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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

American concessions to Japanese can be a formality

The Okinawans have achieved a sensational breakthrough: the US and Japan are ready to change the agreement on the status of the U.S. military. In making such concessions, the Americans should step forward to the Japanese, whose army is now able to protect U.S. interests abroad. But experts believe that a breakthrough will remain on words: in fact, Washington is not ready to change the extraterritorial status of their military.

The United States and Japan have agreed to amend the agreement on the status of the U.S. armed forces because of the frequent breaches of local legislation by the U.S. military, reported by the Japanese newspaper Kyodo. Recall, the agreement was signed in 1960. The public and local governments of Okinawa have been asked to make changes to it, and in connection with the frequent violations of the Americans request turned into loud demands.

“Sincerely sorry” and prohibition will not help

“In Okinawa strong separatist sentiment towards Japan, and this is compounded by the attitude of the U.S. base – symbol of revelry and debauchery”

On Monday, the Japanese government announced another protest US after the Okinawa police again detained the drunk American military, drove the car. 27-year-old Sergeant Christopher Aaron Platt with the American military base of Kaden was stopped because of suspicious behavior on the road. Tests during the arrest showed that he had consumed alcohol, while the suspect’s guilt categorically denies.

The incident has already commented the Deputy Secretary-General of the Japanese Cabinet coity Jaguda. You installed certain rules, strict discipline, including restrictions on travel (military bases), because they are mandatory. I would like them to be respected. Sincerely sorry,” he said delicately.

It should be noted that Platt arrest for DUI occurred shortly after the command of the United States June 28, completely abolished the previously imposed ban on drinking alcohol his soldiers outside of the bases. This measure, as well as a curfew was introduced from may 27 to all U.S. military and civilian employees of US bases, however, lasted only a month. Similar restrictions on the island were introduced in 2012 after the rape by the us military, local resident, later they were also removed.

The fact that the introduction of certain restrictions for some time – it is the prerogative of the head of the base, said the newspaper VIEW Director of the Centre for strategic conjuncture Ivan Konovalov. “If you completely go dry, it should apply to all 800 bases, which are the US abroad, plus countless in the United States. Then there is the problem with recruitment of new volunteers for service in the U.S. armed forces,” – said the expert. He stressed that the authorities have to find lots of ideas for attracting military service of the United States, including the prospect of obtaining citizenship, etc.

65 thousands of Okinawans against us bases

The indignation of the inhabitants of Okinawa is still warm after one of the most high-profile crimes in recent years, when in may on the island, was arrested a former marine and now a civilian employee of the air force base of Kaden on suspicion in murder 20-year-old local girl, whose body was later found in the woods. The prisoner, as emphasized already confessed to the crime, but from a standstill it is not shifted. To hush up the incident, the Okinawans do not allow. A month later, to protest against the us military out of 65 thousand people. Even before the gathered was made by the Governor of the Prefecture, who apologized to the relatives of the dead girl and stated intention to work towards reducing the American military presence on Okinawa.

Recall on Okinawa is concentrated about 75% of US military facilities in Japan. There are about 25 thousand U.S. servicemen, including a marine division. The current agreement aimed solely at protecting Americans military bases. Japanese prosecutors can bring charges against them for acts committed during the passage of military service.

The agreement in principle to revise the number of persons benefiting from the legal privilege was reached on 4 June at a meeting in Singapore, defense Minister of Japan Nakatani with his American counterpart, Ashton Carter. Then, on 4 June, the island had been arrested 21-year-old employee of the us naval forces. In the state of intoxication she went into the oncoming lane and collided with two cars. Suffered by the locals, one of whom was in serious condition.

On a new arrangement regarding the status of U.S. forces in Japan will be announced on Tuesday, foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, defense Minister gen Nakatani and the United States Ambassador in Tokyo, Caroline Kennedy. However, experts believe that sensational breakthroughs here can be expected.

“Steam output of resentment for separatist sentiment”

The revision of the agreement on status of armed forces of the United States, of course, caused by recent events, the murder of Japanese women and other incidents involving U.S. military, said the newspaper VIEW leading researcher of the research Center Japan Institute for Far Eastern studies Viktor Pavlyatenko. In his opinion, it is necessary to come out a couple of the indignation of the Japanese public”. He noted that for several years ongoing hot debate in connection with the relocation of the U.S. Futenma base in Okinawa. We will remind, experts have called Futenma the most dangerous base in the world for location next to residential buildings. In 2006, Japan and the United States decided to move the base in Henoko by 2022, but it will have to fill up almost 157 hectares of the coastal strip, causing great damage to coral reefs.

Pavlyatenko pointed out that in 2009, when came to power, the Democrats, the party leader and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama advocated to raise the question not just about the relocation, and the withdrawal of the American base outside Japan. “Although Hatoyama himself was removed, the question is not removed, it is now on the agenda, they are exploited, and the opposition forces, and the democratically minded forces in Okinawa, the Okinawa itself, the community here is quite active… the situation when you do not make any action is impossible”, – said the source.

Ivan Konovalov meanwhile added that, in addition to the exhaustion of local residents of Okinawa from the crimes of the U.S. military, there is another reason, forcing the Japanese authorities to act. “In Okinawa strong separatist attitude already to Japan, and this is compounded by the attitude of the American base, which is a symbol of revelry and corruption,” he said.

Pavlyatenko added that some concerns about how Japan will do, there are even Americans. “In the Japanese press have repeatedly expressed considerations can we trust Americans their obligations to protect Japan in case of emergency, especially, collision with China,” said Pavlyatenko.

“Tricky wording to preserve the status quo”

However, the official line of the Japanese authorities remains the same. So agreement is unlikely to be revised drastically, experts believe. “I have serious doubts that U.S. troops, that will change (for example), in case of committing a crime, they will fall under Japanese jurisdiction,” – said Ivan Konovalov. In his opinion, will be followed by another “clever language to maintain the status quo.” Practice shows that in the history of the stay of American troops on foreign soil “they were always extraterritorial,” reminded the expert.

Agree with him and Pavlyatenko: much of the review of the agreement about placing of the American bases are not to be expected. “Some steps will be taken, but this does not affect the fundamentals of the US stay in the Japanese territory,” – said the source. He explained that if you had all the offences committed by the American military in Japan fall under the jurisdiction of the American authorities, then gradually consideration of some minor incidents conveyed to the Japanese side. “They are quite minor, but it is symbolic to say that the Americans and the Japanese follow up the matter,” said Pavlyatenko. So if there are new initiatives, they will be introduced “very broadcast in the spirit of “Japan succeeded, the Americans made concessions,” said the expert.

Dependence and partnership

Require a drastic revision of the Japanese can’t. “Japan is not ready and does not know how to behave in case of emergency external order. Therefore, although there is a great desire, a question to reduce the scale of Sino-American cooperation and especially the host of American bases in Japan, is not put”, – said Pavlyatenko.

Konovalov, meanwhile, pointed to another reason for interest in the negotiations with the Japanese already in the United States – raising the status of the Japan self-defense forces. Now, they have in fact the status of the army, they can participate in peacekeeping operations abroad – that is, to support main ally, the United States, when they need it, said the expert. So for US, this army turns into a powerful ally which will help in the Asia-Pacific region. Treated as a protectorate, that is, “you ask-ask, and we’re not going to change,” several changes”, – concluded Konovalov.

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