The war legacy that binds Okinawa and Vietnam

Nov 11, 2012

The war legacy that binds Okinawa and Vietnam

As the motorbike taxi I’m aboard zigzags through the traffic in Da Nang, Vietnam’s fourth-largest city, a bus pulls out of nowhere, causing my driver to brake, swerve and slam us into a sidewalk stack of bamboo cages packed with soft plump ducklings. It’s ...

Rumbles in the jungle

Aug 19, 2012

Rumbles in the jungle

Japan’s poorest prefecture is Okinawa — and on Okinawa the poorest region lies along the northeastern coast blanketed by the dense Yanbaru jungle. Here, the villages of Higashi and Kunigami were the last areas on the island to receive electricity and running water. Until ...

Poisons in the Pacific: Guam, Okinawa and Agent Orange

| Aug 7, 2012

Poisons in the Pacific: Guam, Okinawa and Agent Orange

The day after 19-year-old Sgt. Leroy Foster arrived on Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base, one of America’s largest Pacific military installations, in 1968, he was assigned to what his superior officers called “vegetation control duties.” “I mixed diesel fuel with Agent Orange then I ...

Okinawa's first nuclear missile men break silence

Jul 8, 2012

Okinawa's first nuclear missile men break silence

In October 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union teetered on the brink of nuclear war after American spy planes discovered that the Kremlin had stationed medium-range atomic missiles on the communist island of Cuba in the Caribbean, barely over the horizon from ...

Jul 8, 2012

Okinawa, nuclear weapons and 'Japan's special psychological problem'

Situated among boiling sulfur pits and magma-blackened rocks, the hot-spring resort of Hakone, 100 km west of Tokyo, provided a suitably apocalyptic backdrop for secret nuclear talks held by the United States and Japan in November 1961. The meetings, attended by U.S. President John ...

Agent Orange at base in '80s: U.S. vet

Jun 15, 2012

Agent Orange at base in '80s: U.S. vet

The U.S. Marine Corps buried a massive stockpile of Agent Orange at the Futenma air station in Okinawa, possibly poisoning the base’s former head of maintenance and potentially contaminating nearby residents and the ground beneath the base, The Japan Times recently learned from interviews ...

Agent Orange 'tested in Okinawa'

May 17, 2012

Agent Orange 'tested in Okinawa'

Recently uncovered documents show that the United States conducted top-secret tests of Agent Orange in Okinawa in 1962, according to a veterans services employee. The experiments, believed to have taken place under the auspices of Project AGILE — a classified program to research unconventional ...

What awaits Okinawa 40 years after reversion?

May 13, 2012

What awaits Okinawa 40 years after reversion?

On May 15, 1972, Okinawa became a prefecture of Japan once again. Up until then, for 27 years since World War II — when the islands endured some of the most intense fighting of the entire brutal conflict — Okinawa had been under U.S. ...