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Perception of US Forces' relief efforts

Half-n-Half

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There has been some stress between America and Japan from the military bases and the comment from Kevin Maher regarding Okinawa did not help. However, 友達作戦 (Operation Tomodachi) seems to be getting a lot of positive publicity. It certainly has and will continue to strengthen relations between the US and Japan. Is it possible this could greatly reduce tensions and change public perception over the military bases? Perhaps people may still not like them but will decide to accept them.

In my opinion I think the operation is an amazing humanitarian effort that only has a ton of upside, but I could just be naive.

EDIT:
Here is some of the publicity they have been getting.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xibrrj_cooperation_webcam#from=embed
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhyulk_tomodachi-sakusen_webcam#from=embed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y3sFxcezGbs
 

Rube

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Is it possible this could greatly reduce tensions and change public perception over the military bases? Perhaps people may still not like them but will decide to accept them.

When we use a term like tension I think more about the atmosphere right after a rape, hit-and-run or some other crime a GI commits or perhaps using spent urnaium rounds or a nuclear carrier coming to port and the predicitable flare-up afterwards. In that sense I wasn't aware of any recent tensions.

As far as people just not wanting American troops here I don't think the relieve effort will or even should have any effect on people's opinions. People are against troops because of Japan's pacifist stance and all the help after the quake isn't going to change that at all. Believes can't be bought so cheaply.

If we look at the big picture we can see that Asia has been in the middle of an Arm's race for the past decade with Japan at the forefront with America's help. Jiyū Minshu-tō is to blame for most of it so I'm hoping that we can back away from the arms builtup and calling light air-craft carriers paddle boats.

As far as good press, well propaganda is what it is.
 

Carlson

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Little off topic but brings up a point later on...

Today I spoke with the Director of www.volunteermedics.org

http://www.volunteermedics.org/JAPAN-QUAKE-AND-TSUNAMI-2011.html

I am currently working a 7-10 Permissive TDY (using my own leave and paying out of pocket) to go help in Eastern Japan. Based off of my current qualifications and how I could best be used, I plan to help out as much as possible. Mr. Flint and his people estimate there to still be around 25,000 missing bodies. I will be helping some with recovery, clearing houses and helping aid those in need.

I think most people don't really understand the entire situation and not educated on the subject. I'm sure at least 1 person, whose life I touch will change the way they view the subject.

Most people are just ignorant and unknowing of what really goes on. Either way I'm doing it out of the goodness of my heart.
 

Elizabeth

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As far as people just not wanting American troops here I don't think the relieve effort will or even should have any effect on people's opinions. People are against troops because of Japan's pacifist stance and all the help after the quake isn't going to change that at all. Believes can't be bought so cheaply.
The Japanese government strongly supports the alliance, because it saves Japan money on defense and serves as a powerful deterrent force in the region. Pacificism is an issue that needs to be taken up between the people and their representatives - stop complaining and propose a viable alternative to the current arrangement.

Opposition to the bases is highest on Okinawa because that is where most of them are, but those Marines will also be gone to Guam by 2014. Ongoing relief efforts only make it impossible to continue the stupid squabbling over interim relocation sites from Futenma between now and then.
 

Rube

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Viable alternative? I don't buy into the believe that America is needed at all. Of course Japan is already in deep, thanks a lot to the fact that America has for decades illegally supported their politicians here but there is a future, or at least a possible future where American bases are gone. But I get that you believe in the boogie man, I get that you think I'm complaining because that's what your conditioning has taught you. Since you challenged me to stop complaining, I'll challenge you to start thinking for yourself.

It's fair.

Now Elizabeth, it sounds like you already support American bases here. This thread although might be directed more towards Japanese, I'm a resident and home owner here who considers this my home and I was against American bases here before and after. Relieve effort? Totally awesome!! Does it change my mind? Not in the least. We're talking deep routed believes here. My wife hasn't changed her opinion either, and we've talked about it. We see it as a completely different issue.

Opposition is everywhere by the way. Highest in Okinawa but don't little the real opposition that is all over the country. Not only opposition to American forces but the growing Japanese forces.
 

Glenski

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Little off topic but brings up a point later on...
Today I spoke with the Director of www.volunteermedics.org
http://www.volunteermedics.org/JAPAN-QUAKE-AND-TSUNAMI-2011.html
Most people are just ignorant and unknowing of what really goes on. Either way I'm doing it out of the goodness of my heart.
How about you? Are you aware? One of the internal links on that site is extremely important to foreign volunteers:
3. You may be asked to provide or cover the cost of your travel to the volunteer site.
4. You may be asked to volunteer in a country and work in conditions that may be difficult.
5. Volunteer Medics Worldwide does not provide any type of Medical or Travel insurance to volunteers.
6. Volunteer Medics Worldwide does not assume any responsibility for injuries, death or other problems encountered while in transit or at the volunteer site.

Do not come alone.
Do not come unannounced.
Do not assume your physical presence is needed, or that you will be accepted with open arms.
Half-n-Half said:
There has been some stress between America and Japan from the military bases
Now there's an understatement!
Half-n-Half said:
(Operation Tomodachi) seems to be getting a lot of positive publicity. It certainly has and will continue to strengthen relations between the US and Japan.
Yes, according to some reports via Wikipedia.
Half-n-Half said:
Is it possible this could greatly reduce tensions and change public perception over the military bases? Perhaps people may still not like them but will decide to accept them.
IMO, it might give the U.S. military some good press, and it might give those whom they help a good image, but since this is far from Okinawa, I doubt that things down there will change at all. I have not seen any of the footage you linked, and I have not seen much, if any, news coverage of U.S. involvement (and I live in Japan).
 

Half-n-Half

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Thank you all for your reply. So the general image I am getting so far is that the efforts, while good, should be viewed separately from the bases in Okinawa.

Yes, according to some reports via Wikipedia.

That was actually just my own opinion. Perhaps "certainly" was a bit too strong in that situation.

I'd also be interested to know if anyone has seen any negative publicity surrounding the relief efforts.

Most people are just ignorant and unknowing of what really goes on.

What would you say most people are ignorant or unknowing about?
 

Glenski

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I don't know what Carlson meant by "ignorant", but I can tell you this. It seems that quite a few people on this and other forums are posting questions about coming here "to help". It seems that they figure just showing up with zero Japanese language skills but with eagerness and a backpack is going to be useful. It's not. It's downright dangerous to them and others around them.

No language skills yet thinking they can communicate. Ignorant.
Nobody who knows where they are or how to track them in a disaster-ridden environment prone to aftershocks. Ignorant.
No experience with seeing/helping people who have been severely injured or disfigured in death. Ignorant.
 

Steve Red

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I don't buy into the believe that America is needed at all.
We're talking deep routed believes here.

Yes Rube :) I agree that Japan can defend itself: especially with the existence of radar-utilizing Missiles that automatically stop incoming Missiles.

As long as these Self-Defense-Missiles are limited in reach (meaning physically unable to fly more than 300 kilometers) no one can complain. Put up enough of these around Japan's borders, especially on the West coast, and from that point on Japan can defend itself, "Thank you very much American military for your help up to now, we'll take it from here, please leave now."

But no Rube, (here comes some hurtful honne) I don't believe that a person whose "Mother Tongue is English" (according to their profile) would not know to write belief/beliefs. I don't buy into the believe that those are typos, sorry. This isn't a matter of "typo police", this is a matter of "honesty police". Please edit your profile to reflect the truth about yourself. That would be nice. ;-)

Sorry to have gone off-topic, back to the OP's main point, I think that the military people at the BOTTOM have their hearts in the right place, good people like Carlson for example, and all the other good people who have served in the military assuming that they were doing what was best for their country and for the world. But, the military people at the very TOP (the Department-of-"Defense" heads who plan and name all such operations - like Operation Northwoods, Operation Northern Vigilance, Operation Freedom, etc.) are merely concerned with altering public perceptions with the end-goal of continuing to dominate the world by force and continuing to secretly stash millions and billions away into their offshore private bank accounts.

These Department-of-Offense heads are not concerned in the least with the best interests of Japanese people, nor the best interests of Americans, nor even the best interests of Humanity in general, not at all, they are merely concerned with their OWN personal best interests. I feel so sorry for my friends who have served in the military, or who are currently serving in the military, the vast majority of whom never realize that: to the heads of the Chain-of-Command, they are simply seen as throwaway pawns in the game, grunts, fodder. They thought they were serving their country, when the truth is they were naively serving cold-hearted, murderous, greedy Pentagon Masters. :frown:

IMO, IMO, IMO. ;-)
 

Rube

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But no Rube, (here comes some hurtful honne) I don't believe that a person whose "Mother Tongue is English" (according to their profile) would not know to write belief/beliefs. I don't buy into the believe that those are typos, sorry. This isn't a matter of "typo police", this is a matter of "honesty police". Please edit your profile to reflect the truth about yourself. That would be nice. ;-)

Nobody really cares what you believe or what you think would be nice. I certainly don't.
 

caster51

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The Japanese government strongly supports the alliance, because it saves Japan money on defense and serves as a powerful deterrent force in the region
that is why Kan is called stupid...
it will change near future....becuase of china and Usa's..:p

 
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Carlson

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Sorry I dont have the time to read everything. I just returned from a trip (Soma, Fukushima, Ishomaki, Higashi Matsushima and more) and will go back shortly. I was actually told to look less military when I went for a week. The fact that you see no coverage means nothing... I can tell you the US Air Force has spent 100's of millions helping out and the work I did with a volunteer group may seem small, but at the end of the day I dont care what others think because I touched the hearts of 100's if even in a small way.

What have you done?
 

Carlson

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I don't know what Carlson meant by "ignorant", but I can tell you this. It seems that quite a few people on this and other forums are posting questions about coming here "to help". It seems that they figure just showing up with zero Japanese language skills but with eagerness and a backpack is going to be useful. It's not. It's downright dangerous to them and others around them.

No language skills yet thinking they can communicate. Ignorant.
Nobody who knows where they are or how to track them in a disaster-ridden environment prone to aftershocks. Ignorant.
No experience with seeing/helping people who have been severely injured or disfigured in death. Ignorant.

The man I went up with retired as a high ranking officer in the Military and is currently a GS15. He has been doing this for 20 years all around the world. In fact he was there on day 2 after asked by the president, so he flew from Libya (where he was helping evacuate members across the borders) to Japan. We all (to include non military members) were breifed on the dangers, given quick training, marked vehicles, each vehicle had Japanese translator, supplies checked before we left, radiation monitor, etc etc etc

You don't think I was freaked out when I smelt death and seen it first hand. I visited a grave site 100x10 built just for a small city. The were working on the 6th row after filling 5. I visited a city where the only things left for blocks n blocks was the foundation and pipes sticking out. I visited a city where we searched for bodies, collected personal items, cataloged them and turned them over the the authorities. I went to shelters to help aid the Doc give exams to individuals with no homes and families. Before our departure we took donated clean clothes and 100 kilo of rice plus other food to be given to smaller families in need. tens of thousands of dollars he spent out of his own pocket to buy eye glasses and safety glasses. A man cleaning the debry could get something in his eye and lose his sight causing him to lose his job. I watch countless eldery with no way to see be precscribed glasses and instantly be ablel to read and write again. I worked with children with severe mental problem by just playing ball. I cleaned houses for eldery and helped restore it to a livable condition. I spent half a day helping a farmer clear tons and tons of derby (telephone poles, cars, dead animals, furniture, Stuff I had no idea what it was before) from Green Houses in hopes he could rebuilt again.

Oh btw I was 1 of those crazy people who wanted to toss a backpack together and helpout. My only regret is that I was not able to do this sooner.

Seems small I know, but not to those we helped. The will of the people is there it just took a little coordination.

Again, what have you done?
 
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