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27 November 2013

Dear US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Bouvier Kennedy

The following is what I wrote to newly appointed US ambassador to Japan.


Okinawa, military,



My name is Masagata, Japanese man living in Tokyo.

I used to study at San Francisco State University. My major was International Relations. I am now working as a translator using English knowledge I gained there.


I am writing this letter to tell you a very important matter for the both nations. I am very sure that you know many issues between the two nations. I would like to mention the most important one that might severely deteriorate current healthy relationship between the two for a very long period of time.


That is relocation of US Marine Base, Futenma in Ginowan city, Okinawa prefecture, the Southernmost tropical islands like Hawaii. In 1996 both US and Japanese governments agreed to relocate Futenma base to Camp Schwab to get away from populated area. Camp Schwab is on coastal line of the island. The area is called Henoko.


Okinawa, military, dugong



There has been local resistance movement since the relocation plan was announced. Localies near the Camp Schwab are concerned about deteriorating of their living environment. A lot of environmental activists oppose the plan as well because of abundance of wild life, which are very unique, only found in that place. One symbolic creature is dugongs, endangered marine mammals that eat sea grasses in that area. It is just strange that the nation that protests Japan’s whaling is helping another marine mammals endangered. Some activists are planning to take legal action against US government regarding this issue. Please read the enclosed newspaper article titled, Dugong plaintiffs consider new action in U.S. to block Henoko landfill.


If the project is implemented as planned, the sea will be reclaimed and dugongs and other creatures’ lives would be threatened. What will happen is your nation will be accused of helping diminishing of such wonderful and rare creatures for the interests of the few. The few, you might know, some business and government people who want some gains.


You might say it is what Japanese government handles, not what the US military is actively involved. No one in Japan thinks so. The US government can cancel that project and find another relocation site outside Okinawa. In fact US military presence in Okinawa and even nationwide is becoming nothing but troublesome.


More of us know US military presence no longer functions as defense or deterrence like in the Cold War era. China is said to be new threat but we know US-China relation has become more vital for your nation since China owns more US treasury bonds and buys more US goods than Japan does. President Obama spends more time having dialogues with Chinese leaders than with Japanese prime minister. We can easily predict the US would not help Japan even if China and Japan get into dispute for some reason. US cannot send troops to assist Japan because such action might cause great loss for your national interest. 


Deploying your military so much in this country is just causing distrust against your country. I believe Okinawa issue arising is a great timing for your nation to rethink military deployment in Japan to better relationship between the two nations.




I am planning to write more detailed version of the above later on adding some progress regarding Okinawa issues.