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29 February 2008

Rape cases in Okinawa

There have been some rape cases reported in Okinawa island, Japan's southernmost island and prefecutre this month. Actually rape incidents have occurred many times in Okinawa. In 1995 3 marine soldiers raped 12 year-old girl. The Okinawa islanders gathered in the park to protest the U.S. bases. This time they will do that, too. They have done the same things many times in the past.

There are more than 100 of U.S. base facilities in Japan. The biggest ones are in Okinawa. 3 quarters of total of U.S. military facility square footage in Japan is located in Okinawa island. Okinawa is a strategic point for the U.S. so they want to stay as long as they want. Great point for the U.S. invasion of other parts of the world such as Iraq.

The below is the photo I took from the plane over the island. Two big spots are Okinawa's U.S. bases. A runway on the left side is Futenma for marines, and the other one just under the clouds is Kadena for the air force.

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Futenma's marine base is planned to be moved to the other place in Okinawa, Nago-shi, the famous place for Dugong's habitat. San Francisco court ordered the U.S. military not to review the development of that area because Dugongs are endangered species.  

Okinawa had been U.S. territory between 1945 and 1972. Japanese government pays half of the military expense for the U.S. military resided in Japan. Because Okinawa has tens of thousands of marines who are kind of uneducated type of people and Okinawa had been occupied place for a long time after Japan was defeated by the U.S. Okinawas, especially women have become easy target for the American criminals.  

 

Why does Japan need such bases? Simple. Japan is not allowed to have full-fledged military by its constitution. 

 

The U.S. military is just wasting so much of our tax. They do not defend us, rather they are hurting our people, which they should protect. We have to know we should defend our nation by ourselves. We actually have our own military already. So we should amend the constitution to have a full-fledged military force so we do not have to rely on such violent and dangerous soldiers.

Of course, the U.S would continue to be our greatest ally but we have to make our foreign policy including militaristic strategy by ourselves. We should not help the U.S. invade the world and kill innocent people.

For Okinawa, not having military bases make this island safer and more attractive to tourists. Tourism is a major industry for Okinawa. See this photo. It is called Moon Beach. You can't find a beach as beautiful as this even in Hawaii or Florida.

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26 August 2007

Mistakes in Bush's speech!

Last Wednesday, President Bush made a speech to the veterans in Kansas, Missouri.

His speech has been criticized by Japanese media because of his lack of knowledge about our history.

He talked about the doubts regarding democratization of Middle East nations.

His remarks about how our country developed to today's democratic society were, in fact not accurate.

Quote:

"In the aftermath of Japan 's surrender, many thought it naive to help the Japanese transform themselves into a democracy. Then as now, the critics argued that some people were simply not fit for freedom.

Some said Japanese culture was inherently incompatible with democracy. Joseph Grew, a former United States ambassador to Japan who served as Harry Truman's Under Secretary of State, told the President flatly that -- and I quote -- "democracy in Japan would never work." He wasn't alone in that belief. A lot of Americans believed that -- and so did the Japanese -- a lot of Japanese believed the same thing: democracy simply wouldn't work. "

 Well, even in pre-war era, we had the democracy movement so called "Taisho Democracy." Taisho is the era between 1911 and 1925. That was the most active era for deomocracy movement. In 1925, the parliament passed universal suffrage law that gives all men of 25 and older rights to vote regardless of their income level. It was done by Japanese democracy activists.

As for Japanese women, Bush said.

"For example, Japan 's Vice Prime Minister asserted that allowing Japanese women to vote would "retard the progress of Japanese politics."

It's interesting what General MacArthur wrote in his memoirs. He wrote, "There was much criticism of my support for the enfranchisement of women. Many Americans, as well as many other so-called experts, expressed the view that Japanese women were too steeped in the tradition of subservience to their husbands to act with any degree of political independence." That's what General MacArthur observed. In the end, Japanese women were given the vote; 39 women won parliamentary seats in Japan 's first free election. Today, Japan's minister of defense is a woman, and just last month, a record number of women were elected to Japan 's Upper House. Other critics argued that democracy -- (applause.) "

 In pre-war era, there were women's suffragist activists in our country. They fought against the nation's male chauvinistic tradition. One of them, most famous one of all was Ms. Raicho Hiratsuka. She published women's liberation magazine "Seito (literary meaning is Bluestocking)" In the first issue of the magazine, she claimed "In the beginning women were suns that can shine themselves. Now we are like moons that shine only by others' lights. Let's get back our hidden suns."

In fact they made some achievement in pre-war era, they amended the law that barred women from attending political meetings in 1922. Then in 1930 they had lower parliament to pass the law that gives women's local voting rights but rejected by upper house which was dominated by peer members like House of Lords in England. Next year war in China started. The nation leaned towards militaristic mood.

Women's suffrage was approved after the WW 2, but such movement existed strongly even before. So that is why women's liberation became so successful in postwar era. Not just by the U.S. occupation.

Bush tried to compare Japan's democratization and cases in the Middle East. But two nations were foundamentally different. Our nation was pretty much homogeneous whereas Middle East is muti-national. Our country's democratization was easier because national unity was strong. In the places where the unity was so weak, "free" means disassociation, no base for authoritative entity. No trust in government. The government cannot manage economics and security. Just anarchism preveils. Anarchism is different from liberation or democratization. Just chaos, worse than tyranny.

Mr. Bush and Americans, please study more about history and the politics.

21 August 2007

"Tokyo Joe" Humphrey Bogart in Japan

The film was shot in late 1940's Japan which was occcupied by U.S. led allied forces.

Humphrey Bogart was starred in this film as Joe, who came back to Japan after the war. Before the war Joe managed a club in Ginza, which is Tokyo's most famous shopping and entertainment district like 5th Avenue in NY.

The story was like post-war version of "Casablanca." The plot is very similar. Joe re-encountered his past lover in Tokyo, but she was already married to another man. First he was jealous of her but later he tried to help her out.

I was really surprised. "Casablanca" was war propaganda movie against enemies like Germans. But this movie was kind of friendship movie with Japan which was also the enemy during the war. It seems to reflect post-war diplomatic policy of U.S.

The description of Japan was not very strange even though it was filmed in such old days. Very precise, in fact. The streets, black markets, airport. Japanese characters portrayed in the film were very real. The film producers showed respect to our people. Bogart spoke some Japanese, not good accents but very accurate words.

In the last part, Joe said to his Japanese friend, "We are not enemies any more. Now we're helping you to stand up against old system."

Yes, indeed, we became democratic nation with the help of the U.S. and two countries became greatest friends.

Bogart was a great prophet. Thank you, Americans.

11 August 2007

Do not bring 3rd atomic bomb to our capital!

I recently heard very, very surprising news that the U.S. navy has decided to station nuclear aircraft carrier, George Washington in Yokosuka city, which is 2 hour train ride from the capital of Japan, Tokyo. In fact it was agreed more than 3 years ago between the U.S. and Japanese governments.

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Outrageous and stupid! Japanese government allowed that happen. How ignorant they are!

We are paying so much money to the U.S. military. The government have to let them not to do what we hate.

 Nuclear aircraft carrier is so dangerous. They've made some radioactive leaking accidents in the past.

The carrier will be stationed there permanently, we will have to live with the danger for half a year long every year.

If the worst thing happens in the Yokosuka, people living in the capital area would be required to evacuate, 30 million people have to leave! No way!  Impossible! Millons of people would die after the accicent by cancers. It is like 3rd atomic bomb after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Local residents near Yokosuka navy base are suing the government not to construct pier to station the carrier. Since the carrier is US navy's property and its operation information is highly classified, we would never know how actually the inner nuclear reactor is operated nor intervene their operation. Even an accident happens, the U.S. government would not take any responsibility nor compensate for the damage because US-Japan Status of Force Agreement stated so.   

It is time Japan rethinks the militaristic relationship with the U.S. We cannot get along with the U.S. navy's policy.

They made us help invade innocent Iraq.

We, ourselves have to realize the only military that can protect our country is ours. We have to amend the constitution so that we can have full-fledged military force so that we do not have to rely on the U.S. military any more.

Please read this article NUCLEAR CARRIER UNWELCOME on Japan Times. Yokusuka base is only 20 miles away from Japan's capital, Tokyo. This is just outrageous!  U.S. government has to know this would just threaten relationship between the two countries. I became very anti-US person after I hear this news. A lot of us would be.

God damn America! Yankees, GO HOME!