48 years since back to Japan, which occurred may 15, 1972, Okinawa meets as usual. In this day there will be traditional annual “peace March”. He cancelled because of the coronavirus.
The tradition of holding such marches began in 1978. Each day in the period of may 15, several thousand participants gathering from all over Japan, for three days and held a rally near the U.S. military bases and historical traces of the war in the Pacific, remaining with the 1940-ies. These public events, the organizers strive to attract the attention of the Japanese people to the reality that prevailed on the island, and wonder: is it not time to reconsider the principles on which the island was returned to Japan?
So what is this now “the Okinawa reality”?
Almost half a century later, after acquiring the independence of Okinawa as part of Japan on the island do not stop the incidents involving U.S. bases and crimes committed by the us military. In Japan, the rising wave of protests against it and demands to end American tyranny breaking on unbreakable wall “Japanese-American agreement on the status of American troops and bases in Japan.” The construction of new American bases in Henoko, despite the protests of the local population. The Japanese government just turned a blind eye to the opinion of the local residents and persists in the implementation of the respective plans. Currently, the implementation of the ideas of the founders of the peace movement on Okinawa is not only getting closer, but more distant. Everything gets declared once the people of Okinawa the slogan “For a peaceful island without U.S. bases”.
In this respect, it is sad memorable event that happened in Okinawa 7 years ago. Then the head 41 of the single municipality and government body signed a petition against the transfer of the U.S. Futenma airbase to another location. The petition formed the basis of the famous “White paper against the construction of a new us base” which was immediately presented for consideration the second government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In February of this year “White paper” was passed “in perpetuity” to the state repository of historical documents. Thus, it is of great public importance recognized by the Japanese Cabinet. And what? The current defense Minister Taro Kono against the views of the overwhelming majority of the population of Okinawa has expressed categorically: “the government’s Position differs from that set out in the White paper. In the official line of the Cabinet on transfer of U.S. military base no change”. Thus, the authorities of the country unceremoniously showed his complete unwillingness to listen to the opinion of the Okinawan people.
In February last year, during the organization of the movement for the conduct of Okinawa, a national referendum on the issue of the presence of U.S. bases, Okinawa graduate University Jinshiro Motoyama (28) publicly asked the question: “in our country democracy exists?”
“White paper against the U.S. construction Futemma” still have to play a prominent role in the development of the situation in Okinawa.
On the eve of its official handover to the government in Tokyo on the Ginza held a large meeting with participation of Okinawan mayors of cities and heads of local authorities. During his address of the Central authorities sounded angry slogans: “Corrupt clique!”, “Americans get out of Japan!” In the ranks of the demonstrators was then-mayor of the Okinawa city of Naha, Takeshi Onaga, who broke with the liberal democratic party and joined the ranks of the democratically-minded sections of the people. And no wonder he was nicknamed the “Fighting mayor”.
Peace, respect for the inalienable rights of the people, equality before the law, the development of self-government of the population… Then the ideals of those people who was at the forefront of the movement for the return of Okinawa part of Japan, were aimed not only to administrative changes. People support these principles, enshrined in the Japanese Constitution, and wanted to live in accordance with them.
Is it actually live now in Okinawa? Is this the way to treat the Central government to the voice of its people, suffering under the burden of excessive cost of maintaining us bases?
Today may 15 is the day when the whole country should listen to the Okinawa.
Comments Japanese readers
Talk about the difficulties and hardships of the Okinawan people under the thumb of the us military. Why “Asahi” does not say anything about the brazen actions of the Chinese Navy over the Senkaku Islands? Unless these Islands are not included administratively in the Okinawa Prefecture?
Such “White papers” with the requirements of the revision of the status of American military bases, their redeployment or withdrawal, there is across the country of 160 pieces. Many towns and local authorities are protesting against the domination of the Americans in Japan. The essence of all these “White papers” is that Japan should force Americans to go back to the Japanese legal framework, and that local authorities should have full right to dispose of what is happening on U.S. bases.
The ideals of Japan as a peaceful country has evaporated. We have everywhere either American or Japanese military bases. We have become supermilitarization state. And with that we want to live in the world? Need to get back to the ideals that previously had been proclaimed in Japan. And now they are perverted by the government.
Leftist article, full of intentions to split the whole anti-war movement on Okinawa.
Again, “Asahi Shimbun” tells us stories? You think if overnight to remove all us bases from Japan, then soon there will be peace?
This article is confusing, and that someone is a threat to Okinawa. First of all, this is China, which intrudes into Japanese territorial waters and interfere with our fishing.
Nice said at the end of the article: “is it actually now lives in Okinawa? Is this the way to treat the Central government to the voice of its people, suffering under the burden of excessive cost of maintaining us bases?
Today may 15 is the day when the whole country should listen to the Okinawa.”
So still not very clear who is impeding peace in Japan?
Americans must withdraw from Okinawa. Without them it will be quieter.
Thank you to everyone who worried about the fate of Japan! This day, may 15, for our people are impossible to forget!