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In appearance on far-right TV, U.S. official calls Okinawa base protests ‘hate speech’

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In an appearance on a Japanese rightist TV network last month, a senior official with the U.S. military branded anti-base demonstrations in Okinawa as “hate speech.”

Robert Eldridge, deputy assistant chief of staff of government and external affairs for the U.S. Marine Corps, made the comments in Japanese during a show on the Okinawa branch of Channel Sakura on Jan. 8. While discussing what he called the unpleasant experiences encountered by some Americans in Okinawa, he explained to the presenter, “As you know, near Futenma there are people (committing) many kinds of hate speech.”

Eldridge’s comments were apparently aimed at residents engaged in demonstrations against the unpopular Futenma Marine Corps base in the city of Ginowan.

Channel Sakura, which styles itself a Japanese culture channel, is widely known for its glorification of Japan’s role in World War II and for airing shows that deny the Japanese military forced Korean women into sexual slavery. In 2007, its founder, Satoru Mizushima, directed the movie “The Truth About Nanjing,” which labeled the 1937-38 massacre — in which, according to mainstream historians, tens of thousands of Chinese were killed — a fabrication. Eldridge also appeared on Channel Sakura last September.

The U.S. Embassy referred requests for comment to U.S. Forces Japan. At the time of publication, neither USFJ nor Eldridge had responded to requests to confirm who had authorized the appearance on the TV network.

Manabu Sato, a professor in political science at Okinawa International University, criticized Eldridge’s comments.

“When the weak protest against the strong, that does not constitute ‘hate speech’ — no matter how painful the truth sounds to the ears of the U.S. military. By appearing on such a TV network, the USMC is ruining the little goodwill Okinawa people hold toward it.”

Eldridge’s accusations of hate speech are the latest in a recent string of gaffes from senior officials affiliated with the U.S. military in Okinawa. On Feb. 9, The Japan Times reported comments by Capt. Caleb Eames, deputy public affairs officer for the Marine Corps Installations Pacific, in which he accused demonstrators in Okinawa of faking their injuries in clashes with the police and Japan Coast Guard.

Eames later asserted that the comments were not an official statement.

Meanwhile, on Feb. 13, Japanese media reported that Maj. Tim Kao, the commander of Camp Gonsalves in northern Okinawa, had accused demonstrators in Okinawa of being “paid by the Communist Party.” The comments, which were apparently made on Feb. 5 to a visiting research student, angered local residents who have been attempting to block construction of Pentagon helipads in their community since 2007.

At a news conference Friday, Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga expressed his indignation at the comments by U.S. military officials. “They are very far from being good neighbors. I have serious doubts about what is at the root of such thinking,” he said.

Have your say: community@japantimes.co.jp

  • MacTire

    I am myself a “rightwing” Japanese citizen and am convinced that in the long run Japan should not depend on foreign powers to defend itself. But in the meantime Japan needs American support…Anyone acquainted with Robert Eldridge knows him to be wise, learned, and witty, with a deep love of this country. One can agree or disagree with his characterization of the protest demonstrators’ verbal behavior as “hate speech” (I am not qualified to do more than guess), but I fail to see how the voicing of his opinion can be called a “gaffe”–unless one has the hypersensitive ears of the politically correct.

  • JSS00

    It just goes to show the the right-wingers and American hawks/neocons are in bed with each other. No wonder Hatoyama lost the fight.

    • Chris Carino

      Hatoyama couldn’t come up with anything coherent, that’s why he lost the premiership…. DPJ is a joke as a whole.

  • Eric Gray

    Perhaps I look at things in too simple a manner, however screaming profanities at women and children, jumping on people’s personal vehicles, reaching in windows and grabbing people, and throwing objects at people are certainly not characterized as ‘peaceful’ in any honest definition.

    Further, releasing balloons in the flight path of approaching aircraft and aiming lasers at the cockpits of approaching aircraft at night isn’t ‘peaceful’ or responsible activity either.

    Let’s have an open and honest discussion about the US presence in Japan and carefully consider the pros and cons. The US strives to be a good neighbor and normally achieves that aim. Yes, the past didn’t always live up to the current goal, however I would suggest that Okinawa gains much from the US presence in both economics and security.

    • Firas Kraïem

      “Let’s have an open and honest discussion about the US presence in Japan and carefully consider the pros and cons.”

      No discussion is needed. The people of Okinawa do not want you lot on their island, and that’s all that matters. Anything else is just a poor attempt at rationalising a denial of democracy.

      • Eric Gray

        “No discussion is needed. The people of Okinawa do not want you lot on their island, and that’s all that matters.”

        Evidence to support your assertion, Mr. Kraiem?

        I base my knowledge on living in Okinawa for over 15 years, living in the community, being married to someone from Okinawa, having many Okinawan friends and acquaintances, and getting to know both sides of the argument.

      • Ernest Schaal

        Eric, clearly you haven’t noticed the results of the last election there.

      • Eric Gray

        I certainly did as I pay close attention to the politics and polity of an island that I feel very close to.

        I also notice that the current governor isn’t saying, as Mr. Kraiem asserts, that “you lot need to leave” either.

        With 63% of the electorate turning out to vote, and 51% of the vote going to Mr. Onaga, I see 31.5% (give or take) saying that they don’t want to expand the base at Henoko.

        That tells me that Tokyo needs to do a better job in explaining the risks to Okinawa in the world that we live in (hint, in case you hadn’t noticed, there are some people out there who don’t like the West) and they don’t have any hesitation to use force to take what they want.

        Tokyo also need to do a better job explaining the economic impact of the bases in Okinawa so that the Okinawa people can make an informed choice.

        I suspect few realize the percentage of the Okinawan economy that is tied to the US bases – both direct and indirect impact.

      • Ernest Schaal

        One telling thing is that Japan has gotten rid of most of the US military on the four main islands of Japan. When I first came to Japan, most of the gaijin here were either military or missionaries. Now, in Honshu I haven’t seen a GI in years, although I have seen a lot of JSDF.

        One of the things I have noticed is the news stories in Asian press (Japan and elsewhere) that list America right along with China as threats to peace in the region.

        The other thing I noticed is that American influence here has dwindled significantly over the decades. In the 1960s, foreign television was primarily American television, now it is primarily Korean television. In the 1960s, we were their greatest trading partner, and now we are not.

        We need them a lot more than they need us, as we are becoming irrelevant in this region.

      • Eric Gray

        “We need them a lot more than they need us, as we are becoming irrelevant in this region.”

        I’d suggest that you find new sources of economic data. With the US as the #1 economy in the world, China as #2, and Japan as #3 – and all three clearly integrated and interdependent, your assertion is simply not based in facts.

        Good day, sir.

      • Ernest Schaal

        America may be, temporarily, the largest economy in the world, but China has more influence on the Asian continent than the US has. The US military was kicked out of the Philippines in 1992, and only recently have they made footholds there.

        America needs the Okinawa bases because of its location and size. Guam is too small and far away to supply American’s plans for their Asian pivot. We simply don’t have that many viable options for a military presence in Asia.

        I don’t know if you are aware of it, but presently there is competition between a Chinese-led plan for an Asian trade zone that would include Japan and not the US, and a US-led plan for an Asian trade zone that would include Japan and not China.

        Too soon to tell which plan will win, but US labor union resistance have reduced the chances for the US plan.

        Also hurting the chances for the US plan is the US attempts to pressure Japan into accepting a no-holds-barred use of Okinawa as part of the US Asian pivot.

      • CrimsonTears

        To be fair, both sides need to realize the stakes.

        As you point out, the United States certainly needs to hold a position in Japan for militant purposes. It’s the most logical location for troops to be stationed should there be any possible future wars between the nations (not Japan, but China and N. Korea certainly).

        The Japanese risk losing a huge portion of their economy with the loss of the bases as Eric has pointed out. Unfortunately, the Japanese economy is currently “stumbling” to regain “footing”. Right now, I’m not sure the Japanese people could afford losing any possible boosts to their economy.

        For both sides: The Japanese gain military security, humanitarian aid and economical support from the United States. In a similar manner, the United States benefits from the Japanese people. Rather than trying to remove U.S. forces from the islands through rather forceful “peaceful” protesting (purposely used oxymoron), the Japanese people and government should be holding talks with the United States in order to reach a compromise such as military sensitization to the native populace. If we are “bad neighbors” as you suggest, then why not work towards correcting this? I believe that any military could definitely benefit from some basic sociological and anthropological education.

        **I’m United States born and raised, so I apologize if my reasoning doesn’t accurately match the issues seen in Japan.

      • Ernest Schaal

        i don’t agree that the American military bases are looked upon as a good economic force. Even in America, there is much resistance to American military bases, despite there “economic advantage.”

        One problem is that American servicemen are not usually good neighbors, and I am saying this as an ex-company commander. The American military has its traditions of hard drinking and a sense of entitlement that “boys will be boys” so that any excesses by our boys should be tolerated.

        The situation has improved slightly, we aren’t usually shipping off criminals to save them from prosecution in the Japanese criminal system, but recent comments by military representatives reveal much of the old thinking remains.

        The military gives lip service to military sensitization to the native populace, but their hearts aren’t in it. There is still resentment that Japan won’t do exactly what we tell them to, and the result has been the protests and the closing of most US bases on the main islands.

      • CrimsonTears

        Have the people of Okinawa not received billions in subsidies for housing U.S. bases? Do the people of Okinawa and Japan not receive the benefit of housing around 100,000 people, a fair number of which are probably awful at managing money and spend more than they should? Do the people in the region not receive aid during disasters such as the frequent tsunamis and earthquakes? Do not the United States gain a strategic foothold for quick and decisive military forward response should the need arise?

        “…not usually good neighbors” is suggestive that the majority engage in less than reputable activities such as your lower post regarding rape and pillaging of the native peoples. This is probably not your intent though.

        Your second and third paragraph are precisely what I am referring to. The United States and Japan are allies. There are many in this country (U.S.A) that look quite favorably upon the Japanese and heavily appreciate the Japanese, their culture and what they offer.

        I can understand and appreciate your perspective as well as the perspective of the Japanese regarding this issue. I’m suggesting that both the United States and Japan benefit in one way or another from the other. It’s a symbiotic relationship; NOT a parasitic one.

        Since this is the case: I am also suggesting that matters should be resolved diplomatically rather than through protesting in a manner that some say is rather forceful. If we are truly bad neighbors, and I agree some may be, then further effort should be placed into the sensitization of the military towards foreign nations. It’s merely my opinion that standard core education, such as sociology and anthropology be provided as part of training for overseas deployment. I believe that the people should be voicing for the United States to re-evaluate the troops with boots on foreign soil, rather than removing them from said soil.

        I’m not necessarily disagreeing or agreeing with either of you. I think you both provide valid points that should be addressed. I also think your statement, “the situation has improved slightly…” should be highlighted and explored upon further.

      • Ernest Schaal

        The money spent in subsidies does not make the American troops good neighbor. It doesn’t pay for the high pollution levels resulting from American military activities, nor does it compensate for the crime, noise, and safety risks.

        The same arguments were made about the Philippines needing our bases until they threw us out.

        I would agree with you that the US needs the bases, but I don’t agree with you that Japan needs the US.

        The US might not like it, but it is not the king of the world and it has no right to demand that the bases stay. They are just lucky that the present Tokyo government supports them against the will of the Okinawa people.

        If the bases are so good for Japan, why have the Japanese limited American troops primarily to the islands of Okinawa? Why do they need to resort to threats of trade wars if Japan doesn’t give in?

        The not good neighbors probably is not limited to the acts of rapists and robbers in uniform, but to the American military system that treats the natives the same way the Japanese samurai treated the non-samurai classes. We take what we want, do what we want, then complain it is hate speech to not approve of our actions.

        Like the governor said, we are not good neighbors and have no intention of ever being good neighbors.

      • CrimsonTears

        :/ I’m unsure as to whether you’re intentionally missing the points I laid out, or do not understand what I’ve been saying.

        1. U.S. troops in Okinawa make up a fairly substantial part of their overall population. The U.S. troops are integrated into the local Okinawan economy. Okinawa received money from the U.S. troops, from the U.S. military and from Japan itself for the trouble of housing the U.S. military (the latter of which numbers in the billions of dollars).

        2. The Japanese economy is currently stumbling. The Japanese government is predicting that with the current rate at which the population is decreasing, the economy will continue to falter and eventually there will not be enough workers to support retirees. I’m sure the Japanese economy doesn’t differ all too much from the American economy. Smaller young population->Less spending= less money for economy and government-> older population draining money-> bankrupt country. –Note: I’m not saying this will happen, only what others claim.

        3. Your postings are suggestive that the ENTIRETY (as the term uniform means without variation)– rather than the very small minority– of USMC rape and pillage the people of Okinawa and mainland Japan. This is not in any way fact. As with all populations, there are some that commit crimes, but these people are far from the majority.

        4. You’re misinterpreting my suggestion that they instead voice for re-evaluation of U.S. troops, better sensitization of U.S. troops and better education towards sociological and anthropological perspectives. As me claiming the U.S. are in fact good neighbors, are in fact the kings of the world and as such are allowed to deny the people of their rights. You’re falsely presenting my posts in this case.

        5. If the vast majority of Okinawan people truly believe the U.S. to be such monsters and disapprove of the U.S. bases; if the U.S. troops are such awful neighbors that provide no benefit to the native peoples and instead rape and pillage the nation; then they should formally petition the United Nations for support against the tyranny of the United States. If what you’re asserting were true: That the majority want the U.S. removed and the U.S. military were uniformly committing such international crimes, then I agree that the United States bases should be removed.

        To clarify my position: I’m only asserting a different course of action and not outright opposing your opinion or the opinions of others. I’m not so chauvinistic or ethnocentric as to view the United States as superior to any other country. In fact, to further explain my position in such matters of race or nation. I view race as nothing more than a social construction for the use of hierarchical rating. I don’t believe race exists naturally, and that all Homo sapiens are equally just as human and deserving of rights. I view nations as nothing more than imaginary lines drawn on a globe to separate one’s society from another; no people are inherently better than another. Do not forget that I have no stake in either outcome; I’m merely passing time for boredom’s sake by attempting to engross myself in critical arguments with others.

        Edit: I do enjoy our talks and I appreciate you taking the time to write out your responses. =)

      • Ernest Schaal

        I will try to respond to all your points, but in a shorter message.

        Your point 1: You make much of the fact that the US pays much money for housing etc., but completely ignore that a sizable portion of that money comes from the Japanese government. For instance, about 60% of the costs of the relocation will be paid by the Japanese government.

        Your point 2: You suggest that the American presence is good for the Japanese economy. I don’t buy that, especially when one considers the fact that Japan pays much of the cost of those bases, and have to deal with the messes the Marines produce (crime, pollution, noise, accidents, etc.).

        Your point 3: You wrongly claim that I suggest that ALL marines are rapists and murderers. I never suggested that and do not believe that. I do believe, however, that many Marines have unrealistic expectations of entitlement in Japan.

        Your point 4: We disagree about whether or not the U.S. is a good neighbor, and we disagree about the effectiveness of sensitivity training in a culture based upon alcohol abuse and machoism.

        Your point 5: The suggestion of going to the UN is nonsense, because the UN does not have power to enforce actions of a country with veto power, and does not have much power to enforce actions of other countries either. I think you need to study international law, at least learning the basic concepts.

        Not all Marines are bad, many are good. As a Vietnam Vet, I really like soldiers, I even like Marines. But I wouldn’t want a military base next to where I live, and most Americans don’t want military bases next to where they live.

        By the way, the problem with the Marines in Okinawa is not racially motivated, but is motivated by cultural differences. Japan is not America, and what is acceptable back Stateside does not necessarily apply.

      • Eric Gray

        “but to the American military system that treats the natives the same way the Japanese samurai treated the non-samurai classes. We take what we want, do what we want, then complain it is hate speech to not approve of our actions.”

        wow. simply wow. Where do you get your information? Pravda? CCTV? The CPUSA People’s World? C’mon, man. Open your aperture the whole truth and see how things truly are – not how some falsely represent them.

      • Ernest Schaal

        I get my information from a variety of sources, but somehow they do not include the sources you suggested. American relations have been unequal since Perry, and the SOAF has long had extraterritoriality clauses.

        I am curious where you get your information

        It is symptomatic of the weakening position America that these extraterritoriality clauses are becoming more and more limited.

      • Eric Gray

        Mr. Schaal,

        You simply must find up-to-date and accurate sources for your information. The last report from the GOJ that I saw was a few years ago, but it was clear that the US military has a tremendous positive impact on the Okinawa economy – second only to tourism. The 50,000 or so Americans who live in Okinawa – many of whom spend substantial time and money off base in the local economy offer part of the picture. Far larger is the direct and indirect impact of the Okinawans who work on base along with the Americans who live off base like I did for over nine years.

        You also say that you are an “ex-company commander.” I would be curious as to the timing of your experience as it appears your ideas are very dated. I can assure you that there is no “boys will be boys” mentality as young servicemen and women who do commit minor infractions are often subject to non-judicial punishment which often effectively ends their career.

        As to your last comment about “resentment that Japan won’t do exactly what we tell them to, and the result has been the protests and the closing of most US bases on the main islands” I have no idea what you base this information on but it certainly appears disparate from reality. During my 25 plus years of being involved with the US involvement in Japan, I can think of no major installations that closed with the exception of the pending – based on joint work between Tokyo, local governments, and the US government, closure of Atsugi Naval Air Station.

        The US strives to be good neighbors and when a small number of people inevitably do something wrong, they are held accountable.

      • Ernest Schaal

        You didn’t know of any major installation that was closed in the past 25 years? That might be because most of the bases in the main islands were closed before you arrived. For instance, my base in 1972. Before that time, there were many bases in main islands.

      • jwtn

        These 50,000 americans contribute to less than 5% of the economy while occupying 20% of the land. The economic value of land returned so far is 10 to 20 times as valueable to the okinawans. The us military is actually holding them down and economicly depressing them.

      • jwtn

        The Japanese don’t risk losing anything economically it’s the okinawans who do. This new base will destroy one of their most important tourists locations believe it or not the U.S. military is actually economically depressing Okinawa

      • jwtn

        The truth is this less the 5% of the economy and is actually holding down the more than 95% of the economy from expanding you argument has been discredited and is actually a poor attempt at justifying one of the worst injustices in the world

      • Roronoa Zoro

        Just because you married an Okinawan doesn’t mean you speak for all Uchinanchu. Bottom line is the people of Okinawa don’t want the US military or their bases. Would you like England to build bases next to your home? They are our allies too.

      • Eric Gray

        “Just because you married an Okinawan doesn’t mean you speak for all Uchinanchu”

        Never said that. I simply stated that living in Okinawa for a long time and being married into an Okinawa family gives me a perspective into the thinking on the island.

      • Starviking

        Sorry, England can’t build bases – it’s not a country. The United Kingdom on the other hand…

      • CrimsonTears

        The US has air force stationed in the UK, I wouldn’t be opposed if this was shared mutually. Although I don’t see any benefit they would gain in the matter. If anything it might strengthen our alliance though and provide an interesting training alternative.

      • CrimsonTears

        “No discussion is needed. The people of Okinawa do not want you lot on their island, and that’s all that matters. Anything else is just a poor attempt at rationalising a denial of democracy.”

        As requested previously: Do you have evidence supporting such a bold statement? I would think the point of diplomacy or even these articles is to inspire constructive and critical discussions. I suggest if the people of Okinawa are treated so horribly and unjustly, that they petition the UN for intervention, rather than through such forms of protest. –Note that I’m not suggesting protest not be allowed, as it is their right, if done within certain measures.

      • Ernest Schaal

        The idea of petitioning the UN for intervention instead of peaceful protest is ludicrous. For one thing, the US has veto power and is not afraid to use it. For another thing, the UN was not designed to micromanage individual governments. Finally, why is peaceful protest something to be discouraged, and why is trying to work things out with their own government something to be discouraged?

      • CrimsonTears

        I’ve no issue with peaceful protest. I’m not in any way discouraging peaceful protests. Some of the JT community has asserted from supposed personal experiences living in the Okinawan community, that these protests aren’t as peaceful as colored to be. Additionally, if protesters and civilians are being engaged aggressively or harmed (to the point of hospitalization as reported) then is this not a concern?

        I largely encourage peaceful protest. I largely encourage communities voicing their opinions (especially through articles like these). If the people are being denied their rights, if they are being treated so unreasonably by the US military, then it’s obvious protesting isn’t going to work. Especially if the United States officials are simply spinning the circumstances around to claim the protests are acts of “hate”. <– I'm NOT suggesting they are. I'm not well enough informed on the matter to make any claims. I couldn't speak to such accusations unless I witnessed them firsthand.

      • Ernest Schaal

        The protests apply pressure to the Japanese government, in a way that can preserve the environment and stand up for their rights. Saying that the Okinawans should go to the UN instead of protesting is like saying that the civil rights movement was better served by avoiding the protests that got the civil rights legislation passed, and going to the UN, which has no power to enforce internal affairs in the US.

        I really think you need a crash course in international law.

      • CrimsonTears

        I dunno what to tell you. Perhaps you’re very much unaware, but the civil rights movement (here in America, which I presume is what you’re talking about) DID petition the United Nations under very valid grounds for intervention as the US was in clear violation of human rights and other charters in the UN.

        You seem to also disregard the changes that have been seen in the what? 50 or so years since the movement? Same with your experience in US military base in ’74 if I recall; it has been 41 years. We’ve since had 7 presidents and several wars. There have been changes in policies and training. The UN was also still somewhat new at the time, only having been around for 20 years. The time was also of Cold War tensions between two superpowers and people were fearful of the possibility of a looming nuclear war. So in terms of human rights? Yes the United Nations does have the authority in that case.

        The fact remains, that if what you say is true: It is within the UN charter and mission to intervene. Especially between two countries like the US and Japan which are seated members. Another issue is that Okinawa HAS petitioned UN in the past; however these petitions received the signatures of some 600 of the 1.3 million million inhabitants and instead petitioned under the pretense the US was storing nuclear warheads. It seems to me, an issue that while anti-base protesters claim that some 80% of their population is against these US bases, their numbers are hardly indicative of this. Whether they protest or petition for formal support, they need to be unified in the matter.

    • Ernest Schaal

      The US presence in Japan is primarily in Okinawa for the reason that the US is not anywhere as good of a neighbor as you claim. I used to serve on a base in Fukuoka, that is now a sea park. We were chased out of there because our actions made us unloved there.

      Part of the problem is the military traditions that involve lots of alcohol and rowdy behavior that the immature confuse for being a real man. Part of the problem is an Ugly American mindset that thinks they have carte blanche to do whatever they want with non-Americans, including robbery and rape.

    • Ernest Schaal

      Okinawa Governor remark about American military says it all, “They are very far from being good neighbors.”

  • http://www.thevenusproject.com Eric Garland

    In my opinion, the anti-base protesters in Okinawa have been quite reserved in their campaign against the Futenma relocation. Years of military thuggery, rape, noise pollution, property damage, environmental damage, and straight-up political repression at the hands of pro-base authorities, and now comes a USFJ crony complaining about protesters committing “hate speech.” If the far-right were to take a brief glimpse into the annals of world history, they should considered themselves BLESSED that the situation in Okinawa has not devolved into Tehran ’79!

    After all the BS the Okinawan people had to put up with in the past half-century of de facto US military occupation, they haven’t actually resorted to any serious violence. At least no one in recent memory was crazy enough to go torch any of the ammo depots strewn about, nor has anyone tried rigging pipe-bombs onto US convoys, let alone outright assassinating USFJ officials such as Robert Eldritch. That will be the day when Okinawa will have officially gone to hell. Profanities, balloons, and laser pointers should be the very least of the onlookers’ concerns!

    P.S. the absurd claim by Tim Kao that the protesters are being paid by the Japanese Communist Party is comedy gold, considering that the JCP is a grassroots organizations that does not accept corporate donations and refuses government funding, yet somehow seems to be pulling the strings in a movement that has long transcended party lines. Then again, it was SCAP that tried to boot the JCP out of Okinawa during the de jure US occupation, so it’s only logical for the USFJ to follow daddy’s footsteps and try to pin the blame on the communists.

    • jwtn

      If us diplomats and generals don’t get what they want they will just bully and intimate you until they do

  • Chuck

    Having spent 9 years on the island (beginning in 1957) I’m not surprised that the commies are still trying to convince the Okinawan people that the US is destroying their beautiful island. I know that ignorance is bliss but it’s hard for me to believe that the average people of that island don’t understand where they would be in this day and time without US guidance and financial help over the years. What the Okinawan people need to remember is that they ARE NOT Japanese and would be much better off without the guidance they receive from the north. They must remember that the Japanese have always looked upon them as second class citizens and always will. Can’t they understand that they are being used just to provide Japan with protection from China. So the next time they choose to demonstrate against their protectors maybe they should have second thoughts.

    • jwtn

      I’m am American who has served in Okinawa I don’t support how the Japanese treat them but I find the attitude of U.S. diplomats and generals to be more disgusting and I am absolutely ashameful of the attitudes of the marines towards them today it’s time to leave we should have left along time ago and never should have handed them back to the Japanese in the first place this is a failed us policy

  • bwprager123

    The USMC spokesperson here is intentionally mischaracterizing political speech – in this case, popular resistance to a project of both the US and Japanese states – as “personal” and or “cultural” – “hate speech.” The principal reasons this base is being built is because of inter-service rivalry; the marines refuse to share command with the airforce – having been driven out of Futenma by the violent outrage of the Okinawans. They demand a base of their own in Okinawa, on top of the coral reefs, against the will of the Okinawan people. The U.S. and its partners in Tokyo have utilized cash bribes to buy politicians and rightwing thugs to beat down the Japanese and Okinawan resistance for decades. Now we see a new round of outrages committed against them, and resistance to re-entrenchment of the US occupation. The Okinawan people deserve to have their democratic rights returned to them, rather than having them denied by the U.S. and Japanese governments. But U.S. officials put their hands over their ears and start screaming at every mention of renegotiation of the deal. The U.S. government has nothing but contempt for Japan; it is a pawn and a tool to them, and the manifestation of this in Japan’s corrupt and remote political regime is obvious. Japan’s ruling circle obliges them with this crackdown.

    • jwtn

      You missed 1 things the marines do not have a justified reason in terms of security to stay in Okinawa this is an obsolete strategy and refuse to leave because they consider Okinawa to be a war prize

      • MickMc

        The Marine Corps does NOT make a decision to stay or to go. Those decisions are made by politicians who typically have their own agendas and who make decisions based upon many elements of consideration. Oftentimes those elements have nothing at all to do with the root issue.

      • jwtn

        The policy has been heavily influence by the marines adovicating to stay in okinawa, even though its not necessary.

        http://www.g2mil (dot) com/rightsizingMarines.htm

        http://www.g2mil (dot) com/okinawa-solution.htm

      • bwprager123

        Right. Let’s also not pretend that policy decisions made by the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Pentagon etc are made in the exclusive guise of organizations of public servants, free of political influence. The political process in the United States is very, very heavily weighted towards the always-permanently-expanding wants of the US military (hence, the US maintains roughly 900 to a thousand military bases around the world at an enormous, one might say debilitating financial and political cost to virtually any interests anyone could name that conflict with that). And there are great privileges and power that accrue to those who command and benefit from the organization of world affairs around military aims. If the Japanese and US governments could just fire the Okinawan people and hire a new one, they’d be glad to be rid of the inconvenience of having to manage them.

      • jwtn

        What’s sad is this is 100% true the real reason for this is the amount of tax money Tokyo and Washington extort from the okinawans close to $5billion a year to pay for this

  • Facebook User

    The US marines can’t be trusted they enlist criminals and then allow them to kill and rape! In America we know how horrible they are and they are a joke to our citizens!
    Look at all they have done for decades!

    Www theusmarinesrape com

    • CrimsonTears

      How are you allowed to continue polluting this site with your constant arrogance? The only thing I’ve managed to see you post in the time I’ve viewed this website, is advertisements for some illegitimate anti-usmc website. Is there no spam filter for you?

      • Ernest Schaal

        I agree with ChrimsonTears that the US marines and the services do not enlist criminals and then allow them to kill and rape. They try to filter those people out. That doesn’t mean that some marines don’t later kill and rape, but the Corps doesn’t recruit them to do it.

  • Starviking

    ““When the weak protest against the strong, that
    does not constitute ‘hate speech’ — no matter how painful the truth sounds to
    the ears of the U.S. military.”

    If you shout out that people with certain views or from certain backgrounds should be killed, it certainly ticks the ‘hate speech’ box for me.

  • http://www.thevenusproject.com Eric Garland

    In my previous comment, I did not actually condone acts of terror to be committed by Okinawan protesters (I wrote the comment with the 1970 Koza riots in mind), but to suggest that acts of terrorism are “beyond imagination” is to essentially give credit to actual terrorists for their heinous acts.

    The article mentions how Sakura Channel founder Satoru Mizushima directed the revisionist documentary “The Truth About Nanjing”, which insists that the events of the Nanking Massacre of 1937-38 are largely fictitious, essentially lending itself to the “unimaginable” nature of terrorism.

    You can keep saying that Robert Eldridge is a “respected scholar” as many times as you want, Mr. Harding, but that doesn’t make him immune to criticism by other scholars such as Manabu Sato, nor does it cleanse Eldridge of possessing biased political agendas or even serving one-sided political ambitions on behalf of an organization such as USFJ.

  • Ernest Schaal

    As an ex-company commander of troops in Japan, I know that these statistics only cover crimes occurring off-base. Crimes committed on-base are not part of the Japanese criminal law system. Since much of the troop’s time is spent on base, the statistics present a rosier picture than reality.

  • Japanese Bull Fighter

    “rightist TV network?” I could not find it among the scores of television channels offered by my cable provider. Far from being a “TV network,” it appears to be a YouTube video site coupled to a few hours of purchased satellite TV time. The Japanese language Wikipedia article about it notes that it has gone bust and been restructured several times.