japan. You have to wonder why even Japanese families leave Japan for the holidays...to include Okinawa...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Base or no base, I have never been to Okinawa: How does this affect anyone other than Okinawans and US servicemen/women based there?

The poll needs a I have no idea as it doesn't affect me at all button.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Those who voted yest are probably US service personnel. I say get the global police (bullies) off Japanese soil. There is no need for them other than the needs that are invented by the US to justify their position...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

According to the Government of Japan, that would be a YES. Next poll please...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Heck no! No Japanese prefecture, including Okinawa, needs to host any U.S. or SDF military bases.

The darn military bases cost too much. Why, if the money being spent on the bases could be diverted to producing electricity, the escalator at my station could resume operation!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Interesting timing for this poll. Ishigaki trawlers head out toward Senkakus will be tomorrows news here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tokyokawasaki

Well said!

I say get the global police (bullies) off Japanese soil. There is no need for them other than the needs that are invented by the US to justify their position...

Invented, or created. One or the other.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

johninnaha@

Okinawa is an ideal resort area. Japanese people don't need a passport to come here and people speak the same language.

so what has been preventing Japanese from going there? Pleeeeeease don't say coz the US military is there. Perhaps Hawaiian, Guam, Philippines, Thai, Bali and Saipan hotels, etc, just to list a few examples, are far less expensive than one night in naha

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Stalinist North Korea and Communist China would love for the United States to vacate Okinawa.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Willynilly -

There are TONS of Japanese tourists here!

Kokusai dori is full of them. The hotels seem to be full and there are rental cars everywhere on island.

There would be far more if there were no bases.

And I don't mean "coz" the US military is here.

Simply that the US military takes up a lot of space. Space that could be used for people staying in hotels, enjoying themselves, splashing about in water, falling in and out of love, laughing, having a good time, instead of gloomily scanning the skies for "Communist" Chinese and North Korean aircraft and "missles!"

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

America's military forces are maintained inasmuch as FRB, China, Japan and others buy more of the U.S. treasury bonds. Its war on terror for which Okinawa is a rear and logistic base is being bogged down making the U.S. position in the world with its Treasury and war chest more and more precarious. Japanese better think over the meaning of sympathy alliance. And mull over whether the U.S. really defends Japan if China acquires MAD and tries to take the Senkaku islands. Also we should remember that the U.S. deserted South Vietnam in the middle of the Vietnam War. It's not by trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world but by realizing the stark "power balance" of the world that we can find a way to survive.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There would be far more if there were no bases.

Think so? The bases have very little effect on tourism here, and there are, like it or not, actual tours set up to bring tourists here during times when bases have their open house festivals, like last weekends AmericaFest at Kadena Air Base.

Okinawa gets nearly 5 million tourists a year here, and considering that the islands infrastructure is nowhere near as developed for tourism as Hawaii, which gets roughly 6 million a year, the impact is noticeable.

The major problem though is that the tourism industry drains money from the prefecture as the tourists are spending money with mainland enterprises and the average tourist spend something like around 10,000 yen actual that stays "on island".

THe bases have no affect on that, and even without the bases their locations would have little if any benefit to tourism first due to their location, second, who is going to pay to build it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No, we do not need US bases in Japan or in another country. We need peace.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I agree completely with LoveNot.

We do not need US bases in Japan or any other country.

Peace is not something to fight for or protect.

Peace is the natural condition.

War and aggression is the unnatural one.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Love and Shima....In a perfect world yeah both of you are right, but sadly we don't live in a perfect world, and I hope that no one is naive enough to believe that military's around the world are not needed to keep the peace.

War and aggression is the unnatural one.

I wish this was true, however since the dawn of mankind and even today and the future as well I believe, there will always be people looking to gain power over others.

Conflict is natural, even in nature it's there. It's how people overcome conflicts that matters the most, and with a military standing behind you it sure helps to get people to listen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are going to be cut-backs in the US spending on military. Americans have already sent that message for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They will ask, "Are all the bases in Japan necessary?" The answer is no, just as it is no for Europe. The question is, "Which bases in Japan are going to be eliminated?" Japan needs to take the early lead on this question and be prepared to make its recommendations. If Okinawa is vital, put it at the top of the Save List. America cannot continue to be the protector and world cop. Either be part of the solution or suffer the results.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's no 'Maybe, but not as many as they've got now, one or two tucked way in a corner (not occupying great swathes of prime land) would be OK' button.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was talking to a guy tonight at a bar in Naha who just sold land at DOUBLE the price he paid for it two years ago. Land prices in Okinawa are shooting up because Tokyo/Tohoku are not attractive areas to live in right now.

NOW is the time for the US military to move.

Go on!

Shoo!

Out of Okinawa.

No one needs you!

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

As many as there are now? NO

Do we need some on Okinawa? YES

1 ( +1 / -0 )

John, have you ever read a history or geopolitics text? Oh whatever, enjoy your life in happyworldland. Shimagaicha, Peace the state of nature? There is a channel called Animal Planet that y'all may want to check out. Please, go lecture some wildebeest about how peaceful their existence is. Or Cape Buffalo. Or cute little Meercats that are in a constant state of warfare with their neighbors. Chimps that literally tear members of different groups to pieces for the fun of it.Lions, wolves, tuna, dolphins that hunt and kill sharks. Shall I continue? Peace is most certainly not the state of nature.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shimagaicha, my apologies. I did not catch the dripping sarcasm on the first read. Sorry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, we do not need US bases in Japan or in another country. We need peace

That is truly a beautiful sentiment, and I wish it would come to fruition. Unfortunately, people don't love thy neighbor. They fear/distrust/hate him, and so it is in this part of the world. Right now, with the rise of China, Japan and the US are edgy. China's behaviour over the Japanese coast guard catching that Chinese Captain last year set alarm bells ringing even louder, and so unless something very strange happens, I'd say that base will stay for a long time yet in Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

SerranoJul. 04, 2011 - 10:59PM JST Heck no! No Japanese prefecture, including Okinawa, needs to host any U.S. or SDF military bases. The darn military bases cost too much. Why, if the money being spent on the bases could be diverted to producing electricity, the escalator at my station could resume operation!

It's more of a Japan's economic decision to keep U.S. bases. If U.S. military left entirely, Japan would be stuck with yearly 10 percent increase in military spending for decades and decades. The cost will double in 10 years. Reality is Japan cannot afford effective military defense on their own and will continue to depend on U.S. Their stuck. Keep bowing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Okinawan islands are 100% Japanese territory, they are not American and never legally were. Japan can maintain and keep strong defence on her own, and not to worry about all the crimes and negative impact of the American bases bring ex assualt on children, murders, robberys of the taxi driver etc. The local Japanese living in okinawan islands want Americans out NOW! Just because most of the foreigners voted to keep Americans bases there means nothing because we Japanese will be the ones to decide, not the foreign resident.

-10 ( +0 / -9 )

we Japanese

I love when people say that. Groupthink is such a prevalent part of the Japanese psyche. Unfortunately, Kentaro, it wouldn't exactly be "we Japanese" who decide, but the very small percentage of Oji-sans at the top with some decision making power who decide what's what.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

johninnaha@

Out of Okinawa.

No one needs you!

100% agreement. Not one American should be here to shed blood for this lot.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Okinawan islands are 100% Japanese territory, they are not American and never legally were. Japan can maintain and keep strong defence on her own, and not to worry about all the crimes and negative impact of the American bases bring ex assualt on children, murders, robberys of the taxi driver etc. The local Japanese living in okinawan islands want Americans out NOW! Just because most of the foreigners voted to keep Americans bases there means nothing because we Japanese will be the ones to decide, not the foreign resident.

From this post and others, I'm 99% convinced you're just a Nova "Teacher" trolling.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kentaro75,

Japan can maintain and keep strong defence on her own

Nope it actually cant, firstly there is the little matter of the legislation that prevents it having anything but a SDF, then there is the little issue that the current SDF is under funded as it is.

and not to worry about all the crimes and negative impact of the American bases bring ex assualt on children, murders, robberys of the taxi driver etc.

You do realise that the crime rate averages are lower for US service personal than for Japanese citizens. But dont let a little fact like that get in the way of a good scare campaign

The local Japanese living in okinawan islands want Americans out NOW!

Thats fine the Japanese government who run the country including Okinawa dont want the US gone so your solution is leave Okinawa or get Okinawa to be governed by some other country. China!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Better keep it in mind that Prof. Huntington, Kissinger and others say that America won't fight with China to defend Japan. Dependancy diplomacy to try to stay on the bandwagon will go to smash someday. Be responsible for your own security, is their message. Very sound one. Also we or Japanese should think what it means to (think that we can) depend on a country whose GDP accounts for less than 20% of that of the world and who spends nearly 60% of the gross military expenditure of the world while its government barely covers the federal deficit by issuing pieces of paper and having the central bank buy them like an octopus eating its own legs and asking its hypothetical enemy buy them too. Security alliance requires stress check as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spidapig,

the crime rate averages are lower for US service personal than for Japanese citizens.

Not disputing you, but if you have a source for that, I'd like to see it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land,

Spidapig, "the crime rate averages are lower for US service personal than for Japanese citizens. "

Not disputing you, but if you have a source for that, I'd like to see it.

Stranger, sorry about the delay getting back to you. One of the sites l got the information from is here "http://nihon.awardspace.com/okinawa_sofa_crime.html". If you look at the graph titled "SOFA Crime Rate vs. Overall Okinawa Crime Rate" you can see that for SOFA personel the crime rate is aprrox 2 per 1000 people against a crime rate for Okinawans of nearly 5 per 1000 people. This was last updated in 2006 however.

In 2008, there was an article in Stars and Stripes listing all the crimes commited by US service personal on Okinawa and it was found that "The per-capita crime arrest rate for US military personnel was half the rate of Okinawa prefecture’s general population". Link for that article is here "http://www.japanprobe.com/2008/08/18/stars-and-stripes-us-military-related-crime-reports-relatively-low-on-okinawa/"

Hope this helps.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hope this helps.

Thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to the Government of Japan, that would be a YES. Next poll please...

In other words, master says yes and to hell with the servants. Funny how people who are so hostile to democracy always claim to be protecting it!

I think its high time Yankee went home, well, not the non-mercenary Yankees anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imagine one of the bases turned into a Six Flags or a new Disneyland. That would increase tourism tremendously. Jets screaming overhead? Not so much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For 66 years I have been telling those Japanese wannabes that we won the war and we were going to put our army of occupation on the four main islands of Japan proper, but Hirohito gave McArthur the entire island of Okinawa if McArtur would not put the military occupational troop onJapan proper and indeed put them on Okinawa. I have the papers that spelled all this out and it signed by Hirohito. Frankly, Japan is not the most popular country in the far East and when we go home, you ain't seen nothing yet....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan can defend herself.

Japan does not want US troops on her land.

It is better for Japan to form allies with her neighbours.

ENough with allowing the Americans to divide East Asia. It's what they do best!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Marion Wm SteeleAug. 01, 2011 - 07:40AM JST

For 66 years I have been telling those Japanese wannabes that we won the war and we were going to put our army of occupation on the four main islands of Japan proper, but Hirohito gave McArthur the entire island of Okinawa if McArtur would not put the military occupational troop onJapan proper and indeed put them on Okinawa. I have the papers that spelled all this out and it signed by Hirohito. Frankly, Japan is not the most popular country in the far East and when we go home, you ain't seen nothing yet...."

Enough if enough. East Asia for East Asia. It's time East Asia got herself together and formed proper alliances with each other just like EU, NATO.

It's the only way Japan can rid herself of these American parasites who slap us in the face everytime we bring up Okinawa!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

allperils, while you might get very tired of hearing this, there are some 100,000 reasons why the US has bases on Okinawa. I'm certain you've guessed it - the number of US troops estimated killed in the Pacific war. Perhaps you did not guess it given the Japanese white-washing of the war and Japan's responsibilities in it, but there it is.

It's quite easy to say 'the past is the past, move forward and stop crying about it'. True enough. Not sure the families who lost sons, folks who lost friends and loved ones and the dead themselves would be so ready to be dismissed. But the point is that the US bases are the fault of Japan.

Now I might agree with you that perhaps it's time we leave and and leave you to it. But at least consider the reasons before such angry condemnation. It's easy for you to think 66 years is far too long, but historically it's the blink of an eye.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted by Kentaro75; Okinawan islands are 100% Japanese territory, they are not American and never legally were. Japan can maintain and keep strong defence on her own, and not to worry about all the crimes and negative impact of the American bases bring ex assualt on children, murders, robberys of the taxi driver etc. The local Japanese living in okinawan islands want Americans out NOW! Just because most of the foreigners voted to keep Americans bases there means nothing because we Japanese will be the ones to decide, not the foreign resident.

Posted by facevalue; From this post and others, I'm 99% convinced you're just a Nova "Teacher" trolling.

To facevalue Maybe it's not a Nova "Teacher" trolling...nevertheless...you maybe be on to something here...lmao!!!..to pick up on the items in Kentaro75's post;

1) Japan can maintain and keep strong defence on her own - YES, with the help of U.S. Arms and Defense Support

2) and not to worry about all the crimes and negative impact of the American bases bring ex assualt on children, murders, robberys of the taxi driver etc. - YES, the U.S. Forces in Okinawa have had and will probably continue to have a FEW bad apples, which within the Corps, they will take care of any problem children before anything bad can happen, but some low lifes unfortunately slide through the cracks...

3) The local Japanese living in okinawan islands want Americans out NOW! - YES and NO...perhaps a majority DO want the U.S. Forces out but some do NOT because of their businesses on the islands which make money from the U.S. Forces...

4) Just because most of the foreigners voted to keep Americans bases there means nothing because we Japanese will be the ones to decide, not the foreign resident. - I must of missed that "VOTE"...was that taken at the English Language Learning Centers throughout Japan or some select after hour Pubs over multiple pints of ale???...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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