Who are the real Okinawa traitors?

The other day, in Naha’s Omoromachi district, I encountered a right-winger loudspeaker truck blaring out an anti-China message with the Rising Sun and Stars and Stripes hoisted on both sides of the vehicle. The flags clearly show that Japan’s right-wingers identify themselves with the U.S.

Does the U.S. establishment likewise identify themselves with these Japanese chauvinists? Probably. The Japan-U.S. alliance is based on this makeshift friendship and feeling of solidarity. Naturally, Japanese right-wingers are the most ardent supporters of the U.S. military presence in Japan in general and the Henoko relocation in Okinawa in particular, often jeering at anti-base, anti-Henoko demonstrators by calling them traitors.

But who are the traitors here? These right-wingers don’t understand, or try not to, that the U.S. military presence is no different from the post-World War II Occupation, still occupying so much space on the land, at sea and in the air. They don’t understand, or try not to, that the Henoko relocation means the perpetuation of the status quo of Okinawa as a permanent U.S. military colony.

The right-wingers are absolutely wrong in their thinking. It is they who are the real traitors because their action and cause are tantamount to selling the nation’s sovereignty and territory to a foreign country — the U.S. Pseudo-patriots and traitors, they are indeed.

Yoshio Shimoji
NAHA, OKINAWA PREFECTURE

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.