A post on the Futenma issue in Okinawa.
I noticed over at Japan Times that the Governor of Okinawa, Nakaima, has repeated his call for the removal of the U.S. base from the Okinawa islands.
And then on a Fuji channel TV show with kids, some quiz show, there was a question or comment directed at them regarding Futenma. (It’s times like that when I particularly wish I really understood the Japanese language, even well enough.)
The toughest part is that we Americans don’t get the option of backing out of everything. And so, as a result, we’re portrayed as these bad people rather than people who are helping.
The right wingers here (Tomogami, et al.) paint us as a conquering and occupying force who threw the first punch, no less!
The left wingers here (like Mizuho Fukushima, but she gets votes so more than just her) paint us as an unwelcome force that is getting in the way of Japan living peacefully with its Asian brethren under the philosophies of the great Mao Zedong. Which actually might be a slight improvement over her predecessor, Doi Takako, who heaped praise on North Korean leader KIM Jung Il.
DPJ head Ozawa is one of those Japanese who is trying to squeeze Fat Ass (i.e. America) for every dollar he can like how we created his political mentor Tanaka Kakuei. I am convinced that for him it’s a money transaction to see how much and how well the American power structure will prostitute itself so that the American Pacific Elite can keep its nice arrangements in Japan.
(At least with prostitutes, you can make the argument that these are young people who are being exploited because of horrible economics against them. The American power elite who prostitute themselves here, however, I don’t think have that excuse . . . )
In this whole Futenma thing, I wish America had the credible option to just pull everything. But you know the day that happens is the day that Japan screwed itself. We already gave away our weakness when we protected Japan from the retaliation of Mao in the 1950’s and ’60’s.
The Cold War generals of the time knew that it was only a matter of time before the Third Sino-Japanese War started up in earnest. So we spent a lot of money and manpower to prevent that from happening. Plus let the defeated Japanese paper over their controversial history. So that now, little kids on TV quiz shows don’t quite know what’s right from what’s political indoctrination by the right.
See? America is going to lose this latest Futenma negotiation because there isn’t a fair negotiating table. It’s rather the situation where revisionists, crybabies, sore losers and people who live in Marxist fantasy worlds get to set the terms and conditions. And then we have to try and keep our commitments to the people of good will.
We don’t get the practical choice (even if we have the right on paper) of just pulling everything. And it isn’t simply that it screws up the defense of South Korea or Taiwan, which obviously don’t factor into the DPJ’s politicking, even though they want those countries to be Japan’s subordinates in a new Far East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. It’s the fact that the silent majority in Japan probably did not vote DPJ in order to have Okinawa be a big issue.
I think they were concerned about jobs, pensions, and education for young people . . .