voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Japan may delay process for picking casino host cities, media report See in context

The Japanese government is considering delaying the process for selecting casino host cities amid a bribery scandal

That's good news. But not only delay but they should scrap the whole project including the recently enacted law that removes the ban on casinos. The government must realize how casinos will play havoc with local economy contrary to what it expects. Here is a good read to understand the real picture of casinos, aka IR.

Harbor Business Online: https://hbol.jp/211164 (「日本にカジノは要らない...」"Japan doesn't need casinos..." )

The gist of it is Abe sold Japan to the foreign casino tycoons. Pro-casino lawmakers only danced to the tune of promotion the casino industry played.  A deja vu playwright concerned with U.S. bases.

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Posted in: Trump calls for more from Japan as security pact turns 60 years old See in context

It was Nobusuke Kishi, Abe's grandfather on his mother's side, who took the initiative to revise the security treaty, saying it didn't require the U.S. to defend Japan. Article 5 of the revised treaty thus stipulates the U.S.'s obligation to defend Japan and the Far East. In exchange for it, Japan must provide bases and areas to U.S, forces (Article 6) and take necessary action to defend these bases and areas.

In other words, the U.S. forces are in Japan for the defense and security of Japan, and Japan must provide and protect U.S. bases in Japan. That's why, when the 9.11 attack occurred, the Japanese police stood guard at the gate of every U.S. base in Japan. The U.S. side, on the other hand, freely uses the bases and areas for purposes other than the defense of Japan and its vicinity, in total disregard of treaty provisions.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. hail security pact which Trump branded unfair See in context

Today’s Okinawa Times runs special articles on the occasion of the 60-year anniversary of the signing of the “Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the U.S”. This treaty is a revised version of the “Japan-U.S. Security Treaty” originally agreed in 1951.  The concomitant document “Administrative Agreement” was also revised in 1960 and renamed SOFA (“Status of Forces Agreement”).

The old agreement allowed occupation forces-turned USFJ to retain all rights to free use of U.S. bases in Japan and U.S. personnel to enjoy the same perquisites as they did during the occupation. The 1960 revision of these agreements guaranteed all the profit over name for the U.S.

The Okinawa Times articles also tell that the Japanese bureaucracy resisted the U.S. initiative and tried to achieve a true independence of Japan but in vain before the domineering victor of the war.

So it’s very strange that the Abe government should hail the security pact when the bureaucracy was originally apprehensive of Japan losing its independence and sovereignty, which Japan is now.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. hail security pact which Trump branded unfair See in context

Japan and the United States on Friday lauded the decades-old security treaty that is the bedrock of their alliance, but which U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized as "unfair" and imbalanced.

Trump criticized the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty as "unfair" and "unbalanced"? Of course, he means it gives too much favor to Japanor free ride on the security treaty. That's why he demands Japan pay more for the maintenence of  U.S. bases.  

He must know, however, that we in Okinawa feel the same way but that our complaint is diagonally opposite to his. We feel this security treaty, together with the concomitant SOFA, is very unfair and unjust,  and so must be scrapped or replaced with a new one, if needs be, so that it will become more fair and just. For starters, let this huge U.S. military footprint in Okinawa, or Japan in general, come to an end and make Japan a truly independent sovereignty.

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Posted in: Environment minister Koizumi to take 2 weeks paternity leave See in context

Koizumi is no ordinary man in the street; he is a minister charged the nation's environment and energy. Suppose an emergency occurred during his paternity leave, will he keep tending to his personal life, saying “That has nothing to do with me”?

I remember his father, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, enjoying his leave of absence at a Tokyo hotel when a Futenma-based helicopter crashed on the campus of a nearby university, making short shrift of the disaster..

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Posted in: Macron says he raised concerns with Japan over Ghosn detention See in context

Numan & TARA TAN KITAOKA,

When did Western countries start allowing defense lawyers to sit in company with suspects at the time of police interrogation? Very recently, isn't it? So, it's not too late for Japan to follow suit.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Macron says he raised concerns with Japan over Ghosn detention See in context

The Meiji Restoration government emulated France and Germany for its modern justice although Japan had its own justice system for centuries. If there's room for further improvement of it, Japan must not refrain from doing so.

However, this problem must be sharply distinguished from Ghosn's escape from Japan.

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Posted in: Ghosn says French envoy told him of inside plot See in context

From the very beginning when Ghosn was arrested, I suspected this was an inside job to oust him. Now, he says he was told by a French envoy immediately after his arrest that this was indeed a plot.

But this is just an allegation or mere speculation until it is proven true in the course of court hearings. To my chagrin, however, he escaped Japan illegally, flouting Japan’s justice blatantly and thus jeopardizing everything .

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Posted in: Ghosn's Japan lawyer: Questioning averaged 7 hours a day See in context

There's no doubt that Japan's prosecution system must be corrected by all means. The accused are allegedly grilled 24/7 without the presence of lawyers and are often coerced to make false confessions in spite of themselves. No wonder there are so many cases of false charges against innocents. That must really be corrected.

Would Ghosn return to Japan if all this were addressed even though he must face charges against him for his illegal exit abroad?

23 ( +26 / -3 )

Posted in: Ghosn tells Japanese media he has plenty of documents to prove innocence See in context

Ghosn may be right to point out the allegedly inhumane prosecution system of Japan. He says he has plenty of evidence to prove his innocence in this case.

But there’s no denying he audaciously jumped bail and escaped Japan, flouting and finessing a most intricate surveillance of his daily activities. How could he do that? He says he did it alone without anyone’s help. Did he really? That’s what intrigues me most.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Posted in: Ghosn denies wrongdoing; says his arrest in Japan a conspiracy See in context

It had been reported that Ghosn would prove his oust from Nissan was a coup-d'etat conspired by his rivals in the company in collusion with some sector of  the government, alluding he would reveal the names of persons involved in this plot. He named Hiroto Saikawa, former Nissan CEO, and Masakazu Toyoda, an outside director, among others, as persons directly involved in this inside job to oust him.

But he refrained from naming government officials, saying he would do so to honor the Lebanese government.

What does this mean? It means the Japanese government was deeply involved in this brouhaha also.

But he didn’t show any evidence to prove what he said. Does this exonerate him from his illegal exit from the country? His defense lawyers in Japan said they were confident to prove his complete innocence in court, but all came to nothing now that he illegally escaped.

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Posted in: Nissan bolsters taskforce to prepare for Ghosn onslaught See in context

It's been revealed in detail how Ghosn foiled the clearance of customs when he escaped. He or his collaborators knew well enough about how lax customs clearance in Japan is for private jet passengers. Even inspection of baggage is passed on, thinking that passengers won't risk their own lives by carrying explosives. 

That's really a big loophole, indeed, which will certainly be addressed with the Ghosn case as a severe lesson. 

But I think there'll still remain a bigger loophole even if this was rectified. And that is a U.S. military base, such as Yokota, Kadena or Yokosuka.

President Donald Trump used Yokota Air Base when he first visited Japan, from where he straightly went to a golf course to play golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Nancy Pelosi, former U.S. House Speaker, also used Yokota when she abruptly interrupted an international meeting before it was over, probably to avoid red tapes if she were to depart from a commercial airport.

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Posted in: Ex-defense minister denies receiving cash over casino-bribery case See in context

I smelled something fishy when the Abe government embarked on a promotion campaign to lift the ban on casinos, aka IR, by enacting a special law.

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Posted in: Okinawa governor renews demand to stop U.S. base relocation plan See in context

Ignorance is really bliss. We didn't even know how Okinawa was freely used by the U.S. military as a nuclear bastion during the Occupation. Some may say such days are the thing of the past. But note that U.S. bases and the stationing of troops have remained unchanged and weapons of mass destruction can be brought back to Okinawa with impunity in accordance with a secret bilateral agreement. Click open the website below.

NHK Documentary | Okinawa’s Nuclear Secrets

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjLWvLpUAQY&feature=emb_logo

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Posted in: Okinawa governor renews demand to stop U.S. base relocation plan See in context

Maybe, they are just following new regulations stipulating to always put on casual wears when in town.

.

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Posted in: Okinawa governor renews demand to stop U.S. base relocation plan See in context

Americans are welcome as private citizens or tourists. But NEVER as military forces. So when U.S. service members sounter out of bases, they never fail to change military uniforms into casual clothes -- a great change from the Occupation days.

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Posted in: Japan's naval dispatch to Mideast seen as result of compromise See in context

Yubaru,

Pot kettle black

The pot can't laugh at the kettle by calling it black because the pot is also covered with black soot. I can’t make out why you say so.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's naval dispatch to Mideast seen as result of compromise See in context

So it's wise of Japan not to join in the U.S.-led coalition. But, above all, Japan must not participate in it due to Article 9 of the constitution.

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Posted in: Japan's naval dispatch to Mideast seen as result of compromise See in context

OssanAmerica,

Until you have hard, solid evidence as to who committed the crime, you can't point your finger at someone as the perpetrator of the murder, let alone execute him by hanging. Suspicion alone is no grounds for forming coalition forces and punishment.

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Posted in: Japan's naval dispatch to Mideast seen as result of compromise See in context

The blurred picture showed masked men in black costumes trying to attach limpet mines on the hull of one of the vessels. The catch is how the U.S. intelligence was able to identify from this cut-out shot that it was the hull of one of the vessels?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's naval dispatch to Mideast seen as result of compromise See in context

OssanAmerica,

On the thread of "Japan may send ships topatrol off Yemen instead of Strait of Hormuz" run on Aug. 9 JT, I commented as follows.

At the time when P.M. Abe was visiting Iran for talks with President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, Japanese-flagged oil tankers passing through the Hormuz Strait were attacked by unknown attackers. The U.S. government announced immediately afterwards that it was an hostile act by IRGC, a branch of Iranian Armed Forces, later showing, at Tokyo's request, a blurred picture of masked men in black costumes trying to attach limpet mines on the hull of one of the vessels.

This incident must be clarified once and for all. Did Iran really attack Japanese-flagged oil tankers? For what purposes, when Abe was visiting Iran for talks with Rouhani?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's naval dispatch to Mideast seen as result of compromise See in context

Article 9 of the Japanese constitution stipulates that "the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes". 

So how could Japan participate in the U.S.-led coalition? Even dispatching war ships to the region seems in violation of this provision.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Posted in: Okinawa governor renews demand to stop U.S. base relocation plan See in context

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Thursday defended the relocation plan as “the only solution, taking into consideration the role of the Futenma air station as deterrence under the Japan-U.S. alliance and a removal of its risks."

Suga is still mumbling the same mantra as he has been muttering for years: that the Henoko relocation plan is "the only solution, taking into consideration the role of the Futenma air station as deterrence ... and a removal of its risks."

I've been arguing the Henoko new base is a white elephant not worth squandering so much tax money (930 billion yen or $8.5 billion) and destroying pristine nature. It has nothing to do with deterrence as Suga claims for two reasons: First, the most active elements of Okinawa-based Marines will move to Guam, leaving only logistics and command units in Okinawa; Second, Tokyo and Washington have agreed that primary responsibility to defend outlying islands rests with JSDF, not USFJ. .

If the removal of danger is another reason for the relocation of Futenma to Henoko, why don’t they move Kadena Air Base somewhere else, too, for the same reason? Or Yokota Base in Metropolitan Tokyo? The two bases have seen more serious accidents involved with them than Futenma.

I wish Suga, or anyone under him, followed thist thread and answered these questions.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: Ruling party lawmaker arrested over alleged bribe from Chinese gambling operator See in context

Correction of a figure in my post above:

 Last year Okinawa received about ten  million tourists, but did these visitors come here for gambling like in Las Vegas? Or will the lifting of ban on casinos attract more tourists as municipal fathers hope?

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Posted in: Ruling party lawmaker arrested over alleged bribe from Chinese gambling operator See in context

Power to the prosecution.

The enactment of law lifting ban on casinos can't be done by one person only. So there must be more bribed lawmakers other than Akimoto that were deeply involved in it.

As BertieWooster nicely says, "if you find one gokiburi, there are 30 more lying hidden".

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Posted in: Ruling party lawmaker arrested over alleged bribe from Chinese gambling operator See in context

Had you ever heard the word 'IR' before? This word has appeared in Okinawa's media quite often in recent years, leading people to believe it could invigorate the stagnant economy. So some municipality heads grabbed at the idea of introducing IR to their municipalities without giving too much thought to it.

IR stands for integrated resorts, meaning integration of gambling (casinos) with resort hotels.

Last year Okinawa received about one million tourists, but did these visitors come here for gambling like in Las Vegas? Or will the lifting of ban on casinos attract more tourists as municipal fathers hope?

The symposium held in Naha in 2017 spread the dream about IR all the more. So it's very interesting that bribed lawmakers like Akimoto were deeply involved in enacting laws to lift ban on casinos. .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan extends construction period for U.S. base in Okinawa to 10 years See in context

Yubaru,

1/3 of eligible voters participated and voted no, the other 2/3rd s either said yes or did not participate. The total number of eligible voters is over 1.4 million.

Do the math, one can say with 100% certainty that 2/3rd s of Okinawa are for it!

Okinawa's current population is 1.45 million, of whom eligible voters account for 562,042, of whom 281,205 went to polls to vote, of whom pro-Henoko voters were 114,933 whereas anti-Henoko voters were 434,273. These figures are from the statistics compiled by the Okinawa Prefectural Government.

So I will repay the same question as you asked, "Do the math", and you will never be able to say "that 2/3 of Okinawa are for.it".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan extends construction period for U.S. base in Okinawa to 10 years See in context

ndigo,

debts will skyrocket for Japanese who say NO via vote to the base relocation.

On what basis do you say that? How much do you think the new Marine base to be constructed in Henoko will contribute to the security of Japan when: (1) the most active elements of Okinawa-based Marines will move to Guam, leaving logistics and command units only in Okinawa; (2) Tokyo and Washington agreed recently that primary responsibility to defend outlying territories rests with Japan's Self Defense Forces and not with U.S. Forces Japan?

In my opinion, the Henoko new base is a sheer white elephant unworthy of squandering so much tax money (350 billion yen or $3.2 billion).  If there's any meaning in it, it's only that the U.S. wants to retain all rights to bases in Okinawa, gripping them firmly and permanently.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan extends construction period for U.S. base in Okinawa to 10 years See in context

Maybe, he should have been explained anti-Henoko also means Futenma must be moved outside Okinawa immediately. But there was no such choice to mark with that oondition attached in the reerrendum.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan extends construction period for U.S. base in Okinawa to 10 years See in context

In the referendum held in February this year asking about the relocation, 114,933 eligible voters cast nays (79%) to it while 434,278 cast ayes (21%). 

True, the voter turnout was not as many as expected. Nonetheless, statistically speaking, one can say with certainty that 79% of Okinawa residents are opposed to the current Henoko relocation plan.

I know at least one Ginowan citizen who abstained from voting because he said that if he cast a yes vote, people in Nago will suffer the same agony as the Ginowan citizens and that if he cast a no vote it would be the Ginowan citizens who will continue to suffer for long. Among abstainers there must have been many such people as him.

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