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    Russian Patriot

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    Japan-U.S. Military ties:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:45 am

    Japan: U.S. Base Should Stay on Okinawa

    (AP)  Japan's new government appeared to bow to intensifying pressure from visiting top U.S. military officials, saying Friday it supports keeping a major U.S. Marine airfield on the southern island of Okinawa.

    The move narrows — but doesn't close — a rift between the two alliance partners ahead of President Barack Obama's visit in three weeks. The new Tokyo administration, elected in a landslide in August, is eager to assert a more independent stance with Washington — but doesn't want to unduly strain ties with its chief ally and key trading partner.

    The government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has suggested it would like to make changes to a 2006 agreement that would realign the 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan, including moving 8,000 Marines to the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

    A major sticking point has been the future of Futenma airfield, which under the pact would be relocated to a less crowded part of Okinawa. However, Hatoyama has suggested he would like the airfield moved off the island entirely.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, visiting Tokyo earlier this week, insisted the Futenma — a busy Marine Corps air base — must be relocated on the island, calling any other options "politically untenable and operationally unworkable."

    Admiral Mike Mullen added to that pressure Friday during meetings with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and other officials, urging them to quickly resolve the issue.

    After his meeting with Mullen, Okada said moving Futenma airfield off the tiny island "is not an option" — although it would be difficult to resolve the location of the new site before Obama's Nov. 12-13 visit.

    "Starting from scratch on other ideas would not serve the best interests of the people of Okinawa," he said.

    While the plan would lighten Okinawa's share of hosting American troops, local opposition has stalled progress on choosing a new site. Many residents say they're worried about base-related crime, cost and environmental issues. The Camp Schwab area, in a less populated part of Okinawa, remains the most likely candidate. Kadena Air Base, which is also on the island, is another possibility.

    Washington has grown concerned that Tokyo was balking at key elements of the agreement, which took more than a decade of negotiations with Japan's previous conservative administrations. Mullen said he understood Hatoyama's desire to review the pact, but was concerned further delays could derail the overall timeline.

    "We're barely on track with what was laid out in 2006," Mullen told reporters, adding that "from a purely military perspective, it is very important that we move ahead with previous agreements."

    Hatoyama has repeatedly said he did not intend to rush to a decision, although he said Friday that the matter should be resolved "sooner than later."

    Okada, however, acknowledged the issue needs to be addressed urgently.

    "We should not spend too much time on this," he said after meeting Mullen. "Our time is limited."

    The Hatoyama government has also signaled that it plans to end its naval mission in the Indian Ocean — tankers that have been used as refueling pit stops for Afghanistan-bound allies. Instead, Tokyo is considering reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

    During his visit, Gates told Okada that the refueling mission provides important support for the U.S. coalition forces, though whether to continue the mission is Japan's decision. He urged Japan to continue providing support for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Futenma is used by helicopters, transport planes and other aircraft as the primary air support base for the more than 10,000 U.S. Marines based on Okinawa. U.S. officials have argued that it must stay somewhere on Okinawa to be close to the Marines on the ground.

    Okada was keen to avoid perceptions that the two nations are increasingly at odds.

    "I don't think we have any disputes or serious problems between us," he said after meeting with Mullen. "There is no need to overreact. I believe that the United States understands that we cannot simply accept everything just because an agreement is already made."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/23/world/main5414080.shtml?tag=latest
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    milky_candy_sugar

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    Japanese-US Defense ministers joint press conference

    Post  milky_candy_sugar on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:14 pm

    "Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa:
    Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Secretary Gates. We had discussions at the Japan-US Defense Minister's Meeting for over 45 minutes. Including meetings with the early administration, I understand that this is the third Defense Minister's meeting this year. There have been frequent exchanges between Japan and the United States. I think it was quite meaningful that so early following the inauguration of the new administration we had this opportunity to discuss various challenges for Japan and the US in the security area. I warmly welcome Secretary Gates to Japan.
    Now, turning to the substance of today's Defense Minister's meeting, we first recognized and confirmed the significance of the Japan-US alliance. We then exchanged views on regional situations, and also said that we will consider concrete cooperation items in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of Japan-US Security Treaty revision next year.
    On the policy side, we discussed important alliance-related issues and global security-related issues, such as the realignment of US forces in Japan, and support in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We explained Japan's position on these, and we were also able to hear a very candid expression of views from the US side.
    We also confirmed that there has been steady progress in missile defense cooperation between Japan and the United States, and confirmed that we shall continue to advance such cooperation.
    We also exchanged views on the review of the National Defense Program Guidelines 9 in Japan, and the ongoing Quadrennial Defense Review in the United States, and that we will make sure that there is firm coordination between our two countries.
    With regard to information security, needless to say, we need to further improve this to a fully reliable level.
    We also discussed the promotion of cooperation in the area of disaster relief. This, I believe, will be very useful and meaningful in terms of Japan-US cooperation in relation to global challenges. With regard to host nation support, while it has been declining somewhat, I said that while maintaining maximum transparency, we would like to maintain host nation support, and we heard from the US that they wish to actively promote consultations on this matter.
    I briefly touched on disaster relief earlier - between myself and Secretary Gates, we had a complete meeting of minds, and I think that this is an area where we can further promote cooperation, an area where our ties are strongest.
    As we go through various consultations with the US side, what Secretary Gates said was very impressive. While we do face various issues, the current moment should be turned into a good opportunity to further advance the Japan-US alliance. We should listen to the other side's remarks, even those that we do not wish to listen to - by accepting those words, we should try and further improve our coordination.
    For the further strengthening of the Japan-US alliance, I shall engage in discussions with other cabinet ministers concerned, and especially with regard to the realignment of US forces in Japan, I believe that it is very important that we share a determination for national defense. I do not think that we have the luxury of wasting much time on this. In order for us to overcome this issue, I believe that efforts on the Japanese side will be very important. Also, I believe it is important that we move in a direction where we can gain an understanding of the US side. Thank you very much.
    Secretary Gates please.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
    Thank you, Mr. Minister. And let me express to you my thanks for hosting these very productive talks.
    Japan and the United States are nearing the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security - a half century of partnership and cooperation based on shared interests and shared values. It is the cornerstone of our security policy in Asia.
    There will be many opportunities over the coming year to celebrate all that we have achieved together. The true legacy of the last 50 years is the enormous potential we have to strengthen our ties in order to tackle security challenges as an alliance of equals in the 21st century.
    Minister Kitazawa and I discussed a range of matters of mutual interests. I should note that many of these issues will also be on the agenda for the president's visit next month, and I would add -- I passed on to the prime minister and the foreign minister and defense minister how much President Obama is looking forward to coming to Japan next month.
    The issues we discussed included the importance of our bilateral realignment road map, its strategic benefits to the U.S., Japan and the region -- (inaudible) -- the importance of moving forward expeditiously on the road map as agreed.
    There are the challenges facing Afghanistan and Pakistan where I expressed my appreciation for all that Japan's self-defense forces have done in that region with regard to refueling and economic reconstruction and security assistance. We appreciate Japan stepping forward in other areas such as piracy, and the international community will continue to expect Japan to exercise leadership in meeting global security challenges.
    There is the possibility of strengthening bilateral coordination on regional disaster response, a priority for both of our governments.
    The minister and I spoke about how to work together as an alliance to achieve our shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea. And we discussed the importance of Japan's host nation support, which the U.S. views as a strategic pillar of the alliance that reflects Japan's commitment to our relationship.
    We look forward to working with the new government here in Japan, and I especially look forward to working alongside Minister Kitazawa and building on the legacy of the last 50 years to strengthen and deepen our partnership for the future.

    Question:
    I am Miura with the Tokyo Shimbun. Secretary Gates, Minister Kitazawa, thank you very much. First, with regard to the relocation of Futenma Air Station, a question to both of you. First, Minister Kitazawa, Secretary Gates stressed that it is important to press ahead with the existing roadmap, and that this is the only realistic and viable roadmap. I wonder how you expressed Japan's views? I understand that you studied the Kadena idea and Shimoji-shima idea, and I wonder if you discussed these ideas as well?
    A question for Secretary Gates: the Japanese side has been saying that through the examination of the process, we would like to consider the possibility of relocating out of Okinawa Prefecture, and also over time they would like to come up with good results. I wonder what your thoughts are on this? What is the time limit, and what are your thoughts regarding the idea of moving the runway 50 meters off shore?

    Defense Minister Kitazawa:
    First, let me respond to that. Secretary Gates conveyed to us a very strong message on the Japan-US agreement. I mentioned a change in government and also referred to a changing political situation in Okinawa, and I fully explained it. I early on visited the area, and sensed that the relocation of Futenma Air Station and the return of the land is a mission given by heaven to me. Therefore, I shall firmly address this issue. Also, we, the Japanese government, are engaged in an examination of the past process, and the US side has been very cooperative, and I expressed my appreciation for that.
    For Japan and the US, I do not think it will be constructive to spend too much time on this, and that is my awareness, and I shared this awareness with Secretary Gates. There are many difficult hurdles that we need to clear, but overcoming these hurdles, I believe, will be very important in maintaining the good relationship between Japan and the US.

    Defense Secretary Gates:
    First of all, we are very sympathetic to the desire of the new government in Japan to review the realignment road map. This was done at the beginning of the administration of President Obama and the United States. It was done in a timely enough way that Secretary of State Clinton was able to sign the Guam International Agreement in February with the Japanese foreign minister.
    Our view is clear. The Futenma relocation facility is the lynchpin of the realignment road map. Without the Futenma realignment, the Futenma facility, there will be no relocation to Guam. And without relocation to Guam, there will be no consolidation of forces and the return of land in Okinawa.
    Our view is this may not be the perfect alternative for anyone, but it is the best alternative for everyone, and it is time to move on.
    We are -- feel strongly that this is a complex agreement, negotiated over a period of many years. It is interlocking -- (inaudible) ? immensely complicated and counterproductive. We have investigated all of the alternatives in great detail and believe that they are both politically untenable and operationally unworkable.
    With respect to a time limit, we have not talked in terms of a time limit, but rather the need to progress as quickly as possible.
    And finally, with respect to some modest change in the runway of a few tens of meters or whatever, we regard that as a matter between the government of Okinawa and the people of Okinawa and the government here in Tokyo, and our only caveat would be that it not slow the implementation process.
    Question: Secretary Gates, on Afghanistan, considering some of the concerns that have been raised about a potential rift between the military and the White House because of delays in making a decision on Afghanistan strategy, do you think it's important to make a decision before the November 7th runoff scheduled in Afghanistan? And have you come to a decision in your own mind about the best way forward?

    Defense Secretary Gates:
    Well, first of all, I would just say that these stories may make good reading, but they are not a reflection of reality. There has been a very close, collaborative effort between our military officers and the civilian side of the government meeting almost on a daily basis, including our commanders in the field as we work our way through the complicated issues associated with the election in Afghanistan and also the more difficult situation that General McChrystal found when he got there.
    So these rumors of some kind of a rift, I think, are just not accurate and do not reflect the close working effort between our military and civilians, both in the Department of Defense and with other elements of the government as we try and work our way through this very complicated situation in Afghanistan. My concerns and the comments that I made yesterday with respect to legitimacy were really about the overall legitimacy of the Afghan government in the eyes of its own people, and it goes well beyond simply having an outcome to the presidential election in Afghanistan. Clearly, having the runoff, getting that behind us and then moving forward is very important, and I think that having some clarity in that makes a lot of sense because I think it gives us the likelihood of an outcome pretty quickly. But I think that we need to be realistic that the issues of corruption and governance that we are trying to work with the Afghan government on are not going to be solved simply by the outcome of a presidential election. This is going to be a work in progress, an evolutionary effort, and we need to be realistic about them.
    Question: Sengoku with the Mainichi Shimbun, on Indian Ocean replenishment and Afghanistan support. First, Minister Kitazawa, on January 15 next year, replenishment operations will end. I wonder how you communicated Japan's position on that. With regard to Afghanistan support, you expressed in a press meeting that civilian measures would not be enough. I wonder what sort of contributions you can make?
    A question for Secretary Gates: Japan likely will withdraw its replenishment operations in January of next year, how do you respond to that? In replacement for that, what sort of contributions do you seek from Japanese defense forces in Afghanistan?

    Defense Minister Kitazawa:
    Allow me to respond first. With regard to the refueling operations, Secretary Gates referred to the contributions made so far, and he said that he highly appreciated these contributions. At the same time, whether to continue this policy or not is entirely up to Japan to decide - he stated that very explicitly. As for alternatives in place of the refueling operations, as I have already been saying, in view of global public opinion, would it be adequate for Japan to simply provide civilian support measures? I myself feel that would be rather difficult. But then, what sort of activities should the Self-Defense Forces engage in? We haven't worked out those details yet, but I have instructed the working-level people of the Ministry of Defense to consider what sort of operations would be conceivable. It is up to the Hatoyama administration to decide which measures to take.

    Defense Secretary Gates:
    The minister has actually characterized my views quite accurately. I expressed our appreciation for the replenishment effort and made clear that it made a contribution to a number of nations. The reality is the United States is not the primary beneficiary of the replenishment effort; others of our partners are, and we'll have to look at alternatives should the replenishing mission end. But I also, as the minister said, made clear that as far as we're concerned, that's a decision that's up to the government of Japan. That said, there are robust opportunities for additional kinds of assistance to Afghanistan. I know that there is interest in economic development and agricultural development, but I would also say that a real need is for financial support for the expansion and sustainment of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, and we would only hope that Japan's contribution will be commensurate with its standing as one of the greatest powers in the world.
    Question: For both of you, given how much has changed in the U.S.-Japanese relationship since the alliance was founded and the new government's desire here to modify or adjust that alliance, what does Japan concretely have in mind at doing to change or alter or improve the alliance? And then for the U.S. Defense Secretary, what should the role be of the U.S. military here and in the region? And should that role be scaled back or somehow changed?

    Defense Minister Kitazawa:
    Let me respond. With the inauguration of the new administration - of course, the Hatoyama administration has been speaking of an equal relationship between Japan and the United States, but then, have past Japan-US relations been on equal footing? That is not the question we are asking. Rather, as a new administration, the DPJ administration, we want to fully communicate our views to the US side. Also, as a most urgent question, with regard to the realignment of US forces in Okinawa, it so happens that there was an agreement between Prime Minister Hashimoto and Ambassador Mondale, and over the past thirteen years or so this has been addressed, but we were in an opposition party and we did not have detailed information. So we are examining this past process. We have received detailed information from the US side in this process, and by going through this process, we will be building a new Japan-US relationship. That is our thinking. The Japan-US relationship will be the cornerstone for us as we try to establish peace and friendship in the Asia-Pacific region. We hope you will regard this as a step forward from a global perspective.

    Defense Secretary Gates:
    I commented to the minister this morning that one of the biggest changes that I had seen between the time I left the government in 1993 and returning to government in 2006 was the extraordinary improvement in the relationship between the United States and Japan and how much closer the alliance is now than it was even 13 years ago, 15 years ago now.
    It seems to me that the primary purpose of our alliance from a military standpoint is to provide for the security of Japan. This defense umbrella has protected Japan for, now, nearly 50 years. It allows Japan to have a defense budget, a self-defense force budget of roughly one percent of GDP. But I think the alliance also represents a shared interest between the United States and Japan in terms of regional security, and the capabilities that we have here in Japan make an important contribution to that regional security in a time, if anything, is becoming more complex with developments in North Korea and elsewhere than in the past.
    I would say there are many opportunities to expand the relationship. We already are doing a great deal together on missile defense as the minister mentioned earlier. We're talking about how we can expand our military-to-military cooperation and interoperability in areas such as disaster assistance and humanitarian relief where we both have common interests.
    I made the comment to the minister in our meeting that in some ways as you look around this part of the world and recent developments in places like Indonesia and the Philippines, the greatest enemy seems to be Mother Nature, and we have the capabilities to deal with the consequences of some of these disasters, working together.
    So I think that there's great opportunity to expand this relationship and strengthen it, even as we strengthen our relationships with our countries in the region."

    Source :http://www.mod.go.jp/e/pressconf/2009/10/091021.html


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    Vladimir79

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:28 pm

    Improvement in relations? Is that why Okinawa is screaming for US bases to get the hell off their island?
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    milky_candy_sugar

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  milky_candy_sugar on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:34 pm

    Yes - improvement of relations will never occur
    For US ; Improving relations = dominating
    For Japan ; Improving relations = equality
    xD


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    Vladimir79

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:50 pm

    Japan has been real uppity about their defence arrangement lately. It won't be long till Japan tells US to take a hike.
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    milky_candy_sugar

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  milky_candy_sugar on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:54 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:Japan has been real uppity about their defence arrangement lately. It won't be long till Japan tells US to take a hike.

    Knowing the japaneses, they don't really like to be under some foreign domination....yes i heard that Japan multiplied it's military budget and start to design some new stuff


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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  Pervius on Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:59 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VX0JvpW5q0


    Japan is not kicking the US military out. They have been punished.
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    Russian Patriot

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:09 pm

    Pervius wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VX0JvpW5q0


    Japan is not kicking the US military out. They have been punished.

    Why ? and did you get my pm about introduction being mandatory? Or else all your posts are illegal

    I think it is up to Japan to decide.
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    GarryB

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  GarryB on Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:40 am

    I think it is up to Japan to decide.

    It should be, but the US is giving them little choice.
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    Russian Patriot

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    U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:10 pm

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    SOC

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  SOC on Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:46 pm

    I keep hearing about the outcry, but I haven't really looked at why they're irate. What's the reason? There have been Ospreys flying around here recently as Allison is doing engine work or something and while they sound unique they don't strike me as any louder than a prop-driven cargo plane or a large helo, so I'm assuming that noise isn't the issue? Do they see this as a precursor to a longer-term US presence on the island?
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    Russian Patriot

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:33 pm

    SOC wrote:I keep hearing about the outcry, but I haven't really looked at why they're irate. What's the reason? There have been Ospreys flying around here recently as Allison is doing engine work or something and while they sound unique they don't strike me as any louder than a prop-driven cargo plane or a large helo, so I'm assuming that noise isn't the issue? Do they see this as a precursor to a longer-term US presence on the island?

    The Osprey are not very reliable , so I think its a factor as well as the Japanese don't really want Americans in Japan. But their government thinks the Ospreys will help against China.

    Also :
    The US Marine Corps completed the deployment of 12 Osprey transport aircraft in Okinawa on Saturday amid strong public opposition, NHK TV reported.

    Three tilt rotor Ospreys arrived at the US Futenma Air Station hours after leaving a US air base in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

    As nine Ospreys flew to Futenma on Monday and Tuesday, the US Marines now have all of their planned 12 aircraft deployed in Okinawa.

    Full-scale operation of the aircraft is expected to begin later this month.

    Osprey flights will be limited to a minimum ceiling of 500 feet (150 meters) and they will not be allowed over populated areas.

    Up to 24 aircraft will be based at Futenma by 2014.

    http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20121006/176445940.html


    Futenma is the same base, they wanted the Americans to leave not long ago..
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:08 am

    Military Sealift Ship Runs Aground near Okinawa

    The U.S. Navy and Japanese authorities are working to refloat a Military Sealift Command vessel after it ran aground Thursday off the coast of Okinawa.

    The USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak, an 821-foot long, 50,000-ton prepositioning ship designed to carry supplies and ammunition in support of American ground troops, ran aground off the island’s east coast at 11:30 a.m., according to a Navy release. The ship is located some six nautical miles from the coast of Uruma.

    None of the ship’s 127 civilian crewmembers were injured in the incident, according to the release. All remained on the ship.

    An early assessment found no hull leaks and no damage to the surrounding area, the release stated. Tugboats were on scene to stabilize the vessel and further assess the situation.

    Ship groundings can cause significant damage to ship hulls, propellers and surrounding infrastructure.

    Military Sealift Command operates as the Navy’s logistics arm, providing fuel, ammunition and underway replenishment to ships at sea. Civilian mariners crew MSC ships, and a civilian master is in charge of all ship maneuvers, even when military detachments are on board.
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  max steel on Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:15 pm

    Tokyo begs Okinawa governor to okay planned US air base pwnd



    http://rt.com/news/246913-japan-air-base-okinawa/
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    George1

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:21 pm

    Okinawa Population Grows More Angry Over US Military Base in Region

    Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga said that the population of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture is growing more angry over the plans of the country's government to relocate a US military base from one part of the island to another.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The population of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture is growing more angry over the plans of the country's government to relocate a US military base from one part of the island to another, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga said Sunday.

    Japanese authorities are planning to relocate the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the city of Nago. The plans face opposition from local environmentalists and civic groups who are against damage to flora and fauna, as well as US military presence in the region.

    "People in Okinawa never volunteered to host military bases… And the more the government insists the work continues, the more alienated and angry the people of Okinawa become," Onaga was quoted as saying by Euronews.

    Rallies have been erupting in Japan over the government's decision of the US base's relocation, which was agreed upon back in 2006.

    At the time, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government confirmed the deal with the United States and asked former Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima to approve the relocation.

    Okinawa's current leadership suggests relocating the US base from densely populated areas of the island to outside the country altogether.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150405/1020511158.html#ixzz3WXi5fFpB
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    George1

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:17 pm

    Japan to the Rescue? New Deal Allows Tokyo to Defend US Forces Worldwide

    The US and Japan are close to finalizing the revision of bilateral defense rules that would expand the two countries’ military cooperation, and allow Tokyo to play a more "proactive" role in regional security, according to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

    The bilateral defense agreement lays down a set of rules for joint operations between the US Military and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF). The last time the agreement was revised was in 1997, and the SDF’s role was limited to protecting the US military only when it was acting in Tokyo’s defense and only within the Japan’s geographic vicinity.

    In a joint press conference in Tokyo, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Defense Minister Gen Nakatani announced that a revision of the bilateral agreement would give the SDF a greater range of circumstances and wider geographical scope in which to militarily support and protect the US. If the agreement is approved, the SDF would therefore be able to act when US forces are threatened by a third country, even if the American military is not acting in defense of Japan at the time.

    According to Carter, the updated rules will "transform the US-Japan alliance" and allow the two countries to "cooperate seamlessly" in response to challenges around the world.

    The guidelines will "detail how our two governments will continue to work together around the world and in new domains such as space and cyberspace…to ensure Japan’s peace and security," he said, "They will help us respond flexibly to the full scope of challenges we face…in the Asia-Pacific and around the world."
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is looking to build an MI6-inspired spy agency.

    The revised rules are expected to be unveiled next month, ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Washington visit for the so-called ministerial two-plus-two talks. Should they be approved, the rules would mark an evolution in US-Japan military ties and would fall in line with Abe’s efforts to expand the SDF’s military power which has been tightly restricted since WWII.

    Tokyo and Washington have been wary of Beijing’s increasing military build-up and growing influence in the region. Japan is locked in a territorial dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea. The US, also concerned about China’s growing influence in the region, views the revised rules as a way of granting Tokyo additional leverage in resolving the dispute with Beijing.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/news/20150408/1020636118.html#ixzz3Wkqh0z2p
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    George1

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:15 pm

    Japan Plans to Aid US Military in Disputed South China Sea

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be sending legislation to Japanese Parliament next month that would expand the role of the country’s Self-Defense Forces, and may subsequently lead to Tokyo’s deeper involvement in the South China Sea dispute.

    The new legislation falls in line with Abe’s campaign for a more assertive military and, if passed, would allow Tokyo to provide the US with logistical non-combat support in conflicts beyond "areas around Japan." This will include supplying fuel and ammunition to American ships anywhere, if Tokyo sees a risk to its security.

    The legislation has already received backing from Abe’s coalition partners, virtually assuring its passage. Considering the expanded role this would afford the Self-Defense Forces in supporting US forces, the new law could potentially drag Tokyo into action in the South China Sea.

    Neither the US nor Japan have territorial claim over the highly contested territory, but the Philippines – a US treaty ally – is locked in a dispute over the area with China, meaning that the US is bound to protect Manila in the event of an attack.

    Speaking to Reuters, a senior Philippines military official said Manila would welcome Tokyo’s efforts to expand operations in the disputed area under the new law.

    "Since the US and Japan have an agreement,” he said, “I would not be surprised if Japan is dragged into a conflict in the South China Sea."

    The area is presumed to be energy-rich, and has significant strategic value, with an estimated worth of $5 trillion in ship-bound trade passing through the waterway every year.

    Tensions have been rising between Beijing and Manila, as the two parties step up their claims over the disputed Spratlys archipelago in the South China Sea. China has been ramping up its land expansion efforts in the region, drawing criticism from other claimants and the US, which have accused Beijing of using its size and military force to fortify sovereignty. The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest when it first noticed the building efforts in February.

    Meanwhile, in a move that could be interpreted as a warning to Beijing, the US and the Philippines began joint military exercises this week, the largest in the past 15 years.

    "If the Philippines were to clash with China, they would send an SOS to their ally the US," a Japanese military expert said to Reuters. "If the US military were then to seek assistance from the Self-Defense Forces, the question then becomes what Japan can do."

    Considering the US’ involvement in the unfolding dispute in the area, the new Japanese legislation is expected to spark some intense debate and raise questions over applicability. While there have been some cases in the past in which Tokyo has supplied logistical military support abroad, each has required a new law to be passed. This new legislation would effectively remove that requirement, thus, raising the question over which situations would require Japanese Self-Defense Force involvement.

    According to Hirofumi Takeda, spokesman for Japan’s Defense Ministry, it is "impossible to debate in advance whether a specific situation is applicable" under the new law.

    "A judgement would be made," he said to Reuters, "depending on the specific and concrete circumstances, as to whether it qualifies as a 'situation having a grave impact'" on Japan.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/news/20150423/1021250707.html#ixzz3YAY73KUG
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:58 pm

    US-Japan Military Alliance Faces Critical Turning Point

    Although Japan still remains one of America's closest allies in the Asia Pacific region, some of Tokyo's actions should worry Washington, Ted Galen Carpenter stressed.

    While China is strengthening its economic and military influence in East Asia, the US-Japan alliance faces a critical turning point, pointed out American author Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

    Although Japan still remains one of the US' closest allies in the Asia Pacific region, some of the Abe government's actions might worry Washington, the author underscored.

    Ted Galen Carpenter pointed to the fact that Tokyo has been recently demonstrating a "belligerent" stance regarding territorial disputes with South Korea and China over the Dokdo/Takeshima and the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.

    Japan's efforts to justify its claims sparked a lot of controversy among the populations of the region: Beijing and Seoul have openly slammed Tokyo for an alleged attempt to "legitimize Japan's imperial era and its many abuses."

    Furthermore, Abe's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, the site where 14 of Japan's Class-A war criminals from World War II are commemorated, have added fuel to the fire.

    Abe's unwillingness to atone for Japan's military aggression in World War II and its aggressive stance on territorial disputes alienate not only neighboring states but also Tokyo's supporters in Washington, the author underscored.

    But what makes matters even worse is that the Abe cabinet is still demonstrating its "unwillingness to risk adverse domestic political repercussions by raising taxes to pay for the increased military spending needed to support its enhanced foreign policy goals."

    Indeed, the US leadership has recently started encouraging Tokyo to take on more security responsibilities in the region. Washington plans to transform the US-Japan military alliance "into the regional crisis management alliance" aimed at dealing with issues that "might not directly threaten the Japanese homeland."

    On the other hand, Washington views the Japanese armed forces as a tool to counterbalance China's growing military strength in East Asia, especially in the South China Sea region.

    However, the Japanese government still refuses to abolish the longstanding rule that allows spending no more than one percent of the country's GDP on defense.

    Such a restriction undermines Japan's armed forces development, the author insisted, adding that the gap between Chinese and Japanese military capabilities is likely to increase in the future.

    "Thus, Washington may end up with a more assertive ally that antagonizes China, South Korea, and perhaps other neighboring states but continues to depend on the United States to achieve its enhanced ambitions," Ted Galen Carpenter stressed.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150427/1021443608.html#ixzz3YY6jhZl6
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  Book. on Tue May 12, 2015 7:53 am

    V22 Osprey deploy Okinawa

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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  max steel on Tue May 12, 2015 8:38 am

    Is there any russian counterpart to usa v-22 osprey ? Performing same functions ?
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    V22 Osprey deploy Okinawa

    Post  Werewolf on Tue May 12, 2015 8:42 am

    max steel wrote:Is there any russian counterpart to  usa v-22 osprey ? Performing same functions  ?

    Russia has no VTOL planes in service and does not need any right now.
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Mon May 18, 2015 3:50 pm

    Okinawa Fights for Future Without US Military Bases

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150518/1022276250.html#ixzz3aUvKMTYN
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:33 am

    US Approves $1.7Bn Sale of Advanced Hawkeye Surveillance Airplanes to Japan
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:30 am

    US to Continue Construction of US Military Base in Okinawa
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    Re: U.S. Forces Japan:

    Post  George1 on Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:34 pm

    Japan Decides to Restart Relocation of US Base in Okinawa Despite Protests

    Japan’s Defense Ministry informed the Okinawa Prefecture on Wednesday that it would go ahead with its plan to relocate a US military base within the region.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The base will be moved from Okinawa's highly-populated district in the city of Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area of Nago city, the ministry told the prefecture's authorities in a letter. The military will start readying a strip of the coast for construction work on Thursday.

    The Japanese military’s controversial plan was given a go-ahead after the Land and Infrastructure Ministry voided Okinawa governor’s decision to revoke his predecessor’s approval of the relocation.

    The relocation has been stalled amid protests against the continued US military presence in the country and environmental concerns that the new base will endanger local wildlife.

    Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga, who wants the base to be moved out of his prefecture, has vowed to challenge Tokyo's decision in court.

    Over half of the 47,000 US troops deployed in Japan are based in Okinawa, which accounts for less than 1 percent of Japan's total land area.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20151028/1029218804/japan-us-base-okinawa-relocation.html#ixzz3psBlbiBQ


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