Tokyo drift: Japan asked the U.S. to cancel the exercises in Okinawa

© AP Photo / Matthias SchraderПарашютно-landing exercises of the United StatesTokyo drift: Japan asked the U.S. to cancel the exercises in Okinawa© AP Photo / Matthias SchraderВладимир Ardev, a columnist for RIA Novosti

The Minister of defense of Japan Tomomi Inada demanded that the United States canceled the airborne exercise near the island of Okinawa, the planned command stationed in the country of us troops on 31 may and 1 June. According to the Minister, the United States violated the agreement, according to which they should inform the Japanese side about upcoming events at least seven days prior to the meeting. However, the Pentagon was limited by the fact that he had sent notice only to the local civil aviation authority — restrictions to aircraft operations.

«We approached US with the requirement to cancel the exercises and remove notices for aircraft. At the moment we have not received a response from the American side», — quotes the head of the defense Ministry, the Japanese TV channel NHK.

This, at first glance, not such a significant incident Protocol and office properties appears to be a very significant event. Not often that Tokyo is solved as explicit move against Washington, and if this happens, it could mean growing from one year to the voltage due to the presence of American military bases in the country has reached a certain critical point.

Rapists, murderers, robbers

Okinawa is a southern Japanese island. In April-June 1945 he was captured by U.S. troops, after which the island is a us military base is a key strategic site that allows you to control all approaches to Japan.

All these years dissatisfaction with the Japanese, especially the Okinawans, so the massive American military presence is growing. A powerful wave of protests has swept across the country in 1995, when three of a U.S. marine raped a 12-year-old Japanese schoolgirl: about 90 thousand Japanese took to the streets with demands to punish those responsible and to reconsider the legal status of American soldiers in the country. The command then punished the perpetrators and reduced the number stationed on Okinawa servicemen.

However, the crime situation on the island, caused by the presence of thousands of people in American military uniforms, remains far worse than in other regions of the country. According to the police of Okinawa Prefecture from 1972 until 2015, the U.S. military has made almost six thousand crimes, every tenth of which qualifies as serious — murder, rape, burglary, arson.

In February, the district court of Naha city of Okinawa Prefecture ordered the state to pay compensation to the residents of the houses located near the air force base of Kadena. More than 22 thousand Japanese said that the noise produced American military aircraft, depriving them of a normal life, sleeping and causing psychological damage. The court upheld their lawsuit and agreed to pay compensation, the total of which reaches 264 million dollars. However, rejected the claim on the prohibition of flights in the area.

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the return of the Islands under jurisdiction of Japan Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Takeshi Onaga made a statement, which criticized the government of his country for what is the southernmost Prefecture still continues to bear the burden of the American military presence.

«After the transfer of Okinawa continues to suffer from incidents of U.S. military bases, as well as from environmental and other problems. This is the biggest obstacle to our development,» — said the Governor.

Do not cease the protests of residents of the densely populated city of Ginowan Okinawa, seeking the elimination of US military base Futenma — they claim that the flights stationed there convertiplanes MV-22 Osprey pose a constant threat to the local population. In the result, it was decided to move the base in Futenma district Hanako — there, on Okinawa. And the Pentagon and the Japanese government believe that it is «the only possible solution».

Prefectural authorities advocate the termination of the transfer of the database — they claim that its relocation will lead to the destruction of the rocky reefs on the seabed that would be detrimental to the fishery. And require the closure of the base of Futema, according to NHK.

However, the statement Tomomi Inada is a symptom of the fact that the Japanese authorities have to a lesser extent, can ignore those protests, which do not cease on Okinawa. And the situation in Southeast Asia is not conducive to escalate the tension even more. The concentration of us aircraft carrier fleet off the coast of the Korean Peninsula has created a situation where any careless action can lead to even more serious consequences.

In particular, the Japanese foreign Ministry issued a statement which said that the American military bases in the country can become a target for North Korean missiles. It would follow that, therefore, the very fact of their existence becomes a fact that undermines the security of Japan.

«The flights of American military aircraft over the South China sea, frequent in this region, military exercises of different countries in such a situation, the importance of Okinawa as an «unsinkable aircraft carrier» for the U.S. only increases. Therefore, there is no prospect that Washington may in such circumstances to go on some reduction of its military capacity in South-East Asia. It can now only increase,» — says Professor Koshkin.