Gov't cuts budget for Okinawan economic development

TOKYO —

Okinawans got some bad news Wednesday when they learned that the central government’s 96.34 trillion yen budget allocated less for the prefecture’s economic development than last year.

According to the budget, the Okinawan government will receive 333.9 billion yen, which is 4.6% less than last fiscal year, NTV reported. It is the first budget cut in five years for the prefecture.

Japanese media speculated in late December that Okinawa’s budget would be cut due to opposition by new Okinawan Gov Takeshi Onaga to the proposed plan to relocate a U.S. military base from Futenma to Henoko in Okinawa. During a visit to Tokyo from Dec 26-28, Onaga was unable to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Following the announcement of the budget cutback, Japanese media once again reported on Wednesday that the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party was showing its displeasure with Onaga’s stance on the Futenma issue.

However, Suga told a news conference that it was natural for the government to reexamine all budget outlays given the tight fiscal situation, NTV reported. He said there had been a substantial sum unused in previous years’ budgets for Okinawa.

Meanwhile, the budget allocates 173.6 billion yen for the relocation of the Futenma base.

Onaga was back in Tokyo on Wednesday but the highest official he could meet was Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita.

Onaga has promised to veto the landfill work needed for a new base to be built.

After his election in November, Onaga said he would “act with determination” toward retracting approval for the landfill work.

Years of deadlock on the planned base relocation have frustrated the Americans and been a thorn in the side of successive Japanese governments.

Okinawa is home to more than half of the 47,000 U.S. service personnel stationed in Japan, and strategically key to the U.S.-Japan security alliance at a time of simmering tensions in East Asia.

But there is widespread local hostility to the military presence, with complaints over noise, the risk of accidents and a perception that the presence of so many young servicemen is a source of crime.

There have been plans for years to move the Futenma air base from a crowded urban area to a sparsely populated coastal district elsewhere on Okinawa—some 50 kilometers to the north of the current location.

But opponents like Onaga say Okinawa already hosts a disproportionate share of the U.S. military presence in Japan, and the U.S. base should be moved outside the islands altogether.

Japan Today/AP

  • -16

    Schopenhauer

    Deserved. Onaga won the election appealling to irresponsible populism.

  • 10

    sf2k

    Punitively punishing Okinawa only helps Onaga even more and thus calls against military bases can only increase. Given the disproportion of bases they have always had a point that Tokyo has shown a blind eye to. Can anyone really be surprised?

  • -7

    JeffLee

    Okinawa has a growing tourism industry and decent demographics. Cuts in its subsidies paid by Tokyo is more than reasonable.

  • 7

    Okinawamike

    But there is widespread local hostility to the military presence, with complaints over noise, the risk of accidents and a perception that the presence of so many young servicemen is a source of crime

    .

    Please tell me where I can see this "widespread local hostility".

    I've been here 30 years and I've yet to see more than a few dozen signs waving here and there.

    Yes, there have been a few big rallies at Futenma and Kadena. But not often and not widespread.

  • 0

    SenseNotSoCommon

    Nakama Hazure? How Puerile!

  • 12

    BertieWooster

    Okinawamike,

    Onaga was voted in by a wide margin last year simply because of his anti-base stance.

    The LDP, which is liberal in name only and about as democratic as North Korea lost its four seats in Okinawa because of Abe's pro-base stance.

    The people you mix with may not tell you that they are against the bases, but, according to the voting the majority of Okinawans are. I think the problem might be the phrasing in the article, "widespread local hostility." Okinawans are, generally speaking, pretty laid back. Hostility is not a common personality trait here. The demonstrations are peaceful. The only noisy people are the right wing cars with speakers blaring.

    According to a statement by Defence Minister Nakatani Gen, the US bases are concentrated in Okinawa because no other prefecture in Japan will have them. An opinion that was not well received here.

    Check out Japan Focus, http://www.japanfocus.org if you would like to see Okinawa people's opinions.

  • 3

    Bgood41

    Politics is sometime likes two edges of a sword. Okinawans are better off in living locally, but think globally.

  • 0

    mitokomonalex

    Cabinet Secretary Suga quotes "He said there had been a substantial sum unused in previous years’ budgets for Okinawa."

    Many unselfish nonprofit organizations on Okinawa have closed their doors due to the traditional mindset of the "Okinawa Kingdom Mentality" wherein only companies and individuals with connections to the ruling party are heard when setting yearly budgets. The bureaucracy mindset on Okinawa restricts new ideas and innovations and thus the exodus of "brains" from Okinawa to mainland Japan and abroad.
    The Okinawans are certainly not using their money correctly and many are caving in to mainland companies who set up shops in Naha overnight to take advantage of the money alloted to the prefecture to construct unneeded or overly extravagant infrastructures (ex: Mabuni Peace Archives, Okinawa Archives, Pref. Museum, Pref.Capital building, many unneeded and unoccupied and dysfunctional local government buildings, and I could go on and count hundreds more just on Okinawa mainland itself). None of the infrastructures have led to increased employment of independent business minded young people and even the local hires are only "hakken or contract" employees there because their salaries are temporaryincluded in the budget.

    No matter who much money is budgetted to Okinawa I personally can guarantee that Okinawa will continue to be the "begger" of Japan if Okinawa doesn't start searching their "own souls" and start clamoring for reforms from within. The solution for Okinawa is, do inner soul search and reforms and then build up and muster strength to negotiate or quarrel with Tokyo politicians in order to meet the goals of Okinawa. A long way to go unfortunately so for the moment the "brain drain" continues.

  • 0

    fxgai

    Suga told a news conference that it was natural for the government to reexamine all budget outlays given the tight fiscal situation

    They just produced a record high budget, funded in 3rd by yet new debt issuance. Obviously it was just not going to be a record high for Okinawa. Some coincidence.

    there had been a substantial sum unused in previous years’ budgets for Okinawa.

    Okinawa's beureaucrats should be promoted to run the Ministry of Finance then. A little more unused budget here and there could go a long way, nationally.

  • 3

    mikesbo

    I've not been to Okinawa much in recent years, but my experience with it spans 30 years. I've watched it go from bubble economy prosperity to what it is today, addicted and dependent upon national government handouts.

    The local people, to me, only seem to benefit in the form of temporary "make work" jobs (note: the "New Deal", if anything, extended the US depression of the 30's) with no future and the go away as soon as the money spigot is turned off. The businesses that seem to profit are from the mainland, and they create places such as the shintoshin area, which are mainland shopping districts transplanted to Okinawa.

    Okinawa will not prosper until they wean themselves off of the bribe paid by the national government to keep the bases located there, and develop their own economy, tourism or whatever works. I'm coming to the opinion that much of the anti-base sentiment has to do with resenting the bribe rather than the bases themselves because of what it, their presence, represents...

  • -6

    sakura3110

    The governner didn't show how to revive Okinawa without the subsidy (Only tourism isn't enough) and how to protect Okinawa from the threat or attack by other countries.

    The more Okinawa resists to the government, the more China would rejoice. Some activists in Okinawa (many are from the main land) are backed up by China that is seemingly planning to gain Senkaku islands, finally Okinawa in a good location as a gateway to the Pacific Ocean.

  • 3

    Strychnine

    Once the bases leave, I have a sinking feeling that the mainland will say something to the effect of.. "Well you got your wish. Also, you really don't need any financial support. Have a good one!"

  • -1

    In_japan

    Good !!! It's is like putting oil on fire.

  • 0

    Steve Fabricant

    Undeniably true that a lot of money has been mis-spent on "developing" Okinawa. When I visit mainland cities I am surprised how shoddy many seem compared to Naha, but there was also the matter of the total devastation in 1944/45 that the Japanese government rightly assumed responsibility for. What is NOT needed are more grand administrative and social welfare buildings and boondoggles like the OIST "technology incubator" that result from the wet dreams of bureaucrats with unlimited budgets. Quite possibility it is not yet possible to find a group of Okinawans with planning skills and with enough distance from the construction firms to plot a realistic future for this prefecture, but until that happens I think a dose of austerity is good medicine.

  • 0

    noriyosan73

    Now, if the USA will use its "intelligence" and move out of Okinawa, then the island can develop into the greatest Asian casino/paradise capital. SK is already trying to take all the gamblers' money. Build it, and they will spend!

  • 3

    MGigante

    Okinawa was not using all of the development money, and Onaga is threatening to keep the Futenma base right where it is.

    Onaga was voted in by a wide margin last year simply because of his anti-base stance.

    It wasn't a wide margin. Only around 50-60% of Okinawan voters voted, and of that, only around 40%-50% of those voted for Onaga. If Abe does not have a public mandate, its hard for Onaga to claim one.

  • 5

    Nathaw

    Japanese media speculated in late December that Okinawa’s budget would be cut due to opposition by new Okinawan Gov Takeshi Onaga

    Abe is punishing Onaga with cutting the budget. If Onaga will kowtow to Tokyo demand, he will simply be punished by voters who elected him. Abe idea is nothing different from Islamic terrorists. If you are not with us, you will be starved to death.

    No amount of money will change the determination of long suffering Okinawa residents. It is better for residents eating pork rather than becoming the beggars of Tokyo.

    It is also better for standing on the foot rather than kneeling on the ground for begging.

  • -1

    Daniel Neagari

    Not a good move of the government....

    Japan needs this base (and other US bases) for international security measures so it is necessary to get the comprehension from the people of Okinawa.

    If we don't want any US base in Japan territories, then we will need a healthy and strong Japan Self Defense Army.

  • 3

    mitokomonalex

    Steve F. -Here is my comment on your statement "boondoggles like the OIST "technology incubator" that result from the wet dreams of bureaucrats with unlimited budgets."

    Naturally the newly compiled Okinawa budget money given to OIST is equivalent to 10% of the total "ik-katsu-kofukin" which in my personal translation is "sympathy stimulus" money for Okinawa pref.and local city/town/village governments for putting up with the US military bases. That's a lot of cash going to this graduate school that no one knows anything about. Funny thing is that Okinawans do not know the purpose or functions of this so called "World's Number One Graduate School" by the national government and I suppose do not care or even know the reason why so much of their annual prefectural budget is being alloted to this organization.
    National universities throughout Japan are very angry with the pork-barrel money going to this school while they have been designated as "independent school corporations" which actually means limited funding. The national University of Ryukyus on Okinawa looks like "south central" Los Angeles when compared with the campus of OIST and the view of the East China Sea from OIST should belong a 5 star hotel.

    For your information, however, the origins/idea behind the graduate school actually do not belong to any Japanese politician. A Chinese, now American citizen, a graduate from MIT and a graduate of a now defunct international high school on Okinawa was responsible for putting this irresponsible idea into the head of a politician heading the Okinawa Development Cabinet post from days gone by. The continued funding for this "no one knows the purpose of this school" goes on due to the persistence and presence of this former cabinet minister. Let's say the Okinawans are getting robbed right under their noses..but who's to blame?

  • -4

    Yubaru

    The LDP, which is liberal in name only and about as democratic as North Korea lost its four seats in Okinawa because of Abe's pro-base stance.

    Please stop spreading half-truths, the LDP lost the initial elections but the same 4 people who supposedly "lost" are in the parliament thanks to the proportional representation portion of the ballot.

    Get your facts straight, the individuals lost their elections, BUT the party won the day, hence NO seats were lost.

  • -2

    Wakarimasen

    Never spend money on the colonies. and punishing them for making so much fuss about the bases and embarassing Honest Abe.

  • -4

    shiboritate

    I had the impression that Okinawa was receiving development budget as an incentive to relocate the base to Henoko. If the governor is opposed to that relocation it is only logical to remove that incentive. I was surprised that it was down only 4.6%. I thought it would be seriously slashed. The Okinawans need to do some soul searching. My guess is they'd be happier with Tokyo rule plus 50,000 Americans than be a Chinese colony.

  • 2

    voiceofokinawa

    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.

  • 0

    bjohnson23

    I wish the media would quit reporting incorrect facts as they keep reporting the closing of a base and building a new base when in fact it's just an expansion of a base due to closing of Kinser, Naha Port, Futema all under land reversion. The few actual Ryukyu Islanders the are opposed are the land owners and feel they are not getting the proper compensation due to them for land reversion. The others are mainland instigators and possibly Chinese paid collaborators. Those people are not as much as land owners but land developers who only are interested in what they can get for themselves and forget everyone else.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    I wish the media would quit reporting incorrect facts

    In Okinawa? Never gonna happen, might make the people realize that they have been only getting 1/3 of the story over the past 7 decades.

  • 1

    Frank Thornton

    I'm not an Okinawa specialist but I'm assuming the budget for economic development was originally put in place either because Okinawa was supportive of the bases or supportive of the relocation of Futenma to Henoko. Either way, it seems to me that Onaga is backing out of the deal. One side cannot back out and still expect the other to fulfill its commitment. A deal is a deal. No?

  • 2

    harvey pekar

    The central government has given you, Okinawans, the shaft since the beginning of this unequal relationship. You're seen as a dollar sign for tourists and military bases.

    It's time Okinawans put down their Osprey signs and pick up their ballots for secession. Get tough, fight the real enemy, the central government, and secede!

  • 1

    japan4life

    @bjohnson23: Before asking the media to get their facts correct maybe you should get your facts correct. I would like to see your proof that the few actual Ryukyu Islanders that are opposed to the Henoko Relocation Plan are the land owners and the the others are mainland instigators and possibly Chinese paid collaborators.

    Also the replacement for MCAS Futenma is a new facility located off the coast of an existing facility Camp Schwab and the relocation of MCAS Futenma has nothing to do with the closure of Camp Kinser or Naha Port, they were delinked in 2012 by Mutual Agreement between Japan and the U.S.

  • 1

    Christopher Glen

    So they are punishing Okinawans for having the temerity to vote against the bases? Pathetic

  • -1

    bjohnson23

    re: "the replacement for MCAS Futenma is a new facility located off the coast of an existing facility Camp Schwab " new yes but still an expansion of an existing facility being Camp Schwab. So you there is no NEW base, just new expanded facilities in lieu of a closure of an entire base. Keep in mind that there will also be a loss of MLC jobs. oooo...nice cush jobs saying goodbye forever replaced by tourist "high end" paying jobs? hahah..Please you know so little about the Japan political system and how it works, why do you think the "secrecy" law is in effect? I really hope I'm wrong but I know better, and it does have indeed have to do with land reversion. All of it does. All for the sake of mega construction owners like the current Gov of Okinawa and other developers, but don't leave out the collaborators.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    Also the replacement for MCAS Futenma is a new facility located off the coast of an existing facility Camp Schwab and the relocation of MCAS Futenma has nothing to do with the closure of Camp Kinser or Naha Port, they were delinked in 2012 by Mutual Agreement between Japan and the U.S.

    This is incorrect, they are still indirectly linked together. Once Futenma goes, the rest will be gone as well.

  • -1

    japan4life

    @yubaru: Please take a look at the following link; http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15220.

    The return of Camp Kinser, Naha Port and some portions of Camp Foster depend on new facilities being built both on Okinawa and on Guam. Until those facilities are built Camp Kinser, Naha Port and part of Camp Foster will not be returned. So even if the replacement for MCAS Futenma is completed and the existing base closed and the land returned but the facilities on Guam and existing bases on Okinawa are not completed then Camp Kinser, Naha Port and part of Camp Foster will not be returned even though MCAS Futenma will be. Anyway that is how I interpret the agreement of 2012.

  • 1

    liarsnfools

    Abe knows he has to deliver the Futenma Replacement Facility at Henoko to earn the love of the Americans. So it is not surprising that he is vindictive against the Okinawans who do not want to be the constant sacrificial lamps at the altar of the mutual security treaty.

  • 0

    itsonlyrocknroll

    Okinawamike.... After 30 years and how many Goverments? Your honest opinion has got to be worth more than a paragraph.

  • -1

    tinawatanabe

    J govt must respect Okinawans voice.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Onaga was voted in by a wide margin last year simply because of his anti-base stance.

    The LDP, which is liberal in name only and about as democratic as North Korea lost its four seats in Okinawa because of Abe's pro-base stance.

    The people you mix with may not tell you that they are against the bases, but, according to the voting the majority of Okinawans are. I think the problem might be the phrasing in the article, "widespread local hostility." Okinawans are, generally speaking, pretty laid back. Hostility is not a common personality trait here. The demonstrations are peaceful. The only noisy people are the right wing cars with speakers blaring.

    According to a statement by Defence Minister Nakatani Gen, the US bases are concentrated in Okinawa because no other prefecture in Japan will have them. An opinion that was not well received here.

    Check out Japan Focus, http://www.japanfocus.org if you would like to see Okinawa people's opinions.

    How ironic, this is like Okinawa in a microcosm, the people liking your post are like those who voted for Onaga. The surface looks like they know what they are about, but underneath truly ignorant about the reality of the world around them. Well done.

  • 2

    bam_boo

    Tokyo's carrot and stick policy at work once again.

    We're observing the beginning of another GOJ pressuring and bullying campaign with the aim to get Okinawans "back on track" under Tokyo's spell. When electing Onaga Okinawans knew this could happen, so I guess they were kind of prepared for this, but we will have to see what they can make out of this situation.

    All Tokyo governments, including the DPJ, have tried to tranquilize Okinawa with money, and have been partly successful, but more and more Okinawans seem to understand the long-term negative impact of excepting these "comfort budgets" while giving up budgetary reason and independence. The more Okinawans are able to survive without those largely meaningless carrot projects the more they will regain their political freedom.

    I hope this could be a turning point, but I'm sure politicians and bureaucrats in Tokyo are working on devious strategies to reverse the democratic choice Okinawans have made and get them back under their thumb.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    When electing Onaga Okinawans knew this could happen, so I guess they were kind of prepared for this, but we will have to see what they can make out of this situation

    Knowing and caring are two totally different things here. People in Okinawa often times do not vote based upon the issues but PURELY upon the person alone, be that good or bad.

    My father-in-law is a card carrying member of the LDP, but since his oldest daughter's brother-in-law decided to run in an election, he went out and canvased for votes for the guy in roughly 6 different elections even though the guy was totally AGAINST the LDP and everything it stands for.

    I asked him once why, his answer "He's family". End of story.

    People here, particularly the large elderly voting block do so because they FEEL closer to a guy their age than someone who is probably better suited to the job but is perceived or actually is much younger. This election was no different, of the three major (viable) candidates two were over 65 years old, and one closer to 80.

    The people dont or didnt care about the issues they cared about the generation and background of the candidate.

  • 2

    bam_boo

    People in Okinawa often times do not vote based upon the issues but PURELY upon the person alone, be that good or bad.

    In regard to how Okinawans engage in politics my observations have been similar, but don't you feel that the atmosphere has changed recently?

    Before Okinawans mainly reacted in short term bursts to concrete and clearly identifiable issues like the rape incident, the helicopter crash in Okikokudai or the Osprey deployment, but now they seem to be engaging with a more long-term agenda. Also the number of younger Okinawans who express political views and engage in some form of political action is on the rise.

    The people dont or didnt care about the issues they cared about the generation and background of the candidate.

    They were able to select between three "senior" candidates and chose the one that they new would create more "trouble". Considering the audible threats from Tokyo in my eyes that was as a clear a choice as Okinawans could do.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Considering the audible threats from Tokyo in my eyes that was as a clear a choice as Okinawans could do.

    Actually the majority failed to look at the stances that the candidates took, ALL of the candidates, they had an option, a viable option, that they failed to consider, mainly because of his perceived youth.

    The one candidate they overlooked was the only one that seriously proposed giving ALL Okinawan's a say in the process of keeping or getting rid of the base in Henoko, only one proposed a binding referendum along with an open economic policy that would have benefited people from all walks of life.

    Even now Onaga is being perceived as back-peddling on his promises, read the Japan Focus article, linked in a previous post here, and you will get the idea.

    It's typical for candidates to run on a dream and the come back to reality after elected, and it's the people who will suffer because of it, but Okinawan's being the wonderful people they are, will let it slide.

    The folks protesting, and being shown on the nightly news, are for the most part, from mainland Japan, coming down here stirring up crap and then running away. THAT is news, in and of itself, but once again the press gives it a pass and fails to report the whole story.

  • -3

    YuriOtani

    If they would remove the bases think ending all of the "sympathy" money will be a good deal. Will it be painful? Sure but we will be able to determine our own destiny. As for Chinese invading, Japan still has a treaty from the Americans promising to defend Japan if it is attacked. They will just lose their spy and training bases.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Sure but we will be able to determine our own destiny.

    "Our" destiny? Coming from someone who lives in Oklahoma? You like to think that Okinawa is independent, but it's not, time to join the 21st century and quit living in the 19th or 18th centuries.

  • 1

    bam_boo

    Actually the majority failed to look at the stances that the candidates took,

    Have you done any opinion poll that you know this so well? Taking into account that the two newspapers ran weeklong series of articles with statements of the candidates and analysis of their positions I think this is a rather defaming expression.

    The folks protesting, and being shown on the nightly news, are for the most part, from mainland Japan,

    Where's the data to back up your claim?

    I personally know many Okinawans who are participants and also I know some mainlanders who are there. Both are unified in what they want: to stop the construction of new US military facilities and the destruction of one of Okinawa Islands most beautiful and unique marine eco-system.

    coming down here stirring up crap and then running away.

    While this disparaging phrasing might be a clear expression of your personal belief Okinawans I know don't see it that way. They are proud of the people resisting pressure in a peaceful way and while expressing a feeling the majority of Okinawans share.

  • -1

    YuriOtani

    bam_boo it is not the mainland Japanese but the politicians. They make the continued occupation of Okinawa possible.

    Yubaru, am not taking about independence but the self determination the other prefectures enjoy. Okinawa is burdened with a series of Okinawa only laws. Americans are hypocrites as their equal protection under the law applies only when they want it.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Okinawa is burdened with a series of Okinawa only laws.

    Every prefecture has their own laws, you make it sound like Okinawa is special somehow, it isn't.

    Americans are hypocrites as their equal protection under the law applies only when they want it.

    Talking about hypocrites here, THIS is Japan not America. You of all people should know this, you have those rights in America, and it seems to me that you want American law here in Japan....heaven forbid that ever happens.

  • -2

    mikesbo

    YuriOtani, I find it amusing that you speak of American hypocrisy only two posts after saying you want the American bases to go away while in the very next sentence counting on America to defend you from China. Likewise, you call the American presence on Okinawa an occupation, but complain that occupying force isn't "nice" enough for your liking.

    It all comes across as inconsistent and childish. This is why you never win anyone over to your side/opinion, even when they agree with your overall position, as I suspect most people posting here do: that the bases should either be in mainland Japan as well as Okinawa, or my opinion, which is that we should return Japan's defence to Japan. I also believe that if America turns Japan's defence over to Japan and pulls out of all bases on Okinawa, Japan will simply move the SDF into those vacated bases, and Okinawa will find that the SDF will be an even less accommodating "occupying force" than the Americans were. Be careful what you wish for.

  • 1

    japan4life

    @mikesbo: While you are correct that the JSDF would move into some of the vacated bases, the fact is the JSDF does not require even close to the amount of land that U.S. Forces require. They don`t need Military Family Housing, Dependent Schools, PX, Commissaries, Golf Courses, Private Beaches, a Boat Marina, Tennis Courts, Movie Theaters, Bowing Centers, Swimming Pools and all of those other non-defense related requirements that U.S. Forces demand. Also they speak the same language and come under the same laws. They pay Japanese taxes and support businesses in the local communities unlike the U.S. who do most of their shopping and leisure activities on-base. So it would actually be better for the Local Okinawan Economy if the JSDF took over U.S. bases because a lot of land that is taken up by what I mentioned above would be returned and JSDF personnel would spend way more money on the Local Economy. The old Naha Air Base is a prime example, it was once a massive U.S. Air Base but the JSDF took over and returned over half of the land back to local use and it is now a vibrant area.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    The old Naha Air Base is a prime example, it was once a massive U.S. Air Base but the JSDF took over and returned over half of the land back to local use and it is now a vibrant area.

    Yeah it's vibrant alright, it's called Naha Airport.

  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    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.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    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.

    Pray tell, why doesnt the Japanese government listen to it's own people if this is, in fact, what Okinawa wants? Oh quit with the "our" voices, you are not Japanese.

    I've said this before and I will say it again, these issues are dealt with on a government to government (national) level, Get that through your head, barking up the wrong tree, complain to Tokyo.

  • 3

    voiceofokinawa

    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.

  • 0

    japan4life

    Okinawa is trying to talk to Tokyo but Tokyo will not talk to Okinawa. The way that Tokyo talks to Okinawa is to give them an order and then tell them if they do not follow that order they will be punished. Abe not meeting with Onaga is very childish behavior for a so called world leader. Even President Obama meets with State Governors like Rick Perry even though their political views are completely different and Perry has said come very critical things about Obama. But that is democracy LDP style, the LDP will talk to Okinawa as long as they are saying what the LDP wants to hear.

Login to leave a comment

OR
EMBA Special Lecture: Operations Modeling

EMBA Special Lecture: Operations Modeling

Temple University, Japan CampusContinuing Education / MBA

Special Offers

グローバルに
活躍したいあなたへ
外資系転職

バイリンガル人材の
ための求人サイト

見てみる

More in Politics

View all

View all

Japan Investment
Properties

Listings Updated Daily

Search