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Tuesday, June 15, 2010


U.S. military presence on Okinawa continues to be a hot topic

Race-based disparities

"Futenma is undermining Japanese democracy" (Just Be Cause, May 1) by Debito Arudou:

I would like to comment on the statement that the U.S. military left the Philippines because it had no choice.

I was a child when the military left and was living near the base in Angeles City, Clark Air Base. It is true that the Mount Pinatubo eruption in part affected the status of the two bases. But I remember very well that our Senate then had to vote on whether to retain the bases or not. It was a tight election and I remember political unrest at that time. It took one senator to break the tie and the bases were voted out.

KAYLE MERCADO Hidaka, Saitama Pref.

Japan faces very real threats

Re: "Futenma is undermining Japanese democracy" (Just Be Cause, May 1) by Debito Arudou:

Dear Editor, Your writer seemed to be confused with many issues concerning Futenma. Such as: 1. Debito said, "If the troops leave Japan entirely, people will grumble about losing American money."

Actually, Japan pays more to keep U.S. troops than any other country in the world. I am sure that the Philippines did not have to pay when the United States was there, but Japan does, so what money are people grumbling about? 2. Debito said, "We also have the knock-on effects of Okinawan dependency on the bases (I consider it a form of "economic alcoholism"). . ."

Actually, only about 5 percent of Okinawa's economy is from the bases. A majority of the companies that win contracts on the bases in Okinawa tend to be from mainland Japan. So, if 5 percent is economic alcoholism, then Okinawa must be drunk with tourism and government projects. 3. Debito said, "The Futenma issue is weakening Japan's government."

Sorry, but it was (former Prime Minister Yukio) Hatoyama that weakened the Japanese government. Though Futenma was a thorn in the side here in Okinawa, most Okinawans had almost came to the shoganai (it can't be helped) conclusion until Hatoyama lied. His lying (regardless of his experience in government) is what turned the people of Okinawa rabid mad. How can you trust a leader who blatantly lied to you? You expect him to represent you to the rest of the world? Do you trust him on other issues such as free expressways (none), ¥26,000 child allowance (none) or foreigners allowed to vote, to name just a few? 4. Debito said, "After nearly 60 years of corrupt one-party rule, Japan finally has a fledgling two-party system. Yet that is withering on the vine thanks to American geopolitical manipulation."

Hatoyama was able to boast before the election on what he was going to do to make Japan equal and on the same footing as America. He has now shown what a shameless air bag he is and he should apologize to the Liberal Democratic Party for the snide remarks that he made about them. He indirectly made the LDP look like America's lap dog but he is doing worse than the LDP. Hatoyama single-handedly withered the two-party system — not the United States.

America is going to look out for America and any politician that is naive to not know that or who does not stand up for his own country should be thrown out of politics. 5. Debito said, "That's why this columnist says: Never mind Futenma. All U.S. bases should be withdrawn from Japanese soil, period."

Real nice and naive. China has nuclear weapons and Japan does not. China wants the Senkaku islands and Japan wants the Senkaku islands. China wants the resources underneath and Japan needs the resources underneath. China sends warships and so does Japan. Japanese ships are more modern and win the naval standoff or naval battle. Many Chinese sailors are hurt or die and China cannot capitulate and threatens Tokyo and Osaka with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. Oops! The United States was kicked out and does not want to go to war with China over some barren islands that the people of the United States will not benefit from. This is not the only scenario, there are many more examples. Respectfully, this columnist did a poor and loose job with the issue.

ROBERT TAIRA Ginowan City, Okinawa Pref.

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