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Originally posted by FreeSpeaker
reply to post by Gigantea Rosa
TOKYO—Japan's foreign minister expressed concern about China's growing military muscle—a development he said raised the urgency for Washington and Tokyo to resolve their standoff over where to station U.S. troops in Japan.
"I wouldn't use the word 'threat'—but we certainly will need to watch very carefully the nuclear arsenal and naval capabilities of China," Katsuya Okada said in an interview Thursday with The Wall Street Journal. "And it is because of this that, all the more, the Japan-U.S. alliance would be important."
Like I said, it makes no sense to tell your allies to go home when you have already said the alliance is "all the more" important now because of China's build up.
[edit on 16-5-2010 by FreeSpeaker]
Originally posted by SevenThunders
"The Japanese bases are critical to the US. Our aircraft carriers are increasing vulnerable. Think of Japan as a giant aircraft carrier that can launch attacks all over Asia, probably at China or N. Korea."
Reply by Manta78:
According to this article, Futenma, which is the topic of the OP, is not really necessary:
"Yet the actual strategic value of Futenma is, at best, questionable. The South Koreans are more than capable of dealing with any contingency on the peninsula. And the United States frankly has plenty of firepower by air (Kadena) and sea (Yokosuka) within hailing distance of China. A couple thousand Marines won't make much of a difference (though the leathernecks strenuously disagree). However, in a political environment in which the Pentagon is finding itself making tough choices between funding counterinsurgency wars and old Cold War weapons systems, the "China threat" lobby doesn't want to give an inch. Failure to relocate the Futenma base within Okinawa might be the first step down a slippery slope that could potentially put at risk billions of dollars in Cold War weapons still in the production line. It's hard to justify buying all the fancy toys without a place to play with them."
And of course "politics" are always involved:
"And that's one reason the Obama administration has gone to the mat to pressure Tokyo to adhere to the 2006 agreement. It even dispatched Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the Japanese capital last October in advance of President Obama's own Asian tour. Like an impatient father admonishing an obstreperous teenager, Gates lectured the Japanese "to move on" and abide by the agreement -- to the irritation of both the new government and the public.
The punditocracy has predictably closed ranks behind a bipartisan Washington consensus that the new Japanese government should become as accustomed to its junior status as its predecessor and stop making a fuss. The Obama administration is frustrated with "Hatoyama's amateurish handling of the issue," writes Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt. "What has resulted from Mr.Hatoyama's failure to enunciate a clear strategy or action plan is the biggest political vacuum in over 50 years," adds Victor Cha, former director of Asian affairs at the National Security Council. Neither analyst acknowledges that Tokyo's only "failure" or "amateurish" move was to stand up to Washington. "The dispute could undermine security in East Asia on the 50th anniversary of an alliance that has served the region well," intoned The Economist more bluntly. "Tough as it is for Japan's new government, it needs to do most, though not all, of the caving in."
The Hatoyama government is by no means radical, nor is it anti-American. It isn't preparing to demand that all, or even many, U.S. bases close. It isn't even preparing to close any of the other three dozen (or so) bases on Okinawa. Its modest pushback is confined to Futenma, where it finds itself between the rock of Japanese public opinion and the hard place of Pentagon pressure.
Those who prefer to achieve Washington's objectives with Japan in a more roundabout fashion counsel patience. "If America undercuts the new Japanese government and creates resentment among the Japanese public, then a victory on Futenma could prove Pyrrhic," writes Joseph Nye, the architect of U.S. Asia policy during the Clinton years. Japan hands are urging the United States to wait until the summer, when the DPJ has a shot at picking up enough additional seats in the next parliamentary elections to jettison its coalition partners, if it deems such a move necessary."
[edit on 22-5-2010 by manta78]