Regarding Peter Sidell’s Sept. 23 letter, “Let Okinawa become independent“: I often wonder when reading commentary like this whether the people writing them have actually been to Okinawa, or whether they’re just using a chance to take the moral high ground and take an ideological swipe at American “imperialism.” Any ideological comparison between the existence of U.S. military bases in Okinawa today and Japan’s occupation of Korea in the first half of the 20th century is ridiculous at the outset and makes a mockery of the debate.
With regard to Okinawa seceding from Japan and becoming independent, there are matters of currency, citizenship, nationality, territorial disputes and, very importantly, national defense to consider, to name a few. I highlight national defense because, as military-averse as Okinawa is, if it were to become independent — thus freeing itself from the shackles of U.S. “occupation” and Japanese “domination” — would it then be willing to raise its own standing military to protect itself from future Chinese incursions that would be as inevitable as the current Japan-China dispute over the Senkaku Islands?
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