voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Scholars decry Suga's academic panel rejections See in context

It’s said Roosevelt hastened nuclear bomb development to forestall Hitler’s Germany. The U.S. intelligence, however, found Germany had already scrapped the plan. Despite this find, the Manhattan Project was continued, thus producing the first atomic bombs in human history.  

At Yalta, Truman whispered into Starlin’s ear that the U.S. had successfully tested an atomic bomb. By that time Japan’s surrender was imminent, the reason why the heads of the Allies gathered there to talk about a post-war process.

Was it necessary then for the U.S. to carry out a biomedical experiment on Hiroshima and Nagasaki when Japan’s surrender was at hand?

Were the scientist who cooperated with the government by participating in the Manhattan Project happy to see their research result in such inferno? That is the question being asked in this fuss over Japan Science Council.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Opposition grills Suga over science council, virus response See in context

Mr. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga,

In you answer to Edano’s question about the Futenma relocation issue, you repeated that Futenma must be relocated to Henoko to reduce the danger it poses to area residents. But U.S. bases such as Kadena, Yokota and USMC Air Station Futenma are dangerous not necessarily because they are planted in the middle of densely populated residential areas but because they are taken aim at by Chinese and probably North Korean missiles.

Danger involved with USMC Air Station Futenma will never disappear whether it is relocated to Henoko or not. So please don't repeat your worn-out mantra that Henoko is the only solution for the Futenma issue.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's plan to build missile defense system at sea faces mounting costs See in context

Besides, weren't the testings of these missiles conducted under pre-set conditions? That is, interception missile units knew when and where incoming target missiles were launched.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's plan to build missile defense system at sea faces mounting costs See in context

All these missiles you mention seem at a development stage. When you sell a product to a customer, and with an exorbitant price tag at that, it must be a flawless, finished product.

Besides, weren't the testings of these missiles conducted under pre-set conditions? That is, inception units knew when and where incoming target missiles were launched.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's plan to build missile defense system at sea faces mounting costs See in context

Desert Tortoise,

The success rate of an enemy ICBM to penetrate the U.S. interception network will become almost zero. In other words, the U.S. interception missiles' accuracy rate is 97.5 percent or larger, as Trump boasts.

When you mention there's always a backup system to interception. is this what you mean?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

Mr. Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi,

Bases such as Kadena, Yokota and USMC Air Station Futenma are very dangerous not because they are planted in the middle of densely populated residential areas but because they are taken aim at by Chinese and probably by North Korean missiles.

Danger involved with USMC Air Station Futenma will never disappear whether it is relocated to Henoko or not. So please ask your counterpart in Washington to close Futenma and return the land to Okinawa's control immediately and with no string attached.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

Desert Tortoise,

We've been always told by the U.S. side that 8,000 to 9,000 active elements of about 19,000 Marines in Okinawa would relocate to Guam, leaving support and command units only in Okinawa. In fact, the force realignment plan agreed between Japan and the U.S. in 2012 stipulated so.

But you say, "There is always a large contingent of combat ready Marines and their air wing present on Okinawa. In addition, not all of the current Marine combat force on Okinawa is leaving."

Taking your statement at face value, probably, 4,000 combat-ready Marines will remain in Okinawa. Was the 2012 agreement scrapped?

Even so, if contingency occurs in waters near Okinawa, it'll be Japan's Self Defense Forces that have primary responsibility to respond to it, that is, to defend Japan's territory. U.S. Marines will come to the aid of JSDF only when it's necessary.

Under such circumstances, what's the reason for the U.S. Marines to maintain Futenma's function either at the current site or at Henoko?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Scholars decry Suga's academic panel rejections See in context

Immediately coming into my mind is the Manhattan Project initiated by President Franklin Roosevelt during WW II that produced the first atomic bombs. Should scientists cooperate with the government to produce such weapons? 

Weren't they merely made use of for their talent by the incumbent government and politicians? Were they happy to see their research result in the demoniac annihilation of the two cities?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Scholars decry Suga's academic panel rejections See in context

The catch is the Council is government-funded and may not be free from governmental interference.

This line seems to suggest the prime minister has authority over personnel affairs in the Japan Science Council because its budget comes from the government. Do Council members then have to cooperate with the government for its arms buildup policy when asked to do so?

If yes, then all national universities in Japan will face the same problem. How should academic freedom be guaranteed under such circumstances?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's plan to build missile defense system at sea faces mounting costs See in context

The authors of an article in War on the Rocks say the U.S. missile defense's accuracy rate is no more than 50 percent, while President Donald Trump claims it's 97.5 percent.

Surprisingly, Trump's figure seems close to the truth. If Aegis Ashore deployed to Japan cannot intercept an enemy ICBM, a backup Aegis Ashore in Hawaii will intercept the slipped-through ICBM. If that backup system fails, the third or fourth backup in Alaska or the U.S. mainland will deal with the final blow to the incoming ICBM. 

Thus, the success rate of an enemy ICBM to penetrate the U.S. interception network will become almost zero.

Is this the reason why the U.S. side is so eager for Japan to deploy Aegis Ashore on its soil, and Japan so helter-skelter to answer to the U.S.'s urging?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

BertieWooster,

Is there a huge construction work underway in Futenma now? That's really a serious problem.  

It means both Tokyo and Washington have begun to think the Henoko relocation plan is impossible whereby new facilities that have been planned for the Henoko new base must be built at the current site. They can justify it because the SACO agreement says Futenma won’t be returned unless its replacement is completed at Henoko.

The situation is like a gang telling turf residents that they won't vacate or return the land they’re illegally occupying unless a replacement complete with utilities and furniture is provided, and for free at that. Seeing their demand is not met, they start refurbishing the present hideout building with money collected from the residents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's plan to build missile defense system at sea faces mounting costs See in context

When former Defense Minister Taro Kono announced scrapping the plan to deploy Aegis Ashore deployment to Aomori and Yamaguchi, I thought it was scrapped completely. But no, the government has been searching for other options: installing it on an oil rig-like platform, on converted merchant ships (probably abandoned super tankers), or naval vessels. Either way, the cost to maintain it is estimated to increase twice as much as when it is installed on land. 

Critics say the system is to intercept long-range North Korean missiles from hitting Guam, Hawaii or, probably, the U.S. mainland, not to defend japan. The new type of North Korea's ICBMs were displayed at a military parade spectacularly two weeks ago, on October 10.

One cannot help but suspect that Tokyo is being urged by the U.S. side to buy and install Aegis Ashore systems no matter what and where.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

Desert Tortoise, 

Suppose contingency occurs near Okinawa while the Marines' combat units are stationed thousands of miles away, what's the use of having a training base in Okinawa? You say an airfield is needed to transport them to Okinawa. But if that were the case, there’s already a bilateral agreement that says civilian airports could serve for that purpose.

There’s absolutely no need to reclaim pristine waters off the Henoko coast to build a new airfield.

I repeat. The Henoko new base is being built only for the sake of the Marines’ convenience and egoism, nothing more. The U.S. government and taxpayers feel no pain at all, only reaping the benefit as if it were a godsend, for all the financial and physical cost is borne by Japanese taxpayers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Scholars decry Suga's academic panel rejections See in context

Should academics cooperate with the government to develop new weaponry and hence for arms buildup? The Japan Science Council was founded in 1949 by leading scientists at the time out of deep reflection of their war-time cooperation with the government.

The catch is the Council is government-funded and may not be free from governmental interference.

In the U.S., there seems no similar body to Japan Science Council, but individual researchers freely contract with the DoD and get research funds for arms development.  A military-academic complex must be stemmed before it grows too big in either country.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

Desert Tortoise,

*Marine Amphibious Brigades deploy to Okinawa from the US west coast on six month deployments. Those are in addition to the Marine ground and air units permanently stationed on Okinawa. These west coast based forces bring their ships and aircraft with them. If you close the airfields they have no place to train and if a war were to break out, operate from.*

So, in the future, not only the U.S. west coast-stationed Marine Amphibious Brigades but also Guam-deployed Marines would come to Okinawa on a six-month basis to train their combat skills in Okinawa. In other words, the Marine Okinawa's raison d'etre is for helping active Marine elements come and train their combat skills, and not necessarily for the defense of Japan in contingency.

Then, you can't say Futenma's relocation to Henoko is necessary for deterrence. The relocation is just for the sake of the Marines' convenience and egoism, nothing more.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

If Okinawa-stationed Marines are only support and command units while the most active elements of the Marines are deployed to Guam, more than 2,000 km away from Okinawa, what’s the use of building Futenma’s replacement in Henoko?

I’ve raised this same question many a time on other threads of JT in the past, but no one has given me any satisfactory answer. Kishi says it’s for maintaining deterrence but this proved to be nonsense and shenanigans. If it were not for any reasonable rejoinder or counterargument, Futenma Air Station must be closed and the land returned immediately with no string attached.

,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

Desert Tortoise,

The majority of Okinawa based Marines are not leaving Okinawa. There will still be more than enough on Okinawa to fill out the amphibious ships normally stationed there.

The majority of Okinawa-based Marines after combat units transferred to Guam will be support and command units. They aren't active combat elements to actually grab arms to fight a war. They are only responsible for logistics (supplying food and equipment) and commanding, aren't they?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief, Okinawa governor remain apart over U.S. base See in context

Kishi adamantly repeats the same mantra that Henoko is "the only solution from the perspective of maintaining the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance and addressing the dangers (of having the base) in Futenma."

If the relocation of Futenma's function to Henoko is necessary to maintain deterrence, how does Kishi think why the most active units are to transfer from Okinawa to Guam, more than 2,000 km apart? 

The new air base, Futenma's replacement, is supposed to house M-22 Ospreys and transport Guam-deployed combat units, together with the amphibious assault ship Wasp, to emergency spots near Japanese waters.

Under such circumstance, can Kishi say Henoko is the only solution? LOL.

Or has the bilateral agreement to transfer 9,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam been scrapped?

Note, however, that he mentions the “deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance”, not simply the “deterrence”. Does this mean, unless Japan does as dictated by the U.S., the U.S. will not protect Japan, thus weakening the Japan-U.S. alliance?  LOL.

 

?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Suga vows swift decision on release of Fukushima radioactive water See in context

Storing contaminated radioactive groundwater in tanks is like a goose trying to drain a river by drinking up the water. It’s been apparent that, sooner or later, efforts to contain the contaminated groundwater by installing a tank after a tank would come across a grave problem, which we are witnessing now.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine for 2nd straight month See in context

Abe also met with the newly-installed Prime Miniser Yoshihide Suga, who briefed him on the current state of affairs after he left the office.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine for 2nd straight month See in context

Abe suddenly resigned from the Prime Minister’s office, saying he had a health problem. But he has visited Yasukuni Shrine twice since his resignation. One must assume then that there might have been some serious reasons other than the health problem for which he had to resign.

Oh, incidentally, his resignation from premiership doesn’t mean he relinquished the membership of the Diet. He’s still a bon-a-fide lawmaker, retaining a seat in the Diet, as Alfie Noakes says.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine for 2nd straight month See in context

Those politicians who pay a visit to Yasukuni Shrine regularly think soldiers enshrined there sacrificed their life for the country and so they insist they must thank them by visiting the Shrine on every occasion, suggesting that the post-war prosperity of Japan owes much to them. 

They claim the so-called war criminals enshrined there together with fallen soldiers weren’t war criminals but victims of a retaliatory Tokyo Tribunal.

Abe and other right winger politicians’ adamant, repeated visits to the Shrine must be viewed in this vein.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ex-PM Nakasone's memorial service held amid stir over academic freedom See in context

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga ... cited the accomplishments of Nakasone, describing the Japanese leader between 1982 and 1987 as having "executed the necessary reforms and contributed to international peace and prosperity."

Nakasone "significantly raised the international profile of our country," Suga said ..., referring to the Cold War-era and a time when Japan was experiencing trade friction with the United States.

As far as I can remember, Nakasone was the very prime minister who let the USFJ use Japanese soil more freely as U.S. bases, boasting Japan was an unsinkable aircraft carrier; started to build nuclear power plants all over Japan, eventually leading to the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.

In other words, under the Nakasone government, Japan increased its color more as a U.S. vassal. It’s from the perspectives of the U.S. side that one may be able to say the Japan-U.S. alliance has strengthened under Nakasone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. start talks on cost of hosting American troops See in context

Halwick,

Just like the Philippines regretted kicking out the Americans, you'll wish the Americans didn't pack up their umbrella protection and moved elsewhere

Are the Philippines regretted about not extending a treaty in 1991 for the U.S. military to continue their presence? If they were, they could easily turn the Subic Bay into a colossal U.S. Navy bastion once again, or restore Clark Air Base for exclusive use by U.S. Air Force.

Yes, U.S. Air Force returned to Clark in 2012, but I think they aren’t using it like before, as if it belonged to the U.S.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. start talks on cost of hosting American troops See in context

Sal Affit,

These funds are plowed back into the Japanese economy.

Suppose Toyota USA, Nissan USA, Sony USA, Honda USA asked the U.S. government to shoulder payments to their American employees for them, would you be glad to accept it, saying the money is plowed back to U.S. economy anyway?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. start talks on cost of hosting American troops See in context

Japan pays 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) annually to support the U.S. military presence in Japan. The money is popularly known as "sympathy budget" in Japan while it's called "host nation support" by the U.S. side. I would rather call the money "war reparations". 

Serious talks to decide on an amount of the payment for the next five years are said to start after the November presidential election. If Trump were still in office, he would demand Japan's payment be quadrupled, as already indicated by his former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

But no worry. Throwing a bombshell first and coming down to a lucrative conclusion as if he had conceded much for the sake of the other side is a business dealing à la Trump. 

U.S. negotiators may be thinking they won the talks if the current amount of 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) were to be maintained.

Let’s see how Japanese bureaucrats under Suga will deal with their one better U.S. counterparts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo protests to China over its ships entering Japanese waters See in context

(Re-submitted after some revision.)

Historically, no country ever made a claim for the islands for millennia. They were there as landmarks for safe navigation with a vernacular name given to each island.

It's quite possible that Chen Kan (1489-1538), a royal Chinese envoy to Ryukyu Kingdom, who came to Ryukyu to officially crown a king, recorded the names of the islands apparently translated from the vernacular.

For example, the largest island in the group was called "Iigun-jima" by Ishigaki islanders; Ryukyu seafarers called it "Yukun" or "Yokon", meaning "fish place". Chen Kan's records tell it was called "Diaoyudai", meaning a "fishing island", an apparent translation of the vernacular "Yukun". Note that there were Ryukyu seamen aboard the same tributary ship as pilots.

I wouldn't say the islands belonged to Ryukyu (Okinawa) on the basis of this, but I can point out with certainty that China will never be able to claim them as an integral part of its territory and be so assertive.

New Chinese Ambassador to Japan, Kong Xuanyou, said in a live TV interview yesterday that the issue must be handled very carefully, adding there's Chinese people's national sentiment deeply involved here. But it would be better the sooner the Chinese people knew about historical facts and clarified black and white.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo protests to China over its ships entering Japanese waters See in context

Historically, no country ever claimed to the islands for millennia. They were there as landmarks for safe navigation with a vernacular name given to each island. 

It's quite possible that Chen Kan (1489-1538), a royal Chinese envoy to Ryukyu Kingdom, who came to Ryukyu to officially crown a king, recorded the names of the islands apparently translated from the vernacular. 

For example, the largest island in the group was called "Iigun-jima" by Ishigaki islanders; Ryukyu seafarers called it "Yokon" or "Yukun", meaning "fish place". Chen Kan's records tell it was called "Diaoyudai" meaning a “fishing island”.

I wouldn't say the islands belonged to Ryukyu (Okinawa) on the basis of this, but I can point out that China will never be able to claim to them as an integral part of it and be so assertive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. start talks on cost of hosting American troops See in context

... and in return Tokyo shoulders nearly 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) annually in on-base utility fees, civilian labor costs and expenses related to relocating military drills.

Some posters here consider the lands on which U.S. bases sit in Okinawa are war spoils whereby the U.S. has every right to demand replacements be provided if we want bases like USMC Air Station Futenma or U.S. Army Naha Port Facility to be returned.

On paper, the lands are indeed not spoils of war at all; but they're only leased to the U.S. under provisions stipulated in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

But the U.S. forces are using these base lands as if they were spoils of war that had been won in 1945, with their service members fully guaranteed extraterritorial rights on-base and, maybe, off-base.

Isn't it ironical then that Japan must shoulder "200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) annually in on-base utility fees, civilian labor costs and expenses related to relocating military drills"? Not only that, the Trump administration is also mulling to quadruple Japan's share of the base maintenance cost. In a way, that money may be taken as war reparations  A tragi-comedy indeed.

To call it “host-nation support” is a sham.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Kato repeats Tokyo's position on U.S. air base transfer in Okinawa See in context

Desert Tortoise (Oct. 13 01:21 pm JST),

If you want the US Marines to be able to defend Okinawa, they must be present in force on the island with their air wing and a place to fly from

Does this mean you are in a position to know that Washington will renege on the bilateral agreement to transfer the Okinawa-based Marines' combat units to Guam, thus wasting a large amount of money Japanese taxpayers have already paid for infrastructure building on Guam?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites


©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.