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Monday, March 15, 2010

Building Another Base in Okinawa is Intolerable 沖縄に基地を増やすなど論外

Here is the map of Okinawa with U.S. military bases, from the website of Okinawa Prefecture.
Here is a good map of Okinawa in English (source here). Click for a larger view.

I trimmed the area so the currently discussed sites for building a new base are easier to see. At the centre if Katsuren Peninsula. Connecting with the narrow, reclaimed road east of the Peninsula, you see Miyagi Island ("jima" or "shima" means "island" in Japanese), and Ikei Island. South of those you see two more islands, Hamahika Island and Ukibaru Island. At the tip of Katsuren Peninsula is the area known as White Beach, where a US Naval facility is.

One of the plans that is reported that the government is considering is reclaiming between White Beach and Tsuken Island. See Japan Times report on March 16 .

There is another plan (see the maps of the Okinawa Times article on March 16) to reclaim off Katsuren Peninsula, somewhat between Miyagi and Hamahika Islands, to build a base that will be shared by USMC, US military port facility (to relocate from Naha military port facility) and Japan's Air Self Defense Force (to relocate from Naha Airport, currently shared for civilian and military use).

Earlier today there was another report that Prime Minister Hatoyama was considering Tokunoshima Island (belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture), between Okinawa and Kagoshima as a possible "kengai," or out-of-(Okinawa)prefecture plan, but later Hatoyama denied such a plan.

The central government has been coming up with different plans, or at least so the media reports, more often than I brush my teeth (and I brush at least twice a day), and it just disheartens me to think about the feelings of people of Okinawa when they keep hearing these ideas most of which are really about building another base within Okinawa.

The title of the above Japan Times Article is "White Beach base site said credible - Futenma option seen as way to ease Okinawa's overall burden." There cannot possibly be a way to ease Okinawa's overall burden by building another base there. Would you offer someone another bag to carry when that person is carrying 40 bags already and possibly think you would be doing that person a favour?


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