voiceofokinawa's past comments

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    A promise is a declaration by someone to realize what he said he would do for himself or someone else. Now, PM Shinzo Abe promised in his April 29 speech to the Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress that he would enact the security bills, that indeed went through forceful resolution of the lower house of the Diet on July 16 as expected. A similar forceful resolution is assumed to take place in the upper house.

    Already, in 2004, then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage expressed his wishes, also a decades-long U.S. policy, at the Japan National Press Club that the Japanese Constitution must be revised so that the JSDF could exercise the right of collective self-defense and thereby come to the help of U.S. forces fighting international wars. But as soon as he realized the process of revising the constitution would take too long a time, he changed the course and began to say a constitutional reinterpretation would suffice for now.

    So you know Tokyo, especially Washington's most trusted leader Shinzo Abe, has been merely tracking the path laid down by the U.S. government, faithfully implementing what it or he was dictated by Washington..

    Posted in: Abe's support rate plummets after defense bills pass lower house

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    toshiko,

    Please do not write a fiction?

    The new constitution was promulgated on May 3, 1947. There was no high-profile celebration held in Okinawa because people felt it had nothing to do with them. But news from mainland Japan abundantly told that the whole nation was overwhelmed with joy and enthusiasm. Click open 新憲法発布on the Internet to confirm this. May 3 has been a big national holiday to this day.

    Okinawa's desire to be reunited with Japan was born from the reality of it being put under a harsh U.S. military occupation. The U.S. occupation army in Okinawa behaved as if they were liberators from Japanese militarism in the beginning but it wasn't long before they betrayed themselves and administered the islands tyrannically like hell. Okinawans naively thought they could enjoy freedom, equality, dignity, human rights and economic prosperity under the new constitution. This led to the creation of the Association of Okinawa's Return to Japan in 1960, which acted a pivotal role in that movement.

    And you know the rest of the story.

    Posted in: Public support plunges for Abe

  • 4

    voiceofokinawa

    Washington's policymakers must be watching the current Japanese political scene very carefully and also with bated breath. For it's they who have been pressing Tokyo to revise the Constitution or reinterpret it when they realized the revision of it would take too long a time.

    They rate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as one of the most trustworthy prime minister that Japan has had since Nobusuke Kishi, Abe's grandfather, because, as with Kishi, grandson Abe faithfully implements what the U.S. sets forth in its security policy toward Japan.

    Article 9 of the Pacific Constitution was not imposed on Japan by the victorious U.S. as generally believed and as the above article states. There were back-and-forth exchanges of draft constitutions between MacArthur's GHQ and the Japanese government. Some scholars say Article 9 was inserted into the constitution by then Prime Minister Kijuro Shidehara, a pacifist politician.

    Note that the proclamation of the new constitution was enthusiastically welcomed by the war-weary Japanese people at the time, who believed it would guarantee that Japan would never repeat the same mistake in the future. The U.S., on the other hand, thought afterwards that they had made a mistake by granting the new constitution with Article 9 included and has been urging Japan to scrap or revise it.

    Posted in: Public support plunges for Abe

  • 5

    voiceofokinawa

    PM Abe may not mind at all if his support rate plummets or not. It is far more important for him and his cabinet how to please the suzerain U.S. even at the cost of democracy and the nation's consensus. Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga says that Japan is a law-governed state and so every policy is implemented according to law. The security bills were approved by the lower house of the Diet and so will it be by the upper house. Everything is done according to law however forceful a resolution it may go through.

    There is the common root here with the ongoing Futenma relocation issue. The relocation was approved by a lame-duck governor, who approved reclamation of land off the coast of Henoko at the last moment despite that he had promised otherwise and won his second term as a governor. He suffered a landslide defeat in an ensuing election seeking a third term.

    If the central government values democracy, it would have scrapped the entire relocation plan then and there. But Chief Cabinet Minister Suga has kept saying that Japan is a law-governed state whereby reclamation work would start whatever voters and Okinawa Prefecture may say.

    Make short shrift of democracy. Make short shrift of the constitution and the nation's sovereignty. But never enrage the suzerain U.S.A. by not following what it dictates Japan to do. That characterizes today's relations between Japan and the U.S. No doubt, Japan is a subservient vassal of the U.S.

    Posted in: Abe's support rate plummets after defense bills pass lower house

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    According to recent pools conducted by the Asahi Shimbun, those who considered the security bills must be passed at the current Lower House session accounted for 19 percent as against 66 percent who opposed it. Those who considered PM Shinzo Abe's explanation of the bills was not in detail and so not convincing accounted for 67 percent while only 15 percent considered otherwise.

    Abe even owned up to the fact that the majority of the nation didn't understand why the bills must be enacted.

    Why then did he push through legislation despite a strong opposition, which he will certainly do again in the Upper House?

    The answer: He already promised the Joint Session of U.S. Congress in May that these bills would be enacted by the end of summer.

    What a democracy! What a sovereignty! What a prime minister, always minding about the moods and demand of the suzerain U.S. but never about the voice of the nation!

    This is also what characterizes the Futenma issue (and the overall Okinawa issue). A disgusting state of affairs indeed.

    Posted in: Ruling bloc pushes security bills through lower house panel

  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    lincolnman:

    This is not a comment on your post immediately above. But haven't we discussed the matter you mention above elsewhere many times?

    It was unfortunate that the Operation Toimodachi was used as a convenient tool by the U.S. Marines to promote their presence in Japan and in Okinawa in particular. It was this aspect that the Okinawan press criticized most severely.

    The signed March 17, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo article writes: "the U.S. Marines Okinawa has explained that Futenma's location was proved very important for the Third Marine Expeditionary Force to engage in such rescue operations," implying strongly that they are intent on gaining understanding of the mainlander Japanese that the relocation of Futenma within Okinawa is the best solution..

    The March 18 editorial of Shimpo writes: "It's urgent that search for the dead and missing as the result of this unprecedented disaster be carried out. We pay respect to those engaged in rescue operations exposing themselves to the danger of radiation. However, this is not the time for publicity and advertisement," citing again what the Marines Okinawa publicized: "Futenma's location has been proved very important for the Third Marine Expeditionary Force to engage in such rescue operations."

    The Shimpo editorial didn't say "Disaster relief is not a publicity stunt" as you wrongly assert. Rather, it said: "This is not the time for publicity and advertisement." But the Marines authorities in Okinawa took full advantage of Operation Tomodachi relief efforts to justify their presence in Okinawa and the early implemenation of the Henoko relocation plan.

    lincolnman also says in his July 5 post that the Okinawa Times editorialized the relief efforts by the Marines were like "robbery at the scene of a fire." How could a rational mind say such stupidity? As I remember correctly, the Times criticized the Marine brass' "mission-accomplished" comments to the effect that the importance of the Marines presence in the vicinity of mainland Japan were well understood by the Japanese people.

    Posted in: Okinawan news editors lash out at LDP calls for press curbs

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    Okinawa is a part of Japan, Okinawa has a responsibility for the collective defense of Japan. Oh and move Futenma to Henoko and the footprint will be lessened.

    Okinawa is a part of Japan all right, and so you insist but Okinawa follow what is dictated by Tokyo faithfully. But Japan, as I see it, is nothing but a vassal of the U.S., following whatever Washington dictates it to do, especially regarding defense matters. It's a pity to see conservative-minded Japanese, all the way from Abe henchmen to right-wingers in the street firmly believe that Japan is a genuine sovereign state and an equal partner to the U.S.

    The U.S. military presence is a mere carry-over of the post-World War Two Occupation that was supposed to end in 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect. The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty that was signed concurrently with the peace treaty was a camouflage to hide this reality. Japan was kept under virtual U.S. occupation just as before. Look at the hard reality in Oinawa to confirm this.

    Washington maintains a mechanism, a hotbed of political intrigue, to maintain the status quo ante to communicate its will to Japanese bureaucrats as a suzerain: Japan-U.S. Joint Committee headquartered at Sanno Hotel in Tokyo (officially named New Sanno U.S. Forces Center).

    Posted in: Okinawan news editors lash out at LDP calls for press curbs

  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    lincolnman:

    If you complain loudly that the Okinawa media didn't do enough to report on the U.S. military's "Operation Tomodachi" in 2011, in which Okinawa-based Marines were reported to be mobilized in large numbers, then there is no doubt that the "Operation Tomodachi" was politically motivated. That is, the U.S. side wanted to use this opportunity to ballyhoo how good it is to have the U.S. military in one's neighborhood, that come to aid when disasters hit the area.

    You cannot deny the "Operation Tomodachi" didn't affect the knee-jerk approval by the Japanese Lower House Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 31, only three weeks after the triple disasters in Tohoku occurred on March 11, of a bill to appropriate an annual Y188.1 billion (about $220 million by 2011 exchange rate) for host nation support for a 5-year period from fiscal 2011. (Incidentally, they've started negotiating the next phase because the five-year period terminates next year.)

    Neither can you deny that that relief operation didn't affect Tokyo's decision to facilitate speedy implementation of the U.S. military realignment in Japan, particularly, the Futenma-to-Henoko relocation plan.

    Yubaru:

    You are not responding to my contention that the Okinawa media arre digging out injustice involved in this exorbitant U.S. military footprint on Okinawa. Show how justified they are to maintain this much military footprint.

    Posted in: Okinawan news editors lash out at LDP calls for press curbs

  • -1

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru:

    Why is it you are free to give a pass to the press here because they are anti-base, but then hypocritically overlook things in society that matter just as much if not more?

    The essentials of journalism, I think, are digging out injustice in society in and out. If Okinawa's media pick up stories related with U.S. bases far more often than those in Tokyo or Washington, it's because they see lots of injustice involved in this extraordinary U.S. military presence to the extent that one can call it "occupation."

    Posted in: Okinawan news editors lash out at LDP calls for press curbs

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    lincolnman,

    Do U.S. newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Washington Times give much space to reports on social events happening in other countries or societies? Those in Okinawan society, for example? Never.

    U.S. bases in Okinawa are fenced-in societies completely isolated from Okinawan society in general. So almost no social events taking place inside the bases are reported widely in local newspapers. Yes, they sometimes do, but they know readers aren't much interested in them except a few right-wingers such as revisionist-minded Channel Sakura viewers.

    You said on another thread: "These two media outlets have a long history of failing to adhere to any journalistic standards of professionalism. They are part of the anti-US military elite on Okinawa, and can be considered merely tabloid journalism at best ("Considering moving U.S. base outside Okinawa could stall talks: Kan," Japan Today: Jun. 27, 2011)

    I want to ask you why you consider them as "tabloid journalism." That's an affront to Okinawa, which fully supports their editorial stance to guard democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and people's dignity of life.

    Posted in: Okinawan news editors lash out at LDP calls for press curbs

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    Constructing a replacement facility for the Futenma Air Station in Henoko is nothing but an act of selling one's sovereign soil to a foreign power. The U.S. side says that, unless Futenma is relocated to Henoko, it will remain at the current site forever. As I have repeatedly said, Futenma sits on stolen property, because the lands it sits on were confiscated illegally from private landholders.

    Washington knows this well enough and wants the base to be relocated to Henoko, thus vindicating themselves across the board. This is why one can call the Henoko relocation plan "base laundry."

    If the Henoko relocation should come true, the new base will certainly remain there forever, let alone many other bases. The dealing is thus tantamount to selling part of sovereign soil to a foreign country.

    So I can't understand why the Abe government, instead of guarding its own people and sovereignty, is so eager to press ahead with the relocation plan. Is it because the Abe government and the sycophantic bureaucrats are fearful of Washington's wrath by not following its dictation and order? Don't they know their action is no different from an act of betrayal against not only Okinawa but also the nation as a whole?

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    Akura(Jun. 10, 2015 - 03:56AM JST):

    Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know? The Japanese wisdom similarly says "Better a familiar demon than an unfamiliar god."

    No, neither is better than the other, I should say. Both must be rejected, especially if the devil you don't know is as fearful as Washington touts. But Okinawa, as a sovereignty, has had a very cordial relationship with the devil you say you don't know for 400 years and so knows better. So, for heaven's sake, please don't try to teach us.

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    The Okinawa Times is still running a series of verifiable articles about the Onaga visit. According to the June 9 edition, the people Onaga and his entourage met while visiting the U.S. were 15 in all.

    In Hawaii, they met Governor David Ige, 2 Senators and 1 Congressman. In Washington, they met 3 Senators, 2 Congressmen, 4 think-tank researchers;. They met Joseph Young, Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Cara Abercrombie, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Senior officials above their ranks were not available for they were on tour to attend The 14th Asia Security Summit (29-31 May 2015) in Singapore.

    In Hawaii, they held a news conference with reporters from 6 local newspapers attending. In Washington, they had a chance to talk with Washington Post Publisher Frederick Rian and were also interviewed by members of the U.S. Congressional Research Service. On the final day of the visit, reporters from 5 international media took part in a news conference. Onaga was also interviewed alone by a U.S. radio network.

    A fringe group may criticize him by saying he spent too much taxpayers' money but came home almost empty-handed. I don't think so. Washington is closely listening to him by way of the officials who met him and carefully watching the trend of Okinawa's public opinion, though trying to appear to be nonchalant.

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • 0

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru,

    We are talking about Gov. Onaga's visit to Washington. Okinawans were eager to see what would come of this visit as regards the Futenma issue. The two local papers, The Ryukyu Shimpo and The Okinawa Times, have been reporting the story from this local viewpoint.

    Which of the major media in Tokyo was doing so? Let alone U.S. media? And you keep swiping at the two papers, saying "'news' is not being reported accurately."

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • -1

    voiceofokinawa

    Yubaru (un. 08, 2015 - 07:41AM JST):

    I have never defamed Okinawa, quite the contrary

    Really? But your support of the U.S. government's urging Tokyo to press ahead with the Henoko relocation plan, regardless of Okinawa's wishes and feelings, is nothing but the defamation of Okinawans. Why do you think it better for Okinawans to be subjugated to the U.S. as its permanent military colony, unable to decide what to do about this excessive U.S. military footprint?

    There may be "tens of thousands of Okinawans and Japanese that rush to go on" to see "annual festivals held on major installations" such as in Futenma as well as in Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture. But you can't cite these nonchalant Okinawans and Japanese mainlanders as evidence for your claim that the majority of Okinawans and Japanese mainlanders are in support of the Henoko relocation plan. "Tens of thousands" of people who go to see the Futenma festival are a fringe group compared with the whole population of 1.42 million.

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • -2

    voiceofokinawa

    wtfjapan (un. 08, 2015 - 12:43AM JST),

    this idiot can crow all he likes, the base will be built, like it or not. dont like it move to a different prefecture.

    You should give your reasons, rather rationally, and not being dictated by emotions, why you think "the base will be built" in Henoko against the wishes of Okinawans. Unless you do, your post is like a dog barking behind someone's back.

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    Wc626 (Jun. 07, 2015 - 06:11PM JST ):

    I'm discontent at the fact japanese protest the US presence on okinawa, relocation, yet they expect the US to be at the forefront for their defence. Why? Cause they pay billions to DC?

    You are putting the cart before the horse. It was the U.S. government that obliged other nations, including Japan, to pay the so-called "host nation support" to the U.S. coffers for the U.S. to effectively maintain bases in "host nations." In Japan that is called the "sympathy budget," sounding as if Japan were voluntarily doling out money out of sympathy for U.S. service members who are deployed here far from their home.

    The U.S. government once thoroughly investigated why history's great empires declined and collapsed. They found the cause was almost always the expansion of territory and along with it the over-expenditure of defense budgets. I suspect that was the motivation behind starting the host nation support scheme to make host nations to partially shoulder the operating costs of U.S. bases planted there.

    Among nations, Japan stands out most conspicuously as a very generous contributor.

    For ten years from 2001 through 2010, Japan shouldered an average annual sum of $2,274 million, totaling $30 billion since the payment started in 1977. On March 31, 2011, only 20 days after the Great Disasters hit Northeast Japan, the Lower House Committee on Foreign Affairs had to approve a bill to pay $23.5 million for a five-year period from fiscal year 2011, totaling $117.5 million to the U.S. coffers for the upkeep U.S. bases in Japan.

    Both governments have started talks on how much Japan can pay for the next 5 years because the last 5-year period expires very shortly

    So, Wc626, I hope you can understand now why I say you are putting the cart before the horse.

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • -2

    voiceofokinawa

    The U.S. government officials Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga was able to meet during his visit to Washington were: Joseph Young, Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Cara Abercrombie, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

    The meeting took place behind the closed doors with the media all shut out at the request of the U.S. side. So we don't know what was discussed there. Shortly after the meeting, however, the U.S. side suddenly released to departing reporters, even calling to some to stop, an already prepared government statement saying "The United States’ troop presence in Okinawa is fundamental to our treaty commitment to the defense of Japan.” Do they want to say in that statement that "the U.S. troop presence" in Okinawa is necessary because they promised it to Japan?

    The language in the statement is befuddling people intentionally. Why don't they say straight that the U.S. Marines are necessary for the defense of Japan? They may not be able to explain why the presence of the U.S. Marines in Okinawa is "fundamental" to the U.S. government's "treaty commitment to the defense of Japan." And that may be the reason why the meeting was asked to be held behind the closed doors. U.S. government officials were apparently afraid of how the discussion might develop to their disadvantage.

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • -2

    voiceofokinawa

    Posters,

    There's a parallel debate taking place on The Washington Times. Read Robert Eldridge's commentary, "The other side to the Okinawa story" (March 31) and a reader's rebuttal of it, "Not many Okinawans want U.S. base" (June 4) and readers' comments that follow.

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

  • -3

    voiceofokinawa

    Serrano (Jun. 05, 2015 - 09:34PM JST):

    They should associate U,S.bases with their freedom.

    The boss of a gang could say that: "Turf residents should associate our presence with their freedom because we are protecting them from attacks by rival gangs."

    Posted in: U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

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