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voiceofokinawaJan. 27, 2015 - 09:55AM JST
Democracy, humanitarianism and peace are universal stuff that can never be passing whims. So it's the other countries that should emulate Japan's pacifist constitution, and not vice versa.
Posted in: Abe: Japan won't join U.S.-led military operation against IS
voiceofokinawaJan. 26, 2015 - 08:15AM JST
If Japan's pacific constitution is taken teeth out of by removing its war-renouncing provision and if the U.S. asks Japan to assist them in their military operations anywhere in the world, can Japan turn down the request?
Japan is asking the U.S. for help to solve the hostage crisis. In what way, will the U.S. help Japan when it is actually engaged in war against the ISIS?
This hostage crisis will certainly put PM Abe's agenda of constitutional revision to he test.
voiceofokinawaJan. 18, 2015 - 10:40PM JST
Suppose you find out about talks going on between your foster parent and a human traficker to the effect that you are about to be sold to him. You are like saying, "the dealing is done between two adults and there's no room for the child to have any say. And stop barking up the wrong tree. Complain to your foster parent only. The other party has nothing to do with it."
You may say the U.S. is totally innocent in this dealing, so if we have any complaint, take it to Tokyo and not to Washington, you say.
Are we barking up the wrong tree? Tokyo is to blame, of course. There's no doubt about it. But it is Washington, a real culprit, that is always pulling wires behind the scenes.
Posted in: Gov't cuts budget for Okinawan economic development
voiceofokinawaJan. 17, 2015 - 06:15PM JST
Ask yourself why there are so many U.S. bases in Okinawa.
There's no doubt that the U.S. military presence in Japan was a seamless carryover of the post-war Occupation because bases remained intact even after Japan recovered its sovereignty in 1952. However, consonant with the joint statement by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi in 1960 when the 1951 Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was revised, a significant number of bases were withdrawn from mainland Japan.
Where did these bases, mostly Marine bases, go? Back home to the U.S.? Never. They were moved to Okinawa, that was still occupied and directly administered by the U.S. military. In order to accommodate the bases relocated from mainland Japan, the U.S. military government in Okinawa had to requisition additional land, thus multiplying an already overburdened sacrifice of Okinawa.
We are asking to reduce this excessive U.S. military footprint in a concrete way by closing USMC Air Station Futenma for starters. Why is the U.S. so adamant not to hear this legitimate voice of ours? Tokyo won't hear it, either, because they fear Washington may demand a replacement be built in mainland Japan.
voiceofokinawaJan. 15, 2015 - 04:32PM JST
Wakarimasen (Jan. 15, 2015 - 02:34PM JST),
A very interesting comment. So you think Okinawa is a colony of Japan, and you suggest she never spend money on it.
In a broader picture, can't you see Japan itself is a vassal or colony of the suzerain U.S., acting as the suzerain dictates what to do about this relocation issue? Okinawa is victimized under this bilateral suzerain-colony relationship in a most condensed and conspicuous way, hosting 74 % of all U.S. bases in Japan.
How can you dare say Okinawa's appeal, just and righteous, for the unconditional closing of Futenma and scrapping of the Henoko relocation plan embarrasses Honest Abe? On the contrary. It is people like you that must embarrass him because you seem to firmly believe in a thing of the past, 19th-century colonialism.
voiceofokinawaJan. 06, 2015 - 07:05AM JST
Anyone who wants to offer any opinion of his or hers about Okinawa should read Jon Mitchel's article titled "Think tank gives Japan-U.S. diplomacy an Okinawan voice" run on the Jan. 5 Japan Times.
Posted in: Cars rally against Futenma base
voiceofokinawaJan. 05, 2015 - 05:31PM JST
One should not forget the struggles that are going on for years at Takae District, Higashi Village, in northern Okinawa. What's the problem there? The GOJ is constructing 6 Osprey helipads for the U.S. Marines in lush forests surrounding the village. There, too, sitting-in protests have been going on for years against the construction of berserk facilities and the destruction of pristine natural environment.
voiceofokinawaJan. 05, 2015 - 04:54PM JST
Media-conducted polls show more than 80 percent of respondents are opposed to the central government's Henoko relocation plan. In recent elections -- Nago mayoral election, Nago City councilors' election, gubernatorial election and House of Councilors' election -- candidates on the platform of anti-Henoko swept all of them.
In spite of the election results, the Abe government seems determined to press ahead with the Henoko relocation plan, blatantly breaching democratic principles. Why are they so adamant and so desperate, saying Henoko is the only and best solution? Are they giving benevolence to Ginowan citizens by reducing their burden and working hard for Japan's security by moving Futenma to Henoko? Never.
The Abe government is afraid of being obliged to provide an alternative to Henoko plan because no prefecture in mainland Japan says "yes" to hosting a new base in their backyard. Probably, Abe and his cohorts don't like it themselves, either, and want to dump most of unwanted U.S. bases, necessary evils as former PM Junichiro Koizumi described them, into Okinawa.
The majority of Okinawans are thankful to active demonstrators and sitting-in protesters in front of U.S. Marine bases and on the Henoko beach for years, sacrificing themselves beyond anyone's description.
voiceofokinawaJan. 04, 2015 - 11:37AM JST
The Ryukyu Shimpo, a local Okinawa newspaper, reports the scoop on the front page of its Jan. 4 edition that the U.S. had already examined construction of an airfield in 1943 roughly at the same site as Futenma sits now, citing a declassified U.S. document entitled "Taking control of Japan within one year after control of Germany." (Title translation mine)
U.S. war strategists at the time must have known the construction would violate Article 46 of the "Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land" because lands in the area were mostly privately-owned. Probably, they thought the lands would be returned when the war ended because the purpose of constructing the air field was to facilitate the air bombardment of mainland Japan.
Posted in: New Okinawan governor snubbed by Abe, Suga
voiceofokinawaJan. 03, 2015 - 12:17PM JST
Here's another expert on Japanese politics and also a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Sheila Smith, who contends that the U.S. may reconsider the current relocation plan (The Ryukyu Shimpo: Jan. 3) due to the results of Nago mayoral election, Nago City councilors' election, prefectural governor's election and finally the House of Representatives' election. Anti-Henoko candidates all swept these elections.
There's a catch in her contention, though. She never fails to add a provision, "only if Tokyo is prepared to provide a realistic quid pro quo."
She seems to have forgotten why Tokyo is so eager to press ahead with the current plan, saying Henoko is the best and only solution. Why Henoko in Okinawa Prefecture? Because other prefectures in mainland Japan will never say "Yes" to the relocation of the base to their backyard (NIMBY).
Fresh in our memory is the brouhaha that occurred when the Hatoyama Administration announced a plan to move Futenma to Tokunoshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture. Island-wide anti-relocation rallies were held there, at one of which, amazingly enough, Yuriko Koike, former Defense Minister, appeared and raised her clenched fist in concert with other protesters.
It's apparent that not only all prefectural governments in Japan but also the central government itself aren't willing to shoulder an additional burden of hosting a U.S. base in any part of the mainland. Let unwelcome U.S. bases be dumped into Okinawa, a prefecture of second-class citizens, they seem to argue.
Thus, Smith's proposal, if she ever proposes it, has no realistic value as far as we are concerned. After all, isn't it the tenant's duty and responsibility to find where to move when asked to move out of the place they rent, and not the householder's? What is wrong with Smith and her ilks is that they think otherwise.
voiceofokinawaJan. 02, 2015 - 12:01AM JST
Onaga garnered 360,820 votes out of 977,000 eligible voters, not out of 1.4 million as Yubaru says. How many did Nakaima garner? He garnered 261,076 votes. The difference was 99,744 or roughly 100 thousand. Compared with past gubernatorial elections, this result was almost epoch-making, an overwhelming victory for Onaga indeed.
Media polls have always shown that more than 80 percent of people polled are opposed to the government's Henoko relocation plan. Together with this figure, one can definitely say "the majority of people" chose Onaga.
voiceofokinawaJan. 01, 2015 - 08:35AM JST
You say "Okinawa prefecture is forever going to be a military installation of some sort, its geographic location guarantees that."
There are many areas in the world that are strategically well located in the views of U.S. policy makers. Does that justify the U.S. can use them for its own sake and with impunity? If you think you can, then you are a 19th-century imperialist still feeding on the law of the jungle.
Joseph Nye, a former U.S. Defense Assistant Secretary and now an influential member on the Foreign Affairs Policy Board under the Obama administration, replied in an interview held by the Asahi Shimbun that "if Okinawan people support the Henoko relocation, I will support it myself. If they don't, we must reconsider it." (Asahi: December 8)
He had mentioned earlier that concentrated U.S. bases in Okinawa have become very vulnerable before China's newly-developed missile attacks so that they must be dispersed in wider outside areas also (The Ryukyu Shimpo: September 1, 2014).
I will return your words to you as they are: "You are winding yourself up into a fever over a cause that has already been lost."
voiceofokinawaDec. 31, 2014 - 12:35PM JST
So in your logic, contemporary Okinawans are all thieves because they live on land bequeathed or "stolen" (in your opinion) from Ryukyu Kingdom? LOL.
Of course, I know you are talking about Meiji Japan's annexation of Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879. But the issue is on a completely different plane. And, mind you, that doesn't justify the U.S. military's stealing of private lands and continued pseudo-occupation of Okinawa.
Despite yourself, your argument betrays the very fact that the U.S. bases sit on stolen properties and that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is nothing but a facade to hide this reality.
voiceofokinawaDec. 31, 2014 - 11:00AM JST
Area-wise, Okinawa, an insular prefecture occupying only 0.6 % of the total land mass of Japan, is forced to host 74% of all U.S. bases in Japan.
So we were thrilled when we watched then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and then U.S. Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale together announce in 1996 that Futenma would be returned in 7 to 8 years. Its facilities would be moved to Kadena Air Base, they said.
There's no doubt that Futenma is a very hazardous base because it sits in the middle of crowded residential areas. A plan had already been blueprinted by the Pentagon in the 1960's to build a colossal military complex on the eastern coast of Nago to which Futenma's facilities could be moved and integrated with.
The plan didn't materialize, though, because the U.S. Senate didn't approve the bill in the face of skyrocketing expenditures on the ongoing Vietnam War.
The long-dormant plan revived suddenly when the original Kadena relocation plan was scrapped in no time due to a strong opposition by the 18th Wing Kadena as well as local residents who complained they could not shoulder any more burden. The U.S. side must have pre-calculated this and had targeted Henoko from the beginning for a long shot.
Futenma sits on stolen land lots just like other U.S. bases on Okinawa. Naturally, the U.S. has no right to demand a cutting-edge replacement for its return.
voiceofokinawaDec. 29, 2014 - 05:50PM JST
People tend to think Japan and the U.S. are allies on an equal footing. But the two nations are not allies in a usual sense of the word. They are more like boss-henchmen relations or suzerain-vassal relations.
There are 88 U.S. bases in Japan, of which 33 are in Okinawa. But, area-wise, these 33 in Okinawa account for 74 percent of all U.S. bases in Japan. Okinawa occupies 0.6 percent of the total land mass of Japan and yet hosts 74 percent of them.
Can one call this abnormal state of affairs natural relations between allies? And, therefore, Futenma's relocation site must be looked for also in Okinawa? Just think about it.
Demanding to reduce this massive footprint of the U.S. military is not a selfish nor a greedy act as some poster (hidingout Dec. 28, 2014 - 10:35AM JST) remarks erratically. His comment on Okinawa's appeal is completely off the mark. It's the way around. Mind you, it's the U.S. side that is way selfish and greedy.
voiceofokinawaDec. 28, 2014 - 10:20PM JST
The new governor is snubbed by Abe and Suga? No big deal. Why on earth do they collude with Washington to keep Okinawa as an eternal U.S. military colony, blatantly disregarding the wishes of the Okinawan electorates and thus a democratic principle? If they think Okinawa is a sovereign territory of Japan, they would never take part in such conspiracy.
Territorial rows may come and go, but the U.S. military presence or colonial domination by the U.S. over not only Okinawa but also entire Japan may go on forever. This is what the Henoko relocation does really mean.
Elder statesmen in the days of the Meiji Restoration struggled to evade the occupation and colonization of Japan by Western imperial powers, which they and the following generation believed they had accomplished, but after all it ended up with this sad state of affairs, that is, occupation and colonization, in 1945 and thereafter.
voiceofokinawaDec. 28, 2014 - 08:03AM JST
This wasn't unexpected at all.
When Okinawa elects a governor unfavorable to it, Tokyo never fails to take steps to cut budgets and strangle the economy. A typical example was the era of former Governor Masahide Ota, who braved to reject the Henoko relocation plan across the board.
The resultant economic doldrums were attributed to Ota entirely and he lost governorship for the third term to a candidate more favorable to Tokyo.
voiceofokinawaDec. 14, 2014 - 11:00AM JST
I reread your previous post dated Dec. 13, 2014 - 11:21AM JST and nowhere did I find an answer to my question why Futenma's function must be relocated within Okinawa.
You mention that, unless Futenma were to move to Henoko, Onaga would run "the risk of having Okinawa's economy being run into the ground ... ." Wow, is that your answer? First time to have heard that as the reason why Futenma should be relocated to Henoko. Anyway, there's no military reason for Futenma to have to be relocated within Okinawa.
Posted in: New Okinawan governor takes office
voiceofokinawaDec. 13, 2014 - 04:37PM JST
You mention that, if Futenma was to move to Henoko, Onaga would run "the risk of having Okinawa's economy being run into the ground ... ." Wow, is that your answer? First time to have heard that as the reason why Futenma should be relocated to Henoko. Anyway, there's no military reason, you want to say. LOL.
voiceofokinawaDec. 13, 2014 - 02:19PM JST
I can't skim your many posts on numerous threads all over again. So please write the gist of what you have written or think as regards why Futenma's function must be relocated within Okinawa.
Feb. 01, 2015 - 11:40PM JST
Gomeifuku wo inorimasu, Goto-san. I hope your family and children continue to live as you did…
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