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voiceofokinawaMar. 31, 2015 - 11:57AM JST
This is indeed a laughable caricature of justice played by third-rate actors, who are all part of the same gang. Hayashi served as Minister of Defense under the Fukuda administration for a month.
He now serves as Minister of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry under PM Abe. His countermanding of Gov. Onaga's halt order on drilling work off the Henoko coast must be seen from these perspectives
Why should he take the matters of defense and Japan-U.S. bilateral relations into consideration when he makes up his mind as the Minister of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry? Such decision must be made solely on the basis of how the sinking of 75 huge concrete blocks, each weighing up to 45 tons, and the seabed drilling will affect fishery and the ecosystem, including coral, in Oura Bay.
The government says the sinking of anchors onto the seabed to tether oil fence floats, the purpose of which is to fend off anti-base activists of course, was sanctioned by former Governor Nakaima and so they say there is no illegality involved in sinking these concrete blocks.
But, look, can these huge concrete blocks be called "anchors" in the ordinary sense of the word? Judging by their weights and sizes, they are not "anchors" but structures, the sinking of which must require a formal permissin by the Okinawa prefectural government, the administrator of coastal waters.
Posted in: Hayashi countermands Okinawa governor's halt order on base work
voiceofokinawaMar. 30, 2015 - 11:38PM JST
Kazuaki Shimazaki: Mar. 30, 2015 - 07:38PM JST,
The question at issue is not about whether all U.S. bases in Okinawa should be closed but whether a new base should be built at Henoko, thus squandering Japanese taxpayers' money and destroying pristine nature. The Henoko relocation also means the U.S. presence or pseudo-occupation will last forever regardless of whether there's a "China/North Korea threat" or not. Remember the Marines openly suggested that the new base at Henoko be constructed in such a way as its age of service must be 40 years and its durability 200 years.
Let me repeat what I posted above (Mar. 26, 2015 - 03:59PM JST). I said:
"Camp Hansen, Camp Schwab and the Northern Training Area are all Marine training bases. Add to them a newly-to-be-installed base at Henoko. There's no strategic reason why the new base must be planted in Okinawa, say many military specialists. Satoshi Morimoto, a former Defense Minister, said so publicly and so did incumbent Defense Minister Gen Nakatani before he took office as Defense Minister."
Why then does Kazuaki Shimazaki insist, just as the U.S. government does, that Futenma's replacement must be built within Okinawa? Can he explain?
Posted in: U.S. base dispute worsens as Tokyo refuses to bend
voiceofokinawaMar. 29, 2015 - 07:55AM JST
Let me clarify my position. To regard the USFJ as a mercenary unit hired by Tokyo is nothing but an illusion. Squandering money on them is therefore meaningless and foolish. One must know that the USFJ is a carry-over of the WW II Occupation forces which has the same privileges and perquisites they enjoyed during the Occupation period.
The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty guarantees such favors for U.S. forces and personnel, so that one can say without hesitation that the treaty is a mere facade to conceal the hard fact that the WW II occupation is still going on.
Now, as for the Henoko relocation issue, Kazuaki Shimazaki says it's rather Tokyo, not Washington, that is more eager for the relocation to be implemented. He implies that the new base at Henoko will become a JSDF base anyway. If I remember correctly, Tokyo once asked Washington to make Henoko a joint Japan-U.S. base, which was flatly rejected by Washington. So Kazuaki Shimazaki may be correct in saying that Tokyo is more eager to carry out the Henoko relocation.
Whatever, Futenma must be closed without any strings attached .and the Henoko relocation must be prevented by all means.
voiceofokinawaMar. 29, 2015 - 03:43AM JST
Kazuaki Shimazaki Mar. 28, 2015 - 09:08PM JST
*But, most of the pressure to build Henoko is actually on the Japanese side. Americans are reasonably happy with Futenma.
*Is that your personal opinion or the impression you got from the situation? Or is it insider information? Could you elebaroate a little?
voiceofokinawaMar. 28, 2015 - 03:22PM JST
A very interesting war of words is fanning out on this thread over the U.S. military presence in Okinawa.
For those with a penchant for rightist ideology in Japan, nothing would make them happier than the U.S. military presence because the U.S. forces are here to defend Japan. For such people, the USFJ is nothing different from a mercenary unit which must be paid handsomely for their good work.
Thus, providing them with 18% of Okinawa Island's land mass for bases plus housing, shopping centers, schools, golf courses, beaches, mariners and other leisure facilities is nothing worthy of note. If the U.S. asks for a replacement for a dilapidated base, Japan must concur without a delay. No big deal, maybe.
But is the USFJ a mercenary unit under the command of the JSDF? No, it's definitely the other way around. I wonder how those posters who argue for keeping the U.S. military presence and for the Henoko relocation plan would react to such a view that the USFJ is a mercenary force hired by Tokyo.
voiceofokinawaMar. 26, 2015 - 03:59PM JST
People often argue problems on different planes as well as on different premises. As a result, conflicts in opinion occur quite often.
As for the Futenma issue, the government side says Henoko is the best and the only choice because it contributes to the reduction of Okinawa's burden while maintaining deterrence. Okinawa, on the other hand, doesn't see the problem that way. We ask why Okinawa must host so many U.S. bases as may be dubbed as occupation.
To say it's because Okinawa is strategically well located is like saying 19th-century imperial powers had right to occupy unexplored regions and countries in the world for their rich natural resources. That's the thing of the past when the law of the jungle dominated the world.
Of the four U.S. armed forces stationed in Okinawa, Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps, could anyone explain what roles the Marines and Marine bases, especially a new one to be built at Henoko, will play in high-tech wars in the future? In recent Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, the Marine bases functioned as staging-posts for troop deployment in those countries, that blatantly violated a provision stipulated in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
Camp Hansen, Camp Schwab and the Northern Training Area are all Marine training bases. Add to them a newly-to-be-installed base at Henoko. There's no strategic reason why they must be planted in Okinawa, say many military specialists. Satoshi Morimoto, a former Defense Minister, said so publicly and so did incumbent Defense Minister Gen Nakatani before he took office as Defense Minister.
Why is the U.S. so adamant in saying that the same level of deterrence must be maintained in Okinawa and also insisting that Futenma's replacement must be built within Okinawa? Probably, Kazuaki Shimazaki can answer this question for me
voiceofokinawaMar. 25, 2015 - 12:53PM JST
The government's top spokesman Yoshihide Suga said that the Futenma air station, said to be the most dangerous in the world, must be closed and removed from the heavily populated residential area.
So is Onaga, who won the gubernatorial election on the platform of "Close Futenma and No Henoko Relocation," wrong? Never.
Suga's argument doesn't hold water because there's another air base on Okinawa whose accident rate far exceeds Futenma's. And that is Kadena Air Base. Kadena must be removed first and foremost, according to his logic.
The government's obstinate stance clearly shows how determined they are to sell Japan's sovereignty to the U.S. so that Japan may be the U.S.'s protectorate and vassal with Okinawa remaining its military colony forever. They should learn from Okinawa's cause and struggles.
voiceofokinawaMar. 18, 2015 - 11:02PM JST
Thanks for referring me to the document. I rearranged words in the relevant sentence in it as follows:
"Leaflets warning Japanese were also dropped, which terrorized 8 million civilians into fleeing from cities."
I wonder if 8 million is a correct figure? Where does the figure come from? Since evacuees were mostly school children who evacuated by school and who numbered a little over 400,000, according to the official document, the figure 8 million must be rigged and inflated. Yes, there were some families who accompanied their children as far as the places of evacuation, but I'm sure their number was quite limited as the Tsushimamaru incident in Okinawa shows.
You must also know evacuations usually took place months before actual air raids began. Warning leaflets were dropped one or two days before the air bombings which nobody took very seriously anyway, if they ever saw them, thinking they were mere enemy stratagems.
As for Nagasaki, the initial target of the B-29 Bock's Car was Ogura City but the pilot changed the target to Nagasaki City due to cloudy weather conditions over Ogura. Had any leaflets been dropped on Nagasaki?
Posted in: WWII firebombings of Japanese cities largely ignored
voiceofokinawaMar. 17, 2015 - 11:30AM JST
A person can't lead a life with being tormented by a guilty feeling for life for what he did wrongly So he tries to dispel that guilty feeling by the autosuggestion that what he did was not wrong after all. A search for self-justification thus begins.
To say U.S. reconaissance planes dropped leaflets to warn Japanese city dwellers to evacuate before actual air raids began is an example of such self-justification.
In war both sides resort not only to live ammunition but also information and stratagems. The Japanese military authorities strictly ordered citizens not to pick up leaflets dropped by enemy airplanes. We children were also taught not to pick up fountain pens, toys and other such stuff lying on a street because they might be booby traps dropped by enemy airplanes.
So you know how little effect these leaflets brought about during, and especially toward the end of, the war.
But one must not confuse such trifles as leaflet-dropping with the more essential part of the problem -- U.S. war strategists' real intention to systematically kill ordinary citizens. This is what Gen. Curtis LeMay and his subordinate Robert McNamara planned and carried out. And they knew more than enough that they could be subjected to war crimes trials if the U.S. lost the war.
voiceofokinawaMar. 16, 2015 - 06:32PM JST
It may be man's undeniable nature to try to justify whatever he does, regardless of whether it's right or wrong. There's no action conducted by a person with no justified reason. Even a foul play in the light of general ethical norms is no foul play at all because a justification is readily given to it.
Thus, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the air raids of most major Japanese cities, are no atrocities at all if compared with the Holocaust and the Great Leap Forward (contention by scipantheist: Mar. 15, 2015 - 11:49AM JST)
Now you bring forth 1941 Chongqing air raids in which indiscriminate killing of ordinary citizens were carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service and Navy. You may add to this the Nanjing massacre and the infamous 731 Medical Corps.
Japan must be accused for all the atrocities. But those are matters concerned only with China and Japan. As for the case of the 731 Medical Corps, its personnel from top to bottom were exempted from war-crime trials in exchange for their documented medical data to be given to the U.S.
You cannot use them for justification for America's retaliation against Japan. If there ever was any justification for the U.S. decision to drop the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the indiscriminate air raids of Tokyo and other cities, it would be the Pearl Harbor Attack. The surprise attack must be condemned to the nail, but can the use of atomic bombs be justified for the retaliatory measures?
voiceofokinawaMar. 16, 2015 - 12:16PM JST
turbotsat (Mar. 16, 2015 - 07:34AM JST):
Whether U.S. war strategists knew Japan's surrender was imminent or not is not very important. The question is whether it was ethically and legally permissible for them to carry out indiscriminate bombings of city after city, culminating in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with sole intent to kill civilians systematically.
You ask: "Then why'd they stop at two?"
The reason why the U.S. used only two atomic bombs is because there were no more bombs in their possession. So some critics say it was kind of test firing of newly developed weapons.
It's true that the Japanese people at the time were determined to fight to the last man, but that doesn't justify the U.S. can resort to illegal tactics including use of atomic bombs.
Curtis LeMay and Robert McNamara, two masterminds to plan the city bombing strategy, knew too well that they could be tried as war criminals if the Allies lost war.
voiceofokinawaMar. 15, 2015 - 12:06PM JST
scipantheist (Mar. 15, 2015 - 09:14AM JST),
Anti-basers must be driven out entirely? The U.S. won the war and its military is still stationed here as the victors of the war. And you say anyone critical of this situation should be driven out entirely?
If you say the U.S. occupation of Okinawa and Japan in general is the end result of WW II, then the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is nothing but a facade to hide the occupation kept going on despite its formal purpose.
voiceofokinawaMar. 15, 2015 - 11:07AM JST
It's true that most Americans were against entering the war with Japan until December 8 (December 7 in the U.S.) in 1941. The Pearl Harbor attack by Japan all changed that. Visceral hatred toward Japan was engendered instantly and knew no bounds.
That explains why the U.S. government decided to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the end when they knew Japan's surrender was imminent. It must have been partly a strategic decision but the decision was hatred-motivated without a doubt.
I can understand why so many Americans won't accept the fact that the atomic bombings were the most heinous and inhumane acts a human society has ever committed. The Great Tokyo Air Raids are considered in the same vein.
voiceofokinawaMar. 15, 2015 - 08:30AM JST
Atrocities are committed by either individual soldiers or someone higher up sitting at a table in a war strategy room. You are talking about the former case and I am talking about the latter. So in my thinking, atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were atrocities, and so were the Great Tokyo Air Raids and indiscriminate air raids of other 66 cities.
I am not saying the U.S. has to apologize, only that it should admit that it also committed atrocities to the same degree as individual Imperial Japanese soldiers or Imperial Japan as a whole.
voiceofokinawaMar. 14, 2015 - 06:48PM JST
What Jason Lovelace (Mar. 14, 2015 - 01:51AM JST) says is mostly correct. The point is atrocities were committed by both sides. Americans cannot pretend they were innocent and sinless like angels. But they behave as such.. You cannot say that the loser's foul is worse than the victor's simply because the former picked a fight first.
voiceofokinawaMar. 11, 2015 - 10:41PM JST
Anyone interested in knowing more about the Tokyo firebombing, please read:
"Saotome Katsumoto and the Firebombing of Tokyo: Introducing The Great Tokyo Air Raid" run on The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (http://www.japanfocus.org/-Richard-Sams/4293).
voiceofokinawaMar. 11, 2015 - 06:21PM JST
Certainly, this article is about the Great Tokyo Air Raid, which is not so well known to outsiders, especially to Americans, as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the three cases, non-combatant civilians were singularly targeted for killing. The U.S. military strategy to bombard civilians started with the Great Naha Air Raid that took place on October 10, 1944.
The Japanese government officially protested against the U.S. through a neutral diplomatic channel (the Spanish government), saying the indiscriminate killing of non-combatants in war could be war crimes. Tokyo's protest was of course completely ignored by Washington, thus subsequent indiscriminate air raids on more than 60 cities in mainland Japan carried out, culminating in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at long last.
What is the message conveyed by these events? War is a folly. The mistake must never be repeated.
But the catch is that the U.S. government seems to be doing the contrary, encouraging Japan to rearm to the teeth, shed off the Peace Constitution and help U.S. forces fight global wars by exercising the right of collective self-defense.
voiceofokinawaMar. 11, 2015 - 12:22AM JST
The number of deaths caused by Imperial Japan's invasion war in China is estimated to be 21 million; 350 thousand in Korean Peninsula; 1 million in the Philippines; 4 million in Indonesia; 2 million in Vietnam; 50 thousand in Myanmar; totaling up 28.4 million in all Japan has responsibility to genuinely apologize to these countries for these gruesome figures and the other well-known atrocities.
Poster scap seems to be arguing that, compared with these facts, the U.S.'s fire-bombing of more than 60 cities and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are nothing worthy of note. If scap is from one of these countries, I will take his word at face value. But if he is from the U.S., the story would be quite different.
voiceofokinawaMar. 10, 2015 - 10:49PM JST
The fire-bombings of Japanese cities have nothing to do with Okinawa? You must have missed reading my post above where I wrote:
The air raid on Naha on Oct. 10, 1944, known in Okinawa as the Great Naha Air Raid, was the precursor of indiscriminate attacks on 67 Japanese cities that were reduced to rubble and ashes, where an estimated 500,000 civilians were killed and another 400,000 wounded.
"The fire-bombings were carried out apparently in retaliation for Japan's attack on the Pearl Harbor. Japan started the war and so all the responsibility rests with Japan. The heavy U.S. military footprint on Okinawa is the end result of that war."
Do you still insist on your claim that the article has nothing to do with Okinawa's current plight?
voiceofokinawaMar. 10, 2015 - 09:40PM JST
smithinjapan (Mar. 10, 2015 - 05:03PM JST**),
You say: If you seriously want to blame someone for that, blame the Japanese government.
To recap what you say, it goes something like this: If we Okinawans have any complaint about this excessive U.S. military presence, take it to the Japanese government, not the U.S. government, because it was Japan that started the war; Okinawa's suffering is the end result of that war.
If that is what you want to say, then you are in agreement with me in that the retaliation is still going on seventy years after the end of WW II.
The catch is that, officially, the U.S. military presence is for the defense of Japan and, according to the USFJ brass, U.S. troops stationed here are always ready to give their life to defend Japan. But if you and I are right, then they are playing a trick on the Japanese people and swindling them out of land and money called "host-nation support."
Apr. 01, 2015 - 06:21PM JST
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