Okinawa opposition politicians to protest sovereignty restoration event


Members of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly who belong to opposition political groups are planning to stage a protest rally when the central government holds a ceremony later this month to mark the restoration of Japan’s sovereignty in 1952.

“We are hardly in a mood to celebrate because April 28 is the day Okinawa citizens were severed from Japan,” assembly member Satoru Nakasone, who is organizing the protest, said Tuesday.

Nakasone said he wants the people of Okinawa to make their voices heard through the rally.

April 28, 1952, is the day the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect, officially ending the Allied Occupation of Japan. Okinawa, however, remained under U.S. control until it was returned to Japan in 1972.

The protest rally is to start in a park in Ginowan at 11 a.m. to coincide with the sovereignty restoration event in Tokyo, where the administration led by the Liberal Democratic Party will hold center stage.

The rally in Okinawa will involve political groups other than the LDP and its coalition partner, New Komeito.

Last Friday, the Okinawa assembly passed a unanimous resolution to oppose the government-sponsored ceremony, calling April 28 “a day of ignominy for the Okinawa people.” The LDP members in the assembly walked out when the vote was held.

The assembly groups who support the protest will ask all assembly members to attend, but it remains to be seen how many Okinawa politicians will do so.

Such gatherings in Okinawa over the years have frequently turned into scenes of massive protests over the security policies of the Japanese and U.S. governments.

  • BenUriel

    The opposition group act as if they were mistreated because they were severed from a government that didn’t really think they were quite good enough to be Japanese, shipped their young men off like cattle to be slaughtered in the south seas and on the continent, lied to and drove the people so that they threw themselves into American guns while the soldiers hid, and then the same soldiers told their daughters to kill themselves to avoid rape that was more based on what they had done themselves in China than anything the Americans were known to have done.

    While the Japanese struggled with grinding postwar poverty and worthless currency through 15 bleak years, the Okinawans had… the dollar. They were never driven out of their homes as we easily could have done (look at every place else anyone occupied either former Japanese lands or colonies) who would have complained to us? The Russians? The Japanese? The Chinese? Sovereignty was returned in due time to the Japanese with as far as I can tell little more than a bruised ego over the fact that the Japanese had not really tried that hard to get them back (which was understandable as the Japanese had enough problems without upsetting a customer that was being really really nice about buying their stuff) and now that they have Okinawa back don’t really make an effort to develop it to the level of the rest of the country (which is not that much of a surprise given that LDP politics have always been patronage driven, and between the financial and electoral unlucrativeness of the prefecture and all the weird and nerve jangling politics (which doubtless hondo politicians think stems from overexposure to Americans) and the reluctance of all the political types of every Hondo party save the communists to ask the Americans to leave so much as one inch but their utter lack of interest in increasing the American presence in Hondo… Symptoms like this in an individual would end up in somebody being committed and medicated. If the Okinawan political class had any sense (which it doesn’t) it would go to the Americans and make them understand what it wants and has to have. There have been presidents that would not give them the time of day. Barack Obama for all his other merits or flaws is not one of them. ANYONE can talk to the man. He is a former community activist. He actually listens to people (whether what they want is workable or not) and he actually cares. He even listens to his political opponents for Christs sake. But that is not how the Okinawan political mythology works. You can’t talk to the Americans. They are demons. And frankly the Okinawan political types more than any other people in the Japanese archipelago seem disposed to run eternally onto the metaphorical spears and guns of the Americans than reach a palatable solution to what hurts them. The Americans even like the Okinawans. Many sympathize. But the Okinawan political activists are so deep in their racial fantasies of victimization and Kichi Ku Bei Ei that they cannot even take advantage of that or the fact that the Okinawan people in general must know the Americans 1000 times better than the Hondo Japanese do. I am sorry this is not the usual “Americans Victimize the Pure Locals” bullshit [OK crime is crime, and there is no excuse for it American or otherwise, but that is not really what this is about. Check the statistics] but most of the locals an American presence gives a hard time to don’t have it so good by a factor of 100 as the Okinawans. I would be surprised if after all the publicity and the crackdowns over the years, the American military is not far and away the best behaved demographic “overall” in the islands outside of the very young and the very old. If I were in charge, I would just leave the place [damage to the local bar business notwithstanding] and tell the Japanese to either reach a deal with the Okinawans on whether we stay there and if we don’t whether they want us in Hondo or not. Japan is a big country. Older than us. World War II was a long time ago. They have behave in an exemplary fashion among nations since. Enviably. If they want us, we are friends and there are reasons for us why it is good to stay. If they don’t, they can take care of themselves and inconvenient as it is we can relocate to Guam or some other place that is less allergic to, well, “us” in all our scary diversity. And the Okinawans. If about half of the islands end up as Chinese or Taiwanese real estate (they seem to think they have a claim) the Okinawans can carp about someone else for a while. Fortunately all around, the people that run things in America quite sensibly don’t think like me, but the people in Japanese officialdom (again everybody but the communists) are just enough afraid somebody might think like that that they hedge their bets for now and keep Okinawan political nonsense on ice. Anyway if the Japanese were the front line of defense against, well, whomever, I don’t think they would pay a lot of heed to local political activist sentiment when they occupied all the military facilities the Americans abandoned and used them pretty much in the same way.

    My advice for what it is worth to the Okinawan political class. Get serious. Get out of denial. Get over your racial whatever. Figure out who it is you have to deal with and make the best deal you can. Focus your minds and your rhetoric on what you are really after and what you think you can expect. Yes the Americans are occupying 40-50 percent of your land. What of it. The government you want to rule over you agrees to it. Good choice eh. You wanted the Japanese back, you own it (though I have to admit, your endless disappointment aside, there are few nicer landlord’s on Earth than the postwar Japanese). Have you really ever sat down and thought about how you can change either American or Japanese minds except by shouting at them? And that has accomplished “What” in 70 years? You can talk to either the Japanese or the Americans if you talk in something other than ultimatums you can’t deliver on, and even play them off against each other. I have watched you for decades do nothing but upset them both at the same time to no good purpose. And no sign of change. What is the matter with you. Don’t you want to succeed? And all the Okinawan people who depend on you for, well, everything. Your people want work, they want commerce, they want infrastructure and subways and probably just a little of the incredible wealth Hondo is awash in. And snow. But there is nothing you can do about that. Yes they would like the Americans to cede some of the land back. Yes the Okinawan people would like the politicians in Hondo to pay a little better attention. But I would be really surprised if those were the only or even the main things most Okinawans want. Do you Okinawan politicians really think you have served your people well with eternal rants and strident confrontation against the only two parties that can give you what you and more importantly what your people want? You tell me.