Useless words are dancing around. That’s the uncontrollable impression I’m getting.
Defense Minister Gen. Nakatani held a discussion with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. In the press conference, Nakatani said in regard to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma that its relocation to Henoko in the city of Nago is “confirmed to be the only solution.”
What I want to point out is, who exactly made this statement? The Japanese government used the words “confirmed to be” and is trying hard to convince everyone that this is a thought both the Japanese and U.S. governments share. However, Carter simply said that, “This is an extremely important step for the U.S.-Japan alliance,” and did not use the word “only.” The approximate meaning it conveys is that the U.S. military simply desires a new base which they can use freely, whether it is in Henoko or anywhere else.
“Henoko is the only solution.” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga have both repeated this same phrase. Normally they add to it an epithet of “keeping the preservation of our ability to deter attacks in mind.” The implication they give is that the relocation has to be to Henoko or somewhere within Okinawa, otherwise Marine Corps Aviation will not be able to function. However, this is a theory accepted only by those who have not examined the true behavior of the Marines (how the Marines truly feel/act).
The theory is, the moment the base is moved from Okinawa to the mainland several hundred kilometers away, the Marine Corps will lose their ability to function as a military. We've received only limited amounts of information about this from the U.S. government and those responsible in the high ranks of the U.S. military. It’s because of how laughable the thought is given military technology.
It’s much more favorable for the base to relocate closer to the city of Sasebo in Nagasaki, where amphibious assault ships are based. The Marine Corps are a group made to attack enemy territory; defense isn't their usual duty. Considering how they cannot launch sudden attacks and must prepare before heading off toward the enemy, there is no decisive meaning to stationing them some place within a thousand and several hundred kilometers away.
To begin with, if we really did have “the ability to deter attacks,” we would be controlling the air and the seas with our own air force and navy, not the Marines. And if this is the case, then is it necessary for the Marines to stay here for good? Outside of the U.S., the only place where they have permanent divisions stationed is Okinawa. It’s been 70 years since the end of the war, yet it’s as if the Japanese government has suspended their thoughts on reassessing this current military occupation-like situation. We cannot really be called an independent country.
In truth, the Japanese government also knows that Henoko is not the “only” solution. A few days ago, former Minister of Defense Satoshi Morimoto declared that “militarily speaking, it is a mistake thinking we cannot deter attacks if the Marines are not in Okinawa.” By doing so, he revealed the true reality of our circumstances.
Despite knowing this, the Japanese government continues to repeat that “Henoko is the only solution” in order to instill upon the general public that it truly is the “only” solution. This is an absolutely spiteful form of manipulation. I want them to stop spreading this falsehood already.