The Instigator
HolyShearim
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

The US should withdraw from all of it's non-essential military bases in Japan

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,098 times Debate No: 44871
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

HolyShearim

Pro

Ever since the fall of Japan in 1945, the United States has maintained a large military presence in the Japan- especially in the Ryukyu island chain (Okinawa). However, there are multiple flaws and issues with a standing US force in Okinawa, which I will be outlining in a few points below.

Contention 1: American GIs in Japan continue to cause problems among the local population.

Application 1: On September 4th, 1995, three U.S. servicemen - U.S. Navy Seaman Marcus Gill and U.S. Marines Rodrico Harp and Kendrick Ledet, all from Camp Hansen on Okinawa, kidnapped a young 12 year old Japanese girl, ducktaped her eyes, and gangraped her. Rape in Okinawa still continues to this day: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp...

Application 2: Okinawans oppose US military using civilian ports, instead of the ones designated to them. Another example is the opposition to noise pollution in Kadena Air Base.

Contention 2: US soldiers don't have to go through Japanese courts = Less punishment for their crimes/Easy for soldiers to escape punishment

"The USF differ greatly from ordinary Japanese society. There are some cases, such as leaking official secrets or rape, where a court martial is stricter than Japanese courts; but if a US service member commits other sex crimes or manslaughter due to drunk driving, depending on the status, distinguished service, and wishes of the complainant, in order to protect the honour of the military and the person concerned, or in order to avoid complex legal procedures, it is possible to allow them to voluntarily retire instead of being dishonourably discharged or imprisoned." (Asia Pacific Journal, Rumi Sakamoto)

Contention 3: The JSDF (Japan Self Defense Force) needs to get back on it's feet and not rely on the US to defend Japan. In order for the US to not have to continue 'babysitting Japan', we need to withdraw and help develop/encourage the JSDF to adequately defend Japan by itself.

Finally, I would like to end with a simple fact that it's common sense to let a country deal with it's own affairs- and, the US is in a great position to help Japan do so.
bsh1

Con

I thank Pro for the opportunity to discuss this topic. It's not a topic that I normally would have thought about debating--it's definitely a topic that's got me thinking. I will present my arguments first, and then address Pro's points.

CON's CASE

The argument for maintaining U.S. presence in Japan's military bases is that these bases are becoming more vital as Sino-Japanese tensions increase.

Japan and China have been in an increasingly tense spat over the ownership of the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands. [1] China has even taken the incredibly bold step of encroaching into the islands, which are under Japanese governance, with fishing and military vessels. [2] Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has taken an increasingly aggressive stance on pushing back China's maritime ambitions. [2]

However, Japan has a pacifist constitution [3], meaning that it requires U.S. military presence if it is to ensure its territorial integrity. Japan fears that the U.S. might shy away from entangling itself in a conflict with China [4], and therefore, the U.S. needs to show solidarity with its key ally. "Okinawa remains one of the largest US air and marine bases anywhere, one of the 'three pillars' of its global defense posture. Also, it is very close to Senkaku, which is why these islands are a focal point for security. For all these reasons, the U.S. and Japan cannot just stand by as China becomes more aggressive. Unless China backs off, the US will at some point be obliged to intervene or force Japan to act on its own. But at what point, in what way? The situation is truly perilous. This is not just Japan and China fighting over some rocks in unknown waters; it is the heart of the U.S. military alliance system. If the U.S. does not act robustly enough in defense of Japan, then its commitments anywhere will be called into question. Its credibility as an ally will be fundamentally undermined." [4]

Okinawa (Kadena Airbase) also allows the U.S. to deploy forces nearly anywhere in East and Southeast Asia [5], and therefore it's crucial to keep up this platform as a means to support allies in the region.

As this evidence analysis goes to show, maintaining key strategic partnerships is not only beneficial for the U.S., but also for Japan, from a security perspective.

Consequently, I submit that we need to sustain U.S. military presence in Japan, including so-called "non-essential" installations. While these bases are non-essential know, they will be in the future. Therefore, it would be shortsighted and foolhardy to leave and/or dismantle these bases.

REBUTTALS

C1: U.S. GI's

AP1: This is a single example of extreme misconduct. In fact, this has been the ONLY rape to occur at the base, as far as I can ascertain. [6] Pro's source here does not even mention rape; it's about a helicopter crash. One rape is not enough to outweigh the strategic interests that the U.S. has in the region and the security implications for Japan. Moreover, Pro notes that the U.S. military courts are harsher in penalizing GI's for rape than the Japanese courts are.

AP2: Again, noise pollution is hardly a sufficient objection to warrant this kind of drastic action.

C2: Courts

Pro fails to point out how many "voluntary retirements" are occurring, or how many GI's are committing crimes. Without this information, Pro's arguments are impossible to weigh, and Pro's impacts are nebulous at best. Moreover, Pro's impacts are diminished by the fact that military courts are very strict on rape cases, and by the fact that the option for voluntary retirement is dependent on status, service record, wishes of the complainant, etc. Therefore, it seems unlikely that if a victim wanted to press charges that "voluntary retirement" would be on the table.

Finally, with serious crimes, GI's can be prosecuted in Japanese courts. [7]

C3: Defense

Unfortunately, the JSDF is woefully unprepared to take on its defense responsibilities yet. U.S. forces leaving at this juncture, or even in the foreseeable future, would leave Japan exposed to Chinese aggression. Furthermore, Japan's constitution is inherently pacifist, meaning that it would be unable to engage in sometimes necessary preemptive measures. It needs the U.S. presence, for these reasons.

It may be commonsense to let Japan govern itself, but it is also common sense to not let allies fall prey to potential enemies.

FINAL NOTE

Pro's C1 and C2 are both fixable issues. Steps could be implemented in the status quo to reduce noise pollution and to increase judicial accountability of GI's without having to withdraw from the bases. A more strict censure policy, for example, could ameliorate some of these issues; the U.S. could compel military prosecutors to cooperate more with local authorities, and negotiate a means of increasing penalties for GI's who break local laws. Whatever solution is undertaken, however, these problems Pro outlines are remediable.

In other words, I can eliminate or reduce these problems in my world, while still having the bases in Japan. This takes care of Pro's objections, while reaping the benefits that the basis provide. This is a clear reason to vote Con today.

Additionally, it shows that Pro's C1 and C2 are non-unique points that do not clash with my case. Thus, I rest.

SOURCES

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
3 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
4 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
5 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
6 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
7 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Thanks! Over to Pro...
Debate Round No. 1
HolyShearim

Pro

HolyShearim forfeited this round.
bsh1

Con

I await my opponents replies.
Debate Round No. 2
HolyShearim

Pro

HolyShearim forfeited this round.
bsh1

Con

Pro has forfeited, failing to address my arguments and to defend his own. Therefore, I ask you to VOTE CON. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
@Wylted - thank you so much!
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
@bsh1 I wasn't sure how to judge arguments. You made great arguments for why the bases were essential, but the resolution was should they withdrawal from non essential bases. Now that I think about it though, I realize you gave the answer. Which is no bases are non essential. I'm adjusting my vote and RFD right now.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
@Wylted - thank you for voting. Why do you say that there were no arguments?
Posted by HolyShearim 3 years ago
HolyShearim
I'm sorry bsh for forfeiting that round, I'll try to get in my arguments in the next few days but I've been extremely busy.
Posted by neptunepaw 3 years ago
neptunepaw
@bsh1 Hello, I apologize I know that this isn't in the right place but I couldn't find any other place to put this. I noticed on the debate topic "The Supreme Court rightly decided that the section 4 of the VRA violated the constitution" you said "I don't get how anyone could be pro on this topic..." I am really curious to hear what you think on this. After researching I have been having trouble finding arguments in negation to this topic, I greatly respect your opinion and would love to hear, if anything, just some main arguments from you, if it's not too much trouble. Thanks so much and sorry again!

P.S. you seem like an amazing person from your description and since this is the only place where I could say this I'm doing now, hope you have a great day/night/afternoon!
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
@H.S. - don't worry. You have 2 days to submit.
Posted by HolyShearim 3 years ago
HolyShearim
Hey bsh, I should be able to get my arguments later in later today - but I'm not completely sure. Thanks for standing by!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
HolyShearimbsh1Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit and so full points. I was interested to read the arguments so I am pretty disappointed pro.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
HolyShearimbsh1Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gets points for FF. Con won arguments by proving the bases aren't non essential.