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Tag Archives: Goya

Okinawa Goya Project 2011: A Photo Record of Goyas in Okinawa 2011

Okinawa Goya Project 2011: A Photo Record of Goyas in Okinawa 2011 — a new blog celebrating all things Goya (Okinawan bitter gourd): Okinawa Goya Project 2011 is aimed at showing the world an evidentiary record of how many goyas Okinawans grow. Anyone can participate in this collaborative civic art project in progress by sending a photo associated with Okinawa goya. Please send your pictures of goya to show the world the power of goya and Okinawa!

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.