day August 15 of this year commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the
end of the Asia-Pacific War. Japan,
after accepting the Potsdam Declaration, converted itself to be a society based
on democracy with proclaiming the Peace Constitution. Okinawa,
the most southern islands, however, still suffers today from a series of segregation
policies of the Japanese government and indifference of people of the main
STRUGGLE AGAINST DISCRIMINATION AGAINST OKINAWA
construction stage of the US
military base at Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa, has
ushered into a new phase. Struggles against the construction constitute protest
movements against building a new base at Henoko and campaign to overturn the
historic, discriminative policies of the Japanese government against Okinawa.
of US Military in Japan
Japanese military declared ‘an ultimate war in the mainland’ in the final
months of the Asia-Pacific War and continued the reckless war. Thus, Okinawa was hit by ‘the iron storm’, being the one and
only battle ground. The number of fatalities counts 188,136 during the period
of March 26, 1945, and June 23 of the same year in the Okinawa
Island and adjacent islets (according
to the Okinawa Prefectural Peace
the defeat of Japan in the
WWII the US military
employed bayonets and bulldozers to confiscate lands violently of residents of Okinawa islands. A central portion of the Ginowan City was illegitimately occupied to be
the Marines’ Futenma Air Field. And today Ospreys circle around above the sky
as if they were proprietors, which is symbolic.
to the Peace Treaty of San Francisco concluded between US and Japan in April 1952, Okinawa was separated from
sovereignty of Japan and
ruled by the US
administration, in which the Constitution of Japan did not take effect.
Furthermore, on account of the Article 6 of the US-Japan Security Treaty and
the twenty-eight clauses of the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement approved
forcibly by the Japanese Diet in 1960, the US
forces in Japan
have been guaranteed by privileges.
was backed to Japan in 1972,
gaining the status as Japan
and with absence of nuclear weapons. At the time of returning, the US bases throughout the country concentrated in Okinawa to a ratio of 58.7%, which has grown to 70.6%
today. As for other data, such as income of residents in Okinawa, employment
and the ratio of college education, sharp differences are found when they are
compared with those of the main islands of Japan.
Okinawa has been used as a scapegoat, while the
main islands have enjoyed a superior position. Discriminatory conditions and
gaps are not yet broken down. Under these circumstances inhabitants of the
southern islands have waged non-violent resistance struggles for long time
against the US
military and the Japanese governments.
the 1950s they fought against the expropriation of land by the US military. In
September 1995 US soldiers raped a girl, which triggered massive anger of all
residents, being a campaign of all of Okinawa
islands. People keep fighting against crimes of US troopers and other
personnel, accidents of military aircraft, nuisances of noises and destruction
of natural environment, maintaining rules of non-violence and not-surrender. As
for the new base construction at Henoko, campaigns have been staged, regardless
of the conservative or the progressive, as an issue of all people of Okinawa.
of Governor Onaga
Onaga Takeshi, who represented a determination of Okinawa
residents, passed away on August 8. We will consolidate struggles inside the
main islands in solidarity with Okinawa’s
people, being grateful for the condolences and compassion. He left a message:
‘Okinawa does not need economic aids. (*snip*) Instead, pull
out the military to get back land. Okinawa occupies 0.6% of the entire area of Japan, while it hosts 74% of all the US troops in
the country. There is no need at all to do so. I ask a question; does Okinawa
depend on Japan?
Or does Japan depend on Okinawa? (November 2011, then- Mayor of Naha City).