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Would you like to see a referendum held on Okinawa so that Okinawans themselves can decide whether or not they wish to host U.S. military bases?

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Hard-core Libs/Globalists (war-mongers) always say that Okinawa will fall into the sea if the bases leave. -Not going to happen and the jewel of the Pacific and Japan will only get better with the bases gone.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

They time too leave was a long time ago.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

This really needs to be done. The situation in Okinawa needs to change. The presence of so many US bases is holding down the economy and creating potential danger. With so much military here, Okinawa becomes a target for any act of aggression. Entrepreneurs don't want to invest in such an environment.

The elections and local media show the will of the people. A referendum would confirm this.

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

The government here doesn't have the maturity to do it. To pro Chinese.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Not going to happen and the jewel of the Pacific and Japan will only get better with the bases gone.

Think so? Some of the bases would be returned, but you can bet that the JSDF would take over others for their own use. So the bases would still be there. I know, I know, now you will say that because they are Japanese bases it's ok. But that defeats your argument that the bases would be gone, they wont.

The elections and local media show the will of the people. A referendum would confirm this.

The media? Again quite the ignorant thing to write. The media are the last people to trust in giving out the full story. How about the woman who saved the lives of two elderly Japanese when they were in a car crash a little over a week ago? Yeah she was active duty military too. Where is the media to report on that? If it was a Japanese person you can bet that it would have been close to the top news here. But no, the silence and hypocrisy is deafening.

If you want a referendum, then ALL the news and information MUST be put out by the media for the people to make an educated and informed choice.

To base a referendum on only half a story is ludicrous and meaningless.

By the I voted yes too. But I would only agree to participate IF the "media" reports everything that happens and gives equal time to the good that they the military do as well.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Would you like to see a referendum held on Okinawa so that Okinawans themselves can decide whether or not they wish to host U.S. military bases?

Of course, because that's democracy.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Yes, recent history has shown that reducing complex issues of major importance to a binary yes/no question to be approved in a referendum is a great way of deciding on policy.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Sure, to gauge the popular sentiment, but not to "decide whether or not they wish to host U.S. military bases." Issues pertaining to national defense are not and should not be decided by local jurisdictions. Ever. Not if you want an effective/efficient national defense anyway...

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Sure, to gauge the popular sentiment, but not to "decide whether or not they wish to host U.S. military bases." Issues pertaining to national defense are not and should not be decided by local jurisdictions. Ever. Not if you want an effective/efficient national defense anyway...

Alright then, change the referendum to one for independence then. Either way, I think the okinawan people SHOULD have a say in whether or not they host bases; as part of Japan or as a foreign entity.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Yes. I would like to see a straight-up stay or "get out" vote put before Okinawa. Okinawa, just like England, want their country (or prefecture) back.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Yes. Maybe not for independence yet, but definitely a vote to choose whether or not to have the US bases remain or not. But of course, this wouldn't happen. The US only supports a people until it's inconvenient.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The US only supports a people until it's inconvenient

This is why Trump is right. He would withdraw. Making the Japanese roll up their sleeves and fill the gap.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

This is why Trump is right. He would withdraw. Making the Japanese roll up their sleeves and fill the gap.

To be honest, I think he will more likely charge Japan more money for "protection". That's when the situation will get more messy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@badsey: the jewel of the Pacific and Japan will only get better with the bases gone.

While Okinawa is a jewel, it is not THE jewel of the Pacific. The Okinawan economy may not suffer so much in the long term without the bases, however, the Okinawans still have a long way to go before they make their island competitive with other pacific islands, referred to as “paradise” by vacationers from all over the world. The existance or non-existance of the bases hardly has anything to do with that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Anti-base will win, as shown in so many gubernatorial and Upper House elections in Okinawa.

But I do not think a local referendum is a good idea, because "not in my back yard" will always win and what is good for the country will not be accepted in any prefecture.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Rina Shimabukuro was raped and then murderered. Her father would be the 1st one to cast in his "Nay" vote.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

YubaruJUN. 27, 2016 - 07:25AM JST The media? Again quite the ignorant thing to write. The media are the last people to trust in giving out the full story. How about the woman who saved the lives of two elderly Japanese when they were in a car crash a little over a week ago? Yeah she was active duty military too. Where is the media to report on that?

Before you accuse someone of being "ignorant", you may want to contemplate the purpose of the news media. It is not to announce facts to the public, which is why you don't see news reports on the number of times your cat yawned at you today. It is the context of the news that matters. The context of this story clearly matters to you because you want to see good things said about US military, but that doesn't mean it's newsworthy to Japanese people. And like it or not, they make up a bigger audience.

Now, maybe you could exercise a little citizen journalism yourself and write the story. If you can research the events of this crash and find a way to present them in a context that matters to the Japanese public, that would really be awesome of you. But to just throw a fit because the news doesn't tell you the stories you want to see- that doesn't seem to be an effective way to make the change you want to see happen.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The US government needs to give the Japanese Government and Okinawa an OKIEXIT plan that will reduce the number of US troops down to caretaker status at the major bases within 3 years and mandate the immediate turnover of small bases. All base land would be returned at the three year point.

BUT FIRST.... Execution of this plan would be contingent on an up or down vote by the Okinawa people.

Yes, have a referendum, and see what the voter turnout is and let the people have a say and abide by it.
-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I think the bases in Okinawa should keep all the service members on base and not allow them out. Make it a 1-2 year assignment rotation, no families allowed just the service members, make it a 'hardship" base since they are stuck there and pay them extra incentive pay, have 2 flights on a daily basis to mainland Japan free to service members since Okinawa is really not japan (more of a joke) and the service member can use their incentive pay in real Japan, fire all the Japanese nationals from base to reduce any possible incidents with the outside community (to make up for the lose in jobs, increase the number of Japanese nationals on the mainland bases). So the Okinawa bar and car scene will take a hit but that's ok I guess the island has tourism of sorts to keep them afloat and no chance of any drunk drivers from base. Win-win for everyone

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

A non-binding referendum would be fair; it allows for the people to be heard but it gives no special privilege that another Prefecture would not receive. Ultimately, National Defense supersedes local autonomy.

The US government needs to give the Japanese Government and Okinawa an OKIEXIT plan that will reduce the number of US troops

It exists already in the form of the Guam relocation. It's been delayed due to the issues with relocating Futenma to Schwab and determining how the funding for the move would be split between Japan and the US. The later "speedbump" has been sorted out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As the OUT voters here in the UK have learned... be careful what you wish for. Might seem like a Nirvana, but there are consequences.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Just look at google map, the living standards of the people of Okinawa vs the American inhabitants are vastly different! US military personnel has big plot of land to live while locals live in small houses.... American bases take up too much space! Let along the threat they pose to local population, they are dangerous people!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

I voted "Yes", because some day in the distant future I would very much like to see an independent Ryukyu, since it was unfairly taken by Japan and since Japan often looks down on and considers Okinawans as less than TRUE Japanese.

But I don't think that will ever happen. Japan has a hard enough time letting go of this that are NOT theirs, and I can't imagine they would ever hold a vote on Okinawa separating, let alone permit it if people were in favour of it. Second, it would be a complete disaster -- for Okinawa. They are almost COMPLETELY dependent on handouts from the government now, and entirely dependent on the Japanese and American military for defence. An independent Okinawa would lose its independence almost immediately, either by choice or very easy hostile take over. And they would have nothing to bargain with if they wanted to separate but keep defence pacts and trade with the rest of Japan.

So, since it is not about to happen, I maintain my stance that the bases -- at least some of them -- have to stay for the time being, as Okinawa cannot defend itself, and others should not have to rush in to save an Okinawa that wants them out in the first place.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The context of this story clearly matters to you because you want to see good things said about US military, but that doesn't mean it's newsworthy to Japanese people. And like it or not, they make up a bigger audience.

FYI you can read the story yourself....

http://okinawa.stripes.com/…/everyday-hero-airman%E2%80%99s…

It is the context of the news that matters.

You obviously know little if anything about how the media in Okinawa works. Context does not matter if it is positive regarding the US Military.

Give you one more example, research the Kadena Special Olympics and tell me what you find out.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Yes. I think the time has come.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

What bloody populist nonsense.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Okiexit.....

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

There are many islands in Japan without military bases and the people "defend" themselves fine. = Okinawa/US military bases not needed for defense of Okinawa people. You would expect more US military bases (and golf courses) in Hokkaido etc if this were the case.

We must protect ourselves from the horrid Russian threat. They could attack at anytime. The whole island of Hokkaido must be a military base and a great Abe's wall formed. This is the only way to protect ourselves from the invaders. We must increase taxes to fight this threat while importing Russian CNG and oil. -The only thing that happens in Hokkaido is a Japanese fishing boat cheating GPS and denying they have gone into Russian waters.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"When the US bases close, the JSDF will take over."

Gosh, I hear this propaganda line almost as much as "if the bases closed, the Okinawan economy would collapse."

Yawn.

IF the JSDF took over, they wouldn't need one tenth of the space the US seems to need. They wouldn't need golf courses, marinas, schools occupying six times the space of their Japanese counterparts. And they CERTAINLY wouldn't need the whole of Kadena.

Probably the only reason there isn't a referendum on this issue is because Abe knows which way it would go. Okinawa wants the US military out.

At least that's the story I hear from Okinawan friends and relatives.

The only way to really find out is to hold a referendum.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Okinawa has been enslaved for 70 years. It has become the poorest prefecture of Japan. It has been bullied and locals were raped by Bases. Not by China and North Korea.

If hosting the base is heaven for Okinawans, there will be no hell exist in the eternal life. When Singapore divorced from Malaysia in1965, many doom Sayers predicted Singapore will not survive. Singapore can not defend itself. However Singapore has become the Israel of South East Asia. GDP has sky rocketed. Unemployment rate is low. It has the second busiest port. Arm Force is small however it is more modernized than neighbors.

If Okinawa has been liberated, it will become another Singapore. The bases are making Okinawa is gong nowhere! It is time for change!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

you better keep us army there otherwise the chinese will be there in a minute ....

japan cannot defend them self against north korea and china.... you better be friends with big USA...

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Nothing to do with me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I voted "no", but only because they didn't provide a third option: "It wouldn't matter". As a prefecture to Japan, Okinawa will never get to decide on matters relating to Japan's national security. They can voice their objection, but any vote by just Okinawans "deciding" anything regarding the nation is moot. They would need to gain a majority of citizens in the entire country to side with them in order to actually "decide" something. This is true whether you're talking about American military or anything else. One prefecture doesn't get to decide issues affecting the entire country.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

First lets say this as that Japan and Okinawa are not DEMOCRACIES. Their are no voter initiatives and laws and rule by the people. All there are is elected cronies that only pad their pockets. People do not have much say in what the want and vote for issues on that. Legalize gambling and Okinawa would be a star gem and all that Asian money from compulsive Chinese and Korean gamblers would flow in by the A-380's but Onaga nixed that.(paid off by Chinese and Korean Yakuza) People just do not know how to campaign and drive initiatives and laws for where they reside. So do not call yourself a Democracy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Probably the only reason there isn't a referendum on this issue is because Abe knows which way it would go. Okinawa wants the US military out.....At least that's the story I hear from Okinawan friends and relatives.

Then your friends and relatives have problems with understanding the problem the same as you. Abe wouldn't matter, reread the title of the poll question.

It's been asked of the chameleon Governor Onaga, the one you love so much, you know the former LDP puppet who changed spots to keep getting reelected, the one who flip-flopped on the base issues....wait isnt that too what you complained about Nakaima? Hmm, ........to hold the referendum.

It would be up to him, and done locally, nothing to do with Abe.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Good thing there are media outlets in Okinawa that are not restricted by having to toe the party line.

There is some degree of freedom of speech anyway.

Surveys conducted by the Ryukyu Shimpo, the Okinawa Times and local election results show that a referendum would be a good idea.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

A referendum is a waste of time. The people don't know what's best for them. Okinawa wants them on that wall, they need them on that wall.

The military in Okinawa have neither the time nor the inclination to explain themselves to Okinawa people who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that the US provides, and then questions the manner in which they provide it. The US military would rather Okinawans just said "thank you," and went on their way, Otherwise, we suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, we don't give a damn about the referendum you think you are entitled to.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

domtoidi,

Might I respectfully suggest that you look up the word "freedom" in a good dictionary.

It might just be that you are missing something.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The military in Okinawa have neither the time nor the inclination to explain themselves to Okinawa people who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that the US provides, and then questions the manner in which they provide it. The US military would rather Okinawans just said "thank you," and went on their way, Otherwise, we suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, we don't give a damn about the referendum you think you are entitled to.

hahaha A Few Good Men?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

domtoidi,

The people of Okinawa do not even have the Freedom to live where they want to and go where they want to on their own Island because very large tracts of their best land is taken up by the US Military and their Families and is restricted to the people of Okinawa.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

A referendum would be a great idea! Settle this once and for all, like the UK did with Brexit.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

read what japan has signed with usa after the war in peace treaty!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nobody understands me in this vast wasteland of referendumus idiocraticity.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

YubaruJUN. 27, 2016 - 08:45PM JST http://okinawa.stripes.com/…/everyday-hero-airman%E2%80%99s…

It's hard to believe there is a conspiracy to silence a news story whose original writer couldn't be bothered to communicate the date the event being reported on happened. I'm not saying it categorically wasn't squelched, but you're going to have to come up with far more convincing evidence.

You obviously know little if anything about how the media in Okinawa works. Context does not matter if it is positive regarding the US Military.

It's never a good sign for your argument when the only way you are able to make it is with a personal attack, nor when your argument has no more substance than "they're all out to get us."

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

read what japan has signed with usa after the war in peace treaty!!!

Yes, and Okinawa (which was forcibly incorporated by Japan from 1609 onwards) was supposed to have been returned in 1972. Time for the US personnel there to be relocated to the mainland.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's never a good sign for your argument when the only way you are able to make it is with a personal attack, nor when your argument has no more substance than "they're all out to get us."

Never attacked you, just stating an obvious fact based upon your comments. If you have to comment like this you reinforce the fact that you have no knowledge of how the media works here in Okinawa.

Thank you for your confirming your ignorance, it also makes any comments you make on this issue as being uninformed. That is not an attack,

t's hard to believe there is a conspiracy to silence a news story whose original writer couldn't be bothered to communicate the date the event being reported on happened. I'm not saying it categorically wasn't squelched, but you're going to have to come up with far more convincing evidence.

Interesting, you attempt to put words in my mouth that I never used. I may have alluded to something but you assume otherwise.

Never good to assume something when you are trying to make your point in a discussion. You also failed to respond regarding the Kadena Special Olympics,

I will be ignoring you on issues related to Okinawa.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How about the woman who saved the lives of two elderly Japanese when they were in a car crash a little over a week ago? Yeah she was active duty military too. Where is the media to report on that?

Exactly. There were over 3,400 arrests for crimes in Okinawa last year, 37 were people from bases. Why don't we hear about all those other crimes on Okinawa? They have nothing to do with getting rid of the bases, that's why.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Exactly. There were over 3,400 arrests for crimes in Okinawa last year, 37 were people from bases. Why don't we hear about all those other crimes on Okinawa? They have nothing to do with getting rid of the bases, that's why.

It about the "context"....lol! The anti-base people are looking for angels where they live among a number of devils themselves.

The folks claiming that Onaga is a savior and the next best thing to running water, over look his own past as a part of the LDP and point fingers at everyone but themselves.

As I have written here and will do so again, the logical is illogical in Okinawa when it comes to base issues. The media will never tell the whole story.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Actually, yes. But not just about Okinawa vs Somewhere Else. Moving them off Okinawa would just be moving the problem. The referendum should be Potentially two steps. FIrst, ask Okinawans whether they want to bases to stay on Okinawa. If not, then a nationwide referendum about whether they stay at all (ok, some replenishment bases, but no home porting or combat forces permanently stationed here)...and the base sites are chosen from areas with over 75% "yes" votes. If the percentage isn't over 75% in any area capable of siting them, we pack up and leave. Japan will just have to figure out a way to deal with the neighbors on their own. It's time they made their own choice.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Would you like to see a referendum held on Okinawa so that Okinawans themselves can decide whether or not they wish to host U.S. military bases?

How can anyone vote "no" to this?

Do the "no" voters think that it's not right for Okinawans to express their opinions?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Unless the Japanese Government allowed the Referendum to be binding... i.e., a 50.1% Yes vote or more would decide that the bases would be Closed Permanently, it would be somewhat meaningless. Now.... Okinawa could hold the referendum themselves in order to show Tokyo exactly where their desire lies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How can anyone vote "no" to this? Do the "no" voters think that it's not right for Okinawans to express their opinions?

Because a national defense strategy is not decided by localities, it is decided by the national government.

I'm all for a non-binding referendum to gage public opinion, I want the world to see it's not as black and white as a newspapers makes it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

they don't know what they've got til it's gone....

I voted yes. Let China "protect" it for a while and then see how they like it. Oh, and I'm sure China would say no more referendums afterwards so that would kinda be final

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

That would be like Sandiego in Cali voting on whether to remove the warships down there.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How can anyone vote "no" to this? Do the "no" voters think that it's not right for Okinawans to express their opinions?

It is called an "opinion" poll right? So in effect you are saying that people who voted no have no right to their opinion. Typical of anyone who is anti-base here in Okinawa too, don't agree 100% and they are wrong. Interesting insight.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Do the "no" voters think that it's not right for Okinawans to express their opinions?

A fair point

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel the time has come for US to withdraw its forces from Japan , Korea and the Philippines..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I can't believe that so far about 40% have voted "no."

Okinawa was sacrificed by the J. Govt. during the war and it is still being sacrificed, with 70% of of U.S. bases there, on what is 6% of Japan's land area.

Japan is a rich country. Let it defend itself if it wants to. The U.S. has about 800 bases around the world, trying to be the world's policeman. Letting the Okinawan people decide is a wonderful idea, but it will never happen as right-wing Abe is just a puppet of the U.S.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

scap,

You said it.

Nice post!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Would love to see it, doubt it would do much. Mainland Japan doesn't care about Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IRONYEXIT

Okinawa: "We want to vote for independence."

Tokyo: "Do you really want to be responsible for your own defence?"

Okinawa: "Absolutely."

Tokyo: "Good luck with that."

[Okinawa becomes independent.]

[Joint U.S./Japanese invasion force takes Okinawa.]

Tokyo: "Hey, you wanted to be responsible for your own defence."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes indeed, how about a referendum for i̶n̶d̶e̶p̶e̶n̶d̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ re-independence à la Scotland?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

re-independence à la Scotland?

Good point. I dare say that is on the cards in the near future unless a compromise can be worked out re. the EU

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That anyone could vote no to this really tells all. And I bet these same people claim that its terrorists that hate freedom! These people always bleat on about how Okinawans love them and need them for their economic contribution. So much as suggest putting it to a vote to test that theory and you NEVER seen such back-peddling!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Even if there was a referendum, it will be both sides campaigning with fear tactics based on lies for the most part. That is how the Scottish and EU referendums were handled. Instead of giving clear information, most just went out of their way to smear their opponents.

If there were to be a referendum it would most likely be voted not to host anymore US bases. But I don't see the government offering to hold any kind of referendum anytime soon.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If there were to be a referendum it would most likely be voted not to host anymore US bases

That is what I was referring to. Of course the government prefers not to let the Okinawan people have their wishes heard on this issue. Heaven forbid the Okinawan people give them the answer they don't want to hear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah yeah, and good luck with that with the drooling dolts of the LDP running the show.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can not believe that 40% of the people who voted in this poll do not support the Okinawans on their quest for freedom and democracy, the very same values we take completely for granted at Okinawas expensive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Will it make a difference even if 100% vote Yes?

No, it won't just click-bait.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Indeed, time for Amexit. Ideally from the whole of Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

re-independence à la Scotland?

Ala Scotland? FYI Scotland already is semi-autonomous in many ways, NOTHING like Okinawa, so this point is moot. Not even a proper comparison.

A better one would be Hawaii voting for independence from the USA, used to be independent but now not so and the native Hawaiians want their country back.....but it'll never happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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