voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Abortion foes, supporters map next moves after Roe reversal See in context

When does an embryo or a fetus become a person with the human mind and thus have a right to living? That's really a subtle question and a conundrum, too, to answer. Before the child is born, does a pregnant woman alone have right to decide it? I have no answer. You?

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Posted in: China urges Japan not to meddle in gas development in East China Sea See in context

Desert Tortoise,

So you are saying coastal nations should have no control over local fisheries or mineral extraction off their immediate coast lines?

Under the current international agreement on continental shelves, littoral countries only have right to extract mineral resources reserved in continental shelves. However, my suggestion is: revisit that agreement and revise it, if necessary, for continental shelves belong to not just the littoral country in question but also the whole continent and so all relevant countries.

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Posted in: U.S. Pacific admiral says cooperation with Japan key to regional security See in context

Let's again visit Article 9 of Japan's post-war constitution, the second paragraph of which states in part that "... land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be sustained."

Doesn't MSDF fall under the category of "a sea force" and/or other war potential? Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Sam Paparo betrayed to acknowledge that JMSDF was indeed a full-fledged military, the navy,

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Posted in: U.S. Pacific admiral says cooperation with Japan key to regional security See in context

They talk about "cooperation between the Japanese and U.S. navies" matter-of-factly The catch is Japan is supposed to maintain no navy under the war-renouncing the pacific Constitution.

But it's apparent that Kishi and Paparo are thinking of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force as a full-scale military force, so that, according to them, they can and must cooperate with each other very closely should a contingency ever occur involving China, North Korea or Russia.

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Posted in: Okinawa marks 77th anniversary of significant WWII ground battle See in context

There are 28 major U.S. bases and facilities all over Japan: 18 in mainland Japan and 10 in Okinawa.  During occupation, the U.S. military used them as occupation forces: formally from 1945 to 1951 in mainland Japan and from 1945 to 1972 in Okinawa.

Today, the U.S. forces are using them not as occupation forces but as "protectors of Japan" under Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. They changed their name but their ability and perquisites remain the same as ever before. Bases are extraterritorial pockets for the U.S., ensconced securely above Japan's law and constitution.

When a CH-53D helicopter crashed on the campus of Okikoku University on August 13, 2004, the Marines rushed in and cordoned off the area as they pleased while local police stood idly by outside the venue, unable to investigate the accident.

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Posted in: Kishida cautious about Japan acquiring nuclear-powered submarine See in context

Likewise, will the build-up of military hardware be an answer to China's assertiveness in the South-China as well as East-China Seas? Is Japan prepared for any kind of cyber attacks at all?

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Posted in: China urges Japan not to meddle in gas development in East China Sea See in context

Desert Tortoise,

Such problems will disappear if continental shelf were designated as no one's economic activity zone.

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Posted in: Okinawa marks 77th anniversary of significant WWII ground battle See in context

At the Mabuni war memorial ceremony, Prune Minister Fumio Kishida was hooted at by a group of protesters with placards reading: "Go back"; "No foisting of bases on Okinawa"; "Don't make Okinawa a battle ground again".

Eisaku Sato, then Prime Minister, proclaimed just before Okinawa's reversion to Japan in 1972 that unless Okinawa was returned, Japan's post-war process would not be over.

Well, has Okinawa been returned to Japan in the true sense of the word? Kishida didn't mention about the Futenma relocation issue in his speech, only saying Okinawa's burden would be eliminated one by one.

Thus, Japan's post-war process is not completely over yet. Okinawa is still under U.S. military occupation 77 years after WW II ended.

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Posted in: China urges Japan not to meddle in gas development in East China Sea See in context

It's internationally recognized that primary right to economic activities on a continental shelf is given to the relevant littoral country. So, what Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin's claim may be correct.

Personally, I have a little doubt about it, though. For, geographically speaking, a continental shelf is an extension of the whole continent, not just the extension of the littoral country concerned. So much so that the international accord must be revisited and revised.

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Posted in: No place for burkinis in Grenoble public pools, rules top French court See in context

When bombshell two-parts swimsuits were introduced in 1946 they were shunned by many people for too much body parts were being exposed. It's often said that the two-parts swimsuits were made popular by being named after the Bikini Atoll to calm down people's fears of large-scale hydrogen bomb experiments regularly conducted on Bikini Atoll.

People are now accustomed to seeing bikinis on a beach and at a poolside. Before bikinis, women's swimsuits were much like today's burkinis. So, it's very strange that a French city passed a law to prohibit Muslim women from wearing old-fashioned swimsuits, aka burkini, on a beach or at a poolside.

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Posted in: Kishida cautious about Japan acquiring nuclear-powered submarine See in context

I always wonder if nuclear-powered submarines aren't vulnerable at all to attacks of any kind at all. Of course, chances for them to meet such fates may be way smaller than conventional subs. But what would be the consequence if they were actually attacked?

The same question can be asked of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

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Posted in: M6 quake hits eastern Taiwan See in context

Chen Kuo-Chang, head of Taiwan's Seismological Center, said the earthquake that hit southeastern Taiwan with the magnitude of 6 must have been caused by fault activities. It's said that the M6 trembler that hit Noto Peninsula on Monday was also caused by a tectonic movement.

If so, then tectonic movement on a large scale must be occurring in wide areas in the western Pacific, that is, all the way from Japan to Taiwan

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Posted in: Kishida cautious about Japan acquiring nuclear-powered submarine See in context

Peter14,

Japan has the well-known war-renouncing constitution, Article 9 of which states:

 (1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, 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.

(2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be sustained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

 

If Japan had acted sincerely according as the Constitution stipulated, the neighboring countries would never have snarled at her. But Japan has the U.S. maintain many a forward base on its soil which is capable of attacking enemies even with nuclear arsenals. In other words, the neighboring countries know that Japan's war-renouncing constitution is only for appearance's sake and is not the real McCoy.

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Posted in: Kishida cautious about Japan acquiring nuclear-powered submarine See in context

Proponents for nuclear-powered submarines say they are advantageous over conventional submarines in that they can be submerged for months "for enhanced surveillance and reconnaissance operations."

Boy, do they acquire nuclear-powered submarines for such purposes only? The next step will certainly be to turn Izumo-class helicopter destroyers to nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Thus, Japan will build up nuclear arms bid by bid despite the war-renouncing constitution.

Politicians should know that the most effective deterrence is not arms buildup but sincerity in diplomacy.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty states the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy are allowed to use bases and areas in Japan. There is no mention of the Marine Corps nor Coast Guard. But the Marines are stationed in Japan as if they were the Navy. The Marines aren't the Navy even though they may be closely associated with the Navy administratively and when they are engaged in expeditionary operations to invade enemy land. The Marines aren't an arm of the Navy as it used to be. They are a bona fide military service independent of the Navy just as the Coast Guard is.

Once on enemy land, the Marines are no different from the Army’s foot soldiers. That’s the reason why at the time of the invasion of Okinawa during World War II they operated hand in hand with Army infantrymen.

You seem to think all legal matters involving the U.S. Marines were settled through negotiations and agreements.   If so, tell me specifically how the U.S. government convinced the Japanese government to take the Marines to be the Navy.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

As I argued elsewhere, the Marine air wing is using Futenma like illegal squatters. If so, isn't it something irrational and unreasonable for us to have to build a new base for them to relocate to?

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

The relocation is not what you try to say: to remove all infrastructure from the current site and move it to the land fill in Henoko as it is. It's the function that we must be talking about. Will Futenma's function be relocated to Henoko directly without any change?

The answer is No. Therefore, it's not relocation in the usual sense of the word. It's the construction of a new base.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

The central government touts Futenma’s relocation to Henoko as the best and only solution for the Futenma relocation issue. That is to say, it thinks Futenma’s replacement must be built in Henoko by all means. 

You and I are in complete agreement in that the ongoing landfill work in coastal waters to build Henoko facilities aren’t a one-to-one replacement for Futenma.  

You say it’s an extension work to expand Camp Schwab.  I, on the other hand, think it is a new base with a lot of innovative facilities that the original doesn’t have. 

The most conspicuous is the port facilities that can harbor Wasp-class amphibious assault ships. And ramps, too, for amphibious vehicles to move into and out of the sea quite easily. Ammunition depots will also be built.

Thus, one can say the relocation is tantamount to building a new base in the name of return.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

Yubaru,

The new base is being constructed straddling the Henoko point where Camp Schwab is. So, physically, it looks like Camp Schwab is being expanded by reclaiming waters on both sides of Camp Schwab.

But note that I'm not talking about things physically but metaphysically. Functionally as well as metaphysically speaking, the facility now under construction in Henoko isn't Futenma's mere replacement at all but it’s a brand-new base, with cutting edge facilities plus port facilities added that the original doesn't have.

After all, the Marines are illegally stationed in Japan. So, why in the world should Japanese taxpayers construct a new base for them to use?

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

Yubaru (Today  08:05 am JST),

Japanese and U.S. governments agreed in 1996 on the return of USMC Air Station Futenma if its replacement was provided in Okinawa.  So, the air station and the many new facilities attached to it now under construction in Henoko is none other than Futenma's replacement. The U.S. government says the Futenma air station at the current site will be closed and returned immediately when its replacement is completed and provided to the U.S..

Now, poster Yubaru says the facility now under construction in Henoko is an extension of Camp Schwab, not a new base. If it's merely an extension of Camp Schwab, as Yubaru persists to say, will the extended land fill area accommodate only barracks for Marine personnel and a recreation center: gyms, swimming pools, eateries and a movie theater, without V-shaped air strips and a pier to berth amphibious assault ships being built?

 

painkiller (Today  08:19 am JST),

I didn't know Okinawa-based Marines were regularly engaged in joint military exercises with the Thai army until you mentioned it in your post.

If the expression "Far East" includes Thailand and Vietnam, as you say, the U.S. military may be stationed in Okinawa legitimately. But if not, their overseas activity and use of bases and areas in Japan, in Okinawa in particular, may be in blatant violation of Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

painkiller,

Even if Okinawa is closer to Southeast Asia than Guam, as you correctly point out, there is no reason why we Okinawans must sacrifice so much to defend Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam. Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty stipulates that the purpose for U.S. forces to use facilities and areas in Japan is to maintain peace and security of Japan and its vicinity, the Far East. Does the expression Far East include Thailand and Vietnam in your definition?

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

painkiller,

Yes, because of the proximity to Southeast Asia.

Guam is much nearer to Southeast Asia than Okinawa. Why don't all Marine contingents and their facilities relocate to Guam then? Because it's way cheaper for the Marines to be stationed in Okinawa than in U.S. territory? Because a sycophantic Tokyo doesn't mind spending money profusely for the U.S. forces Japan?

Don't tell us U.S. forces are in Japan to protect Japan and on this pretext try to pilfer protection money like a crime syndicate.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

Yubaru,

Naha Air Port has become a new facility after refurbishment with another runway newly added. The refurbishment and expansion were necessitated due to an increasing number of tourists. Certainly, it's not a replacement for the old facility.

I say the so-called replacement for Futenma now under construction in Henoko is not a simple replacement for Futenma but a fortified brand-new base with many innovative facilities and functions that the original doesn't have, such as port facilities to harbor Wasp-class amphibious assault ships, etc.

The Marine authorities in Okinawa brazenly demanded the service life of the new base be more than two hundred years.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

painkiller,

You may think that jungle warfare training is necessary for the Marines to defend tropical islands in Southeast Asia, OK, but do you think such training is necessary for the Marines to also defend Japan? Are Okinawans and Japanese taxpayers required to shoulder so much burden (enormous sympathy budget, environmental destruction, noise pollution and, recently, PFAS pollution, etc.) in return for the U.S. Marines' commitment to defend Southeast Asian countries?

Yubaru,

There is no "new base" being built at Camp Schwab. 

But there is no touted replacement for Futenma being built in Henoko, either. If that is the case, then one can say it is completely a new base with many innovative facilities that Futenma doesn't have at the current site.

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

thepersoniamnow,

Dude, did you just assume that everything you said was factual

If what you say is true, the two governments must have rescinded their agreements already. Could you tell me specifically why what I said was not factual?

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Posted in: Okinawa Gov Tamaki announces re-election bid See in context

thepersoniamnow

You think a training facility is a bad idea, but yeah I like it.

The military needs training, of course. But if they train for a meaningless purpose, what's the use of it?

There's a vast training facility in the northern part of Okinawa Island, which seems functionally integrated with the new base in Henoko. The training facility is called Jungle Warfare Training Center, where the Marines train for a rookie's game and survival in a jungle war. The terrain and weather are like those of tropical islands in Southeast Asia. 

Is such training necessary for the defense of Japan in this age of hi-tech warfare and so Japan must provide the U.S. Marines with so vast swaths of land for free?

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Posted in: Japan's defense budget needs to be ¥10 tril: LDP policy chief See in context

Is it China, North Korea or Russia that is stimulating Japan to increment its defense budget, or is it Japan that is making use of these countries to justify its call for a defense budget hike despite the war-renouncing constitution?

The U.S. government must be content with the Kishida government's decision to break away from the long-time tradition of capping of Japan's defense budget less than 1% of the GDP because Washington has been urging Tokyo to increase it more and more.  

But where does the money come from? 

It comes from government bonds, that is, through debts. Certainly, it will take a heavy toll on people's daily life. People’s welfare will be sacrificed to the core without any doubt.

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Posted in: Global nuclear arsenal to grow for first time since Cold War: think-tank See in context

Dinosaurs perished because of their enormous body sizes; likewise, humans may perish because of their superb intelligence. Time to consider how to sustain ever-lasting human life; this is no time to be fighting with each other.

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Posted in: Global nuclear arsenal to grow for first time since Cold War: think-tank See in context

Nature seems to have a kind of self-destruction apparatus to control the excessive increase of one group of creatures over others. 

The warring nature of human beings and nuclear arsenals may function as controllers to check the explosive population increase. Human beings are thus doomed to extinction by piling up nuclear weapons.

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Posted in: Asteroid samples contain clues to origin of life, say Japanese scientists See in context

If an asteroid contained organic materials, scientists would say that life had originated in space and came to Earth somehow. But how, actually?

Couldn't one equally say that, if asteroids had organic materials, Earth, too, had had organic materials from the very beginning?

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