U.S. Military Base in Okinawa
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Posted 11/17/14
On recent news

In Japan, New Okinawa Governor Pledges to Shut Controversial U.S. Air Base

Former Naha mayor Takeshi Onaga speaks to reporters after winning the Okinawa gubernatorial election on Nov. 16, 2014, in Naha, the capital of Japan's Okinawa prefecture Jiji Press—AFP/Getty Images
Defeated governor Hirokazu Nakaima was elected on a promise to get rid of the Futenma air base but then changed his mind

The controversial proposal to relocate a U.S. military base on Japan’s Okinawa prefecture was dealt a blow Monday when an outspoken opponent of the plan was elected as the island chain’s new governor.

Takeshi Onaga won Sunday’s gubernatorial polls in a landslide and wants to get rid of Futenma air base altogether. Defeated incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima had agreed for it to move to a new location in the island’s north despite widespread public opposition.

“The governor’s decision in December of last year to endorse [the current government relocation plan] was proven wrong when I won this election,” said Onaga, reports the BBC.

The election result may prove a setback for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who has pushed for stronger military ties with the U.S.

The U.S. military has been present in Japan since the end of World War II and currently boasts around 26,000 troops and several bases around the East Asian nation. But the 1995 gang rape of a 12-year-old girl by U.S. troops largely turned public opinion against the ongoing presence of American soldiers.

http://time.com/3588534/takeshi-onaga-okinawa-governor-u-s-futenma-airbase-hirokazu-nakaima/
Discussion: US military presence in Okinawa, Japan
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Posted 11/17/14
I can see this being quite the local political football, after all who would want a foreign military site in their state. Can you see a large Japanese air base in California, not too likely.
While on a national scene Japan can use the US backing when China comes looking to throw it's weight around,(about territorial claims, control of shipping lanes, under sea oil/gas deposits).
I have little knowledge of Japanese government structures, do Okinawa's state's rights carry more weight than the national government?
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26 / M / Connecticut
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Posted 11/17/14
Well considering that tensions seem to be easing between China and Japan after the recent APEC meeting, maybe there will be more push for removing the US military base WHILE going foreword with plans on revising Japan's constitution to create their own armed military force. After all it's the defense industry that is propping up the western economies and with Japan recently sliding back into a recession, Prime Minister Abe will need some kind of stimulus to rejuvenate the Japanese economy.

It really is sad how profitable war and violence is
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19 / M / Cali
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Posted 11/17/14
My sister has been living there with her husband who's a marine since 2009, but if she's able to come back then ayeeee. They'd probably station them somewhere else though lol.
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23 / M / Winter Springs, F...
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Posted 11/17/14 , edited 11/17/14
I've got very strong feelings regarding US military presence in Okinawa.

I personally want to see the Futenma Air Station closed down, construction at Henoko stopped, all bases that formerly carried chemical weapons (e.g. Agent Orange) decommissioned, and administration of the remaining military bases in Okinawa transferred to the Japan Self-Defense Forces, that way US military presence/agenda will be gone, but an effective deterrence against expansionist People's Republic of China will remain in the form of a national organization that can finally live up to its name!
No need to revise the pacifist constitution!!
A win-win scenario for Japan and Okinawa!!!
Posted 11/17/14 , edited 11/17/14
Leave them be to themselves. America needs to start caring only about themselves and leave everyone else behind hurhurhur. Let Imperialistic-loving Prime Minister Abe do whatever he pleases - America, stay the fuck out of it and improve your own shitty government.

As a person who has lived and traveled (still does) pretty much all over the world, let me tell you - America is still one of the best places to live even with their problems. Still, I feel that America needs to stop helping/policing/whatever others and just help their own country.

Let everyone else fend for themselves. When shit gets real, get someone else to help - don't call for America!

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26 / M / Maryland
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Posted 11/17/14
America is not leaving Japan anytime soon, let them resolve the Dokdo dispute first then we can leave

Postwar Japan created an economic national identity within Japan, the U.S. provided protection and allowed Japan to grow, that still remains today. While Japan isn't growing today the salary man and principal that a mother nurtures her son to be top student and attend Tokyo U is still present. Kids don't enter the military like they do in America, Japan's Self-Defense Forces is more of a peace organization than anything else, they try to resolve conflicts. They are built on peace and defending themselves, that sounds effective especially with some of Japan's neighbors to the west

It would take a long time to change the culture of Japan and create a worldly military force that could stand in armed conflict without our assistance.
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Posted 11/18/14

bmoreravens25 wrote:

America is not leaving Japan anytime soon, let them resolve the Dokdo dispute first then we can leave

Postwar Japan created an economic national identity within Japan, the U.S. provided protection and allowed Japan to grow, that still remains today. While Japan isn't growing today the salary man and principal that a mother nurtures her son to be top student and attend Tokyo U is still present. Kids don't enter the military like they do in America, Japan's Self-Defense Forces is more of a peace organization than anything else, they try to resolve conflicts. They are built on peace and defending themselves, that sounds effective especially with some of Japan's neighbors to the west

It would take a long time to change the culture of Japan and create a worldly military force that could stand in armed conflict without our assistance.
That almost sounds like you're implying that America does the opposite.

Having a strong military that can defend itself is important, but something worldly might be pushing it. It almost reminds me of something that US has. I think if the citizens wants the military to leave then they should respect those wishes. I get that sometimes leaders differ in opinions with citizens. Soldiers that don't know why they are stationed in a country they are currently in can't play the politics game. They are only used for....well something eventually. What that is and when it will happen, I have no clue.
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Posted 11/19/14 , edited 11/19/14
Well the Japanese want them out for several reasons mostly Nationalistic scars going back to World War II which is the main reason they are there. The US occupied them and humiliated their culture forced the Emperor to admit he is not divine and westernized the country all after nuking them twice and napalming the population. The US and Russian claws in Korea has caused enough issues as it is i think it's probably time to leave Japan to figure out it's own future even though i think if Japan had a proper military again the first thing they would do is try to enslave Korea again.
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Posted 11/20/14

MrMoondoggie wrote:

Well the Japanese want them out for several reasons mostly Nationalistic scars going back to World War II which is the main reason they are there. The US occupied them and humiliated their culture forced the Emperor to admit he is not divine and westernized the country all after nuking them twice and napalming the population. The US and Russian claws in Korea has caused enough issues as it is i think it's probably time to leave Japan to figure out it's own future even though i think if Japan had a proper military again the first thing they would do is try to enslave Korea again.


I hope they do.
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40 / M / End of Nowhere
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Posted 11/20/14

FlyinDumpling wrote:
Discussion: US military presence in Okinawa, Japan


Well, since ultimately it is Abe or whoever is in power in Tokyo that gets to make those decisions, I am not sure how much it matters. The governor has a lot of sway and power, but ultimately the decisions will rest in Tokyo.

Really though the issue is not Futenma. Futenma is one of only about a dozen US military bases, mostly Marine, in Okinawa. The real issue, well one of them, is that Futenma is smack dab in the middle of Naha and takes up a huge amount of insanely valuable real estate. The other issue is a long running political dispute over how much powers the individual prefecture governors have versus the Parliament and Prime Minster in Tokyo.

Now from the US point of view, they do not really care. The major issue is that Futenma is the USMC's only real airfield in Okinawa to support the entire III MEF. So any relocation would need to relocate to an appropriate airfield as well. Which is why Camp Schwab is being looked at. But other than that Futenma is only home to about 3000 Marines and can be easily enough relocated. Relocating out of Okinawa is a different story. Spread out over about 6 or 7 different bases on Okinawa, III MEF is the only major US forward deployed rapid response formation. It is likely should the Marines be forced out of Okinawa they would need to be moved all the way back to the Kaneohe MCB in Hawaii. Which sort of defeats the purpose of the term forward deployed. They also are in a position to intervene from Okinawa to any threat from North Korea or China and bottlenecks any invasion by China into Japan proper or even the Northern Philippines. As Subic Bay is still largely shut down and there is no guarantee that it ever will be fully reactivated.

As long as China and North Korea remain existant threats to Japan and South Korea and the Philipines, it is unlikely the US will want to withdraw it's only ground based amphibious forward deployed force. It is also unlikely the government in Tokyo will want them to leave either. Since as long as the US is there, the JSDF does not need to defend the area as much and can concentrate in other areas.

From the Japanese point of view, keeping the US there is a good thing. A strong Navy and Air Force is nice for Japan in that it keeps things defensive and can project power to a limited degree. However, it cannot invade anything as long as it keeps the ground forces of the JSDF relatively small. Which it does. Rhetoric aside South Korea's government and even China's knows that Japan cannot invade anyone because it simply lacks the forces to do so with. By removing the US from Okinawa, Japan would be forced to increase the size of the GSDF which is going to make their neighbors wary regardless of the reason. Not to mention keeping the US there means that Japan does not have to devote resources of their own to defend the area. Win win really. Unless you happen to own land under Futenma and could make a lot more money off a skyscraper than part of an airfield.

Ultimately the US will relocate out of Futenma. Likely to Camp Schwab once they finally get moving again on building an airstrip there. As it gets them out of a populated area while still retaining an airfield for logistical reasons.

But out of Okinawa itself? Unlikely unless the government in Japan really decides to go all out. And right now they do not have the money to do so if for no other reason. But having the US backing them up right there gives Japan a lot more clout politically when China comes knocking.
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Posted 11/23/14 , edited 12/6/14
It's insane how many bases the U.S. has all over... Embassies aren't enough it seems.
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Posted 11/25/14

LONGNAMEYOUWONTMISS wrote:


MrMoondoggie wrote:

Well the Japanese want them out for several reasons mostly Nationalistic scars going back to World War II which is the main reason they are there. The US occupied them and humiliated their culture forced the Emperor to admit he is not divine and westernized the country all after nuking them twice and napalming the population. The US and Russian claws in Korea has caused enough issues as it is i think it's probably time to leave Japan to figure out it's own future even though i think if Japan had a proper military again the first thing they would do is try to enslave Korea again.


I hope they do.


...what?!!!
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