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Would you like to see U.S. military forces leave Okinawa?

28 Comments
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Yes. They should all leave. WWII ended 70 years ago. They take up much needed space and hold down the economy. Move to Guam as was promised and as has been paid for by the Japanese taxpayer.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Yes. Since Abe is hell bent on changing article 9 the americans should not be defending Japan anymore. Repealing article 9 while still having the US bases here means that the nationalists get to have their cake and eat it too. No more.

If you talk the talk, you should also be made to walk the walk.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

No, but I support consolidating the majority of bases onto the main bases (Kadena, Foster, Schwab, and Hansen). Why? Security and economy.

They take up much needed space and hold down the economy.

I'd suggest studying up on economics, the bases don't hold the economy down as much as people like to claim. The figure that says the base presence only impacts economy is mostly based on the number of Military, Civilian Employee, and families vs the population (roughly 70,000/1.4 million). What isn't taken into account is the purchasing power that Military Personnel in Okinawa have over many Okinawans. This is because even some of the lower ranks have a higher annual income than many Okinawans, and yes, they are out spending money. I see them all over the place and they're a heck of a lot better than the tourists from outside Japan. The bases also provide contracting opportunities for local companies in construction, engineering, and a host of other services. These jobs tend to provide higher pay due to the technical proficiency requirement.

What really holds down the Okinawan Economy; the reliance on tourism. It only promotes low income (minimal wage) jobs which is what is holding back the economy and causing many college graduates and highly trained people to leave Okinawa and head to the Mainland for work. Until the Okinawan governments trades attracting cruise ships for attracting tech, pharmaceutical and other higher paying industries, this island will never truly grow outside of the superficial changes we see at tourism spots along Rt 58.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

World War II may have ended 70 years ago but that isn't the reason the bases are there. They are there to intimidate others and control aggression against Taiwan, South Korea, and, to some extent, Japan. The same war ended at the same time in Europe but there are still US army bases in Germany (Frankfurt) and NATO in places like Turkey. To defend against German aggression? No, to defend against the new enemy (at that time the Soviet Union and Eastern Block countries).

However, I think Japan should stop hiding behind the US flag. Especially after revising Article 9. You're on your own now, buddy; good luck. The US forces should move to Guam.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

As I have said before Japan is a huge regional player with a modern and well equipped military to back it up. All those who mock Japan as hiding behind the flag of the us are not giving credit were credit is due. The only thing japan has gained from the bases is not having to drop as much money as other countries do into its own mlitary. Since japan has been doing g that very thing and will continue to do so, the bases are just redundant. No one in their right mind would really do anything against japan because it would be so devastating to both sides that it would gain nothing but another world war. Japan should and can take care of itself.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Depends. I would of course like to see them leave eventually, but not in the near future. That said, I also don't want to see whack jobs like Abe change the Constitution so that they are NOT needed, and Japan renounces peace in favour of former militarism, and to make money off the war machine.

BertieWooser: "Move to Guam as was promised and as has been paid for by the Japanese taxpayer."

You don't seem to care about promises when it comes to the thrice promised base relocation, so why now? And as for taxes, do you actually think costs will DECREASE when Japan has to up it's defence budget even more than it has recently to pay for an entire military and set up the defence that the US takes with it? You're kidding yourself if you think it's suddenly going to free up a bunch of money to go towards social welfare or what has you -- it's going to take MORE money away from the taxpayers.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Hell no. Hope to see the USA and Japan working together to counter balance China

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Only the left-wingers want them gone.. Only the right-wingers want them to stay... The majority of Okinawans are indifferent.

I'm getting sick of watching two minorities bicker about it.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Reality, whether I'd like it or not does not matter, and with the recent incident, a poll like this is just another way of flaming the fires of discontent and frustration.

Does not matter one bit what anyone here thinks or likes or dislikes for that matter, it's what the national government here and the US government think and do that matters.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I said Yes because I would rather those resources be spent on where they are actually wanted and not looked at like a irritant.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

China should never be trusted and needs to be checked. I would say the same for the US too. Same coin, two different sides. The globalists are bent on creating a permanent working class/upper upper class and will prevent at all costs, a global discovery of democracy. Star Trek is just a TV show, and those holding thoughts in their head of the human race all living and loving each other is just a script out of Fantasy Island. Just look at the US's support for Israel and Saudi Arabia for an answer. We are still fighting each other for oil and gas and the pipelines to carry them while trashing the planet along the way. I can't speak about Europe but I know the US has done a great job over the last 35 years at destroying the people power of the Unions. I'm not sure why Japan's Unions are weak, all I know is that they are not a political force against the abuse of the corporate elite that run the country. Aside from Britain and France, Europe seems bent on destroying their culture all for the goal of economic growth. And that's the key right? Keep growing your economy. It's a great example of cognitive dissonance for our governments to be always talking about growth from one side of their mouth, and talking about climate change from the other side. There's a reason why humans are so indifferent to the killings going on in Yemen. The distraction by the corporate MSM is diverting you to jump on the side of Obama, Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia to hate Assad. There's a reason we are being programmed to despise Russia and Putin while the corruption and the neo-nazis in Ukraine are barely mentioned. Thank god for independent media. The wars fought against the Kings, Queens, despots and religion are pretty much over. The Banksters are now creating new issues for us to hate each other, and it seems to be working. Muslim immigration into Europe to name one. Look at the recent election in Austria for an answer. Most psychologists will tell you that homosexuality is a mental issue, not a physiological one, but the US has been turned upside down over giving them rights where none should exist, except for the right NOT to be treated differently than anyone else which is a struggle for the human race. The next battle for freedom will be against the rich, as usual, but they are in suits and ties and sitting in board rooms. So, no, I don't want to see the US military forces leave Okinawa, I want them to be kicked out be a population uprising.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

However, I think Japan should stop hiding behind the US flag.

@borscht

I agree with you there.

Japan's hosting of the bases creates an obvious moral hazard which harms both Japan and the U.S. in that it emboldens Japan's nationalists to act more provocatively, and less diplomatically, toward its neighbors than they would otherwise, without fear of retribution. For instance, I sincerely doubt that former Tokyo Governor Ishihara would have stirred the pot with the Senkaku Islands issue back in 2012 without having the U.S. military close at hand.

Also, the U.S. servicemen and servicewomen are treated like mercenaries here whose role is to sacrifice their lives for Japan if need be, so that Japan's young adults don't have to. Removing the bases would help bring about a healthier U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It is long past time for the U.S. remove its forward bases in Japan and allow Japan to take control of its own defense.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I would like to see the US and Japan make a decision based off of sober and non-partisan analysis of their strategic need, rather than leaving the issue up to the popular opinion of the peanut gallery.

Then, whichever way they decide to go, I would like to see them actually deal with the consequences of that decision, rather than just accepting that local civilians just have to "deal with it".

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yes - not because it'd be a good idea (it'd be disastrous) but because I'm so damned tired of hearing about it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

a lot of US blood was lost for that island, I say the US should leave only after Putin returns the Northern Islands. Of course minimizing the impact on the local populace is common sense.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Personally, I think America should have kept Okinawa. It is strategically very important.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Move to Guam as was promised and as has been paid for by the Japanese taxpayer. there was never any promise to move all the US forces from Okinawa, there was always a plan to keep a presence in Okinawa and unless Onaga becomes PM thats unlikely to change.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They cannot just withdraw, hoping to give the islanders eternal relief. Nice idea, but in today's world?

Okinawa is a strategically-important stronghold. Some alternative power will need to fill the space there, and probably continue to operate the same bases with loud and noisy equipment. Which noise pollution would the Okinawans really prefer, Japanese, Chinese or US? Because realistically speaking it is never going to be silent there. Anyone who wants peace and quiet in this lifetime should probably relocate north or south a few islands.

The poll should be asking IMHO, do you think the alternative invaders will be more welcome when they move in after the US leaves Okinawa, and why?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes. They should all leave. WWII ended 70 years ago. They take up much needed space and hold down the economy. Move to Guam as was promised and as has been paid for by the Japanese taxpayer.

No, don't think so. As long as you have China and North Korea hovering like Vultures over Japan, we shouldn't leave, but I do think there needs to be a better system in dealing with out of control military officials, a curfew maybe, better cultural education and sensitivity classes, language learning, anger management, limiting alcohol consumption etc. I think these are necessary and critical first steps in dealing with a very complicated issue.

Personally, I think America should have kept Okinawa. It is strategically very important.

I agree.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Let Okinawa become a vacation paradise for Asia. Could open the base golf courses for all. Men (Women) could play golf and relax on the beaches. People of Okinawa could set up a public management/development fund to lease/rent properties with profit going back to the people (public fund).

People of Okinawa have suffered enough with the bases now it is a time to enjoy Okinawa and the base property.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I think U.S. military forces should stay at Okinawa to defend against new enemy, like a China, north Korea and so on.

However we need to and must control their crimes for our security.

There are still some big incidents around there and many people want to leave U.S.military place from Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I wonder what the effect would be on the local economy, if they did leave. I went to Okinawa last year, and was quite surprised at the lack of development and run-down state, compared to the rest of Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Build and island, and they will come. Also, build an island, and they will leave. The USA military needs it own home offshore. The economic stimulus in building will be greatly appreciate. No Japanese supply service jobs will be lost. Best of all, no off base passes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the marines treated the Okinawan people with the same level of respect they demand, instead of treating them as their personal servants, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The argument "If American leaves Okinawa, China will invade" is the worst argument made by Americans who believe the world is a permanent battlefield in which everyone tries to dominate the world with military means and launches an assault if the counterpart is caught off guard for just a second.

Japan will do very well without you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, Japan can use the cheap labor from the MLCs and they don't need Engrish either to pick Goya. This way they will be working and know what it is to work for a living.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stop speaking about American's in general terms, it's only the idiots and I personally disown them as Americans because their worth it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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