President Donald Trump said Sunday that keeping U.S. military bases there in Okinawa, where he has been repeatedly criticized for not keeping his campaign promise to withdraw from the island, would be “a terrible idea” if it were to happen.
“If we keep the military bases, they’ll stay in Okinawa,” Trump said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“And I would say that’s a bad idea.
I think it’s a disaster.”
Trump has repeatedly called for the U.K. to stay in the U-shaped alliance that exists to protect allies Japan and South Korea from China.
He said that his administration would make sure that allies in the region “get a fair deal” and said it is not going to keep its troops there for the duration of the war.
“I mean, it’s not going be like the United States,” Trump told CBS host John Dickerson.
“It’s not like they’re going to be staying in for the rest of their lives.
And if they’re not getting a fair price for it, I think we’ll end up losing a lot of people.”
Trump said he was “very disappointed” that “our friends in Okinawa were not able to get a fair amount of money” for the defense that they paid to be there.
“And that’s what I’m talking about,” Trump added.
“What we’re talking about is, we’re not paying, you know, the same price as other places in the world.
We’re paying a lot less.”
“We’re paying less for our men and women in uniform,” Trump insisted.
“But we are paying much more for our people and our infrastructure.
And we will be paying more than the countries that we’re protecting, because the countries we’re defending have been paying less.”
Trump also said that while he “would like to” get rid of the bases, “we have to have the right people to do it.
We have to make sure we have the proper personnel and the right personnel.”
“The reason why we keep them is because we have people that have been working very hard, they have to get paid, and they have the training that they need,” Trump explained.
And they have been doing it for years and years and so it’s going to take a little bit of time for them to get their jobs back. “
The people that I want to keep are the people who have the best training and the highest level of training.
But we’re going back to the basics.” “
So we have a lot to do, and it’s time.
But we’re going back to the basics.”
The president also dismissed concerns that the base in Okinawa might become a recruiting ground for al-Qaida.
“You know, if they go into our base, they will be the same people that go into other countries,” Trump remarked.
“They are going to kill people.
They are going of course going to do horrible things, but they will not be as bad as people that would go into a U.N. building.”
Trump’s comments came after he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the first time in nearly two months in Washington, D.C. He was scheduled to meet with the leader of the U,S.
Pacific Command on Monday and again Tuesday, according to a White House pool report.
Abe, a close ally of Trump, also met with U.R.S., the top U.A.E. military command, at Camp Humphreys in Hawaii.
“That’s why we are taking our time and we’re taking our ideas seriously,” Trump continued.
“At the end of the day, the American people will decide.”
Trump added that he is “not going to get ahead of myself.”
“It is my responsibility to make decisions.
But if I get ahead, it will be a very bad decision,” Trump asserted.
“Because I will get it wrong.”