Monthly archive April, 2010

The PLAN and Okinawa Story

While I’ve been putting together the Futenma posts the big news has been that the People’s Liberation Army Navy made an appearance off Okinawa. 90 miles southwest of Okinawa, to be precise. The Japan Times says it was eight surface combatants (of a total estimated PLAN inventory of 75-77) and two submarines, both of which...

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Thoughts on Futenma, Part Four.

Now, Washington. From the point of view of the United States, Futenma is an unwelcome distraction. America is a busy country right now, with a raft of foreign policy problems to solve. Arms control, Iran, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are weighty issues that require a lot of time and attention....

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Thoughts on Futenma, Part Three.

Now, Tokyo. Okinawan opposition to Futenma has been around for decades, but unfortunately for the Okinawans, so was the Liberal Democratic Party. The LDP was finally ousted, in the Fall of 2009. The LDP was not terribly interested in the Futenma issue, but it did negotiate the 2005 agreement where Futenma’s air assets would be relocated...

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Thoughts on Futenma, Part Two.

Let’s start with the Okinawans first. First of all, as many have said, the air base really is in the middle of a city. Here’s a look at in Google Maps. [cetsEmbedGmap src=http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=26.270058,127.758508&spn=0.027092,0.037079&t=h&z=15 width=600 height=600 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no] Zoom in and look around. Take a stroll just outside the airbase in Google Street View. What...

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Thoughts on Futenma, Part One.

I’ve been reading up on the Futenma controversy for the last few weeks now. I’d originally thought I would write a FAQ, since this is a learning blog after all. But the more I read, the less attractive that sounded, as the issue is rather complicated. Instead I’d like to offer my perspective on both...

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Who contributes more troops to UN peacekeeping missions than Japan?

A small sampling. Remember, Japan is 84th in contributions to peacekeeping, so there are many more. Albania. Burundi. Cambodia. Cameroon. Chad. China. Croatia. Ecuador. Guinea. Ireland. Mali. Namibia. Paraguay. Romania. Slovakia. South Korea. Tunisia. Zimbabwe. All of those countries contribute more to peacekeeping than Japan. I freely admit to cherry picking the more humiliating ones....

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