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Should the Japanese government stick to the 2006 agreement over the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, which the previous government and the U.S. agreed upon?

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an agreement should be an agreement. plain & simple. if you want to negotiate in the future that's another thing, but....... that's 1 of the bigger problems in the world today. always backing down or changing agreements. wanting out of contracts. you signed a contract. you've made an agreement. keep your word! this is not just directed at japan. it's directed at everyone everywhere.

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Japan's LDP ruled this country for more than 50 years. In September the government was changed to DPJ from LDP by election. This is ever the biggest change of government for Japanese since end of the war. I think this change was as almost same as coup without military power. This is not same like frequent changes of Republican and Democrat in America. Hence Japanese government can change the agreement because this is first time since.

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An agreement with another government is not an agreement, plain & simple. Only the old bunch of LDP rulers had signed an agreement, obsolete now.

With a new government a new agreement has to be discussed and signed one day.

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Kwatt and bdaniel08, those are the same arguments adolf hitler made. The truth of the matter is that if a government makes an agreement even if it's a past agreement that the current government administration doesn't agree to they still have to abide by those terms of that agreement. They can of course bring it up with the other party that they are not happy with the agreement and wish to negotiate a new one, however though that doesn't void the previous agreement until a new is agreed and signed.

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The people of Japan voted for the DPJ...it means that every single laws or agreement could be revolved and disagreed by Hatoyama san.

Thats democracy.

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bdaniel08

Wow. Looks like someone slept through civics class...

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Umm, yeah there are some issues here with international law, meaning mostly Japan is kind of bound to follow the the agreement regardless of a change of government. They can attempt a renegotiation with the US and the US may be open to it....

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USNinJapan2 at 02:54 PM JST - 8th November bdaniel08 Wow. Looks like someone slept through civics class...

Thats not what i said...

Mod cut half of my post as always, katte ni.

And i will repeat this post as long as this post

Kwatt and bdaniel08, those are the same arguments adolf hitler made.

stay as it is.

Moderator: All readers back on topic please.

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What i am sure about is that Obama is reversing, deleting, not agreeing, disagreeing with a lot of issues and agreement and laws of the Bush time so Hatoyama is doing the same within his own country.

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I live in Okinawa and from my perspective the base relocation issue was not treated in an open and democratic manner. For Okinawans the way the issue was handled was humiliating and the whole decision process was a farce made up by the central Japanese government and the U.S. in order to cheat and pressure Okinawans into the deal. In the only really democratic move of the whole story, a referendum in 1997, the people of Nago decided they don't want the base relocated there. This very clear expressed will was plainly ignored and the central government in Tokyo did all in their power, including to threaten the people of Nago with cutting budgets for public works, to get the decision reversed. During the whole process there was no alternative proposal outside of Okinawa and Ginowan citizens (from where the base is to be reloced) and Nago citizens were played off against each other. Further the construction of the relocation facilities is a ecological desaster as it will destroy a big part of a wonderful corral reef which also makes up part the last habitat for Japanese Dugongs within Japan. Agreements reached in a transparent and democratic process that reflects the will of the people concerned should be kept, but this definitely is not the case with this base relocation issue. The current government has the chance to regain credibility, locally, nationally and internationally, through showing how such a matter should be treated in a real democracy.

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What i am sure about is that Obama is reversing, deleting, not agreeing, disagreeing with a lot of issues and agreement and laws of the Bush time so Hatoyama is doing the same within his own country.

Yeah, HIS OWN COUNTRY, not with some other. Japan wants to play politics with the big boys then they need to stick to agreements they make with the big boys and stop fudging, whinging, or whatever you want to call it.

Agree with USNinJapan that somebody slept through their civics class. You don't just reneg on an agreement from a previous administration because you don't like it... especially when it comes to international diplomacy. The present J-government may not like it but that's just too damn bad.

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What was the question?

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Oh yea, hey, right, could you imagine the chaos if every nation on earth had to renegotiate every treaty/agreement signed between them every time a new pm, president, party, or whatever of either nation came to power? Japan could decide not to "stick" to it, and then imagine the fun times they will have trying to sign new ones with other nations eh? Come on folks, use them brains for something other than hair fertilizer. Imagine if Hatoyama san decided to reneg on the 1945 unconditional surrender to the US of A,

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The peaceful reorganization of democratic government is an essential part of the system. When the Japanese choose everyday to support their democracy they accept with that, the possibility that agreements, treaties, and laws will be signed today that will come into conflict with those of tomorrow. Only dictatorships can change the rules on the fly, everyone else must play by them.

That being said there are certain "hang shaking agreements" that do not have law binding consequences that governments go into all the time. So called "Executive Orders" are those made by the chief executive of a country, usually with their counterpart from another country. They are quick, easy to make,and have a singular focus as they are essentially made between two individuals. Treaties are huge monstrous thousand page documents, but are voted on by the legislature and have the weight of law behind them.

Breaking and amending agreements SHOULD always be done in the official channels. If an executive agreement needs to be changed, the two leaders should get together and do it. If a treaty needs to be negotiated then there should be a deliberation process by the representatives. Essentially it depends on what Japan is trying to do that determines if they have the power and the right to do it.

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Just drop the formal crap and look at the situation from a newer perspective. Agreements that were made in the past are bind to it. Therefore, having little to do with the situation at hand. If the Japanese government went through drastic changes, then anything should have the potential to be overlooked. And as I mentioned elsewhere: US should just leave Japan alone and get their asses out of there. Enforced peace and order is only one of those ways of teaching others how to live whilst gaining control and political influence.

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Personally I think all US Forces should leave Japan and allow Japan to negotiate its own fate with its neighbors (who, by the way, hate them beyond all reason).

On the other hand international treaties and contracts are not governed by democracy so I guess we are stuck with each other.

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If all international agreements changed with every party change, countries wouldn't bother formulating them.

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For Bam boo: I understand, and I also live here. The people of Okinawa never have a voice with Tokyo, and the Japanese continue to treat the people here as they did prior to the war: as a bunch of farmers that depend on Tokyo for their money.

Once the war was over, the US brought democracy to Japan (For the non Okinawans out there: please don't say Japan was a democracy. It was imperialist, and wanted to take over Asia, so don't throw out there how democratic and peace loving Japan was), and the US administratively controlled the Ryukyus through 1972.

The US has a strategic interest in keeping certain forces in the region. the fact that the rest of Japan has said over and over again no to any bases anywhere but Okinawa means the poor people here have to suffer. Until Japan pays for its own military (it won't) this won't change. However, there are some good with the bad. And only the bad is played up in the press.

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It's a contract, pure and simple. If you renig the entire contract is void, back to square one, no realignment, no troops being moved anywhere. Additionally the U.S would be less likely to strike up another similar contract given a history of japan buggin out.

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What does this show? A lot of Americans use this site...

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What does this show? A lot of Americans use this site...

:D Too true.

I'm not American, but I think the Japanese government should continue with the agreement, or negotiate. The new government is bound to uphold past agreements... to a point. Why can't the United States be an ally of Japan without having bases in the country? Most allied countries don't require bases in each other's countries to have a military agreement. The cold war is over...

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For those who have studied this for more than 2 decades, one needs to look at the original purpose of Commodore Perry, his Black Ships and how all that relates to today. It's pretty transparent w/ the Internet. The Internet has stripped the veil soooooo completely, and other countries' Intelligence Agencies probably can do the same.

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If the US is willing to renegotiate, fine. If it isn't, Japan is bound by it. Unilateral withdrawal would damage Japan's negotiating power around the world, as any country could retort "but what's to stop the LDP reversing this once they get re-elected?" and demand more concessions.

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What the new government needs to do is to do what is right for Japan. If the previous government made a decision that the new one disagrees with, in such a manner that it feels the agreement is detrimental to Japan, then it should renege the agreement and renegotiate. It has to do what is best for its country, its people. That, on the one hand, may be to keep the current contract.

Now - if Japan does this ever time there is a change in government, those who deal with Japan may become upset and be more careful in making contracts with Japan... BUT, countries will continue to do business with Japan... How do I know this to be a fact; just look at China and where it is today.

You know, it wasn't long ago when China simply closed is stock-market. Yup, done, closed, no more service, your money, GONE, belongs to CHina now. COntract? Yup, I see it - well doesn't mean anything because the Stock Exchange is gone. so, contract not valid anymore. Thank you, Come again. (or is this India? well, them too!)

Really, countries such as China and India do this and yet the big 8 continue to do business with them...

So - Yes, there will be a whiplash if Japan rips the contract up - but it will survive and the US will continue to do business there.

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The people of Japan voted in a new government because they wanted change and in a lot of ways they are getting it. The DJP have not been in power for something like 50 years, so they are not going to undermine the reputation of Japan by knocking this agreement back and no matter how much the Americans dislike it they need Japan just as much as Japan needs them. It’s about time the US stopped demanding and whining like a spoilt child and faced up to the fact that they have lost credibility in the world. Americans are only special to other Americans, the rest of the world are tired of this self righteous crying bully.

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International agreements should be adhered-to. Countries that change or throw out such agreements every time the people in government change are ... well ... unreliable. Why make ANY kinds of agreements, ANY long-term plans with such people ? The system must be stronger than the individuals who inhabit it at any given moment or it's all useless.

Now BAD agreements - or ones that became bad because circumstances and situation have changed considerably - CAN often be re-negotiated. That's the proper, honest, approach.

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USA out of Japan! NOW!!!

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USA out of Japan! NOW!!! The war is already over more than 60 years.

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"USA out of Japan! Now!"

Yeah, but the majority of Japanese favor a continued U.S. military presence.

"The war is already over more than 60 years"

Yeah, and Japan has stayed out of trouble for over 60 years because of... get ready... the U.S. military!

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No, the Japanese want them out. The Japanese people also voted for Hatoyama knowing his position about politics with the US.

Do you seriously think Japan would be attacked if the US would leave? Get real!

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sonnoujoui

The Japanese people also voted for Hatoyama knowing his position about politics with the US.

Assuming you are one of them, it was incredibly naive to have believed that a group of novices to the diplomatic stage such as Hatoyama and the DPJ could take office for the first time in half a century and expect them to summarily and significantly alter the power balance between Japan and its strongest and most influencial ally. Perhaps with time and much needed experience if they manage to stay in power, but I'm afraid they've made some campaign promises on which they really don't have the means to deliver. It's going to be particualarly hard for them to save face on this base realignement issue.

Do you seriously think Japan would be attacked if the US would leave?

Maybe, maybe not. But you cannot say with any degree of certainty that with US military gone from the region in a few years' time the geopolitical stage in East Asia could change to make armed conflict between Japan and one of its Asian neighbors a possibility. The degree of probability is debatable but it certainly is very much possible. On the other hand, you can say with a pretty good helping of certainty that Japan would NOT be attacked while the US military presence is maintained here. Think about it, open anymosity towards Japan is still periodically expressed by the peoples of neighboring countries and aggressive postures and actions are taken by neighboring governments in regards to the multiple territorial disputes that they curently have with Japan, and that's WITH the US military presence. Speaking of getting real, do you believe that these problems will magically go away or even diminish if we were to leave Japan? The odds are even if it doesn't lead to all out war, with our absence Japan's opponents will be emboldened, diplomatic friction will increase because after all military capability is a form of diplomacy, and Japan's difficulties with it's neighbors would compound and increase. Smart strategic and fiscal play for Japan is to continue to support and maintain the US military presence. That's what's real.

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That is why there is democracy.Otherwise have a Communist system where with a change of govt, results in the status quo.

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harmoneeikaiwa

...results in the status quo.

When the status quo is the most mutually beneficial condition it is more desirable than seeking change for the sake of it with litle consideration for the consequences.

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From the actions of President Obama, the Japan importance is over. Off to Singapore.... Skipping the Imperial Family.

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USNinJapan2

alter the power balance between Japan and its strongest and most influencial ally.

It's high time to make a change. And it would be a good thing if Hatoyama would not only talk but do some changes.

But you cannot say with any degree of certainty that with US military gone from the region in a few years' time the geopolitical stage in East Asia could change to make armed conflict between Japan and one of its Asian neighbors a possibility.

No, it is very unlikely there will be an attack from one of the neighbouring countries, with or without american forces in Japan. There is only 1 country possible, and that is North Korea. And they wouldnt invade Japan, they'd drop an A-bomb. I wonder how a Navy man like you could avoid that. But, I dont think this will happen anyway.

By the way, did that military base on Hawaii about 70 years ago prevent an attack?

If Japan wouldnt have relied on big america all the time, then it would probably already have arranged better relationships with it's neighbouring countries. Now they realise, USA is on the downfall and it's better to have good relationships with the awakening dragon China.

So, kichiku-beihei out of Japan!

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sonnoujoui

By the way, did that military base on Hawaii about 70 years ago prevent an attack?

LOL. Talk about confusing your fruits. Hawaii was attacked by your country precisely because it was a military target. The attack's intent was to destroy the US' power projection abilities in the Pacific and to discourage it from engaging Japan in a larger drawn out conflict. It failed miserably on both counts. If diplomatic and economic ties between Japan and its 'friends' in the region sour, the US forces in Japan today are about the only deterrents you have against possible military action. Also, these existing diplomatic and economic ties aren't critical enough to prevent military confrontation if these countries feel it is called for. However, a similar armed conflict with the US is not desired by these same countries because the ties they have with the US are indeed critical to their welfare. Case in point, China does not desire a military conflict with the US and won't for the foreseeable future because the economic ties with the US are far too vital for its survival. Attacking Japan under any pretense will automotically mean armed conflict with the US, so yes, the US military presence in Japan is a very real deterrent.

So, kichiku-beihei out of Japan!

Good luck with that. I wouldn't hold your breath though; you won't be seeing that dream realized anytime soon, probably not in your life time.

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Hawaii was a military target becase military was there. Okinawa could be another military target in a new conflict. If I'd be an islamic terrorist in Japan, I'd attack american military bases. China would never attack Japan. What for? They are making business with each other. It's like Russia would never attack Germany, with or without american bases there. Now, what is sure is that rape incidents on Okinawa would decline without US bases. That is reason enough for them to leave. The possibility of an Okinawan girl to be raped by an american soldier is higher than beeing caught by any asian invaders.

BTW, where did I say I am Japanese?

Case in point, China does not desire a military conflict with the US and won't for the foreseeable future because the economic ties with the US are far too vital for its survival.

Funny, I rather think it's the other way around. The US doesnt want military conflict with China because the economic ties with China are far too vital for the survival of the US.

Good luck with that. I wouldn't hold your breath though; you won't be seeing that dream realized anytime soon, probably not in your life time.

Well, as I plan to live for the next 50 years I am quite confident. Mainly because it's just a matter of time that the US wont be able to maintain such a big army anymore as it is already on the way of economic decline. Ask the Romans where their military bases in Germania, Gaul and Brittania are now. lol

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Ask the Romans where their military bases in Germania, Gaul and Brittania are now

Haha...very clever statement. Its unfortunate but some Americans tend to believe that the power of their state will remain forever. That is a huge ignorance of history itself. U.S bases of Okinawa are just the "fossils" of the post-war era and the Cold War. Nobody needs them and above all, U.S don't need them.

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sonnoujoui

Now, what is sure is that rape incidents on Okinawa would decline without US bases. That is reason enough for them to leave.

So you're real concern is for rape victims in Okinawa? How touching. Removing the US military from the island will prevent, oh, .82% of all crimes committed on Okinawa. Since the SOFA population is 3.9% of the total Okinawa population that means the local Japanese populace commit 5 times as many crimes per capita as we service members. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The military crime rate on Okinawa is many times less than the local population and it's sheer ignorance and prejudice to invoke it as a reason for the our removal. http://www.stumbleupon.com/s/#2mXj0W/nihon.awardspace.com/okinawa_sofa_crime.html/

No one said the US "empire" will remain as strong as it has been for ever, but applying your standared of the Roman Empire, I'd say we have a few hundred years before our decline. Like I said, not in your life time.

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So you're real concern is for rape victims in Okinawa? How touching.

I think it's kind of strange, that you are making fun of the rape victims by that statement.

About your statistics - there is a saying: "Dont believe any statistics that you didnt fake yourself." There are several things that are not taken into account. Cases where the predetaor wasnt identified and crimes that havent been reportet at all. And it doesnt show all the rapes and crimes that happened right after US military came to Okinawa. If the US military would leave, then the total numbers of crimes would go back. That is sure.

The US mlitary is a guest in Japan, and therefore they have to be extra carefull. Of course the average number of crimes commited by military members or police should be lower than that of the average people, that also includes jobless people, drug addicts, etc. I hope it's same in the US as well. US-military doesnt belong to Japan and therefore they should leave. The crimes are just one of many reasons.

No one said the US "empire" will remain as strong as it has been for ever, but applying your standared of the Roman Empire, I'd say we have a few hundred years before our decline. Like I said, not in your life time.

Funny, you assume that the "American Empie" will stay as long as the Roman Empire. Only totally blind people havent noticed yet the decline of the Superpower America.

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