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Tag Archives: Gavan McCormack

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.

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.

New Year 2011, Okinawa and the Future of East Asia

Satoko Norimatsu, Gavan McCormack, and Mark Selden report on the December 19, 2010 "Where is Okinawa going?" forum cosponsored by The Asia-Pacific Journal (APJ) and Okinawa University. Speakers addressed environmental, geopolitical, and economic issues and engaged in discussion with nearly 200 participants on goals and ideals while addressing contemporary challenges to Okinawa and the region. Their article charts the Okinawan challenge to last year's failure of leadership in Japan. The authors assert that Okinawan commitment to democracy and peace brought sense to a region spellbound by fear and at risk of falling into a downward spiral of militarization. Those who frame the Okinawan struggle for democracy as simply "local" are mistaken. Instead, the authors argue Okinawan resistance to military hegemony is national, regional, and global in nature, with the future of "Japanese democracy and US strategic planning for its empire of bases across the Pacific in the balance." They conclude: "In 2011 the best hope for peace and democracy in Japan and throughout the region is the continuing success of the Okinawan struggle in stalemating US-Japan plans for base reorganization and expansion."

The World Turned Upside Down in East Asia & the Pacific

Scholar Gavan McCormack describes Okinawa's stable, resilient, participatory democratic society as a beacon of hope and reason in East Asia, a region that has been rocked by unstable political leadership in Japan and the Korean peninsula. Joint war games under U.S. direction, serving to intimidate China and provoke North Korea, has transformed the area's stability of over fifty years into geopolitical volatility. McCormack concludes that, to avoid war, Okinawan spirit must spread to its neighbors.

Brown-Bag Discussion: Out of Okinawa: Military Bases and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Join us for a discussion with Gavan McCormack, emeritus professor at Australian National University, titled: "Out of Okinawa: Military Bases and the U.S.-Japan Alliance." The event is on Monday, May 10th at noon at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

Solidarity Statement from the Members of the Network for Okinawa

Solidarity statement from the members of the Network for Okinawa in support of the Okinawa rally on April 25, 2010.