@YuriOtani:* It is disrespectful because armed Americans went everywhere before reversion. They were in control of our island. Next the curfew is American policy and not Japanese law. The thing is no American soldier should carry arms off base. The job of law enforcement is the government of Japans.
You forget I went through the Koza riots where the American military police attacked the peaceful Okinawa people like rabid animals. So you are telling me these "patrols" carry no weapons? What would they do if they spot an American? Will they use tear gas on Okinawa people to make an arrest? These patrols are an incident just waiting to happen.
I think Americans need to follow Japanese law in Japan. American regulations should not be enforced off base. What happens if they arrest a Non Sofa foreign person? Will they put them in a cell on base?*
I will just stop trying to get through to you that they will not be armed. If they do encounter a military person, do you think they are going to shoot them or tear gas them? All your doing is trying to throw fire on something that is already burning. Other posters have already said they wont be armed, but you keep harping on it.
Speaking on the reversion, you are talking about two totally different time periods. Although things have changed and there have been many recent incidents, I dont believe we are anywhere near the ferocity of the Koza riots, which started after a drunk american hit a local in modern day Koza. After the MP's arrived trying to get the americans out of the area, tensions rose and the crowd began to attack the MP's who fired off warning shots. After the locals made entry to the base was when tear gas was reported to be used. How do you equate any of this to what is going on now?
Who said that any of the patrol would be apprehending anyone? No SOFA individual can touch a non-SOFA person. Even when locals are detained on base, only an Okinawan CG can put handcuffs on a local. Stop trying to make more out of this than what has already happened.
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If you ever have a TV on and watch any of the local news this stuff is broadcast (ad naseum) daily. Wait my bad, more like 2 or 3 times a day during regular news breaks and on the daily morning, noon, and nightly news as well.
Yea, I know that, I actually live here, thats probably the reason why I can name all the local news channels here. I dont watch any of the news channels here anymore. Everyone knows the patrols are a PR move and another knee jerk reaction that anyone in the military is used to. My only thing is that none of these patrol members are military and nor will they be apprehending anyone. All they can do is check for individuals breaking curfew and hold their ID card, not detaining them or anything else. Who knows if it will work, but trying to make a problem out of it just because they are not accompanied by JP's is not the answer, especially knowing how closely we are being watched. If anything trying to make a problem out of it is just icing on the cake for another story on the Americans from one of the local channels
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@YubaruThe inference is that they are MP's in plain clothes.
Oh and the Japanese government and Okinawan authorities have been notified that a Marine from Futenma has gone AWOL too.
Im not speaking for all armed services here, but no MP's (straight leg or investigations) go out on these types of patrols in plain clothes, mostly because there are not enough personnel to send out doing that when they could be on base doing their job. Just another topic to infer to get people starting rumors. As I said not one courtesy patrol member is an MP, they cant even enter clubs or bars, they have to first notify the LE Desk, who then notifies the JP's asking for permission to go off base.
As far as a Marine being AWOL, what does that have to do with any of the past events? That happens everywhere, regardless of overseas or stateside. Do you stand outside of the Police HQ to learn when the local authorities are notified of an incident?
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@YuriOtani: Not been answered but do they carry handcuffs, mace and firearms? It is an insult to me that armed american military policeman can freely enter our Okinawa business. If they suspect an America is hiding will they search our homes too? Again this is a disrespect to the people of Okinawa.
Other posters have already answered your questions, no one other than law enforcement officers or those trained by LE can carry mace or firearms. Again, the only military who are armed off base are MP's that are responding to an incident off base along with JP's who are also armed.
Nobody is entering any establishments armed, what are you not getting about this? First you say you would do everything to make sure military members are caught and tried in court then you ask about what if people help service members hide from the patrols, your not making sense at all. Where did they say that anyone was armed or entering local businesses armed? Your inferring things to get others roused up. Our own Okinawan CG's cant even respond off base with us armed, they must de-arm before going off base.
Again, what is disrespectful to the people of Okinawa? You seem to not want to answer this question
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Really? Then tell me why they were patrolling around Naha last night all by their self?
Because those are not straight leg MP's, they are more than likely OSI/CID/NCIS or members of all the services courtesy patrol. They are allowed to patrol by themselves as approved by the JP's and the government.
If you seem so informed maybe you would recognize that you have never seen an on duty armed MP patrolling off base like in Korea.
Please tell me where in the news report last night on ONN/QAB/OTV said that any of these patrol members were military police? I will admit I am not completely fluent in Japanese, but there was no mention of them being law enforcement, as has been said in the comments here. The courtesy patrol members are usually from other career fields from all branches and look the same as the patrols that were out last night. You dont have to be LE to patrol for bad behavior off base, thats why the courtesy patrol members are granted to patrol off base in place of us, given certain duties and responsibilities to operate
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I think most people here can tell the difference between someone who is in the military and who is not. As you just explained yourself, you fit the bill of someone that is in or used to be in the military, as I believe you might have said at one time you were in the military.
So if you know yourself you might somewhat fit that bill and you are visiting Okinawa and know that this is going on, and further know that any MP or OSI type as well as any E-7 and above can ask to see someones ID, why not comply and get on with your life? I think most of the people who have so much of a problem with it are not currently in Okinawa. If you thought about what the problems would lead to if you did not show your ID, the whole island has their eyes on us and takes pictures randomly of service members (especially on gate 2 street), do you think refusing to show an ID and whatever problem this may cause would be seen as that in the media?
The only thing that would be reported is that an American (probably military, because the media is not going to differentiate you from anything else) refused to show an ID and that this patrol is not working. All of this would further cause problems, that are not needed at this time, giving more ammunition to the news channels here. I cant understand why people are so apprehensive about this, if your not military, get over yourself and show your passport or residency card.
Of course we all know that the patrols have no authority over local national civilians, but they do have authority to ask for an ID card of someone who might fit the description of a military member (somewhat in shape, clean cut, not with a full mountain man beard, etc.). I am pretty sure this has the backing of the JP's and the government as we MP's are not allowed to even respond off base without first notifying the JP's and a translator tagging along, so I am sure these patrols have been "blessed", as the courtesy patrols who patrol gate 2, have an understanding of what they can and cannot do while off base, through what the JP's tell us and we brief to those patrolling
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Im a little confused by your post, in your earlier comments you ranted and raved how Okinawan people should be so against the patrols and this was so disrespectful to the people of Okinawa. Now you are asking what would happen if the Okinawan people attempt to shield military members from the MP's. Which one is it, you dont want these patrols out and you think all Okinawans should help to get military members in trouble or they should help to keep them from getting in trouble?
The regular straight leg MP will more than likely not be patrolling in these groups by themselves. However OSI and the likes do frequently work with the JP's and the JP equivalents and are recognized as law enforcement not to local civilians but to the military. As a law enforcement officer myself, racial profiling is at times needed, but there has to be a limit to how and to what information you are using to profile that person. If stats show in a certain place, a certain type of person commits a crime, I think you are able to single that type of person out.
In other words, no one is going to ask you or your husband for their ID, so stop making it out to be that these patrols are asking everyone for their ID. Most military members can recognize an American military member when we see them from their walk to their mannerisms to how they talk. And if a mistake is made, and you know the person is law enforcement and doing their job, show your card/passport and get on with your life
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If your not military and dont have an ID card, just simply a residency card or tourist visa stamped passport, and you visit Okinawa or some military town knowing this is happening, what is your problem? If your not military and your asked for ID you simply state that you are not military showing your card or passport and your on your way. What problem is there going to be if your stopped? I dont think your going to start that much of a problem other than complain.
If the JP's and prefecture government want this, and say that they have no problem with the patrols doing this, you are in Okinawa and really have no say so as to whether you want it to happen or not
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I have to agree with USNinJapan2, did you not read the article at all? I dont understand why these posters keep referring to being stopped by US Military Law Enforcement if you are not military or are retired. I am almost positive that your husband, although as you said used to be military and one of those SOFA pests does not look like he is Active Duty. So why would you need to worry yourself about being stopped and asked for your ID? The curfew is for MILITARY members assigned to Okinawa, not dependents.
Again I wonder if you even read the article, the only time a military member/MP is armed off base is when responding to an off base incident, where we are accompanied by a translator and meet up with the JP's. The patrols have no reason to be armed and are most likely OSI/CID/NCIS or off duty SNCOs/Officers.
Your kind of thinking is the exact reason why the military and the rest of the Okinawa community who thinks everything the news tells them is true, can never live together peacefully. Im sorry but who is "My guy", is that your husband? What is disrespectful about US Military members walking the streets asking American servicemembers for their ID's in an attempt to make sure nothing else stupid happens? It's sad it has to be done in the first place, but if it helps to get the military out of the bad spotlight it is already in, I welcome it.
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@Yubaru "I can not understand the logic of anyone who believes that Japanese people have any responsibility to enforce the curfew. With that logic then, it's the RIGHT and DUTY of Japanese people when on base, to enforce military regulations and US laws as well. That's bs, and nobody would do it nor accept it anyway."
"It's a childish attempt as I see it to move responsibility of the incident to the Japanese people and make them take the blame, partial or otherwise, for the military personnel who don't follow their own rules or regulations."
As it has been said above, you do somewhat bear responsibility when you continue to serve military members that are out past curfew and visibly have had too much to drink. Don't complain about them doing something when you are contributing to their stupid decisions by serving them more alcohol so you can make a buck. Also as it has been said it is probably in the best interest of the bar owner to not serve military members after curfew to avoid being put on the off-limits establishments list.
So when on base, whose laws do you think you are under? The JP's cannot just come on base and patrol or apprehend someone at .will. There is a reason for that. When a japanese/okinawan person gets an ID card, I am pretty sure they sign that they understand they are getting this ID card with the knowledge that there are certain military regulations and orders that they will follow. Just as well, when signing someone on base, the escort knows that their visitor breaking military regulations and U.S. laws will get them as well as their visitor in trouble (for example, going to the flightline to take pics of the jets, among others. But I guess you are right no one would accept those rules, that is why so many Japanese/Okinawans get in trouble on base and it goes unheard.
Of all the posts on this subject, I do not remember hearing not one poster, say this is the fault of the Okinawans. That is exactly what some Okinawan people do to make the incident as small as it may seem, look bigger. I dont understand how having Japanese relatives and friends makes you have Anti-American sentiment. Most of us here have Japanese/Okinawan relatives, but I think for myself, I tend to not let myself be swayed to someone elses thinking just because they are family.
I am also pretty sure not every Okinawan feels that way. There were close to a thousand Okinawan family members and kids on Kadena over the weekend for the Kadena Special Olympics. What are their feelings about the base?
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Well if you know that someone is not supposed to be in your place of business after a certain amount of time, arent you going to make sure they are not in your place of busienss after that time? Or would you continue to serve them knowing they are supposed to be in government quarters?
I am not saying they have to enforce the rules of the military, but I am saying, dont continue to complain about things happening when these bar owners continue to serve military members after they know they are not supposed to be in an establishment where the main profits are made from alcohol. It doesn't matter if they have no relationship with the military, and the curfew does pertain to them, because they are the same ones complaining that they are losing money because of the curfew. If they want to knowingly ignore the curfew that they know is in place because of the complaints they have made about sales, then dont continue to serve alcohol and further contribute to someone getting more drunk and making even more bad decisions.
Thats my logic
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Doesn't anyone agree that the bar owners should be reprimanded at least somewhat for constantly allowing military members to patronize their bars after curfew? A curfew that everyone on this island is aware of. Either the businesses and people want us here to make money off of us, or you dont want us here at all and you can take care of your business yourself.
Either way, the military, the JP's and the local bar owners have to talk to each other. This is that whole "communication is key" thing. If the bar owners simply refused the service members alcohol and called the JP's as soon as curfew hit, the JP's would pick up the military member for curfew violation and bring them back to base with no problems. Not to say none of this would happen, but a simply forgetting about making your profits and not letting things happen just so you can make a buck would go a long way.
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I think its funny that some posters say that others are damage patrol, trying to make nothing of any accusations, when you sit there and try to make something more out of nothing. Nothing has been proven yet, and I hope that this was a misunderstanding or that a woman really did tell him to come to her place and she told him the wrong address. I would love to see how the non damage patrol posters who run here to make a situation worst would react.
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@ BertieWooster : "These guys are military. Violence is part of their make up. They should not be in the middle of a populated area".
That is one of the most ignorant and insensitive comments made to sound like an excuse that I have ever heard. More than 95% of the military will never see combat, those that do are more often than not plagued with PTSD. Because you didn't have the stomach to wear a uniform doesn't mean you can equate us to savages who can't live among the rest of the population. I myself, have PTSD and permanently live here in Okinawa and do just fine among the populated area.
Were you ever in the military? Or are you basing your ideas and opinions off of what you have heard and off of websites like Closethebase.org? Which neither are very reliable. I would like to see how many of those writers and protesters will be on Kadena for the Special Olympics with their children this weekend, although they despise the base and the military.
The "whole" of the US Military is not a problem. A good percentage of us are here and love it here with no problems and no incidents. The problem is that many people including the media only report negative news without taking on both sides of a story, which I thought was good reporting. Until the media stops its one sided reporting, how can the Okinawans and Americans ever understand each other and get along?
As far as sexual assaults on base, the link does not state how many of those sexual assaults reported actually saw a military trial. A large number of the sexual assaults (at least on Kadena) are false reports. I was a SP on Kadena and now live here still in the security field, so I'm not just making blanket statements about this. Instead of worrying about what is going on on base, maybe Okinawans should worry about their own problems. We all know there is more crime that occurs on Okinawa than what is reported but the news media will only report what they can, giving their own people a chance to not have their crime reported on television.
As far as America being the only country with a military base in a foreign country, Japan has a Navy base in Africa, link:http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jvlyKeSUEy8lsdNPRIFVIz_6b5OA . This base is supposedly here to stop the pirating of ships in the Gulf of Aden. Sounds a lot like they are protecting their own Japanese ships who frequent that area, or "protecting their own interests'. But I guess that's OK because it isn't the big bad Americans although there is an American and French military base in the area.
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I dont understand all the anti-American statements, yes the incident was committed by an American service member, and lately there have been a rash of dummies doing stupid things, but as stated above, the media can be blamed for much of this. Although most of you might not want to hear it, the military here does do a lot for and with the community off base. From Special Olympics events to beach cleanups, to spending time with local kids from foster homes are just a small example of what is done by the military and family members who live here.
But in Okinawa, you would never know that, because the news stations only focus on the bad to make the military look like everyone is a bad person and we just spend our time getting in trouble. Not to mention all the things that happen off base by the local community but they have the option to not have their story aired. 99.99% of us love it here and never want to leave. Dont group us all together because of the acts of a few and because the media is one-sided and you dont have the sense to make your own decisions.
Why people think he will get off easy is beyond me. Regardless of if he goes to Japanese prison or not, he will still be dishonorably discharged from the military. He will be lucky if Mc Donalds will even hire him, not to mention he wont be able to use any of that GI Bill money to go to school, and those are just a couple of the things he will deal with. That doesnt seem "easy" to me.
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Most of us if not already, should be aware that Okinawans have long been ignored by the Japanese and U.S. governments. We all know that the Japanese military based themselves on Okinawa as a blockade to keep U.S. ground troops from reaching Tokyo, thus forcing Okinawa and it's citizens into a war they knew nothing about.
We know of how the government in Tokyo, gave the U.S. free access of Okinawa to place bases at will and how they defer any idea of a base being placed in mainland.
We understand that, but as has been said, don't lump the actions of a few into a large group of people. The U.S. government listens to the government of Japan (Tokyo) and since Okinawa is apart of Japan, they do not necessarily have to listen to the government of Okinawa. Maybe I missed it, but no one blames this issue on the Okinawan people. Others commented on Nakaima, who every night on RBC/QAB/ONN is bad mouthing the military, but then goes to Washington and praises leaders. It has to be one way or the other, but thats whats wrong with all politicians today. I agree the curfew was correct, but in the long run, a curfew will never stop the actions of an idiot or two. We can only hope that the officials won't succumb to the pressures of the local business owners like last time.
Wouldn't you agree the one-sided news coverage shown here in Okinawa is unfair and ignores the specific situation of what the American military is really doing here? All the stories that are covered help to further infuriate hatred towards Americans. It's sickening to see these protests where children and teens who obviously have no idea what an Osprey is or the true story behind the Battle of Okinawa speak on something and not be able to grow their own ideas. I have lived here for almost 5 years I'm a civilian), and have no plans of ever living anywhere else for the rest of my life. But there is no way for Okinawa and the American military to ever be "friends" if we can't get over our high horses and hatred and talk about the good and bad that is happening here.
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It's great you know all these big words, and you feel the need to throw them out while your engaged in dialogue on the forum, but that vast knowledge of vocabulary does not mean much. So if what I am reading from what you have typed is correct, the Japanese teenager who killed the American teen over a girl (by the way, which was not covered in the news, go figure), then all Japanese must be murderers right? If I remember correctly that teenager was from mainland and not Okinawan. So should all Okinawans be looked at as killers because of him?
Let's not act like there are not rapes that go on off base here in Okinawa as well. The media here chooses to push their no base issue by only showing negative news on the military or finding people who speak English to speak down on the military, like the guy on RBC last night.
I agree we are all apart of the situation, we are in the military and should be held to a higher standard, but at the end of the day, the military is a volunteer force with a wide array of backgrounds. At the end of the day, we are all humans. If you want to talk about the wrongdoings of someone, maybe we should look at the number of Okinawans/Japanese who are barred from entering military installations for a variety of reasons.
I am sure not everyone on the island of Okinawa feels like you, there is not so much tension that people are going to start a riot. But flying kites in the flight path of an Osprey...that's smart, don't cry about the helicopter being un-safe if you do stupid things like that. Are you seriously talking about someone whining?
It's funny to see the same people protesting that work on base. You don't want the base, but that's how many people make their living. You complain about the Osprey, but wait for next years Foster Fest, I want to see how many Japanese/Okinawans come on base to take pictures of the Osprey. You don't want the base but everyday hundreds if not thousands of Japanese/Okinawans visit the base and spend a lot of money on base and then sell it off base. You don't want the base but like it or not we are your major source of economy, I don't think tourism, brown sugar, fish and vegetables is enough to keep your head above water...I will wait for your big meaningless words
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I find it interesting that the only statistic Okinawans are interested in is zero for crimes committed by members of the U.S. Military. Maybe if those same numbers were applied to crimes committed here in Okinawa, there might be a reduction in crimes committed by Okinawans also. We all know there are crimes committed here in Okinawa but the media, RBC/QAB/ONN tends to only focus on those committed by U.S. Military members and no one asks if their story can be aired, like what is done for Japanese/Okinawan citizens.
I thought it was interesting how that Japanese teenager murdered an American teenager over a female, and I dont remember seeing a whole lot of coverage on that. God knows if that was the other way around, there would be protests everywhere again. But it must be ok for a Japanese individual to murder an American. Or the story of the Marine saving an elderly woman's life on one of the Marine Posts here in the chow hall..But I guess that also is'nt newsworthy. If your going to report on current issues, it might help to give your viewers both sides of the story, not only "Oh look what this bad American did".
No one has ever said we were perfet, but there are very many good things happening between the Okinawan community and the U.S. Military. If your too caught up in your "I hate America" beliefs you might not see that. . As for the space that you say you need, I am pretty sure there are enough AEON's and Lawson's on Okinawa already. Or that land could be used to build more ridiculously expensive apartments for Americans, but I'm sure the housing offices would survive without the military here, charging 60,000-100,000 less for the same apartments.
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Sounds like a lockdown again...we'll see how long this one lasts...
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I think before we condemn these two individuals to hard labor and lengthy prison sentences, we need to hear the whole story. There have been many different stories that have come out about how this incident took place. I am not condoing what has happened, but at least here in Okinawa, a good number of the rape accusations made here are actually false reports, although there are many reports that are credible as well. You would never know if the report was false or not because of course RBC and the other news channels here would never report that a false claim of rape was made and the servicemember actually did not do anything..
There are still many questions to be answered in this story. ABC news reports that the woman was attacked while trying to enter her home at 4 a.m. ABC also reports that the woman claimed she was sexually assaulted (which entails a number of different offenses, including rape) and robbed (which is'nt reported here). Hopefully the apartment building is well lit, but it would be interesting to find out how the woman was able to describe exactly the appearance of her attackers at 4 in the morning. Also, it was reported that three men were initially detained by the JP's, but the one was later released. Just wondering what information that individual had, because like most idiots, if these two did commit this crime, I am sure they ran their mouths about it.
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Posted in: Park place