U.S. Navy sailors banned from drinking in Japan


#1

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#2

Easy solution - get rid of our military bases which are stuck where they don’t belong.


#3

For all the complaints about American bases in the area, I doubt the Japanese government wants them gone.

The reason US forces are in Japan and Korea is to persuade them that the US is serious about its nuclear guarantees to them. Otherwise Japan - with nuclear powers North Korea, the Soviet Union and China next door - would have little choice but to rebuild its military. With nuclear weapons.

Likewise only the US presence prevents South Korea from going nuclear to protect itself against North Korea. If South Korea did go nuclear, again, Japan would have little choice but to follow.

For US, Japanese and Korean national security, preventing a five-way nuclear arms race makes a few bases look like a good deal.


#4

Eh. I’d rather Japan spend their money on a military than the US continue to spend more than everyone else on its military.

We’re there to protect our late stage capitalist interests.

That said, I’d mutiny if they took my rum. What other reason is there to join the Navy?


#5

Then who would defend Japan from Godzilla, Japan? Come on! I’ve seen the documentaries, and the JDF is comically inept at Godzilla defense.


#6

While that’s a great idea in principle, I don’t think that’ll work in practice at the moment. If Japan and South Korea both were to have to build up their defense forces from scratch they’d be at a serious disadvantage against China, Russia and North Korea. It’d be a good idea for them to start, but for the time being the US will need to have a presence there.


#7

Well, Japan doesn’t have nuclear weapons because they don’t want to, not for lack of capability (which is a thorn in the side of the far right). That said, the US are forbidden to have nuclear weapons anywhere within Japan. There was a great scandal a few years ago when it was revealed the US army had stored a few nuclear warheads in a ship or a plane.

Whether they still do now is irrelevant: deterrence only works if your enemy officially knows you have the weapon.

Beside that, the JSDF is actually one of the most advanced army in the world (both in numbers and technology). In other words, Japan could perfectly insure its own defense if its politicians were willing to get rid of the US bases (especially since Japan actually pay for those, and it wouldn’t mean Japan would stop being a US ally).


#8

#9

If that’s the only objection, I’m fine with an eventual hand-off after giving them some time to build up.

I imagine that the South Korean nukes will have all the latest features - Bluetooth, digital media player, Android pay.


#10

Technically, Japan is not a US ally, although the US is Japan’s ally: The Security Treaty of 1960 states that the US will protect Japan in case of attack from a foreign power, but Japan has no reciprocal requirement to protect the US if she is attacked.

Also, the US Navy has nuclear weapons in the hold of its carriers, and there is usually one of those carriers parked in Yokosuka Bay. It’s a common shoulder shrug between the US and Japan: don’t ask don’t tell. And you’re right, Japan could assemble a nuclear weapon in probably a few weeks if required (they likely have the parts sitting around with a set of IKEA instructions).


#11

Alcohol Prohibition hasn’t worked out in the past.


#12

I’m not as concerned about what Japan wants as I am concerned about the U.S. systematically involving itself in every military conflict available. That, of course, is facilitated by our widespread military presence, and our continued attempts to use the military-industrial complex to self-medicate in response to these painful pangs that our economy is going through.

While I can respect the threat of nuclear armament, our continued presence in the backyard of unfriendly countries is reminiscent of the Cuban Missle Crisis (but with reversed roles), or reminiscent of a hypocritical bully who says that you can’t have the same toys as him, because he says so.

Also, nuclear threats don’t seem to be the only reason for our presence in that region, as they don’t explain our continued presence in Germany or Australia (just to name a couple) at all.

I’m sick of our gross military spending being justified because we still consider ourselves the policemen of the world, responsible for keeping everyone else in line. I’m not accusing you of believing that, but what you said seems to me to follow similar lines.


#13

I think they are not required to reciprocate because they literally have no military power to do so. They have a small, marginal defense force, whose only role can be peace keeping:

See especially their postwar constitution, which states the Japan is not allowed to have an offensive military force. They officially renounced war in the 1947 constitutions:


#14


#15

Its really less of a Japan issue and more of an Okinawan issue. The locals hate the bases. They take up the majority of the available land on the island. Incidents with American soldiers doing nasty things with locals gets a lot of attention there.

As Okinawa is one of the few islands in Japan with anything resembling a sub-tropical environment with decent touristy beaches, there is resentment over lack of ability to “resort-ify” the island and bring in more tourists. .


#16

Yet for a defensive force, they still have one of the largest, most advanced deep water navies in the region. But even using their ships to refuel American naval ones brought a shitstorm in the Diet. A lot of people are deeply committed to the “self-defense” angle to their military forces.


#17

Agreed.

or reminiscent of a hypocritical bully who says that you can’t have the same toys as him, because he says so.

Yup. As scary as it is for Iran to have nukes, it’s hardly the US’s place to say “you can’t have them” when the US itself has them. (There’s the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but the US hasn’t exactly been honoring it either.)

Also, nuclear threats don’t seem to be the only reason for our presence in that region, as they don’t explain our continued presence in Germany or Australia

Without the American presence - and it’s ability to use nuclear weapons if necessary to stop the Soviets from invading, West Germany would have acquired its own nuclear weapons. Later it was the continued US presence in Germany that convinced Gorbachov he could allow the fall of the Berlin Wall and the uniting of the two Germanys. The US acted as a guarantor for the Russians against the Germans doing something silly., and still does.

I’m not familiar with a major US presence in Australia.

I’m sick of our gross military spending being justified because we still consider ourselves the policemen of the world, responsible for keeping everyone else in line

The US makes a lousy world police. On the other hand they make an excellent SWAT team whenever they’re called upon, which is often.

The sad fact is, getting involved in local wars - Panama, Grenada, Libya, Syria, Scotland (next year), Sudan, Bosnia etc. - is good for American national security. Those “adventures” are better than any training exercise or weapons test. And they demonstrate to the world that the US can project power.

But it makes China and Russia and Canada want to do the same…


#18

Banning alcohol in a military context is a bit different than a general ban for the civilian population. I know that the US bans its soldiers from having alcohol in Afghanistan, and so far as I know that hasn’t led to any major problems.

(normally I’d agree with you - I think that alcohol prohibition in the US was completely terrible and should have been a warning of how badly the war on drugs would go)

I feel a little weird about the idea that an off duty soldier wouldn’t be allowed to consume alcohol, but I also get that the situation with US forces in Japan is not always great


#19

But they got those awesome maser tanks and giant robots! How could they be defeated?


#20

Including their new “not an aircraft carrier.”