Tag Archives: Okinawa

Japanese Teacher Keeps Alive Anti-War Spirit

The Japanese government has been negligent in its presentation of World War II, particularly as it relates to actions of Japanese military forces and their brutality. Chie Miyagi, an English teacher in Okinawa has written, “A Letter From Okinawa” which depicts the battle of Okinawa during which the Japanese military ordered civilians to kill themselves rather than surrender to the Americans. Ms. Myiyagi’s story is really that of her mother who happened to be serving as a nurse and escaped the Okinawa events. However, her own parents died in this manner. Ms. Miyagi is endeavoring to assist her students deal with their nation’s past even as World War II events disappear from their memories.

Ms. Myigai was assisted in writing the English language picture book by Professor Peter Simpson of Okinawa International University. Professor Simpson notes that “in Okinawa, the memory of the war, especially among young people is fading. Even the antiwar kind of culture is under threat.

For those interested in securing a copy of her book, please contact: Okinawa Jiji Publishing Co. phone: 098 854-1622

Okinawans Protest US Soldier Rape Attack

Protests continue mounting on Okinawa over the latest incident in which a 14 year-old girl allegedly was raped by an American soldier. The Okinawa Women Acting Against Military Violence set a letter to the American government demanding an apology and compensation for the girl who was attacked. “Can we allow the U.S. military to interfere in the lives of Okinawans,” said the letter. “Why are we not making a safe environment for Okinawan women a priority?”

As long as there are military bases anywhere in the world there will be incidents in which soldiers attack women. American forces have now been stationed in Japan and on Okinawa for over sixty years. The reasons for their original being placed in these locations has long since disappeared into history. Isn’t it about time to withdraw the 50,000 military personnel and have them sent to areas where there presence is needed?

Japanese Furious Over Rape Case On Okinawa

The Japanese government is furious over the alleged rape of a 14 year old girl on Okinawa by a United States Marine named Tyrone Hadnott. The Marine admits he forced the girl to kiss him but denies raping her. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the action “is unforgivable. It has happened over and over again in the past and I take it as a grave case.” Japan’s Defense Minister said the alleged rape case would have a serious impact on U.S.-Japanese relations.

For some reason, there are still 50,000 American soldiers stationed in Japan fifty years after the conclusion of the Korean War. The initial reason for their presence was concern over a possible war with China and the fact there had been an armistice in Korea between opposing forces. There no longer is any danger from China and both North and South Korea are working to resolve their differences. Perhaps, it is time to end the presence of 50,000 members of the military in Japan and have them used in regions where their presence could make a difference such as Afghanistan. If 50,000 soldiers are kept in any nation, the chance of such incidents occurring must happen. The war in Afghanistan cries out for more troops.

US And Japan Clash Over Marine Bases

Defense Secretary Robert Gates made known his opposition to changes in the location of Marine Corps bases in Japan. The people of Okinawa want current plans on the coast of Nago to be halted and Marines be sent somewhere outside of the island. Gates apparently fears such action might be the prelude to a complete overhaul of America’s bilateral agreements with Japan. It appears the Japanese government is sympathetic to the desires of Okinawans for American troops to leave their island.

It is now the yea 2008. Why are there American troops stationed in Japan? Initially, they were occupation troops, and when the Korean War occurred, they were assumed to offer protection against possible Chinese military actions. That era died a few decades ago. There is no longer any threat from either China nor Russia. The North Koreans apparently are on the road to resolving most of their issues with the West. Why are American troops in Japan when real issues of security are happening in other parts of the world? Those forces would be of greater value stationed for ready alert to respond to possible terrorist threats.

Secret US – Japanese Agreement On Nuclear Weapons

A Japanese professor doing research uncovered a secret document from the Nixon administration in which the United States and Japan agree nuclear weapons can be brought into Japan in exchange for having the island of Okinawa revert to control of its mother country. The document, dated November 12, 13. 1969 was written by National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger. It states: “Attached is a game plan to be followed by prime Minister Sato and yourself (Nixon) in conjunction with secret United States-japanese agreements on access to post reversion Okinawa to Japan, remove nuclear weapons from the prefecture.” Essentially, the agreement allowed the U.S. to bring nuclear weapons into Japan after Okinawa officially became part of Japan.

It is such documents which frighten many people in the world. Although, this incident occurred over thirty years ago it exemplifies fears that America works behind the scene making deals and conspiring while it insists nations be truthful about their intentions.

Japanese Government Urged To Tell Truth About WWII

As the American public watches the Ken Burns, The War, which vividly describes fighting in WWII, some Japanese civilians are insisting their government finally tell the truth about what happened to civilians on Okinawa. Over 100,000 Okinawans demonstrated in hope their government would finally issue textbooks for children depicting the reality of how Japan’s military leaders distributed grenades to civilians when American troops invaded the island in the spring of 1945. They want children to learn how thousands of civilians were urged to kill themselves rather than surrender to American forces, and women were told rape and brutality awaited if captured by the invaders.

The Chinese government for years has urged Japan to distribute school textbooks which depict the horrors committed by Japanese troops during World War II. Chinese people are furious at the failure of Japan to be honest about what really happened including killing millions of Chinese people and raping thousands of women. Unlike German educators who have exposed children to the brutality of the Holocaust, Japan hides from contemporary youth the story of their own ruthless history of behavior in WWII. It might be beneficial for Japanese educators to show the Ken Burns program.