Futenma will be relocated to Henoko?

March 31, 2015

Two nights ago I went out with the editor of Iwanami’s “Sekai”, last night with a reporter from Aera, for beer, then awamori. Both of them stayed at Hotel Southern Village.
The Aera reporter asked me what I thought would happen with the rock and reef crushing issue.
I replied that the results were abundantly clear.
I’m starting to have dejavu. This country has no system to absorb Okinawan voices.
They only asked for the construction to be stopped for three days in order to conduct a survey.
But if the Defense Ministry claims it will have a negative impact on the U.S.-Japan relationship,
They just accept it as fact with no system of verification and throw away Okinawa’s opinion. How much of a negative impact could it really have to stop the construction for just three days?

At the end of April, Prime Minister Abe will meet with Obama. I’m sure he’ll report that the Futenma relocation is progressing and repeat that the U.S.-Japan relationship is “the cornerstone of security in Asia.”
But that’s a little stupid. Why? Well, it’s Japan’s responsibility to provide bases, and Prime Minister Abe ought to be apologizing for the fact that for a full nineteen years, we haven’t been able to carry out the plan agreed upon by the U.S. and Japan. That’s what any normal person would do.
If he had the imagination to consider the U.S. perspective, it would be obvious to him. From Prime Minister Hashimoto who agreed on the return of Futenma to Prime Minister Abe, eleven prime ministers have visited Washington over and over again, insistng that Futenma would be relocated to Henoko. (Note: It’s Abe’s second time, and Hatoyama just said “trust me.”) The country responsible for providing facilities has had eleven prime ministers repeating “Futenma will be relocated to Henoko” for nineteen years. Is that the behavior of an independent country that can be trusted? More like a con man.
Since it all stinks of fraud, a serious administration would never be able to stop the Henoko relocation. Even if Okinawa file a lawsuit against the government, Okinawa will definitely lose. No matter what problems the bases may be causing, the courts won’t touch the U.S.-Japan security treaty with a ten foot pole. It’s like a religion. Security Treaty Supreme Truth.
But it makes things difficult politically.
Okinawa can’t just give in now either. Some sort of resistance will likely continue. It might just be a ripple from the perspective of the U.S. and Japanese governments, but when Japan repeats that “Futenma will be relocated to Henoko” at summit meetings with the U.S., it will sound like nothing more than an empty promise.
Japan always wants to bring up Futenma in meetings with the U.S. Does that really make it an appealing ally to the U.S.? Imagine it were a relationship between two individuals. Hanging out with someone who can only talk about one thing is exhausting.

(Translation of a Facebook post by Tomo Yara)

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