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  • 2019.11.11 Monday
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  • by スポンサードリンク


U.S. Troops from Okinawa to Taiwan


 On January 17th, John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote a contributing article in The Wall Street Journal arguing that the U.S. troops could move its troops stationed in Okinawa to Taiwan as a response to protests in Japan and to Chinese “belligerence.” I’m all for his idea. I hope that the U.S. forces deployed in Okinawa will not be partially but rather completely relocated to Taiwan.   


 There have been protests against U.S. forces in Okinawa, by local Okinawans, left-leaning Japanese citizens, and resident-Koreans and Chinese. It’s a fact that the marines frequently commit atrocious crimes such as rape. However, I believe that the majority of the protestors are pro-Chinese and acting in sympathy with China. Unfortunately for them, the move to Taiwan would be pressure to China.   


 On the other hand, most Okinawans are aware of the need of the U.S. forces. Fishermen often have to refrain from going fishing in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands because Chinese vessels encroach on Japanese territory. Many Okinawans are employed at U.S. bases. The landowners can earn rent because the U.S. bases are stationed on their land. And, the local governments can acquire subsidies from the Japanese government because U.S. troops are deployed in Okinawa. In reality, many of them “protest” against U.S. forces as a negotiation tactic to receive more support from the Japanese government.   


 The Japanese government offers Okinawa subsidies (in reality, a slush-fund) of over 300 billion yen (around 3 billion USD). In addition, Japan indirectly contributes to salaries of the Okinawans employed in the U.S. bases even though they are not required to do so in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.   


 If the U.S. forces are completely relocated to Taiwan, Japan can save a lot of money. There would be no more marines in Okinawa who commit crimes. Okinawa residents won’t be bothered by the fighter jets any more. The landowners will get back their land but won’t earn rent. The Okinawan employees at the U.S. bases will be fired. And, the local governments wouldn’t be offered hefty amounts of subsidies any more.   


 On February 3rd, the new Defense Secretary James Mattis met Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo, and confirmed that the Senkaku Islands fall under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Even if U.S. forces completely move to Taiwan, I believe that Japan should shoulder some of the financial burden of deploying U.S. troops in Taiwan. The U.S. forces are required as a deterrent to Chinese aggression not only for the Senkaku Islands but also the peaceful navigation in the South China Sea.   


 Moreover, Japan should split the relocation costs to Taiwan. The move from Okinawa is very beneficial for Japan. As a taxpayer, I hope that the U.S. troops will completely be relocated from Okinawa to Taiwan as soon as possible.   


  • 2019.11.11 Monday
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  • 11:41
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  • by スポンサードリンク


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