voiceofokinawa's past comments

  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    As I surmised on another thread, there's enough reason to believe that all post-war bilateral agreements have always been pushed ahead by the U.S. side while Tokyo accepts them meekly and reluctantly.

    At issue here is on what legal basis the U.S. could demand Japan to pay operating costs of USFJ and on what legal basis Japan agreed to it.

    When questioned at a Dietary session in 1978 why Japan had to shoulder the costs, then Director General of Defense Agency Shin Kanemaru answered, "We do it out of sympathy (for the financially troubled U.S. government," hence the term "sympathy budget in Japan.

    Posted in: Japan to repair U.S. military base in Okinawa at heart of dispute

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    I have posted above that Article 24 (2) of SOFA tops among absurdities in the Japan-U.S. security relation. But the so-called "sympathy budged," which the U.S. side euphemistically calls "host-nation support", doesn't pale at all as to the degree of absurdity.

    Japan started paying an annual \188 billion or \940.5 billion for the next 5-year period for this purpose. But what purpose? There's no legal basis why Japanese taxpayers must shoulder this budged except that haphazardly (or stupidly, should I say?) stipulated in Article 24 (2) of SOFA.

    Posted in: Japan to repair U.S. military base in Okinawa at heart of dispute

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    There's no strategic reasons why Marine units must be stationed in Okinawa. It was agreed in 1996 that the most active elements of Marine units, reportedly 8,000 to 9,000, would move to Guam, leaving only support elements behind in Okinawa. Is it a rational military strategy to deploy active combat units far in safe hinterland while their support units, quartermaster corps, are deployed near a dangerous war zone?

    If such troop deployment is considered aberrant, then it's completely meaningless for the U.S. to demand Futenma's replacement be built in Honoko in northern Okinawa and that, unless its demand is met, Futenma will remain at the current site forever. Demanding to repair dilapidated facilities is totally out of the question.

    This bilateral relation is fraught with absurdities piled upon the top of the other. Article 24 (2) of Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) typifies this most. Why in the world could a tenant (Washington) demand a householder (Japanese taxpayers) to pay bills for gas, water and electricity, and repairs, when he is privileged to rent the room on the house?

    Posted in: Japan to repair U.S. military base in Okinawa at heart of dispute

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    wtfjapan Jul. 30, 2016 - 05:27PM JST,

    Futenma, Kadena, Naha Port and Makiminato were all surrounded by the jungles and Okinawans moved in around them as they pleased to complain about noise pollution, base-related crimes, etc. and etc.? The U.S. military, that is, the Marines in your mind, is deployed here in Futenma "at the invitation of J government"? And they won't move out from there until a new base is built in Henoko? Make no mistake the U.S. military will be here forever?

    Of 33 U.S. bases in Okinawa, the only base surrounded by the jungles is Camp Gonsalves, also known as Northern Training Area or Jungle Warfare Training Center. The area has been covered with lush forests since ancient times. Do you say other bases were the same, that is, surrounded by nothing but forests and wilderness? LOL.

    Take Futenma, for instance. It sits on an area called Ginowan. The old Ginowan Village was a municipality composed of a dozen villages. The U.S. occupation forces encroached upon five of these villages together with houses, farms, schools, cemeteries and what not while area residents were herded in camps. Of course, all had been destroyed by war. If you want to know how the area was like before the war, visit Ginowan City Museum in Makishi, Ginowan for confirmation(E-mail: kyoiku02@city.ginowan.okinawa.jp).

    You say the U.S. military is stationed here at the invitation of the Japanese government. That may be so at the facade. But the truth is the U.S. forces are seamless carry-overs from the WW II Occupation Forces. John Foster Dulles, the U.S. chief negotiator of the Japan-U.S. security treaty, urged his staff to heed to hammering out as many conditions as possible so that the U.S. could keep unrestrained rights to use and maintain the bases. So virtual occupation continued despite Japan's recovery of sovereignty, being guaranteed by the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Okinawa was incorporated into this regime in 1972 where the reality of continued occupation reveals itself most conspicuously.

    The Futenma relocation issue and Takae "helipad" construction issue are the telltale revelations of the still-continuing occupation.

    Posted in: U.S. military prepares for biggest Okinawa land return since 1972

  • 4

    voiceofokinawa

    The return of the relevant tract in Northern Training Area, also known as Jungle Warfare Training Center, was agreed to in 1996 and stipulated in that year's final report. It was good news to hear a considerable portion of the base be returned without any strings attached.

    To our chagrin, however, a condition was added to the SACO agreement the following year that replacements for 6 helipads in the area promised for return be built in the remaining areas straddling between HIgashi Village and Kunigami Village.

    What an abnormality that an already agreed-on diplomatic accord should be so easily altered and added with a condition post diem! That such manipulation is possible betrays the fact that all post-war bilateral agreements are always pushed ahead by the U.S. side which Japan only accepts meekly.

    The 6 replacement facilities have 75 meters in diameter each with about 100-meter strips attached on both sides. Thus, these are simply not replacements for old helipads but completely new facilities for Ospreys to land and take off. It's reported that the Harrier Jump Jets will also train here for V/STOL operations.

    If training with these aircraft goes into a full swing, Takae's pristine natural environment would certainly be destroyed where endangered, precious species of fauna and flora make it there their habitation. Not only that. Takae villagers will also suffer from inhumane noise pollution caused by low-flying Ospreys and Harriers, thus trampling Takae villagers' human rights to the nail, the nearest N4 facilities being only 400 meters from the village.

    Close to the Ospreys' new base in Henoko, the Jungle Warfare Center will be functionally integrated with it and strengthened effectively while at the same Okinawa's feeling of excessive burden sharing may be abated as the result of returning the relevant tract, the U.S. side must have thought.

    I want to ask, however: Is it absolutely necessary for the defense and security of Japan for the U.S. Marines to retain these bases and train jungle warfare skills in Okinawa?

    Anyone, affiliated with Washington, please answer the question.

    Posted in: U.S. military prepares for biggest Okinawa land return since 1972

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    Nope, because the island was under US control, not a part of Japan, the land taken for the creation of the base was the right of the government of the Ryukyu's at that time. That simple.

    Okinawa was under U.S. control at the time (1947) and so the U.S. could do whatever it wanted to do? Justice and humanity had no room to play in an occupied area? That's why U.S. forces encroached upon private land with impunity while area residents were herded in camps?

    Different subject as you conveniently choose to ignore again. The land was kept as a part of the SOFA and return agreement with Japan. The Japanese government agreed to the situation. It's Japanese land, get your head out of the sand.

    Read my comment carefully. Here, I'm simply recapitulating what you said and refuting it. Your response to it is this gibberish with a parting shot: "... get your head out of the sand." Why on earth does SOFA have to come into play here?

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  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    You don't have to be an academic, or an international law expert, to carry on this discussion. All you have to do is simply admit that MCAS Futenma sits on the land illegally confiscated from local residents while they were herded in camps for two years after the war had ended. You say it's OK for U.S. forces to do so because the U.S. won the war and can keep the confiscated land as spoils of war. Contrary to what you say, the issue is quite relevant to even today, 71 years after the war ended.

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  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    Isn't it you who brought up the topic of "spoils of war" in the discussion, defining U.S. bases in Okinawa as such? Now you say, "Stop beating a dead horse." LOL.

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  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    Almost all U.S. bases in mainland Japan, say Yokota Air Base and MCAS Iwakuni, were formerly the Imperial Japanese Army facilities. You may call them spoils of war. But bases in Okinawa have quite different stories like I wrote in my post above.

    The land on which Futenma Air Station sits can never be spoils of war as you claim but it’s stolen property without a doubt because most lands there were privately owned. U.S. occupation forces usurped the lands from private citizens while they were herded in camps.

    But granting what you say is correct, doesn't it turn out that U.S. forces in Japan, particularly those in Okinawa, are nothing but occupation forces, that is, a carry-over from the Occupation period? It becomes more apparent, then, that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which formally guarantees the U.S. military presence, is a mere façade to hide this cold fact.

    Your argument boils down to this conclusion.

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  • 4

    voiceofokinawa

    The 1996 final report of SACO (Special Actions Committee on Okinawa) set out a plan that the 39,870,000 ㎡ portion of the Northern Training Area (total area: 78,242,000㎡) would be returned with a target year as 2002. The following year, a condition was added to the SACO agreement of the previous year to the effect that the replacement of helipads in the area subject to return be built in the remaining area. 

    The 39,870,000㎡ section of 78,2452,000㎡ is quite an area, more than a half. But are we happy with this arrangement?

    Note the area promised for return has been fallow, never used for jungle warfare or combat training. The helipads there are for conventional helicopters like HH-60's whereas 6 replacement "helipads" in the remaining portion where the Marines' Jungle Warfare Center (JWTC) is planted are for Ospreys to transport troops and trainees, with a diameter of 75 meters each. At least one "helipad", which is only 400 meters from the Takae village and being built 20 meters off from the Pref. Rd. No. 70, has a rectangular shape with one side measuring about two hundred meters. Takae is surrounded by 6 such facilities for Ospreys to land and take off.

    If training with Ospreys goes into a full swing, Takae's pristine natural environment would certainly be destroyed where rare, precious species of fauna and flora abound. Not only that. Takae villagers will also suffer from intolerable noise pollution caused by low-flying Ospreys without a doubt. Takae villagers' human rights would thus be trampled to the nail

    Anyone on this thread, please explain why there's no place other than Okinawa where the Marines’ core elements, who come to Okinawa on a regular basis just for training, can train their combat skills and therefore that the construction of these landing and take-off facilities for Ospreys is of the utmost importance and necessity.

    Article Unavailable

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru Jul. 22, 2016 - 08:01PM JST

    Wow, just about the entire US of A sits on "stolen" property, and here in Japan, just about every public building, base, airport and public facility does as well. You have a very selective memory and selective view about Okinawa.

    If you want to deny my argument that the Futenma Air Station sits on the stolen property that U.S. occupation forces usurped from local residents in violation of international law (Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land), state your case clearly that it doesn't.

    Your analogies don't work here.

    Article Unavailable

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    smithinjapan (Jul. 22, 2016 - 09:11AM JST),

    At least they are working legally here, whereas Onaga is not. Shame on HIM for that.

    If you want to take issue with legal matters, then the U.S. is the most blatant violator of justice and humanity.

    Look, Futenma sits on stolen property because U.S. occupation forces encroached upon private lands with impunity while area residents were herded into camps for two years after the war had ended. When they were permitted to go home in 1947, what they found was a vast air base gobbling up all their villages with farms, schools, cemeteries and what not all included.

    Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land clearly states: "Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated."

    So, if the central government has any guts at all, it can say "No" to Washington's demand that Futenma be relocated to Henoko. As I argued elsewhere, Marine units may not necessarily be stationed in Okinawa.

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  • 7

    voiceofokinawa

    No sooner had the central government and Okinawa Prefecture agreed to settle the relocation issue out of court than Washington expressed its concern about the possible delay of construction of the new base. To which, Tokyo responded by citing a proverb, "More haste, less speed."

    So it's apparent that a poor, sycophantic Tokyo is merely acting at Washington's behest. Shame on P.M. Shinzo Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and other mainstream politicians in Tokyo, who don't want to admit the reality that Japan is nothing but a U.S. vassal. They are marionettes of Washington.

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  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    The new measure will only limit legal protections and benefits to U.S. civilian employees working on base in Japan. In other words, U.S. personnel who commit crimes off base continue to be protected by the SOFA the same as before. How to "protect" its military personnel from arbitrary prosecution under the Japanese legal system is more important for Washington than victims' suffering and trampled human rights.

    Does anyone on this thread know about the William Board rape incident that occurred on June 12, 1884? Board was a sailor boarding one of the ships in the fleet commanded by Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who made port calls to Ryukyu Kingdom three times before and after he had forced the reclusive Japan to open its doors.

    On that day, the drunken Board raped a local woman. Finding out the incident, angry neighbors chased Board, pelting stones, to a cliff by the seashore. He slipped and fell off the cliff and was drowned.

    Perry was very angry about the shipmate's death and demanded the Ryukyu authorities to punish a perpetrator severely, with which the Ryukyu authorities complied, sentencing the man to banishment to a remote island (equal to life imprisonment at the time, I think).

    Did Perry, who represented the U.S. government pay any compensation, or express any sympathy, to the victim? Not that I know of. Perry's concern was only with the death of the shipmate and never did he care about the victim's predicament.

    SOFA is imbued with this high-handed spirit of a colonial master.

    Posted in: U.S. military to limit legal protection to some contractors in Japan

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    Hideo Watanabe,

    Thanks for sharing the same view with me. Thanks also for the link.

    Article Unavailable

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    Ronald Hassem,

    Japan's occupation after World War II officially ended in 1951 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed, by dint of which Japan was supposed to have restored its full independence and sovereignty. But did the occupation literally end along with it and was Japan's sovereignty really restored?

    On the very same day when the Peace Treaty was signed, Japan had to sign a separate treaty called the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty with the U.S., the predecessor of today's Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, which guaranteed the continued U.S. military presence with almost all bases remaining intact. John Foster Dulles, a chief negotiator of the treaty for the U.S., ordered his negotiating staff to hammer out as many provisions as possible favorable to the U.S. to maintain the status quo. Thus, it's safe to say that the current U.S. military presence is a mere carry-over of the erstwhile Occupation. Okinawa was incorporated into this system in 1972 when its administration was reverted to Japan. No wonder, then, there are so many bases and facilities in Japan: 55 in mainland Japan and 33 in Okinawa.

    The Sunagawa case and the Supreme Court's decision not to judge the constitutionality of the U.S. presence should be considered under such circumstances. Something is fundamentally wrong this regime, that is, as regards the bilateral relations. This must be corrected first and for all before anyone speaks of "China threat" or "North Korea threat."

    Article Unavailable

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    Isn't what I say very clear?

    Judges must not contact concerned parties or outside sources before he gives a verdict, right? But Chief Judge was in close contact with then U.S. Ambassador Douglas MacArthur Jr. as well as then Chief U.S. Envoy William Reinhardt, who pressed the Japanese judiciary to skip deliberation by intermediate courts but go directly to the Supreme Court for quicker judgement. Wikipedia (Japanese) is a dependable source here.

    Correction: The terms "legislative branch" in my post above should be "executive/legislative branches".

    Article Unavailable

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    The 1959 judgement of the Supreme Court regarding the Date lower court ruling that the U.S. military presence was unconstitutional in the light of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution was: "quashed and remanded" for two reasons: (1) What Article 9 refers to as "land, sea and air forces" are those inherent only to Japan, and not foreign military; (2) It's not fit for judiciary to judge whether foreign military presence is constitutional or not.

    Even to an amateur, this judgement appears very strange and queer. Can a person be innocent if he didn’t actually commit manslaughter but asked some agent to do it for him? And isn't it the Supreme Court's task to judge if the legislative branch's action, regardless of domestic or international issues, constitutional or not?

    It's been revealed that Kotaro Tanaka, the Supreme Court’s then chief judge, had been in close contact with the U.S. side before he ruled the final verdict. What a sovereign, "beautiful" nation Japan is!

    Article Unavailable

  • 4

    voiceofokinawa

    The return of the land tract was promised in 1996 along with the return of Futenma Air Station. The return of Naha military port facilities had already been promised in 1973, which was re-confirmed also in 1996. If the return of land were to be done true and sincere to the real meaning of the word, who would not rejoice at it?

    But the fact is that the returns are all string-attached because the Japanese side must provide their replacement within Okinawa. In the case of Northern Training Area, the Japanese side must build 6 landing and take-off facilities for Ospreys in the remaining tract surrounding Takae village. One of the facilities is being built a few hundred meters from the village itself. The area is rich in flora and fauna with lush forests. The land promised for return has been fallow and unused anyway.

    So can we be thankful to the U.S.'s generous and beneficial treatment and let go the strengthening and perpetuation of its military footprint?

    Posted in: U.S. dangles large land return as anti-base resentment surges in Okinawa

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    It also costs a hell of a lot less as well. It is easier.....let's see you and all those others who support moving bases to mainland, put your money where your mouths are. Pay for it. Put it in your backyard. You host them. Otherwise please STFU"

    There's an unmistakable premise in your argument as well as Washington's. Futenma's function must remain in Okinawa, or if not in Okinawa, somewhere in Japan.

    Now, my stance is close the Marine base unconditionally. Move it to Guam, Hawaii or U.S. mainland, if you like, with your own money. Its ex post facto has nothing to do with us. Tenants must be held responsible for what to do when asked to move out.

    If you disagree, give concrete reasons why the Marine base must remain in Okinawa.

    Article Unavailable

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