Talk:Marine Corps Air Station Futenma
|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma article.|
|WikiProject Japan / Military history / Ryukyu||(Rated B-class, Low-importance)|
|WikiProject United States|
|WikiProject International relations|
Marines or soldiers?
- The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition:
- 1a. A soldier serving on a ship or at a naval installation.
- Cambridge International Dictionary of English:
- marine (SOLDIER)
- noun [C]
- a soldier who works closely with the navy and is trained especially for military operations on land which begin from the sea
- Cambridge Dictionary of American English:
- Marine (SOLDIER)
- noun [C]
- a member of the United States Marine Corps, a part of the US military forces that consists of soldiers who operate on land and sea
- A "soldier" serving on a ship or at a naval installation.
- Encarta® World English Dictionary:
- military of seagoing soldiers: relating to soldiers who serve at sea as well as on land
- military seagoing soldier: a soldier who serves at sea as well as in the air and on land, e.g. a member of the U.S. Marine Corps
- Infoplease Dictionary:
- serving on shipboard, as soldiers.
- Merriam-Webster's Dictionary - 10th Edition:
- one of a class of soldiers serving on shipboard or in close association with a naval force; specifically : a member of the U.S. Marine Corps
- MARINES (from Lat. mare, sea), the technical term for sea-soldiers, i.e. troops appropriated and specially adapted to the requirements of maritime war.
- Webster's Revised Unabridged, 1913 Edition:
- A solider serving on shipboard; a sea soldier; one of a body of troops trained to do duty in the navy. <-- a member of the marine corps -->
marine corps (plural: marine corps; adjective: marine)
- A military organization of soldiers who are trained and equipped to fight on or from ships.
- R. D. Heinl, Soldiers of the Sea (1962)
I think I will call them soldiers. WikiDon 03:50, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
- You may call them "soldiers" (a generic term that is used for military personnel), but they are "Marines" (a specific term to refer to personnel of the United States Marine Corps). —ERcheck @ 00:28, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Bullets and Bayonets
The following extract, taken from the book "Bullets and Bayonets," edited by the Okinawa Prefectural Office of Historiography and published by Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education relates to a land seizure incident in Oroku in 1953, approximately 12 kilometres south of Futenma, and two years before 462,000 square metres of land was requisitioned in Ginowan City to extend Futenma Air Station and Camp Foster:
"On 5 December at 8.15 a.m. the American military bulldozers suddenly arrived. 1,200 residents hurried to the scene, surrounded the bulldozers, and demanded that the bulldozers leave. Then, about one hour later fourteen or fifteen armored vehicles arrived with four or five light machine guns and more than a dozen heavy machine guns with live ammunition. The residents were surrounded by 350 armed soldiers in full battle gear. The somewhat surreal atmosphere at first gave the impression that it was all being done for show, but as the circle tightened and the bayonet points began to touch flesh, many began to fear the day would end in a bloody massacre.
"Irritated at the obstinate resistance tactics of the residents, the U.S. soldiers finally started attacking people with their rifle butts, kicking them with their combat boots, and throwing them into drainage ditches, among other things. Fifty Okinawan policemen showed up to observe the goings on, and their commander is reported to have burst into tears when he witnessed the barbarous behavior of the American soldiers. The resolute position of resistance taken by the residents that day could easily have led to a massacre of 1,200 people, had things gotten out of hand."
This is how many Okinawans, including residents of Ginowan experienced the policy described by the US military in its own version of history as helping "to fulfil the 1952 treaty commitment of the United States to defend Japan."—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk • contribs) 13:22, 19 July 2006.
Information or US military PR?
I wonder why the following inconvenient facts, all of which are a matter of public record, are overlooked in this article:
- Prior to 1945 a thriving agrarian economy existed on land now occupied by Futenma Air Station, (as depicted in the Japanese cabinet office video Life Before the Bases).
- The two runways at Futenma Air Station were built on land seized in 1945 while survivors from these communities were held in displaced persons camps in northern Okinawa. The base was then expanded, along with many others in Okinawa, in 1955. The expansion of bases at this time was met with resistance by landowners' and citizens' groups, who had since returned to their villages to find large tracts of land already expropriated for military facilities.
- This led to confrontations in which the eviction of residents from their land was achieved by US forces using bayonets and bulldozers. Confrontations were widely reported in the press at the time in Ie Island, off the north-west coast of Okinawa and in Isahama, on land which is currently occupied by Camp Foster. (Translations of Okinawa Times articles reporting land seizures are available at the Okinawa Prefectural archive in Shuri. Photographic evidence can also be found in the Okinawa Board of Education Visual History publication entitled “Bulldozers and Bayonets.”) I am currently conducting research into base expansion around the Futenma base itself during 1955, but have yet to find evidence of conflict over land requisition at the base itself. Even so, it seems highly likely that oral histories and written records will reveal such conflicts.
- In 1966 the US Navy produced a 140-page plan for a US Naval Airstrip on reclaimed land in Oura Bay, a project uncannily similar to the current plan to build a new air facility in the bay (further details/copies available on request).
- The decision to 'relocate' (a term which many would rather replace with consolidate) Futenma Air Station was taken in the aftermath of the gang rape of a twelve-year-old schoolgirl by two US Marines and a US Navy seaman in September 1995, which resulted in massive protests on the island, in turn leading to the establishment by US and Japanese governments of a Special Action Committee on Okinawa. This committee was formed with the stated objective of reducing the burden of US bases on the Okinawan population.
- No Okinawan representatives were appointed to the committee.
- In an interim report in April 1996 SACO undertook to close Futenma Air Station within five to seven years. In November of the same year, in its final report, the committee made the relocation of the base conditional on Okinawans accepting the sea-based Henoko facility.
- When US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Okinawa exactly seven years later the issue remained unresolved. After taking an aerial flight over the base Secretary Rumsfeld was widely reported to have commented on the danger the Futenma base posed to the surrounding population of 89,000 in Ginowan City, and the hundreds of thousands of residents living in neighboring towns and cities. (Google Earth views of Futenma and the surrounding cities give something of a flavor of what Secretary Rumsfeld was looking at).
- The following August a CH-53D heavy lift helicopter from the base crashed into the campus of Okinawa International University.
- Public opinion in Okinawa is overwhelmingly against the latest plan, or indeed any transfer of the functions of Futenma Air Station in the islands.
- Two polls, in April and May this year (2006) conducted by the Asahi Shinbun newspaper indicated that 71 and 69 percent of the Okinawan population respectively oppose the most recent plan to build two V-shaped runways in Oura Bay off the coast at Camp Schwab.
- The base has been opposed by a sit in and occupation of drilling platforms by local people, along with citizens from other parts of Japan who have come to Okinawa to attempt to save the reef and surrounding seagrass beds which are home to the dugong, an endangered marine mammal protected under both Japanese and American law.
At the very least, an accurate account of the history of Futenma Air Station should contain all the above salient facts, plus:
- Publicly available aerial images of the Futenma Base.
- A critical analysis of the function of the base with regard to UN operations: specifically, at what point did the promotion of its ‘key’ role within the organization enter the rhetoric of the US military and why?
- A discussion of military strategic criticisms of the continued presence of the Futenma base along the lines that maintaining a large number of helicopters within range of North Korean and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles, when the same aging aircraft cannot even reach Taiwan without refuelling would seem to make little strategic sense.
- A consideration of the connection between Japanese financing of the US military presence in the country and decisions to relocate facilities outside Japan. (Including the $6bn payment agreed this year between US and Japanese governments to pay for the removal of Marine Corps administrative units to Guam.)
In addition, I would also expect obvious falsehoods to be corrected.
- Even the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes (March 7, 2006) cited the 35,000 figure as the number who attended the Ginowan City rally on March 5, 2006. On what grounds does our correspondent subtract almost 30,000 from this figure?
Wikipedia etiquette guidelines recommend that editing should not simply be reverted.
Unfortunately that has already been the case with this site, which is so obviously the creation of a US military associated organization.
My humble request is that the author(s) at least modify the site to include the information outlined above, or engage with it.
Attempts to change the highly selective information currently available (along the above lines) were greeted with accusations of bias.
Provided all the above points are addressed by our current editor(s), I’d be happy to withdraw my complaints.
Until then, I will continue to view the account contained on this site as a vehicle for US military public relations, rather than as a contribution to promoting a public understanding of the history of the Futenma base.
- Peter - I am glad you engaged on the talk page. Much of this article is just cut and paste facts but at the same time much of what was added last night was blatantly point of view. I am willing to work with you on every point listed above to come to create an article that reflects both sides of the issues involving Futenma, its closing and relocation. It may take awhile and I am sure we will disagree many times but I think the end produc will be a quality article that addresses all sides of the issue. Just know it will not happen over time and may take a month or two but we can make this happen along with other concerned editors of course. That is the beauty of wikipedia. Interested to hear your thoughts. --Looper5920 12:23, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
- Looper - Well, since you know who and where I am, can you at least let me know who and where you are, and what axe you might have to grind in this matter. That would make references etc a lot easier to talk about. Also, please feel free to e-mail me. As far as I'm concerned, falsehood and the omission of important factual information does the greatest disservice to the dissemination of knowledge in the public interest. I was at the rally in Ginowan which you claim was attended by an "embarrassing 6,000." Please let me know the provenance of this figure with immediate effect, or withdraw it from the site without delay. Also, please read through my earlier comments and address each one in turn, or else allow me to edit the page and accommodate your specific concerns when it comes to falsehoods and bias. (In other words specify where you think anything I have added so far has been misleading). Perhaps you could start by addressing specific examples of bias in my editing of your efforts, the partiality of which I think I have already illustrated at length. This is not a question of negotiation: it is a question of truth and justice. By the way, assuming you would like to retain the content of the site largely as it is, I’d like to suggest you talk to the Okinawan press. I’m sure I could introduce you to a reporter who would ensure your point of view with regard to the ideological bias of the Okinawan press would be reported, as well as any comments you might like to make on the ideological purity of your Wikipedia contributions. To conclude, I’d like to reach an accommodation along the lines I’ve already outlined, but most of my research is local-based and dependent on local research and documented fact. With this in mind, unfortunately, I can’t really envision us working together until you lose some of your faith in cutting and pasting things from the internet, passing them off as truth, and then deleting alternative views on grounds of ‘bias.’—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs) 14:20, 18 July 2006.
- First, I will not let you know who I am other than to say that I am an active contributor to Wikipedia and MCAS Futenma is on my watchlist. You put your info out there and that is your right, one I chose not to do. Secondly, why are you coming out swinging at me as if I did something to offend you and then say you cannot work with me unless it follows the outline you have laid out? It does not work that way around here and I am surprised that you as an academic would draw a line in the sand vice taking the time to discuss. If you look at the history of this page you will see that I have not contributed much of the information that is here so please assume good faith before you accuse me of a bias I do not have. You can add all of the sourced material you want to this page as long as you adhere to the WP:NPOV and WP:NOR policies. By that I mean when you add lines like "seizing large tracts of land with bulldozers and bayonets in April 1955" or "The biological diversity of Henoko has been compared to that of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, "with nothing to cite for a resources then you are not adhering to the policy and the information should be removed. A brochure from a group that wants the airbase removed is probably not the best source either according the the Wikipedia:Reliable sources policy. Please remember that Wikipedia is not a soapbox and that which you add needs to be cited. Finally, I have no problem with much of what you added but there were a few statements that need to be sourced if they are to be included here. Cheers --Looper5920 22:00, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
- Hello Looper - Thanks for deleting the most obviously false "cut and paste fact" relating to the March demonstration: getting rid of obvious lies represents some progress. By the way, could you let me know why you didn't delete this unsourced reference before I brought it to your attention? With good reason I've decided to classify my own facts as a matter of public record. Please let me know which ones you think are not. I would also like to advise you to examine other aspects of the objectivity you claim for the information that remains. I hope the extract I've added above will give you some idea of what I mean. Also the adjective 'key' is at least as ideologically loaded as the word 'dangerous', which has even been attributed to Rumsfeld in connection with the base. I haven't taken any information from "a brochure from a group that wants the airbase removed," yet there is plenty of information on the Wikipedia site you like to lord over that comes straight from a group that wants the base to stay in Okinawa (i.e. the US military). With all due respect to those who have contributed material to this site so far, I think it is safe to say they are for the most part either dupes or agents of US military propaganda. Since you let an obvious unattributed falsehood regarding numbers attending the March rally stay where it was and chose to expunge even my references to the helicopter crash into Okinawa International University - the biggest news to come out of Futenma in recent decades - I think it's safe to assume that you must fall into one of these categories. I also have a bit of a stones and glass houses problem with your recommendation that I adhere to WP:NPOV and WP:NOR policies. I'm already doing so, but in your case the commitment seems to be flexible, especially since on Sunday you did precisely what Wikipedia recommends against by reverting to your preferred text instead of attempting to incorporate even the helicopter crash into the edited text. As it stands, I consider the page fair and balanced by Fox news standards - something of an improvement over Sunday's version. If that's the level of objectivity you'd like to police, I'd like to stay over here.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs) 13:22, 19 July 2006.
- OK bright one. I have tried the nice and level approach with you so now I will spell it out. I have over 2000 pages on my watchlist and I am always adding new information so the fact that this one page is incomplete is not my fault. Instead of bitching and crying and accusing me of being biased you should have made the changes yourself. The funny part is that you actually did it. You removed all of the fluff and propaganda and added facts to the article. Was that so hard? As for you staying in Okinawa....go ahead. I was just there a few weeks ago. It is a very nice place to live. --Looper5920 10:13, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
No personal attacks
Please follow Wikipedia policy on No Personal Attacks. Prof. Simpson, your statement to Looper5920 above (bold emphasis mine) — "I think it is safe to say they are for the most part either dupes or agents of US military propaganda .... I think it's safe to assume that you must fall into one of these categories" — fall under Wikipedia's rules against incivility and could be construed as a personal attack. You have made your point of view clear — in your comments on this talk page, in your edits to the article, and from your inclusion of the FHAN site with which you are associated. It is inappropriate to attack editors who do not readily support your point of view. — ERcheck (talk) 03:29, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
No Offense Intended
Please just call me Peter, and sorry I neglected to sign my last message, even though I don't regret a word of its contents. In my view Looper-san is being a bit oversensitive. Why can't he just deny my allegation, rather than appealling to a higher authority? If someone said I was an agent or a dupe of, this or that organisation, what's to stop me simply admitting or denying it? You correctly associate me with FHAN because I let you know who I am. I deny being a dupe of FHAN and I admit being an agent of FHAN. Simple as that! Why can't Looper just come up with an honest answer to a similar question? If you let your contributors remain in the shadows you'll end up with pages written by - or on behalf of - people who are there already. Next, on the subject of politeness, isn't it uncivil to delete facts from a website and exchange them for falsehoods? I consider the site as I encountered it on Sunday, containing the ridiculous lie that "An anti-relocation 'prefectural peoples rally' in March was an embarrassing failure for the sponsors when only 6,000 attendees showed up, instead of the 35,000 claimed" an insult not just to myself, but to all the 35,000 people who attended the rally. I make no secret of the fact that I was one of them. As a teacher, I consider the repetition of falsehood an insult to my profession. If you want Wikipedia to look like Fox News, go ahead and let anonymous US military people or their agents write your history pages. Today I've made minimal changes to the site which I hope will survive. The helicopter crash and dugong issues are really crucial, and it's a travesty to exclude them. I'm also waiting for permission to add an aerial photo of the base, which I think is long overdue, and much more appropriate than a military logo. If none of these changes are deleted my faith in Wikipedia might be somewhat restored: after all, these are the most salient details people should be able to access.
--126.96.36.199 10:52, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Peter Simpson
- Peter, clearly you do not understand the idea of Wikipedia as a self governing institution. It runs as an almost true free market of information, one that regulates itself. There are many people who have much to contribute and should be allowed to do so regardless of whether or not they give their name. A few initials after someone's name does not make their views or opinions more correct. You probably are who you are but what is to stop me from saying that I am a professor of Asian studies from Swathmore College and I believe.... It doesn't work that way. I hate to break this to you but there are many educated people in the world that are not college educated and many of them have what is decidely lacking in the halls of academia....common sense(aka street smarts). The other point that you are failing to recognize is that just because someone does not agree with you whole-heartedly does not make them wrong. I see that you edited your first changes and added salient, non-biased points to the article. It is not that anyone wanted to cover up the rape or the crash it is just that no one got around to it. Eventually someone will, as you proved by adding the materiel. Was that so hard? Why go straight for the conspiracy theory? I explained why I reverted your initial edits. They were woefully biased. You are complaining about Wikipedia and your lack of faith in it while at the same time your actions prove that the system works. If you can find a PD photo of the base that would be great. It would look great with the article. Why not throw a picture of the "Ginowan Dream" up there as well. As for your last point the most salient points should be what the base is, units that are on it, its history and then controversy surrounding it. No article on this encyclopedia starts out with the controversies first. People need to know what it is first.--Looper5920 23:53, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
- I'll pipe in. I think Peter will be a great editor - it seems like he has a lot to contribute. These are his first edits, and he just needs some time to discover what this project is or isn't. When I first signed on, I got into a pissing contest with an administrator over an article I had created (the record is still on my talk page), and I was mad at the time - I realize now he was right. I think the information he has for the article is good; it just needs to be presented NPOV and be verifiable, 2 of the cornerstones of wikipedia.--Nobunaga24 00:09, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Maintaining NPOV, accuracy, and verifiability
The following statements in the current version of the article should be addressed:
- The mentioned rape of a 12-year old. (It actually took place in 1995, the way the article is worded, it implies it was in 1997.)
- Was the rape directly related to MCAS Futenma? Did it take place in Ginowan City? Were the U.S. servicemen based on Futenma?
- I did not find this information readily available, but one source said it took place in northern Okinawa. If this is the case, then protests were not specifically about Futenma, but about U.S. bases in general.
- Was the Futenma base relocation the only base relocation discussed? Was it a direct result of the particular incident, or the result of ongoing dicussions?
- I removed this statement — Following the 1995 rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen, there were wide spread protests against the U.S. presence in Okinawa. — until a direct relationship to Futenma can be established. While it is fact, unless there is a direct relationship, it is more appropriate for an article on Okinawa.
- 1997 referendum. Needs a reliable reference.
- CH-53D crash: Were there any casualties? The entry leaves this an open question, rather than clearly stating that there were no on-the-ground injuries. What happened to the crew?
- Public opinion poll (70%). Needs a reliable reference.
Questioning NPOV Accuracy and Verifiability
Unfortunately I find myself in disagreement with my one - albeit lukewarm - sympathiser who seems to think I just need to get to know the ropes. I've just deleted a ludicrous unsourced paragraph alleging that current Governor Inamine and his party boycotted a rally in 1995, long before he had any direct involvement in Okinawan politics, let alone became governor.
I find this as absurd as the 6,000 figure planted earlier as the attendance at the March rally, which was resurrected after I replaced it with facts that are on public record and could have been reliably checked in a couple of seconds.
Even so I have Wikipedia to thank though for encouraging me in my efforts to continue to challenge the US military account which still takes pride of place on the site and almost everywhere else.
No doubt loads of made-up information will appear on this site over the next weeks and months, while anyone who seeks to challenge it will be accused of an ideological bias apparently absent among those who swear by a Wikipedia objectivity that highlights military PR and buries dissent.
I leave the site slightly less contaminated by military propaganda than I found it, though I'm certain this minor achievement will be reversed over the next hours and days as a result of the double standards exercised when it comes to documenting sources by those who have an interest in burying the truth and supporting the US military PR machine.
Alright, I don't know who was responsible for this unneeded spam, but it's gone. I've replaced it with a more proper name. - RaptorR3d, 12:33 9 July 2007
Posted July 25, 2006.
- —unsigned comment was added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs) 16:43, 24 July 2006 UTC.
- —unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk • contribs) 16:50, 24 July 2006 UTC.
- —unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk • contribs) 17:55, 24 July 2006 UTC.
I'm a little bewildered why this page continues to carry the "embarrassingly small crowd of 35,000" allegation. After I read the discussion, I googled the rally and found references to Kyodo News and NHK stating that the attendance was 35,000. Until the guy who claims 5,000 can prove or even document his count, I think his assertion should be kept off the page and this page should be locked up. Here are the links to the articles claiming 30,000+ http://stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=34651&archive=true http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0XPQ/is_2006_March_6/ai_n16091414 http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200603/06/eng20060306_248205.html
18.104.22.168 02:23, 18 February 2007 (UTC)peter lee
Umm, just to be clear; I was referring to the section that was called "Nooo!!!" not the entire article. I apologize if I offended anyone. - RaptorR3d 05:32, 9 July 2007
Futenma in 1944
US reconnnaisance photos from late 1944 clearly show that there was no military base where Futenma now stands. These can be found in the Ginowan City historical photo album. Perhaps there is some confusion with Kadena Air Base, which did exist as a Japanese air base prior to the US invasion. This fiction has already misinformed discussion of the present relocation/removal in the Guardian newspaper, and should not be restated without any evidence: especially since none exists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stimela (talk • contribs) 14:22, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
- It was built partly on the ruins of the villages of Aragusuku, Ginowan, Kiyuna and Isa, and entirely over the village of Kamiyama and surrounding farmland.
and asserted the base was built on undeveloped farmland. I've removed both unreferenced statements and ask that no statement be added unless supported by a credible, verifiable source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Computermacgyver (talk • contribs) 16:37, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Referenced statements that have been removed
- On 17 May 2010, the anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan, people from Okinawa formed a "human chain" around the whole base with an estimated 17,000 people taking part. This was the fifth time such an action took place..
- The head of the Nago municipal assembly responded that "what the governor has done is unforgivable. Residents who are opposed will surely resort to the use of force, such as blocking roads to stop this from happening."
- This was and remains a controversial decision, since the projected site involved construction on a coral reef and seagrass beds which are the habitat of the dugong, an endangered marine mammal protected under Japanese and U.S. law.
- Over 2,000 citizens responded immediately with a protest in front of the prefectural administration building, with around 1,000 forcing their way into the building to stage a sit-in.
Each of these statements is referenced and removing any of them requires a verifiable source pointing to an error in the current reference. If these can be provided, let's get rid of them. If not, they should stay in the article. Computermacgyver (talk) 09:06, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
- David Allen and Chiyomi Sumida, "Okinawans encircle U.S. base", Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Tuesday, 18 May 2010
- "'Human chain' around Futenma base", The Asahi Shimbun English Online Edition, Monday, 17 May 2010
- "Controversial US airbase in Okinawa gets green light". DW. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- Egelko, Bob (5 August 2004). "Imperiled mammal threatened by plan for Okinawa base, Court in S.F. hears activists advocate applying U.S. law". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 24 July 2006.
- Cite error: The named reference
reuters201327was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- "Okinawa base foes protest governor’s OK of offshore fill work for Futenma replacement". Japan Times. Kyodo. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.