Outside the jurisdiction of its bases on Okinawa, the United States Marine Corps is conducting extensive surveillance of Japanese residents, peace groups and the media — including me. The operations, revealed in documents obtained under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, have been condemned by press freedom organizations and Japanese lawyers, with one expert calling them a violation of national sovereignty.
The 268 pages of papers from between May and July consist of emails from the Provost Marshal office at Camp Schwab, located in the northeastern city of Nago, and reports titled "Protest Activity Intelligence Bulletins" compiled by the Criminal Investigation Division of Camp Butler, the USMC's umbrella term for its bases on Okinawa's main island. The documents are classified as "For Official Use Only" and "Law Enforcement Sensitive."
The emails include daily tallies of participants and the names of some Okinawans engaged in sit-in protests outside Camp Schwab, the proposed site for the relocation of USMC Air Station Futenma, currently situated in Ginowan, central Okinawa. The emails are distributed by the Provost Marshal's office to more than 30 parties including the CID, Japanese security guards and marines with ranks as low as lance corporal.