U.S. to move 9,000 Marines from Okinawa; no change to Futenma plan

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  • 1

    Okinawamike

    We will see.

  • -19

    YuriOtani

    Oh the suspense is killing me, oh NOT! The new plan will be based on the new airfield which will be forced on the people of Nago. Only question is how they will disperse the demonstrators? Maybe the American Marines will do the job. The Americans can send the leaders to Getmo or they can rot in Japanese jails.

  • 3

    MrSavvy425

    Reopen/ open new bases in Philippines.

  • -16

    johninnaha

    Go! Go! Go!

    Send them ALL home!

    We don't need ANY foreign military in Okinawa!

  • -2

    tmarie

    Slow news day??

  • 2

    Daijoboots

    On Wednesday I read this.

    Okinawa, home to more than half the 50,000 U.S. forces in Japan

    Today I read this.

    Okinawa, where tensions have long been rife with the 47,000 U.S. troops due to the large military presence.

    And so I draw the conclusion that about 20,000 troops have moved into Okinawa in the last two days. I thought they were trying to reduce numbers?

  • 5

    Serrano

    This agreeement will last until Ozawa becomes PM, then it'll have to be renegotiated.

  • -5

    noriyosan73

    "YANKS GO HOME." Thank you for everything that has been done for Japan. It is a prosperous, world power , and does not the USA military there to defend it at the present level. It will cause hardship and unemployment for the support businesses and personnel, but the USA taxpayers and economy cannot continue to support the world and be its local cop.

  • -23

    YuriOtani

    noriyosan73, to the Americans do not let the door hit you on the way out! Unless Futenma is closed and the new airfield is dropped the people of Okinawa oppose it. So all I hear is more of the usual blah blah and blah.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    And with this move all the thousands of Japanese base workers will swell the unemployment ranks on an already over-burdened economy that can not find new sources of employment for these workers. Poverty levels on island will increase and people on welfare are going to increase. Way to shoot oneself in the foot again Okinawan politicians.

    Beware of what you wish for. Because the newly opened land will not bring in any industry as Okinawa is far too removed to be of any use to any businesses other than gambling or a new supermarket like AEON or two. Land owners will not give their land over for any practical uses and mainland or international businesses will set up shop and keep the local Okinawa workers on minimum wages.

    This is definitely NOT good news for thousands of folks who have families to raise and food to put on their tables.

  • 15

    Serrano

    "to the Americans do not let the door hit you on the way out"

    Done forgot all about Operation Tomodachi, have we?

  • 10

    craxican

    YuriOtani... you are forgetting some important aspects of moving the base:

    1. Many Japanese people will LOSE JOBS as they had built shopping malls, restaurants, etc. because of the large number of customers (military personnel) in that area

    2. Jobs on the base are quite attractive for the Japanese as they get gasoline very cheap, they can get things on base for base price (if they have someone go buy it for them). Oh ya... benefits/overtime come into play too, just for working more than 40 hours a week, unlike the Japanese arubaito where if you work slave hours you still get basic pay.

    3. JOBS WILL BE LOST

    4. That area is the "doorstep" for China and North Korea.

    Mind you... if the US didn't come in and "take over" that area, China would have more than happy to and they would not have been as nice as the US soldiers are. Dont forget the Rape of Nanking... they sure didn't and are waiting for the right time to knock on Japan's door.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Jobs on the base are quite attractive for the Japanese as they get gasoline very cheap, they can get things on base for base price (if they have someone go buy it for them). Oh ya... benefits/overtime come into play too, just for working more than 40 hours a week, unlike the Japanese arubaito where if you work slave hours you still get basic pay.

    craxican, nothing personal here but these assumptions you make here are wrong. First off base workers, Japanese IHA and MLC CAN NOT purchase gasoline on base legally. Neither can they purchase anything from the BX either LEGALLY.

    Also due to budget restraints many if not most base workers get overtime either, instead they get comp time which is not the same.

  • 7

    kurumazaka

    Yuri, come on...enough with the "Marines are going to crush the protesters" nonsense. That is not going to happen and you damn well know it.

  • 1

    Kiskipuich Vilaboa

    Good news!

  • 2

    jforce

    China threat? Job loses? Gee, I guess we don't give the people of Okinawa any credit at all. The first step is to have a referendum on the matter. If the people of Okinawa vote the US out, then so be it. Live and die with your choices. I can't imagine the costs of keeping that base there already for both Japan and the US.

  • -24

    YuriOtani

    craxican, the Japanese workers on base can not buy gasoline, shop in the commissary or shop in the bx/px. Oh during the time of Operation Tomodachi, the US made it illegal to buy food for Japanese from the commissary. The Americans can not even give it away to Japanese. About all of the jobs, they are paid for by the Japanese taxpayer.

    • Moderator

      Please stop these repetitive anti-U.S. rants. They reflect badly on yourself.

  • 6

    Schopenhauer

    Okinawans are only playing games to draw more money from the Japanese government taking advantage of their strategic importance of locations. The governor of Okinawa is the master of the game. Okinawans will turn to China when China comes to dominate the area and promises them to pay more than Japan. Okinawa's history proves it.

  • 9

    smithinjapan

    If Okinawans hate the bases so much they should be upset at their relatives for moving in AROUND the bases to do business, and then if they truly want the US military to leave they ought to hoist a Chinese flag up sooner rather than later. When the latter nation threatens Japan over the Senkaku islands people like Yuri, who berate the Americans today, will contradict themselves and proudly state there would be no forceful taking of the islands by China thanks to the presence of the US.

    johninnaha: "We don't need ANY foreign military in Okinawa!"

    You most certainly do, for a number of reasons.

  • 3

    warnerbro

    "the deal would maintain a plan to move a base to a controversial new location on Okinawa" In other words, the deal is DoA. In my observation, Kadena has more than enough room for Marines and Airmen and only a peculiar interservice rivalry prevents such a simple solution. They could probably also move to Misawa if appropriate renovations are made.

    "the US made it illegal to buy food for Japanese from the commissary." It has always been forbidden for military personnel to buy anything from base commissaries and give or sell it to people without commissary privileges. The same rule applies to U.S. bases in the States, by the way. It is not directed against Japanese.

  • -19

    YuriOtani

    I do trust the US government to come up with something new. Americans should take my writings with a grain of salt. The great American experiment is still in progress and Okinawa is a part of it. America will always be with us, smiles. It is why I get along so well with them.

  • 9

    smithinjapan

    YuriOtani: "Americans should take my writings with a grain of salt."

    It's not an "American experiment" having the troops there, it's called an 'agreement' that both governments made, and those governments are allies. A lot of people in Okinawa whine NOW about noise and the dangers of having the US bases there (for some reason anti-US posters think having the Japanese military there won't pose any kind of threat or noise, but hey), but they are just as quick to be thankful for their presence when China steps up. What's more, they profit from the bases being where they are -- the have jobs, and make money.

  • -2

    johninnaha

    jforce

    China threat? Job loses? Gee, I guess we don't give the people of Okinawa any credit at all. The first step is to have a referendum on the matter. If the people of Okinawa vote the US out, then so be it. Live and die with your choices. I can't imagine the costs of keeping that base there already for both Japan and the US.

    This is my point too. Isn't it polite to ask?

    "Hey guys, how do you feel about hosting 50,000 US troops?"

    Ask them, and act according to the results.

    That would be democracy.

  • 2

    noriyosan73

    Here is the basic statement by USA taxpayers. The USA is broke. It cannot pay for everything its allies want. Every country needs to start paying for it own needs. Otherwise, the house of cards will fall, and Japan is one of the cards. Just remove the USA military dependents, schools, etc from every foreign country may not reduce the USA debt or budget deficit by a significant amount, but it is a start. It is like the the jar at the mall in Japan where people throw worthless one yen coins. It isn't much, but it makes people feel better, and after a while, it adds up. The problem is the the USA Congress just want to keep every country wanting its help, so money is printed, and everyone accepts the money. YANKS COME HOME, AND SOONER THE BETTER.

  • 1

    notasap

    The way I see it the Okinawian people needs/desire are going to come second to the national desires of the nation of Japan and their ally the United States of America. Of course this seems harsh but it is the reality of being part of a greater entity called a nation and n this case the nation of Japan, which has representative government that reflects the will of its people, on paper at least.

    There are tons of historical reasons why the US is in Okinawa, chiefly the high price that they paid in blood during World War II. But that is not why they will be there in the future. They will be there, at the behest of the Japanese national government, because Okinawa is a great place to have a forward operating base from which to oppose Chinese aggression. It is this strategic reality that will keep the US and Japanese forces in Okinawa; let’s not be coy if the US leave the bases will be used by the JSDF.

    To those who want the Yankee to go home, all you need to do is convince enough Japanese to pressure the national government via lobbying or by voting into power like minded representatives and you can ask the US to leave the nation in accordance with the military treaties that serve as the guide to US/Japanese strategic interaction. It is really that simple. If you cannot win the greater national debate in regards to US forces being in Japan then the people of Okinawa need to learn to live with US bases and US servicemen/women on that island. Okinawans may suffer, heck they probably do, but they are not the first to have greater strategic needs come before the local desires. That is just reality and until we can do away with guns, armies, navies and the need to have militaries we will have such cases.

  • 1

    notasap

    I would like to add one thing, the US should be aware, and I think that they are, of the friction that they are causing just being in Okinawa. Of course the US has Some German Air Force in a few places on the mainland but by and large of free of other armies being long term stationed on US soil. Most Japanese support the US being in Japan but most do not live near US bases and have to live with the noise, pollution and yes crime that often come from such heavy industry sites. That being said, I still feel that the US does as good a job as can be done to confront the reality that they create.

  • 0

    TheBigPicture

    Doubt they're being moved for that reason.

  • 1

    herefornow

    As a U.S. tax payer who no longer lives in Japan, then I agree, if the Japanese people don't want our troops there, and are unwilling to foot their share of the bill, then move them out. Let them pay for 100% of their defense and then see how fast they stop complaining about the U.S. presence. They aren't willing to increase taxes to pay and they can't borrow any more with debt at over 200% of GDP, so where's the money going to come from?

  • 1

    lincolnman

    Isn't it quite interesting that anytime the US and GOJ announce a plan (or change of plan), that will lower the US military presence on Okinawa , and reduce the impact and size of the US military footprint, the anti-US zealots here are the first ones to criticize and ridicule it - 1996 SACO report, 2007 ATARA agreement, this latest proposal....... makes no difference......

    Let's be honest for once in this discussion - the last thing any of these anti-US Okinawa elites (politicians, academics and media) want is a reduction in the US military presence on Okinawa. Why - because this issue completely defines who they are - with a reduced or no US military presence they cease to be elected, they cease to be important and they cease to get money.........

    And the Okinawa people continue to suffer........

    It's disgraceful......

  • 1

    Alphaape

    To those who want the Yankee to go home, all you need to do is convince enough Japanese to pressure the national government via lobbying or by voting into power like minded representatives and you can ask the US to leave the nation in accordance with the military treaties that serve as the guide to US/Japanese strategic interaction.

    @ notasap: Very true. The US left the PI for two reasons, one was the volcano eruption, but the second and probably most important was the fact that the PI government wanted the US out, and increased the rent on the bases so high that the US decided not to go in and rebuild after the volcano and just cut our losses. So, if the Okinawans really want to get us out, they really need to lobby their own government to pass a law saying that the US needs to leave. They are trying to do it now, but I think the movement gets co-opted. Vote in enough people, and have them demand that the US leave and don't buckle under US pushback and we will leave.

    Also, it helps to have a solid plan for post base usage to go along with that.

  • 0

    sakurala

    I don't live near a base so I don't know how bad it could be but if it was that bad, I would probably move. Some people will always stay near such places for economic reasons and that is fine for them. But the thing that really suprises me is that so many people want the US troops out of Japan all together. I don't know if these people have been without the news for a while or if they have actually been abused by the US, but they need to understand the reason for the troops being in Japan.

    Japan does not have a comparable, functioning army. And if the cops in Japan have shown us anything, they probably wouldn't act that much better than the US troops.

    Also, there is this huge country just west of us, I think its name is CHINA. And Japan doesn't really consider them to be the friendly, waving over the fence type of neighbour. Also, its younger bro, North Korea, seems to like to play with rockets which luckily haven't gotten too far yet. Having the US around is like hanging out with a bigger bully so that you are less likely to be beaten up.

    Finally, I think the issue shouldn't be about troops being here or not. It should be about training them to behave with care and respect when they leave the base. That means the people and anything that is flying over top that may be disturbing people in the area. Keep the flight times within resonable hours, make sure nothing plummets from the sky and for the love of all mayhem, keep the drinking to a minimum!

    There is my rant for the day.

  • 2

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    Sounds like good news to me, at least a step in the right direction. Removing a large contingent of armed personnel is a good start. As the burden on Okinawans decreases, the friction will begin to lessen. I home the process gets underway ASAP. Further base realignment can also help. Hopefully Futenma can be closed much sooner than under the previous plan.

  • 0

    tmarie

    It is a prosperous, world power , and does not the USA military there to defend it at the present level.

    Japan is prosperous? Since when? Hasn't been since I've been here.

    Is it a world power? Um, not recently it hasn't been. If anything it is the laughing stock of developed nations with their revolving door of PMs, the population issues, the Fukushima mess... Japan is pitied more than anything.

    Doesn't need the US? Funny, wasn't it just a few weeks ago they were crying about NK and missiles and hoping that the US would do something if anything happened?

    I guess Yuri has forgotten all about helping in Fukushima, all those job created by the military...

    By all means, have the US pull out. Then watch the budget for defense increase, watch even more money be poured into Okinawa which already has the lowest wages, the highest employment and the lowest test scores in schools. It is already seen as the poor stupid cousin which just wants money. Then the Okinawans can cry about not having anything and needing taxpayers money to help them. The Japanese government will panic anytime China or NK makes a move or does anything they don't agree with. The "Wag the Dog" mentality and victim mentality will run at an all time high, idiots like Ishihara and Hashimoto will fest on it all and more nationalism will spread causing every other Asian nation to pull away a little bit. This will hurt trade, the economy... Why, what a wonderful idea.

  • 0

    Flyfalcon

    **I guess Yuri has forgotten all about helping in Fukushima, all those job created by the military... ** It is not entirely true. Okinawa is many times poorer than mainland.There is not much economic benefits for hosting the base. Otherwise, it has to be richest Island in Japan. Most of the jobs are temporary contracts funded by J government Business are just small food outlets and bars. In the reality, Okinawa base is very close to Taiwan and far away from Japan. It is more like protecting Taiwan instead of Japan.

    When we compare the statics of a few business opportunities and unspeakable crimes, it is just a huge social burden. Because of the base, energy consumption has sky rocketed. Without nuclear power supply, it can not be sustainable. Energy shortage was a main reason for their relocation.

    Having the US around is like hanging out with a bigger bully so that you are less likely to be beaten up.

    Modern warfare is not depending much on air base and air craft carriers. If the bully boys launched the MRTRV(Multiple Reentry Targeted Reentry Vehicles) to the air base. It will be disappear in seconds. There is no credibility about Air Base is deterring the Bully boys. Besides that base is bully boy of local residents too. Locals are fed up about their injustice and legal protections to pampered boys.

  • -2

    tmarie

    What is entirely not true? Do you agree or disagree that there are jobs that have been created by the presences of the US bases? Yes or no? Get rid of those bases and those jobs are gone.

    Okinawa, as beautiful as it is, doesn't offer much outside of tourists and overpriced "kawaiiiii" pineapples and goya. They also have a nice aquarium and offer a "tropical" holiday for those Japanese too scared to venture to gaikoku. What else do they really offer? What else do they have going for them? I've been numerous times (have friends who live there) but there really isn't much going on. Take away those bases and Okinawa faces a huge issue with unemployment. Unemployment usually leads to more DV, more issues with drugs/drink... Not exactly a good thing for an island that already has issues.

  • 0

    Tamarama

    If the Japanese don't want the Americans there, they should go. The military deployments there have never had much to do with the welfare of Japan, it's more a strategic utilization of their Allies to maintain a garrison close to China. Guam is not far away, and the military presense in South Korea and other parts of Japan is sufficient enough anyway. YuriOtani talks a big game, but watch Japan cr*p it's daks if the US were to pull out completely. Let's not kid ourselves.

  • 0

    Flyfalcon

    What is entirely not true? Do you agree or disagree that there are jobs that have been created by the presences of the US bases? Yes or no? Get rid of those bases and those jobs are gone I repeat again as It is not entirely true. MOST OF THE EXPENSE ARE PAID BY J Government. It has created small hospitality and retail jobs. Half of these employments seasonal jobs based on demand. They are not stable and highly paid too. There are many negative consequence of environmental, energy consumption, traffic accident and legal conflict.

    For example, civilian court case were transfered as military court case which was highly biased and protected to pamper boys. If local residents committed the similar crime, they may be punished with death sentence.

    My old post has missed some part. Pls read again carefully.

    Okinawa is many times poorer than mainland.There is not much economic benefits for hosting the base. Otherwise, it has to be richest Island in Japan. Most of the jobs are temporary contracts funded by J government Business are just small food outlets and bars. In the reality, Okinawa base is very close to Taiwan and far away from Japan. It is more like protecting Taiwan instead of Japan. Taiwan is many times richer than Okinawa without Air Base.

    Economic benefit is negligible. If they want to protect Japan, they have to base somewhere in Mainland. Not in Okinawa.

  • 4

    southsakai

    YuriOtani and noriyosan73, been reading your comments. I find it pretty rude and insulting. I'm not even an American. But I sure am glad they are the world cops. We need one because the UN ain't able to do sh't

    Looks like you guys forget easy when you have hell on earth happening on your side of the world and folks like Operation Tomodachi roll out giving you a helping hand.

    How easy to forget good things in difficult times eh?

  • 0

    NetNinja

    @Tamarama That's it. You got it!! All this time we've been going back and forth about whether or not the Americans should move. You are absolutely right. Maybe they should leave!! Why not?

    People don't want sit next to me on the train so they stand, tired or not. The Okinawans should leave.

  • 2

    Athletes

    Also, there is this huge country just west of us, I think its name is CHINA. And Japan doesn't really consider them to be the friendly, waving over the fence type of neighbour. Also, its younger bro, North Korea, seems to like to play with rockets which luckily haven't gotten too far yet. Having the US around is like hanging out with a bigger bully so that you are less likely to be beaten up.

    When China or North Korea attacks Japan, they do not need to travel far down to Okinawa. Tokyo or Osaka are geographically closer and easier for them to attack. Having the Air Base is also having the biggest bully boy in the class room too. The reality is the more US troops based near to that bully boys, the more they will expand their arsenals and Arm forces too. It can be called as cold war mentality. US and Russia never got along with each other. However that Big Guys never have fought each other. The price of conflict will be very high.

    Imaginary enemy will make more defense spending. USSR got broke in late 1980s. US has broke in 2008. It was just waist of time and money.

    The lesser troops is better than more. It save less confrontation and Arm Race. Let's make a world better and peaceful.

  • 0

    serendipitous

    This jobs argument is boring. Just because jobs are created doesn't mean it's the right idea to have large military bases around. The US-is-protecting-Japan propaganda is boring to hear too, but if you hear it over and over, you start to believe it. In actual fact, the US presence creates more pressure and tension in the region, not less. China isn't really into attacking soverign nations (other than those it claims as her own) so a Chinese invasion is a ludicrous idea. North Korea is a loose cannon but they also don't like the US presence around either, so this may even make them a bit less grumpy as well.

  • 1

    Tom DeMicke

    Craxican: I'm on your side but be careful on the following:

    1. Japanese MLC/IHA employees are NOT entitled to fueling their vehicles on base. The only folks with non-SOFA plates affixed to their vehicles permitted to fuel on base are non-SOFA retirees as long as their vehicles are registered with the Joint Vehicle Registration Office (hence the blue or red "R" decal).

    2. Japanese MLC/IHA employees are NOT entitled to shop on base other than at concessionaire stands and the food court where food is sold for immediate consumption.

    3. Anyone who "purchases" merchandise for unauthorized personnel is committing black-marketing.

  • 0

    Jared Norman

    The marines in okinawa actually have no functional role in deterrence or security, it will be an air and sea battle if it actually happens

  • 0

    Nessie

    The marines in okinawa actually have no functional role in deterrence or security, it will be an air and sea battle if it actually happens

    They still have to train.

  • 0

    meandmybigmouth

    Washington hopes will ease sometimes fractious relations with its ally over a huge American military presence.

    The word "Huge" is not the problem....the "American military presence" is. Take that out! We never needed that, specially in a beautiful Island like Okinawa.

  • 0

    meandmybigmouth

    watch Japan cr*p it's daks if the US were to pull out completely.

    Hahahahahaha.....You really think so!!! WOW!!!

    Don't confuse humility with weakness.

  • 0

    Tamarama

    Hahahahahaha.....You really think so!!! WOW!!!

    Don't confuse humility with weakness.

    So, entirely hypothetically speaking here, you are pretty confident that Japan would be able to handle itself against the Chinese military, are you? Head to head, so to speak.

  • 2

    Ranger_Miffy2

    As far as i could see on my visits to bases, the Japanese are relegated to doing low level jobs. I think they could do that in the J-economy as well. Plus, if they have English skills, they might do better than that.

    The bases do more damage to Japan than the menial jobs they employ the "locals" to do.

  • -1

    meandmybigmouth

    So, entirely hypothetically speaking here, you are pretty confident that Japan would be able to handle itself against the Chinese military, are you? Head to head, so to speak.

    Maybe not...that doesn't mean that we need external pain to survive. If "hypothetically" China attacks, and we can not stop them, we will die fighting!

  • -1

    tmarie

    There is not much economic benefits for hosting the base. Otherwise, it has to be richest Island in Japan. Most of the jobs are temporary contracts funded by J government Business are just small food outlets and bars

    And when the bases are gone and the military and civvies are gone, so are those jobs.

    Athletes, can you please learn to separate your quotes - it makes it very hard to understand whom you're directing comments to.

  • 0

    Tamarama

    Maybe not...that doesn't mean that we need external pain to survive. If "hypothetically" China attacks, and we can not stop them, we will die fighting!

    Right, so 'you Japanese' would prefer to die fighting the Chinese than live with the Americans? Then Banzai away my Far Eastern friend.

  • 5

    Matthew Simon

    Yuri I was part of Operation Tomodachii. At no time was it illegal to by food from the commisary to help in relief, in actual fact the had food drives with base bought food to help those in need during those times, along with clothing and other necessities. Your rant show what a not informed little troll you are. I lived on Okinawa for years as well, I do know that many of the bases help support the local economy as well as provide jobs for many many Okinawan people. At the same time though I can also under stand not wanted to wake up every morning and see another nations military in your country. This is a complicated and delicate problem that the diplomats and politicians need to mill over.

  • 1

    Matthew Simon

    Also Tom on your note 3

    Anyone who "purchases" merchandise for unauthorized personnel is committing black-marketing

    . I believe that is with intent to re-sell

  • 0

    Athletes

    tmarie

    You confused my post with Flyfalcon post Apr. 27, 2012 - 04:09PM JST. My post has no quote problem and responding to sakurala Apr. 27, 2012 - 01:28PM JST. It is obvious that you did not read my post carefully. There was only one paragraph was quoted.

    The following paragraph was not included in my post. Pls pay more attention when you read the post.

    There is not much economic benefits for hosting the base. Otherwise, it has to be richest Island in Japan. Most of the jobs are temporary contracts funded by J government Business are just small food outlets and bars.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    A comment about the Marines that may be scheduled to move; Since the USMC wants to maintain the III MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force) here in Okinawa the folks that will be leaving are and have been the BEST ambassadors for the military in Okinawa. The families, wives, husbands, children, and all they have done in the local communities will be lost.

    This is a shame. What is going to be left for the most part, are the young, COMBAT Marines, most single or on unaccompanied tours. No one really has discussed this point, only the "numbers". If any are going to be transferred I would have liked to see the families stay and the "warriors" go instead.

  • 1

    Ben Jack

    smith,

    (for some reason anti-US posters think having the Japanese military there won't pose any kind of threat or noise, but hey)

    Very well said. I find it interesting that people think that when the US leaves (as they will someday) that the bases will not be used by the SDF. Of course they will. Why wouldn't they? It only makes sense to use the bases rather than make new ones.

  • -1

    meandmybigmouth

    Right, so 'you Japanese' would prefer to die fighting the Chinese than live with the Americans? Then Banzai away my Far Eastern friend.

    Interesting thoughts! If you think you are not strong enough to protect yourself, you must be inviting all your neighbors to stay with you! LOL!

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Of course they will. Why wouldn't they? It only makes sense to use the bases rather than make new ones.

    Ben you need to understand that once the base property is returned to Japanese control the landowners will take priority and the national government would not be able to re-confiscate the land for SDF use. The national government would have to negotiate leases with each landowner and that is not something that is going to happen.

    People also fail to remember that there is a large SDF presence here in Okinawa already.

  • -1

    tmarie

    Athletes, my apologies!! That person needs to learn how to use the quote function!

  • -5

    YuriOtani

    Matthew Simon, I remember seeing a sign in the commissary at Yokota AFB, right by the rice section. Then there was another sign saying foods was not a good "gift". Buy it upstairs in the BX. Well my faith in the USA was justified after all. Well it is to be seen if it is done. About Nago and the new airfield, time will tell.

    To my American friends, so you are sick about me repeating myself. Sounds good to me am sick of repeating myself.

  • -4

    johninnaha

    Under the current circumstances, China could not possibly attack Okinawa.

    1. The U.S.A. has borrowed massive amounts of money from China. An act of aggression would nullify this debt and they'd never get it back.

    2. China is and always has been a trading nation. An act of military aggression would lose them more business than they could afford.

    Which makes you wonder why we are constantly being fed this hype about the "Yellow Peril."

  • 0

    Guilty Party

    Its a start!

  • 0

    Ben Jack

    Ben you need to understand that once the base property is returned to Japanese control the landowners will take priority and the national government would not be able to re-confiscate the land for SDF use.

    Yubaru, it has been done before. To think it will not be done again, especially after US forces leave is naive. The SDF will have to take up the slack that will be left behind.

  • -2

    noriyosan73

    All one needs to do is "convince enough Japanese?" Who is the adult here? Who is paying the allowance? A child doesn't tell the parent how much he/she needs. The parent decides, and the parent is now the American taxpayer. All one needs to do is "convince Congress to STOP wasting money and start taking care of America's needs. Japan needs to take care of its needs by convincing its elected officials to STOP wasting its resources.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Yubaru, it has been done before. To think it will not be done again, especially after US forces leave is naive. The SDF will have to take up the slack that will be left behind.

    This is 2012 not 1965. The US has returned quite a bit of land already and 99% of it has been used for civilian purposes . The 1% is a LORAN station in Gesashi, once used by the US Coast Guard and now used by the Japanese CoastGuard for mariners.

  • -1

    johninnaha

    Carter said that, as the last global superpower, the U.S. has a responsibility to be a leader in peace efforts and set an example to the rest of the world. Instead, he said, the U.S. is "too inclined to go to war" and is contemplating going to war again, "perhaps in Iran."

    Exactly. Bluster and "shoot-'em-out-of-the-water" didn't work for the British in the 19th century either when they were using modern weapons to fight undisciplined mobs with pointed sticks.

    It smacks of the useless trumped up "cold war" with Russia. The arms race bankrupted them and it's bankrupting the States too.

    So, we just wait a while, the U.S.A. is not going to be able to afford to keep its troops here for much longer.

  • 0

    Ben Jack

    Yubaru,

    Thank you for the year update. Let's see what happens.

  • 0

    knight_of_Honour

    this move, while it may be popular in Okinawa, will take $5 to $10 million dollars away from the local economy. I hope the locals are prepared for this. I doubt there is any additional crime then would be found in any area where there are thousands of unaccompanied single men.

  • 0

    sfjp330

    Article saids "No definite time frame was put on the redeployment, with the statement saying only that the “relocations are to be completed as soon as possible"

    No definite time frame? Sounds like normal one way ticket for U.S troops that is pending ETS or reassignment to other destination without any replacement in Okinawa. The U.S. and Japan is looking at cost savings and this might be the best alternative.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    this move, while it may be popular in Okinawa, will take $5 to $10 million dollars away from the local economy.

    I think you need to add a few zeros. It's going to be in the 100's of millions if not more initially. Just the income lost from base employees alone is going to be enormous.

    The bases, altogether, account for roughly 7% to 10% of Okinawa's total economy and by removing roughly 20% of that is going to be a huge hit. Okinawa's gdp is roughly 30 billion or so US$.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_prefectures_by_GDP

  • -4

    YuriOtani

    Yubaru, the problem is most everything used on the bases with some exceptions comes from outside of Okinawa and Japan. It is too expensive for the base people to shop off base. The problem is that the bases do not provide a direct benefit. Power plants make power, some plants make beer but the bases ....

  • 0

    Tyler Vandenberg

    The problem is that the bases do not provide a direct benefit.

    @ YuroOtani

    tell that to the 3,000 people (Japanese that work on the Bases) out of jobs when these 9,000 go to Guam (the number the base said it would probably cut with the Marines to Guam plan). Also there little hope of replacement employment for these workers with most Companies cutting back..... so they will go from a great job (40-hour work week that includes Saturdays, Sundays and holidays off, plus bonuses.) to a temp worker if they are lucky.....

  • 0

    Alphaape

    As far as i could see on my visits to bases, the Japanese are relegated to doing low level jobs. I think they could do that in the J-economy as well. Plus, if they have English skills, they might do better than that.

    The bases do more damage to Japan than the menial jobs they employ the "locals" to do.

    @ Ranger_Miffy2: Not true. I ahve had to hire MLC employees for my office, and they come with impressive resumes. Many are college gradutes from some of the top J Universities and overseas schools. Sure some may have menial jobs, but a lot don't. And many hold key positions. I take it your only foray onto the bases is in either the eating establishments or the Exchanges, and not in any offices.

  • 0

    Matthew Simon

    No doubt I work at the Ship Repair Facility, and 90% of the employees are Japanese. Most of them are experts or of master level at what they do, and they are paid well for it.

  • -1

    Matthew Simon

    @Flyfalcon

    When we compare the statics of a few business opportunities and unspeakable crimes

    Oh you mean crimes like attempting to kill your own children? Running over kids on the side walk, randomly stabbing innocent people with no reason?

    Ooops people on the bases didn't do these things, Japanese people did these things to each other. And these are just a few stories from the past couple weeks.

    Those terrible crimes that servicemen have committed are far fewer and far between than any national average for any statistic here.

    Also people love to bring up the 1996 rape incident yes while tragic, I wonder how many Japanese women are raped every night by Japanese men?

    • Moderator

      Readers, please do not focus on the crime issue. That is not the main point of this story.

  • 0

    YuriOtani

    Tyler Vandenberg, where did you come up with the 3000 jobs figure?

  • 0

    Alphaape

    Tyler Vandenberg, where did you come up with the 3000 jobs figure?

    @YuriOtani: That is a low figure. In Yokosuka alone, the figure is at least 5-6000 workers daily who work on the base.

    Also one thing to remember about the impact of the bases in the local community. I live off base, and because I am a foreigner, my landlord gets to charge 25-30% more for my rent than he would if I were a Japanese renting the same place. That's the same in Okinawa too. So I imagine the local real estate market will take a nice hit when the numbers of foreigners is removed. But if that is what the people want, then so be it.

    I wonder, what are the development plans for the base properties? Have they thought of that, or are they just going to be flattened to make room for more apartment buildings with small rooms and convenience stores?

  • -3

    YuriOtani

    Alphaape, the SOFA Americans pay more like 2x or even 3x. what non SOFA pay. First thing they as is "What is your rank or pay grade"? Then there is the thing of an base inspection. My question would be what type of troops is leaving Okinawa? It is possible there may not be a reduction in the workforce at all.

  • -1

    Flyfalcon

    @Matthem Simpson

    Pls refer to that link for more accurate statics.

    www.uchinanchu.org/history/listofcrimes.htm.

    The difference between Civilian criminals and Service men are Civilians were punished without mercy according the local law. Pampered boys were mildly discharged or got very weak punishment. The duty of Uniformed arm force is protecting the community. Not bullying or abusing with their power and status.

    Individual Mad person crime was very low comparing with ithe whole episodes of Base history.

    • Moderator

      Readers, please do not focus on the crime issue. That is not what this story is about.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    The problem is that the bases do not provide a direct benefit.

    Huh? Try telling that to all the landlords that make their living off of rents from their SOFA status renters. Tell that too to Okinawa denko, the water company, NHK, all the supermarkets, everywhere people who work on base spend their money off base. Those are all just a tiny example of direct benefits.

    You might know that if you were here.

  • 0

    Alphaape

    My question would be what type of troops is leaving Okinawa? It is possible there may not be a reduction in the workforce at all.

    @ YuriOtani: THe majority of troops that would leave would be the junior enlisted (i.e. grunts) who actually go out and do the fighting. But when they leave, there is a support element behind them that keeps them going. Those are normally the more senior persons, and being such they will have the opportunity to bring families and stay for a three or four year tour vice a 1 year unaccompanied for the junior enlisted.

    If there are not many junior personnel, then there will not be a need for the supply train and more senior, so the numbers of support personnel will fall off. Also, if Futema is in play, and the aircraft leave, you have more skilled senior technicians who maintain the aircraft, who may be here for longer periods of time and bring famiies. If there are no aircraft to maintain, no need for them to be here and they will leave, along with the support that goes for them i.e. less dependent children here, no longer needing some of the base schools, and other suppport services. So I would say that 9,000 number could probably inflate to about 18,000-20,000 personnel including people who provide direct support.

    So I ask, if an average person spends around 5,000 yen a day off base buying various things, can the Okinawa economy withstand a withdrawl of 20,000 people doing that daily?

  • 1

    Alphaape

    Try telling that to all the landlords that make their living off of rents from their SOFA status renters.

    Okinawan government should ask the landlords in Misawa what happened when they made all USAF personnel live on base recently. All have to live in base housing as they are building more. SOFA civilians have to live off base, but the military is far more. There's a glut of rental properties off base. So I hope Okinawa is ready to absorb that much of an impact on lost income from rents, and don't forget the people who refurbish houses after Americans leave. With a steady rotation of American military in and out, one could make a good business redoing houses. My landlord has branched out into that business also. But you don't get that much turnover with renting to Japanese he states so if it weren't for his US customer base, he couldn't do it.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    So I ask, if an average person spends around 5,000 yen a day off base buying various things, can the Okinawa economy withstand a withdrawl of 20,000 people doing that daily?

    Basically speaking and from experience yes the economy can survive. However it is going to be a major hit and many people will end up on welfare because of it, along with more companies going bankrupt as well.

  • -2

    YuriOtani

    Alphaape, 5000 yen is 65 dollars and a month comes out to 2000 dollars. I am sure that most of the base people do not spend that type of money "in town". The junior enlisted make less than that a month.

    About the bases, who you are referring to is American support people. It will mean a reduction in force for the American civil service. It is Americans that maintain the aircraft and teach the children. True they will need less school bus drivers and mess hall attendants. Probably need less fast food workers, etc. No I am sure the Okinawa economy will be just fine.

  • 0

    Hippalus

    Feelings run high on this, and not surprisingly. Okinawa has been a US forward base for many years as a matter of international defense -- including Japan's defense, too. But many people in Okinawa feel it is time for the US to deploy elsewhere. That redeployment is being carried out and along with it, the Japanese SDF are taking up new responsibilities, too: on Tinian Island. For more see: https://oildiplomacy.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/watching-world-energy/

  • 1

    Alphaape

    Alphaape, 5000 yen is 65 dollars and a month comes out to 2000 dollars. I am sure that most of the base people do not spend that type of money "in town". The junior enlisted make less than that a month.

    @ YuriOtani: Yes it is a small amount, but my point was that it adds up. To look at some statistics from USFJ (US Forces Japan):

    • $1.5 billion is pumped into the island economy each year by Tokyo to cover rent on Japanese-owned land where U.S. bases are located, salaries for thousands of base workers and military construction work, according to a 2008 USFJ economic impact report.

    • An additional $475 million comes from spending by the military and servicemembers, including off-base housing rent, worker salaries at base exchanges and more than $1.6 million in personal telephone calls.

    • The military spending contributes about three times more to the economy than the island’s fishing, agriculture and forestry industries combined, the USFJ report shows.

    • U.S. personnel spend about $17 million each year on personal vehicle purchases, according to USFJ data.

    • Okinawa companies have made nearly $23 million doing housing construction on Kadena over the past decade.

    • $556 million paid out by the base to Japanese companies for such work over the past decade, according to Okinawa General Contractors Association.

    This info was from a Stars & Stripes article, so you may think it may be biased, and that's fair. Whatever you may believe, if the Okinawans want us out I say leave. I am just curious on what they plan on doing to make up some of that economic impact. Building a mall will not solve the problem. Too many shopping areas with not enough people to support buying due to loss of income is not going to help out.

  • -2

    IamGaijin

    Victory for democracy, Okinawans wanted the American the military to leave and they won. We should be happy for Okinawans and move on.

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