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voiceofokinawaSep. 02, 2015 - 06:38AM JST
The base you are talking about is a Marine base to be built with two V-shaped runways and port facilities to be able to berth the 40,500 tons-USS Bonhomme Richard. Certainly, MV-22 Ospreys would be based there.
The mammoth warship and the heavy transport aircraft Ospreys are for the transportation of Marine troops to combat zones. My question is if there's any possibility for the Marines in Okinawa to be engaged in a future war near Okinawa when high-tech warfare might dominate the entire course of war.
Even so, is there any reason why the Marines must keep its permanent footprint on Okinawa? Explain.
Posted in: Okinawa launches undersea survey for U.S. base site
voiceofokinawaSep. 01, 2015 - 12:38PM JST
A dictionary defines the word "reorganize" as: "to undergo or effect in organization"
The USFJ is an organization pertaining to the U.S. government. So when it wants to reorganize, the reorganizing process must be limited within itself or at least not subject to causing trouble to the locality where it is located. Why on earth does Washington force Tokyo to agree to provide a new facility in exchange for an old, dilapidated one and shoulder all the costs for its relocation?
voiceofokinawaAug. 31, 2015 - 04:51PM JST
Basically, I am not against keeping a friendly relationship between Japan and the U.S. as far as it is based on equality and fairness. But the current situation is far from it, with the U.S. being as if it were a suzerain and Japan its colony. No doubt, Japan is a poor vassal of the U.S.A. From Okinawa, that lopsided picture can be observed very clearly. Come to Okinawa and see it for yourself to confirm it.
Of course, you are not the only one who favors to keep this state of affairs to go on forever. It's been seventy years since World War Two ended, though. Seventy years are too long a time. So it's about the time to change the status quo radically and establish true friendship not only with the U.S. but also with neighboring countries. Okinawa can be a hub to build a peaceful international community in the western Pacific only if the U.S. does not interfere.
Posted in: Blast destroys warehouse at U.S. military base in Sagamihara
voiceofokinawaAug. 30, 2015 - 04:15PM JST
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently spoke at a gathering in Iowa, saying that the Japan-U.S. alliance was not fair because "it obligates the U.S. to protect Japan while Japan is not obligated to protect the U.S."
I assume you take his word for it because you say these bases and areas are "used to defend Japan." Do the U.S. forces station here, perhaps with an intention to do so permanently, to defend Japan? Note that they train here and are deployed elsewhere.
To hear Mr. Trump say the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is unfair is like hearing the boss of a crime syndicate tell turf residents, "It's unfair that we must protect you when the town is attacked by a rival gang but that you don't have to protect us."
If Mr. Trump tells his audience in Iowa that the U.S. is unfairly being obligated to protect Japan, then I would suggest the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty be dumped now and forever and that the U.S. forces in Japan pack up and go home immediately.
Don't take a patronizing attitude toward us.
voiceofokinawaAug. 30, 2015 - 12:09PM JST
A very interesting perception of facts. Do you want to say that, compared with Nevada, 80% of the area of which is federally owned, Japan's 00.2% or Okinawa Island's 18% occupied by the U.S. military is nothing worthy of note?
There's a grave misconception on your part. Nevada or New York is undoubtedly an integral part of the U.S. sovereign territory but Japan or Okinawa is not - NEVER. You seem to think Japan is the 51st state of the U.S.A. and Okinawa a U.S. territory like American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico. LOL.
voiceofokinawaAug. 27, 2015 - 05:02PM JST
turbostat (Aug. 27, 2015 - 01:53AM JST):
0.02% of mainland and 10.08% of a minor outlying province is not a lot.
Suppose 0.02% of the U.S. mainland and 18% of Long Island of New York State were occupied by foreign armed forces, do you think the occupied areas are minuscule?
Kadena Air Base and Kadena Ammunition Storage Area sprawl and expand in areas of Kadena, Koza and Chatan districts, occupying about 83% of land in the case of Kadena Township. Don't you think that's quite a lot? The Kadena townspeople are forced live in the remaining 17% of the land. No big deal?
voiceofokinawaAug. 26, 2015 - 06:33PM JST
Is that all you can say? You are not answering my question but simply repeating the same mantra that I am inaccurate and incorrect.
My basic stance is unchanged from the very beginning on this thread and that is that Japan is not a sovereign state with so many U.S. bases, which you may call U.S. facilities, planted even in and around its capital. That fact reveals itself in a most intensified form in Okinawa, you know. Can you deny it?. Or if you can, then give a reasonable explanation.
voiceofokinawaAug. 26, 2015 - 04:14PM JST
You say I am "factually incorrect" in saying there are 8 U.S. bases in Tokyo. Whether you call them "bases" or "facilities", there's no doubt there are 8 U.S. military facilities in Tokyo that occupy 1,603 ha of land mass.
You say Atsugi is not a U.S. base. But it was an exclusive U.S. base from 1945 until 1971 when it started to be used jointly by the 4th Air Wing of the JSDAF. Carrier aircraft of the U.S. 7th Fleet make Atsugi their home base still today. Metropolitan Tokyo shows it on the list of U.S. facilities.
You say that "omoiyari yosan" or "sympathy budget" (host-nation support) does not go to the U.S. coffers. Rather, you say, the entire money goes to Japanese base workers as salaries and Japanese companies as necessary expenses for constructing and operating bases and facilities. That may be true, but don't you think that the expenses should be borne by the U.S. government per se? The U.S. government could employ U.S. citizens as base workers and have U.S. companies do necessary construction and maintenance works whereby all the money eventually goes to the U.S. economy. Not a bad deal, isn't it?
You say the 2008 "flexible agreement" gave "control of the area to Japanese controllers." I don't know much about that "flexible agreement" you are talking but are you sure there's no restricted airspace controlled by Yokota's U.S. air controllers any more?
Even if my statement was incorrect as you say, which I believe isn't, you haven't denied my fundamental question that Japan is still under a virtual U.S. military occupation.
voiceofokinawaAug. 26, 2015 - 12:26PM JST
I suppose these restricted areas of airspace had existed before Japan recovered its sovereignty in 1951. Certainly, the Kadena RAPCON had existed before 1972 when Okinawa was returned to Japan. In other words, they, together with other bases and facilities, remained as intact as before, and so one can definitely say the current state of affairs is the mere carry-over from the post-war Occupation era from 1945 to 1951 in the case of mainland Japan and from 1945 to 1972 in the case of Okinawa.
You say such arrangement was not possible "without the consent and approval" of the Japanese government, suggesting everything is done fairly and in consonant with laws. Certainly, there were agreements between the two governments. But judging from the disadvantageous situation Japan was put under, it's easy to imagine those agreements were forced, unfair ones.
It boils down to the conclusion that Japan (Okinawa in particular) is still under a virtual U.S. military occupation.
voiceofokinawaAug. 26, 2015 - 10:57AM JST
I'll take your word for it for defining the word RAPCON. But don't you think it abnormal for a foreign army to control so much of a "sovereign" country's airspace covering the skies over its capital and 7 other prefectures, and commercial airliners unable to fly through it?
That also happens in Okinawa, where, due to the restriction imposed by the Kadena RAPCON, incoming and outgoing commercial airliners must fly inconveniently by avoiding the restricted airspace.
voiceofokinawaAug. 25, 2015 - 10:53PM JST
RAPCON is an acronym for RAdar APproach CONtrol which is a facility (building) housing controllers and equipment for airspace control.
You mean RAPCON is like real estate (e.g., a building) that houses "controllers and equipment for airspace control? Doesn't it have a broader meaning, including not only controllers and radar equipment but also the airspace that such control can extend over, especially when you add place names to it, say, "Yokota RAPCON" or "Kadena RAPCON"?
voiceofokinawaAug. 25, 2015 - 07:13PM JST
It is not my concern what local entities call their local offices that deal with US military matters - the applicable term in the US-Japan SOFA which is the governing document describes these as "US facilities and areas", so once again you are posting factually incorrect information.
Maybe, we are playing words here, semantics, so to speak. It's the same thing as with the payment which the Japanese taxpayers are obliged to pay to the U.S. coffers to maintain U.S. "bases" in Japan, which the Japanese side informally calls "sympathy budged" and the U.S. side likes to calls"host-nation support."
As for the Yokota RAPCON, do I use the term incorrectly? Can't the Yokota airspace and the Yokota RAPCON be used interchangeably? See the May 12, 2006 article, "U.S. to return part of Yokota airspace."
voiceofokinawaAug. 25, 2015 - 03:01PM JST
Tokyo Metropolitan and Kanagawa Prefectural governments have an administrative section that exclusively deals with U.S. military base affairs. And so does the Okinawa Prefectural government. What you want to simply call "U.S. facilities" come under the jurisdiction of these sections They are not simply U.S. facilities as you like to call but U.S. military facilities clearly categorized as “bases”. Because they are "bases", Japanese taxpayers are subjected to maintain them by appropriating part of host-nation support.
If they are not "bases", why should Japan pay such money to the U.S. coffers? Why should the central government in Tokyo subsidize base-hosting localities in proportion to the sizes of the "bases" that include all these facilities?
As for the Yokota RAPCON, you say:
"Yes, as I said before, please more closely review your information for accuracy before posting."
I don't remember what you said previously about it. Could you elaborate it?
voiceofokinawaAug. 25, 2015 - 11:15AM JST
The lists above are from the official homepages of Metropolitan Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectural governments under the name "U.S. bases" within each of their jurisdiction.
Semantically and lexicographically speaking, housing areas, recreation facilities like New Sanno Hotel may not be called military bases. But the word "base" here is used as a general term to cover all U.S. military facilities. That's a common understanding of the word not only at prefectural level but also at national and even at bilateral-relations level. If you say they are not bases, then why are they categorized as bases subject to host-nation support, thus built and maintained by Japanese taxpayers' money?
YOKOTA RAPCON is not a physical and visible entity, and yet it can also be subsumed under the general category of the word "base". Do you have any say about it?
voiceofokinawaAug. 25, 2015 - 08:34AM JST
Akasaka Press Center (US Army: 26,937 ㎡), Yokota Air Base (US Air Force: 7,136,404 ㎡), Fuchu Communication Center (US Air Force: 16,661 ㎡), Tama Service Annex (US Air Force: US Air Force: 1,957,190 ㎡), Owada Communication Site (US Air Force: 247,267 ㎡), Yuki Communication Site (US Air Force: 3,891 ㎡), Iwojima Communication Site (US Air Force: 6,630,688 ㎡), New Sanno US Forces Center (US Navy: 7,243 ㎡)
Negishi Housing Area (US Navy: 429,000 ㎡), Yokohama North Dock (US Army: 523,000 ㎡), Tsurumi Fuel Terminal (US Navy: 184 ㎡), Wagatsuma Warehouse Area (US Navy: 802 ㎡), Yokosuka Naval Facilities (US Navy: 2,363 ㎡), Urago Warehouse Area (US Navy: 194 ㎡), Ikego Housing Area & Auxiliary Naval Facilities (US Navy: 2,884 ㎡), Sagami Depot (US Army: 1,967 ㎡), Sagamihara Housing Area (US Army: 593 ㎡), Camp Zama (US Army: 2,346 ㎡ ), Naval Air Facility Atsugi (US Navy: 5,069 ㎡), Nagasaka Rifle Shooting Range (US Navy: 97 ㎡)
Yokota Air Base has an area of 7,136,404 square meters but the airspace it exclusively controls (YOKOTA RAPCON) is as massive as beyond anyone's imagination, covering the airspace over Tokyo, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Kanagawa, Niigata, Nagano and Shizuoka. Commercial airlines must fly by avoiding that massive airspace.
Can one claim that Japan is a sovereign state?
voiceofokinawaAug. 24, 2015 - 10:06PM JST
You want me to list up all U.S. bases in Tokyo and Kanagawa one by one? Blame Tokyo and Kanagawa governments if I am mistaken because the data are from them.
If you think the security-related bills now under discussion at the upper house of the Diet is as clear-cut as you assert, then there should have been no tumult and racket about these bills. There's a lot of room in the bills that gives a broad interpretation as people fear.
The government document which you referred to says, "The SDF will be able to provide necessary logistics support and search & rescue to armed forces of foreign countries engaging in activities for ensuring Japan’s peace and security in situations that will have an important influence on Japan’s peace and security."
The U.S. is a champion of breaking international law and agreements and may ask the JSDF to provide U.S. forces not only with necessary logistic support such as weapons and fuel but also actual help in armed conflict, saying that it will ensure "Japan's peace and security."
Note that in spite of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, Article 6 of which stipulates the U.S. is permitted to maintain bases in Japan for the security of Japan and the Far East, the U.S. has engaged in free-wheeling use of the bases for whatever purposes they may suit, for example, using the bases as staging posts to deploy troops trained in Okinawa abroad, as in Iraq and Afghanistan.
voiceofokinawaAug. 24, 2015 - 06:25PM JST
I'm not writing irresponsibly nor talking nonsense. The data are from the governments of Tokyo and Kanagawa. The facilities might include "recreational facilities" and "small communications nodes" as you say. But certainly, they are an integral part of "an operational mission" of the U.S. bases in the Metropolitan Tokyo area, that occupy 1,603 ha of land in Tokyo and 1,740 ha in Kanagawa. Yokota Air Base or Atsugi Naval Air Base located in the heart of the nation's capital is nothing worthy of note, in your opinion?
You incorrectly state it is the US that is advocating the current administration's security legislation and that it is to support US wars. Quite the contrary, the security legislation is being put forth due to concerns Japan has with regards to its security vis-a-vis China and North Korea.
If you are sincere enough, you will immediately realize that it's the U.S. that's been urging Japan to enact security-related laws, even though they may violate Japan's pacifist constitution, so that the JSDF can exercise the right to collective self-defense and help U.S. forces fight wars abroad like in the Middle East. PM Abe promised to do so in his speech given to the Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress on April 29 and was given a standing ovation.
The revisionist Abe administration is eager to enact the laws because that's in consonant with Abe's revisionist view of history.
voiceofokinawaAug. 24, 2015 - 12:46PM JST
Sagami Depot is one of the 14 U.S. facilities planted in Kanagawa Prefecture, area-wise, the second largest (1,745 ha) after Okinawa that hosts U.S. bases. Not many prefectural residents are aware of the presence of those U.S. bases, though, because they are scattered widely across the prefecture unlike in Okinawa. But, certainly, their existence will be made aware of by such an accident as this.
The neighboring Metropolitan Tokyo has 8 U.S. bases and, so together with Kanagawa Prefecture, there are 20 U.S. bases and facilities in the Metropolitan area.
Is there any country in the world that hosts so many U.S. bases in and around its capital and claims it is a sovereign nation equal to the U.S. whereby it must help the U.S. fight its wars by even revising the constitution?
voiceofokinawaAug. 17, 2015 - 11:02PM JST
If things go as you assume, then the Marines in Okinawa will be faced with very hostile circumstances wherever they are. If, in spite of it, they insist on maintaining their presence in Okinawa, that will certainly prove they are here not for Okinawa's (or Japan's) sake but solely for their own sake. If the nation woke up to this fact, what would become of all these 88 U.S. bases in Japan?
The relocation issue is not a local issue confined only to one locality as you want to think. No, it's genuinely a national issue per se with Japan being questioned if it's really
a sovereign state. Relocating a foreign base to another location within Japan (Okinawa is part of Japan) with all the costs borne by Japanese taxpayers infringes upon Japan's sovereignty, don't you understand?
Posted in: Nakatani, Okinawan governor, Nago mayor remain apart on base issue
voiceofokinawaAug. 17, 2015 - 02:45PM JST
The national government is so intent on carrying out the Henoko relocation plan for the sake of the U.S. government, saying it's the best and only choice. Why? Remember there visited many U.S. government-affiliated personalities to Tokyo right after the 2011 Great Tohoku Disasters?
Among them was James Auer, director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies at Vanderbilt University. He lost no time in contributing a written appeal to the March 26 edition of the Sankei Shinbun, a Tokyo-based conservative newspaper, offering four proposals to help reconstruct Japan as it did after World War Two.
One of the four proposals was concerned with the U.S. military realignment in Okinawa. He suggested that the U.S. military realignment in Okinawa, including Futenma's relocation to Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa, be implemented with no delay as bilaterally agreed upon in 2006. Rescue work by the U.S. Marines in the March 11 disasters was carried out by Okinawa-based Marine contingents utilizing heavy transport helicopters, that demonstrated, as well as proved, the mobility and ability of the Marines to cope with such disasters. In other words, their rescue work proved the raison d'etre of the U.S. Marines deployed in Okinawa.
Auer's suggestion about the Henoko relocation is not merely his own but certainly the policymakers in Washington's also It seems then that Tokyo is simply following what was dictated to it by Washington.
We also see in Auer a U.S. recalcitrance not to lose hard-won vested interests in whatever predicament the other country may be.
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Signed up, and it works great on my US Roku box!
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