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Friday, June 18, 2010

Yoshida Kensei : Re-examining Kyodo News Reports 吉田健正:米発共同記事を検証する

最近のワシントン発共同記事への吉田健正さんの反論です。(琉球新報6月8日版に掲載、下記参照)

Journalist Yoshida Kensei, in the June 8 edition of Ryukyu Shimpo, rebuts recent Kyodo News Agency reports (see June 1 Japan Times article and June 3 article on JapanToday.com below) on the U.S. plan to move Marines to Guam.

In the article "Marines' move to Guam from Okinawa may be delayed up to 5 years" (June 1, Japan Times and May 31, Ryukyu Shimpo), the reason for the delay is for the U.S. Government to consider investing "several billion dollars" for the added infrastructure needs. That "infrastructure," according to the Kyodo article, is about "the lack of infrastructure on the island concerning potable water and sewage there. "

"Several billion dollars" can be about a half of the total estimated cost of $10.27 billion, of which Japan is supposed to shoulder $6.09 billion and U.S. $4.18 billion.

February this year, EPA, which evaluated the environmental impact assessment for the build-up as insufficient, announced that $13 million would be allocated for added infrastructure of potable water and sewage, about 10 times of the previous year's $1.33 mil. This is already a massive increase of the budget. Why would there be a need for the U.S. Government to further add "several billion dollars"? Yoshida is doubtful of a plan for such a huge increase in the budget, and whether the reported delay in the Marines' transfer to Guam has valid ground, coming from the anonymous "sources close to the bilateral ties," which Kyodo did not identify.

This Kyodo correspondant Sugita, who wrote the above-mentioned article, wrote in another article (June 3, Kyodo news in JapanToday.com, and June 2, Ryukyu Shimpo, see below), "The Senate Armed Services Committee reduced the outlays by some $320 million or 70% from the government-proposed level under an amendment to the defense authorization bill for fiscal 2011 that the House passed late last month," and "The reason cited by the panel in the document for the cut was that the Okinawa Prefecture governor has not approved a land reclamation plan for coastal waters to build the replacement for the Futenma Marines air station in Ginowan." Sugita concludes that it was made apparent that the U.S. Congress would not pass the budget for Marines' transfer to Guam unless Okinawa governor approves reclamation.

Yoshida finds dubious that the reason for the budget cut was the lack of Okinawa governor's reclamation approval, because the decision came only a few days after the joint Japan-U.S. statement (May28), which identified Henoko as a site for new base construction, but did not specify a construction method yet - whether it is going to be by reclamation or another method.

Yoshida argues that those Kyodo's articles are acting as spokesperson for the some interest groups in Washington, whose intention is to pressure Japan to hasten the process of a Futenma replacement base construction in Henoko. Yoshida suspects that these interest groups send such propaganda through media, to threat Japan into contributing more money to the Guam buildup plan by hinting that the Marines' transfer would be delayed if Japan didn't. Yoshida is critical of the Kyodo reporter who didn't do his job of verifying the information and just published it as he heard from those unidentified sources.

Journalist Yoshida Kensei lives and writes in Naha, Okinawa. See his article in Japan Focus: US Bases, Japan and the Reality of Okinawa as a Military Colony.

PeacePhilosopher
                    
ワシントン発共同通信記事を検証する

吉田健正

「米上院軍事委員会が(中略)海兵隊グアム移転費のうち政府原案の約70%に当たる約3億2千万ドル(約293億円)を削減した」という、杉田雄心・共同通信ワシントン特派員による記事(本紙6月2日)を読んで疑問を抱いた。今年8月末を代替施設の具体的な位置や工法に関する検討期限とする日米共同声明が発表されたばかりだというのに、委員会は予算削減を「代替施設建設に関し県知事の埋め立て許可が得られていない」との理由で予算カットを決めたというのだ。
予算案は、委員会のあと本会議で審議され、両院協議会(下院は、5月末の本会議で、海兵隊のグアム移転費4億5200万ドルを含む2011会計年度の国防権限法案を可決済み)にかけられ、再び上下両院で承認されたあと、拒否権をもつ大統領へ送られる。委員会決議は最終的なものではない。国防権限法案は昨年も削減→再審議→復活の経過をたどった。ところが、記事は「県知事の埋め立て許可(中略)のめどが立たない限り、海兵隊移転費を予算計上しない米議会の姿勢が鮮明になった」という。確かに日米共同声明の盲点を突いているが、一部米側の「脅し」を代弁したとしか思えない書き方だ。委員会は、「アンダーセン空軍基地関連など、三つの建設事業の予算計上は『急ぐ必要がない』」ことを、削減のもう一つの理由に挙げている。
一方、本紙の与那嶺路代ワシントン特派員は、削減の理由の一つを、「米軍普天間飛行場の名護市辺野古移設に関する地元合意がなく、実現が不透明なためだ」としている(6月4日)。もうひとつの理由は、新たに接収される土地に射撃場が建設されることに、グアムの先住民・チャモロ人を中心とする地元が強く反発しているからだ。与那嶺によれば、「現地の反発を踏まえ、委員会は『射撃場ができていないのに、空軍基地内の建設を先に始める必要がない』と、緊急性のない空軍関連の3事業をばっさり削った」という。これだと、まだ納得がいく。他のワシントン電も、「早過ぎた予算計上」を削減理由にしている。ただし、最終的に米国の11年度グアム移転費が7割削減されて在沖海兵隊のグアム移転に支障を来たすかどうかは、まだ不明だ。移転計画の大幅な変更は、すでに基地整備工事を進めている国防総省や軍需産業、島の経済活性化に期待を寄せるグアム政府や経済界の反発も呼ぶだろう。
同じ杉田特派員の「米のグアム移転、最大5年遅れ」という記事(本紙5月31日)も、かなりおかしい。遅れの理由が、米政府がインフラ整備に「最大数十億ドル」をつぎ込む検討をするためだというからだ。
日米が合意した海兵隊移転の施設・インフラ整備費は102億7千万ドル(約1兆円、日本が60億9千万ドルを負担)。「数十億ドル」といえば、そのほぼ半分に相当する巨大な額だ。
米環境保護局(EPA)は、すでに、グアム基地建設のための環境アセスが不備だとして異議を唱えた今年2月、下水処理や飲料水の水源保護などグアムの上下水道インフラ整備に1千3百万ドル(約12億円)を提供すると発表している。昨年の133万ドルのほぼ10倍だ。
記事は一方で、「別の関係筋」の話として、「米政府の財政逼迫に加え、実際の施設建設の遅れやグアム側の強い期限延長要求を踏まえ、『米議会が14年までに十分な資金を手当てするのは難しい』との見通しを示した」と書く。米政府が「財政逼迫」にもかかわらず、海兵隊移転を遅らせてまでグアムの上下水道整備に数十億ドルもの追加を検討するというのは、日本政府に「思いやり」予算の支出増を求めるという意味だろうか。

Senate panel cuts outlays for relocation of Marines from Okinawa
Thursday 03rd June, 01:53 AM JST
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/senate-panel-cuts-outlays-for-relocation-of-marines-from-okinawa

WASHINGTON —
A U.S. Senate committee has cut outlays in a bill for the planned relocation of Marines from Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture to Guam, indicating its pressure on Japan over a Marine air base in the prefecture, a document obtained by Kyodo News showed.

The Senate Armed Services Committee reduced the outlays by some $320 million or 70% from the government-proposed level under an amendment to the defense authorization bill for fiscal 2011 that it passed late last month.

The reason cited by the panel in the document for the cut was that the Okinawa Prefecture governor has not approved a land reclamation plan for coastal waters to build the replacement for the Futenma Marines air station in Ginowan.

Japan and the United States released a joint statement Friday on a fresh agreement on the relocation of the Futenma base, saying the base will be moved to the Henoko area in the prefecture in line with an existing accord struck in 2006.

But Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima has yet to approve any specific land reclamation plan for the planned facility, stating it would be extremely difficult to implement the Japan-U.S. agreement on the Futenma base relocation due to strong opposition from local people.

The panel’s document notes that the action to obtain the governor’s permit ‘‘has been indefinitely delayed’’ and the panel effectively urged the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain such a permit as a certification that ‘‘tangible progress’’ has been made on the issue in order to bring back the cut on outlays for the planned relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

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Japan Times

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Marine move to Guam facing five-year delay
WASHINGTON (Kyodo) Japan and the United States are considering postponing the transfer of about 8,000 marines from Okinawa to Guam by three to five years from the originally scheduled 2014, sources close to Japanese-U.S. ties said Monday.

The Pacific island's infrastructure isn't capable of handling such a huge influx of people, and the U.S. government is planning to compile a construction plan in July worth several billion dollars, according to the sources and a U.S. official.

Japan and the U.S. have agreed that the transfer of the marines and their family members to the U.S. territory is "dependent on tangible progress" on relocating the Futenma air station to another site in Okinawa Prefecture.

A significant delay in the transfer would affect the replacement facility's location, configuration and construction method, which the two countries said in their latest accord released Friday would be worked out by the end of August.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pointed out in February that Guam's infrastructure wouldn't be able to keep up with the rapid population increase caused by the marine transfer, an EPA official said.

The EPA and the Defense Department recently agreed in principle on concrete measures to address the lack of infrastructure concerning potable water and sewage.

The measures include curtailing the influx of people from outside the island, one of the sources said.

While the infrastructure plan is to be compiled on the premise that Guam's needs should be addressed by 2014, another source said it would be difficult for the U.S. Congress to earmark enough funds by then.

共同通信 6月2日

沖縄の米海兵隊移転費70%削減 普天間で地元同意要求
http://www.47news.jp/CN/201006/CN2010060201000612.html 
 【ワシントン共同】米上院軍事委員会が先月末に可決した2011会計年度(10年10月~11年9月)国防権限法案で、在沖縄米海兵隊グアム移転費のうち政府原案の約70%に当たる約3億2千万ドル(約293億円)を削減したことが1日、分かった。委員会は理由として、米軍普天間飛行場(沖縄県宜野湾市)の代替施設建設に関し県知事の埋め立て許可が得られていないことを挙げた。

 沖縄県側の同意のめどが立たない限り、海兵隊移転費を予算計上しない米議会の姿勢が鮮明になった。予算は秋ごろまで多くの修正機会があり、議会側が日米両政府に沖縄側への働き掛けを促した意味合いが濃厚だ。

 委員会は削減理由を記した文書で、移転費4億5200万ドルのうち、グアムのアンダーソン空軍基地関連など三つの建設事業の予算計上は「急ぐ必要がない」との見解を示した。

 普天間移設に関しては、同県名護市辺野古のキャンプ・シュワブ沿岸部の埋め立てを念頭に、知事の許可獲得が「際限なく遅れている」と明記。予算復活には「目に見える進展を国防総省が証明する必要がある」とし、知事の同意獲得を事実上求めた。

******************************************

5月31日 

米のグアム移転、最大5年遅れ 7月に整備計画
http://www.47news.jp/CN/201005/CN2010053101000506.html 

 海兵隊移転で人口急増が見込まれ、建設が進むグアムの集合住宅群=09年12月(共同)
 【ワシントン共同】米政府が在沖縄海兵隊の移転先となる米領グアムのインフラ整備不足を解消するため、7月に最大数十億ドル規模の整備計画をまとめる方針を固めたことが31日、分かった。これを受け、日米両政府は移転完了期限を2014年から3~5年延長する方向で本格的な検討に入った。米政府当局者や日米関係筋が明らかにした。

 海兵隊約8千人のグアム移転は米軍普天間飛行場(沖縄県宜野湾市)移設と不可分と日米合意で規定される。移転完了の大きな遅れは、日米両政府が8月までに位置や工法を詰める普天間移設の代替施設計画にも影響しそうだ。

 米環境保護局(EPA)の担当責任者によると、EPAは2月に急激な人口増加にインフラが追いつかないと指摘。深刻な上下水道の整備不足などに対し、国防総省とEPAが最近になり具体的な対策でほぼ合意した。関係筋によると、流入人口の抑制も含まれる。財源などを詰めた上で7月に整備計画をまとめる。

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:37 am

    Thank you for this crucial post.

    The Kyodo reporter is mistaken regarding its assumptions about U.S. congressional approval of financing the Guam build-up.

    He conveys that all members of congress are the same and beholden to whatever interests (i.e. Marines, various corporations that would financially benefit) that want to build a base at Henoko. But many members of congress have no idea that the U.S. military occupies Okinawa to the extent that it does, much less approve of this occupation. The same holds true for the Guam build-up.

    If Americans knew the costs of this build-up which most Guam residents oppose, then there would be more outcry in D.C. The U.S. cannot afford this build-up (on top of the exorbitant costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). And Japan cannot afford to subsidize unwanted U.S. military expansion and costs of unnecessary occupation in Okinawa for the purpose of training Marines to fight elsewhere.

    Futenma needs to be closed, and the Marines need to return to the U.S. where they are wanted for their training for wars in Central Asia--until the U.S. runs out of money or listens to the majority of Americans who want the wars (and U.S. global military expansion) to end.

    ReplyDelete