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 Post subject: Okinawan elections
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:24 pm 
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So the latest election on Okinawa sees the population supporting the removal of our military base there. In light of the latest activities in Korea doesn't this seem a little foolish. Our presence there for half a century has allowed their standard of living to develop and for them to be protected throughout the Cold War while contributing little to their own defense and allowing for maximum economic development. How much have those bases contributed to their economy?
Think this is a wise political/military move?
It would be great to hear from some American military men who have "been there."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world ... lobal-home

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:04 pm 
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OK.. to begin with they have been running on that platform for a long time.. It is more mainland Japanese Developers (sometimes known as a different name) that are the strategists of this movement.. I can say that we do take up a lot of land on Okinawa. There is money that comes from the bases, but it isn't as much as people think that actually lands in the Okinawans hands... We are somewhat of a burden for them... GI's acting crazy, planes and helicopters making noise, pollution, Rapes and even murders..
A lot of it is a political pressure to keep the land that we rent from them at premium prices... There are bases that have been abandoned for 30 years that are still not being developed.. But the mainland business men actually pay Okinawans money to stage rally's against the bases sometimes...
Also it sort of makes Okinawa a target... Just as they were for us in WW2... 2/3 of their population wiped out in a very short period of time... Schoolgirls jumping off of cliffs because they were told we were coming to rape them then eat them...The only way to say it Frank is War is Hell... And they live it day in and day out.. :cry:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:09 pm 
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This election is just current confirmation that the majority of Okinawan's don't want the bases on their islands. They're a Pacific vaction land and would prefer to use 1/3 of their island for Okinawan purposes. Add to that the presence of the US military makes them a target for attack and terrorism. A minor sub-plot is that when the US had control of the islands we didn't give the Okinawan's their freedom but instead turned them back to Japan in 1972, plus the devistation the invastion of Okinawa caused to their families remains too. Then there have been more than enough ugly American incidents over the years too.

On the other hand Japan is happy for the US military presence there, because they're not in Japan proper.

And of course our strategic interests are greatly enhanced by the Okinawan presence (we lost the Phillipeans after all).

There are of course other interests in the story, but on the whole I can accept why the majority of the Okinawan people don't want US military presence to remain.

Not a simple picture.

Then today I find the majority of the Japanese Godzilla fans want Godzilla to return to the theaters and instead of a monster (calassic) to fight, they want Godzilla to fight the US Military (a monster from their perspective). Godzilla has always represented the conflict between us and them, and they have used the US Army as an opponent in the past too.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:41 pm 
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I suppose the guys in the Pentagon have better knowledge of this stuff, but I don't understand why we need that much real estate for the role of deterrent. The location of the island is excellent strategically, since it is close to both Taiwan and the Korean peninsula, but could it be that the real reason we haven't minimized our "footprint" there (without leaving entirely) is because the US military will never admit it doesn't actually need a resource that it happens to already have?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:49 pm 
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You have to see a little farther out as far as logistically Mike... It is dead center to a lot...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:27 pm 
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Hi Stevie,

The financial benefit I was referring to was only spending 1% of your GDP on your military and being able to turn those assets into infrastructure developments etc...
When Uncle Sam has your back for 40+ years you can do that.

So to be kicking out bases to me is a little like biting the hand that feeds you. But the world is changing fast.
China is their new target market for a lot of goods.

Fred

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