Sunday, July 04, 2010

Nobelist Obama's radical new Japan policy

OK, It's not really brand new:

The United States has asked Japan to help shoulder hundreds of millions of dollars in additional fees to transfer Marines from a controversial base on Okinawa island to Guam, Kyodo news agency reported. USA Today

It's all cool. The poorly informed will still be able to blame the continued problems with Okinawa bases on the folks in the US military there. (Of course, we know that SOFA personnel have much lower crime rates than citizens of Okinawa.*)

*Concerning the linked article about SOFA crime rates, the author notes that on base stats are not covered. Having been a military policeman, I'd guess that unless the world has turned upside down, that on-base crimes and incidents are much, much lower than the civilian population. I see no reason it would be different here, unless one disproves the Hassett article---and others with similar findings over the years.


  1. As spiteful as it is, I hope the Okinawan economy dries up.

  2. I can understand the emotion, but I don't really think the problem is Okinawan. The problem is the Japanese government (and the US government) ignoring the wishes of Okinawans for decades.

    When you station such a large number of foreign troops in an area with no end in sight it's going to cause problems. As hard as it would be for such a thing to happen, imagine if large numbers of foreign troops were stationed in a small heavily populated area back home. Unfortunately, people in Japan and elsewhere tend to blame the problems on the grossly exaggerated "incidents" involving the US military rather than on the problem of Japan hiring out its national defense in order to avoid the political, economic, and diplomatic costs of providing its own.

    Personally, I'd love to see the US either withdraw all forces from Japan and tell the "peace country" show us how to do it without a military, or insist on a real alliance in which Japan really is an equal partner---meaning equal or proportional contributions to the security of each country instead of the lop-sided "alliance" we have now. Neither of these are likely to happen as the US insists it needs forces in Okinawa (like the US has tended to insist it needed forces in the PI and other places until forced out. Then it turned out the world did not end after all) and polls show that the majority of Japanese want the US to continue to provide a defense for Japan.