Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, others rally against Okinawa base plan

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  • 2

    JeffLee

    The problem is that the Japanese gov"t and most Japanese people want the US military here in significant numbers, but the Japanese mainland doesn't want to host them. So put the bulk of them on tiny Okinawa!

    I hope the protesters recognized this dynamic, rather than spinning the highly misleading (ie wrong) message that it's all about US hegemony.

  • 3

    JTDanMan

    Futenma has been a particular source of grievance due to its proximity to crowded urban areas.

    Gee, I wonder which came first? The base or the urban area around it...

    Oh, gee. Here's an aerial photo, circa 1945.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FutenmaAirBaseinOkinawa,Japancirca_1945.jpg

  • 8

    Schopenhauer

    Okinawa's economy is difficult without a strong finacial support of the Japanese government which puts a lot of money for the reason that many U.S. bases are there. However, Japanese people and the government are getting doubtful about the U.S. bases on Okinawa is really a help to us in view of the recent attitudes of America on the Senkaku problem. The bases on Okinawa played a great role in the past as a relay station to fly their military planes and soldiers to the middle east and Vietnam while when we are in a crisis, they did not become any help. Chinese ships and planes approaching freely to the island knowing that U.S. Forces on Okinawa do not move.

  • 1

    voiceofokinawa

    Our thanks to these luminaries know no bound. In their spiritual support of our struggles I see true American democracy and America's conscience still thriving.

  • -13

    OssanAmerica

    OMG what a left wing crowd.... Schopenhauer, I agree that the U.S, has not put it's foot down enough to justify it's presence to the people of Okinawa. Perhaps when we get a Republican administration again.

  • 9

    BertieWooster

    Schopenhauer,

    Seventy years of US bases haven't lifted the Okinawan economy. The US presence keeps the economy down. The huge bases occupy top areas for redevelopment. They also create a dangerous environment. In addition to the bad behaviour of servicemen, if there were a strike from some foreign power, Okinawa would be the first place to hit because they would want to take out the bases.

    Those areas that have been returned to Okinawa are booming financially. Shintoshin and Hamby Town provide 20 and 15 percent more income than when those areas were used by US military.

    Okinawans are treated by the Honshu government as complete idiots. The "economic stimulus package" that Nakaima was so excited about is completely meaningless. Most of it goes to Tokyo run installations, like the Naha airport and OIST.

    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/4056

    If they think about it, which most of them don't a lot, Japanese want the bases in Okinawa because they believe (erroneously) that the US military is protecting them from NK and China. They want them here because they wouldn't have them near at any price. They know the danger they represent.

    I am glad that Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and many others are behind this. The mayor of Nago (the area where the new superbase is planned to be built) was reelected by a huge margin in spite of dirty tricks from the Tokyo government:

    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/4068

    Nago clearly does NOT want another US base.

    Isn't the Japanese government shamed that the antibase movement has spread to prominent people in the U.S.A?

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    The issue of consolidating and reducing the number of U.S. military bases on Okinawa is a thorny issue, and neither the national government or Okinawan officials want to stir up more anti-base unrest. The economic package means a lot to the people of Nago. Okinawa is one of Japan's poorest if not the poorest prefecture, with twice the unemployment rate of the rest of the country. The Nago area in Northern Okinawa is(was) in worse economic shape than the central and southern parts of the island.

  • -2

    toshiko

    Maybwe Japan will allocate $2.3 billion a yesr to Oikinawa instead of paying USA a year after it gets rid of all USA Occupation Force. Sorry US loses income source but S Korea will begin some for welcome USA Military Force in S Korea it promised. Not as much as Japan give out, but Japan can save each year to invest to Okinawa.

  • -1

    NeoJamal

    Isn't the Japanese government shamed that the antibase movement has spread to prominent people in the U.S.A?

    The workings of the inner conscience (political critique) of their American masters is not their problem.

    Besides, The lack of an active Okinawan nationalist front and the placidity of the locals makes it all seem that the Okinawans don't really care that much about the issue.

  • 5

    nyunt_shwe

    I wholeheartedly back Okinawans and all world citizens who stand by them against American Military Bases in Okinawa. I firmly believe that US military bases always threat the security of Okinawa citizens.

    Hey, American bases go home!!!

  • 1

    CajunH2O

    Not entirely true Jeff. Some places on mainland Japan have said they would host it. Neither us not Japan brass will listen.

  • 0

    Alphaape

    Besides, The lack of an active Okinawan nationalist front and the placidity of the locals makes it all seem that the Okinawans don't really care that much about the issue.

    I think that pretty much sums it all up. Heaven forbid that NK or China did launch a missile and it hit Okinawa, the first thing that would happen (after the shooting stopped) would be that the same agitators against the bases would now turn their ire back towards Tokyo and ask why is it that Okinawa has to take the brunt of any agression against Japan.

  • 1

    Mocheake

    As a 'right-wing liberal,' I'd like to request these guys go home and mind their business. It's shameful of them to try to liken this to the civil rights struggle of the sixties.

  • 8

    ruthgottstein

    It would be useful if some one would describe the occupation of Okinawa by Japan more than 200 years ago. Okinawa was the independent kingdom of Ryukyo, with its own language and culture...and then?

  • 7

    StormR

    Build the new base on the Senkakus , solves two problems then.

  • 1

    Octagon

    I have been a loyal fan of Oliver Stones and Michale Moore master pieces. They are not only creative but also very entertaining. I am pleased to know they have joined helpless Okinawa residents for rally against the base plan.

    It is heart warming to know that some great Americans have courage to stand up for weak and oppressed people of Okinawa. If there is no movement like that, Okinawa will be forever enslaved by Japan and US. More actions are needed for that struggle.

  • 1

    YuriOtani

    JT Dan Man your link is broken. The truth is there was no airfield before the Americans constructed it. The Americans put the Okinawa people into concentration camps. Then the Americans destroyed the Okinawa peoples villages, homes and farms to build the new airbase. My mom who was a child said there was great suffering in the camps. There was not enough of anything and people died of malnutrition and disease. The Americans have NEVER paid the people of Okinawa a single yen for the land they took by force. After the war more land was taken at the point of a gun.

    It is nice to see Americans support the effort in removing these bases. Remember reduction has nothing to do with it just moving them to the unspoiled areas of Okinawa. No base, No Rape!

  • -4

    homleand

    I had been opposed to the plan, but now that I see misguided people like Oliver Stone and Michael Moore on that side, I will do all I can to support it.

  • 5

    dcog9065

    Move the base to the Senkaku Islands I reckon; that should resolve 2 problems at once.

  • 2

    Osaka_Doug

    The key issue now is that there should be negotiations on saving the environmental areas of Okinawa and not imposed by the more powerful. It can be done as this story todday from Canada illustrates.

    After 20 years of conflict, the British Columbia forest industry and leading environmental groups say they have reached a final agreement between them on how much of the Great Bear Rainforest is to be conserved and how much is to be logged.

    http://www.biv.com/article/20140129/BIV0114/140129907/landmark-agreement-reached-on-bcs-great-bear-rainforest?utmsource=BIV+Daily&utmcampaign=9ca24a0ac1-DailyWednesdayJanuary291292014&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0e7a16d5571-9ca24a0ac1-210228533

    Okinawa is now important to the world and the world is becoming aware.

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    OssanAmericaJan. 30, 2014 - 08:01AM JST

    OMG what a left wing crowd.... Schopenhauer, I agree that the U.S, has not put it's foot down enough to justify it's presence to the people of Okinawa. Perhaps when we get a Republican administration again.

    I am so called a liberal crowd, and voted for Obama. However, I am not with them. They are not looking at a big picture for Japan and US interests. Hope they know what they are doing on this.

  • -1

    Bgood41

    There are better places for them to protest: N.Korea (dictatorship), China (human rights..), Russia, Iran, Saudi. Shame!

  • 6

    voiceofokinawa

    JTDanMan (Jan. 30, 2014 - 07:28AM JST):

    Time and again, posters come out and claim there was nothing in the area where the Futenma air station now sits. JTDanMan, you are one such poster. How many times do I have to remind them they are completely wrong. The aerial photo, probably a reconnaissance photo taken by the U.S. Air Force just before the invasion of the island was launched, shows several farming villages assumed to be in the area where Futenma is.

    I said on the thread for "Osprey crashes fuel uproar in Japan" run on Jun. 22, 2012, Japan Today that there had been a dozen villages in the area before the war which had composed Ginowan Village (today’s Ginowan City), of which 5 were completely swallowed up into the base and others partially done so. The U.S. military constructed the base while area residents who had survived the Battle of Okinawa were herded into concentration-like camps.

    Can you see any justice here and feel no qualms about it, saying there was nothing in the area? And can you demand Futenma's replacement with cutting-edge facilities in exchange for its return?

  • 3

    kwatt

    It seems that US government wants to put as many military bases as possible inside remote Okinawa whatever for US government's interest because J government pays a lot of money for these bases for protection, If bases moved to Guam or somewhere, US alone would have to pay more for its own bases while reduction of military budget.

  • -5

    Peacetrain

    "My mom who was a child said there was great suffering in the camps. There was not enough of anything and people died of malnutrition and disease. The Americans have NEVER paid the people of Okinawa a single yen for the land they took by force."

    Yuri, ask your abaachan if she remembers Dec7, 1941. In case she's too embarrassed to tell you, I'll fill you in. Okinawans leapt for joy with the news of Pearl Harbor. Everyone was delirious with the victory. Yes, even the Himeyuri girls.

    Japan invaded Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong etc etc. Did you see them leaving? Did they give anything back?

    Think about it. The US could have turned all of Japan into another state or province. Or they just could have kept Okinawa as a state and not returned it after 1972. You should be grateful.

    And here's the kicker. Let's place bets on it. If the US leaves Futenma and Okinawa completely, I'll tell you what will happen. Futenma and Kadena will just become SDF bases. Do Okinawans REALLY believe that Tokyo won't want bases there?

    Anyone living near Futenma could leave. But for decades they just keep building and building. And then complain about noise? Right....

    Ever been to Iruma Base in Tokyo? Pretty noisy too. But everyday there are Japanese plane fans happily taking photos.

    Saying there was no airbase in 1945 is meaningless. God back a few decades and watch the residential development there. The US could have made Okinawa one huge airstrip if they wanted. You could have been forced to not speak Japanese and been called Yoyo Ohara.

    Maybe while you're talking to your grandma you can ask her about how Okinawans were pushed out of those big Ryukuyu graves, and some shot because they couldn't speak Japanese.

    In the end the problem for the good people of Okinawa is not Washington, it's Tokyo. But you probably really know that deep down.

    Tokyo never has, and still doesn't care about Okinawa.

  • -6

    smithinjapan

    I'm guessing the majority of Okinawans had never heard of these two people, or at least did not recognize the names if they have seen their movies, but will suddenly see them as champions of the cause. If they were FOR the bases they would just be ignorant foreigners. In other words, the usual whimsy. In any case, I don't think it will matter much who protests what, and there are many Okinawans who WANT the relocation because it means big money. Futenma didn't build itself into an urban area, the urban area spawned around it because it was a means of living and money. They will do it again in the new location, guaranteed -- then their kids and grandkids can complain.

  • -1

    Peacetrain

    The American bases issue is just a convenient punching bag whenever the media/politicians want to get the populace to stop thinking about other issues.

    Go back a few months and every TV show was doing daily coverage about the dangerous Ospreys. And the man in the street was muttering about how the Americans FORCING the dangerous Ospreys on Japan was yet another example of their horrible bullying.

    Now that Japan is thinking of buying Ospreys, you don't hear much about it. If Japan bought Ospreys and had them in SDF bases up here and painted a hinomaru on them Japanese would be proudly taking photos of them.

    It's just a game folks.

    The US should pull out of Japan completely, let Japan and China do their own fighting and just sit on the sidelines making and selling stuff.

  • -1

    kwatt

    They are very famous people all over the world. The rally seems to become better one whether Okinawans knows them well or not.

  • 5

    CH3CHO

    I think there are too many bases in Okinawa already. I think Futenma base should be closed and no new base should be built.

    smithinjapanJan. 30, 2014 - 12:08PM JST

    I'm guessing the majority of Okinawans had never heard of these two people,

    They are much more intelligent than you think they are and most of them know Oliver Stone and Michael Moore very well.

  • -3

    BNlightened

    I knew that Oliver Stone was busy peddling his anti-American "history" book. His participation is to be expected, as is the presence of professional leftists Chomsky and Ellsberg (both have made long and quite lucrative careers out of protesting this and that, without actually achieving much, mind you.) But what's Michael Moore trying to sell? Haven't seen much of him since he did what he claims most Americans cannot possibly do anymore (that is, climb up into the 1% through his own initiative.) Must be something he's trying to sell...

    As for Okinawa: people serially neglect a few important points. One, the Nago mayor received 19,839 votes, but the pro-base opposition received 15,684 votes, and in the last election for prefectural Governor, the anti-base candidate lost. So to make the blanket claim that "Okinawans don't want the base" is factually incorrect. Thousands of jobs are either directly or indirectly connected to the bases, and a lot of people on the island know it.

    Two: the Japanese have traditionally been able to limit their defense spending to no more than 1% of GDP. Why? What allowed them to do this, and thus spend so much more public funds on RandD, pensions, education and health care, etc, even in the face of increasing aggression coming from other Asian countries? What would happen to defense spending in Japan if America stopped spending its own resources and forced locals to foot their defense bill in full? Would Japan still be able to ride the "peace budgeting" train long afforded them by...whom again?

    Third: There are plenty of bases in California, but still there's a need for bases in Hawaii. too. Why? To simply say "there are places here on Honshu that would gladly house new military bases" ignores the strategic implications of forward positioning, the proximity of Okinawa to troubled spots, and the deterrence factor created by "surrounding" expansionist countries like China, all of which bases in distant Okinawa presently provide.

    Finally: as mentioned above, what would happen to Okinawa were the American bases to disappear? Nothing? Okinawa would miraculously morph into some peaceful, anti-military prefecture? Or would Abe instantly install a JSDF base in every place vacated by the US to, as he vowed in Okinawa Prefecture itself, "securely defend our territory and territorial waters"?

  • 5

    yosun

    I understand the US needs to watch both of China commies and Japan militarists, however it should not be at the cost of Okinawan, Okinawa is paradise like place and people over there are friendly to outsiders including Chinese and Japanese, selfish politics drive them so much so their resistance is totally understandable, I 100% support the rally!

  • -6

    Bartholomew Harte

    Two of the worlds largest "Attention Whores" on the planet!-NEXT!

  • -4

    Graham DeShazo

    Yes, because a revionist film maker, an activist "documentarian", and a linguist will contribute to this issue in a positive way (and I'm a Democrat by the way.)

    What none of them will point out (or even have the wits to aknowledge) is that the basing of Marines in Okinawa is in Japan's national interest and Okinawa is part of Japan. Defense policy is a national, not local, decision, and there is an agreement between the democratically elected governments of Japan and the United States.

  • 4

    MrBum

    @ BNlightened, Oliver Stone was awarded a purple heart for his service in Vietnam, so you might try reading his book before you start questioning his patriotism. Chomsky made countless academic contributions in the studies of language, cognitive sciences, and other fields. Ellsberg only exposed that the US government lied to the public and prolonged the Vietnam War despite knowing it was unwinnable. What a bunch of underachieving slouches those lefties are.

  • 4

    atrueokinawan

    Oliver Stone was on Okinawa in the fall of last year and visited the proposed site in Henoko so he is familiar with the situation. The Okinawan people need this kind of help to fight the bureaucrats in Tokyo and their flunkies in the LDP. Maybe Michael Moore can make a documentary on the bases and show the 5 private beaches, a marina, 2- eighteen hole golf courses, 2- nine hole golf courses, all the tennis courts and other leisure facilities that make up a lot the land used by the Military on Okinawa.

  • 5

    justicetz

    Okinawa had been independent countey since Japan illegally occupied it by force in the end of 19 century, and used its territory and people against US troops in WW2 causing its huge lost. Again Japan and US set up the biggest military base in Okinawa against China and Russia, making it endangered most in the world

  • 1

    Nathaw

    U.S. officials insist that the plan to move the base to more remote Nago is meant to respond to residents’ concerns

    Nago may be less populated and remote area. However I do not buy the sugar coated words of responding to residents concern. One poster posted as No Base, No Rape! No Base means No Air crash too!

    Back in 1959, The aircraft crashed into Miyamori Elementary School and surrounding houses, killing 11 students and six other people in the neighborhood and injuring 210 others, including 156 students at the school. The pilot, Captain John G. Schmitt, Jr. from Chalmers, Indiana, 34 years old, ejected and was unhurt. He may be even promoted after the tragic accident.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959OkinawaF-100_crash

    Aircraft accidents can occur anywhere over Okinawa regardless of whether the base is located in Nago or somewhere else of Okinawa. According Miyamori Elementary School jet fighter crash accident, that elementary School is not located in the vicinity of Kadena Air Base and yet the accident occurred.

    For the safety of kids, elderly and residents, the base should move to somewhere else in Japan.

  • 5

    YuriOtani

    Peacetrain my mom was in Jr high school when Pearl Harbor happened. They did not celebrate the attack.The people of Okinawa had to obey their "betters" or Japanese. The problem with the Americans and bases is when compared to other nations like the PRC or Russia, are they really any better? If you grew up in prereversion Okinawa, you would have an understanding. The Americans replaced the Japanese as our "betters". They had killed so many Okinawa people and confined the rest in camps. The truth is China would not invade Okinawa if there were no American bases. After all any attack on Japan is considered an attack on America. The SDF would engage the PRC forces first and the Americans second. Then again if America is only the friend of Japan because of the bases, then it is not a friend of Japan.

  • 2

    atrueokinawan

    Nathaw: Before the brutal rape of that 12 year old child by three U.S. marines not one person from the U.S. or Japanese Govt. called MCAS Futenma a dangerous base. Their safety concerns only came out after they realized that a majority of the Okinawan people were against the relocation to Henoko. In order to try to get them to accept the relocation plan they started saying that MCAS Futenma was a dangerous base and needed to be relocated to Henoko immediately.

  • 2

    JeffLee

    "....ignores the strategic implications of forward positioning, the proximity of Okinawa to troubled spots."

    The world's most potentially dangerous place right now is North Korea, and that's really far away from Okinawa. The Japan Sea Coast off Niigata, for example, directly faces the borders areas of North Korea, China and Russia. Now THAT'S a strategic location, if you ask me. Put the bases there.

  • -2

    Sawendro

    Looking at it pragmatically (or trying to, at least) I support moving the base.

    There is GOING to be a base whether people like it or not. Both Tokyo and the U.S. want a U.S. military presence in the Okinawa region. Maybe that'll change in the future but I don't foresee a time when there are NO bases - American or Japanese - in the area. Corollary to that; any bases the U.S. leaves will likely be turned over/sold to Japan so renegotiation of the defence policies is unlikely to result in the lessening of some kind of military presence.

    If you accept that there will always be bases then it makes sense to have one in a less urbanised area. Leaving aside recent high-profile accidents, the more interaction between the military and the locals then the more friction there will be. In addition, it reduces the risk of any of the deeply unpleasant crimes reported in and around the base being repeated. Not an ideal solution, but a risk reduction.

    Money is money; even if - as said above - the majority of money does go to Tokyo run projects, then there is at least a minimum funding guarantee that a lot of places would kill for. If the British government offered that kind of a deal for nuclear power stations, I think there'd be a lot less opposition to them.

    I have additional points, but I think this has become just a tad long. Sorry.

  • 0

    Osaka_Doug

    My Okinawan friends are really happy about the international attention and support - I find their stories very inspiring

  • -3

    Peacetrain

    "Peacetrain my mom was in Jr high school when Pearl Harbor happened. They did not celebrate the attack"

    @Yuri, Maybe she doesn't want to admit to it. Or maybe her school was in the minority. But the fact remains that in many schools in Okinawa there was jubilation. If you don't believe me, ask some old timers.

  • 6

    Steve Fabricant

    Peacetrain, there was also jubilation in the US when we dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do we need to continue this line of debate?

  • 1

    mitokomonalex

    Where the Futenma runway stands is where the Ginowan village office was located. Beside it was the Ginowan elementary school and also where the Futenma Airbase fire station is located stood the bullfight ring and the horserace grounds.No point in saying that the Marines took the whole area due to the high grounds. Everyone in the immediate area after the war found everything confiscated so they moved in with friends and relatives in the nearby village of Nodake and Futenma.

  • -1

    DaveAllTogether

    Aircraft accidents can occur anywhere over Okinawa regardless of whether the base is located in Nago or somewhere else of Okinawa -

    The same could be said of any area near a place where airplanes take off and land. I'm working a flight tomorrow from Haneda to Naha, and returning the same day. Coming in to land at Handea I could possibly crash my place into Kawasaki, or worse yet, Disneyland. Since TDL is in possible danger shouldn't it be closed?

    The fact is there is some risk almost any place people live: American Midwest - tornadoes. Guam - typhoons. Japan - earthquakes. Boston - traffic.

  • -4

    Peacetrain

    "Peacetrain, there was also jubilation in the US when we dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do we need to continue this line of debate?"

    Maybe you missed my original point. I basically think the US should leave completely if they aren't wanted. Then Japan can look after themselves and pay for their own defence.

    But, if you think about it, Japan invaded Taiwan, Korea etc and took over. They only left when they were defeated. So, instead of people criticising the US, maybe they could realise that given that the US was attacked, then fought Japan until Japan unconditionally surrended, the US if they were like military Japan, could have kept all of Japan. They could have turned all of Okinawa into a golf course if they wanted to.

    Okinawans often paint themselves as victims, and they were! But, they were part of Japan, and were initially celebrating with the rest of Japan when the US was first attacked. So, as a country that attacked the US, then lost, they don't have a basis for complaining about bases. Especially, after when they defeated other countries they ruled with iron fists.

    ie, I get tired of the US bashing. Especially from a country who were exceedingly worse victors!

  • 0

    jpntdytmrow

    Whichever side one takes, it is a discussion worth having for those of us choosing to live in the Pacific. Here is a talk by Oliver Stone in Okinawa August 15, 2013.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiqRWPFLxH0 I want to keep the doors open for discussion and not close them to people whose opinions are different from mine.

  • 2

    toshiko

    Peacetree: I am a Japanese so I tell you that Japan did not invade Korea Japan stole Korea a long long time before WW II.

  • 5

    bam_boo

    Peacetrain is presenting us a number of really weird arguments:

    Because Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor it is OK to violate basic human rights in Okinawa and take private land from its righteous owners - who were forced to stay in concentration camps - destroy several villages and precious farmland.

    Because someone did something bad to us we can do something bad to the kin of someone?

    Could it be that international conventions (like the Hague convention) were made exactly to stop such an eye for an eye kind of things from happening?

    Anyone living near Futenma could leave. But for decades they just keep building and building. And then complain about noise? Right....

    Oh, brilliant idea... maybe every Okinawan who doesn't like the US military in Okinawa could leave Okinawa?

    Sorry for being a bit sarcastic, but Okinawa is inhabited by Okinawans and the land that US military unjustly took from their owners for Futenma MCAS has belonged to Okinawans for centuries and was one of the largest continuous fertile and arable pieces of land on this small and rutted island.

    So what would you do Peacetrain if you had been a farmer and came back to your land, the source of your life, after having been forced into a concentration camp for two years, just to stand in front of a fence with a keep out sign? Do you believe on a small island like Okinawa you could just go some where else take a piece of somebodies farmland and make a living? In that situation to stay as close as possible to your ancestors land and try to make a living with that big and shiny military machine in front of you doesn't sound like a bad idea to me.

    Okinawans fought for the reversion to Japan not because the loved so much being a part of Japan again, but because the US military occupation was denying them basic human rights and treated them like second class citizens and they hoped it would be different with Japan, which it didn't really turn out to be...

    From your arguments Peacetrain I believe you haven't had the chance to read anything meaningful about post war Okinawan history.

    If it weren't for people like Oliver Stone Okinawans (and not only Okinawans) would think all that american talk about freedom, human rights and equality is just claptrap.

  • 0

    joumultiup

    Relocation costs money. We have to spend more money on reconstruction of Fukushima as well as people who were devasted by the Tsunami damage. I might be so stupid but people who are in Okinawa will understand and can endure the sounds caused by air plane a little bit more, if they clearly are noted by Japanese government that we need to spend money more on compansate people's damage in Fukushima who are living with great losses of their house, spouse and children. Where did the "kizuna" or close bond go? Kizuna will solve not only unnecessarily desire to locate the base by the U.S but also complainments about the base by people in Okinawa who currently is living near the base.

  • 0

    toshiko

    Relocation costs USA money. If all US bases in Japan is relocated to elsewhere, thereafter, Japan does not have to pay $2.2 billion year payment to USA. Landlord Japan has been paying tenant $$$$ a year plus tenant;s expenses so many years. .

    Who is Moore? What does he produce?

  • 1

    atrueokinawan

    toshiko: Michael Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic, and political activist.He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time and winner of the Palme d'Or. His films Bowling for Columbine (2002) and Sicko (2007) also placed in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries, and the former won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

  • 3

    Sambhavo Patryck

    How about taking all the boys home, from every base on the planet! The USA needs the manpower at home in addition to channeling the finances to support Americas aging infrastructure. Protect your own borders and quit policing the world. An apology to the world would go a long way too!

  • 1

    toshiko

    atrueokinawan: Thank you for info. So these American people are trying to help Okinawan people who had been suppressed for generations. US medias hardly have any story about Japan so their activities might awake USA people. Once in a great while, Okinawa name comes as controversial US Military bases in Okinawa. Just because Okinawan people do not demonstrate like Egyptians or Syrians do not mean they are happy with American military bases. I believe.

  • -2

    dgoto@yahoo.com

    Many Japanese people do not want to vacation in Okinawa because it has too many negative memories from the war, they prefer to go to other beach locations. The military has been the primary financial stimulus for decades, Removal of all military would be very negative for years. Remember the reason the U.S. Military is in Japan is not to protect Japan from others countries, it is to protect Japan from itself.

  • -1

    Jooji

    US military ought to live ONLY on their base. No leave outside their compound. This will stop all behavioral problems of the soldiers. Furthermore, all on-base jobs should be filled by their own people.

  • -1

    JTDanMan

    Voice of Oki

    You wrote:

    Time and again, posters come out and claim there was nothing in the area where the Futenma air station now sits. JTDanMan, you are one such poster.

    No, I am not. My point was certainly not "there was nothing in the area." My point was there was no crowded urban area. The aerial photo circa 1945 demonstrated that point.

    I'll say it again so it is crystal clear: there was no densely packed urban area around Futenma air station is 1945. Which means,

    the air station PRECEDED the urban development, and The urbanization around the base resulted from the base. Had the base been located somewhere else, the development would have occurred there.

    Those the salient implications of my post. It would serve you better if you bothered to read and understand another's post before trotting out your canned response.

    Perhaps that way, you would not need to post the same thing again and again.

  • 0

    toshiko

    Japan Inc. might make their factories in Okinawa if American military men vacate bases? It is near to their Japan headquarters than making plants in, say India? Mexico? Philippine? Turkey? Iran? Textile companies can make factories in Okinawa to compete Chinese export to USA? WalMart might like Okinawa created clothes than Made in China textiles? At least Okinawan people do not need translators, say Japanese to Spanish or English. Beside that, Okinawan people do not use portable bomb attack against factories. .

  • 0

    gelendestrasse

    I suppose said luminaries are experts on the topic? No? Guess it must be a publicity stunt then. Because I doubt anybody is going to listen. Okinawa is, unfortunately, perfectly located to keep an eye on NK and China. Maybe if the threat no longer existed the bases would no longer be necessary. But as long as China keeps pushing and NK keeps blustering the Marines are going to stay on Okinawa.

    I'd be willing to bet that the Philippines wishes they hadn't told the American's to leave their bases. Some US forces in the area might have made the Chinese think twice about their aggression there.

  • 0

    toshiko

    @gelendestrasse: When warm Okinawan Islands moved near N. Korea? Isn;t Okinawa far from N Korea yet? I know Japanese satellite has been keeping eyes on N. Korea from sky but did not know Okinawa moved near N. Korea.

  • 0

    Zenpun

    I'd be willing to bet that the Philippines wishes they hadn't told the American's to leave their bases. Some US forces in the area might have made the Chinese think twice about their aggression there.

    In fact PRC has only one air craft carrier and it is the luxury for them. They do need to travel to Okinawa for making landing aggression. They can fly multiple missiles from safe and sound at their home. That word is no longer in Saving Private Ryan or Longest day era.

    Realty is the base is not relevant for modern warfare. When DPRK flied rocket over Okinawa, the base was more likely fans enjoying the spectacular fire works on new year eve.

    My future father in law is Pinoy. He has worked in Subic Air base before. He admitted he got the job because of base. He also understand that the base is invitation for the flying missiles. If there is no base, no one will hit Philippines shore for wasting their war heads.

  • 1

    justicetz

    The solution is simple: set Okinawa as a ever peaceful region, no any military existence for any sides. This is not only good to its people, also to the east Asia region. Otherwise its people have right to announce to be an independent country as it was 琉球国.

  • -1

    ReformedBasher

    Peacetrain my mom was in Jr high school when Pearl Harbor happened.

    @Yuri

    It's very sad that your mother experienced war at such a young age. This is where the whole blame thing gets silly. Only those who were directly involved can be called into account for their actions. Even then, not all were involved in atrocities either.

  • 3

    voiceofokinawa

    JTDanMan (Jan. 31, 2014 - 02:00AM JST):

    A hamlet grows into a town, which in itself grows into a city and if by any chance into a great metropolis. That's what happened to a small trading post called New Amsterdam, a predecessor of today's New York City.

    What attracts people to a city? It depends on whether the city can provide enough jobs to newcomers for them to enjoy better life than before. That's what is happening to the municipalities in the southern part of Okinawa. Populations in these municipalities are growing at a rapid pace, making municipality borders blurred.

    Ginowan Village used to be a small municipality as you say, but it didn't grow into a city because the U.S. air station was there to provide enough jobs to native residents as well as newcomers. Currently, 207 locals out of the population of 95,000 work at the base Land is becoming very precious. That's the reason why people don't care about living side by side with base fences. Property values are the less expensive the nearer you are to the base.

    You claim that the air station was built long before those newcomers moved in as if the U.S. military had done nothing wrong in acquiring the land, blaming the people who come to live around the base.

    As I said before, the U.S. military encroached upon the area with impunity in order to build the 48-ha air station while battle-survived locals were herded into camps, and when they were released from about two-year internment and allowed to go home, they found their villages, farms, schools and everything were gone. Naturally, many native residents had to seek jobs inside the base to sustain their subsistent livelihood.

    The Futenma Air Station, together with part of Camp Zukeran, occupies 32 percent of the total land mass of Ginowan City. It must be closed with no strings attached and the land must be returned to due owners in no time. It was stolen property after all. Artcicle 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land clearly states: "Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated."

  • 0

    toshiko

    What happened US Military men's mandatory curfew? Are they still enforced?

  • 0

    YuriOtani

    Peacetrain, Korea was part of the Empire did they celebrate as well? Unlike Okinawa they provided many of the POW camp guards, are they not responsible as well? About the Japanese they were very cruel to the Okinawa people. Often killing Okinawa people for speaking Hogan as spies.

    Then the Americans invaded after a 96 hour bombardment. It was called the "typhoon of steel" because the fighting was so intense. The people of Okinawa do not want a new airbase and they demand MCAS Futenma gets closed. No relocation's for closing bases just removal. FYI the CIA broke up the independence movement in the 60's. I do ask how can the Americans say they respect Democracy when they have a history of taking down Democratic governments because it was in their best interests?

  • 1

    atrueokinawan

    I would like to see a discussion of the reality of the U.S. bases situation on Okinawa in 2014 and what is really needed to be on Okinawa for the U.S. to be able to fulfill its commitment to defend Japan.

  • -2

    Serrano

    "Build the new base on the Senkakus , solves two problems then."

    Hee hee! The U.S. would never do something as dumb as move Futenma to the Senkakus.

    So, Oliver Stone and Michael Moore are against the already agreed upon plan to move Futenma to Nago, eh? That confirms that it's the right thing to do.

  • -2

    Peacetrain

    "Unlike Okinawa they provided many of the POW camp guards, are they not responsible as well?"

    Koreans were abused by Japanese before ww2. You know that.

    I am all for Okinawa. But the problem for Okinawans now is not Washington, it's Tokyo. From WW2 until now, Japan has always sacrificed Tokyo.

    Talk to enough Japanese up here and you'll find out that they think Japan needs Americas help, but nobody wants the bases up here, so they think they are better down in Okinawa.

  • 2

    atrueokinawan

    They should relocate MCAS Futenma to Tokyo Bay. It should be completed by the Tokyo Olympics and they could have AKB48 parachute out of the Ospreys during the opening ceremony.

  • 1

    atrueokinawan

    Peacetrain: The Okinawan people were abused by the Japanese long before the Koreans and the abuse continues today. I think that most Okinawan people know that the bureaucrats in Tokyo and their politician lackeys are their enemy but they also know that Washington is not without guilt. Hopefully some international attention will show people the reality of the situation on Okinawa and the actual sizes of these massive bases and generate a discussion on what the U.S. Military actually needs on Okinawa versus what they have here because the Japanese Govt. is so generous with the taxpayer's money.

  • 0

    Serrano

    "They should relocate MCAS Futenma to Tokyo Bay. It should be completed by the Tokyo Olympics and they could have AKB48 parachute out of the Ospreys during the opening ceremony"

    Hee Hee!

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