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Tag Archives: Hatoyama

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.

Governor Nakaima: Washington & Tokyo “should stop doing deals and return the bases promptly”

In "Discordant Visitors: Japanese and Okinawan Messages to the US," Satoko Norimatsu and Gavan McCormack quote Governor Nakaima's September 2011 speech at George Washington University in their commentary on the bizarre incongruity between official Japanese and Okinawan prefectural stances on the U.S. military's proposed destruction of Oura Bay and Henoko to make way for a U.S. mega-military base. Opposed by Okinawan civil society and global environmentalists since 1996, the U.S. base proposal follows a historical pattern of violently and undemocratically established U.S. military bases in Okinawa prefecture. During and after the Battle of Okinawa, U.S. soldiers seized Okinawan property (and imprisoned the owners in camps) to make way for bases to support Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of Japan. When that plan was abandoned, Okinawans were kept imprisoned while U.S. soldiers transformed the bases into permanent bases. In the 1950's, U.S. marines (by use of "bayonets and bulldozers") seized private property by dragging Okinawan women and children from homes and destroying farms and livestock to make way for more U.S. bases. Despite Okinawan protests dating back to the end of the World War II, the U.S. government has refused to remove unwanted military bases from Okinawa. In recent years, the Okinawan movement has garnered worldwide attention, with some observers comparing the Okinawan struggle for human rights and democracy to movements in Eastern and Central Europe during Soviet military rule, before Glastnost. Since the 3/11 Triple Disaster, Japanese citizen "tomodachi" appeals to Washington to forego costly military subsidization by Japanese taxpapers have grown more urgent. Although U.S. congressional leaders have responded to Okinawan and Japanese calls for "change"; thus far the Obama administration has ignored requests to rein in U.S. military demands for Japanese taxpayer subsidization of proposed new base construction in Okinawa, Guam, the Japanese mainland, and continued "sympathy" subsidies to the U.S. military. In September, Okinawa Govenor Nakaima, in conjunction with an Okinawan ad campaign in The New York Times, stated his case directly to Americans in Washington, D.C. Norimatsu and McCormack explain: "Nakaima declared that opposition in Okinawa to the Okinawan base project was almost total. He spoke of the unanimous declaration within the prefectural parliament (the Prefectural Assembly), and the explicit opposition of all 41 local government mayors and heads, including the mayor of the city of Nago, the designated site for the new base. Nakaima told his Washington audience that the relocation plan 'must be revised,' continuing that Futenma was 'not an acceptable option' and that if the national government was to choose to proceed 'against the will of the local citizens,' it might lead to 'an irreparable rift … between the people of Okinawa and the US forces in the prefecture.'”

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.

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:

1st anniversary of historic Okinawa mass rally for closure of Futenma & against “replacement” base at environmentally sensitive Henoko & Oura Bay

Today is the 1st anniversary of the historic mass rally for the closure of US Marine Air Station Futenma and against "replacement" mega-base construction in environmentally sensitive Henoko and Oura Bay. In conjunction with Earth Day, worldwide supporters held solidarity rallies in San Francisco, Hawaii, and elsewhere in Japan (including Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Oita, Nagano, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagano, and Ueda). Labor Beat's video of the mass rally and PressTV's video report remind us of the unanimous feeling of the people of Okinawa.

Former PM Hatoyama says “deterrence” was an excuse

Former Prime Minister Hatoyama says "deterrence" was an arbitrary excuse for breaking his word to the citizens of Okinawa after his failure to find a site for the U.S. Marine Futenma Air Station other than Henoko, a biodiverse coastal area that is the habitat of the critically endangered Okinawan dugong and other rare species. The once highly popular Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader criticized Japan's Foreign and Defense ministries, explaining they were unresponsive to democratic process in Okinawa.

Network for Okinawa’s Statement on Current Situation with U.S. Base Relocation

Network for Okinawa's statement on the current developments regarding the U.S. base relocation in Okinawa. English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean versions of the statement are available.

Who Killed Hatoyama’s Career?

John Feffer from the Institute for Policy Studies discusses the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama.

Chalmers Johnson’s Op-Ed in the LA Times

Professor Chalmers Johnson's op-ed in the Los Angeles Times opposing plans for a new U.S. military base in Okinawa.

Look for Our Full-page Ad in The Washington Post on Wednesday, 4/28/10!

A full-page ad calling for the closure of the Futenma Marine Corps base and no base relocation within Okinawa prefecture has appeared in The Washington Post on April 28. This ad appears in the wake of the April 25 demonstration of nearly 100,000 Okinawans protesting the planned base relocation.