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2019年3月号コラム💫 "Worldwide Movement to Save Henoko, Okinawa" by Robert Kajiwara ロバート梶原 (比嘉)

  "Worldwide Movement to Save Henoko, Okinawa"

  Robert Kajiwara ロバート梶原 (比嘉)

 On December 8th, 2018, I started a petition at the White House's website calling for a halt to the landfill and construction work occurring on a military base at Henoko, Okinawa. The construction is destroying a natural coral reef that is home to hundreds of rare and endangered species, such as the Okinawan dugong. The reef is being called the second most biodiverse reef in the world, only behind the Great Barrier Reef. To lose this reef would be an environmental disaster. 

 The petition currently has over 200,000 signatures, despite heavy censorship by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and despite having no major American media coverage.

 U.S. government officials, such as the late Senator John McCain and former Senator Jim Webb, along with military commanders, have stated that this base is not necessary for America's security since the marines would not be used in the event of a conflict in Asia. The military has stated that this base does not necessarily have to be built at this location for any strategic reasons, but is being built at the urging of the Japan government.

 Okinawa was an independent country until 1879, when the Japanese government invaded and annexed it against the will of Okinawans. Japan of course went on to do the same to many other countries in the Asia-Pacific. After World War II, all of those countries received their independence; only Okinawa has not. Though Okinawa makes up just 0.6% of Japan's total landmass, it contains 70% of Japan's military. The U.S. military has stated that Okinawa offers no special strategic advantage, though Japan insists on continuing to place an inordinate amount of bases in Okinawa due to their prejudice against Okinawans and their desire to control and dominate Okinawa. The Okinawan people are overwhelmingly against any new bases in Okinawa, and are calling for an immediate halt to the construction at Henoko.

 The Japanese government is building this base ostensibly on behalf of the U.S. military, however, there are many who believe that Japan's Prime Minister secretly wants this base, and perhaps all U.S. bases in Okinawa, for himself in the future. Both Japanese and U.S. taxpayers are spending billions of dollars every year on military in Okinawa. It won't help America or Japan's defense, but will only heighten tensions with both China and North Korea, causing both to bolster their own militaries.

 Furthermore, the base is billions of dollars over budget, and there are many concerns regarding its structural feasibility due to the soil conditions at the construction site. It is quite likely that cost overruns for this base will continue to grow due to the unworkable location.

 It's time to bring the troops home, cut unnecessary spending, reduce America's overseas military burden, and build more peaceful and friendly relations with both China and North Korea. This is an urgent situation not only for Americans and Okinawans, but for everyone in the Asia-Pacific region. We are asking for an immediate response from the United States and Japanese governments, respectively. 



 "Worldwide Movement to Save Henoko, Okinawa"

   Robert Kajiwara ロバート梶原 (比嘉)





 沖縄は、日本政府が沖縄の人々の意思に反して1879年に沖縄を侵略し併合するまで、独立した一国でした。日本は言うまでもなく、アジア太平洋の多くの国々を侵略し、同様のことを行い続けました。第二次世界大戦後、そのすべての国々が独立を獲しましたが、ただ沖縄だけが独立を得ることができませんでした。沖縄は日本の国土のほんの0.6%にも満たない土地にもかかわらず、日本にある軍施設(訳者注 在日米軍施設)70%が沖縄にあります。日本が沖縄の人々への偏見と沖縄を統制し支配したい欲求から沖縄に過度な量の基地を置き続けたいと主張しているにもかかわらず、米軍は、沖縄が何の特別な軍事戦略的優位性を持たないと明言してきました。沖縄の人々は沖縄へのどんな新しい基地建設に対しても圧倒的に反対であり、辺野古の建設を即時に止めることを要求しています。





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