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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kyodo News : 2 Congressmen "US Troops Out of Japan" 共同ニュース 米2議員「米軍は日本撤退すべき」

Two congressmen spoke of their opinion that the US troops should withdraw from Japan, from different perspectives. It is good to know that Ron Paul has that imagination of foreign troops in the backyard of US citizens.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/2-congressmen-call-for-pullout-of-u-s-forces-from-japan

2 congressmen call for pullout of U.S. forces from Japan
Wednesday 16th February, 11:00 AM JST

Ron Paul (photo from Tokyo Shimbun)

Dennis Kucinich

WASHINGTON —
Two veteran U.S. congressmen have called for the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Japan amid the ballooning U.S. budget deficit.

‘‘It’s becoming a financial issue,’’ Ron Paul, a Republican House of Representatives member from Texas, said in a recent interview with Kyodo News, indicating that maintaining U.S. forces in Japan has become a financial burden for Washington.


Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat member from Ohio, said in a separate interview, ‘‘The United States truly cannot afford to construct the new base in Okinawa. Nor can it afford to have a military presence across the globe.’‘

Kucinich and Paul are heavyweights in the House, and both have experience of seeking the presidency. Paul, an advocate of isolationism, is supported by conservatives, while Kucinich is popular as one of the most liberal figures among the Democrats.

Last week, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff unveiled their latest National Military Strategy report pledging to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in northeast Asia for decades.

Some members of Congress say it is important for the United States to keep forces in Japan as China’s military presence is growing in the region while North Korea continues to act provocatively.

The two lawmakers, however, are opposed to continued stationing of U.S. forces in Japan.


‘‘China’s interested in making money, not war,’’ Kucinich said.

Paul argued Tokyo should end its dependence on U.S. forces for its defense, saying, ‘‘It’s time for Japan to assume all of their own responsibilities.’‘

He also dismissed the view that U.S. forces in Japan serve as deterrence, saying this is an ‘‘excuse’’ to maintain a U.S. military presence in the region.

‘‘For a long time I was probably the only one’’ who proposed such a view, he said, adding, ‘‘Now we’re getting more support.’‘

Kucinich is also critical of the current U.S. military strategy. ‘‘We don’t have the money to be the policemen of the world. And we should stop pretending that we do,’’ he said.

Describing the U.S. military bases in Japan as ‘‘really part of a bygone era,’’ Kucinich urged the two countries to move away from a relationship prioritizing military cooperation.


‘‘We have a strong friendship with Japan. That friendship is not dependent on a military presence,’’ he said.

Both Paul and Kucinich said they can understand the feeling of local people in Okinawa Prefecture where a host of U.S. bases are located. Local opposition remains strong against a plan to relocate a U.S. base within the prefecture.

‘‘What if China wanted a base in New York City? We’d be furious,’’ Paul said.

The problem in Okinawa is not U.S. Marine troops but ‘‘the people in Washington that send them there,’’ Kucinich said, adding, ‘‘This is an issue that Congress must take up with the White House so that we can make sure that the concerns of the residents of Okinawa are taken into consideration.’’

以下、東京新聞などに報道された共同通信の記事。
在日米軍は撤収すべき 
 財政赤字でベテラン議員 

 【ワシントン共同】米下院のロン・ポール議員(共和党)とデニス・クシニッチ議員(民主党)は15日までにそれぞれ共同通信との単独会見に応じ、日本駐留を含む米軍の前方展開戦略が「財政上の問題になっている」(ポール氏)と述べ、米財政赤字が最悪規模に膨らむ中、在日米軍は撤収すべきだとの考えを示した。

 孤立主義外交を唱えるポール氏は保守層に人気があり、クシニッチ氏は民主党内で最もリベラル派の一人として支持を集める。いずれも過去に大統領選に挑戦した経験を持つベテラン議員で、在日米軍を維持する「余裕はない」(クシニッチ氏)と共通認識を訴えた。

 米軍は、8日発表した指針「国家軍事戦略」で「北東アジアの戦力を今後数十年間堅持する」と明記。米議会内にも台頭する中国や核問題を抱える北朝鮮を念頭に、在日米軍の重要性を説く声が依然としてある。

 しかし、ポール氏は「日本がすべての責任を自ら負う時だ」とし、平和と安全を確保する上で米軍依存をやめるべきだと主張。在日米軍は抑止力だとする議論は軍事的プレゼンスを維持するための「口実だ」と一蹴した。

 クシニッチ氏も「米国に世界の警察を務める金はない」と強調。在日米軍を「過去の遺物」と呼んだ上で「移転して軍事優先政策から脱却すべきだ」と述べた。中国についてクシニッチ氏は「中国が関心あるのは戦争ではなく、金もうけ」と述べ、軍事力ではなく金融政策を通じて対抗すべきだと語った。

 両氏は外国軍の基地を周辺に抱える住民の感情は理解できるとし、ポール氏は「中国軍がニューヨークに基地を持とうとしたら、われわれは怒り狂うだろう」と指摘。クシニッチ氏は「問題なのは海兵隊員ではなく、彼らを派遣する政治だ」と述べ、沖縄県民の不安や懸念の解消に向けて米政府に働き掛けを続ける考えを示した。


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