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voiceofokinawaJul. 18, 2014 - 11:21AM JST
Nowhere in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is stated that the U.S. Marines are entitled to station in Japan. The English version of Article 6 of the treaty vaguely states: "[T]he United States of America is granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan," using terms in combat situations. The Japanese version is more concrete, stating explicitly that those forces are the Army, Air Force and Navy, with the Marines excluded.
Before they discuss how the JSDF can cooperate effectively with the USFJ by revising or reinterpreting the peace constitution, they should discuss if the U.S. military presence in Japan is legitimate at all for starters.
Note that the U.S. forces are using bases, water areas and air space in Japan for whatever purpose they want, despite the fact that Article 6 of the treaty stipulates the U.S. is granted to use these bases for "the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East."
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voiceofokinawaJul. 15, 2014 - 03:00AM JST
Thank you for the correction of my mistake in dollar yen conversion.
voiceofokinawaJul. 14, 2014 - 06:41PM JST
Japan is a country under semi-occupation by the U.S. It provides 88 bases for free to the U.S. military, in addition to vast water areas and airspace. Japanese taxpayers are obliged to shoulder nearly 200 billion dollars annually for the operation and maintenance of these bases. They also have to pay large sums of money as noise-pollution compensation to residents living around bases and as annoyance payments to base-hosting municipalities (41 in Okinawa alone).
If the U.S. demands a new base to be built for a dilapidated one, Japan must be obliged to. The Futenma-to-Henoko relocation issue exemplifies this clearly.
Now, Washington has been pressing Tokyo for more contribution as if Japan's physical and monetary contribution were not enough, saying the U.S. was protecting Japan while Japan was not protecting the U.S. The bilateral alliance is unequal and lopsided, Washington says, thus coercing Tokyo to revise or re-interpret Article 9 of the constitution so that the JSDF could exercise the right to collective self-defense and help U.S. forces fighting war.
To me, the U.S. demand seems exorbitantly unjust. Hagel's smiles in the photo look like a contended villain's while Onodera's like a servant's obsequious smiles.
voiceofokinawaJun. 29, 2014 - 05:04PM JST
At a news conference held on July 10, 2001, just two months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker suggested that the Japanese Constitution be revised so that Japan could send SDF contingents overseas to cooperate effectively with U.S. forces. His opinion was a telltale reflection of Washington's decades-old stance on that matter.
In an interview article in the March 2004 issue of Bungeishunju magazine, then U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage expressed high hopes that the war-renouncing Japanese constitution must be revised for the sake of stronger Japan-U.S. alliance. He had earlier expressed the same view at the Japan Press Club.
It soon turned out, however, that it would take too long a time, or probably be almost impossible, under the current provision stipulating constitutional procedures for the Japanese government to revise the constitution. So the so-called "Japanophiles" such as Joseph Nye and Richard Armitage started saying the re-interpretation of Article 9 would do as much the same effect as the revising of the constitution.
Shinzo Abe was Secretary General of the LDP in 2001 under the Koizumi administration, Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 and has been one since 2012. And so his actions for constitutional revision and then re-interpretation prove to parallel the counselling or ill-advice of the above-mentioned Japanophiles.
The bottom line: Japan is no other than a U.S. vassal that does faithfully what is dictated by the U.S., thus allowing Okinawa to be a U.S. military colony.
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voiceofokinawaJun. 03, 2014 - 07:05PM JST
bass4funk (Jun. 03, 2014 - 02:48PM JST):
Reality can be captured from various aspects. My understanding of the reality under which Japan is put is this. As you say, Japan started the war by attacking Pearl Harbor. It was defeated and occupied. The Occupation lasted from August 1945 to May 1952 when the Peace Treaty took effect. The Occupation was supposed to have ended that year. But Japan was obliged to sign a separate treaty with the U.S., the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, with which the U.S. was allowed to maintain bases and military capacity as in the Occupation era. Japan is said to have recovered sovereignty in 1952 but a virtual occupation continued (See Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty).
Okinawa was incorporated into this tight regime in 1972 when its administrative right was returned to Japan. But bases and their function remained intact even after the reversion. These bases occupy 18% of Okinawa Island's land mass. Not only that, the U.S. military designates vast water areas and airspace around the island as its exclusive-use training areas. Noise pollution caused by aircraft and their engine tests just across the street and the fences late into the night (the case in Kadena Town) is beyond human endurance. Come and experience it for yourself.
Now, you say all this is the end result of what happened in 1941. So if we have any complaint, take it to Tokyo, not to Washington, because Tokyo is solely responsible for all this. Thus, in your view, the war hasn't ended yet and retaliation for Pearl Harbor is continuing, with Okinawa taking full brunt of it.
Washington, of course, wouldn't accept your view that Okinawa's plight is the end result of Pearl Harbor. Nor would they accept my view that the Occupation regime is still maintained. Their official line is this excessive military presence is for the defense of Japan and their service members are always ready to sacrifice their life to defend Japan.
Thus, there's a huge discrepancey between your view and Washington's official line. I've been asking you how you explain this discrepancy. But you are evading my question.
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voiceofokinawaJun. 03, 2014 - 07:49AM JST
It's your argument that naturally leads to this conclusion: the Japan-U.S. security Treaty is a sham. In this regard, you and I are in agreement even though you may not like it.
What should be done then? The treaty and the concomitant SOFA should be either scrapped or revised to the extent that the U.S. military presence may not be called occupation.
voiceofokinawaJun. 02, 2014 - 10:06PM JST
OK, then. Let me re-post what I wrote on May 30 (11:40PM):
I'm looking forward to your logical and not emotional answer to the question I raised there.
"The official reason why the U.S. must maintain its military presence in Japan is stipulated in Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. It says that, in order to defend Japan and to maintain peace and security in the Far East, the U.S. is "granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and bases in Japan." (This last portion in the Japanese version, probably equal to the English version in force, goes: "... granted the use by its Army, Air Force and Navy of facilities and bases in Japan," thus excluding the Marines!)
A retiring top brass of USFJ recently wrote a farewell message in The Japan Times that U.S. service members stationed in Japan were ready to sacrifice their life for the defense of Japan. This, as well as the relevant article in the security treaty, declares that the U.S. military presence in Japan is for the defense of Japan.
But you say the U.S. military footprint, especially in Okinawa, which is very excessive to the degree that one may call it occupation, is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack. In other words, in your view and I'm afraid you may be right, Okinawa's suffering is the continued retaliation for that attack. Of course, one can ask why Okinawa should take the full brunt of Japan's past mistake all by itself.
Anyway, there's a discrepancy between Washington's official explanation and yours as to why the U.S. must maintain so big a military footprint in Japan (Okinawa in particular). If you believe your Pearl Harbor theory is correct, then Washington's Japan-protection theory would become hocus-pocus, thus making the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty a sham."
voiceofokinawaJun. 02, 2014 - 03:57PM JST
Still, you are not arguing logically. You are simply giving vent to your frustration due to your being unable to answer me logically and rationally.
If you take this an insult, please to so. But what about your suggestion that Okinawans relocate somewhere else if we don't like bases? Don't you think this is an insult?
You are like a member of a crime syndicate telling turf residents to leave the town if they didn't like their presence. There's no logic here but intimidation and extortion.
voiceofokinawaJun. 01, 2014 - 01:01PM JST
You are not refuting my argument. You are simply howling and barking because you can't counter my argument logically. If you insist on your Pearl Harbor argument, the natural consequence of it would be to dub Washington's security policy toward Japan was hocus-pocus, thus undermining the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and making it a sham as I think it is.
We are of course taking our complaint to Tokyo. But we know who's really behind the scene manipulating all these problems. That's the reason why Mayor Inamine went to the U.S. to appeal for the solution of the Futenma issue.
voiceofokinawaMay. 30, 2014 - 11:40PM JST
The official reason why the U.S. must maintain its military presence in Japan is stipulated in Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. It says that, in order to defend Japan and to maintain peace and security in the Far East, the U.S. is "granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and bases in Japan." (This last portion in Japanese equal to English in force is: "granted the use by its Army, Air Force and Navy, thus excluding the Marines!)
A retiring top brass of USFJ recently wrote a farewell message in The Japan Times that U.S. service members stationed in Japan were ready to sacrifice their life for the defense of Japan. This, as well as the relevant article in the security treaty, declares that the U.S. military presence in Japan is mainly for the defense of Japan.
But you say the U.S. military footprint, especially the excessive one in Okinawa to the degree that you may call it occupation, is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack. In other words, in your view and I'm afraid you may be right, Okinawa's suffering is the continued retaliation for that attack. Of course, one can ask why Okinawa should take the full brunt of Japan's past mistake all by itself.
Anyway, there's a gap between yours and Washington's official explanation why the U.S. must maintain so big a military footprint in Japan (Okinawa in particular). Could you explain it in detail?
voiceofokinawaMay. 30, 2014 - 11:03AM JST
bass4funk (May. 30, 2014 - 07:11AM JST):
(1) If you believe it as such, then NO problem. Again, had Japan NOT done what it did, we won't (not) be here on JT discussing the issue, deal with it.
Formally bases are offered to the U.S. military under a provision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. The treaty was signed under an abnormal situation, though, as if Japan's restoration of sovereignty were in exchange for signing it. So the bases remained intact after Japan's independence; not only that, Japan has obligation to help the U.S. military operate them without a hitch. Thus, a virtual occupation continued as in the Occupation era.
Now, you say time and again that had Japan not done that, that is, if Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, such problems as the Futenma issue would never have arisen. Loser Japan must act as the victorious U.S. dictates. Everything is the end result of the Pearl Harbor Attack.
If you stick to that opinion, the logical conclusion is that Japan is still under U.S. occupation. In this sense, you and I are of the same opinion that Japan is still U.S.-occupied -- Okinawa especially. Live with it, you say. The corollary of your argument is that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is nothing but make-believe to camouflage the fact that Japan is still occupied as in the Occupation era.
(2) If there is ANY apology that is forthcoming then it should come from Japan for the record, but if you insist, then you should go to the mainland and demand an apology for them. But if you even remotely think that particularly while China and North Korea pose a threat to Japan's sovereignty that the U.S. is going to leave, you will be sadly disappointed. Deal with it.
Of course, Tokyo must apologize to Okinawa. But that's not what you should suggest: Demand an apology from Tokyo, not Washington. It's like the real culprit asking the victim to go to his guardian for an apology that permitted this to have happened.
voiceofokinawaMay. 29, 2014 - 12:00PM JST
World War II officially ended with the conclusion of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. You say the occupation was the price Japan had to pay. It paid and the payment must have ended in 1951. But Japan was obliged to sign a bilateral treaty totally different in nature from the Peace Treaty solely with the U.S. and the U.S. military presence continued just as before. In other words, virtual occupation continued.
In Okinawa, on the other hand, actual occupation continued until 1972. The administration of the islands was returned to Japan all right, but nothing has changed as far as U.S. bases are concerned. Okinawa was returned to an also-occupied nation, so what could have changed?
U.S. bases are located sparsely all across mainland Japan (there are 55 U.S. military facilities there, though), so it's hard for mainlanders to see the real picture under which Japan is put under. But seen from Okinawa, Japan's state of affairs is crystal-clear. Japan is nothing but a U.S.-occupied country; it's a vassal of the U.S.A.
How could you threaten the people of an already-occupied country by saying there's a 2.5 million-man army ready to invade and occupy your country any time soon?
Look, the problem at issue here is the Futenma issue. So I repeat: "Return the land (Futenma) unconditionally and with apologies." The U.S. has no inherent right to demand a replacement for the return of the stolen property.
voiceofokinawaMay. 28, 2014 - 12:07PM JST
Bass4Funk (May. 28, 2014 - 06:29AM JST):
You are answering my post dated May. 25, 2014 - 01:03PM JST. But I assume you are also responding to my post addressed to lincolnman. I said, " Return the land (Futenma) unconditionally and with apologies."
Of course, you want to say there's no need for the U.S. to return Futenma unconditionally, much less with apologies. Everything today is the end result of what took place yesterday, you say. In other words, Okinawa's predicament today is the natural consequence of what Japan did on December 7, 1941.
Officially, World War II ended with the conclusion of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. With it, Japan regained sovereignty and the Occupation was supposed to have come to an end. Did it?
As I see it, a virtual occupation is still going on and you confirmed it by saying it's the natural consequence of the Pearl Harbor Attack.
You and I then share the same conclusion: The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (revised as "Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America) is nothing but a facade to camouflage the post-war regime of Occupation.
voiceofokinawaMay. 27, 2014 - 03:21PM JST
Your barb about Mayor Inamine's U.S. tour is like a robber shouting at the poor unfortunate, "Don't tell a lie. I didn't steal the amount you say. It was less than that. Appologize for the inaccuracy!"
Remember Futenma sits on stolen property; most of the land is private lands that were confiscated after the Battle of Okinawa in blatant violation of international law. The U.S. has no inherent right to demand its replacement for starters. Return the land unconditionally and with apologies.
voiceofokinawaMay. 27, 2014 - 08:33AM JST
The tragedy involved in this new base construction is that Japanese taxpayers are obliged to shoulder all the necessary costs, which are estimated to amount to almost 10 billion dollars, and offer it to the U.S. Marines free of charge and keep paying its maintenance costs forever thereafter.
Can anyone think of such absurdity? By opposing such absurdity to come true, in truth, Mayor Inamine is contributing to Japan's sovereignty far more than those treacherous, sycopahntic politicians and bureaucrats in Tokyo. What an irony!
voiceofokinawaMay. 26, 2014 - 10:49PM JST
lincolnman (May. 26, 2014 - 08:22PM JST):
Mayor Inamine is not a military specialist and he was talking through an interpretor, and so his remarks on the new Henoko base may not be as accurate as a professional military specialist. But I wonder if lincolnman is correct and accurate on his part when he says:
They (are) adding no additional facilities that Futenma lacks; there is no armory being built. Ports for battleships and so on.
Here are some new facilities added to the new base that Futenma lacks:
(1） Facility for LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion)
(2) Pier for the the USS Bonhomme Richard, LHD-6 (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship (aka aircraft carrier) with the displacement of more than 40,000 tons)
(3) Two V-shaped runways with the length of 1800 meter each
(4) 4 helicopter pads
(5) 1 ammunition depot
The new base may be smaller area-wise than Futenma, but its function will certainly increase
manifold with these newly added facilities. Furthermore, the new base will be functionally integrated with adjacent Camp Schwab, Camp Hansen Central Trainig Area and the Northern Training Area and therefore increase its function three times as much Camp Shcwab has weapon storage facilities already, which were rumored in pre-reversion days to be nuclear (or Mustard gas (my conjecture)) arsenal because goats were kept loose in the area.
voiceofokinawaMay. 26, 2014 - 02:53PM JST
lincolnman (May. 26, 2014 - 09:16AM JST),
Can you dare say Mayor Inamine's remarks during his U.S. trip are filled with "fabrications, distortions and just outright lies"? What person are you?
The day after the total return of Futenma was announced by then P.M. Ryutaro Hashimoto and Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale with a provision that its facilities would be relocated to Kadena Air Base, Kadena townspeople raised a strong voice against Kadena relocation. Kadena-based U.S. Air Force 18th Wing took no time either to oppose the Kadena integration plan right away. If Japan hands at the Pentagon had expected such opposition beforehand and targeted Henoko as the final relocation site from the very beginning, they were the real culprits of making Futenma a complex diplomatic issue.
If Kadena was No, then Okinawans must find possible relocation sites within Okinawa themselves, the Pentagon suggested. Thus, various proposals were offered in local papers. Some offered the idea of land reclamation off the west coast of Okinawa Island; others, like Tsukenjima islanders, suggested the shallow waters lying between Yokatsu Peninsular and Tsukenjima to be reclaimed, thus connecting their island with the main island of Okinawa by bridge. I remember an American academic publishing articles on a local paper advocating a proposal very similar to Yokatsu-Tsuken reclamation.
The Pentagon didn't give a nod to any of these proposals, only hinting they preferred the east coast to the west coast. Then, someone (construction firm?) at Henoko came up with a proposal for the Henoko coast. Whether he was approached by U.S. military authorities or not nobody knows. At any rate, the Pentagon bought this idea and the hitherto-stalled problem began to move. Henoko was fixed matter-of-factly as a relocation site from then on. The problem was how. Should it be reclamation of the coastal area or a mega-float anchored off the coast?
The Japanese side (Shigeru Ishiba was then Chief Defense Agency) had initially proposed an area in Camp Hanse as a relocation site but at the insistence of the U.S. side agreed to the Henoko reclamation plan. Nobody in the Japanese government, including Ishiba, must have known about the existence of a blueprint already drawn by the Marines in the 1960's. See how strikingly similar today's plan and the Marines' 1960's blueprint is at:
Can lincolnman call Mayor Inamine an outright liar and fabricator now?
voiceofokinawaMay. 26, 2014 - 10:49AM JST
Sorry, your post must have been deleted by Moderator for the reason of "Off topic", but anyway I post the following:. :
You are avoiding to answer my question on Naha Military Port: why it should be relocated to Urasoe, just one block from Camp Kinser, that is listed as a "total return" item in the 2007 ATARA. My suspicion is that the significant part of Camp Kinser where logistics facilities are to be concentrated will not be returned after all.
Instead of answering this question, you bring a totally different topic into discussion.
Note that many of the people you name are the staunch supporters of the Henoko plan. Abe and his cronies think relocating Futenma to Henoko is a must in order to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance -- that is, to show Japan's genuine friendship toward the U.S. Yes, it is the ultra-right or right-wing section of Japanese society who identify themselves as the best friends of the U.S. and so strongly support the U.S. military presence in Japan.
Haven't you ever seen an ultra-right "patriotic" sound truck blaring a Futenma-to-Henoko propaganda with Hinomaru and Stars and Stripes hoisted on the sides of the truck? Yes, they are America's (or Washington's) best friends who don't care about constant noise pollution and agony inflicted upon their own compatriots that is caused by U.S. aircraft's field carrier landing practice late into the night all around the year.
Seiichi Eto's complaint is that, despite their efforts to work for the U.S., Washington won't repay them by sanctioning Abe and conservative lawmakers' visit to Yasukuni Shrine.
voiceofokinawaMay. 25, 2014 - 10:16PM JST
lincolnman (May. 25, 2014 - 05:55PM JST):
Yes, and against my better judgement, I replied to you in a courteous, forthright and considerate way as reflected in the link at this thread;
The return plan for bases south of Kadena was also reported by local papers in detail. Still, I have some doubt about it as I mentioned above.
You didn't answer my question as to why Naha Military Port facilities must be relocated to Urasoe. The port facilities stand there almost idly whenever I pass by them by car.
voiceofokinawaMay. 25, 2014 - 06:50PM JST
Let me give you one more example of deception involved in the "total return" of land south of Kadena. On September 7 last year, about 2 ha of the land used as a U.S. military road was returned unconditionally. The road is about 700 meters in length and has 54 private land owners.
Apparently, the land was requisitioned by the Occupation army to construct an access road to one of the entrances of Camp Kinser, while allowing area residents to use it as their daily-life road.
The road will be operated by Urasoe City as a city road from now on. Note, however, that U.S. military vehicles can use the road freely under Section 2 of Article 5 in the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.
If someone criticizes such dealing, according to lincolnman, he would be dubbed as an "anti-U.S. hater" or a visceral anti-American.
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