Reuters reports that anti-American protestors in Okinawa made a multi-mile human chain today to protest the presence of any American military bases in the Japanese islands of Okinawa (former Ryuukyuu Kingdom).
As I blogged about this earlier in the month, I think that the ruling party’s exacerbating whatever situation there had been in Okinawa, plus playing it up more for political effect, is going to cost them seats in the Upper House elections in July. Additonally, I wonder whether the weak educational system in Japan—where the young people aren’t really taught about World War II—isn’t partly responsible for the situation that has come to be.
Unlike the resolution of the war with Germany, where it was made clear that Germany would not be able to begin any revisionsit program, MacArthur didn’t do the same in Japan. Why, sixty-five years after the war, dedicated human interest groups are still tracking down former Nazis who have evaded justice since the middle of the last century. But in terms of Japanese war crimes, the MacArthur administration here acted like it was just seven or eight people responsible for Japanese aggression in the Pacific War (this would be the Second Sino-Japanese War and later attack on Pearl Harbor), and after those seven or eight were gone, no one else had really been part of the war crimes.
Now, here we are, as Americans, helping to defend Japan by stationing American troops in Okinawa, which we gave back, and we’re being painted as unwanted aggressors who are there for no legitimate purpose but our own. I think it’s really unfair, and, in fact, an insult.
Most of this is the result of one woman, Mizuho Fukushima, who had agreed to be Consumer Affairs Minister in the DPJ government last year, but then on second thought decided she would act as a shadow Defense Minister.
I don’t understand why the Japanese just don’t end the Status of Forces agreement with America—which they can easily do with one year’s notice—and see what happens from there. If they don’t want to keep agreements that were already made without wrapping them in badmouthing and politicking, then just end the “mutual” defense treaty and see how long it goes without us. Right?
I’m willing to stand with Japan against any countries who would be a threat. For sure! But not at the cost of being made out to look like a bad guy. I think that’s going too far, and it’s taking the way Japanese treat non-corporate expats who try to live here, and applying the same shoddy treatment to a military that’s helping them keep a country that doesn’t wake up to air raid sirens several times a month . . .