voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Okinawa urges U.S. to do more to stop virus outbreak at bases See in context

*Gov Denny Tamaki flew to Tokyo to ask Defense Minister Taro Kono to share the concerns of local communities that host American bases and urge the U.S. military to be more cooperative with them.*

The cluster infections of coronavirus in U.S. bases on Okinawa are not Okinawa's local problem alone but genuinely a national one because U.S. bases are not in Okinawa alone but they are planted all over Japan.

Thus, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the accompanying agreement SOFA may come apart at the seams when people realize Japan is unequally put under and bound by these documents.

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Posted in: Japan may still build Aegis Ashore despite reports of cancellation See in context

As hyped in the media, Defense Minister Taro Kono cancelled plans to deploy Aegis Ashore systems to Akita and Yamaguchi Prefectures citing the cost and the concerns that interceptor missiles' boosters cannot be prevented from falling into residential areas.

A military analyst pointed out, however, that there might have been another reason for the cancellation, and that is that the current Aegis Ashore systems cannot shoot down the missiles coming in at a low altitude that Russia has recently developed. Not only that but I also assume the current anti-missile defense systems cannot cope with simultaneously launched multiple missiles, which North Korea ostentatiously demonstrated in their latest test launchings.

It is assumed, however, that intercontinental ballistic missiles won't come in saturation. They come in individually, so that the Aegis Ashore systems may yet be effective to shoot down U.S.-targeted ICBMs and therefore they must be installed somewhere in Japan. So may Washington insist.

Thus, Kono will recant his previous statement and look for new sites to install Aegis Ashore according as instructed by his mentor U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with President Donald Trump watching over him.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Okinawa governor wants tougher action after 61 U.S. Marines infected with coronavirus See in context

Vince Black,

They’re using this covid rubbish as leverage in their impotent fight against the US forces, which by the way have every right to be here.

How dare you say that -- that the U.S. has every right to keep as many troops and maintain as many bases as it wants in Okinawa? Do you consider that right the end result of World War II, i.e. the U.S. won and Japan lost?

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Posted in: Okinawa governor wants tougher action after 61 U.S. Marines infected with coronavirus See in context

(Re-posted)

It's for people LEAVING Okinawa, not coming in.

I see. But what measure is being taken for those coming in to Okinawa?

Gov. Tamaki is demanding for a complete lockdown of these bases for a time being at least and asking exact information about the outbreak be notified thoroughly and without any delay to Okinawa.

But U.S. bases are not only in Okinawa. They are all across Japan. So this issue is not a local one, confined to Okinawa alone, but it's Japan as a whole's serious issue per se, very relevant to Japan's sovereignty.

Time to revisit the Security Treaty and the SOFA.

 

.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Okinawa governor wants tougher action after 61 U.S. Marines infected with coronavirus See in context

Yubaru,

It's for people LEAVING Okinawa, not coming in.

Gov. Tamaki is demanding for a complete closure of these bases for a time being at least and asking exact information about the outbreak be notified thoroughly and without any delay.

But U.S. bases are not only in Okinawa. They are all across Japan. So this issue is not a local one, confined to Okinawa alone, but it's Japan as a whole's issue per se.

Time to revisit the Security Treaty and the SOFA.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Okinawa governor wants tougher action after 61 U.S. Marines infected with coronavirus See in context

This is another type of base damage Okinawa has to suffer. It's reported that the U.S. military leased a local hotel outside the base to quarantine U.S. mainland-returned dependents. Hope nothing will come from the hotel.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Posted in: Japan lodges protest with China over ships near disputed islets See in context

OssanAmerica,

The wumaos here swallow the CCP nonsense and keep parroting it.

First time I heard the word "wumao." "Wu Mao" is an Internet slang referring to people who work for the CCP to help manipulate public opinion on the Internet, said to be paid a wu mao for remuneration per post, hence they are called "Wu Mao" Party.

Don't we have people here, too, who were either dispatched or recruited locally by Washington to manipulate the Japanese public opinion for what it wants in regard o bases and the U.S. military presence?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan lodges protest with China over ships near disputed islets See in context

Tokyo, when Shintaro Ishihara was Governor of it, tried to buy Uotsurijima/Diaoyudao from a private owner and turn it to a resort island. But the Noda government foiled Ishihara's scheme, paying a lot more money and thus nationalizing it.

So dbsaiya is correct in a way when he said "it was Ishihara who started all this."

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: China passes controversial Hong Kong security law See in context

Some people say Hong Kong is not China. But you have to distinquish between China as an ethnological/cultural entity, on one hand, and China as a political entity, on the other.

Hong Kong is China in the former sense without any doubt. It shares inherent cultural traits with mainland China in many ways, historically and linguistically. In this sense, too, Taiwan is no different.

Politically, though, the three regions aren't the same. The Hong Kong issue must be considered in this vein.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan protests China's seabed names related to disputed islands See in context

joyridingonthetitanic:

What you say may be true. But even if a court hearing is not possible, you can at least appeal to man's sense of rationality and justice. You can't act openly under the sun if you know what you do is against reason and justice.

So if it were not for International Court of Justice to hear the case, it should be brought to and discussed at a voluntarily organized civic forum. For starters, how about a discussion on this thread?

.

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Posted in: Japan protests China's seabed names related to disputed islands See in context

Can anyone claim to the moon or the Antarctic as his own? Can anyone claim to uninhabited islands located far in oceans? Suppose there were aliens or inhabitants there already, could he still claim to the moon, the Antarctic or oceanic islands? 

Claiming to the moon, the Antarctic or the Senkakus is nothing but an anthropocentric or ethnocentric view that shouldn't be taken granted; such taken-for granted greed is subject to close re-examination in terms of jurisprudence or universal philosophy of law.

Let the Senkakus lie there as they are as no one's territory and as the mankind's common treasures.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan protests China's seabed names related to disputed islands See in context

The Chinese side says they don't have any territorial ambition anywhere/anytime but that if its sovereign territory is infringed, it will never fail to make its utmost to defend its soveraignty. 

The catch here is will China resort to armed force even if its claim to an area is internationally disputed and unresolved? That's the reason why China's neighboring countries are all wary of China.

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Posted in: Japan protests China's seabed names related to disputed islands See in context

The Senkaku waters used to be Okinawa fishermen's most favored fishing grounds, but they rarely go there for fear of being drawn into trouble. However, early in May a Yonaguni Fisheries–registered fishing boat was chased by two China Coast Guard ships and on June 21 another fishing boat registered with Yaeyama Fisheries was also chased by a China Coast Guard ship and ordered to leave the area.

If the Senkakus are China's sovereign territory in all respects, they have every right to order Japanese fishing boats to leave the Senkaku waters. But this claim of China's to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands is very dubious, subject to close scrutiny and examination.

Simply claiming the islands are part of "our" territory and resorting to force won't resolve the problem at all. It will only exacerbate the bilateral relations, causing mutual mistrust, enmity and eventually the most abominable consequence — an armed confrontation.

A war over the possession of the Senkakus/Diaoyudaos is a lose-lose game for either party, a victor or loser. This must be prevented by all means.

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Posted in: Japan protests China's seabed names related to disputed islands See in context

Here's what Okinawa has to say;

Common nouns in a language are very ad hoc in naming objects. There's no reason why things are called as they are in languages. However, proper nouns are different from common nouns in that there's usually reasons behind -- why they are called by such and such names.

Kubajima (久場島)or Huangwei Yu (黄尾鱮)in Chinese in the Senkaku/Diaoyudao Islands was an important landmark for ancient Ryukyu (Okinawa) seamen and traders navigating on the Naha (Ryukyu) -Fuchuan sea lane. These seafarers, who were thoroughly familiar with the Senkaku waters more than anyone else, called this landmark "Kubajima" because, according to one theory, the island was covered full with “kuba” (or Areca) palms. But I think it was called by that name because the island's shape is quite like that of another island called Kubajima, that is located about 40 km west of Naha, Okinawa Island, on the same sea lane. When necessary, the former was called "Iigun Kubajima" to distinguish it from the latter.

Wasn't Chinese "Huangmao (Yu)" (黄毛)as recorded by Chen Kan (陳侃, 1534)and "Huangwei (Yu)" recorded elsewhere, meaning yellow hair or tail, a phonetic conversion of Kuba(-jima)? Note that the k-sound of Japanese (and Okinawan) ordinarily corresponds to the h-sound in Chinese. Or did the Chinese think the island was inhabited by mythic animals with yellow tails or hair and so named it as such?

The easternmost island in the chain is officially called Taishojima in Japan, but historically it used to be called Kumi-Akajima by Ryukyu seamen. Here, too, we see the same mechanism of nomenclature as in the case of Kubajima. There's an island called Akajima in the Kerama Islands whereby Kumi-Akajima in the Senkakus must have been named after this with Kumi added to differentiate it from the original.

The Chinese calls this island Chiwei Yu (赤尾鱮), meaning "red-tailed island." Does it mean the Chinese believed the island was inhabited by animals with red tails? Isn't it a semantic conversion of what Ryukyu seamen called Kumi Akajima (久米阿嘉島), which could mean "Kume Red Island" in folk etymology?

The name "Senkaku" comes from English "Pinnacle Islands." The HMS Samarang made a port at Ishigaki Island three times and on its second port calling in May, 1845, it launched out upon an exploration of the hitherto unheard-of island group which the islanders called Iigunjima. Approaching the islands northward from Ishigaki Island on May 8, they must have been struck with the similarity of the first approaching island to Bartolome Island in the Galapagos, which is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, thus calling the island group Pinnacle Islands. The Japanese name "Senkaku" was coined after this by a natural history teacher named Hisashi Kuroiwa, in 1900, who hailed from Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku and taught at Okinawa Normal School.

The Meiji government called the largest island in the chain "Uotsuri-jma", which is an apparent translation from the Chinese "Diaoyudao". It also called the adjacent islands lying southeast of it "Kita Kojima" (North Islet) and "Minami Kojima" (South Islet) respectively. The Chinese names "Bei Xiaodao" and "Nan Xiaodao" definitely come from these Japanese names.

Ancient Ishigaki fishermen called the island (group) "Iigun-jima." "Iigun" (rhymed with "eagle") means the head of a spear used in dive-fishing, a fishing method probably unknown to the ancient Chinese. The reason why it is called so is similar to why the highest mountain in the Japan Alps in Honshu is called "Yarigadake." The top of the rugged mountain reminds one of the head of a spear ("yari").

Why did the Chinese call the island (group) Diaoyudao meaning "fishing island"? Did unworldly men, as often depicted in Chinese drawings, go there and spent days angling for fish? Or have Chinese fishermen come here to engage in blue-water fishing since ancient times? Note, however, that blue-water fishing started only in modern times with the development of modern refrigeration technology.

Isn't "Diaoyudao" a semantic conversion of what Chinese royal missions to and from Ryukyu were explained to by Ryukyu seamen and traders traveling together aboard the same tributary or trading ships? Note that Chinese royal envoys came to Ryukyu Kingdom 25 times during the period from 1373 to 1866; during the same period, Ryukyu seamen, traders and the Ryukyu King's appreciatory envoys sailed to China more than 200 times.

All these linguistic and historical facts must be taken into consideration before anyone says anything definite about sovereignty over the Senkaku/Diaoyudao Islands.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan protests China's seabed names related to disputed islands See in context

Both sides are like bickering boys, each shouting out the same thing at the other: “Senkaku/Diayou islands are part of our sovereign territory historically and under international law.” If there are two conflicting claimants to a find, it must be brought to a court for legal judgement, that is, the International Court of Justice.  At a court hearing, it’s imperative to summon a third party, that is, Okinawa, and hear what it has to say about the case as a most relevant witness.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan to consider first-strike alternative to Aegis Ashore by October See in context

Japan is to consider the acquisition of weapons able to strike enemy missile launchers to bolster defense against North Korea ...

This is worse than acquiring Aegis Ashore missile defense systems. If this is allowed, Japan's nuclearization is also allowed. For one can say possessing WMDs is allowed under the constitution only if they were used for the defense of Japan. Then, SDF will be offensive strike forces, no doubt. 

Don't let militarism take hold of the nation again. Don’t let hawks like Kono and people of his ilk put Japan in a jeopardy again. Don't ever forget how WW II devastated the nation.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: M6.2 quake rattles eastern Japan, including Tokyo area See in context

Seems the Pacific Ring of Fire is activating. On June 23, a magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit Oaxaca, Mexico. Early this morning, an M 6.2 quake struck eastern Japan, including Metropolitan Tokyo. At 10:20 am, a 5.5 M earthquake rattled New Zealand's South Island. Minor earthquakes have also hit Okinawa Island and its vicinity recently. There was much ado about strange odor smelled in the wide area on Miura Peninsular.

Some geologist predicts all this may be related to a coming big one, the so-called Nankai Megathrust Earthquake, which will strike not only the often-predicted area of eastern Japan but also the wide area of western Japan including Okinawa. For heaven's sake, I only pray nothing serious will happen.

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Posted in: Okinawa marks 75th anniversary of fierce WWII battle See in context

smithinjapan,

Is this the reason why you think Futenma's replacement must be built in Okinawa at any cost? And yet the most active elements of them are to relocate to Guam, occasionally visiinvg Okinawa just for training in the aforementioned bases? Besides, Tokyo and Washington agreed that primary responsibility for the defense of outlying islands rests with JSDF, not with USFJ.

Under such circumstances, what's the use of constructing Futenma's replacement in Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: China warns of reprisal as Japanese city changes disputed area name See in context

China has every right to reprisal for what the Ishigaki City assembly did if the area really belongs to them. But this claim of China's to the Senkakus has a lot of room to dispute. The issue must be filed with the International Court of Justice but this is not possible unless two sides agree to the lawsuit. 

Then, can't the international court’s constitution be revised so that any party can present a case before the court, regardless of the other party's objection? Or can't a third party, a civic group, file a suit? It is essential that both sides listen to what Okinawa has to say about the history, nomenclature and what not, of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Fire breaks out at hazmat facility at U.S. air base on Okinawa See in context

According to Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau's April 2019 investigation, ground water sampled from wells in the area north of Kadena Air Base contained high concentration of cancer-causing PFOS and PFOA. Kadena Air Base is suspected of the source of the contamination, but can the prefectural government go into the base and directly identify the culprit? SOFA prevents them from such investigations.

Noise pollution, contamination of water and soil with toxic materials, too many U.S. service member-related crimminal cases -- all this is what Okinawa has to suffers from because of the excessive U.S. military presence. Reduce this huge military footprint. For starters, close the Futenma Air Station and return the land immediately with no strings attached. 

Rapacious greed, thy name is the U.S.A.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Okinawa marks 75th anniversary of fierce WWII battle See in context

smithinjapan

You were noticeably absent on the thread where the sub entered Japanese waters a couple of days ago. Weren't shouting to kick out the US military then

I didn't notice the article, let alone the thread. So I searched for and read the article. 

Well, it's expected China's warships will pass through some straits in the archipelago from time to time to go in and out of the Pacific Ocean.

That’s why you need training bases in Okinawa, like Camp Schwab, Jungle Warfare Training Center and replacement facilities in Henoko for Futenma for Guam-deployed Marines to come and train, to scare off the Chinese fleet?

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Posted in: Okinawa marks 75th anniversary of fierce WWII battle See in context

The Bbattle of Okinawa ended 75 years ago, but the erstwhile U.S. occupation forces are still here, occupying large swaths of land mass as bases, which keeps reminding us of the war as if it had ended yesterday.

Way back in 1853 a U.S. fleet, the so-called "black ships", commanded by Matthew Perry, who pried open the door of a reclusive Japan, made Naha Port their supply base while negotiating with the Tokugawa Shogunate for trade and supply for U.S. whalers. Perry thought Okinawa could be America's forward base to advance to Asia and so wrote to his superior in Washington, suggesting the U.S. occupy Okinawa if Japan rejected U.S. demands.

Thus, occupying Okinawa has been the U.S.'s century-old scheme.

Colonial egoism is still rampant in Okinawa.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Posted in: U.S. demanded Japan pay $8 bil annually for troops: Bolton See in context

Talks to determine the amount of the next 5-year sympathy budget for Tokyo to bear is said to start later this year. Let's wait and see how their talks will come down to. Will stupidity prevail as in the past?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. demanded Japan pay $8 bil annually for troops: Bolton See in context

Does Trump know the so-called "host nation support" originated from a "sympathy budget" which Washington asked Tokyo to pay to Japanese base workers as salaries in 1978? At the time, it was questioned on what legal (treaty) basis, Japan should shoulder such expenses. There's none, answered then Chief Cabinet Secretary Shin Kanemaru, except that Japan must help the budge-pinched U.S. government out of sympathy. Consequently what the U.S. side euphemistically calls the "host nation support" is called a "sympathy budget" in Japan even today.

Can Toyota USA ask the U.S. government to pay salaries for its U.S. employees? But Tokyo has followed U.S. demands submissively, and this sympathy budged has now skyrocketed to an enormous 185 billion yen annually, for it includes not only personnel costs but also all base maintenance costs such as water, utility and repairs.

Besides this sympathy budget, Japanese taxpayers are obliged to pay for measures against base-derived problems such as crimes, accidents, and noise pollutions (180.8 billion yen); SACO-related expenses (120 billion yen); USFJ reallignment-related expenses (890 billion yen); land rents (166 billion yen); subsidies to U.S. base-hosting municipalities (34 billion yen) ; etc.

Trump thinks this is not enough and demands Japan pay 5 times more. LOL.

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Posted in: Japan to scrap costly land-based U.S. missile defense system See in context

Defense Minister Taro Kono visited Yamaguchi and Akita Prefectures, on June 20 and 21 respectively, to apologize for the trouble the government caused them by asking to host Aegis Ashore systems and suddenly suspending the planned deployment.

Tokyo has already invested 400 billion yen for the development of this costly weaponry, which will surely be written off as unrecoverable. Then, shouldn't Kono apologize to the whole nation for the squandering of so much taxpayers' money?

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Posted in: Japan to keep close watch over disputed islands: Suga See in context

The current controversy over the Senkaku/Diaoyu issue is like two boys bickering over the ownership of a find, each insisting, "It's me that found it first and so I'm the owner of it in light of history and under civil law."

Thus, the case is subject to a close scrutiny and re-investigation before it flares up beyond anyone's control..

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Posted in: Japan to keep close watch over disputed islands: Suga See in context

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga recently said: "The Senkaku Islands are under our control and are unquestionably our territory historically and under international law. It is extremely serious that these activities continue. We will respond to the Chinese side with resolution and fortitude." .

As against Suga's claim, China's Foreign Ministry said on June 19: "The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are an inherent part of China's territory, and it is our inherent right to carry out patrols and law enforcement activities in these waters."

So both sides are simply claiming the islands are "our" territory. I've been suggesting the two sides come to a table once again to discuss why they should claim as they do. Otherwise, a mere bickering, and fruitless one at that, will go on forever. Both sides, including Taiwan, must hear what Okinawa must say.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to scrap costly land-based U.S. missile defense system See in context

The Pentagon reacted to Kono' announcement immediately, saying they will keep negotiating with the Japanese government for the deployment of the missile defense systems to Japan. What does this mean? It means Washington is more eager for Japan to buy and install Aegis Ashore on its soil to shoot down U.S.-targeting ballistic missiles flying over Japan. 

In other words, the Aegis Ashore missile defense system is not necessarily for the defense of Japan but essentially for the security of the U.S. The same twisted logic is also observable in the case of Futenma's relocation to Henoko. LOL.

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Posted in: Japan to scrap costly land-based U.S. missile defense system See in context

Defense Minister Kono said the reason for scrapping the pland of the Aegis Ashore systems that are to be installed in Akita and Yamaguchi was the systems couldn't prevent inceptor missiles' boosters from falling on residential areas nearby. Mmilitary analyst Yoshiyasu Inaba assumes there's another reason for the suspension. And that is that the systems cannot deal with incoming low-altitude missiles Russia has already developed. 

Together with my assumption that the system cannot deal with multiple-headed incoming missiles, this futures transaction, the initiative probably taken by Washington and urged, has turned out nonsense because the system is already obsolete before it's delivered. The Henoko relocation issue in Okinawa has a similar problem.

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Posted in: Japan to scrap costly land-based U.S. missile defense system See in context

I think they haven't spent much as yet because the project is only at a site-determining stage in Aomori and Yamaguchi Prefectures, where local people are vehemently opposed to the systems to be installed in their neighborhood. 

In Aomori, the planned site is very close to a residential area and debris from crashed incoming or targeting missiles could easily hit people in the town. 

But the government must pay damages for breaching a contract for how much I don’t know..

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