“We Want Blue Sky in Peaceful Okinawa” – Almost all political struggles in Okinawa & Japan today reflect a larger struggle between civil society (grassroots citizens movements & NGOS) and an increasingly authoritarian one-party (LDP) public-debt fueled, nuclear energy, construction state, which seeks to reinstate WWII-era militarist values & remilitarize Jp to service US wars. Okinawans have resisted this US militarization since the end of WWII, as scholar Motoh Hirayama, a board member of the Grassroots Movement to Remove U.S. Bases from Okinawa & the World, explained to Jennifer Chan, author of “Another Japan is Possible: New Social Movements and Global Citizenship Education”:
“The US Army forcibly took private land from local residents & farmers for military purposes. Since the reversion in 1972, the Japanese government has been paying billions of yen per year to [forcibly] lease lands from Okinawan owners and then subleasing the lands to the U.S. military.
Okinawa represents only 1% of the total population & .6% of the total land area in Japan, but 75% of all US military base lands and 40% of the total number of miltary bases are on Okinawa…
The first wave of mobilization [of protest against the US military bases] began with the Korean War in 1950 when Okinawa became the main US military staging area [& the US military began its “Bayonets & Bulldozers” seizures at gunpoint of tens of thousands of acres comprising many Okinawan villages]…A turning point was the rape incident in 1995. Many new groups were created and the women’s movement came together with the peace movement…Now of course there is a lot of mobilization against the boring tests in Henoko Bay. Have you seen pictures of those Okinawan oba (elderly women) demonstrating under water? Unfortunately those pictures were reported only in local Okinawan and not in national newspapers…
Another Japan is Possible: http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=10569
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