• Naha, Okinawa

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton summoned Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki to the State Department early last week and told him that there was no change in the U.S. position regarding the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps air base at Futenma, Okinawa. This was reiterated the following day by department spokesman Philip Crowley.

I’m sure Secretary Clinton fully understands the weak moral grounds of the U.S. position. She seems to be acting on ill advice from the U.S. government’s Japan hands, who have helped orient U.S. policy toward Japan mainly for exploitation by U.S. interests. From an Okinawan perspective, they are goons who undermine the otherwise good relationship between our two nations and, I’m afraid, will keep doing so if they are allowed to act with impunity.

Futenma must be returned to the Okinawan people unconditionally. The U.S. has no God-given right to demand quid pro quo. Futenma’s relocation within Okinawa does not reduce “the burden on Okinawa” as Crowley says. And he must not try to sell us the outmoded Cold War deterrence theory that the U.S. military presence on Okinawa is intended “to defend Japan and to maintain security in the region.”

yoshio shimoji

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