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Japan: Okinawans vent frustration over Futenma

The end of May has come. And with it, Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama reaches his self-imposed deadline [en] to announce to the U.S., and his own country, a decision on the relocation of the American military base of Futenma [en], in Okinawa prefecture.

After having shilly-shallied for months, pledging to re-examine the first agreement [en] signed by the then ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the U.S. in order to find a new solution which reduces the number of bases in Okinawa, Hatoyama has now backtracked.

The base will be relocated to Camp Schwab, near the small village of Henoko [ja], in the center of the northern island of Okinawa.

Okinawa residents who last year supported and voted for the Democratic Party of Japan [en] in the hope that the new government would finally relocate the facilities outside their prefecture, or even outside of the country, saw their wishes dashed. A relocation of the bases turned out not to be possible [en] as the government deemed the presence of the American military forces in the area still crucial for the security of Japan and Asia.

Soldiers at Camp Schwab. By Flickr id: boviate

Yukihiro Okinawa, fed up with politicians who aren't able to keep their promises, expresses his disappointment about the failed relocation of the base:

「最低でも県外」
「埋め立ては自然への冒涜だ」
鳩山総理が繰り返し国民に訴えてきたことばです。
しかし、5月末決着は「県内で埋め立て」という最低で冒涜な結論を出しました。
国のリーダーがウソをつき、沖縄の未来を勝手に危険な方向へ向けたのです。
ほんと情けない人たちだ・・・信念なき政治家は去ってくれ。

“At minimum, outside the prefecture.”
“Landfill is a desecration of Nature.”
This is what Prime Minister Hatoyama repeated to the citizens.
However, when the end of May came, the blasphemous decision was to keep the “landfill inside the prefecture.”
Our leaders are liars, and this reckless decision puts the future of Okinawa on a dangerous path.
They are shameful people… politicians without principles, get lost!

At Henoko. By Flickr id: selena lynn

ECO recalls how, when she was little, her conception of “normal” was living near a military base, until she one day realized that “normality” is in fact something else:

沖縄県はいつも犠牲になっています。私がこどもの頃、那覇市古島に住んでいました。
すぐ近くに天久基地があり、cもなく育ってきました。
今は返還され新都心となり公園や美術館、ショッピングモールができています。今考えると、異常な光景でした。
慣れって怖いですね。
ちゅら島うちなー(美しい島沖縄)
未来の沖縄のために
ぬちどぅ宝(命は宝物)
こどもたちのために
辺野古案は反対です!
絶対に反対です!

Okinawa always ends up being the victim. When I was a kid I lived in Furushima, Naha [the capital city of Okinawa prefecture].
Right near where I lived was the base of Ameku, and I grew up without feeling any sense of discomfort.
Now, the area has been returned and has become a new city center, with parks, museums and shopping malls.
When I think of it now, I realize how the previous landscape was not normal after all.
It's scary how we get accustomed to things, isn't it?
Chuushima uchinaa (the beautiful island, Okinawa)
For the future of Okinawa
Nuchidoh takara (life is a treasure)
for all the children
I say no to the relocation to Henoko!
Absolutely not!

The failure of Hatoyama's government to take a clear stand on the relocation issue and carry out its plan even in the face of U.S. pressure has been the target of heavy criticism from opposition parties and the national media.

Eiji criticizes this attitude, which he considers hypocritical, as earlier governments never even hinted at straying from the status quo in Okinawa:

この両党が与党であった10年間、そして去年から今年にかけて、普天間基地の問題に対して、いったい何をやってきたんだという問いが、満腔の怒りとともに噴き出してくる。
裏切りか裏切りでないか、それを言えるのはウチナンチュだけだ。
一方的に負担を押し付けてきた張本人たちに、自分たちの気持ちの代弁など、して欲しくはなかろう。
あんたたちには、なにも言える資格はないのだ。
あんたたちの言うことなど、誰も信用していないのだ。
相手にしていないのだ。
沖縄の人々は鳩山首相の辞任など、誰も望んではいまい。
こと、ここに至ってもなお、ぎりぎりまで、あのひとに期待しているのだ。
「県外」「国外」を、口のうえにのぼらせただけでも、あのひとは空前絶後の首相なのだ。
ウチナンチュだけがそれを知っているのだ。

When I think back to how little [the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito Party] have done to solve the Futenma issue over their 10 years in power, and then consider the period from last year to the present, anger swells up inside me.
Only Uchinanchu (the Okinawa people) can say if [Hatoyama] betrayed us or not.
We have no interest in those from the mainland, who in the past have done nothing but dump this problem on our shoulders, now trying to act on our behalf.
You have no say on this issue.
Nobody trusts you, nor takes you into consideration.
I do not believe that any Okinawa people wish that Prime Minister Hatoyama resigns.
Their expectations of him will hold up until the end.
Just the fact that he has uttered things like “outside the prefecture” or “outside the country” has made him a prime minister like no other.
It is only the Uchinanchu that recognize that.


The Sea I want to Protect – Henoko Okinawa Island

Although some U.S. military bases [en] are located in other areas of Japan, 20% of Okinawa hosts 75% of the facilities in the country. On May 28th, an Extraordinary Citizens’ Assembly against the “Agreement of Henoko” (辺野古合意 Henoko Gohi) gathered to demand equal distribution of bases throughout all of Japan.

Harumi-s shares the records of the petition:

日本の平和と安全、抑止力維持のために沖縄に犠牲を強いるのはやむを得ない。そのような沖縄に対する差別を継続しようとする日本政府に対して、沖縄県民の怒りは、これからもっと広く深くひろがっていくだろう。抑止力論やアメとムチの振興策はもはや沖縄では通用しない。公約を破り、日替わりで発言を変え、見え透いた二枚舌を弄してきた鳩山首相や閣僚たちの言葉を信じる沖縄県民はもういない。[…]
日米安保条約に沖縄に基地を置くという条文はない。
 沖縄の米軍基地が、我が国の安全保障のうえで、あるいはアジア及び世界の平和の維持のために不可欠であるというのであれば、基地の負担は日本国民が等しく引き受けるべきでものである。

“It is inevitable that Okinawa sacrifices itself for the sake of Japan's security, peace and threat deterrence.” The Okinawan people, faced with this type of discrimination by the Japanese government, will become more and more resentful. The deterrence theory and “carrot and stick” measures are not applicable to Okinawa.

After having broken the promises announced in its manifesto, coming out with a new statement every day, and having been blatantly two-faced, the people of Okinawa will not believe a single word of what the Hatoyama government and its cabinet ministers say.

[…]

In the Security treaty there is no article stating that the bases must be located in Okinawa. If the military bases of Okinawa are really crucial for the maintenance of peace in the World and in Asia, and to guarantee the security of the country, then the burden should be equally distributed throughout all of Japan.

UPDATE
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced his resignation [en] on Wednesday, after just 8 months in office.

10 comments

  • shuhei

    What happened to life, liberty, and the pursue of happiness? The epitome of democracy?

    Why is it that we Okinawans don’t have human rights? I thought that all humans are free and shouldn’t be enslaved under military colonialism.

    We don’t hate average normal everyday Americans, in fact we think Americans are cool. You make great movies and TV shows and great music. We love MTV and Starbucks and we dream of American dreams with nice kind American average people who are friendly and we like apple pie and cheese cake and we like your green lawns. We like equality and liberty. We believe in Democracy.

    We just dislike US military and US military colonialism and those criminals who use their power to rape us. (very simple)

    I want to make things clear. This is why we study English so we can communicate and understand each other.

    If an US soldier or marine, in the US, comes to your American door connected to your average American peaceful family and rapes your American kids and American wives and makes you bend over for US soldier…well, I’m sure you would hate the US soldier or marine, too.

    I hope you can see the insanity and double standards that a tiny 3 hour roundtrip island has to go through. The island is as big as from NY Train Station to New Haven, CT roundtrip. 75% of the land is military base for 65 years.

    We have US military men hanging from a rope from helicopters above our houses. We have planes flying in low altitudes circling above our houses. It was beyond difficult to study for school because it is so loud. The US military run their jeeps and tanks into our schools scarying little children and children with disabilities. Why? Because they do. Teachers have to cancel classes because it is too loud to even think. Okinawa has the lowest rate in education because it is so military loud and difficult to study under military control.

    The US military launched depleted uranium missiles into one of our islands (Torishima) and destroyed the nature of the island to the point that there are no trees and sooner or later there will be no island. There is a picture on the net for you to see a missile stuck into a cliff. Do you know the feeling of devastation. This was devastation. It is still devastation.

    They launched dangerous UN prohibited scud missiles into our ocean. Okinawa is famous for high cancer rate. No wonder, right?

    We have noisy planes fly 24 hours above our houses. I am awoken at 4am when I have to really wake up at 6am. We can’t sleep with fighter pilots above us. We have helicopters crashing into my university. When we tried taking pictures the soldiers stole our cellphones and broke them so the crash took time to get to the press. They tried hiding the information. This is when I began wondering …Are these guys really here to protect us? The old Japanese Army didn’t protect us either. How can these men protect us? They are crashing into our university!!!!

    I’ve been “locked on” by those helicopters and used as target practice when I woke up and opened my curtain to see the morning sky but instead I saw blue eyes and his thumb was on a red botton on that stick. This is how close he was, I can see his eyes. All I wanted to see was the morning sky. My mother closed the curtain saying we don’t have this simple human right to enjoy morning and life. There have been reports that after WW2 (we thought we were saved by US but reality was different) a three month year old baby was raped and was in critical condition. Many women were raped to the point that in 1946 more than 1002 were victims. The 2 were men. Yes, men were victims of rape by US soldiers. Around 9 months later around 524 mixed children were born but the number is uncertain because rape victims aborted some of the children. They were violated and so were the unborn because they wanted a normal family too, but what is normal when you are faced with injustice? None of these men were caught.

    The US military said they would catch but nothing was done. The US military say they are protecting us. But are they? Will they? They can’t protect two little girls in 2008 and in 1995. Both raped. Just a few months ago, a woman was driving home on her bike and US military children put a rope across a street. The poor women was choked into critical condition. She is still hospitalized. The US military children’s parents were watching what their kids did but didn’t stop them, because we don’t matter, right? We are humans to. We have human rights. We have families with dreams we have expectations in longevity. We do matter! We really do matter. We are just like you.

    If you put things in equal perspectives than you can understand how we Okinawans feel.

    I totally have great respect for average Americans, this is why I want you to know the reality. I believe that the people of United States who have founding fathers that had the same pains as us Okinawans. Who were treated as not mattering would understand that all lives matter. You were a British Colony and some of you were brought to America in chains. To me you matter, I would care if you die. This is why I was furious about 9 11 when you were terrorized. That was unfair. American people should not be targeted. You are good people and innocent from the reality of military brutality. But how can I care for US soldiers who rapes and kills my people. What have the Okinawans done to US soldiers? We have never hurt an US soldier. No Okinawan has ever hurt anybody. But US soldiers do their best to hurt us, Okinawans. This is terrible. To make us feel pain and to make us dislike US soldiers. Why don’t you treat us nice so we can like you? I would like to find something to like about US soldiers but I just can’t find anything yet.

    I learned from my English teacher: “Do on to others as if done on to you” Well why don’t the US soldiers be nice to us? We help them when they are lost. We translate and interpret for them. We invite them to parties. Then they rape us. Why do they fly at 4 am? Why do they steal, murder, rape, and run down old ladies on streets? We don’t do that to them. They don’t do that to average Americans? Do they? They do this to Okinawans because we don’t matter. 85% voted for US military out! Japan may ask them to be there but we are under their control as a colony. We have a vote. We voted under democracy that we don’t want them. Only 5% of those who work for US military support US military. The other 10% said they should leave Japan totally. We 85% are sacrificed for the 5% who are Japanese who also think we don’t matter and they are not Okinawan.

    A famous poet, Langston Hughs said “Why does everybody else have democracy but me”. This is the same feeling as all Okinawans. When I saw this quote, it brought tears to my eyes because he understands how Okinawans have been oppressed.

    I’m sorry that the Japanese people did Pearl Harbor to you. I really am.

    But I’m Okinawan not Japanese. Okinawans are indigenous peoples of Okinawa like the Tibetans to China and the Irish of Northern Ireland under British control. We are like the American Indians. We are like Kinata Kunte in the drama called ROOTS. We were enslaved by the Japanese and invaded by the Japanese and made a colony by the Japanese. They took our language and our kingdom away from us. They put language plaques around our knecks so that we couldn’t speak our own language and we had to learn Japanese. Our history is exactly the same as Northern Ireland they went through the same tragedy. The Japanese treat us like 2nd citizens. My people are exactly like the Tibetans. But 65 years ago when the US soldiers came we thought they saved us. We thought they would give us freedom and liberty like they promised. But they enslaved us too. In 1972, we fought back to become a part of Japan again, because Japan promised us that they would throw out the US soldiers but they lied to us just like they are lying today. We are now enslaved by two countries.

    But why does everybody support Tibetans and treat us Okinawans differently. Is it prejudice? People who say we don’t matter are prejudice but I still believe that the average Americans are very good people…I trust you who can tell your military to go home to US.

    We were and are still colonialized by two countries. (US and Japan)

    Please, help us. We need the average American people who are good at heart, we believe that you are the only ones that can end all this pain. We have faith in the American people to pull out your troops and give us the beauty of true Liberty. Please lobby and rally to save Okinawan people. We believe in democracy too. We would like to actually be in a democratic moment for once in our life time.

    We have never done anything to other people, we were victims of WW2 too. Japanese soldiers mistreated us too. Our history about WW2 was taken away too. We are just trying to live our normal peaceful lives. I hope that someday the American people can see our joy when we are free. We would love to share happiness with you so we can forgive and forget and one day I can say that I was wrong about the US military and they did save us in the end. Unfortunately, I cannot now. Please, help us and tell us Democracy is for everyone. We don’t want to be slaves. We want to be free. Liberty is a great word.

  • MarkE231

    “You are good people and innocent from the reality of military brutality.”

    shuhei – a passionate and honest post but please be realistic about American millitary, their expansionism and their agenda in Asian.

    Yes the ordinary people of the USA are innocent, however successive American administrations have sought – through millitary action – to depose numerous democratically elected governments around the world for many years. This has happened not only in Iraq but also South America. Details are very easy to find on Google if you are interested. They have a long history of imposing their will upon smaller nations through millitary action. America is not ‘innocent’ as you seem to think.

    The USA also has an agenda in Asia. It has been presented to the Japanese, since the end of WW2, as being in their own interests and for their own security when in reality this ‘equal partnership’ so valued by the USA is nothing of the sort. You might ask why America needs a huge facility on Okinawa – you might also ask why your governemnt, for many years, has been happy to go along with this relationship which makes Japan something of a vassal of the USA.

    • shuhei

      MarkE231
      Thank you for your response.
      As for” but please be realistic about American millitary, their expansionism and their agenda in Asian.”

      Yes, I agree, the ordinary people of the USA are innocent, however successive American administrations have been bad people is exactly the point. Thank you, MarkE231, for your honest response.

      This is why I separate ordinary Americans with dishonest military agenda US.

      I see these two as two separate entities. This is why I do not blame innocent ordinary Americans because they don’t even know where Okinawa is. They don’t have that knowledge that the dishonest military agenda US does totalitarianism and military colonialism all over the world with their military bases and weapons. Germany is fighting back too, they also want the US bases out. This means somebody else agree with Okinawans.

      I agree, that the military agenda US has been destroying democratic elected governments in South America and Iraq and many other weak and poor countries. It is basically that movie “Avatar”. That movie was fiction but the messege was to the point of reality. This was suprizing and showed me at least the director was willing to see and say that the US military is bad. That is what is happening today all over the world by US military agenda officials. They hurt to economically gain.

      I agree, that the military agenda US has a very long history of not just imposing but also forcing through violent measures their military action upon other tiny nations and also indigenous nations who are supposed to be protected by the useless UN. The military agenda US only wants to protect Tibet because the military agenda US is against China. Therefore, economically gaining by providing jobs in America. Thus, there are average Americans who economically gain from other people’s deaths. Those people are not innocent but have blood on their hands. I do consider those people as military agenda US officials.

      I hope you can understand my separation process.

      The US and the UN do not protect indigenous Okinawans because Japan hates our indigenousness and the US knows that the Japanese do not see us as humans therefore enslave us through the Japanese government control. It is very sick. There is no democracy of life, liberty , and the pursue of happiness in this domestic violence of Okinawa. Also, in the world.

      I don’t think America as a whole is innocent but I do think the American ordinary people are ignorant in what democracy is really about. I am just hoping this. I could be wrong. But I am praying that they are just ignorant because it’s hard to fathom that they could be this rotten. This is also why I am separating average ordinary Americans with military agenda US officials. I do not blame all Americans but I do blame the US military and those officials under the influence of US military agenda.

      Yes, the US military agenda officials are nasty but the average citizens are so brainwashed that they would listen to a Kennedy remark “Don’t ask what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” which really meant sacrifice your lives to the US government during the Vietnam War. The ignorance was that many innocent ordinary Americans do die for their country. This is meek. This is ridiculous because they basically are listening to their own propaganda to die for their country without asking why. This is military agenda murder. The process is the same as the old Japanese soldiers kamikaze pilots who died for Japan without asking why. Japan murdered ordinary Japanese and Okinawan. America murders ordinary Americans and American Indians. It is the same domestic violence.

      You and I both know that the US military agenda kills their own American ordinary people who are also in away indigenous from the offcials who are safe and warm in their rich homes. They don’t sacrifice their sons. They sacrifice other people’s sons.

      This sacrifice system has got to end. It really is sick and crazy.

      Mark E231, I know the USA military agenda in Asia and yes, it has been presented to the Japanese, since the end of WW2. Like I said before you have to separate us indigenous Okinawans from Japan. Japan doesn’t like us indigenous Okinawans that is why they allow the abuse. Japan is only interested in her own security. Japan is not interested in Okinawan security. Japan is a “US pet” under a fake ‘equal partnership’ so valued by the USA . What happened in WW2 and my family has been a victim for 65 years, our land was taken away from us, we were killed by both Japanese soldiers and US soldiers who surrounded Okinawa which is an island. As you can see, we have no security. We have US military bases on our island just like the old Japanese soldiers had bases on our island. The Japanese didn’t protect us, they killed us. The US has bases on our island, they don’t protect us, they rape us and kill us. It is exactly the same for 65 years. There is no security on my island. If China wanted to attack they would win the same way the US won back in 1945. We Okinawans are still sitting ducks. There is no way to be protected and the Okinawan people know this reality. But the Okinawan people would rather be left alone than deal with the violence by both governments. Basically, we are just sick and tired of war. We just want to be left alone.

      The irony is USA and Japan fear China. This is why Japan likes to be US’s pet. Japan knows what they did to the Chinese back in WW2 is wrong. They fear retaliation. But Okinawa doesn’t fear China.

      Do you know why?

      The reason is when Okinawa used to be an idependent country called Ryukyu back 300 years ago. We had our own Kingdom. We were happy. A Ryukyuan delegate, Makishi Chouchu, heard that the Japanese were going to take over our kingdom, and he went to China to ask for military help. The Chinese were good people and had a great dynasty and King who agreed to help us. The Chinese sent 3000 troops over the sea of China and Ryukyu to help us fight back the Japanese. Unfortunately, a huge typhoon killed the Chinese troops and Ryukyu (which means the Dragon’s sphere) was taken over by the Japanese who changed our country name to Okinawa (which means “thrown away rope”.) The irony is, China was the only country that really tried to save us in history. To this day, Okinawans like China.

      Isn’t this ironic, don’t you think.

      • mark e231

        shuhei

        thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I feel I understand the situation of Okinawans slightly better now.

        It can be very difficult, sometimes, to get to the truth of a situation (USA millitary in Okinawa) when you live thousands of miles away and rely mainly upon the popular press for information.

        I think there are more stories to be told from Okinawa, and many more voices to be heard – all that I hear right now are American millitary + their families (who seem to love their life in Okinawa and take great offence at the suggestion that they might leave) and the J-government whom have been the lesser partner in an unequal Japan/USA marriage for many years.

        Your thoughts regarding China are very, very iinteresting, too. I agree that Japan (perhaps) is in fear of China for WWII aggression and that USA is actively trying to contain China’s expansion by having millitary bases all over the world and Asia.

        May I ask a question? Do you honestly believe that Japan, whilst being affraid of China, actually has anything real to fear from them? Are China just waiting for the opportunity to hit back at Japan or is this a American myth?

        Again, thank you for your thoughts….

  • Summer

    I read this blog with a heavy heart, simply because of the inhumane attitudes of both the Japanese and US Government towards Okinawa and it’s people.

    I really don’t see why Okinawa does not claim for independence, rather than reversion under Japan rule. You have endured the cost of protecting the millions of people living on mainland Japan. Enough is enough I think.

    Freedom is worth more than all the economic gains you feared that might forfeited from being independence.

    I came from a country that was also faced the blunt of UK retribution for fighting for our Independence. Currently we are still poor, but our freedom mean everything to us

    • shuhei

      Dear Summer,

      Thank you for your understanding. I do understand how you feel and many times I wish that Independence would be an answer. Yes, we have been forced to protect the people of Japan and yet we are not protected at all by the Japanese people which is quite double standard.

      Always, it crosses my mind too. That word “Independence” and revival of our Ryukyu Kingdom sounds so sweet. I have tears just thinking about this Freedom. We deserve freedom. But the problem is deeper. Our poverty comes from the bases and from the fact we have no industry that Japan & US has made sure we would never have because the bases take up our land mass.

      The Japanese government made a new University on our land called OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology) which sounds good but in reality it is a university not for Okinawans but for Americans, Europeans, and Japanese researchers. The courses are in English. Also, not one head Professor is Okinawan. The head professors are either American, European, or Japanese researchers. Please, look at the biographies.

      http://www.oist.jp/ja/research/pisunit/bios.html

      The Dean of Ryukyu University, who is Japanese, lowered the amount of English courses, and fired English teachers. He also banned majors and minors concerning English language and language themselves thus in Ryukyu University students cannot learn English and other languages. Thus, of course, Okinawans who are alumni of Ryukyu University cannot get their higher Education in OIST. Nor can they get an education abroad because of this lack of language education. Please look at this adjunct teacher union homepage about the educational injustice of the Dean of Ryukyu University. May I remind you that the Dean is not from my island. He is Japanese.

      http://hjkunion.exblog.jp/9470989/

      Not one university in Okinawa has a course that is higher than a MA. If we want to get a PhD we must apply in mainland Japan, away from Okinawa island. Again, because their are no industries many of those who do have higher education cannot easily return back to Okinawa to assist the society financially. I hope you understand the layout and the colonialism that has gone through. It is hard for me to explain it. But we Okinawans are caught in a cage that is planned by the American military and Japanese government. By the way, the UN also has a flag right next to US flag and Japanese flag that flows in the wind when I pass by the bases that I cannot enter.

      Yes, we are educationally controlled too.

      To answer your question:

      Okinawa is a part of Japan, therefore, it is Japan’s responsibility to treat Okinawa like any other person in Japan.

      Japan, US military, and UN troops should not be ignoring all the Okinawan culturual, language differences, forcing us with US bases, ignoring all the rapes of girls and boys, ignoring murders by US military, the UN ignoring our screams and UN cooperation with US military, and past WW2 history murder ,and ignoring the democratic vote and voice of Okinawa shouldn’t be happening at all under democracy.

      This is why we need the innocent people of the world to just come out and say that both the Japanese government and it’s alliances to the US military are not democratic nor are Japan and the US are not a democratic nation, if this inequality is continued to be ignored.

      Japan colonized us. The US military colonized us. What is worse, the UN ignored us too for 65 years. Japan, US military, and the UN do have a responsibility for our equality, liberty, and fraternity. It is also the Japanese responsiblity to provide us with life, liberty, and the pursue of happiness under the Japanese Constitution. It is also the US government responsibility to provide us with what they preach. The UN should be stomping on the inhumaneness of the US military and the Japanese government. It is the UN’s responsiblity to provide us with this justice. Please look at this US military article called “Star and Stripes” article about the Okinawans asking for help: (Okinawans ask UN to check US bases but no follow up)

      http://www.stripes.com/news/okinawa-group-asks-u-n-to-inspect-u-s-bases-1.2884

      Also, please look at this UN Document on Human rights on Okinawa: The UN knew ever since 1988: But nothing was done.

      http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/5ff8d2405c015506c1256aa4002c8fe7?Opendocument

      It is basically our Constitutional right that is at breach. The offenders are both the US military or Defence Department and the Japanese government. But also the UN for allowing US military crimes to happen.

      The question is not that we should go independent but we should have the equal rights in the first place. The UN should have been pushing more harder on both Japan and US military but failed to do so. May be because they have a UN flag in Kadena Airbase? I don’t know?

      We just want our Constitutional right of equality. We deserve that service under democracy we bled our (at least 65 years, actually 300 years) taxes, our health care, welfare, and the sympathy budget (which is the money that is automatically taken out of our paychecks and provided by the Japanese government to the US Forces Stationed in Japan that pays for US military’s salaries and US military crime victims for what is called “shut up money”). Yes, the victims of US military crimes pay for their own compensation because the US doesn’t pay anything to Japanese victims nor Okinawa victims nor any cultural victims. Please refer to the following article about a European victim in Japan. She had to pay for her own rape kit with her own taxes.

      http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090303zg.html

      We Okinawans want justice. The victim above wants justice too. I’m sure every US military victims want justice. This is why I want all nations to know what we have gone through. This is a world wide problem with every US base in this world.

      Thank you Summers for reading this and others including Ms. Scilla Alecci. I am happy to hear that there are others fighting for freedom. I pray that you will find freedom and independence too. I know that there are more good people who understand what it is like to be oppressed. Freedom & Independence is everything to the world.

      Thank you Ms. Scilla Alecci from the bottom of my heart.

  • Summer

    Dear Shuhei,
    I am sorry for making too many comments with my little knowledge about Okinawa, but my heart bleeds when ever this issue is discussed or aired over TV, because we are dealing with humans (Okinawans) here. I really don’t think Japan will ever help, neither the US nor the UN. We are talking here about US unilateralism, hegemonic foreign policy. It’s time to take a step further I think, and you need support from a country that US most fear, (China).
    When I said about us getting Independence, we did with nothing at all, except Freedom, very poor. That is why I said before “Freedom mean everything to us”. We now survived poorly for more than 30 years, and we have witnessed the importance of becoming a respected Indepedent Nation.
    Please forgive me if I am asking too much, but I wish I am Okinawan to really scream as loud as I could. Not only Mandela can make History, I believe that one day your Freedom will be carved into History books.
    My prayers rest upon the people of Okinawa and their struggle for Freedom.
    God bless the people of Okinawa

  • shuhei

    Dear Mark e231

    Sorry for the late response and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts too.

    Yes, to get to the truth of the USA millitary and Okinawa situation is very difficult because there is a press control or information control in a variety of countries that is why people must see different sides to see the whole picture.

    History is recorded by the powerful and the normal people in the history never appear in the history books unless of course the person does something really bad or was rewritten and rerecorded to fit the administrative purposes. A good example would be “Mary of Magdela” … that King James did some serious rewriting and destroyed poor Mary’s reputation. For centuries people believed that Mary of Magdela was a fallen woman but in fact she may have been a pure nice little girl. But King James purpose was to control women thus his way was to destroy Mary. There are nasty people and victims of the nastyness. I’m sure if Mary of Magdela were around today, she would be very angry and sue the King. That would be a court case I would love to see. (By the way I’m not Christian)

    Yes, there are more stories to be told from Okinawa, and many more voices to be heard and the mayor of Ginowan is now suing the Japanese government for forcing the bases on Okinawa for 65 years as “Uncontitutional”.

    As for China, the US Military (Raytheon which is a missile selling notorious US contractor) has been selling missiles to China and Taiwan. China is very angry with the US for selling missiles to Taiwan. Which is understandable from both sides of China and Taiwan. Taiwan wants to be independent thus need the US military assistance. China doesn’t like missile pointed at them neither do they like a conniving US military selling missile to China then causing problems with relations with Taiwan by also selling missiles to Taiwan. I hope you can understand this immoralness of US Military Conniving Money Making Murdering Contractors such as Raytheon. US Military is not trying to contain Chinese aggression but cause it between Taiwan. Okinawa is an island caught between the game of the US Military, China, and victims like Taiwan which is in the same situation as Okinawa.

    Personally, I don’t like China military entering my Okinawan Ocean but they have their anger too. They are not aiming at us they are aiming more to Taiwan. Thus US military bases should be more on Taiwan. But I feel sorry for Taiwan too. Thus Guam is a better location to put the US Military on US land.

    Thank you for your question. Yes, I know that Japan is afraid of China. But China is not going to hit on Japan. Japan doesn’t have minerals or ores that China needs. Japan only has people. So, it would be stupid to hit Japan.

    Japan colonized China during WWII. To make it easier for you to understand. Japan has a superiority complex toward other Asian nations that they colonized. Thus their are numerous organizations in Japan whom are political and who have prejudice against other Asians. For instance, the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party of Japan who controlled Japan for 65 years) is named “Liberal” but it is “Conservative” or extreme right wing. The right wing organizations in Japan are famous for their bigot and prejudice remarks against foreigners and Asians including Korea (which is another colonial victim of Japan). The right wing groups in Japan are kind of like the National Front of Europe or the KKK of the US.

    I hope you can understand this. This is why Okinawa has been treated like secondary citizens because we are considered as Asians that were colonialized.

    The next irony is that the CIA has been funding the right wing groups (LDP) in Japan for 65 years.

  • shuhei

    Good News! I saw this on YouTube. And thought it would be good to share.

    Ron Paul (Libertarian Republican Texas Congressman ) and Democrat Senator Barney Frank: Cut Military Spending videos: Larry King CNN

    Ron Paul And Barney Frank Agree On Something! (Part 1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YigwzxKA_qE&feature=related

    Ron Paul And Barney Frank Agree On Something! (Part 2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMHqSpMqPLw

    Ron Paul and Barney Frank agree that
    They said (US) don’t need 15,000 Marines in Okinawa and fifteen thousand Marines in Okinawa are irrelevant to what the US wants to do with China. They said, they want U.S. troops out of Germany, out of Okinawa, out of Germany, and out of South Korea, to eliminate some expensive military systems, they say they can save $1 trillion in U.S. tax-payer money over the next 10 years.

    They also said, NATO was a wonderful accomplishment in 1949. In the years since, Western Europe has gotten strong, the military threat to Western Europe, the Soviet Union, has disappeared. The US continue to subsidize the budgets of Western Europe.

    here is the exact quotes:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128434888&sc=tw

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-barney-frank/why-we-must-reduce-milita_b_636051.html

    One target in Frank’s sights: the U.S. military base in Okinawa. “We don’t need 15,000 marines in Okinawa – they’re a hangover from a war that ended 65 years ago. And Japan now ought to be able to defend itself.”
    Frank says U.S. sea and air power can deal with any threats from China, so having troops stationed nearby is unnecessary. “No one thinks you’re going to land 15,000 Marines on the Chinese mainland to confront millions of Chinese military.”
    Same goes for Europe. “NATO was a great accomplishment 61 years ago,” Frank points out. “I don’t see why we need troops in Okinawa or why we need troops in Germany, why we need troops in Italy.”
    Some have argued that it’s normal to position troops in ally countries. “Well, if that’s the case, where are the Belgian troops in Arizona? Where are the French troops in South Dakota?”
    Besides closing bases, Frank sees another place for major cost savings. “During the Cold War, we had three ways of destroying the Soviet Union with thermonuclear weapons,” he says. “We had nuclear submarines; we had the intercontinental ballistic missile and the strategic air command.”
    These days, Russia’s not the threat it used to be. Frank’s proposal to the Pentagon is simple: “You know these three ways you have of destroying what’s now Russia? Why don’t you keep two and give up one? And save us tens of billions a year.”

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