Thousands rally against US base in Japan

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by nandu, May 8, 2010.

  1. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thousands rally against US base in Japan

    TOKYO: Thousands of people rallied in southwestern Japan on Saturday to protest against a government plan to move part of an unpopular US airbase to Kagoshima prefecture.

    Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has faced heavy criticism since he backtracked Tuesday on an election pledge made last year to move the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma entirely off the larger island of Okinawa in the far south.

    Instead, the centre-left leader conceded that most of the American base operations will have to be moved within Okinawa, as originally agreed by previous conservative governments in Washington and Tokyo in 2006.

    As part of his effort to "ease the burden" on Okinawa, Hatoyama is still considering moving 1,000 Marines and their aircraft from Futenma to Tokunoshima, a remote island in Kagoshima prefecture.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=104396
     
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  3. AirforcePilot

    AirforcePilot Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    US, Japan agree to keep Marine air base on Okinawa

    US, Japan agree to keep Marine air base on Okinawa

    Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama went back on a campaign promise and announced Sunday that a U.S. military base would remain in Okinawa.

    He called his decision "heartbreaking."

    "It is true that I said I wanted to relocate the facility outside of Okinawa," he said. "However, I'd like to apologize that the conclusion is not what the Okinawans wanted."

    The U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base will be relocated to the Henoko area of the island, which is less densely populated, Hatoyama said.

    Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima demanded a better explanation from the government.

    "I must say the situation is extremely disappointing and severe," he said.

    The issue is an emotional one for Okinawans, who currently give up 10 to 20 percent of the island to the U.S. military.

    While campaigning for Japan's top job last year, Hatoyama promised to move the base off of Okinawa altogether.

    The island's residents, energized by an anti-U.S. campaign pledge in the last election, voted overwhelmingly for Hatoyama.

    But as prime minister, Hatoyama found the promise difficult to keep, prompting residents to demand that he fulfill his pledge. Earlier this month Hatoyama visited the island and said it would be challenging to move a U.S. base off Okinawa.

    The Futenma relocation is part of a 2006 agreement between Japan and the United States. Japan's delay in moving the base strained the 50-year alliance between the two nations.

    The U.S. has said its military presence in Japan plays an important role in maintaining stability in the region. And the issue of relocating the base was high on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's agenda during her visit to Japan last week.

    Okinawans say the U.S. military has been responsible for a number of blights in Okinawa, from serious crimes like rape and drunken driving, to environmental and noise pollution.

    Nearly 100,000 residents held rallies in April to demand that the base be moved off the island.

    A recent Nikkei newspaper poll said that 59 percent of Japanese believe the prime minister should resign if he can't resolve the fight over the future of the Futenma military base.
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/05/23/japan.okinawa.military.base/index.html?iref=allsearch
     
  4. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    The Japanese PM had another reason to cite for keeping the Base open, The Recent Downing of the South Korean Warship, by Nkorean Torpedo. But still he is facing some opposition coz he got elected telling he will be completely closing down the base.

    The Base has lots of supporters too, many who live off there, due to it. Its kind of a tough situation.
     
  5. AirforcePilot

    AirforcePilot Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The Japanese PM was pretty adamant about closing the base all all cost. Can't blame the people for being upset. He promised something he could not deliver. To move the base off the island would hurt the Okinawans economy. Most businesses rely on our dollars to survive, and kicking out 47,000 troops would really hurt them, and the sinking of the SK ship possibly changed the PM mind. As a general rule politicians will say anything to get elected. When they get in office they find out real quick that their campaign promises cannot be fulfilled due to laws and treaties.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This is what the gratitude US gets for building the second/third biggest economy in the world and giving it to total military protection?? The Japanese should not be making promises they cannot deliver on and then try to make it USA's problem. Japan is not allowed to militarize and this is only causes straining relations. No matter what Japan says USA is not leaving. People forget Japan lost ww2 and the terms USA gave it under the Marshall plan to rebuild were more than generous.
     
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  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    u can't expect Okinawa folks to think the same way as other Japanese. I met some Japs who even 'joked' Okinawans weren't Japanese (Ryukyu Kingdom was annexed in 1879). and Okinawans suffered the heaviest casualty in WW2 which was ' NOT a Okinawa's war, but Japan's', bitterly in their minds.

    And Okinawa is the poorest in Japan, with tourism as the only pillar industry
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  8. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hatoyama to Resign Over Base Row

    TOKYO—A tearful Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he will quit less than nine months after taking office, a dramatic downfall that could fray ties with the U.S. and frustrate other allies seeking greater cooperation and leadership from Tokyo.

    The Japanese leader's sudden resignation could stall a controversial deal he announced just last Friday with President Barack Obama to keep a large Marine base on the southern island of Okinawa, an agreement that both leaders had said was essential to show a unified front against regional security threats like North Korea and China—but proved deeply unpopular in Japan.

    Mr. Hatoyama's already-low poll ratings fell further in recent days in response to the pact, and one of his ruling coalition partners left the government in protest. The prime minister had broken one of his key campaign promises in agreeing to the deal, and he cited his failure to keep that pledge as the primary reason for his resignation during his sudden Wednesday morning Tokyo announcement.

    "I sincerely hope people will understand the agonizing choice I had to make," Mr. Hatoyama said, with tears welling up in his eyes. "I knew we had to maintain a trusting relationship with the U.S. at any cost, while seeking cooperation with" his domestic political partners. "I think I have to take responsibility" for the fracturing of the political coalition that resulted from the deal with Washington.

    Beyond the military agreement, Mr. Hatoyama's imminent departure shows just the difficulty of transforming Japan's stagnant politics and policymaking, an ambitious goal he and his Democratic Party of Japan had set when winning a landslide election last August, ending half a century of near-unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan.

    Japan's two decades of slow growth have long been blamed on a lack of credible political leadership able to craft and sell to the public dramatic new tax, spending, and regulatory policies seen as needed to jumpstart the world's second-largest economy. Supporters at home and abroad hoped Mr. Hatoyama could begin to chart that course and he took office with popularity above 70%.

    But he has proved just as weak as the string of LDP leaders who proceeded him, struggling to rein in Japan's large public debt, and zigzagging over several months over how to handle the question of the American bases. His popularity had fallen to about 20% in recent weeks, dragged down both by his perceived lack of leadership—and also old-style LDP-type money scandals that have tainted him and one his chief aides.

    Mr. Hatoyama cited the scandals as another reason for his resignation, and announced that his chief political strategist, DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa, was resigning along with him.

    Mr. Hatoyama's attempts to win broad support for his agenda of political change have been hampered by scandals that have led prosecutors to indict aides to both him and Mr. Ozawa for breaking the nation's political funds laws. While prosecutors have decided not to pursue Mr. Hatoyama himself, Mr. Ozawa still faces a personal criminal probe.

    During their two separate meetings held Monday and Tuesday, Mr. Hatoyama said he told Mr. Ozawa he was willing to step down to take responsibility for his own campaign fund scandal but at the same time, requested Mr. Ozawa to step down over the senior statesman's own fund-raising issues. "I said to the secretary general I would step down but that I also wanted him to step down," Mr. Hatoyama said, adding that Mr. Ozawa consented to his request. "This will allow us to make a new DPJ, a clean DPJ."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...85208862.html?mod=WSJINDIA_hpp_LEFTTopStories
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Good job okinawans.Time has come for usa to leave asia for asian.Usa is spent force now.Usa must not 've any say in the affairs of asia.Next in the list must be Diego Garcia.it must be returned to its original people from whom british/usa snatched this base literally displacing them.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    these days it seems usa problems comes from its allies but not from its competitors/enemies.In middle-east usa now got torn between israel and turkey, in asia pacific its south korea and japan. in south asia it afghanistan and pakistan.
     
  11. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    the US won't leave Asia. Unlike common perception, China expects Uncle Sam to stay (as well as many friends., Singapore, SK...)

    Uncle's policing is indispensible, also in China's interest to a certain extent. Just imagine, one day if Uncle fades away, what would SK do? get nukes to counter NK? and what about Japan? What would Russia become of in case of such a vacuum?
     
  12. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    US, Japan navy leaders discuss security alliance

    PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — The commanders of the U.S. and Japanese navies met Wednesday to discuss the 50th anniversary of their security alliance and its importance to each nation and regional security.

    U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Gary Roughead and Adm. Keiji Akahoshi, chief of staff of Japan's navy, met and had lunch at Pearl Harbor. They later spoke at a symposium on the alliance attended by junior officers from both countries.

    Roughead said the half-century-old alliance has provided for the security, stability and safety for the Asia-Pacific region.

    "This extraordinary milestone provides an opportunity to pass on the responsibility of a legacy to the leaders who are now stepping on to the stage," Roughead told reporters before the symposium.

    Akahoshi said exchanging opinions should enable officers to strengthen their alliance.

    "The cooperation between the U.S. navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force over the past 50 years has supported the U.S.-Japan alliance," Akahoshi said. "It is our duty to pass on this past, the present, as well what the future should be."

    The meeting comes amid uncertainty over the future of a U.S. Marine air base on Okinawa in southern Japan.

    The previous Japanese prime minister resigned earlier this month after he failed to fulfill a campaign pledge to have the Futenma air base moved out of Okinawa, a densely populated island where residents have long complained about a heavy U.S. military presence.

    The new prime minister, Naoto Kan, has promised to uphold a U.S.-Japan agreement to move the base from Futenma to another spot within Okinawa, but he must do so in the face of fierce local opposition.

    Roughead said he and Akahoshi have been planning the meeting for months and Wednesday's meeting was unrelated to issues surrounding Futenma. Akahoshi said it had no connection to politics.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iVfVgou5j4mVsh8ov00oW_hM9o4wD9G84QDG1
     

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