PF – Mar ’16 – Okinawa

There is now a PF – Okinawa folder. I went through the extemp backfiles and the Japan folders to pull articles (a bit over 130) that are broadly related to the topic. There are four themes to the articles: Okinawa specifically, East China Sea territorial disputes between China and Japan, Japan’s military efforts (partly in response to Chinese actions), and U.S. support for Japan. The articles go back through 2010. Note the graphic files in the 2012 folder of the region, and in the 2013 folder of the base shift location – maps help understand the issue.

Start with the 2010 folder. Scan the article titles. Do the same for each subsequent year. This will give you a basis over time to see how the issues come and go. There are some gaps – most 2011 articles were about the tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdown, and there’s a May 2014 – July 2015 gap when this site was down – but there should be enough to give you a recent historical overview of key issues in the region. Besides the question of U.S. military presence there, be aware of Chinese territorial claims on Okinawa, and even an Okinawa independence movement.

Doing an initial skim of the article titles should give you an idea of what you want to return to for a more in-depth examination. Keep in mind that the situation in Okinawa is an evolving one, and it’s your responsibility to know accurately how it has evolved and what the current situation is. Has much changed between 2010 and 2016 on the key issues for closing bases there?

Other things to look for in the Extemp Files : Check the China and Philippines folders. What you’re looking for is Chinese activity in the South China Sea (which threatens shipping lanes to east Asia) – some major actions in the last two weeks in particular – and Philippine concerns for that same area. During the war in Vietnam, we had a major naval base at Subic Bay in the Philippines. It was closed years ago, at their request. Now there’s talk of reopening it, due largely to concerns about Chinese expansionism. Also look for articles in the China folder on their military upgrades. (Our responses, in terms of military hardware and technology, can be found in the US Military folder – I added several relevant articles within the last week.)

Footnote: After North Korea’s nuclear test and missile launch (with a satellite, not a warhead), we sent four F-22 stealth fighters to South Korea, for flybys to remind the North of our capabilities. The news report I listened to on the move said that the planes flew out of Okinawa. (Not everything is about China.)

 

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