bam_boo comments

Posted in: Onodera asks new U.S. envoy to pay heed to base concerns See in context

I hope you will lend an ear to the voices of local people, including on issues related to the U.S. forces in Japan,

For Okinawan people Onodera's plea sounds extremely cynical and dishonest as Abe and his government do not care a rotten nut for the "voices of local people" in Okinawa.

Onodera is fine with forcing the bulk of US military in Japan on this tiny prefecture, against the clearly expressed will of more than 80% of the prefectures citizens, but cautions the US to "lend an ear to the voices of local people". Pathetic!

the ambassador vowed to work to "make certain that we are optimizing our presence here in Japan."

Optimizing the US military presence in Japan? Again a statement that to Okinawan ears sounds extremely cynical as this "optimization" is done largely at the expense of the Okinawan people and nature.

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Posted in: N Korean missile fears in Japan: 'Whatever will be, will be' See in context

It's a mere 100 days and we're finding ourselves in different reality, a reality created by a person famous for having a rather arbitrary relation with reality. I don't want to scare people, but who knows were we will be after another 1360 or so days of this? And it could well be that Kim won't remain the most scary part of the story.

Anyway, more then ever reason for the Okinawan people to get rid of as many of the US bases as fast as possible. With nearly 20% of Okinawas main island being occupied by US bases there hardly is a better place to target, if one aims at hurting the US.

We don't know how the situation will develop, but we know that we want to be as far away from any US military installation as possible if diplomatic channels start failing.

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Posted in: U.S. Marine jet crashes off Okinawa; pilot ejects safely See in context

@ jj1067

There are several misconceptions in your arguments.

In America, police officers do whatever they have to do to protect the community. People don't vote to allow cops to come or not.

The police in the US is receiving orders from the democratic institutions and the decision where to build police stations is part of a democratically legitimated process.

Besides, if you like it or not, Japanese chose to have US military bases in Okinawa by choosing LDP over DPJ, which is democracy.

This was in no way a decision-making process that democratically legitimated the US bases in Okinawa. If you believe so you don't understand the very basics of democracy.

Don't judge a foreign country with your ideology and pay some respect.

Maybe you should pay some respect and read the Japanese constitution like I have and like most Okinawan people have.

There are several articles in there that would NOT allow the central government to just put an unequal burden on one specific prefecture.

Please read the following article

"Article 95. A special law, applicable only to one local public entity, cannot be enacted by the Diet without the consent of the majority of the voters of the local public entity concerned, obtained in accordance with law."

It is part of the "CHAPTER VIII - LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT" which states that the "Local public entities shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within law."

If the central government would want to station the majority of a foreign military force in one prefecture it would not be able to do so without enabling a law for such a far-reaching measure and it would need the consent of that prefectures citizens to do so.

The only reason that the US military could occupy nearly 20% of Okinawas main-island is because Okinawa was under a US military dictatorship and people were illegally forced out of their homes.

Democracy luckily is not the "tyranny of the majority" as you seem to believe.

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Posted in: U.S. Marine jet crashes off Okinawa; pilot ejects safely See in context

@ jj1067

By the way BertieWooster where to have a military base is a military decision, not a "peace loving" decision.

A nation where the military can freely decide where to built military bases is called a "military dictatorship".

According to its constitution Japan is a democracy and in a democratic nation not the military, but the people have the last say. At least until Abe manages to change the constitution and turn Japan into an authoritarian state.

Unfortunately Okinawa has never been able to enjoy all the blessings of the Japanese constitution because the government of Japan and the US have conspired against the Okinawan people in order to "protect" the mainland.

While all other Japanese prefectures are able to decide on all the guiding principles of their prefecture in a democratic process the Okinawan people are deprived of such a right. The central government in intimate togetherness with the US military is doing anything in its power to keep the Okinawan people in a state of submission.

And the Okinawan people are doing anything in their power to change this situation and to prevent any further damage to their environment and any further threat resulting from the surreal concentration of US military on their islands.

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Posted in: U.S. Marine jet crashes off Okinawa; pilot ejects safely See in context

@ smithinjapan

Yes, THEN, and not before, like when JSDF craft go down, or when an Okinawan gets drunk and rapes someone, or breaks into a house, or drives drunk.

The Okinawan people do what ever they can to prevent crime from Okinawan people and they do whatever they can to get the US military drastically reduced in order to drastically reduce crime by US military. Your line of argument, that the Okinawan people don't care about crime committed by Okinawan citizens, is utterly irrational.

And yet they still want handouts AND the bases gone! They curse the US but demand they stay close enough that when Okinawa is attacked (and suddenly they are Japanese citizens again!) they abide by the National Security pacts.

Your overly general, unsubstantiated and slanderous accusations of the Okinawan people is hate speech in its purest form.

Just to remind you of the definition of hate speech:

"speech that is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate a person because of some trait (as race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability)"

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Posted in: Japan likely to scrap Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor See in context

Fast-breeder nuclear reactors were technological dinosaurs already 25 years ago. It was back then that Germany decided to scrap its only fast-breeder that had just been built, without starting it up once.

Now imagine one would have listened to one of the many critical voices back then and used the 1 trillion Monju yen for wind energy... it would have been possible to instal more than 10 GW of wind turbines! A wooping more than 30 times of Monju's planned capacity and still more than 2 times Fukushima daiichi, one of the biggest nuclear power plants that have ever been built.

What an unbelievable waste of money, resources and time!

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Posted in: U.S. Marine jet crashes off Okinawa; pilot ejects safely See in context

Every Okinawan mother or father who lives in the vicinity of one of the countless US military flightpaths will worry about their kids when reading such news. They will think about the daily overflights by numberless military aircraft and be reminded that it is just a question when and not if another one of those US military accidents occurs. And without exception they will hope that nothing bad happens and no people are hurt then.

The posters here who try to depict the Okinawan people and media of blatant cynicism and of just pretending to be worried about possible US military accidents appear rather presumptuous if they chose to make such severe accusations without even attempting at backing them up with some kind of objective information. There's more than enough problems in Japan with hate speech anyway.

The Okinawan people have never chosen nor ever agreed to host such a massive amount of US military and have all the right in the world to do everything they can to get rid of such an unequal and discriminating burden.

Drastically reducing the US military in Okinawa will drastically reduce the threat of accidents from a source that the Okinawan people have never invited to their prefecture.

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Posted in: Abe to visit Okinawa for ceremony to mark 71st anniversary of WWII battle See in context

Abe is not going to Okinawa with the Okinawan people in mind.

He has shown time and again that he doesn't care a rotten nut for their clearly expressed democratic will. The Okinawan people didn't invite hime and don't want him to come.

They know very well that his visit is solely directed at deceiving the rest of Japan before the elections.

In general Japanese outside of Okinawa have very few information about the Okinawan issue, as mass media hardly ever covers the conflict in depth, and Abe hopes that they might get the impression he cares about Okinawa.

Abe style "Tatemae" politics.

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Posted in: Protesters rally in Naha, Tokyo against U.S. military bases on Okinawa See in context

Virginia and North Carolina were occupied and ruled by a foreign military force led by Generals Sherman and Grant.

Sounds like a confederate general talking in 1865... few people in 21st century outside of the "confederate states" will understand what you are talking about.

But then where is there any meaningful similarity to the Okinawan issue?

They were independent entities that were part of the Confederate States of America.

When and how exactly were Virginia and North Carolina independent cultural entities, kingdoms or independent nations like Okinawa? At most they were part of a "Confederate States of America", but do you seriously want to compare the "Confederate States of America" to the kingdom of Okinawa? If yes, then on what basis with with what aim?

Hawaii was an independent nation occupied and ruled by a foreign military force.

If there's anything remotely comparable to the Okinawan situation within Japan it is indeed Hawaii within the US, but then CrucialS didn't mention Hawaii and I suppose he had some reasons?

I believe we could learn something from such a comparison, but only if it is done by defining reasonable parameters otherwise it would come to nothing.

To start with the following wikipedia article could help:

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Posted in: Protesters rally in Naha, Tokyo against U.S. military bases on Okinawa See in context

@ CrucialS

Its pretty much how every nation works. The only difference is Japan relies on a foreign military vice it's own. In the United States, states like Virginia and North Carolina which house close to as many military bases and personnel (not counting reservists) as Texas and California yet are a third or less the size have absolutely no say in where the federal government decides to put bases.

Your comparison is pure nonsense. Here just a few of the many reasons why:

... 1. US Military in Virginia and North Carolina is a domestic force

... 2. Virginia and North Carolina were never occupied and ruled by a foreign military force

... 3. The land on which the US military forces reside was never illegally snatched by a foreign military force from its rightful owners.

... 4. Neither the majority of Virginia nor of North Carolina's citizens have voiced opposition to the stationing of US military.

... 5. Neither Virginia nor North Carolina in the US are in a meaningful way comparable to Okinawa in Japan. They've not been independent cultural entities with their own history.

... 6. While North Carolina features the second highest ratio of Military base land (only superseded by Hawaii) this is only 5.48% of the state land. In Okinawa we are talking about 10.4%, (on the main island Okinawa it is a whooping 19% and more then 40% of the arable land!) almost twice!

Beside the above obvious points the whole context in relation to policy making (US federal system vs Japanese centralized system) and national defense strategy is completely different. Other then you're trying to suggest here pretty much every nation works quite different.

If you want to compare the Okinawan issue to some other similar situation I would make sense to come up with more meaningful and rational examples.

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Posted in: Protesters rally in Naha, Tokyo against U.S. military bases on Okinawa See in context

@ 5SpeedRacer5

Your post sounds like: we have to sacrifice, but you carry the burden... and dare to complain!

It is obvious that you think Japan needs US military, but what are you willing to sacrifice? What do you do, except telling Okinawan people that they should shut up and accept the burden that has been forced upon them?

That bigger picture is that Japan, not only Okinawa, has agreed to host and support US forces as a trip wire against Russian or Chinese aggression.

No, Okinawa has never agreed to host the bulk of the US military in Japan, it was forced to. First by a US military that established a kind of military dictatorship in Okinawa after the war and then by Tokyo, that denied Okinawa the same constitutional democratic rights that all other prefectures enjoyed.

This kind of arguments by apparently mainland Japanese that tell Okinawan people that they ought to be thankful are pure hypocrisy.

Of course Japan can agree to host such an extensive presence of US military, but how can it decide to force the bulk of that burden on one of the smallest and weakest prefectures against the outspoken will of the people of that prefecture? What kind of nation is that?

Does anybody get the feeling that all these do-gooders and protesters are just taking society backward, in entirely the wrong direction?

No, most reasonable people will get the feeling that Okinawan citizens are fighting for equality, justice and democracy.

And they will get the feeling that Japan wants full protection by the US, but is not ready to carry the burden that comes with a massive presence of US military.

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Posted in: Protesters rally in Naha, Tokyo against U.S. military bases on Okinawa See in context

I don't know where you get your numbers from, but official prefectural numbers seem to prove you wrong:

Heisei 27 (The Japanese fiscal year that ends in 2015)

Domestic tourists 6.260.000

Foreign tourists 1.670.000

That is more than 26% foreign tourists.

If you work in the tourism business you should try got the facts right.

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Posted in: Anti-U.S. base protest See in context

@ lngtimewndr

So what about the hundreds of Okinawan women that are abused or worst by Okinawans? Not as important? There was a woman murdered in Nago about two years ago, and a school teacher killed by one of her students last year in Okinawa City. I guess those don't count as terrifying experiences because we can't blame the Americans.

I have to admit that I'm kind of lost here. What is your point?

Of course the Okinawan people are shocked about every single of the very few heinous crimes that happen in the prefecture, and you will know that if you follow the local media, but that is a completely different topic and the discussion about what to do about local crimes has nothing to do with the US military presence, whereas crimes by US military personal obviously have to do with US military presence.

So could you please give us a clue why we should discuss such local crimes here?

Ever seen the videos of the protests at Camp Schwab and surrounding area? You might want to take a look at those before you spout that off. Damaging peoples cars, assaults on military members.

Those are not typical Okinawan reactions, but extreme rare exceptions and most Okinawans clearly reject such a behavior. Do you want to make 1.3 million Okinawans responsible for the actions of 20 or so protestors?

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Posted in: Protesters rally in Naha, Tokyo against U.S. military bases on Okinawa See in context

@ Yubaru

It isnt "especially" foreign tourists, it's by far the domestic market that is booming here.

You are very wrong here. Domestic tourism has seen many booms in Okinawa, but foreign tourism has just started to boom three or four years ago. While domestic tourism only rose by 1.3% in 2015 foreign tourism rose by a whooping 70%. Foreign tourism has seen its percentage skyrocket from less than 1% to more than 20% in 2015, that's what I mean.

Retail does not "work" so much as you think. Those malls and shopping areas are funded by mainland companies who leech the profits from the island people and tourists. Seems you never have been to Okinawa either if you think otherwise.

Again, you are wrong here. While some of the retail profit goes to large Japanese companies like AEON (that's Japan and that happens in every single Japanese prefecture) the percentage of local Okinawan companies is far above average in Japan. Especially successful Okinawan retail companies are SanA and Ryubo. SanA runs by far the most of the Okinawan malls, but of course it is fighting an uphill battle against in a very centralized market structure.

The land returned could be put to better use, but it's the landowners who see the yen signs from folks offering them cash to develop the land commercially that talks loudest.

I agree with you here, but as you say who could blame them...

Okinawan's themselves are to blame for many of the problems here and what is going on now is that everyone is focused on the bases, and are forgetting about everything else.

That is where you simply fail understand the Okinawan problem.

The basis for a healthy society and economy is self-determination. This doesn't mean complete independence, but the ability of the prefectural citizens to define the major trajectories of the future of their prefecture in a genuinely democratic process.

And this is what first the US and then Tokyo has been withholding from the Okinawan people.

Onaga is a one issue Gov and that does not bode well for the future of Okinawa.

Onaga has been elected by a majority of the Okinawan people with a clear democratic mandate, but I have no idea on what kind of mandate one could base such an odd and seemingly democracy defying judgement like the above one on.

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Posted in: Anti-U.S. base protest See in context

Some posters here either don't understand the context of this protest or try to depict it as something different than it really is.

The protest is not predominantly anti-american nor are the people using the crime against an Okinawa women for "political purposes". It is a protest against un unjust and discriminating status quo that leeds to Okinawan citizens suffering.

It is a simple truth but if Okinawa would share an equal burden in defending Japan there would be at most some hundred US military personal stationed in Okinawa and hundred of young Okinawan women would have been spared the terrifying experience of sexual abuse or rape and a dozen or so would be still alive.

The Okinawan people have been forced to put up with a massive presence of US military on their small islands and every crime committed by that unwanted outside force is a crime that could have been prevented if Okinawa would be treated with respect.

To expect a zero tolerance of one group from another is both discrimination and racism.

The Okinawan people are least racist people I have ever met. Even they fiercely oppose the US military presence they are overwhelmingly very friendly to US military personal. Even they criticize the US they almost never personally accuse any american for the suffering they have to endure.

It is the Okinawan people who experienced racism by the US and by Tokyo who both believe it to be legitimate to force this small island culture to carry an unjust burden.

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Posted in: Protesters rally in Naha, Tokyo against U.S. military bases on Okinawa See in context

Once again a huge demonstration for a small island and for a nation where demonstrations are almost a taboo.

And as always smithinjapan works hard at trying to turn reality upside down.

japan4life, I and others here have provided plenty of hard evidence proving that a clear majority of the Okinawan people want either a complete removal or a drastic reduction of the US military in the prefecture.

Not only all polls ever done prove that, but also the only prefecture-wide referendum in 1996 (90% against the US bases the Nago referendum mentioned, multiple huge demonstrations, all recent elections, the public debate, the media, the local representatives, etc., there's absolutely no doubt about what the Okinawan people want.

Asked about the evidence for his absurd claims smithinjapan's attempt to depict a vote for the governor as a pro US base vote completely misses the point. While Onaga is a very popular governor this issue goes far beyond any personality discussion.

The Okinawan people simply want equal rights, an end to the decades long discrimination and self-determination as it is guaranteed in Chapter VIII of the Japanese constitution ("Local Self-Government").

@ coskuri

Retail doesn't work greatly in Okinawa (Americans on bases get everything shipped from home... except the awamori for Friday nights)

It seems as if coskuri has never been to Okinawa. Retails works so well that every returned US base is turned into another huge shopping mall or entertainment district. First Chattan, then Shintashin in Naha and last but surely not least the biggest shopping mall in Okinawa: Rycom.

Tourism booms like crazy, especially foreign tourism that since three years is seeing a unprecedented boom, but I personally believe that neither tourism nor retail will provide a sustainable and reliable base for Okinawan development on the long run.

That Tokyo signed agreements does not change the feeling of being occupied. The case of the murder girl is just the last drop.

Those are very true statements. Tokyo has never really cared about what the Okinawan people want.

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Posted in: Abe suspends work on U.S. base relocation on Okinawa See in context

@ sangetsu03

I guess you aren't aware that America still maintains military bases in Germany and Italy to this day? I guess only Okinawa matters? Not Yokosuka, or the dozens of other US military installations in and around Japan?

It seems you haven't understood some basic facts. US military occupies close to 20% of the Okinawan main island, which is a ratio not even remotely comparable to any of the other locations you mention.

As I have said before, I believe that Okinawans might accept a reasonable share of burden in regard to hosting US military, but the status quo is nowhere near to being reasonable.

The share of burden Okinawan carries is discriminating and absolutely not justifiable by any kind of rational argumentation. Sadly it is the result of Japanese and US discrimination and political power harassment.

@ Kazuaki Shimazaki

I can see the effects of American "patriotic education" on your thinking.

We can see the effects of an uncritical and apologetic Japanese historic revisionism on your thinking.

Besides being off topic your shallow attempt to relativize Japans aggressive imperialism in Asia is a perfect example for how revisionists make up their version of history by distorting facts and omitting the main part of the story.

Anyway, Okinawa has absolutely no responsibility for the horror that Japan inflicted on Asia during WW2, but was itself a victim of Japans aggression and expansionism.

It must be due to one of those unreasonable twists of destiny that even now, more then 70 years after the war, Okinawa with its friendly and extremely peaceful population is still the place in Japan that is suffering most for past Japanese wrongdoings by being forced to host an unreal amassment of US military.

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Posted in: Abe suspends work on U.S. base relocation on Okinawa See in context

@ smithinjapan

Second, where is the data of which you speak?

I'll put the links to a selection of data below.

If there are so many against it, why did Onaga, going on that platform, only get 55% of the vote and not 90%?

It was not a referendum on Henoko but a vote for the governor of Okinawa.

Seems pretty 'objective fact' that the numbers you bring in are fudged.

Look at the links below and then explain what you mean by "fudged".

That's what the prefecture gets its money for,

No, that's a myth. Okinawa doesn't get money for "hosting bases" and it certainly doesn't get more money then a number of other prefectures. It is ranked around 6th to 8th in terms of overall central government budget per capita. Nowhere over the top.

Okinawa does get money as "compensation" for having to shoulder the burden. Can you understand the difference between compensation and getting payed for providing a voluntary service? I doubt it.

And in any case it's not their choice -- it is a national security issue.

National security voiding the democratic will of a whole prefecture? Sounds like North Korea.

So here some of the data:

Asahi, April 2015, 73% oppose Abe's Henoko relocation policies, 70% support Onaga

NHK from 2012, 72% against the Henoko relocation, 78% for a reduction of the US bases in Okinawa:

Okinawa Times, October 2015, 79% support Onaga with retracting the Henoko landfill permission

Ryukyu Shinpo and OTV, Jan. 2015, 83% for stopping the relocation, 77% support for canceling the landfill approval Henoko:

Ryukyu Shinpo and OTV, Aug. 2012, 80% for stopping the relocation:

Okinawa Times, Apr. 2015, support for Onaga against the Henoko relocation 83%:

All polls do explain their methodology in a verifiable way so if you believe the data is not appropriate please explain why.

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Posted in: Abe suspends work on U.S. base relocation on Okinawa See in context

@ smithinjapan

A minority of Okinawans ... want the relocation stopped

All objective data is consistently pointing at a very large majority of Okinawan citizens (somewhere between 70% and 90%) opposing the Henoko relocation so I really wonder what kind of evidence you base this far fetched claim on?

Available data and research though suggests that the Okinawan people under certain conditions might be willing to put up with small US military footprint (definitely not 15% of their island but rather 1% or 2%), but they surely will never accept further destruction of their environment for new US military facilities as they feel this to be blatant discrimination.

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Posted in: Abe suspends work on U.S. base relocation on Okinawa See in context

@ Yubaru

There is no such thing as "citizens" of Okinawa, it isnt a country.

It might have been good to look up the meaning of the word citizen before posting awkward comments here.

Definition of citizen: inhabitant of a city or town; especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman

...a person who lives in a particular place

...a member of a state

...a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it

...a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state

@ FightingViking

Sounds like bribery and corruption to me...

More like intimidating and extorting as it was agreed that the Marines move to Guam would be uncoupled from the Henoko relocation, but now suddenly they say that it "would happen after Futenma’s relocation". Surely another one of the sink or swim measures to extort the Okinawan people.

@ CrucialS

It's a very vocal minority who has a the support of two media outlets that twist things to make it look like the masses.

We know quite exactly what the Okinawan "masses" want, from countless polls, two referenda, all recent elections, more then 5 or 6 mass demonstrations over the past two decades, etc. etc.

I wonder what state of mind one must be in to be able to ignore such a clear expression of the will of the people.

I just can't wait for this base to be finished so we never have to hear of it again

A very cynical comment as if the Henoko base would be built the people in central and northern Okinawa will have to hear of that base on a daily basis and put up with the noise and the threats of that base for decades to come. I suppose you don't live in Okinawa, CrucialS?

Even if Tokyo pushes through with the construction of the Henoko base it will never be excepted by the Okinawan people and the quagmire might well go on for another some decades.

It is not possible to ignore the will of the people of a whole prefecture without damaging democracy and without creating long term problems as we can see in Okinawa now.

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Posted in: Abe suspends work on U.S. base relocation on Okinawa See in context

@ Yubaru

how do you differentiate between Okinawan's and Japanese on Okinawa?

Why do you want to differentiate? Every Japanese citizen living and registered in Okinawa prefecture is an Okinawan citizen.

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Posted in: Abe suspends work on U.S. base relocation on Okinawa See in context

To take such an intermediate position and not just subjugate to the central government is already a quite courageous act for a Japanese district court judge and it is a good first step that Abe is listening to the rule of law.

Though many Okinawans are rather suspecting a deceitful trick by Abe as he has never shown any interest in seriously talking with the Okinawan people let alone make a compromise.

@ smithinjapan

So, they people got what they wanted

No, not yet, but chances are slightly higher now that the Okinawan people get closer to what they are demanding: no new base in Henoko and a drastic closure of most other bases in Okinawa including Futenma.

@ Alix Hooper

Did the Okinawans ever agree to the relocation of Futenma to Henoko, or was that just Tokyo agreeing with USA?

The Okinawan people where not democratically involved in any agreement about relocating Futenma to Henoko and where not able to agree or disagree on anything related.

Decision-making in regard to Henoko either happened behind closed doors without proper involvement of Okinawan officials or under direct pressure and threats from Tokyo to cut budgets if Okinawan officials are not submissive.

Moreover the current plan to "relocate" Futenma to Henoko is actually a consolidation and upgrade for the US marines and the Okinawan people don't like that idea at all. While the area they occupy is slightly reduced they get a new airfield in conjunction with a military harbor (non-existent in Futenma and something they have been apparently longing for since decades) and all in close vicinity to very convenient training areas.

The Okinawan people want at least a drastic reduction of the US military without any strings attached and without more of their environment destroyed. Their demand is easy to understand after so many decades of being forced to host such an unreal amount of US military on their tiny islands.

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Posted in: U.S. military leader says Okinawa base move delayed until 2025 See in context

@ CrucialS

Word straight from the people's mouth isn't factual?

Yes, it is factual for what it is, the opinion of individuals. It doesn't have the slightest factual value if we are talking about the majority opinion of a prefecture.

It has about the same amount and if not more credibility than a Poll from the openly anti-US Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times.

Please don't forget the NHK polls, the official prefecture polls, the polls by Japanese newspapers, several University research related polls, etc, etc.

They've never clearly explained what they used to build their 300-500 person sized "random" samples and anyone who took statistics in college knows how easy it is to skew data.

The two Okinawan newspapers do explain the methodology of their polls quite clearly. So please tell us how do they skew data? To just claim that such happens without even hinting at evidence means to engage in spreading baseless rumors.

Looking at the numbers, it shows that there's is not a true defined majority for the anti- US base side.

This is not a discussion about being fully anti or pro US military, but about the degree of US military agglomeration and the appropriateness of the decision making process in regard to its reduction.

a vast majority of people who are fine with the status quo.

If the vast majority of people are fine with the status quo how does it come that a clear majority voted for a change of the status quo in all recent elections? Your reasoning is completely incomprehensible and apparently not based on anything factual.

@ bjohnson23

Thank you for reply, and excuse my poor English: While there is some truth to what you posted, you are missing a lot of factual facts,

Looking at your past comments at JT it seems you have suddenly forgot your native level of english and decided to become "a true Ryukyuan and blood descendent".

Are you trying to be funny?

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Posted in: U.S. military leader says Okinawa base move delayed until 2025 See in context

@ CrucialS

Or you can just talk to people. I learned from co-workers and teammates I play sports with. Nearly all say that the protesters don't represent Okinawa.

If you think a facebook group is factual evidence for what the Okinawan majority wants or that you can judge the opinion of the people of a prefecture according to what your "co-workers and teammates" tell you then any kind of discourse based on objective data or factual evidence will be lost on you.

Odd enough you are not the only one here to back up your view solely with such subjective anecdotes.

If we're at anecdotes though, my Okinawan relatives, friends and co-workers are very nice people and if they talk to americans they usually treat them in an accommodating way and try to avoid saying anything that could upset them, but then with me they say they are more relaxed talking about US base issues as I'm not american. But that is just my personal anecdotal experience and this doesn't prove anything.

@ Yubaru

you lost it right there, you are associating yourself to the people you are not a part of,

Luckily it is not you who decides what I'm part of. I enjoy very much living in Okinawa and my Okinawan relatives and friends often tease me calling me a "long-nose-uchinanchu". I feel enough part of the Okinawan society I live in to make what ever comments I like about the place that happens to be my home.

Many of my close Okinawan friends feel that unless the US base issue is properly solved and unless Okinawa gets back into a position in which it is able to determine its own fate in a democratic way Okinawan society won't be able to thrive and feel like supporting my friends. To prevent Tokyo and the US military from forcing things onto the Okinawan people and to help them getting back their dignity is the right thing to do.

Not to mention your mixing and matching issues and points to create an illusion that your opinions are valid.

As always hazy and overly generalizing accusations instead of counterargument or objective data to back up your completely subjective view of the Okinawan majority opinion.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. military leader says Okinawa base move delayed until 2025 See in context

@ Yubaru

You certainly do not have the "right" to speak for the people of Okinawa. As an outsider you should butt out.

The Okinawan people are speaking loud and clear enough that anyone listening in an unbiased way can hear what they are saying.

I and other Okinawan posters here are merely referring to what the Okinawan people are expressing in a plethora of ways. We are pointing to factual information (polls, election results, media coverage, public discussions) that anybody can verify easily and I have on various occasion linked those information.

I'm just wondering where can we find the evidence to back up your and "True Okinawa's" far-fetched claims about the Okinawan people welcoming the Henoko relocation?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. military leader says Okinawa base move delayed until 2025 See in context

The U.S. has agreed to shift 8,000 to 10,000 Marines off Okinawa in the 2020s, mainly to Guam and Hawaii, but Harris said that would happen as “a follow-on” to the move from Futenma to Henoko.

At some point they said the move to Guam would be uncoupled from the Henoko relocation, now they say it is “a follow-on”.

This is surely one of those obnoxious measures to accelerate pressure on Okinawa.

Tokyo and the US military once again in intimate togetherness bullying the Okinawan people.

@ True Okinawa

The Okinawa people are not to blame. The Okinawa government caused the delay. Period.

The Okinawan people elected their government to stop the kind of discrimination exemplified by that ill-fated Henoko relocation plan.

You are apparently trying to obfuscate the clearly expressed will of the Okinawan people. Seems kind of odd though that "True Okinawa" misrepresents the Okinawan people.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Thousands surround Diet to protest at U.S. base relocation plan See in context

Which will happen when Futenma is moved to Henoko. There WILL be a "clear reduction" of the bases, that much is very clear.

Sorry, Yubaru, but nobody cares what you consider to be a "clear reduction".

The question is what the Okinawan people consider to be a "clear reduction".

And the Okinawan people have made it very clear that they want a reduction of the US military footprint to happen without the construction of a new military facility that will reinforce the presence of the Marines for decades to come and without the destruction of another part of the Okinawan environment.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Thousands surround Diet to protest at U.S. base relocation plan See in context

@ smithinjapan

At least you have finally agreed that it is only a minority of Okinawans who support Onaga. Good on you for confirming that at least.

You didn't get my point. I was talking about the nation of Japan in relation to the prefecture of Okinawa, not about inner Okinawan minorities or majorities.

Imagine where democracy would end up if for example the majority of prefectures could team up and decide to store 75% of all Japanese highly poisonous industry waste say in Aomori prefecture. Absurd and unconstitutional scenario, but actually quite close to what has been happening to Okinawa since its reversion in 1972.

No, you do NOT know that, and if you think you 'know' it you are only proving that it is simply wishful thinking because the fact of the matter is Onaga is only supported by a minority of Okinawans.

Again you didn't get my point. I was not talking about what percentage of Okinawans were supporting Onaga, but what percentage is opposing the Henoko relocation and demanding a clear reduction of the US military footprint.

The 70% + is not my number but that of more then a dozen or so polls by all kinds of organizations and with all kinds of methods, and as I've said before it is surely not only the polls that make this clear.

You in turn, smithinjapan, completely fail to provide any whatsoever factual evidence to support your far-fetched claims about a purportedly high number of pro-base Okinawans.

Where can we find your "silent majority of pro-base Okinawans"? Maybe you have that weirdo "Happiness Realization Party" in mind. They are the only party in Okinawa that is enthusiastically pro-base and yes they have some hundred followers, but even the LDP candidates in Okinawa have to serve anti-base rhetoric if they want to be elected.

And if you need proof that people are against Onaga and his policies, just look at the vote on the area one of the bases will be relocated in which the LDP candidate won.

Are you referring to the Ginowan vote? To help you with the facts, two independent exit polls had exactly the same result, 56% of the voters in Ginowan opposed the relocation of Futenma to Henoko while only 33% supported the plan.

The Ginowan vote was not a pro or anti Onaga vote nor was it a pro or anti Henoko relocation vote and nowhere did the incumbent mayor Sakima state that he's in favor of the Henoko relocation scheme.

The only clear message of the election: Ginovan citizens are fed up with the US military in the center of their town.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Thousands surround Diet to protest at U.S. base relocation plan See in context

@ CrucialS

That referendum is interesting... Voter turnout was barely 60%.

Which is quite a high turnout for a non-binding referendum, especially for a country with such a passive electorate like Japan. Even in a very democratic country like swiss there are hardly any referenda with more then 50% participation.

You do the math and it's close to 50/50 of the total population of Okinawa that was anti US.

Kind of a weird assumption that only the ones against the US bases would go and vote while the ones pro bases would all stay home. How could that happen?

The normal assumption would be that there is an at least roughly similar pro and contra ratio amongst non voters as amongst voters.

And please note this was not a "pro" or "anti US" referendum, it was about US military on Okinawa.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Thousands surround Diet to protest at U.S. base relocation plan See in context

Yubaru and smithinjapan keep repeating far-fetched assertions about the Okinawan people not knowing what they want in regard to US bases and Henoko, but they have never ever provided even one piece of factual evidence for such presumptuous claims.

Everybody in Okinawa knows what the majority wants. The polls tell it, the media tells it, the election results tell it, the public says it, there's absolutely no doubt about the fact that the large majority of the Okinawan people is clearly against any new US military facility in their prefecture.

And that some Okinawan people yield to pressure from Tokyo doesn't make them pro-base or pro-Henoko, usually they just give up to be anti because they're afraid to lose their jobs.

Do you have proof that Onaga hasn't held a referendum simply because he could lose?

There actually has been a prefecture wide referendum in 1996 where an overwhelming majority of 89% voted for a clear reduction of the US military on the island and absolutely nothing indicates that this stance has changed substantially.

The Okinawan people have been clear about what they want even under sustained and strong pressure from Tokyo all along the way.

Under the current circumstances a referendum could heat up things in way nobody could foresee and is not an option to take light-heartedly.

To say one would need a referendum to know what Okinawans want is cheeky, to put it mildly.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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