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Tag Archives: Futenma

Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States by Gavan McCormack & Satoko Oka Norimatsu

Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States by Gavan McCormack and Satoko Oka Norimatsu will be released by Rowman & Littlefield in July 2012. Resistant Islands offers a comprehensive overview of Okinawan history over half a millennium from the Ryukyu Kingdom to the present, focusing especially on the colonization by Japan, the islands' disastrous fate during World War II, and their subsequent and continuing subordination to US military purpose.

A Briefing with Mayor of Nago City on Capitol Hill, Wed., Feb. 8th 2012 11am-Noon

On January 25, 2012, Representatives Barney Frank, Rush D. Holt, Barbara Lee, and Lynn C. Woolsey sent a letter to President Obama requesting that the U.S. Marines withdraw from Okinawa. A briefing will be held with the Mayor of Nago-City, Okinawa and Japanese Parliament Members to talk about U.S. military spending and closing the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station at Capitol Hill, on Wed., Feb. 8th 2012, from 11am-Noon.

Futenma Relocation: The View From Henoko

The University of Hawaii's East-West Center in Washington is holding a talk featuring Mayor Susumu Inamine of Nago City. Mayor Inamine will speak about the D.C.-Tokyo plan to build a new U.S. Marine base in Henoko ("Futenma Relocation") from an Okinawan perspective.

Yoshio Shimoji: “Futenma: Tip of the Iceberg in Okinawa’s Agony”

In “Futenma: Tip of the Iceberg in Okinawa’s Agony," his latest article for The Asia-Pacific Journal, University of the Ryukyus Professor Emeritus Yoshio Shimoji focuses on the root of Okinawan resentment against U.S. military bases on their islands: The U.S. violated human rights and property rights under international law when the U.S. military seized Okinawan property by force to make way for U.S. bases. Shimoji details how U.S. bases in Okinawa were established by "land requisitions...executed at bayonet-point and by bulldozer, leveling houses and destroying farms in the face of protesting farmers, mothers, children and their supporters." He adds: "...the U.S. military seized the land in clear violation of Article 46 of The Hague Convention, which states: 'Family honor and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.' "There are presently more than 3,000 so-called “military base landowners” for Futenma Air Base alone and more than 40,000 for all bases and installations in Okinawa. " Shimoji's conclusion: "The U.S. violated international law when its military encroached upon private lands with impunity and built the base. On what legal and moral basis, then, can it demand its replacement?"

Okinawa Outreach: Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa demands the suspension of construction of U.S. military helipads in biodiverse Yanbaru Forest

Okinawa Outreach, a new blog edited by Okinawan scholars and activists, offers news, photos, & analysis directly from Okinawa. Its July reports describe efforts by the Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa (Okinawa BD) to obtain answers from the Okinawan Defense Bureau (the Japan Defense Bureau's branch in Okinawa) regarding U.S. military plans for training accident-prone military Osprey aircraft in biodiverse Yanbaru Forest. The Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa demanded a halt to the construction of helipads which the U.S. wants to locate in one of the most well-preserved areas of the forest, a habitat for numerous endangered species unique to northern Okinawa. Okinawa Outreach also provided updates to the Okinawan Defense Bureau's November 2008 legal action against 15 residents of the Takae community (including a child), who, since July 2007, had been conducting a peaceful sit-in protest against the helipad construction on the prefectural road near the construction sites. Many consider this frivolous litigation, a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) action, intended to intimidate and silence critics). The next hearing is scheduled for the end of August.

The Aug. 13, 2004 U.S. Marine Helicopter Crash at Okinawa International University

Today is the 7th anniversary of a U.S. Marine heavy assault transport helicopter crash into the Okinawa International University administration building. Despite the swift response by Okinawan police and local medical rescue to the injured troops on civilian territory, the Marines who arrived later cordoned off the university crash site and refused admittance to Okinawan authorities, raising serious sovereignty issues. Former Prime Minister Koizumi refused to meet with Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha Yoichi and Okinawan Governor Keiichi Inamine when they traveled to Tokyo to discuss the crash. After the crash, Ginowan City produced a video report of the event for worldwide dissemination; The Asia-Pacific Journal published a translation of a report by Yoshio Sanechika, first published at Shukan Kinyobi, a leading Japanese weekly news magazine; and faculty at Okinawa International University organized a comprehensive website, No Fly Zone to provide Okinawan perspectives on the crash.

Dialogue Under Occupation conference in Okinawa, Aug 4-8, 2011

Even if you can't attend, please check out the program, website, and blog for the Dialogue Under Occupation conference in Okinawa, Aug 4-8, 2011.

Gavan McCormack: “Deception and Diplomacy: The US, Japan, and Okinawa”

East Asia scholar Gavan McCormack addresses the US-Japan relationship in light of the following matters: the Mitsuyaku (secret US-Japan diplomacy) brought to light since 2009; the cache of cables from US Embassy Tokyo (and Consul General Naha) to Washington released by Wiki-leaks in May 2011; the December 2010 "confession" by former Prime Minister Hatoyama admitting no real security need for another U.S. military base in Okinawa; the 2011 "Maher Affair"; and the shock waves of recent (2011) shifts in thinking on the Okinawa question at high levels in Washington. In conclusion, McCormack pays tribute to the contribution of Okinawan engaged citizenry in Japanese democratic culture. In a dictatorship, the Henoko "replacement" project could still proceed, with citizens who stood in the way being arrested, beaten, and imprisoned. What the Kan government seems still unable to recognize, but Washington (or at least Senators Levin, Webb, and McCain and General Jones) has begun to concede, is that, at least so long as democratic institutions survive, there is no way to persuade or even to compel the submission of determined opponents, and therefore no way the Henoko project will proceed. After 15 years of struggle, the Okinawa movement has accomplished a signal victory. It has saved Oura Bay. It may be only one step in a struggle that seems to know no end, but it is a hugely significant one.

May 7, 2011 Bitter Gourd Protest: “U.S. government itself is a ‘master of manipulation and extortion’”

On May 7, Okinawans protested derisive remarks by Kevin Maher made public earlier this year. The U.S. State Department's former director of the Office of Japan Affairs called Okinawans "masters of manipulation and extortion" and described them as "too lazy to grow goya" (bitter gourd), a vegetable widely grown throughout Okinawa. About 200 people gathered at the public square in front of the Okinawa Prefectural Government office to demonstrate against Maher's remarks and Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa’s visit. Before the protest, an Asahi News' explosive Wikileaks series exposing deceitful and fraudulent US-Japan machinations regarding Okinawa energized the entire prefecture. The Ryukyu Shimpo published an article retorting "U.S. government itself is a 'master of manipulation and extortion,'" quoting an Okinawan peace activist who added that the Japanese government is equally "blameworthy." On May 8, the Okinawa Prefectural Government adopted a "Resolution of Protest Over The Remarks made by Mr. Kevin Maher, U.S. State Department Director of The Office of Japan Affairs" demanding that the former U.S. diplomat rescind his alleged remarks and apologize to the citizens of Okinawa Prefecture.

The Asahi News’ May 4 Wikileaks series reveal Tokyo-D.C. deception & fraud re their proposed U.S. Marine base in Okinawa

The May 4, 2011 Asahi News Wikileaks reports reveal some of the deceit and fraud involved in the backroom dealings that have characterized D.C.-Tokyo political manipulation re Okinawa for military base purposes since the end of the Pacific War: