Now, as Our Man is sure you are all aware, he doesn't like to think too much or too hard, or for long periods, especially not about Hatoyama and the Futenma thing, which when read in the same sentence are Our Man's secret keyword that activates his sleep-inducing neurons (Our Man takes his responsibilities as a sleeper agent very seriously).
But then, he only got talking about it all with Our Woman, who pays even less attention to J-politics than Our Man, sensible woman that she is, but she was moved to comment seeing a picture on her Yahoo! homepage (they still think Yahoo! is cool over here, go figure?) of what's-her-name getting the heave-ho.
Our Woman: Oooh, it makes me so mad!
Our Man: What does, dear?
Our Woman: This whole thing.
Our Man: Eh?
Our Woman: This is Japan, isn't it? Why do we need American soldiers here. Why do we have to pay for them too.
Our Man: Yeah.
Our Woman: No really, why? If we don't want them here why don't we tell them to go.
Our Man: Well they are here to protect us from China or North Korea or Afghanistan or something.
Our Woman: We could be like Switzerland. You know... they are, what's the word...
Our Man: Snooty?
Our Woman: Neutral.
Our Man: Well, Switzerland is different. There's nothing but mountains and they've got everyone's money so nobody wants to invade them.
Our Woman: We've got nothing but mountains and everyone's money. We haven't got any oil, don't see why anyone would want to come here.
Our Man: Errr, well it's complicated.
Our Woman: You mean you don't know.
Our Man: Yep.
So then Our Man did think about it for a bit. Now, he'll leave the earnest geo-political-Risk-for-PhD-students talk to the far smarter and earnester youngsters at Coming Anarchy, who could probably tell you the likelihood of a Chinese invasion in the year 2035, but these are the conclusions Our Man, er, concluded:
1. Actually, Hatoyama has done more for the cause of Kick the Yanks Out than anyone could have imagined.
2. Before Hatoyama jumped into the fray, Futenma was an editorial-page-only yawner of an issue. By promising so much, delivering so little and handing the spotlight to Earth Mother Mizuho, this is now the story in Japan.
3. Before, the issue was how to placate the Okinawans.
4. Then the issue became: Where is the best place to plonk the barbarians.
5. Now the issue is: Whose bloody country is this anyway?
Is that the debate Washington wanted?
BTW, young Joe Jones at Mutant Frog has an interesting after school project: Mapping US forces in Japan. Gosh, there's a whole-bunch of well-armed foreigners less than a day's march from Tokyo. Imagine that!
Pic lifted from here.