Defense official deserves respect


Regarding the Dec. 2 editorial “Abominable remark over Futenma“: Perhaps the comment of the now former Okinawa Defense Bureau chief, Satoshi Tanaka, should be taken with a translation of “screwed over” rather than “raped”. In which case his comment would suggest that the Japanese central government has been screwing over the Okinawan people over the U.S. base issue since the end of the American Occupation.

The comment (which cost Tanaka his job) could very easily be interpreted as “You don’t tell someone you are about to screw them over before you actually do so.” This eliminates any sexist overtones and accurately reflects what many view as the central government’s attitude toward the Okinawan people.

The burden of hosting the U.S. military has been given to the Okinawan people without their consent for a very long time. It appears that the Okinawan people will continue to be screwed in order to protect the central government’s “U.S.-friendly” policies.

Tanaka deserves respect for telling it like it is.

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.

steve van dresser