Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Location: Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture Home of the Marine Aircraft Group 36 Occupies 480 hectares (1,186 acres) Runway: 2,800 meters long, 48 meters wide. Third largest runway on Okinawa island after Kadena Air Base and Naha International Airport Approximately 70 aircraft stationed there in 2010: -- 63 helicopters of various sizes and models -- 12 fixed-wing aircraft, including KC-130s for refueling -- Starting in 2012, choppers replaced by V-22 Ospreys (24) Approximately 3,000 U.S. military personnel (no combat troops) and 200 Japanese employees
Okinawa says NO to FRF relocation Okinawans rejected the plan to construct a new U.S. base in a referendum held in December 1997 in Nago City. In every opinion poll on this issue since then, 70-80 percent of the respondents have expressed opposition to the new U.S. base construction plan. In July 2008, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly also expressed its opposition to the base in a resolution.
Futenma cannot be relocated to HenokoYoshio Shimoji August 15, 2011 Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reaffirmed "that Tokyo and Washington will move forward with the plan to relocate the controversial Futenma base within Okinawa." Futenma was constructed toward the end of WW II with an aim of attacking mainland Japan by B-29s in order to end the war quickly. But the war ended before that plan was actually carried out. Futenma should have been returned at that point; instead, it has continued to be in the firm grip of the U.S. military all these years to this day. Evidently, the U.S. military seized the land in clear violation of Article 46 of the Hague Convention, which states: "Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated." The illegality of Futenma would not disappear even if it were to be moved to Henoko or anywhere else in Okinawa just like dirty money would not become clean how many times it might undergo laundering. Both Kitazawa and Panetta must realize this and search for an alternative solution, that is, to move it outside of Okinawa, most preferably, to the U.S. mainland ( Yoshio Shimoji, born in Miyako Island, Okinawa, M.S. (Georgetown University), taught English and linguistics at the University of the Ryukyus from 1966 until his retirement in 2003.)
Opinion on Okinawa Bases Okinawa referendum (September 1996): 90% want consolidation and reduction of U.S. bases in Okinawa (i.e., no relocation of Futenma inside Okinawa) Asahi opinion survey (May 12, 1997) of the nation and Okinawa: 72% of all Japanese as well as Okinawans wanted a phased reduction of U.S. bases in Okinawa, 59% of Okinawans and 38% of all Japanese wanted Okinawa bases relocated elsewhere in Japan. 57% of Okinawans and 76% of all Japanese wanted the security treaty with the U.S. maintained Yomiuri poll (June 23, 2006): 50% of all Japanese positive about U.S.-Japan agreement to realign U.S. forces in Japan, 38% were negative. On relocating Futenma to another location in Okinawa and redeploying 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, survey found 52% denying such would alleviate Okinawa’s base-hosting burden, with only 36% positive. Results show Okinawans were not the only Japanese with negative views about realignment results. Okinawa Times/Asahi poll (June 2009): 68% of Okinawans oppose relocating Futenma within the prefecture, against only 18% in favor. Opposed said relocating to Henoko would not reduce the overall burden of the U.S. bases in Okinawa and destroy marine environment.
More Opinion on Okinawa BasesAsahi poll released May 14, 2020 70% of Okinawa’s residents opposed PM Hatoyama’s decision to move Futenma helicopter function to another site in the prefecture, with training on Tokunoshima in Kagoshima Prefecture 43% of Okinawa’s residents wanted all bases to be removed from the prefecture
Base economy: Sources of Income1. Host nation support budget includes salaries for 9,000 Japanese employed at U.S. bases (50b yen-$645m)2. Many more Japanese jobs and incomes indirectly linked to U.S. bases such as contractors and vendors3. Rents: Most base land privately owned but leased to the Japanese government (totaling $1 billion in 2009)4. Complex system of subsidies from the central government to communities hosting U.S. bases Since 1997, Nago City (hosts Camp Schwab) has received $145 million for ACCEPTING FRF to Henoko
Okinawa Consolidation, Reduction, Realignment All bases south of Camp Foster and certain areas of Camp Foster to be returned to Japan USMC forces consolidate to remaining bases 8,000 Marines leave Okinawa (plus dependents) Relocated to Guam by 2014 (GOJ pays $6.09 b; U.S. $4.189 b) 10,000 MAGTF capability remains in Okinawa Tangible progress with FRF is precondition for relocation
Futenma Relocation Plan Relocation of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) – KC-130J fixed-wing aircraft – to MCAS Iwakuni MAG-36 (helicopter unit) relocates to Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) at Henoko Saki FRF are V-shaped dual runways, 1,600m in length with 100m overruns Long runway operations provided by access to Japanese airfields
The SACO Final Report on Futenma Air Station At the Security Consultative Committee (SCC) held on December 2, 1996, Minister Ikeda, Minister Kyuma, Secretary Perry, and Ambassador Mondale reaffirmed their commitment to the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) Interim Report of April 15, 1996 and the Status Report of September 19, 1996. Based on the SACO Interim Report, both Governments have been working to determine a suitable option for the return of Futenma Air Station and the relocation of its assets to other facilities and areas in Okinawa, while maintaining the airfields critical military functions and capabilities. The Status Report called for the Special Working Group on Futenma to examine three specific alternatives: 1) incorporate the heliport into Kadena Air Base; 2) construct a heliport at Camp Schwab; and 3) develop and construct a sea-based facility (SBF). On December 2, 1996, the SCC approved the SACO recommendation to pursue the SBF option. Compared to the other two options, the SBF is judged to be the best option in terms of enhanced safety and quality of life for the Okinawan people while maintaining operational capabilities of U.S. forces. In addition, the SBF can function as a fixed facility during its use as a military base and can also be removed when no longer necessary. Return Futenma Air Station within the next five to seven years, after adequate replacement facilities are completed and operational.
State of Progress in SACO ReportReturned: Aha Training Area (total) Sobe Communication Site (total) Yomitan Auxiliary Airfield (total) Senaha Communication Station (most)In Process: Northern Training Area (more than half) Gimbaru Training Area (total) Naha Port Camp KuwaeNo Progress: MCAS Futenma
Main actors in negotiations, 1996-7Japanese side American side Prime Minister Hashimoto President Clinton Chief Cabinet Secretary Ambassador to Japan Mondale Kajiyama Pentagon JDA Director General Usui, then Dep. Assist. Sect. Campbell Kyuma FIG (Futenma Implementation Vice Defense Minister Moriya Group) U.S.-Japan working gp. LDP Policy Res. Council Chair USFJ Yamasaki Hashimoto advisor Yukio Dep. Assist. Sec. State Hubbard Okamoto American Embassy, Tokyo Okinawa Governor Ota
Main proposals 1996Japanese side American side Kadena Air Base integration SACO final report-based option, or “floating heliport” or sea-based Kadena Ammunition Depot facility offshore(dropped due to resistance from Debate was over method of USFJ and local communities) construction and location Sea-based facility offshore
Proposals floated 2005Japanese side American side Camp Schwab land-based plan Kadena integration (Lawless, (Moriya) dropped when USAF opposed) DFAA holds out for original Pentagon pushing for second offshore plan (local support) runway Kadena integration plan (JDA) Shoals plan using land reclamation method (local organization’s concept)
Competing proposals in 2005 On the table at this time for both governments to consider were four proposals for the Futenma replacement facility: The original Henoko-offing plan, based on the 1996 SACO agreement, which was scheduled for joint military-civilian use (Runway 2,500 meters long, 730 meters long); A scaled-down Henoko plan, also known as the shoals plan or the reef plan, that would only be a military heliport (Length 1,500 meters, width 500 meters); Camp Schwab land-based plan (Runway within the base 1,300 – 1,500 meters long); Kadena integration plan, under which a heliport for the Marines would be built inside that Air Force base.
SCC agreement October 29, 2005 Both sides will locate the FRF in an "L"-shaped configuration that combines the shoreline areas of Camp Schwab and adjacent water areas of Oura Bay. The runway portion of the facility will cross Henoko-saki, extending from Oura Bay into the water areas along the south shore of Camp Schwab. The lower section of the facility, oriented in a northeast-southwest direction will include a runway and overruns, with a total length of 1800 meters exclusive of seawalls.
United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation May 1, 2006Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF): The United States and Japan will locate the FRF in a configuration that combines the Henoko-saki and adjacent water areas of Oura and Henoko Bays, including two runways aligned in a "V"-shape, each runway having a length of 1,600 meters plus two 100-meter overruns. The length of each runway portion of the facility is 1,800 meters, exclusive of seawalls. This facility ensures agreed operational capabilities while addressing issues of safety, noise, and environmental impacts. In order to locate the FRF, inclusive of agreed support facilities, in the Camp Schwab area, necessary adjustments will be made, such as reconfiguration of Camp Schwab facilities and adjacent water surface areas. Construction of the FRF is targeted for completion by 2014.
U.S.-Japanese Roadmap for Force Realignment Issued on May 1, 2006, the Roadmap is a comprehensive, interconnected package of force posture changes on Okinawa and the Japanese main islands. The major provisions for Okinawa are: --Redeployment of U.S. Marine Corps air units from Futenma Air Station to a replacement facility to be constructed in the less populated area adjacent to Camp Schwab; --Reduction of U.S. force levels on Okinawa by relocating 8,000 Marines and 9,000 dependents to Guam; --Japans provision of $6 billion of the estimated $10 billion cost to relocate to Guam; -- Consolidation of remaining U.S. Marine units in less heavily populated areas in northern Okinawa; and --Return of several U.S. bases south of Kadena Air Base to Okinawa control. The Okinawa realignment initiatives are interconnected. The relocation of 8,000 Marines to Guam, consolidation of Marine forces, and land returns south of Kadena depend on "tangible progress toward completion of the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) and Japans financial contributions to fund development of required facilities and infrastructure on Guam."
Realignment in OkinawaJOINT USE BETWEEN USFJ AND SDF-- Camp Hansen, with GSDF-- Kadena Air Base, with ASDFREVERSIONS OF SIX FACILITIES SOUTH OF KADENA-- Tank farm used by U.S. Army (16 ha)-- Makinomoto Oil Storage Facility (274 ha)-- Naha Port facility (56 ha)-- Camp Lester (Kuwae) (68 ha)-- Camp Foster (Zukeran) (692 ha – partial return)-- MCAS Futenma (481 ha)
Marines under 2006 RoadmapFutenma Air Station: Helicopter unit to be relocated to new facility to be built on a spot on the southern part of Camp Schwab and jutting out into Oura Bay Air refueling aircraft to Iwakuni on Kyushu with emergency airfields also designatedMarines to Guam:8,000 personnel from the III MEF and approx. 9,000 dependants transferred to Guam (from Camp Courtney, Hansen, Foster, Futenma Air Station, and Makinomoto)
Official draft plan for relocating the Futenma Air Station. The Hatoyama government: Proposes modifying the existing Japan-U.S. plan to relocate the Futenma Air Station to reclaimed land on the coast in Nago, Okinawa, to transfer it instead to a pile-supported facility to be built some 500 meters southwest from the coastline with only one 1,800-meter runway. Proposes transferring some of the training of Futenmas helicopter unit to Tokunoshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture. Promotes transferring some of the training held by U.S. forces in Okinawa to Self-Defense Forces bases elsewhere in Japan. Calls for the return of part of Area Hotel Hotel, a water area east of Okinawa Island used for drills, and of the bombing and shooting ranges on Kumejima and Tori islands, located west of the main Okinawa island (5/9/2010).
Excerpt of Japan-U.S. joint statement on Futenma relocation accord (5/27/10) The Ministers confirmed their commitment to implement steadily the realignment initiatives described in the May 1, 2006, SCC Document, “United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation," as supplemented by this SCC Statement. The Ministers reaffirmed that, as provided for in the Guam Agreement of February 17, 2009, the relocation of approximately 8,000 III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) personnel and their approximately 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam is dependent on tangible progress toward the completion of the replacement facility. The relocation to Guam will realize the consolidation and return of most of the facilities south of Kadena. Bearing this in mind, the two sides intend to verify and validate that this Futenma relocation plan appropriately considers factors such as safety, operational requirements, noise impact, environmental concerns, and effects on the local community. Both sides confirmed the intention to locate the replacement facility at the Camp Schwab Henoko-saki area and adjacent waters, with the runway portion(s) of the facility to be 1,800 meters long, inclusive of overruns, exclusive of seawalls. In order to achieve the earliest possible return of MCAS Futenma, the Ministers decided that a study by experts regarding the replacement facilitys location, configuration and construction method would be completed promptly (in any event no later than the end of August and that the verification and validation would be completed by the time of the next SCC.
Futenma “negotiations” 2009-10Japanese side American side PM Hatoyama (President Obama) (Secretary Clinton) Foreign Minister Okada Assistant Secretary of State Defense Minister Kitazawa Campbell Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano (Defense Secretary Gates) (MOFA and MOD officials) Assistant Secretary of Defense Gregson Advisor: Yukio Okamoto Ambassador to Japan Roos Japan Desk U.S. Embassy Staff Naha Consul General
Hatoyama: Marines No Deterrence In a May 4, 2010 meeting with Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima of Okinawa Prefecture, then Prime Minister Hatoyama said that he had no alternative but to give up the idea of moving the Futenma air station out of Okinawa Prefecture. Asked why the facility had to remain in Okinawa, he said that as he "studied the issue more and more," he came to realize that various U.S. armed forces units, including marines, combine to maintain a deterrent. In a 2011 interview, Hatoyama said that when it became clear that he had to accept the Henoko plan, he had to find a "post factum justification." Although he did not believe that U.S. Marines in Okinawa per se directly deter war, he thought the word deterrent in a wide sense could be used as such a justification. Using the Buddhist concept of "hoben" — a way in which Buddha leads people to understand his teachings depending on the degree of their ability to understand — he said that if someone insists that his justification was hoben, he had to admit that it was hoben. In everyday language, hoben is usually taken to mean an expedient excuse.
Okamoto rebuts Hatoyama Commentator Yukio Okamoto, who served as a foreign policy advisor in the Hatoyama administration, criticized previous Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in presenting his views as a speaker recommended by the Liberal Democratic Party at a public hearing of the House of Representatives Budget Committee yesterday. All the more because Okamoto grappled with the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station for many years, he seems to have been unable to hide his chagrin over the setback to the settlement of the issue on account of Hatoyamas irresponsible statements. In the hearing, Okamoto said: "I explained to then Prime Minister Hatoyama the concept of deterrence and made efforts to have him understand it." He then made this candid remark: "The plan to relocate (the Futenma Air Station) to the Henoko district (in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture) was viable at that time, but since (Hatoyama) insisted on moving the base out of the prefecture, it became impossible to implement the plan. The responsibility [for the ongoing stagnation] rests largely with the previous prime minister."
Negotiations, 1995-96, 2006-7: Main conclusions Leadership essential in both cases, particularly at final stage to break impasse Intense efforts by negotiators, matched by persuasive efforts of intermediaries sent to Okinawa Difficult negotiations: at times extremely contentious, divisive and sometimes on verge of collapse For sake of alliance, pulled back from brink before talks completely collapsed Agreements were Pyrrhic victories for implementation of each remained elusive Decision-making process in first and second agreements: marked similarities but some dissimilarities : i.e., role of LDP was negative factor in first, positive factor in second case
Main conclusions (continued) Agreements ambiguous about exact location and modality of FRF, led to lengthy conflict over both during implementation stage Opinion in Okinawa basically a constant and not a variable Okinawa governors proved to be a main obstacle to agreement and then to implementation
Futenma negotiations, 2009-10 Conclusions reached Alliance was “damaged” by the Hatoyama administration’s mishandling of the Futenma issue U.S. never wavered from its basic demand to honor 2006 Roadmap Agreement; Faulted for lacking flexibility Japan misread the U.S., which abides by fundamental principle that government-to-government agreement must be honored Washington-Tokyo trust relationship never established Hatoyama government did not understand and thus ignored Okinawan sensitivities; Proposals never vetted with locals Okinawa lost all confidence in Tokyo; felt betrayed by Hatoyama (5/2010); remains opposed in principle to compromise solution, proactive efforts of Kan government notwithstanding
Conclusions continued: Hatoyama government treated Futenma issue as a search for parking lots for Futenma aircraft Issue of Japan’s national security never seems to have come up Ignored issue of maintaining military capabilities of U.S. forces on Okinawa Politics given priority over alliance or national security Decision-making process was politically motivated and incoherent Kan government reconfirmed bilateral agreement, but has delayed final conclusions on modality for political reasons U.S. remained disengaged from Dec. 2009 to May 2010, although maintained a veto power over silly proposals
Implementation Barrier Implementation always needed a consensus to hold among the three parties: USG, GOJ, and Okinawa Now as in the past agreements, local opposition has made plans impossible to implement. An impasse exists. Consensus on the U.S. side to support plan is unraveling, starting with the Senate and views in Pentagon. GOJ not carrying out intense nemawashi or informal spadework to convince locals to accept compromise Roadmap agreement is a package in which Futenma is inseparable part of an intricate realignment scheme
Senators Levin, McCain and Webb Propose: Placing the realignment of the basing of U.S. military forces in South Korea on hold pending further review, and reevaluate any proposal to increase the number of family members accompanying military personnel. Revising the Marine Corps force realignment implementation plan for Guam to consist of a presence with a permanently-assigned headquarters element bolstered by deployed, rotating combat units, and consideration of off-island training sites Examining the feasibility of moving Marine Corps assets at MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, rather than building an expensive replacement facility at Camp Schwab – while dispersing a part of Air Force assets now at Kadena to Andersen Air Base in Guam and/or other locations in Japan.
Okinawa governor:Senate proposal astarting pointHe conditionedconsideration of such onguarantees that noisepollution around Kadenawould be clearly lowerthan present levels. Herejected Ospreys as“dangerous,” however.
Senators’ Proposal Rejected Kadena option rejected as not feasible due to local opposition Kadena Mayor Hiroshi Toyama: "Both the town and the residents are dead set against the plan. There is no other way than to relocate (Futenma) outside Japan." More than 20,000 residents who live near the Kadena base had just filed a lawsuit demanding suspension of flights early in the morning and at night and compensation for damage. Kadena vetted and rejected by USG/GOJ several times in past
Alliance Critics Some reject conventional view that U.S.-Japan alliance is key to peace and stability in East Asia Deny that the concept of deterrence has anything to do with the presence of a forward-deployed Marine wing Deny that the Marine forces along with other U.S. forces in Japan satisfy U.S. national strategy by visibly demonstrating the U.S. commitment to regional security Deny these forces deter aggression, provide a crisis- response capability should deterrence fail, and avoid the risk of interpreting some withdrawals as a sign of a lessening of the U.S. commitment.
Proposed Removal of Marines to U.S. Critics say Guam and Henoko relocations are too expensive, so bring Marine combat capability back to California; they could always fly back in case of a contingency, keeping places and ships ready in Japan to receive them But opponents of that idea argue that virtual presence (similar to DPJ proposal in 1996) is actual absence; they could not readily respond. How can rotary wing components return?