Currently, it takes some time to respond to comments because I have some other things I have to prioritize.

Monday, October 11, 2010

US basement in Okinawa

How the voice of anti-basement has been amplified

When the Liberal Democratic Party was governing, the basement was going to  be moved to another area in Okinawa (less populated area). Of course there already was agreement on this decision between Japanese government and Okinawa people. What happened was that the current party, the Democratic Party became in charge of the government after national election. The Democratic Party had promissed to move the basement outside Okinawa prefecture, but the Democratic Party hadn't know, or ignored the strategic importance of basement for national safety. Hatoyama, who had been determined to remove the basement from Okinawa, finally admitted the necessity of US basement in Okinawa, saying "I have to admit that I lacked consideration on this issue." Would a person without enough knowledge become a prime minister????
The current administration agreed on a plan that is very much similar to what had been planed by Liberal Democratic Party.

No wonder Okinawa people strongly protest against the current administration.
With regard to the basement, Okinawa people do protest against the basement. However, problematically, they do not offer alternatives such as reinforcement of Self-defense force in Okinawa. Without any underlying plan, they just sound silly and hysteric. Removing the basement without significant reinforcement of Self-defense army will collapse the safety of Okinawa.  I DO support freedom of speech, but listen, you need to be responsible for what you speak at the same time.
I think Mr. King wanted to include responsibility in his speech, but that would have made it less sensational, thus week as propaganda. "Let freedom reign, but don't forget the responsibility sitting beneath"

Do US soldiers have higher crime rate?

Crimes comitted by US soldiers have been frequently covered by the media.
So many people  including Okinawa people believe that US sodiers have high crime rate. Anti-basement activists give people impression by mentioning sensational examples of crimes commited by US soldiers―instead of giving concrete numbers.

The following is the truth.
I think the person picked up the Chinese, Koreans and Brazillians simply because they occupy most of the foreigners' population.

http://d.hatena.ne.jp/reservoir/20080214/1202958732
Percentage of crime out of 1000 people
National crime rate (includes foreigners)    0.30%  ← this means 3 people out of 1000     

Okinawa people (except US sldiers)              0.30%  
US soldiers in Okinawa                                   0.14%    
The Chinese (both short, and long term stay)    1.57%
North and South Koreans (the same)               1.94%
Brazillians (the same)                                       0.52%

US army possesses significantly lower crime rate compared to the rest, even lower than Okinawa people.
Probably because the basement is the safest even compared with basements inside the US.

Summary? I'm not sure if it's summarizing.
1. Current administration deserve to be criticized because the promiss to remove the basement has been turned over.
2. Okinawa people shouldn't protest against the basement unless they have a practical alternative that guarantees the security of Okinawa.
3. US soldiers boast significantly lower crime rate which is even lower than the Japanese on average.

3 comments:

  1. I have always been worried that we gave Japan a very bad impression of our soldiers, as the USMC is the pride of our entire military and people. All of the spokespeople that i have heard from Japan have always told us that they commit so many crimes (i think she said like 400,000 since the bases were built). When i heard that it made me feel very bad because i value our friendship with Japan more than any other country.


    I have always wanted to visit Japan (it is a very awesome country!), and serve my own country as well. I thought that becoming a marine and asking to be stationed on Okinawa to help protect it would be a good idea. But I was very worried that it would be seen as a insult to the Japanese (the last thing i would want to do!) because many people had disgraced our honor and committed crimes in Japan, while wearing our service uniform.

    I didn't want to make the situation worse, because i thought everyone in Japan was very sensitive about this, so i was rethinking my idea.


    Do you think it would be preferable for the JSDF to take the USMC's position on Okinawa?

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  2. [Japan have always told us that they commit so many crimes (i think she said like 400,000 since the bases were built).]
    Remember that the Japanese media is basically pro-china-korea and anti-America regardless of citizens’ will, at least at present it’s the case.
    I’m not sure if it’s low or high considering their duty to protect people. (Ex. policeman commits crime) But it’s at least less than half % of Okinawa people’s crime rate – this is the unshakable truth.

    [i value our friendship with Japan more than any other country. Do you think it would be preferable for the JSDF to take the USMC's position on Okinawa? ]
    I value it too. Or rather, Japan must maintain good relationship in order to guarantee its national security.
    The exclusively defensive security policy is invalid as deterrence. Realistically, either maintaining Japan-US relationship or reinforcement of JSDF is necessary to ensure the national security.
    I personally prefer defending by myself, because it is necessary for national sovereignty. The present Japan-US relationship is virtually not equal because of the dependence on US army. So to speak, Japan is protected in side the cradle. I hope Japan leave the comfortable cradle to get on an equal footing with the USA.

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  3. I definitely understand what you mean, and i feel the same way. If Hawaii was guarded by foreign soldiers (no mater how ready to defend the Islands and the US they where) it would still make me feel a bit insecure (is that the word i should use?) about our own capabilities.

    The last thing i would want to do is create stress between us, not only because i love everything about Japan but also because i think the security of Asia and the pacific is directly linked to US-Japan relations. I think as long as we have a strong bond, such a terrible war will never happen again, and no one would threaten either of us.

    I have heard a few comments on places like You tube where some Japanese people do not think we would help defend them if they came under attack. Is that true that some people feel that way? If so, is there anything we can do to prove we would?

    I ask because i think mutual trust is the cornerstone of all relationships, if people do not trust each other i think it is very hard to have a healthy relationship. I don't know if it was something we had done, or if was just troll comments >_<

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