Tens of thousands protest against Osprey deployment

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  • 10

    plasticmonkey

    the Osprey, the world’s most dangerous aircraft

    Sorry, statistically that would likely be the Boeing 737, which is widely used around Japan, and whose safety record doesn't bring out 100,000 protesters.

    I'll say it again. This is not about the Osprey. It's about Futenma, and that's what these protesters should focus on. Exaggerating minor issues with a safe aircraft just makes these people look stupid.

  • -10

    BertieWooster

    Time to go, US military.

    No Ospreys.

    No bases.

    That's what Okinawans are going for.

    This event may have been officially directed at the Osprey deployment, but the placards that most people were holding said, "No Base(s)."

    They want the Americans OUT.

    US Military bases take up much needed space.

    US Military personnel make the area around the bases dangerous.

    They do not respect Okinawan people and Okinawan culture.

    And the presence of the US military itself makes this island dangerous.

    In addition to this, there is no earthly reason for the US military to be here.

    Enough, already.

    Time to leave!

    Bye!

  • 7

    plasticmonkey

    @Bertie

    there is no earthly reason for the US military to be here.

    Well, if the case is so obvious, why resort to this silly debate about the Osprey, which is among the least convincing reasons for the US military to get out? It discredits the cause, much of which I have sympathy with.

  • 5

    buggerlugs

    Tens of thousands protesting an aircraft that may kill a few people if it crashes, which I really hope it doesn't!! And yet only a few thousand protesters against tepco and nuclear power and basically no one sgai st gov corruption. I think some people need to get their priorities right and admit they want Americans out. It actually sickens me that this took place.

  • 1

    oyatoi

    Add a C to the name and it becomes all kawaii. Problem solved.

  • 6

    Thomas Anderson

    The Okinawans can't do anything about it... the US only gave back Okinawa under a certain conditions. And that is the US can do whatever it wants with it. That is the condition that is agreed to by the Japanese government.

  • 1

    ben4short

    Rather than carp about this plane or that, this weapon or that, why don't the Japanese instead join the 21st century, change their Constitution, develop nuclear weapons, demand the removal of ALL US bases and personnel, and take care of business like the rest of the grown-up world?

  • -6

    kwatt

    It is understandable that Okinawan people don't want such Osprey aircraft on their land, because it is more realistic that such new aircraft might crash by unexpected glitch into the residence area. I don't think Okinawans want all Americans out of Okinawa but probably Marines base out.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    The Okinawans can't do anything about it... the US only gave back Okinawa under a certain conditions. And that is the US can do whatever it wants with it. That is the condition that is agreed to by the Japanese government.

    First off, the US can not do "whatever it wants", that is a huge misconception. The US has to abide by the SOFA agreement with Japan. Get that part straight.

    The problem is not the Osprey really, it's Futenma, and this demonstration is just a part of that "problem".

  • -3

    smithinjapan

    They'll settle down once China sends a sub near Okinawa over the island dispute. Then they'll stop chanting the latest soundbite and demand a greater US presence.

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    kwatt: " I don't think Okinawans want all Americans out of Okinawa but probably Marines base out."

    There's been almost ZERO talk about US bases since the island disputes have flared up, and for good reason -- whether or not a few whining Okinawans want the bases off, they NEED the US presence there. I bet 99% of these people 'protesting' would do a 180 if China upped the ante in current tensions.

  • 7

    Yubaru

    I don't think Okinawans want all Americans out of Okinawa but probably Marines base out."

    I wish people would learn something here and never forget it. While Okinawan's have problems with the US bases they don't have problems with Americans or any other foreigners for that matter.

    Americans does not necessarily equal military, when making comments please try to keep the two separate.

  • -3

    Penfold

    I think 60 years of occupation is enough, Japan and china can settle their differences without uncle Sam meddling in between.

  • -4

    kwatt

    There's been almost ZERO talk about US bases since the island disputes have flared up

    Okinawans have ever been talking about Osprey in Okinawa before and after the island disputes happened. The government just did not talk about it and did not hear Okinawans voice after the disputes happened. That's reason the media did not talk on TV. Now the media are talking about it again as the accident happened in the US the other day.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    kwatt: "Okinawans have ever been talking about Osprey in Okinawa before and after the island disputes happened."

    Yes, and conveniently stopped shouting while the island disputes were at their peak. Thank you for proving my point.

    "The government just did not talk about it and did not hear Okinawans voice after the disputes happened."

    Of course they didn't! Because they NEED the US forces and they know it. They'll know it again once China steps up the rhetoric and sends a sub your way. Then all these protesters will hush up again until it's convenient for them to whine once more.

  • 9

    thywillbedone

    Beijing wholeheartedly supports this protest. Yankee, get your aircraft, and your bases off our island.

  • -1

    Star-viking

    kwattSep. 09, 2012 - 07:19PM JST

    It is understandable that Okinawan people don't want such Osprey aircraft on their land, because it is more realistic that such new aircraft might crash by unexpected glitch into the residence area.

    But without the Osprey the Marines have to keep using old and worn-out copters - which are increasingly likely to fail with age.

  • -1

    Serrano

    "Osprey, the world's most dangerous aircraft"

    Ignorance abounds.

    I'd like to see tens of thousands of Americans demonstrating in front of the Japanese embassy and the White House demanding the Japanese provide for their own defense.

  • -6

    BertieWooster

    The Osprey is an aircraft with a none too brilliant track record.

    Futenma is a highly built up area.

    To take off and land, all aircraft have to pass over streets, houses, shopping centres, etc.

    It's not like the airfield is out in the sticks. It's right in the centre of a city.

    The Osprey is the last straw.

    Deploying an aircraft like this in such a built up area shows zero consideration for the people living there.

    Yes, Okinawans want the bases off their island.

    I was at the event today.

    Believe me, it WAS about the US bases.

    This point was brought up in speeches and in the fact that people were carrying placards that read:

    No Base

  • 0

    plasticmonkey

    Okinawans want the bases off their island.

    Give me some numbers on that, please.

  • -2

    kwatt

    But without the Osprey the Marines have to keep using old and worn-out copters - which are increasingly likely to fail with age.

    Old and worn out copters are still good aircraft. Why not producing more these copters instead of Ospreys? Copters are definitely cheaper than Ospreys.

  • 0

    Ayler

    I was going to say they need to get out more, then realised probably quite the opposite is true.

  • -3

    Steve Fabricant

    I detect the presence of that great military genius, General Stupidity. The Osprey is all about getting Marines to a combat zone at 250 mph instead of that sluggish old 150. Don't that make sense to you, Bertie?

    Oh did I forget to say that it might also be about a hundred billion bucks in DOD contract? My bad.

  • -2

    umbrella

    enough already. Americans totally pull out and leave the japanese to the mercy of the Chinese, Koreans and Russians. Ha ha it's what the the japanese want.

  • 3

    yasukuni

    I'm not expert, but I just don't see the Osprey as being that dangerous. Seem pretty impressive to me.

    The media just wound the people up with this.

  • 0

    kwatt

    We can base in Guam and terminate our "mutual" defense pact thereby handing Japan over to the Chinese.

    However the US Government does not want that way, because it means that the US would lose almost a half of the Pacific ocean. Ask the US government whether the Senkaku Archipelago (islands) should belong to Japan or China. Clinton never accepts Senkaku islands belong to China, because the US still owns one of Senkaku islands to use it for military drill.

  • -3

    Jacob99

    Yasukuni, I totally agree. It's like the little guy in high school talking tough while hiding behind his older brother! Everyone knows that the SDF are a joke and would contribute nothing in a real fight. It would all be left on the backs of American Marines and our other forces. Not trying to be rude to anyone but those are the facts. In any event, if American lives are lost defending Japan I'm reasonably certain that the American public would protesting en masse. I certainly would be. When it comes to the Osprey it's there to save American lives in battle.

  • 3

    Hiniku

    Let them protest... the average person on the main islands does not think Okinawans are Japanese and could care less about American bases in Okinawa.

  • -5

    Hikozaemon

    Yawn. Japan has socialists and communists. This has long upset the Americans, who went so far as releasing and forgiving war criminals in order to address the "problem" of diverse free thinking in Japan. But it is what it is.

    And as it is, Okinawa remains among the most left wing prefectures in Japan in no small part due to its unpleasant history at the hands of the Japanese right, and trouble with the American military dictatorship that remained in place in practice until 1972, and in continued reality until today.

    People who are from that end of the spectrum will protest the delivery of pizzas to bases, let alone aircraft. The fact the US is deploying an aircraft with an appalling safety record is just a godsend to the people who would be protesting anyway. Nothing is substantively different to last year, or 10 years ago, or 40 years ago. Let the people protest - nobody listens to them anyway. At least grant them their right to be heard and ignored, as the people of Okinawa always are.

    Peace

  • -1

    Foxie

    I don't see the use in any of those fighter planes and i can't understand why Japan is paying millions for some F-123 planes. Why aren't they using drones?

  • -2

    Hikozaemon

    Hiniku - No one in Japan thinks Okinawans are not Japanese. That's a ridiculous assertion. As for the bases, people in Japan care that the bases are piled up disproportionately there (given that the prefecture was US territory for 30 years, its not the fault of the GoJ), and are not spread around elsewhere, like nearby Kagoshima islands for example. Not in my backyard is the idea - like those Democrats in Maine who vote for renewable power, but oppose wind farms ruining their ocean views. Most Japanese understand the importance of the bases, but are glad they are mostly down in Okinawa and not where they live.

    Bertie - The US is here for the reason it is anywhere. It is here to protect its interests - specifically, the national security of Taiwan and South Korea, and the military containment of China. It has nothing to do with Japan - Japan is just a secure launchpad for projecting military power in the region. It won't even include the Senkaku islands it gave Japan in the scope of its collective defense obligations. It is here to protect US interests, which remain strong in the region. And unless Japan wants to replace the US, underwriting the national security of South Korea and Taiwan, it should continue to accept the need for a US presence, and the need for those US forces to have whatever equipment they think they need (short of nukes) to ensure regional security.

  • -1

    BertieWooster

    Hikozaemon-san,

    You write:

    The US is here for the reason it is anywhere. It is here to protect its interests - specifically, the national security of Taiwan and South Korea, and the military containment of China. It has nothing to do with Japan - Japan is just a secure launchpad for projecting military power in the region.

    I see your point.

    Looking at it from a US point of view, I can see that Okinawa is a very convenient spot for the US to protect their interests from.

    However, looking at it from an Okinawan point of view. The bases are a huge inconvenience.

    They get in the way. And they are a foreign military power occupying Okinawan land. And, in a place where there isn't much land, they take up too much room, use land that could be developed and create a dangerous environment.

    Deploying Ospreys in Futenma was the last straw.

    Many Okinawans see it as an insult.

    That's why so many turned out today.

  • -3

    Hikozaemon

    Okinawa has had dozens of last straws and will continue to. It IS under military occupation, and will remain so because that is Japan's continuing burden for fighting and losing the war against the US (a war the Japanese people of Okinawa were almost entirely victims of).

    Tokyo can't say no to the US if it wants to put Ospreys there. They will be deployed. All the people of Okinawa can do is make everyone uncomfortable about it all, which is the most the protests can achieve. Which is sad, but the stabilizing presence of the US in Okinawa is he lynchpin to the enormous economic prosperity enjoyed by Korea, Taiwan, Japan AND China. I feel bad for the people in Okinawa, but unfortunately, they are going to have to suck this one up like they do every other decision by forces there.

  • 0

    Stephen Jez

    What I find funny is that I bet the majority of the protesters don't even know anything about the Osprey and are just protesting to protest. I know some of them even get paid to protest and that they fly anti-US protesters down from the mainland to protest in Okinawa. Of course, JT would never mention that.

  • 0

    Stephen Jez

    Also, for all of you saying that the bases in Okinawa are a huge inconvenience, I agree. Then why won't their mainland "brothers" help lighten the burdens and allow some bases to be relocated to mainland Japan? Oh that's right, because the naicha pushed the base burden off on Okinawa and really don't care what the Okinawans want or think.

  • 0

    Stephen Jez

    Bottom line, the mainland naicha tend to look down on the Okinawans as second class citizens. Don't believe me? Live there for a few years and watch the political situation. To most mainland Japan citizens, Okinawa is just a tourist destination and they could care less what they have to deal with.

  • 3

    thywillbedone

    BertieWooster's lengthy, detailed explanation is correct - it's about the bases, not just the Osprey. To put it simply, Bertie is saying:

    YANKEE go home, get your bases off China's Island.

  • -1

    Hiniku

    It is true... as much as many of you newcomers cannot believe it... mainland Japanese consider Okinawan's to be second class citizens. And before you go out and say that is just plain dumb... which I agree it does sound that way... just hang around a few Tokyoites when they're drunk and casually bring up Okinawa. Don't try to go out and do a poll when they're sober... the crew from Tokyo are too well programmed to tell you what they really think in that type of situation.

  • -5

    issa1

    To Thomas Anderson

    The Okinawans can't do anything about it... the US only gave back Okinawa under a certain conditions. And that is the US can do whatever it wants with it. That is the condition that is agreed to by the Japanese government.

    Right ! They are Okinawans,are not Japanese.

  • 1

    noriyosan73

    This is a worthwhile protest. There is absolutely no reason to have the Ospreys there. They are dangerous to the crew and the civilians. To see an Osprey in the USA would draw so much attention by the public that it may be considered a UFO. They aren't seen at air shows or fly-overs. Continue the protests until the Ospreys are sent to Guam or Hawaii. Then, watch the protests start there.

  • 1

    Christopher Blackwell

    Long past time to close the US military bases and let japan take over doing its own military protection. The war was over long ago and nobody likes to feel like an occupied country, no matter how much money is involved. Every US base ends up being a toxic dump anyway and that will be causing protlems for the people long time coming.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    Right ! They are Okinawans,are not Japanese.

    For once and for all I would hope that people would learn this too! Ethnically they are Okinawan, BUT they are CITIZENS of Japan!

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Deploying Ospreys in Futenma was the last straw.

    Many Okinawans see it as an insult.

    That's why so many turned out today.

    "Last straw'?!?!?! The last straw has been the Osprey's, the intended move of Futenma to Henoko, the truck making a u-turn in a public school drive way, the truck scratching some paint off of a over-pass, etc etc etc.

    No this isnt the last straw, you'll know it's the last straw when they start rioting, and hopefully that will never happen again.

  • -1

    ruthgottstein

    What is consistently overlooked in discussions on Okinawa is that it was occupied by Japan more than 200 years ago. It had been the independent kingdom of Ryukya, with its own language and culture. Okinawans have every right to demand back their own island.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    Thank you, Noriyosan,

    This is a worthwhile protest. There is absolutely no reason to have the Ospreys there. They are dangerous to the crew and the civilians. To see an Osprey in the USA would draw so much attention by the public that it may be considered a UFO. They aren't seen at air shows or fly-overs. Continue the protests until the Ospreys are sent to Guam or Hawaii. Then, watch the protests start there.

  • -2

    BertieWooster

    ruthgottstein-san,

    You are quite correct. Okinawa (Ryukyu) has its own culture, its own food, its own language, quite distinct from mainland Japan. Okinawan culture, food and language is alive and well, whereas Honshu's regional differences are rapidly disappearing and Japanese food and culture is displayed at festivals only.

    Okinawa has been occupied and used by the Yamatonchu (as they call the people of Honshu) and now the Americans.

    It wouldn't be so bad if the U.S.A. was setting a good example of peacekeeping in the world, but the total failures of Iraq and Afghanistan don't go unnoticed here.

    And the Osprey deployment just points all this up.

    In a highly built up area like Futenma, an airfield with aircraft with such a poor track record as the Osprey taking off and coming into land over houses, schools, hospitals and shopping centres, is seen as a total disregard for the people who are playing unwilling host.

    Imagine the uproar if they suddenly decided to bulldoze a park and turn it into an Osprey airfield in the middle of Tokyo or New York.

  • 2

    Ringside

    From what I understand, they do not fly the Osprey over any populated areas in the U.S.....hmmmmmm

  • -1

    megosaa

    was there to support the cause. it was a very moving event.

  • -2

    BertieWooster

    Megosaa-san,

    was there to support the cause. it was a very moving event.

    You're right.

    It was a very moving event.

  • -1

    megosaa

    i don't see them flying over elementary schools and residential areas in and around san diego....do you?

  • -1

    YuriOtani

    Not sure why the USG keeps pushing it, while faster it has a lot more problems.

  • -2

    voiceofokinawa

    plasticmonkey (Sep. 09, 2012 - 04 15PM JST):

    Of course, it wasn't merely out of concerns about the Osprey's safety that more than 100,000 Okinawans took to the biggest-ever rally against the infamous aircraft's deployment at Futenma. Simmering beneath the surface was Okinawa's decades-long outrage against this excessive military presence by the U.S. military that occupies 20 percent of the land mass of Okinawa Island.

    The occupying U.S. forces, Marines, Air Force and Navy, exclusively use surrounding sea areas and the vastness of air spaces. In the U.S. military's view, Okinawa as a whole is a U.S. fortress with residents only being allowed to live in vacant space left by the bases. And that's the reality of Okinawa.

    What a great democracy the United States of America is to teach the world about democracy, freedom and human rights!

  • 0

    terebiko

    Haven't there been local protests in America over deployment of the Osprey in the US? I thought there was one in Hawaii, and some on the mainland as well. In both cases, I think the government decided against the deployment. Just curious, I thought I heard this on one of the newscasts. Can anyone clarify?

  • 0

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    The freedom and democratic values promoted by the Americans apparently only apply to Americans, especially American's in US of A. They don't respect and care about other people they share the world with. I thought democracy and freedom is about respect for humanity.

    Okinawaians need to give up their freedom so the rest of Japan can live in freedom. Freedom from what? The neighbours we attacked in WWII? Freedom is the excuse, so that we uphold the global oppression and the war of terror the US of A is preaching.

  • -2

    Ringside

    Okinawaians need to give up their freedom so the rest of Japan can live in freedom

    Thats the best statement that Ive heard in a long time. Exactly!

  • 2

    Al Stewart

    The US should just pack up and move out. I mean seriously that is what i would do. This is just getting ridiculous. Not to mention that an earlier article stated that the crash was pilot error and not an aircraft problem.

    Many of these people are blaming the US like the US is just forcing their way on the island. Do they realize what an agreement is? Do they realize that JP actually has NO military strength anymore?

    With tensions as they are now with China and Taiwan and Korea and Russia, you would think they would realize that if the US hightails it that JP will be wide open for an attack. JP doesnt have a lot of friends in its region.

    I'm just really sick of the situation. The US should just pack up and leave. Many of the troops probably want to go home anyway.

    The best part is the main reason the troops havent been moved yet is because JP Government is slow balling everything.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    There have been so far 58 incidents with Ospreys:

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201207200053

    Deploying this accident prone aircraft in such a built up area shows no concern for the human life the US military is apparently here to protect.

    Time to move on, US military.

    Let Japan handle her own defenses.

  • -1

    BertieWooster

    VoiceofOkinawa-san.

    The occupying U.S. forces, Marines, Air Force and Navy, exclusively use surrounding sea areas and the vastness of air spaces. In the U.S. military's view, Okinawa as a whole is a U.S. fortress with residents only being allowed to live in vacant space left by the bases. And that's the reality of Okinawa.

    What a great democracy the United States of America is to teach the world about democracy, freedom and human rights!

    Well said!

    The US of A has a LOT to learn about democracy, freedom and human rights.

    They should set their own country in order before they try to teach anyone else!

  • -2

    voiceofokinawa

    Al Stewart (Sep. 10, 2012 - 01:06PM JST ),

    You aren't the only one who fancies yourself that the U.S. military is stationed in Okinawa for the defense of Japan. In reality, they are here mainly for the defense of U.S. interests. Otherwise, how do you explain why they've been occupying the island for so long, well over 67 years, and look like to maintain the status quo indefinitely.

    You say the U.S. military should pack up and go home That's fine. Please do so. But then you say, "[I]f the US hightails it that JP will be wide open for an attack." You want to say then, in spite of yourself, that Japan needs U.S. military protection and therefore that the U.S. military must be here.

    But suppose there were no threats at all even if U.S. troops packed up and went home. Peace is what all nations in this region of the Pacific is longing for. And Japan could become more friendly with its neighbors than the U.S. wished otherwise. In other words, the U.S. policy toward Japan since the Occupation period has been to alienate it from its neighbors, making it their antagonist as much as possible.

    You should know that all these territorial spats now underway derive from this long-term policy of Washington. In this way, Washington thinks that this U.S. military presence, abnormal in all respects, would be justified and go on forever.

    To BertieWooster (Sep. 10, 2012 - 03:15PM JST),

    Thanks for your post. Maybe, we can both teach those guys who didn't participate in the anti-Osprey rally what real democracy is.

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    voiceofokinawa: "You aren't the only one who fancies yourself that the U.S. military is stationed in Okinawa for the defense of Japan."

    Because it's fact. In fact, I'd counter that by saying you're not the only one in denial of the facts.

    "You want to say then, in spite of yourself, that Japan needs U.S. military protection and therefore that the U.S. military must be here."

    Another fact -- Japan NEEDS the US military here, the US does not necessarily need Japan. I haven't seen you on any threads for a while, voiceofokinawa... probably because of the island issues you, along with most Okinawans, tend to quiet down and hide when you realize you DO actually need the US presence for defense.

    "You should know that all these territorial spats now underway derive from this long-term policy of Washington. "

    In a way you are correct, but not in the way you mean -- the US had no right to designate certain islands as Japanese when they belonged to other nations and in fact Japan itself did not recognize the islands as Japanese land. So yes, in a way, the territorial spats have come about thanks to Washington, and now thanks to Washington, and you can thank the US troops next time you see them, the spats are not evolving beyond spats.

    "Maybe, we can both teach those guys who didn't participate in the anti-Osprey rally what real democracy is."

    Precisely -- they voted for the current government, which has allowed the US to do what they are doing. 'nuff said?

  • -1

    BertieWooster

    smithinjapan-san,

    You write:

    "Another fact -- Japan NEEDS the US military here"

    You seem to be under some confusion as to the meaning of the word "fact."

    The Oxford Dictionary defines it as, "a thing that is known or proved to be true."

    If you had written, "In my opinion, I think Japan needs the US military," we would accept it, because that would be your opinion. However, it cannot be a FACT because it is not something that is happened and therefore cannot be proven true or false.

    It is very dangerous to confusion FACTS and OPINIONS.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    voiceofokinawa-san,

    Thanks for your post. Maybe, we can both teach those guys who didn't participate in the anti-Osprey rally what real democracy is.

    Well, we can but try!

  • -1

    passingtime

    If they are upset about safety they should be welcoming the Osprey because it has a better safety record than the chinook helicopters it replaces.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    What is consistently overlooked in discussions on Okinawa is that it was occupied by Japan more than 200 years ago. It had been the independent kingdom of Ryukya, with its own language and culture. Okinawans have every right to demand back their own island.

    It's not overlooked it's ancient history! Cripes using this argument would be like the Indian's (True Native American's) asking for Manhattan Island back....it's was theirs you know!

    People need to quit thinking that Okinawa is ever going to be independent again.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    The folks protesting about the Osprey have made(amongst a host of many) a HUGE mistake as I see it. They have taken the focus off of getting Futenma moved and put it squarely on one piece of machinery.

    Big mistake, stay focused on one thing at a time.

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    Bertie: "f you had written, "In my opinion, I think Japan needs the US military," we would accept it, because that would be your opinion. However, it cannot be a FACT because it is not something that is happened and therefore cannot be proven true or false."

    So you're saying the US has never been present in Japan, and that presence has never deterred further actions from China or other nations. Interesting. It seems it's actually YOU who is unaware of what a fact is. Do you deny that there are US military bases are in Okinawa? Shouldn't I call that 'fact'?

    Yubaru: "Big mistake, stay focused on one thing at a time."

    But that's all part of it, right? They can't keep focussed for more than a few days, it seems. They forget that their relatives built AROUND the bases in order to profit from their presence; they forget how the US protects them from becoming part of China, etc.

  • -1

    Ronald F Stark

    If you don't want the Osprey then say HELLO to the Chinese MIG fighters - "the world's most dangerous aircraft"

  • 4

    Tom DeMicke

    Folks...I know for a fact that more than half of these "protesters" really don't mind the presence of the U.S. military. They have been passing flyers around in government offices and schools and "ask" the employees to participate in these protests. It's sort of a "mandatory" attendance. Kind of like a "mandatory" office party...they don't really have to attend the party, but if they don't, they will be frowned upon. It's the same here. The more that show up, the better it will look. Why do you think they televised so many aerial views of the huge crowd? It's just to make it look impressive. Folks, the people of Okinawa (the majority of them) are not as anti-U.S. military as it is made to look. It's the work of the government. Besides, I'm willing to bet that three-quarters of those protesters went to the Friendship Festival on Futenma just a few weeks back. My advise is to just relax and ride out the storm.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Folks, the people of Okinawa (the majority of them) are not as anti-U.S. military as it is made to look. It's the work of the government. Besides, I'm willing to bet that three-quarters of those protesters went to the Friendship Festival on Futenma just a few weeks back. My advise is to just relax and ride out the storm.

    Heck the Gov of Okinawa didnt show up either, and you are spot on right! The people complaining the loudest dont live in Okinawa either. Sure some do, and like you wrote a lot of folks attended BECAUSE it was like participating in another needless endless meeting at work, gotta be there or people are going to look at you funny.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    Tom/Yubaru: Spot on!

  • 0

    kwatt

    I can understand very much Okinawan people's feeling about the bases and Osprey. American soldiers are staying for their job but Okinawans are living ever there. That seems to be a big difference.

  • 1

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    @VoiceofOkinawa. Mate, your spot on....

    @Ronald F Stark, you sound like iron man, no osprey but why see MIGs, who in their right mind would think China will attack Japan if not for the US of A. Hilary needed to go Beijing to polish boots since the Chinese are the biggest creaditors to US of A. US need to play scare us into believing that Boogie Man China, Korea will come get us but in fact their are in bed with the Chinese and Koreans!

  • -1

    kwatt

    Heck the Gov of Okinawa didnt show up either, and you are spot on right! The people complaining the loudest dont live in Okinawa either. Sure some do, and like you wrote a lot of folks attended BECAUSE it was like participating in another needless endless meeting at work, gotta be there or people are going to look at you funny.

    As long as Japan is a free country unlike China. It is very worth protest whatever result comes and even if government doesn't listen to their voices. They should protest against whatever they complain. That is a part of democracy.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    As long as Japan is a free country unlike China. It is very worth protest whatever result comes and even if government doesn't listen to their voices. They should protest against whatever they complain. That is a part of democracy.

    I've got not problems with the protests, it's just the lies and unbalanced reporting that make me tune them out.

  • -1

    BertieWooster

    Smithinjapan

    Your last post proves my point.

    Thank you.

  • -3

    BertieWooster

    Tom DeMicke

    They have been passing flyers around in government offices and schools and "ask" the employees to participate in these protests. It's sort of a "mandatory" attendance. Kind of like a "mandatory" office party...

    Boy did you get it wrong!

    You obviously were not there!

  • 0

    noriyosan73

    If you don't want Ospreys, welcome MIGs? That would be like Obama taking on Hakaho! The MIG pilot's cause of death would only be laughter! Yanks come home, now!

  • 0

    CrisGerSan

    It is more than time for the American Bases to be returned to the US or moved elsewhere, The attitude that created them was wrong to start with and it is time for it to end. Okinawa is Japanese and should be clear of such foreign influences for military bases bring with them some very bad things as many of the service men are not of the best quality culturally and I really dont think it is a good thing for Okinawa. They deserve a chance to retain their own destiny.

  • -2

    Olegek

    noriyosan If you don't want Ospreys, welcome MIGs?

    .

    Sorry - Russian population about 140 mil Japanese about 125 mil

        Japanese economy is bigger then Russian 
    
    
            I understand that Russian are great warriors
             But is it Japanese SO bad loosers ?
    
  • 1

    Guru29

    The Okinawans can't do anything about it... the US only gave back Okinawa under a certain conditions. And that is the US can do whatever it wants with it. That is the condition that is agreed to by the Japanese government.

    Very True. From

    Deception and Diplomacy: The US, Japan, and Okinawa

    By Gavan McCormack

    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/3532

    "The fresh light that recently opened materials cast on the secret protocols surrounding the Okinawa Reversion agreement reached between Sato and Richard Nixon in November 1969 allows us to see much more clearly the nature of the deal.

    Firstly, from the commencement of the negotiations, the Government of Japan insisted that, although it sought "reversion," it actually meant retention; i.e., that the US must not think of closing down its bases following administrative reversion of the islands to Japan. To the Sato government, the bases were an essential deterrent, even though their principal function at the time was as instrument of aggression in the daily bombing of Vietnam.

    Secondly, the US side insisted that for this peculiar deal, Japan should pay; setting the terms for future base arrangements; in other words, the "reversion" was a buy-back. The US government insisted on the enormous sum of $650 million, used the term "price-tag" to apply to it, and insisted that most be in the form of a "lump sum" payment. In the event, $650 million was more than double the officially announced $320 million, nominally for return of US assets, and even that $320 million was deceptive. It included the item of $70 million, supposedly to remove nuclear weapons, but 40 years later the then chief Japanese negotiator revealed that they had decided on that figure "in order to be able to say 'Since Japan paid so much, the nuclear weapons were removed.' We did it to cope with opposition parties in the Diet."

    The Okinawan "reversion" was a "buyback" in which Japan insisted the asset it was buying remain in US hands, an arrangement that doubly violated the Japanese constitution both because it was premised on a lie and because it violated Article 9 in the most blatant way possible. Japan paid the US while insisting the US not return what it was paying for. It created two separate accounts, a secret one with the real figure entered and a public one, which referred to about half the real sum, and even that public figure was substantially false."

  • -3

    sfjp330

    Guru29 Sep. 11, 2012 - 03:28AM JST Japan paid the US while insisting the US not return what it was paying for. It created two separate accounts, a secret one with the real figure entered and a public one, which referred to about half the real sum, and even that public figure was substantially false."

    I have to laugh at your copy and paste. If Japan doesn't like it, it's free for people in Okinawa and Japan to declare their independence like the Philippines and pay 100 percent for their defense. Facts are Japan has been paying one percent of their GNP in defense for many decades, and if U.S. leaves Japan entirely, the defense cost will rise 10 percent annually for decades. Will Japan be able to defend themselve if they had to pay the entire defense? I would be glad if U.S. left and there would be tax savings for most of U.S. citizens.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    The Okinawans can't do anything about it... the US only gave back Okinawa under a certain conditions. And that is the US can do whatever it wants with it.

    Well that's patently false. The U.S. returned Okinawa to Japanese control. The Japanese and the U.S. have a defense treaty and part of that treaty stipulates that bases in Japan continue to be used. Japan can cancel that treaty any time they want, now. (It originally had a 10-year clause that prevented termination without both parties agreeing to it, but that's been expired for decades, now.) So if the COUNTRY OF JAPAN (not some wannabe "country" like the Prefecture of Okinawa) wants to tell the U.S. to leave, all they have to do is cancel the treaty. The Prefecture of Okinawa has zip point squat influence on what aircraft the United States Military uses on the bases they've been allocated and in reality the nation of Japan ALSO has zip point squat say in what aircraft are used by the U.S. military to carry out their duties. Prohibiting the Ospreys will NOT bring back the Chinooks. It will just make the islands harder to defend because air transport will cease to exist. Of course making that point is useless because the Okinwans all have their heads in the sand, pretending there's no reason any country wouldn't want their real estate. Everybody sing the refrain all together now, "There's no reason to defend Japan! Nobody wants Japanese territory! It's all a plot by the American military to continue occupying Okinawa!" Yeah, we just LOVE having to defend a bunch of ingrates. (rolls eyes)

  • 0

    Konsta

    Everybody sing the refrain all together now, "There's no reason to defend Japan! Nobody wants Japanese territory! It's all a plot by the American military to continue occupying Okinawa!" Yeah, we just LOVE having to defend a bunch of ingrates. (rolls eyes)

    Oh, come on, it's not all American care and altruism. :)

  • 0

    Guru29

    The U.S. returned Okinawa to Japanese control

    Disagree. Basically, Japan gave up demanding for sovereignty i.e. full control in return for administering the islands in the 1971 reversion/ retention treaty. If Japan had demanded for sovereignty or full control of the islands, the price would certainly be much higher than the $650 million it paid.

    Japan is not a fully Independent country even now. And former PM, Hatoyama and the people of Ryukyu know who is the real boss in Ryukyu or Okinawa.

  • -4

    sfjp330

    Guru29 Sep. 11, 2012 - 06:37AM JST Basically, Japan gave up demanding for sovereignty i.e. full control in return for administering the islands in the 1971 reversion/ retention treaty.

    The 1971 renewal of the security treaty with the U.S., with the return of Okinawa to Japan, despite strong appeals for some form of Okinawan independence, J-government officials ignored this perspective, and negotiated with the U.S. around the reversion of Okinawa to Japan. The leadership of Japan worked out a reversion agreement with the U.S. that placed Okinawa back under the control of Japan, but maintained the U.S. military forces on the islands.

  • -4

    sfjp330

    If people in Okinawa is disatisfield with present situation, Japan would have to amend its constitution, alter its interpretation of collective self-defense, significantly increase its defense budget, develop military capabilities it does not now have, and gain domestic and foreign support for a dramatic shift in Japanese military policy. Japan has shown no inclination to push forward on any of these issues and has been strongly resistant to any such change.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    Anti-US military sentiments in Okinawa are growing.

    Considering the small population of this island, the turnout at the Ginowan demonstration was huge.

    It is time for a referendum.

    Let's REALLY find out how many Okinawans want the US military to go home.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    China sent a couple of patrol boats near the Senkakus, so the protesters of yesterday are probably already busy talking about American support and how important it is.

  • -1

    megosaa

    many of you posters think the ministers speak for each and everyone of us. they are there to voice their concern for the safety of the okinawans. safety as in falling objects.

    the okinawans i.e. the residents, simply do not want any FLYING OBJECTS over their houses, their schools! imagine enduring thunderous noise, fumes, anxieties every few hours, daily, for the rest of your lives! THINK.

    that was THE MAIN REASON WHY I WENT TO SUPPORT!

  • -1

    Olegek

    smithinjapan China sent a couple of patrol boats near the Senkakus, so the protesters of yesterday are probably already busy talking about American support and how important it is.

    Sorry - what international status has Japan right NOW !?

  • -1

    Olegek

    Ronald If you don't want the Osprey then say HELLO to the Chinese MIG fighters - "the world's most dangerous aircraft"

    Very intresting - what will do Japanese if US military machine collapsed one day? Immediate collective suicide ?

    Before WW2 and US occupation Japan was great military power...

    Today....

    What's happens with Japanese national spirit during after -war decades ?

  • 0

    kwatt

    China sent a couple of patrol boats near the Senkakus, so the protesters of yesterday are probably already busy talking about American support and how important it is.

    Sending patrol boats seem to be a routine job. China would anyway have to send them to Senkakus to mitigate people's anger, otherwise one billion people would criticize their government.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    Guru29-san,

    Thank you very much for this information.

    Anybody wishing to understand what's behind the Okinawa base problem needs to read this:

    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/3532

    I am disgusted by the deceit and duplicity of the US and the spineless cowardice of the Japanese government.

    Thanks to Guru29-san for posting it and to the Asahi Shinbun and wikileaks for making the information known.

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