Crime, Ospreys add to Okinawan anger over U.S. bases

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  • -11

    BertieWooster

    The problems stem from the fact that it's a totally unnatural situation.

    WWII ended 70 years ago, yet Okinawa is still occupied by US troops.

    Many of the servicemen don't want to be here.

    Bored, many of them take to drink and that seems to be the cause of many of the anti-social acts they perform.

    Most Okinawans don't want them here.

    The US is not protecting Japan, in fact, with its military presence it only increases any danger.

    In any case, as has been clarified in these columns, the US is not in Japan to protect it, but to defend its own interests.

    Now that the Soviet Union has gone out of business, the U.S.A. is fixating on China.

    That is America's problem and it really doesn't need to involve Japan in it.

    Making China the enemy increases danger for Okinawa, which is ironic because Okinawa always enjoyed an excellent relationship with China.

    The US military takes up much needed space and is totally out of place on a beautiful island like Okinawa. Tourism is a large industry here and the bases are in prime locations for tourist facilities.

    As the article states, Okinawans are sick and tired of the crime, the violence, and the danger and noise.

    Please leave!

  • 12

    Mocheake

    This gets so tiring. Why does the guy quoted at the beginning of the article have to forgive someone when nothing happened to him? I guess the rapes and other crimes that happen there on a daily basis don't affect him because they are committed by Okinawans so those are allowable. Well, just like him, I'm dying for the day the U.S. bases leave. Then they all will have to put away their victim cards and can rejoice and shut the you-know-what up.

  • 3

    KyndigJ1s

    @BertieWooster Most of the troops in Okinawa would love to be back in the U.S. protecting their country, but they here protecting urs, that can not protect itself. As Ch1n4Sailor said, take it up with ur government. They would rather put our troops/citizens in danger instead of their own. Trust me? If they wanted the troops out, they wouldn't sign the treaties to keep them there. And by the way, what interest?

  • -3

    Konsta

    KyndigJ1sDec. 16, 2012 - 09:08AM JST ... As Ch1n4Sailor said, take it up with ur government. They would rather put our troops/citizens in danger instead of their own. Trust me? If they wanted the troops out, they wouldn't sign the treaties to keep them there. And by the way, what interest?

    No, BertieWooster is right. I suspect, that Japanese government is not independent in terms of military and occupational agreements. It is dependent on Washington, which decides. Thus, it is useless to appeal to it. I would say, that it is the J-Gov, which must appeal to the citizens of Okinawa and Japan in general, if it wants to change something in its relationships with the US. Because it does not do that, it is still content with what is going on, making appeals to it twice as useless (because it does not want and cannot do even if). Hmm, I think my brains are melting today. Saturday...

  • 7

    Yubaru

    They shout at passing cars, “Get out of here!” and “We hate you!” in good vernacular English that is unusual for most Japanese but typical for Okinawans.

    First, I can testify that this is blatantly false. The "typical" Okinawan wouldn't be able to verbalize this on their own and it is tiring to see people keep on promoting this stereotype of people in Okinawa.

    Oh and another thing, very few, a handful at best, would do this and it also goes 100% against the "typical" Okinawan persons sentiment towards foreigners in general. While there are many that don't like what the military stands for they don't hate the person, in fact they want, truly want, that person to come visit or stay here without the military connection.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    Yoshikazu Tamaki, an Okinawan prefectural legislator, said keeping the bases on an island that makes up less than 0.5% of Japan’s territory is “systematic discrimination.”

    He said he is disgusted by how Okinawa has been treated by its own government, and suggested that officials in Washington are more sympathetic about Okinawa’s plight than those in Tokyo.

    “These are young soldiers here, maybe 18, maybe 20,” he said. “They are waging war every day. They are coming to Okinawa as a military base. The way we feel and the way they feel will never meet.”

    What he says here is the root of the problem. It's not with the US Military, it's with the Japanese Gov in Tokyo!

    The US Military is not at war with Okinawa.

  • -3

    noriyosan73

    Get off the island and take the birds with you. This is ridiculous. Excuses and more excuses. Is it worth it to the Okinawan economy?

  • 2

    MoBass4u

    Yubaru me and my friends are giving all Y plate cars the finger. Let them know how we feel about them.

    And this shows great maturity and thought provoking discussion on this issue.

  • 8

    paulinusa

    17 years and 4 crimes mentioned in the article. How many major crimes were commited over that time period by Okinawan citizens? Are there valid questions about the size of the bases on Okinawa? Of course. But the issue of crimes by US military personnel is being expoited by people playing an anti-gaijin, anti-miltary card. A foreigner committing a crime in Japan will ALWAYS be a hot button issue. When that foreigner is a US military serviceman emotions overtake common sense.

  • -5

    noriyosan73

    "The US Military is not at war with Okinawa." Correct, it just needs to go to another place. This is not 1946 technology. NK has more sophisticated than Ospreys, and it does not have to tolerate bad behavior. Tokyo needs to decide: A. Keep the USA in order to stimulate and support the Okinawan economy, or, B. Convert it to a Hawaii type economy and protect itself with all the high tech equipment it has received from the USA.

  • -5

    bajhista65

    I agree that USA should leave Okinawa and remove their bases there. WWll have ended many many moons ago. Japan should decide in favor of Okinawa's population. Japan will be able to save the money they are giving the US bases maintenance. Japan can defend their country if only Japan change their constitution drafted by USA after WWll 70 years ago. Time has changed and Japan cannot just be a defense force forever and rely on US military support. If US really need bases in asia, make Senkaku Islands your bases... no locals. Crimes by US personnel will be avoided.

  • 4

    iceshoecream

    They are being trained to kill for war. They can't look at a person as a human being, said Hiyori Mekaru, a 40-year-old nurse who has lived all her life on Okinawa

    And what exactly does she think any Army in the world is trained for? Can't see people as humans? Wrong. They are humans. While there are some dumb and evil ones, like the rapists on the article, they are there to protect. Just like the police, coast guards, etc.

  • 6

    Tyler Vandenberg

    That last picture pretty much sums up why the Military in Oki hates being there, you have a Marine in their car just trying to get to work and you have some Okinawan with a smile on his face slapping a no Osprey sign against his window. That Marine has no control over the osprey or the base, but still the Okinawans don't protest the Japanese government they are only special interest suckling money from Japan's anti base political parties. When I was in Iwakuni (in Yamaguchi) I saw 11 buses all from Osaka out protesting the base I saw no buses or cars with Yamaguchi plates on them........ why??? The Anti-base parties of Japan want to keep people's attention focused on the base, keep them protesting at the base it makes better news stories and keeps them in power, In the "Real world" these people would have been voted out years ago b/c of their constant failures, but they have tricked people into thinking that Japan is occupied and that the people have to force the US to decide to leave, when in fact all they have to do is pressure the Japanese government to do this, but that would fix something the question is do they actual want to fix the issue or do they just want to give the appearance of doing something, that is all these politicians do is get the people to protest in front of the bases so the people don't realise that its in front of their offices they should be protesting instead.

  • -3

    noriyosan73

    How difficult is this decision. Hello, Tokyo. Okinawa is a combination of Las Vegas and Hawaii for Japan. The new National Defense Forces can take care of any so-called invasion. The bark is louder than the bite. No country is going to invade Okinawa or Japan unless Japan rolls over and lets it happen. It won't happen as long as USA subs, etc. are there.

  • -8

    roaming_gaijin

    It's simply disgusting to see that the military personnel are beyond the superior officer's control. This says a lot about the horrendous mentality of the Great USA. How can you have the cheek to quote Okinawans local crime statistics as a counter argument? Are you out of your mind? ONE case of criminal behavior from ANY soldier is ONE too many. Shame of you American soldiers. You stoop so low, and have no moral values to talk about. Japan doesn't need you to terrorize locals' peaceful life here. Go back to where you came from, seriously, just pack and leave.

  • 4

    Yubaru

    How many major crimes were commited over that time period by Okinawan citizens?

    FYI there is no country called Okinawa, hence no Okinawan citizens. They are Japanese citizens of Okinawan descent. It should be noted that it seems that too many people try to make the distinction that Okinawan's are not Japanese. Ethnically, they are the same, yes over (roughly) 150 years ago it was an autonomous country, but not today.

    The people are citizens of Japan.

    Seems to me too many folks want to keep the two separate but they are not.

  • -2

    nikku510

    If the okinawans don't want the Americans in Okinawa then they shouldn't be in Okinawa. But in return America should not have to deal with any of okinawa's military problems that could arise in the future.

  • 1

    Todd Taylor

    I think the US Government and the Marines would be Happy to leave Okinawa and Japan entirely, if the Government of Japan would buy some of our nuclear weapons. To even the playing field with north Korea and communist china, the Government of Japan would need some serious weaponry to make up for the US leaving Japan. Time will only know if having the US here is a stabilizing or destabilizing factor in Japan security. No amount of gomensai will make up for WWII and what Japan did to its neighbors, they will never be satisfied. I know my grandfather never forgave them for Bataan and never owned a Japanese car, ever. thank you.

  • 6

    Serrano

    "It endured 27 years under U.S. administration"

    How about prospered under U.S. administration?

  • 2

    USNinJapan2

    No base? Get a subwoofer.

  • -8

    YuriOtani

    Serrano, Okinawa did not prosper under the US administration. The Americans made living in Okinawa a hell for the second class Okinawa people. After all it was their dictatorship and they had the final say in everything. The thing is they never learn and Americans get so upset when others do not worship them.

  • 1

    AkariYoshida

    This is something horrible done to the girls but also know that 1 out of 28,000 troops does not represent the whole American army. I also know for a fact that those men switch out between each bases. The same men wont stay at the same base permanently . I recognize something needs to be done, and are they sure they don't want American troops there when North Korea or another country like China attacks? I am not saying they cant defend themselves, it just may help having Americans there

  • 3

    AkariYoshida

    Crimes are going to happen, they happen in every country. You cant though get mad at a country because of one persons actions

  • -4

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    If these service people want to go home, they should be allowed, just demand that of the US government much like the retreat from Afganistan. Cause this will do good for people of Okinawa, I'd said many times, I go to Okinawa once a year and always I see arrogant US service people treating us like second class citizens in our own country.

  • -1

    Adam Redmond

    had a protestor scream at me and the wife "yankee go home!!!" My wife tore into him. it was hilarious!! My little okinawan wife tearing this guy a new one. turned out he was from tokyo and my wife told him to go home!!

  • -1

    Noliving

    FYI there is no country called Okinawa, hence no Okinawan citizens. They are Japanese citizens of Okinawan descent. It should be noted that it seems that too many people try to make the distinction that Okinawan's are not Japanese. Ethnically, they are the same, yes over (roughly) 150 years ago it was an autonomous country, but not today.

    It is an american expression. Each state has citizens. For example my cousins live in Ohio for the past decade and half. As a result they are considered citizens of the state of Ohio. They are also American citizens. So what is the point of calling them citizens of a state. Well states have a lot of autonomy when it comes to law making from the federal government.

    Lets say for example the state of Montana wants to legalize gay marriage. What is to stop people who don't live in Montana to vote on that state issue. The answer is are they considered a citizen/resident of that state. How they consider if you are a citizen of that state is generally by how long your permanent address or residence is in that state, for example in Minnesota it is 183 days.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Japan can get rid of ALL the American military on ALL of Japan with just one simple resolution that terminates the security agreement. The U.S. has no say in matters if that happens. They signed the agreement stating that either party can terminate the agreement without any say by the other party, and that the U.S. must clear-out within 1 year of the agreement being terminated. (I kind of wish the U.S. would terminate the agreement, but we've already developed a reputation for leaving allies in the lurch so it won't be us terminating the agreement).

    Don't expect that to be happening any time soon, however. With the economy currently the way it is, Japan can ill afford to raise taxes on its people in order to cover the increased defense spending that would be required to arm a force large enough to defend all the islands. Based on the new government's comments, I see them first amending/deleting Article 8 to allow them to have a standing army/navy/air force, then slowly increasing tax revenue (either through increased taxes or reduced expenditures, or both) and gradually filling-in the armed services and diminishing the American armed services in Japan.

    Of course, those Japanese forces are going to need a place to stay, so Okinawa is STILL going to have to deal with jet and helicopter noise/flights over populated areas. And those islands that are being argued over... gee Okinawa is the closest prefecture to them, so the majority of forces are porbably STILL going to need to be stationed in Okinawa. Poor Okinawa.

  • -1

    Fadamor

    *probably, not porbably

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    YuriOtani-san,

    Serrano, Okinawa did not prosper under the US administration. The Americans made living in Okinawa a hell for the second class Okinawa people.

    This is what I hear from Okinawans too.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    Yubaru,

    FYI there is no country called Okinawa, hence no Okinawan citizens.

    Check the dictionary:

    Citizen: a native, inhabitant, or denizen of a particular place: "We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community" (Franklin D. Roosevelt).

    Nothing wrong with the expression "Okinawan citizens."

    There is a difference between Okinawans and Japanese.

    Okinawans have their own identity in a similar way to African-Americans.

    Of course, we all know on paper Okinawans are Japanese. But this doesn't change their sense of identity.

    Okinawans are the ones who are angry about the US military in Okinawa. The Japanese on the mainland largely don't care. For two reasons, one is that Okinawa is far enough away from the mainland that if there were any trouble they wouldn't be involved and the other is simply that they don't know.

    The Japanese news media is quite selective in what it reports. A lot of information about the problems Okinawans have with the US military doesn't make it through to the mainland.

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