voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Campaigning begins for referendum on Okinawa U.S. base relocation See in context

I've also heard the same story as japan4life tells in his Feb. 18 | 12:58 am JST post  Apparently in order to alleviate an impression that USFJ are using bases overly and extensively they are letting JSDF come inside some hitherto U.S.-exclusive bases for a joint use of them. And JSDF personnel are struck with a stark contrast between U.S. facilities and their own -- housing and all.

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Posted in: Campaigning begins for referendum on Okinawa U.S. base relocation See in context

Yubaru,

You seem to be hyperconscious of how tax money should be spent, for you call the referendum "a waste of taxpayers' money and time."

But the Abe government is supposed to spend Y2.5 trillion or about $25 billion for the construction of the Henoko new base, according to the Okinawa Prefectural Government's rough estimate. Compare this exorbitant cost with the Prefecture's FY 2019 budget in the amount of Y734.9 billion.

In my opinion, this whole project of relocation is a white elephant in light of Japan's defense and security. Then, can you ever say the referendum is "a waste of taxpayers' money and time"?

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Posted in: Campaigning begins for referendum on Okinawa U.S. base relocation See in context

Yubaru,

Why did the chicken cross the road?

The chicken crossed the road for no reason other than to reach the other side of the road. Likewise, the U.S. wants Futenma's replacement to be built in Henoko for no reason other than for its own sake and convenience. The U.S. says the Marines are stationed in Japan (Okinawa) to defend Japan, but, if so, why do the most active elements of them are to relocate to Guam, leaving only command and support units in Okinawa? 

Under such circumstances, why does the U.S. need to maintain Futenma’s function in Okinawa the same as ever or even strengthened? There's no strategic reason whatsoever in the construction of Futenma’s replacement in Henoko with lots of new functions and innovations added which neither Futenma nor Camp Schwab has -- the reason why it may be called a new base.

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Posted in: Campaigning begins for referendum on Okinawa U.S. base relocation See in context

Both Washington and Tokyo must be fully aware, through a sequence of elections and public polls, of the fact that the majority of Okinawans are opposed to the relocation and want Futenma to be closed and returned immediately without any strings attached. If the U.S. is a matured democracy, as MacArthur so blatantly boasted, it must listen to the democratic voice of the people rather than instigate Tokyo to expedite the relocation.

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Posted in: Campaigning begins for referendum on Okinawa U.S. base relocation See in context

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says, as usual, that the relocation is to "ease the burden on Okinawan people."  

If Suga is right, then Yokota Air Base in metropolitan Tokyo, which is also as dangerously situated in a densely populated residential area as Futenma, must be next in line to be closed. But is it?

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Posted in: Kono criticizes S Korean assembly speaker's emperor remarks See in context

The total number of readers who read my post (Feb. 11 | 04:56 am UTC) and actually checked either approval or disapproval was 39, of which my post got 12 approval or 30.8% as against 69% disapproval. But have these negative checkers read the following document that I had suugested to read on another thread before they checked the choice?

Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea

Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end" (15 August 1995)

Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono (current Foreign Minister's father) on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women" August 4, 1993

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Posted in: Kono criticizes S Korean assembly speaker's emperor remarks See in context

It's the Abe government that is mostly responsible for straining the Japan-Republic of Korea relations as we see today. Abe himself stopped short of saying there were no such facts as marching Korean people to serve as comfort women and forced laborers because no document had been found that showed these facts.

But document could have easily been destroyed to efface the untoward evidence.

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Posted in: S Korean assembly speaker says apology needed from Japanese emperor See in context

It's the Abe government that is responsible for straining the Japan-Republic of Korea relations as we see today. Abe himself stopped short of saying there were no such facts as marching people for comfort women and forced labor because no document had been found that showed these facts. But document could have been destroyed to efface the untoward evidence.

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Posted in: S Korean assembly speaker says apology needed from Japanese emperor See in context

It's the Abe government that is responsible for straining the Japan-Republic of Korea relations as we see today. Abe himself stopped short of saying there were no such facts as comfort women (and forced labor) because no document had been found that showed them.  But document could have been destroyed to efface the untoward evidence.

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Posted in: S Korean assembly speaker says apology needed from Japanese emperor See in context

To say anything meaningful, one must read the following document:

"Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea" signed on June 22, 1965 (https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20583/volume-583-I-8471-English.pdf)

Also, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Basic_Relations_between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea)

"Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end"

(https://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/pm/murayama/state9408.html)

3." Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women"

August 4, 1993

(https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html)

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

Are the Philippines regretted about what happened?  No, they aren't.  If they were, they would let in the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and let them freely reuse Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base.

But they didn't let it happen because they knew well enough what a U.S. military presence means. In case you didn't know, let me explain what it really means. It means occupation and colonialism once again under which they suffered far too long and more than enough.

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

extanker,

Were there battles to retake ISIS-controlled cities while the US was there? No. ISIS was never an issue until the US pulled out.

Weren't there Islamic insurgents actively operating even while these two U.S. bases were there? How did the U.S. naval and air forces stationed in the Philippines deal with them?

As far as China goes, the Philippines has had an on-again off-again relationship with China for decades, so that's no surprise that China has made inroads again. It is what the current Philippines leadership wants.

If the Philippines had had "an on-again and off-again relationship with China for decades," they must have been fully aware what consequences it would bring if the two U.S. bases were closed. But they let the U.S. forces completely withdraw from their country.

Are the Philippines regretted about what happened? If so, they would let in the U.S. Navy and Air Force once again and fully reuse Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base.

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

extanker,

Do you think that, if these U.S. bases had remained in the Philippines, they could have prevented terrorism by ISIS from occurring? Or China's assertiveness?

Yubaru,

As I've been arguing, the U.S. side has no legitimate right to negotiate terms of Futenma's return. You can't say, "Look, we will return some portions of existing bases only if you provide a replacement for Futenma. 

You mention Futenma, Kinser, Naha Military Port, some portions of Foster and Camp Kuwae, the ballyhooed return of land south of Kadena Air Base. But can you say the return of Futenma and Naha Military Port  genuine "return" in the true sense of the word when replacements with added new facilities must be provided in exchange for their return?

Not only Futenma but also Foster and Kuwae sit on private land that the U.S. occupation forces confiscated in blatant violation of international law while residents who had survived the war  were herded in detention camps. 

How do you respond to this?

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

extanker,

But you might also want to take a look at how that turned out for the Philippines.

There were two U.S. bases in the Philippines before: Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base. The two U.S. bases were returned to the Philippines successively in 1991 and 1992. 

After its return, Subic Bay Naval Base was turned into a commercial port called Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Does the Philippine government have a will to restore it as an exclusive U.S. base once again? Never.

The former U.S. Clark Air Base is now a Philippines Air Force base. In 2014, Manila and Washington signed a defense agreement called EDCA or Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that is valid for 10 years.

This agreement stipulates the U.S. Air Force can use Clark Air Force Base only temporarily.  So it seems the Philippine people are never regretted about the fact that U.S. forces left the country.

Now, how many U.S. bases are in Okinawa? And how many are at issue now for a return?

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Posted in: U.S. base transfer referendum for all Okinawa voters remains unclear See in context

As I've been saying on various occasions, if the construction is let go, it means Japan agreed that Okinawa can be a U.S. bastion forever. That’s why this ill project must be blocked by all means.

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Posted in: U.S. base transfer referendum for all Okinawa voters remains unclear See in context

Schopenhauer (Today 07:23 am JST),

Japan cannot harm diplomatic relations with U.S.

The primary reason why the Abe government is so intent on constructing the new base at Henoko is not because it wants to eliminate the danger Futenma poses to residents in Ginowan City as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told today's plenary session of the Diet. If so, is Yokota Air Base the next to be relocated because it's also situated in a similarly densely populated residential area in metropolitan Tokyo. Following Yokota may be Camp Hansen in central Okinawa where stray bullet incidents have occurred so many times, 28 incidents in all since 1972.

But the truth may be that the Abe government is only cringing to Washington, subserviently implementing what was dictated to it by washington albeit in appearance it's a bilateral agreement. Schopenhauer nicely summarizes this sad situation in spite of himself: "Japan cannot harm diplomatic relations with U.S."

Rather than harm relations with the U.S. Japan had better build the new base in Henoko as the U.S. pleases even at the sacrifice and cost of its own nationals and the pristine natural environment, so must think the Abe government. As I've been saying on various occasions, if the construction is let go, it means Japan agreed that Okinawa can be a U.S.

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

Yubaru,

You wrote in your post (Jan. 29 | 07:47 am JST) that Japan "hosts" U.S. forces, thus suggesting the U.S. forces are stationed in Okinawa as invited guests. In your theory, the Henoko relocation is Japan's internal problem that must be solved among the Japanese themselves. The U.S. is simply following the track laid down by Tokyo.

This is also the postiche stance Washington takes: Tokyo has taken the initiative in Futenma's relocation to Henoko.

That's why Washington's Japan hands never fail to tell visiting Okinawa governors to appeal to address the situation that they came to a wrong door, admonishing them to go to Tokyo instead.

But isn't it the U.S. side that's been most intent on the new base to be built in Henoko from the very beginning? If not, why is Washington and pro-base supporters here so hell-bent on urging Tokyo to go ahead with the construction?

When the Yukio Hatoyama administration returned to the original Henoko relocation plan despite its initial anti-Henoko election platform, "Relocate Futenma outside Okinawa at the least" and collapsed as a result in June 2010, then U.S. President Barrack Obama took time to send Hatoyama a hand-written personal letter thanking him for his decision.

To say U.S. forces are in Japan (Okinawa) at the invitation of Japan as a host nation is thus shenanigans and a farce.

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

Besides above-mentioned payments, Japan shoulders noise pollution prevention measures costs, SACO-related costs, U.S. military realignment costs, land fees, and proportional base hosting aids to relevant municipalities.

In FY 2014 alone, the total payment amounted to Y486 billion or about $4.4 billion.

Add to this a cost for the construction of a new base at Henoko. According to the Okinawa Prefectural Government's rough estimate, it will amount to Y2.5 trillion or about $25 billion.

Don't let absurdity take hold of the world, gentlemen!

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

It does not "pay them", it hosts them…

It does not "pay them", it hosts them?  That's a nice way of saying things. Euphemism it's called. Can one say Japan isn't shouldering costs for the U.S. military to maintain its extravagant presence in Japan but is hosting the U.S. forces as guests of its own free will? 

In Japan, that payment is popularly called "sympathy budget." When the U.S. requested Japan to share Japanese base workers' salaries in 1978, a session in the Japanese Diet asked then Director General of Defense Agency Shin Kanemaru if there was any legal basis for Japan to shoulder such payment. Kanemaru answered, "No, there isn't. But we have to share it out of sympathy for the financially troubled U.S. government." 

If Nissan U.S.A. falls into financial trouble, will the U.S. government help the auto company by directly paying salaries to U.S. workers?

Today, Japan shoulders some 74% of U.S. base maintenance costs, let alone 100% of base workers' salaries.

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Posted in: Gov't starts building new seawall for Okinawa base transfer See in context

Don't let absurdity take hold of the world.

In the first place, does the U.S. have a legitimate right to demand a replacement be provided in exchange for the return of Futenma? The base sits on private land that U.S. Occupation forces encroached upon with impunity toward the end of and after the Battle of Okinawa. The land expropriation was a blatant violation of Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which clearly states “private property cannot be confiscated.”

In my opinion, the irregularities in land requisition can never be exonerated by the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement even if it says Japan waves all claims.

To use a metaphor, isn't a contract between a thief and a fence dealing with stolen goods absolutely void under criminal law, however explicitly the contract may be written?

It boils down then that Futenma’s illegality remains as it was despite a waiver in the 1971 agreement, and, due to this fact, the U.S. cannot demand Futenma’s replacement be constructed in Henoko in exchange for its return.

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Posted in: Amid tensions with Japan, S Korea to boost world awareness on wartime sex abuses See in context

If you read the Japan-R.K. Basic Relations Treaty of 1965 (inter alia, para. 1 of Article 2) and the Okinawa Reversion Agreement of 1971 (paras. 1 & 4 of Article 4), you would be surprised to find that both are very similar as to a waver clause.

No doubt, individual claims by Okinawa for indemnity were relinquished because of this waver but, even so, the fact that irregularities in land requisition committed by U.S. Occupation forces during their administration of Okinawa will never be exonerated by the mere bilateral agreement of 1971.

There’s a big difference between the two cases, though. Irregularity committed can be considered to be thing of the past in the case of Korea while it is an ongoing reality in Okinawa. 

The Japan-U.S. relations are based on the very fact that the U.S. occupation forces committed irregularity during their occupation of Okinawa. The U.S. Forces Okinawa are still actually using large chunks of the land that was illegally confiscated during that period.

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

CrucialS,

Probably, you must be taking issue with what I said about Futenma's legal status: Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private lands whereby it's an illegal facility. The basis on why I say so is  Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, that clearly states "private property cannot be confiscated" in an occupied country.

How do you justify the forceful confiscation by U.S. occupation forces of private lands during their administration of Okinawa?

You may cite the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement as your basis, Article 4 of which says “Japan waives all claims of Japan and its nationals … arising from the presence, operations or actions of forces or authorities of the U.S. in these islands.”

I am contending this bilateral agreement is completely void under international law and so the illegal “actions of forces or authorities of the U.S.” can never be exonerated, whereby Futenma’s illegality remains the same as ever despite the bilateral agreement.

Do you think a contract over stolen goods between a thief and a fence, however explicitly it may be written, is effective under a state’s criminal law?

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

extanker,

Really? How and when?

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

extanker,

You've been disproved at every turn. Zones2surf comment stood on it's own just fine and did not need any further explanation from me.

For clarification's sake, let me recapitulate what was at issue in the discussion between Zones2surf and myself. Zones2surf said the Futenma issue had nothing to do with international law but everything to do with bilateral agreements between Japan and the U.S.: that is, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement. In the 1971 agreement, it's stipulated that Japan, as a nation as well as nationals, waves all claims to whatever the U.S. military presence has caused.  

So is Zones2surf correct in his claim that the Futenma issue has nothing to do with international law? But despite the bilateral agreement, Futenma's illegality that it sits on illegally confiscated private lands remains the same. Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land clearly states that "private property (in an occupied country) cannot be confiscated."

The 1971 agreement is like a contract between a thief and a fence dealing with stolen goods. However in detailed language the contract may be written, their dealings are illegal under a state's criminal law, and therefore the fact that Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private lands remains the same. The U.S. side can’t thus demand its replacement be built within Okinawa in exchange for its return. Futenma must be returned to Okinawa’s control with no conditions attached.    

extanker, you say you have disproved this claim of mine, but have you?

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

Reckless,

I certainly feel more comfortable with this security treaty to continue. Japan would be a dangerous country without the US here.

Japan's security would be threatened without this so-alled Futenma's replacement being built in Okinawa? 

Tell me why this new base is absolutely necessary for the security of Japan when the most active elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines are to move to Guam, leaving command and support elements only in Okinawa, and when Japan and the U.S. have struck a deal to the effect that primary responsibility to defend Japan's territory rests with JSDF and not with USFJ.

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

This heavy U.S. military footprint must come to an end someday if not now. For starters, it's the Marine units that are stationed in Okinawa for no other reasons than for their own sake that must blaze a trail.

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

zones2auef,

Japan IS a sovereign country.

It regained its sovereignty in 1952 for everything except for Okinawa.

It regained sovereignty over Okinawa in 1972.

At the first glance, the three points you point out are all true. The catch is whether Japan is really a genuine sovereignty as you think it is, not subservient to the U.S.

Under what circumstances do you think Japan signed the 1951 Japan-U.S. Security Treaty?  Under what circumstances did Japan sign the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement? 

Japan recovered independence in 1952 all right when the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect but it was independence in disguise because Japan was obliged to sign a separate security treaty with the U.S. concurrently with the peace treaty, in which the presence of the Occupation forces-turned Japan defense forces (USFJ) was firmly guaranteed with all the bases and U.S. military personnel's perquisites remaining intact. U.S. bases in Okinawa were incorporated into this regime in 1972 when it was returned to Japan. 

Allowing the Henoko relocation means we sanctioned this regime to go on forever either in mainland Japan or in Okinawa. That's the reason why the Henoko relocation plan must be blocked by all means. As such, the Henoko relocation is not simply a local Okinawan issue but it is genuinely Japan’s national issue per se.

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

extanker,

While everything you (zones2surf) said is true, you're trying to present logic to the wrong person.

If you think everything zones2surf says is true, it's your obligation to prove why he is right and disprove what I argue immediately above.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

zones2surf,

Actually, the legal basis has nothing to do with international law.

Maybe, you would cite the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement and the Japan U.S. Security Treaty as a legal basis. But they are mere agreements reached between the two governments in disregard to international law, and so the legal basis has nothing to do with it here, as you say.

Remember, however, the bilateral agreement is void under international law however vocally you may insist it must be kept strictly because the Japanese government agreed to it. You know, the U.S. occupation army confiscated private lands with impunity while all Okinawa residents who survived the Battle of Okinawa  were herded in detention camps at various locations like POWs. The land expropriation at the time was a blatant violation of Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, that clearly states "private property cannot be confiscated."

Can the bilateral agreement exonerate the irregularities committed by the U.S. occupation army?

In my opinion, the irregularities of land requisition committed by the U.S. occupation forces can never be exonerated by the 1971 Okinawa reversion agreement even if it stipulates Japan waves all claims against the U.S. for any damages done by U.S. military itself and its personnel during the occupation of Okinawa.

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Posted in: Gov't to revise U.S. base work in Okinawa; delay expected See in context

WA4TKG,

But if this construction is let go, the U.S. Marines will stay in Okinawa not just for 80 years but forever.

Tell me why this new base is absolutely necessary from the U.S.'s Pacific strategy when the most active elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines are to move to Guam, leaving command and support elements only in Okinawa, and when Japan and the U.S. have struck a deal to the effect that primary responsibility to defend Japanese territory rests with JSDF and not with USFJ.

Tell me, also, on what legal basis the U.S. can use Futenma, apparently a stolen property in light of international law, and demand its replacement built at the planned site if we want Futenma to be returned.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

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