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Tag Archives: Governor Nakaima

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.'”

Ryukyu Shimpo: “Open Letter to Mr. Carl Levin”

In an open letter to Senators Carl Levin and Jim Webb, the Ryukyu Shimpo asks them "to show the true worth of American democracy" and "to respect the will of the people of Okinawa and informs them: "April 28 is the date when the United States and Japan concluded both the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in 1952. With this, Allied Occupation forces withdrew from Japan and Japan attained independence. The San Francisco Peace Treaty determined that Okinawa and Amami Oshima would be separated from the mainland islands of Japan and put under the control of the U.S. military."

Okinawa Governor Nakaima: Proposed “Futenma replacement” base at Henoko impossible

Next week Governor Hirokazu Nakaima will reiterate to U.S. Senator Carl Levin the same request he and a group of Okinawan mayors from base-hosting communities handed to Prime Minister Kan on Feb. 8. of this year: Close U.S. Marine Air Station Futenma and cancel the plan for a "Futenma replacement" base at Henoko and biodiverse Oura Bay. The governor’s request to Sen. Levin will be following a 15-year sit-in protest at Henoko; a 3-year protest at Takae in Yanbaru Forest; numerous statements, plebiscites, resolutions, elections, and annual mass protest rallies across Okinawa— all demanding the closure of Futenma and the cancellation of plans for further U.S. military construction in Okinawa. During today's announcement to the Japanese media, the governor wondered why the U.S. government has not yet been able to understand that new base construction is "impossible." Washington knows the environmentally devastating base plan involves the destruction of the only habitat of the endangered and beloved Okinawa dugong.

Okinawa Governor Nakaima & Mayors Hand U.S. Military Base Closure/No New Base Construction Request to Japanese PM Kan

On Feb. 8, Governor Nakaima and a group of Okinawan mayors handed a request to Naoto Kan, asking the Japanese prime minister to move the US Marine Air Station Futenma off the island and to cancel the plan for a new "replacement" mega-base in Henoko, an environmentally sensitive area on the island. The mayors included Mayor Susumu Inamine of Nago City, Mayor Takeshi Asato of Ginowan City, and 9 other mayors from base-hosting communities. Their request, the first formal request of 2011, follows a 15-year sit-in protest at Henoko; a 3-year protest at Takae in Yanbaru Forest; and numerous statements, plebiscites, resolutions, elections, and annual mass protest rallies across Okinawa — all demanding the closure of Futenma and the cancellation of the proposal of a new U.S. base at Henoko.