voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Abe says he is aiming for constitution change by 2020 See in context

Schopenhauer,

In the past. the U.S. was very eager for Japan to revise its war-renouncing constitution. Right-wingers and conservative politicians probably gained momentum from this strong backup by the U.S. It seems, however, the initial U.S. enthusiasm is petering out rapidly these days.

What counts most for the U.S. is how to maintain U.S. bases securely in Japan, whereby they may be beginning to make a hedge between Japan revising the constitution and otherwise for its own benefit.

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

Yubaru,

Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty stipulates:

"For the purpose of contributing to the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East, the United States of America is granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan."

To rephrase, it says that in return for the defense of Japan and its vicinity (Far East), U.S. land, air and naval forces can use bases and areas in Japan. The Japanese version, which has the same legal force as the English version, specifies what these land, air and naval forces are. They are the Army, Air Force and Navy. No mention of the Marine Corps. 

So strictly speaking, the U.S. Marines are stationed in Japan (Okinawa) in violation of this treaty provision. The burden then is on your part to prove that the Marines are the genuine Navy.

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

yubaru,

No matter how much you try to twist the words, the results are the same, the US Marines are here to stay, and nothing you comment on about the legalities, or treaties matters.

Very interesting rejoinder. No matter what I may say, the Marines are here to stay? The legality of their stay doesn't matter?

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

Yubaru,

You still dont understand the meaning of the word "cooperation". The Marines cooperate closely with the Navy and are independent as well.

Don't the other branches of the U.S. armed forces cooperate closely with each other, especially in the times of crisis? The Marines and the Navy may have that cooperation more systematized. But just because it is so, you can't say the Marines are a subsidiary arm of the Navy.

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

Yubaru,

WIKIPEDIA describes the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff as follows:

*The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, all appointed by the President following Senate confirmation*

If this description is correct, the Marine Corps is independent of and never subsumed under the Navy. The incumbent chairman is a Marine general -- General Joseph Dunford, USMC.

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

CyburneticTiger,

... you have demonstrated that you have no understanding of the Marine Corps’ mission, it’s organizational layout, and how the Marine Corps falls under the Navy.

The fact that the Marine Corps started as an arm of the Navy historically, that administratively it's under the Department of the Navy (an administrative body overlooking both the Navy and the Marine Corps and, until recently, the Coast Guard), and that the name "Marines" signifies soldiers relating to the sea doesn't ensure that the Marines are the bona fide Navy. 

They are one of the 5 branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, thus being independent of the Navy.

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Posted in: Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14 See in context

Yubaru (Dec. 6 | 09:10 pm JST),

First off if you are going to post statistics like this it helps to share where you got them from. I can just as easily go out and find 80% of the people I asked who have no opinion of their own on the issue.

Is this your argument against shimajin? who said:

Elections, polls, local media, public discussions, all tell the same consistent story: a large majority of more than 75% of the Okinawan people are against the plan to relocate Futenma within the prefecture and build a new base in Henoko!

Do you think your personal impression you got from your closed circles is more precise and reliable than actual election results and polls, media reports, etc.?

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

CyburneticTiger,

For starters... what doesn’t any of this have to do with the tragic accident and loss of life?

The crashed aircraft belong to the Marines based in Iwakuni. If the Marines' stationing in Japan is subject to scrutiny in light of the Security Treaty, then this accident has much to do with the security treaty.

Secondly... There’s nothing convenient about someone else controlling your budget and policy

So in your opinion, the Marines must be divorced from and independent of the Department of the Navy administratively as well. That's fine, but it's up to you to decide, which is none of our business.

All I can point out is that, today, the Marines are a different military organization (branch) independent of the Navy. If so, then they are blatantly breaching the bilateral agreement, that is the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

extanker,

... as when the treaty was written they were still a part of the US Navy, they became an official branch of their own later. It does not make the treaty invalid, as you constantly seem to think it does.

You say when the treaty was signed the Marines were part of the Navy, implying their presence is in accord with the treaty. But since they are an independent branch of their own now, their presence violates the treaty stipulation. You must either scrap it or write a new treaty.. As it is, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a farce.

The fact that they are subsumed under the Department of the Navy doesn't  ensure they are part of the Navy as a military branch. The Marines are under the Department of the Navy just for the sake of its history and administrative convenience. The Department of the Navy is not a military branch.

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

extanker,

There's nothing in the security treaty that says they can't.

Of course, the Security Treaty doesn't say the Marines can't practice mid-air refueling. Note, however, that the Security Treaty doesn't mention anything about a military branch called the Marines, either. Only three branches, the Army. Navy, Air Force, are mentioned in it.

Furthermore, mid-air refueling may not only be for what you describe but it also allows fighter jets to go to battle grounds that are far beyond Japan and engage in a war that has nothing to do with Japan, for example, another Gulf War or an Iraq War. Isn't that a treaty violation?

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

extanker,

If that's every branch of the U.S. armed forces' policy, how could an outsider take issue with it?  It’s none of an outsider’s business or concern.  Even so, some doubts remain.

The Marines' venue of fighting a war is basically on the ground, and yet they need to be equipped with F/A fighter jets and the pilots must train mid-air refueling flight technics for long-distance hauling. Why is that?

Are the Marines stationed in Japan to really defend Japan and its vicinity as stipulated in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty? Or do they have a theater which is way farther beyond Japan, in their strategic vision?

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

My question is why they need to have fighter jests and the air-refueling tankers that will help the fighter jets fly a long distance nonstop. Aren't such functions and capabilities specifically for the Air Force?

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Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

Why does the U.S. Marine Corps possess fighter and attack jets like F/A-18 and air-refueling tankers like KC-130 in the first place? Aren't they infringing upon the jurisdiction of Air Force?

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Posted in: Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14 See in context

Yubaru,

Take your issues up with the national government, but wait, they wont listen to you either!

Certainly, our voice never fails to fall on deaf ears however hard we may take base issues with the central government. One reason is Japan is never a democracy. On the surface, it may be but never in substance. Another reason is, as far as security matters are concerned, that its dominating suzerain, the U.S., is always behind the curtain manipulating Japanese political scenes as if politicians, above all LDP politicians, were on wires. If U.S. citizens were suspicious of any Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election, Japanese citizens must be all the more suspicious of Washington’s meddling in the long history of post-war Japanese politics.  

Some scholar calls this tragic state of affairs, the Japan-U.S. relationshiop, a "client state relationship" (See Gavan McCormack: "Grappling with Clientelism: The Japanese State and Okinawa under Abe Shinzo," Japan Focus: December 1, 2018 Volume 16 | Issue 23 | Number 1).

Unless this suzerain-vassal relationship is rectified or addressed, the troubling U.S. base issues in Okinawa won't go away anytime soon.

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Posted in: Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14 See in context

CrucialS,

Democracy is tyranny of the majority. Just because a regional population doesn't agree with a national issue does not mean the decision that's best for the nation does not see follow through regardless if its them who see the most impact.

You must understand under what circumstances the issue is being contended.

Firstly, the two countries are in a suzerain-vassal relationship and there's no doubt that the Abe government is simply implementing what was originally planned by Washington for the sake of the USFJ realignment. So the planned new base is essentially for the sake of the U.S. That's why posters like you are so hell-bent on supporting the plan.

Secondly, there's doubt if the majority of the Japanese people support the governmental policy to relocate Futenma's function to Henoko. There's been no nation-wide election in which this was ever an election issue. But polls can be indicators that the majority is opposed to the current plan. (See the Oct. 16, 2018 Asahi Shimbun.)

Thirdly, it's very doubtful if one can say this plan is the best for the nation whereby small prefecture Okinawa's sacrifice is very negligible and can be made short shrift of for the sake of the majority.

As I've been arguing, the Henoko new base is a white elephant both strategically and budget-wise. Without being able to refute this contention of mine, you can't simply retort against us, nonchalantly saying "Democracy is tyranny of the majority."

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Posted in: Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14 See in context

wtfjapan,

ah well then Futenma will stay where it is for the foreseeable future then

Can't you understand the U.S. has no legitimate right to demand a quid pro quo in exchange for Futenma's return? 

Futenma sits on illegally confiscated private land and so demanding something for its return is like a thief demanding a collateral for the return of stolen goods. Your logic is nothing different from a hooligan's.

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Posted in: Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14 See in context

Yubau,

It's already finished! All they have to do is fill it!

Sounds like your final desperate attempt to have them forge ahead with the plan. But they can't go ahead with it without any legitimate reason and justification. And, mind you, there's no such reason and justification of why the Henoko relocation is necessary. Close Futenma unconditionally!

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Posted in: Gov't to start full-fledged landfill work for Okinawa base on Dec 14 See in context

Will evil win the good?

Some poster here may be hilarious, thinking the game will be in their favor because the central government has decided to start land fill at long last.

In all likelihood, though, this new base won't be completed at all. Land fill may be carried out quite easily in the shallow waters on the south side of the Henoko point (Camp Schwab). But the other side will be a real problem The waters there are very deep and some part of the sea bed is reported to be as soft as mayonnaise.

So Washington and Tokyo must already know their original plan won't work out and the construction will come to an end in the middle, leaving the area completely devastated and ugly.

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Posted in: Okinawa to hold U.S. base referendum on Feb 24 See in context

extanker,

No, I'm not playing with words, but simply presenting the hard reality showing this suzerain-vassal (or victor-defeated) relationship between the two countries. You may not like the nomenclature but it's “virtual occupation” nonetheless.

As I wrote in the post above (Nov. 30 | 02:39 am JST), very symbolic events representing this reality occurred recently.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence, when they visited Japan, landed on and took off from U.S. Yokota Air Base as if it was a local airport in California. In the past, only General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in occupied Japan, was entitled to do so.

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

Yubaru,

His description may apply to the other branches of USFJ but never to the Marines.  Period.

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

CyburneticTiger,

So simply put it’s not about how hard you can punch (having a combat element) it’s about how effectively you can maintain the punch (logistical and supply support). Strategically, Okinawa is what maintains the punch and it’s the most important place to have bases in the region....

Logistics is military operations for "the procurement, distribution, maintenance, and replacement of materiel and personnel". The Marines that remain in Okinawa after their combat units moved to Guam are the units that will be engaged in such support operations, aren't they? Explain then why under such circumstances the Marines need to have Futenma's function maintained in a new base; why do they need to have training bases like the Jungle Warfare Center and Camp Hansen, where urban warfare facility is also planted. 

If Okinawa's strategically superior location is so important, the active elements of the Marines must remain in Okinawa, but they will be deployed over 2,000 km away from Okinawa, that is, in Guam. So the explanation that Futenma's replacement must be built in Okinawa to deal quickly with contingencies, if there would be any, is nothing but shenanigans. Note also that the USS Bon Homme Richard that is supposed to transport Marine combat units is home-based at Sasebo in Kyushu. How does the touted Marines mobility fit in the theory of Okinawa’s strategic location and so Futenma’s replacement must be built in Okinawa?

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

CyburneticTiger,

You're insistent on saying I haven't responded to your claim that "Okinawa's strategic importance is due to it being the perfect staging point to conduct logistical and supply support for defense" (your post; Nov. 30 | 11:10 pm JST). I think I have answered that on many occasions, here and on other threads..

Even if Okinawa has a strategic importance, as you say, why is it necessary to build a new base for the Marines in Henoko, supposedly a replacement for USMC Air Station Futenma, (1) when the most active elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines are slated to relocate to Guam with transferring costs reportedly amounting to $8.6 billion, of which Japan is said to share $2.8 billion, leaving only support and command units in Okinawa; (2) when it's been bilaterally agreed that primary responsibility to deal with contingencies involving territorial disputes rests with JSDF and not with USFJ?

Doesn't this military realignment mean the active combat units of the Marines can deal with any contingencies that may occur near Japan's territorial waters even if they are stationed more than 2,000 km away from Okinawa? Under such circumstances, what's the reason why the Henoko new base must be built? Answer, please.

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

Yubaru,

SO the land stays forever, so what? If you claim to know about Okinawa there are other places as well, and not the one's you think you know about, that are actually landfills too.

The landfills you're talking about are Okinawa's own problems, nothing outsiders have to do with and complain. If there were no U.S. bases occupying so much prime land, there must been no need for such landfills.  The Seven Mile Bridge connecting the Florida Panhandle and the Key West was built in the U.S. territory because it must have been thought necessary. Can outsiders complain about it? 

But if some foreign country came out and asked a military base be built for them on one of the islands, saying the island is situated at a strategically very important location for the defense of the U.S. and their own country, would you not complain? At which someone from the said country sniffed, "So what?"  A caricature, don’t you understand?

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

Yubaru,

Right, move Futenma to Camp Schwab, close Futenma, close Kinser, close Naha port, close a large portion of Foster, close Kuwae, and the foot print gets instantly smaller!

Sounds like quite a number of bases will be closed and large areas of land returned. As for Futenma and Naha military port, replacements with many new functions added must be provided in exchange for their return. Except for Naha military port all these bases sit on private land which the occupation U.S. army requisitioned illegally in violation of international law. They must be returned without any conditions attached. 

Even if they were returned, large swaths of Okinawa's land mass would continue being occupied by the U.S. forces as their PERMANENT bases. Do something about it. Show us evidence that the U.S. doesn't intend to maintain teose bases forever; that the U.S. military presence is only temporary. Note that the Okinawa Marines have asked the service life of the new base in Henoko be more than 200 years. But once land were reclaimed in waters off the Henoko coast, it would remain thousands of millions years.

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

Yubaru,

There is no occupation of Okinawa nor Japan by USFJ. You MUST admit to this fact .

Certainly, there's no real occupation of Okinawa nor a broader Japan by USFJ, an "occupation" in the usual sense of the word. But there's no denying that the fact exists that I pointed out, due to which one can call it a virtual occupation. Do something about this extraordinarily huge U.S. military footprint if you want to deny my claim.

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

Yubaru,

As I said elsewhere, USFJ is a seamless carry-over from the erstwhile occupation forces with bases and areas kept intact, which is firmly guaranteed by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, and with the perquisites U.S. service members enjoy remaining the same as before, which is firmly warranted by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), an agreement concomitant to the Security Treaty.

I would call this a virtual occupation, which of course you may not like. But even if you don't like it, it’s a virtual occupation nonetheless. Address this smoke and mirrors situation right then and there. 

CyburneticTiger,

You haven't refuted my argument convincingly enough.

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Posted in: Trump urges Abe to balance U.S. deficit with Japan 'very quickly' See in context

Let me enumerate some facts.

Japan promised to buy 17 Ospreys in the amount of $3.6 billion, 2 systems of Aegis Ashore $6 billion and 100 F35 stealth fighters $8.8 billion, totaling up to $18.4 billion. Add to this figure costs for the Henoko new base construction reportedly in the amount of $4.1 billion and Guam relocation costs (Japan's share) in the amount of $2.8 billion. The grand total will be: $25.3 billion

Since a trade surplus with the U.S., say, in 2017 amounted to $68.8 billion, Japan's real trade surplus vis-a-vis the U.S. was $43.5 billion, which represents a trade deficit for the U.S.. Will Japanese consumers buy more U.S. products to countermand this trade surplus vis-a-vis the U.S.?

I have a very pessimistic view. Japan may buy some more U.S.-made weaponry to our chagrin. But when it comes to consumer goods such as automobiles and electric appliances, I wonder if Japan's general consumers will buy U.S. goods willingly and enthusiastically enough as they used to in the past even though I really wish Japan would buy U.S.-made goods more rather than scary weapons.

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

CyburneticTiger,

If you believe and emphasize that Okinawa's strategic importance is the reason why Futenma's function must be relocated within Okinawa, you must answer the question I raised above to USNinJapan2 (voiceofokinawa: Nov. 30 | 02:06 am UTC):

Why is it necessary to build a new base in Henoko, supposedly a replacement for USMC Air Station Futenma, (1) when the most active elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines are slated to relocate to Guam with transferring costs reportedly amounting to $8.6 billion, of which Japan is said to share $2.8 billion, leaving only support and command units in Okinawa; (2) when it's been bilaterally agreed that primary responsibility to deal with contingencies involving territorial disputes rests with JSDF and not with USFJ,

How would you justify your Henoko best argument under such circumstances?

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

Yubaru (Nov. 30 | 10:54 pm JST),

I've been saying Japan is still under pseudo-occupation by the U.S. as far as security matters are concerned. There's an already established mechanism in which Japan can't say "No" to what Washington dictates to Tokyo. This is the reason why Okinawa's voice always falls on Tokyo's deaf ears. And this is the reason why not only Tamaki but all his predecessors have had to go to Washington to directly appeal base issues vis-a-vis U.S. bases. You can't blame them for doing so.

Yubaaru (Nov. 30 | 10:58 pm JST),

You say a former Defense Minister's opinion can be disregarded as if you were a know-it-all authority in this matter, the Henoko relocation. Even so, can you answer the question I raised? Why is it necessary to relocate Futenmas function within Okinawa?

Yubaru (Nov. 30 | 11:00 pm JST),

A series of elections and polls have clearly shown the majority of Okinawans are opposed to the Henoko relocation plan. The central government must listen to this voice in earnest. The reason why this issue has become so complicated is because of this recalcitrance and obstinacy on the part of the central government with Washington always behind it.

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Posted in: Abe, Okinawa governor fail to find common ground on U.S. base transfer See in context

CyburneticTiger & BeerDeliveryGuy,

No doubt, the first nation that will react negatively to such a move would be the U.S. because that means the U.S. military presence in Okinawa will be nullified instantly and become meaningless. 

I assume both of you are all part of the same gang who would say "No" to such a move. If so, then this huge U.S. military footprint in Okinawa can be said to be not necessarily for the defense and security of Japan and its vicinity, the Far East, but, to our chagrine, for the sake of the U.S. alone

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