When the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) took office last year, they ended nearly a half century of unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party, and also broke the unwritten rule of Japanese politics: not to question America.
The DPJ instantly started a clash with the US over deals made by the previous government on US military bases. The US, unused to being questioned on its policy in Japan, has flat out refused to negotiate going forward.
But while it is unclear how much the DPJ can really do about the base deals, it is proving increasingly reluctant to accept the “kindness budget,” a euphemism for the annual outlay (currently at about $2 billion) of Japanese government funds to subsidize the US forces in Okinawa.
With US bases eating up a good chunk of Okinawa and the US demanding $6 billion in “relocation costs” from Japan to move 8,000 of those troops to Guam, the DPJ is increasingly seeing these expenses, particularly during the economic crisis, as something they can do without.
Okinawans are irked by the amount of land the bases take up, and the excessive opulence of the bases, which come complete with their own golf courses on the crowded island. The US State Department insists that the bases are not any different than anywhere else in the world, and that even with the Japanese subsidies the US still pays some $3.9 billion a year to keep the forces there.
31 thoughts on “Japanese Govt Weary of Billions Spent Subsidizing US Forces”
The Japanese have made it clear they do not want a US military presence in their nation. The solution to the costs of maintaining military bases in Japan is to give the Japanese what they want and end the US military presence in Japan.
Agreed. Only masochistic America stays where it is not wanted.
If I were the Japanese, I wouldn't pay $2 to keep American forces there. No one is going to invade their country. It's long past time for America to come home and mind its own business.
Couldn't agree more. The alliance has outlasted whatever usefulness it ever had. Time to end it now.
Seems like there is an opportunity for a "win-win-win" by having the U.S. forces leave:
1. residents of Okinawa would be happy
2. Japanese taxpayers save $2B annually
3. U.S. taxpayers save $3.9B annually
The troops aren't protecting anyone. $5.9B a year is a lot of money so the troops can have access to some what is essentially a bunch of private golf courses.
What you say makes sense to everyone but the idiots in Washington. They like having their little empire to play with. It makes them feel important. And they do it on the taxpayers dime too.
The Philippines when the U.S. was there called U.S. military basing in their country "leasing", and expected the U.S. to pay them "rent". When the U.S. balked when the rent was raised, they kicked the U.S. out.
What is going on in Japan is ridiculous. It is an insult to the Japanese people. The arrangement is simply a left over from a world war II occupation. It is time for Japan kick the jokers out, and sue for rent past due.
Note no disaster befell the Philippines when Yankee went home either.
The greatest disaster to befall any nation, is the US military and its CIA/Mossad counterparts setting up shop.
Yah, they need to pack up all 700 bases, but then how would the US absorb millions of angry, suicidal-murderous, drugged up – and unemployed troops.
You have vagrant dual citizens , disloyal to everything American, manipulating every policy, foriegn and domestic. This is WWII Germany, repeated.
I would be happy if the same thing would happen in Germany.
Most of the people here are sick an tired to have the occupiers still in the country whereas the Russians left peacefully in 1990. There are even US nuclear weapons still stored on German soil. Before the election one government party (FDP) promised to get rid of those nuclear weapons. After the party was elected to the government it obviously can't remember that promise.
I think there is a majority among German people wanting Germany out of NATO too.
NATO has lost all credibility and is only a tool in the hands of the USA. America get out of Japan and Germany, you have long over stayed your welcome. concentrate on your own People that are loosing their Homes because the Elite is listening to the Israeli controlled Military.
Who or what are the US Forces protecting in Japan?
Their own economic and geopolitical interests, of course. Would it be anything else?
They are in Afghanistan gaurding their weapons trade, poppy trade, pipeline(pipedream) and Columbia, their Cocaine trade. They would be stationed in Mexico to gaurd the drug flow to the US, but they have the armed and trained the druglords at the School of Americas to do the dirty work for them.
Remember both Bush and Obama have pledged to billions to Mexico's Calderon to 'fight the war on drugs'. As we see, it's been another smashing success!
Send all invaders home. Prosecute the war criminals.
Well, it's not too surprising the US is reluctant to leave. It seems like once the US has a base somewhere, it's often almost impossible to get them to leave. Look at Cuba, they've been asking the US to remove their base for 60 years, and yet they are still there. They don't even have diplomatic relations with the country but that doesn't seem to make a difference. I wish Japan luck, but they're going to have to take a hard line if they really want the US to leave.
The Cubans refuse to cash the "rental" checks US gives Cuba. Is there a greater insult to the US?
hey chris i wouldnt worry about the usa if i were you id worry about getting sick in canada 6 months for a wheelchair great country you live in
If the Canadian health care system is so bad why is there no agitation for change from any of the political parties there?
I’d like to see the bases in Japan and Germany close also. Their main purpose is to provide really nice places to be billeted. Places for skiing iand hiking in Europe and skin diving in Okinawa. Places where the senior officers can golf and their wives can collect objets d’art for the antique shops they will open when they retire.
These bases put a veneer of civilization on what is a primitive, ugly enterprise.. Let all of our foreign outposts be brutal and nasty and disreputable. We would soon have only the bare minimum number of them.
What you describe is really not much different from the European colonial outpost bases of yesteryear. Nice work, if you can get it.
Any of this reported in USA media? Not that I have read! Check this article of interest
If the USA's media did it's job in reporting,we wouldn't be the most hated next to }srael
Who gives a crap how much the americans pay to keep their occupation bases open, in Okinawa, or elsewhere around the globe.
My fervent wish is that they bankrupt themselves, in this matter alone. In a real world setting they would have been destitute already, and left. However, in the funny money world in which we live, americans could be hundreds of trillions in debt, and still swagger around as if they were flush with cash.
Until americans GO HOME, we will all suffer.
Agree with all comments. But the military/industrial complex is so well entrenched and so much money is raked in under the table, i.e. Bush/Cheney and their predecessors, that it doesn't matter what the Japanese government/people want or the American people want. Just look at the money we give Israel every year even after the USS Liberty incident.
I've been on one of those bases in Japan and simply passing through the gates you wouldn't know if you were in the States or in Japan. The feeling was eerie. Still, we have no business staying there or in Europe or in a host of other places and it is long past time to come home. Will the US empire ever do this willingly? The Japanese simply need to man-up and tell Uncle Sam its time to pack and take the next bus out of Dodge.
The Shinto-Fascists hate us because of our golf courses. Given a choice between golf and freedom …
"The US State Department insists that the bases are not any different than anywhere else in the world", Someone has a sense of humor.
antiwar.com linked an article about what needs to close now, and this idea is something all of Congress will agree too. Hint, the USA has two airbases on Okinawa, so closing one is easy.
Wow, the Democratic Party of Japan, it sounds like these politicians are sane, rational, intelligent and have some common sense about them. Do you think it would be possible to talk the Japanese people into swaping our Republican and Democratic politicians for theirs? No, I guess not, the Japanese people aren't half as stupid as we are – with the lone exception of the CEOs of Toyota.
In "other" less sophisticated nations you have pols actually resigning in disgrace no less. Here? Sorry. Lubricant-less "screwing" of the citizenry is the norm.
I love how we use the fact that golf courses on military bases around the world are the norm. OK, no problem then.
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