voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Putin says Japan's military cooperation with U.S. is source of concern See in context

According to an Okinawan local newspaper, Ryukyu Shimpo, Putin referred to the new base construction in Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa, at the said forum.

Probably, he brought up the Henoko construction issue to exemplify how abnormally close Japan-U.S. military cooperation is because the base is being constructed in outright disregard of a strong local opposition spearheaded by the Okinawa governor.

So if the northern territories were returned to Japanese control, no one knows how they would be used against Russia, he might have thought. A very reasonable concern.

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Posted in: Abe, Shanahan agree to bolster Japan-U.S. alliance See in context

According to the article, Abe took the initiative to say this bilateral alliance must be bolstered in order "to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific." 

The catch is: (1) Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution prohibits Japan from using force to resolve international disputes; (2) the U.S. is granted the use by its armed forces of bases and facilities in Japan in exchange for their defense of Japan and not the Indo-Pacific region; (3) most of the U.S bases in Okinawa sit on illegally confiscated private land, as typified by Futenma Air Station.

In order to bolster the said alliance, all these realities and conditions must be ignored blatantly and intentionally, only resorting to the law of the jungle. Did Abe and Shanahan have these problems in mind  when they talked and agreed?

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Posted in: Abe, Shanahan agree to bolster Japan-U.S. alliance See in context

Whenever they agree to bolster the bilateral security alliance, Okinawa's burden to host U.S. bases will increase. So this is really a scam.

In the face of China and Russia supposedly driving to boost capabilities in space, cyber and electronic warfare, how will the building of a new base for the Okinawa-based Marines contribute the alliance?

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Posted in: Pentagon tells White House to stop politicizing military after USS John McCain incident See in context

This is a typical case of sontaku, a custom widely practiced in Japanese politics and bureaucracy. In sontaku, no one is held responsible for the case  It only shows there're a horde of brown noses around the boss. Probably, an English dictionary needs to add this as a new entry of a loan from Japanese.

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Posted in: White House wanted USS McCain out of sight while Trump was at Yokosuka See in context

Trump is an entrepreneur-turned conservative politician -- naturally, a Republican by party. The late Sen. McCain was the Republican Paty’s big shot, and so both men must share lots of thoughts in common. 

But why were they at loggerheads over handling U.S. affairs? Why did Trump fire Secretaries of State and Defense Rex Tillerson and James Mattis? Weren't they engaged in a proxy war between the established U.S. military-industrial complex represented by McCain, Tillerson and Mattis on one hand and Trump, a lone wolf, on the other, who is challenging the Washington establishment,?

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Posted in: White House wanted USS McCain out of sight while Trump was at Yokosuka See in context

Two days after President Donald Trump left, reverberations from his state visit to Japan are still felt. He must be a great President.

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Posted in: Japan to buy 105 F-35 U.S. stealth warplanes: Trump See in context

What a comic strip it is! Abe trying hard to placate Trump by binge-buying of so much deadwood! The Aegis Ashore is even an unfinished product with no proof of its practicality and accuracy. But such is the relationship between Japan and the great U.S.: a boss-follower relationship.

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Posted in: Japan to buy 105 F-35 U.S. stealth warplanes: Trump See in context

Trump said F35s are called stealth aircraft "because, the fact is you can't see them." No, he is wrong. The aircraft are called so because the deal is a deal of steal.

An F35 costs $105 million per aircraft, excluding an annual maintenance cost of $280 million. Since Japan is said to ultimately buy 147 F35s, the purchase will total up to $56 billion.

Japan is also to buy 17 Ospreys in the total amount of $3.3 billion. In addition, Japan agreed to buy two Aegis Ashore systems for $5.5 billion.

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Posted in: Trump expects Japan's military to reinforce U.S. in Asia and beyond See in context

Did Trump visit the Kaga to reaffirm the U.S. and Japan were in a boss-follower relation? There occur some legal problems that may infringe on Japan's pacifist constitution if Trump wants that relationship to be maintained.

Mr. President, it's against the constitution as well as the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty for the Japanese naval fleet to go beyond the Japanese waters as far as the Indo-Pacific regions to help U.S. fleet engage in aggressive wars.

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Posted in: Trump's visit to focus on personal ties, not substance See in context

Funny, I'm looking forward to Trump's visit to Japan, especially to the Kokugikan Sumo Arena in Ryogoku, Tokyo. Certainly, it would be a big, entertaining show you've never seen before.

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Posted in: Kono to ask foreign media to switch order of Japanese names See in context

"He who first suggests it should be the first to do it " So instead of asking foreign media to write Japanese names in an order with family names first and given names last, Kono should ask Japan's school children be taught their names shouldn't be reversed when speaking and writing to foreigners.

But that's a minor thing, compared with other cultures Japan has imported since the Meiji Restoration.

As I posted on another thread, large numbers such as 1234567890 are very difficult for ordinary citizens on the street to read if they are collocated as 1,234,567,890. It should be written as 12,3456,7890 in conformity with the Chinese numerical system which the Japanese and East Asian peoples have been accustomed to for centuries.

But can Kono suggest as much as this?

The Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications tells Japan's current population is 1,2612 man or 1億 2612 万. The figure is represented in accord with the Chinese number system. If it were written as 126,120 千(thousand), as sometimes done, that'll be really difficult for ordinary people to read and grasp.

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Posted in: Okinawa-based U.S. Marines may start moving to Guam in Oct 2024 See in context

Addendum:

If the description of Wikipedia is correct, the U.S. Navy consists of four main sections: (1) the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, (2) the Office of he Chief of Naval Operations, (3) the operatin forces, and (4) the Shore Establishment. Nowhere in this structutral description is mentioned about the Marine Corps.

On the other hand, the Marine Corps is organized into four principal subdivisions: (1) Headquarters Marine Corps, (2) the Operating Forces, (3) the Supporting Establishment, and (4) the Marine Forces Reserve.

Both tops of the Navy and the Marine Corps answer to the Secretary of the Navy as equal partners. The Marine Corps as a service is thus never subumed under the arm of the the Navy, another independent naval service.

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Posted in: Okinawa-based U.S. Marines may start moving to Guam in Oct 2024 See in context

CyburneticTiger:

The fact that you served in the U.S. military doesn't count much to prove you claim to be true that the Marine Corps is subsumed under the Navy. You must prove the facts I listed as the evidence that the Marines aren’t subsumed under the Navy. I know there are two conflicting opinions as regards this problem even among persons concerned -- ex-marines.

On an Internet Q&A site, a former Marine Officer offers an answer to the question whether the Marines are subsumed under the Navy of not, as follows;

"The US Marine Corps ceased being a branch of the US Navy 70 years ago. Both the US Marine Corps and US Navy are “Naval services” under the Civilian Secretary of the Navy. But each Service head (Commandant and Chief of Naval Operations) is an equal 4 Star General/Admiral that represents their respective service as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.".

The Department of Defense also offers an answer. In its official document penned by Claudette Roulo, "Why are Marines part of the Navy". In it the author recounts the history of a naval infantry in the world, saying the U.S. Marine Corps was modeled after the British Royal Marines. 

But his conclusion is very interesting. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are "sister services", both attached to the Department of the Navy, he writes. He never says, though, that a top Marine general answers to a top Navy admiral. 

In other words, the Pentagon's official document can't deny the fact that today's U.S. Marine Corps is independent of the regular Navy, each having its own chain of command, the Marines' two generals representing the corps at the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on a par with a Navy admiral, two Army generals and three Air Force generals.

Note also that the Department of the Navy is not a military service but an administrative, bureaucratic organization headed by a civilian secretary.

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Posted in: Okinawa-based U.S. Marines may start moving to Guam in Oct 2024 See in context

CyburneticTiger

All these departments you mention are administrative, bureaucratic bodies; they are not armed services. The U.S. military services: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, are all subsumed under these departments headed by civilian secretaries . The fact that the Navy and the Marine Corps are subsumed under the Department of the Navy doesn't mean the Marine Corps must report to the Navy admiral.

The very fact that two Marine generals participate in the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff together with a Navy admiral shows the Marines are not under the Navy. They are different services on a par with each other.

Ranks are also called differently between the two services. For example, the Navy's admiral, rear admirals and lieutenants are called a' general, major general and captain by the Marines.

(1) and (2) of Section 5001 of the U.S. Code 10 clarify the demarcation between the two. No doubt, they are independent, different services.  It boils down, then, that their stationing in Okinawa blatantly violates Article 6 of  the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

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Posted in: Okinawa-based U.S. Marines may start moving to Guam in Oct 2024 See in context

Halwick,

As far as the Marines are concerned, your argument that Okinawa is strategically important for its proximity to potential powder kegs doesn't hold water. You must realize their days are over in this era of missiles and electronic wars.

You know, your argument is basically a strawman argument. Confine your subject to the Marines or the Futenma issue only and you'll realize all your seemingly convincing argument overturns from its bottom.

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Posted in: Okinawa-based U.S. Marines may start moving to Guam in Oct 2024 See in context

For starters, do the marines have any legitimate right to be stationed in Okinawa? For Article 6 of the Japan-US Security Treaty says that only the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force can use facilities and areas (bases) in Japan. 

You know, the Marines are a military service independent of the Navy. So here's another blatant breach of an agreement on the part of the U.S. .

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Posted in: Okinawa-based U.S. Marines may start moving to Guam in Oct 2024 See in context

Wasn't it agreed in April 2014 that 9,000 Okinawa-based Marines would relocate to Guam and elsewhere? The Marine units subject to this relocation were said to be the most active elements, leaving command and support groups in Okinawa.

Now, they say about 5,000 Marines will relocate to Guam, but 1,700 will be the number permanently to be stationed there, with the remainder, 3,300, being rotated every half year between it and somewhere else (Okinawa included).

This means that, substantially, only 1,700 Marines are to be reduced from Okinawa. An off-the-cuff change of policy, indeed.

And yet, when we ask the Henoko relocation plan be reconsidered, they say it's already been bilaterally agreed and can't be changed at all

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Posted in: Suga, in rare official overseas trip, discusses N Korea, abductees with Pompeo, Shanahan See in context

In the meeting at the Pentagon, Suga and Shanahan agreed to promote a planned relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture as part of the realignment of American troops in Japan.

Was it Suga or Pompeo who first brought the Futenma issue to the table? Probably, it must have been Suga.  But, to our chagrin, they only agreed the planned relocation must be promoted, that is, the rrelocation plan must be implemented without any hitch. Later, Suga met with Vice President Mike Pence and agreed that Okinawa's burden of hosting the bulk of U.S. bases in Japan must be reduced, according to Kyodo Press..

But Suga (and Abe behind him), Pompeo and Pence (and Trump behind them) must know the relocation of Futenma within Okinawa won't reduce Okinawa's burden at all; It will solidify and strengthen the Marine presence in Okinawa, never contributing to security and peace in the region, instead, merely perpetuating Okinawa’s burden forever.  They must find a third way to solve the problem.

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Posted in: Trump to inspect Japanese destroyer with Abe in late May See in context

BeerDeliveryGuy,

Of course, the Air Force One has been and will always remain so named in the future. There's little possibility it might be called the Enola Gay. 

But that's not a moot point here. The point at issue is how people may feel when they come across remnants of the old enmity of the past

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Posted in: Trump to inspect Japanese destroyer with Abe in late May See in context

BeefDelivery Guy,

What you say may be right -- warships' names are usually recycled, but suppose the Air Force One that will carry Trump to Tokyo was named the Enola Gay, what would the Japanese people feel about it?

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Posted in: Abe sticking with goal to seek constitutional amendment on SDF by 2020 See in context

Schopenhauer,

Okinawans! Be pleased. This is the first step you will be free from U.S. Forces someday and JSDF replaces U.S. Forces. We mainland Japanese are also happy when we will be free from your constant complaints which are very annoying to us

You seem to be bothered with Okinawa's anti-U.S. base sentiments, especially against the Henoko relocation plan, saying, "We mainland Japanese are ... happy when we will be free from your constant complaints which are very annoying to us."

Well said, but what do you think about the violent anti-U.S. base movements that stormed mainland Japan in the 1050s and 1960s? 

It's surmised naturally that because of these violent anti-U.S. base movements on mainland, some Marine contingents there, especially in Gifu and Yamanashi, had to move to Okinawa, thus increasing U.S. bases in Okinawa twice as many. 

 I clearly remember Raizo Matsuno, former General Secretary of Prime Minister's Office under the Kishi admistration, testifying this fact before the television camera. He said the central government had asked the Marines to move to Okinawa to avoid further social turmoil in Japan proper.

See also “本土の反対運動を懸念し沖縄に海兵隊移転”は本当?(Is it true Marine contingents moved to Okinawa for fear of the mainland's anti-U.S. base movements?) run on Japan in Depth (https://japan-indepth.jp/?p=42307)

How do you respond?

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Posted in: Trump offers 'heartfelt appreciation' to outgoing emperor See in context

U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty said:

These decades have brought security alliance significantly forward," he said. "I'm certain our enduring partnership will continue in beautiful harmony for years to come."

Probably, Okinawa is a black sheep disturbing what Hagerty calls "beautiful harmony. But if only the U.S. scraps the Henoko relocation plan voluntarily and admits it is demanding Japan implement the Henoko relocation for no other reason than for their own benefit  and convenience, the harmony would be sure to become more beautiful.

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Posted in: U.S. may allow commercial use of Yokota base during 2020 Olympics See in context

Is this part of the ongoing negotiations between Tokyo and Washington over the partial return of Yokota's massive airspace, the so-called Yokota RAPCON, which encompasses skies over metropolitan Tokyo and 8 prefectures?

 Cf. "Japan to control flight routes in U.S. military airspace over Tokyo" run on** **Japan Today: Dec. 19, 2018

All this proves my contention in various posts to be true that the World War II Occupation by the U.S. military hasn’t ended as yet, not only in Okinawa but also in Japan proper.

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Posted in: LDP loses 2 lower house by-elections in Osaka, Okinawa See in context

Yubaru,

If you think there's no pork-barrel politics here, you are really an innocent old man.

One of Shimajiri's campaign promises was revitalization of the economy through cooperation with the central government. That's what LDP-backed candidates usually harp on because, they claim, they have strong connections with the government. Opposition candidates don't have such thick pipes and therefore they appeal to voters that if opposition were elected the economy would spiral down miserably.

Don't you think such campaign promises smack of pork barrel politics?

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Posted in: LDP loses 2 lower house by-elections in Osaka, Okinawa See in context

Yubaru,

He won because he was anti-base ...

You've acknowledged in spite of yourself that any candidate on an anti-base, anti-Henoko platform can win elections because the public consensus here is more than 70% anti-base and anti-Hnoko.

No pork-barrel tactics won't work here at all.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: LDP loses 2 lower house by-elections in Osaka, Okinawa See in context

Tomohiro Yara's win is a natural consequence satisfying our expectation.

His opponent, Aiko Shimajiri, held a ministerial post in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs in the Abe cabinet. She also held various posts in Dietary committees, and so, naturally, her name value was better than newcomer Yara's.

And yet she lost to Yara.  What does it mean?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Compensation order over Okinawa base noise upheld, but amount cut See in context

Kazuaki Shimazaki,

So, in your opinion, can Japanese (Okinawan) plaintiffs bring the U.S. government to court as defendants in this noise pollution litigation?? I just want to know.

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Posted in: Compensation order over Okinawa base noise upheld, but amount cut See in context

darknuts,

You say you grew up in New York City about a 15-minute drive from JFK Airport. But a 15 minute drive is quite a distance. No wonder you weren't bothered by landing and taking-off commercial aircraft at the airport..

You also say Atsugi was quiet while you lived near it. But do you know residents there have filed lawsuits against the government four times since 1960? The fourth one is still pending.

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Posted in: Compensation order over Okinawa base noise upheld, but amount cut See in context

Yubaru,

... in this case people took their case up with the proper authorities

Plaintiffs took the case to Japanese court on the premise that the central government is responsible for all this. Now, my question is if they couldn't file a lawsuit directly against the U.S. government, a behind-the-scenes mastermind causing the noise pollution, rather than the Japanese government. I think this is possible, for nowhere in the SACO agreement is written that is not possible.

My argument may be weak, but you must point out where and why it is. That’s what I call a core issue that you must respond to.

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Posted in: Compensation order over Okinawa base noise upheld, but amount cut See in context

Y ubaru,

You aren't responding to the core issue I raised in my post, simply nitpicking and obfuscating instead.

Do you deny the fact the real culprits causing noise pollution and other damage are the U.S. government and its armed forces, and do you persist to say that they are immune from lawsuits against them because of SACO provisions?

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