1. Post #1
    SJW 4 lyfe
    DaysBefore's Avatar
    December 2009
    7,342 Posts
    Washington (CNN) -- The United States and Japan have agreed that about half the U.S. Marines on the Japanese island of Okinawa will soon leave, a transition that could ease a long-simmering resentment of the Americans' presence that has at times boiled over.
    The news from a joint U.S.-Japanese committee comes as Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Nodo prepares to meet Monday with President Barack Obama in Washington.
    "I am very pleased that, after many years, we have reached this important agreement and plan of action," Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, noting the lengthy seesaw talks aimed at cutting the American presence on the island south of Tokyo.
    About 9,000 Marines and their family members will leave Okinawa, the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee said Thursday. About 5,000 will go to Guam as part of a much larger U.S. military build up in Asia, a realignment that comes amid China's rapid growth as a major economic and military power.
    The U.S. military presence on Okinawa has caused considerable controversy. Some have complained about noise from the base, in an urban area. Many others were incensed by the misconduct of U.S. troops stationed there, including the 1995 rape of 12-year-old Japanese girl by three U.S. military personnel.
    Opposition to the presence of U.S. troops in Okinawa runs so deep that it contributed to the resignation of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in 2010. He had promised to move the base but later announced that the base would stay, a decision he called "heartbreaking."
    His critics said then that he gave in to U.S. pressure, and his government coalition broke up.
    "Recognizing the strong desires of Okinawa residents, these relocations are to be completed as soon as possible while ensuring operational capability throughout the process," the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee
    Japan's foreign minister, Koichiro Genba, called the agreement satisfactory.
    U.S. military personnel by country
    "It's forward-looking and meaningful, one that can act upon the changing security environment as well as reducing the burden on Okinawa," Genba said Friday morning.
    Of the Marines being transferred, about 2,700 will be sent to Hawaii and still others will rotate through a base in Darwin, Australia. The relocations are in line with President Barack Obama's goal to have the military have a geographically distributed presence in the Pacific.
    The transfer leaves between 9,000 and 10,000 Marines belonging to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa.
    "So, in the end, we are sustaining the same presence in the western Pacific that we've intended for some time," said a senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as a matter of routine during a briefing with reporters.
    Okinawa was the site of the last major campaign for U.S. forces in the Pacific during World War II. The Battle of Okinawa lasted from March through June 1945. More than 100,000 civilians, 100,000 Japanese troops and 12,000 Americans were believed to have died in the fighting for the island chain, roughly 1,000 miles south of Tokyo.
    After the United States defeated Japan in World War II, a U.S. occupation force remained in Okinawa and other parts of the country. Japan regained control of the islands in 1972.
    During the Cold War, the United States military presence on Okinawa served as a bulwark against communism in a strategic location during the Vietnam War.
    More recently, the United States has kept its forces in Okinawa and increased its military footprint across Asia as China rises as a major economic and military power. Much of the U.S. assistance to Japan after last year's earthquake was launched from Okinawa bases.
    The friction between locals and military personnel has been exacerbated in recent years by cultural misunderstandings and the isolated criminal acts. It's hoped the reduction of forces on the island chain will reduce the animosity.
    The call for the U.S. military to leave Okinawa escalated after the 1995 rape of the 12-year-old, a crime that outraged the Japanese and led to calls by many that American troops leave.
    In 1996, spurred in part by Japanese anger on Okinawa, Washington and Tokyo signed an agreement to reduce the amount of land being occupied by U.S. forces.
    About 40,000 U.S. personnel are based in Japan, and more than three-quarters of the military bases are on Okinawa. At its height, U.S. military operations on Okinawa accounted for about 20 percent of the land use on the island chain.
    In 2006, the United States and Japan reached an agreement that would have relocated thousands of Marines off the island once the Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma was closed and moved to Camp Schwab on Okinawa. That plan stalled after widespread protests over the proposed location and costs for the new air base.
    Futenma is not addressed under the agreement announced Thursday to move the Marines.
    "I think what we've done with the agreement is ... to create the political space for the government of Japan to move this forward on its own timeline," the defense official said.
    As part of the agreement, the United States will begin returning lands on Okinawa in phases as the Marines depart.
    Part of the $8.6 billion cost to relocate the Marines from Okinawa to Guam will be picked up by Japan, which has agreed to pay $3.1 billion, the Security Committee statement said.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/27/wo...an-us-okinawa/
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    InvaderNouga's Avatar
    April 2006
    1,918 Posts
    <- currently stationed in Okinawa. We're not leaving any time soon, we're getting about 1,300 marines sent here over the next few months, and the brand new Naval Hospital opens up next year. We're here to stay. Also, all the locals I met love us.
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  3. Post #3
    President of the Westboro Baptist Church Fan Club
    Dennab
    February 2012
    2,084 Posts
    <- currently stationed in Okinawa. We're not leaving any time soon, we're getting about 1,300 marines sent here over the next few months, and the brand new Naval Hospital opens up next year. We're here to stay. Also, all the locals I met love us.
    Thanks for your service.
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  4. Post #4
    Awesome Member
    Dennab
    January 2006
    40,352 Posts
    this is terrible, now what will we do when the Japanese attack us again!?
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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    JoeSkylynx's Avatar
    October 2008
    11,330 Posts
    *snip*
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  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    zombieslaya's Avatar
    February 2006
    471 Posts


    For a second I thought I saw the happy asian soldier in this picture from the source page.

  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    sami-pso's Avatar
    June 2006
    4,759 Posts
    <- currently stationed in Okinawa. We're not leaving any time soon, we're getting about 1,300 marines sent here over the next few months, and the brand new Naval Hospital opens up next year. We're here to stay. Also, all the locals I met love us.
    You know Japanese people won't say they dislike you right?
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  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    Vodkavia's Avatar
    January 2012
    3,632 Posts
    You know Japanese people won't say they dislike you right?
    I'm pretty sure you would pick up some subtle hints if they did.
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    InvaderNouga's Avatar
    April 2006
    1,918 Posts
    You know Japanese people won't say they dislike you right?
    Well that's fine then, because they're still the nicest and most pleasent people I've ever met. They love hanging out with us, haha.
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  10. Post #10
    I SHOULDN'T OWN A FIREARM
    GunFox's Avatar
    May 2005
    7,474 Posts
    Why would they want less marines?

    I understand the inherent distaste for foreign soldiers on your soil, but Japan's tiny spending on defense as a result of US forces being tasked with being their military, has been quite beneficial to them.

    Then you have the added benefit of thousands of extra tourists basically. US economy-> soldiers-> Japanese economy. Foreign currency BEST currency.

    And you have fucking North Korea a relatively short hop away. Japan and North Korea are not happy fun time neighbors. If I was Japan, I would prefer to have more Marines ready to roll up into NK if anything went down.

    Perhaps a simple distaste of soldiers on your land is sufficient to override the overwhelming benefits, but I'll be damned if it doesn't seem like the opposite of what should be desired. Especially given that only a time fraction of the population would have ever lived without US military forces stationed there.

    The noise and a single rape 17 years ago don't seem quite sufficient.

    EDIT: Not to downplay the rape by any means. But public rage tends to be short lived. Rarely will it simmer for so long.
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  11. Post #11
    SJW 4 lyfe
    DaysBefore's Avatar
    December 2009
    7,342 Posts
    <- currently stationed in Okinawa. We're not leaving any time soon, we're getting about 1,300 marines sent here over the next few months, and the brand new Naval Hospital opens up next year. We're here to stay. Also, all the locals I met love us.
    That's... Odd. You sure? Hmm.

    I mean, no offense, I'm more inclined to trust the Japanese and American governments when they say that troops are leaving. Maybe they forgot to tell you?

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    InvaderNouga's Avatar
    April 2006
    1,918 Posts
    What the military says and actually does is two different things. For instance the new Naval Hospital was supposed to be operational years ago, they're just finishing it next year(thats if they don't push it back again). I digress though, my point is...we say we're gonna do something but were gonna take upwards of a decade to do it.

  13. Post #13
    USER HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY - RETRY CONNECTION IN 5 MINUTES
    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    What the military says and actually does is two different things. For instance the new Naval Hospital was supposed to be operational years ago, they're just finishing it next year(thats if they don't push it back again). I digress though, my point is...we say we're gonna do something but were gonna take upwards of a decade to do it.
    Sort of like when the US switched to the metric system decades ago?
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  14. Post #14
    SPQR
    Native Hunter's Avatar
    August 2011
    1,869 Posts
    <- currently stationed in Okinawa. We're not leaving any time soon, we're getting about 1,300 marines sent here over the next few months, and the brand new Naval Hospital opens up next year. We're here to stay. Also, all the locals I met love us.
    Thank you for serving our nation
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  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    [Seed Eater]'s Avatar
    July 2011
    5,670 Posts
    Why would they want less marines?

    I understand the inherent distaste for foreign soldiers on your soil, but Japan's tiny spending on defense as a result of US forces being tasked with being their military, has been quite beneficial to them.

    Then you have the added benefit of thousands of extra tourists basically. US economy-> soldiers-> Japanese economy. Foreign currency BEST currency.

    And you have fucking North Korea a relatively short hop away. Japan and North Korea are not happy fun time neighbors. If I was Japan, I would prefer to have more Marines ready to roll up into NK if anything went down.

    Perhaps a simple distaste of soldiers on your land is sufficient to override the overwhelming benefits, but I'll be damned if it doesn't seem like the opposite of what should be desired. Especially given that only a time fraction of the population would have ever lived without US military forces stationed there.

    The noise and a single rape 17 years ago don't seem quite sufficient.

    EDIT: Not to downplay the rape by any means. But public rage tends to be short lived. Rarely will it simmer for so long.
    Well lemme explain it the way it's been portrayed to me through comrades in the Communist Party over in those parts.

    America beats the nation in a war. They force the nation to take away their military and force ours there, permanently, basically. Immediate resentment, as this is seen as an occupation, not a liberation, especially considering how the monarchy is still 'in power'. Japan has slowly had western culture pushed on them and for many, many years, there was significant culture clash between those welcoming western influence and those trying to maintain Japanese culture. In the first couple of decades after the war, America outright controlled most of Japan's political process without much Japanese say. This has lead to the current political situation of today, where only one ideology, and only really one political group that came to a merge in the 90s from many similar-minded opposition groups, controls most of Japan, and has for many years. While urban Japan has in general accepted the western hold over Japanese culture and politics, and the forced disarmament, and the occupation, most of rural Japan has not, still holding onto old cultural beliefs. This has caused a bit of tension in Japanese culture, and against Americans, and that tension spread into the urban areas during Japan's economic peak, when exploitation and shifty business gave a big "fuck you" to the poor and working classes who tend to, even today, rally behind the anti-westerners. Basically, American occupation of Japan created alot of hardship and culture clash, not to mention a big "fuck you" to Japanese politics.

    The base in Okinawa is a monumental reminder of that. It's a relic of American occupation, the war, the atom bombs...no matter if you're a pro- or a anti- western in Japan, or support or hate what Japan did in the war, it's still symbol of the fact that your country got its ass handed to it, your culture or pride and honor was destroyed by foreigners, your people were killed and your self-determination ruined for many years, the effects of which still exist today.

    It's kind of the equivalent of the Soviet Union going to war with America, nuking Boston and Philadalphia, forcing us into a surrender, making sure that no small-d-democrat makes it into office for 20 years, pushing Russian culture onto Americans, and setting up one of the largest military bases in this region in Florida that's still active today, while barring you from holding a military.

    And to say that they should be happy for that? They should want it? Yea, no. Even with North Korea, that's like saying "Honduras has a bomb, guys. Big threat to America. Better keep those Russians in Florida just in case, because we all know that Russia is strong and America is weak (disregarding the reason America is weak is because Russia forced them to be)." North Korea is hardly a threat to Japan, especially since they can barely get a damned rocket off the ground. Japan would be able to handle them well enough even with the tiny defense force.

    Also the economic thing is silly. Japan was an economic power not long ago and still is. Foreign currency from tourism from America has little to do with that, and Okinawa has even less to do with the tourism or the economy.
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  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    InvaderNouga's Avatar
    April 2006
    1,918 Posts
    On the issue of Okinawan economy...when the one service member was murdered not too long ago, we were put on lockdown for 3 months. The local businesses came to us and begged for the lockdown to be lifted, they were struggling without our business.
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  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    [Seed Eater]'s Avatar
    July 2011
    5,670 Posts
    On the issue of Okinawan economy...when the one service member was murdered not too long ago, we were put on lockdown for 3 months. The local businesses came to us and begged for the lockdown to be lifted, they were struggling without our business.
    Because the business is fitted to the Okinawa personnel. If the base was removed over a period or time, or had never been there at all, the economy would fit that situation.

  18. Post #18
    OvB
    Facepunch resident scientist
    OvB's Avatar
    March 2007
    13,017 Posts
    On the issue of Okinawan economy...when the one service member was murdered not too long ago, we were put on lockdown for 3 months. The local businesses came to us and begged for the lockdown to be lifted, they were struggling without our business.
    The poor old lady with the bananas near Gate 2 will have to close up shop :(
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  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    ewitwins's Avatar
    December 2009
    14,140 Posts
    Because the business is fitted to the Okinawa personnel. If the base was removed over a period or time, or had never been there at all, the economy would fit that situation.
    That would have to be a very slow amount of time then, because if you pulled out of there quickly, the majority of those places would go out of business in an instant.

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    [Seed Eater]'s Avatar
    July 2011
    5,670 Posts
    That would have to be a very slow amount of time then, because if you pulled out of there quickly, the majority of those places would go out of business in an instant.
    Five years- relatively short. Considering that whole nations adjust between economic systems and war economies in that period with only partially significant economic issues afterwards, that's a fair estimate, I think. And considering how this is only regional, and not even a major economic area of Japan in comparison to the notable ones, Okinawa would very easily survive with aid form the rest of the country.

    Plus, given the free market strength in Japan and its increasing unemployment, any consumer or producer void in Okinawa would quickly be divided among national and foreign corporations and individuals seeking employment. We see the same type of behavior in areas where a major economic entity leaves suddenly- i.e. BP in the American South.

  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    gamefreek76's Avatar
    October 2005
    7,239 Posts
    Japan is like Germany. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.
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  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    carcarcargo's Avatar
    October 2007
    15,052 Posts
    this is terrible, now what will we do when the Japanese attack us again!?
    Soldiers stationed in Japan are there to help defend Japan not suppress it.

  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    Clavus's Avatar
    September 2009
    6,156 Posts
    Japan is like Germany. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.
    Oh hey a time traveler from the '40s.
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