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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Film "Torn Memories of Nanjing" 映画『南京 引き裂かれた記憶』 电影《南京,被割裂的记忆》在日本上映


Scroll down for an English article about the film on Nanjing Massacre made by a young Japanese director, to be featured in the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

香港国際映画祭で上映される映画『南京・引き裂かれた記憶』の紹介です。監督インタビューについては下記リンクをご覧ください。下記は英語による映画案内の転載です。2007年12月、南京大虐殺70周年の東京での催しでこの映画を初めて観て衝撃を受けました。南京で戦った兵士による数々の直接証言は南京大虐殺の真実を強く裏付ける貴重なものです。大虐殺事件60周年を機に全国に呼びかけ、全国を回って生存している兵士の話を聞いた松岡環さん、そしてこの映画を作った武田さん、関係者の皆さまに尊敬の意を表したいと思います。松岡環さんの本『南京戦 閉ざされた記憶を尋ねて―元兵士102人の証言』、『南京戦 切りさかれた受難者の魂―被害者120人の証言』(社会評論社)もお勧めします。この投稿の最後に予告編(日本語版)もあります。

由日本年轻导演武田伦和执导,记录了参与了南京大屠杀的原日本军士兵及大屠杀幸存者证言的电影纪录片《南京,被割裂的记忆》已于近日在日本正式上映。这是日本本土导演制作的第一部关于南京大屠杀的影片。

Japanese director documents accounts of Nanjing Massacre (Feature)

(Text from M&C Website)

(Photo from the website of the interview of director Tomokazu Takeda 写真は『南京・引き裂かれた記憶』武田倫和監督インタビューより)

By Takehiko Kambayashi

Osaka, Japan - When Tomokazu Takeda, a young Japanese director, was asked to help produce a documentary on the Rape of Nanjing, he only recognized the name, but did not know what had happened in that Chinese city.

And he never imagined the work would lead him to memories of his late grandfather.

'I recalled one sentence that contained the words in our textbook. I never thought of what Japan had done,' Takeda said.

The 84-minute independent film Torn Memories of Nanjing is to be presented Tuesday at the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival. The film consists mainly of vivid accounts of the atrocities by Chinese victims and former soldiers of Japan's Imperial Army.

On December 13, 1937, Japanese troops marched into Nanjing, the Chinese capital at the time, and murdered hundreds of thousands of Chinese people including many civilians in a six-week orgy of violence.

That violence left 300,000 people dead and 20,000 women raped, Chinese authorities say. In Japan the number of dead is believed to be much lower. Many Japanese including some historians and journalists even flatly deny the slaughter, calling the events an 'incident.'

To counter such claims, Tamaki Matsuoka, a former elementary public school teacher and co-director of the film, spent a decade interviewing more than 300 Chinese victims and 250 Japanese soldiers.

Soldiers involved in the killing 'were talking vividly as if it happened yesterday,' Takeda, who is in his early 30s, said.

Juhei Teramoto, a former soldier, said in the film, '[In Nanjing,] superior officers told us to commit robbery, murder, rape and arson and do anything.'

Takeda was even shocked to hear some former soldiers interviewed brag about how many women they had raped.

'You know, we were young men and we were the ones who might die the next day, so we wanted to sleep with a girl,' Teramoto said.

Many of the soldiers, Takeda said, 'still did not see Chinese people as human beings. It seems they had no opportunities to correct or reflect on that view after the war.'

However, when a 90-year-old former Japanese soldier travelled to Nanjing with Takeda and Matsuoka and went right to the monument commemorating victims, he collapsed in tears, the director recalled.

The soldiers' stories made Takeda remember his grandfather, who was dispatched as a soldier to Nanjing after the 1937 killings.

His grandfather was usually calm but once he got drunk he became very violent, Takeda said. 'My parents told me that grandfather apparently was haunted by Chinese ghosts from time to time. And he was often screaming, 'Chinese are going to attack me,'' Takeda said.

Like his grandfather, very few former Japanese soldiers passed on their wartime experiences to the next generation, he said. 'Had they talked about it, that would have been much more educational than what we learn at school.'

Meanwhile, people in China continue to teach the next generation about their suffering during the war, he said. 'So, there has been a widening gap between the two countries in terms of their understanding of the war.'

When Takeda told acquaintances in his age group about the film, some of them told him not to get into that topic and others said China was also in the wrong.

'They seem to confuse the present with the past and they just want to talk about a 'good Japan,'' he said.

That view seems to typify a lack of broad public awareness of wartime history in Japan, which emphasizes sufferings such as the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and ignores the actions of the Japanese abroad.

'I believe humans want to face in a direction where they feel comfortable,' Takeda said.

When Takeda visited several Chinese victims, he continued to wonder what his grandfather had done there, he said.

But then, some Chinese reminded him that the Japanese soldiers were also victims, a reminder probably for him as the representative of a younger generation.

However, Takeda doubted they would say the same thing to the soldiers themselves, as many victims were still afraid of older Japanese.

'We were told to fight for the sake of the emperor, but we were actually fooled into going to war,' Teramoto said.

See also Mainichi Newspaper's report (AP)

(See Movie Trailor Below - Japanese Version)


日本教师及著名社会活动家松岗环及旅日华人林伯耀于十年前开始从事采访日军老兵及收集南京大屠杀相关证据的工作。随着证据的积累,他们产生了拍摄一部纪录片的想法。在年仅30岁的青年导演武田伦和的帮助下,这部影片已于去年完成并正式在日本上映。

影片已没有经过任何模糊化处理的画面纪录了6位日军老兵和7名中国受害者的证言。在摄制组的努力之下,一些日军老兵克服了顾虑,讲出了他们亲身经历的大屠杀。一些老兵还向摄制组提供了书信,日记等宝贵的历史证物。

武田伦和导演在接受采访的时候说:“我并不因为自己是加害方而感到悲观。只有加害方也行动起来,加害、被害者之间被割裂的深深鸿沟,才有可能被填平。”影片《南京,被割裂的记忆》的上映,无疑为填平两国对历史认识的鸿沟起到了积极的作用。

以下连接是中国《青年周末》杂志对此事的采访报道
A news report of this movie, from China Youth Weekend. (Chinese only)
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/sd/2009-10-29/102618933540.shtml

Monday, March 29, 2010

Okinawa's Democracy Speaks 沖縄の民意を聞け

85,000 Okinawans gathered in Ginowan, to protest against US military bases on October 21, 1995, after the gang rape of a school girl by three US Marines.


On the March 19 post "Listen to the Unequivocal Voice of Okinawa - Once and for All," I wrote:

"How many of these elections, plebiscites, resolutions, and mass-scale rallies do the central government and US Government need to hear about in order to REALLY get the message - one simple message that Okinawa (nor any other prefecture) does NOT want another base?"

How many, actually?

This is my small attempt to make a list, though it is far from exhaustive. Please help me add more.

Resolutions, Position Statements, Policymakers’ Statements

***On February 24, Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously passed a position statement to demand Futenma Air Station to be relocated outside of the prefecture or outside of the country. It was the first time in fourteen years that such statement passed the Prefectural Assembly. (Okinawa Times) http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2010-02-25_3912/

***Commenting on the Prefectural Assembly decision on February 24, Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu said, “I see it as an important expression of the opinion of the prefectural assembly.” He also told reporters “It is extremely significant that the prefectural assembly overcame its differences across the parties and reached the unanimous conclusion that inter-prefectural relocation is unacceptable.” (Okinawa Times) http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2010-02-25_3912/

***On March 8, Nago City Council passed an unanimous resolution to oppose the government’s plan to build a runway on the inland section of Camp Schwab. (Kyushu Yomiuri) http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/news/national/20100308-OYS1T00628.htm

***On March 16, Kanzaki City/Saga Prefecture passed a resolution to oppose relocation of some training functions of Futenma to Saga Airport. Saga Prefecture and Saga City have passed resolutions as well. (Mainichi)
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100317-00000214-mailo-l41

***On March 17, Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu called the inland Schwab option “impossible to understand,” and the artificial island plan “extremely difficult to materialize.” (Mainichi) http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100317-00000080-mai-pol

***Three town councils of Tokunoshima(Kagoshima Prefecture), including one that hosts Tokunoshima Airport, passed opposition resolutions between March 9 and 17 (Mainichi) http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100319-00000213-mailo-l46

***The Council of Uruma City, where White Beach is, also passed a position statement addressed to the central government opposing the above mentioned plan to reclaim off Katsuren Peninsula (Ryukyu Asahi) http://www.qab.co.jp/news/2010031916845.html

***On March 25, Kagoshima Governor Ito Yuichiro told Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano that he opposed Futenma relocation to Kagoshima Prefecture. (Mainichi ) http://mainichi.jp/area/kagoshima/news/20100326ddlk46010664000c.html

***On March 26, Nago Mayor Inamine Susumu reiterated his position to reporters, “whether it is a ‘diversified relocation’ or not, I am against the idea of building a base over the ocean or on the ground.” (Jiji) http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100326-00000096-jij-pol

On April 5, Association of Okinawan Mayors, mayors of the 11 cities of
Okinawa, unanimously passed a resolution calling for a swift closure and
return of Futenma Air Station and the relocation of it to be outside of
the Okinawa prefecture. (Ryukyu Shimpo)
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100405-00000017-ryu-oki

Elections

***Based on the DPJ’s election campaign pledge that the Futenma relocation would be “at least outside of the Okinawa Prefecture,” all four candidates opposing the new base in Okinawa were elected for all the four election districts of Okinawa in the Lower House General Election on August 30, 2009. Another anti-base candidate won the parallel representation district.

***Anti-base candidate Inamine Susumu won the Nago Mayoral Election on January 25, 2010.

Plebiscites, Polls

***1997 Nago City Plebiscite – the majority of Nago Citizens opposed a new base.

*** November 3, Ryukyu Shimpo Poll http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-152280-storytopic-3.html Among Okinawans,
  • 70% want Futenma relocation out of prefecture and country

  • 67% against a new base in Henoko

  • 72% against Futenma being integrated into Kadena


*** November 11 Okinawa Times Poll http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2009-11-11_2083/

  • 63% want Futenma Relocation outside the prefecture

  • 72% against Futenma’s integration into Kadena


Rallies

***On November 7, 2009, 2,500 citizens of Kadena City (one fifth of the population) rallied against the integration of Futenma Air Station into Kadena Air Base. http://www.news24.jp/articles/2009/11/08/07147387.html http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1107/SEB200911070009.html

*** On November 8, 2009, an Okinawan citizens’ rally was held in Ginowan City to demand closure of Futenma Air Station and oppose inter-prefectural relocation of the base. It was attended by 21,000 people. http://www.jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik09/2009-11-08-a/2009110800_02_0.html

*** On March 25, 2010, 650 citizens of Uruma City gathered to oppose the government’s idea to build an artificial island by reclaiming a site off White Beach. http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100326-00000135-yom-pol.view-000

***On March 28, 4,200 people gathered in Tokunoshima Island (Kagoshima Prefecture) to oppose relocation of Futenma Air Station to the island. http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100329-00000153-yom-pol

(Upcoming)
***Okinawans are going to get together once again for a massive rally on April 25 at Yomitan Sports Park. This will be the first all-party demonstration against building another base within Okinawa as a "relocation" site of Futenma Air Station. They are aiming for participation of 100,000 people. http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2010-03-18_4664/

I will keep adding.

PeacePhilosopher

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nago "Military Landowners" Asked Not to Renew the Contract beyond 2012 to Oppose the Plan to Build a Runway within Camp Schwab

According to Ryukyu Shimpo, March 28, 2010, a meeting was held on March 27th in Henoko, Nago, Okinawa, in which Kohagura Hiroshi, head of "the special committee to deal with the Futenma Relocation Facility issue" tried to convince the landowners of the three Kube districts - Henoko, Kushi, and Toyohara not to renew the rent contract of their military-use land when the current contract expires in May 2012. This will be an expression of these landowners to reject the idea of constructing a runway within Camp Schwas as a "replacement facility"of Futenma Air Station. The three districts of Kube - Henoko, Kushi, Toyohara. (The above photo is from Ryukyu Shimpo website.)

Kohagura argues, "the three districts (Henoko, Kushi, Toyohara) are 100% against the inland Schwab relocation option. " He asked the two hundred landowners who gathered at the meeting not to submit the document to renew the contract until the government plan of Futenma relocation is determined. He fears that submitting such documents by the landowners could be interpreted that the local communities support the idea of building a runway within Camp Schwab.

According to Yoshikawa Hideki, Director of Okinawa Biodiversity Citizens' Network, building a runway within the inland section of Camp Schwab is not as easy as it's been said.

Yoshikawa commented on March 10,


  • "A new Henoko land plan, advocated infamously and most notably by Shimoji-san (the PNP parliamentarian who endorses this plan), has also been circulating.

    But, in my opinion, it would a very difficult one to implement, environmentally, politically, and technically.

    On the map, it looks easier to build an airport on the Henoko land area. No corals, no dugongs, no fishermen, etc.

    But when you go to Henoko and look at the hills, mountains, and trees at the planned area, one can easily see that it would require major construction (destruction) efforts.

    Besides, the prefecutural government and assembly, and municipal governments and assemblies are against the new land plan. All the political parties in Okinawa including the LDP, but not Shimoji san's, are also publicly opposing it."

The potential refusal by the landowners of Camp Schwab to renew the rent contract will be a strong addition to the mounting local voices against this option.

PeacePhilosopher

(Also see the Kyodo news at the bottom)

  • 普天間移設、陸上なら契約拒否 久辺3区が方針2010年3月28日
    http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-159931-storytopic-3.html

    地主らに軍用地契約の同意書を提出しないよう呼び掛ける古波蔵委員長(写真左奥)=27日、名護市の辺野古交流プラザ
     【名護】米軍普天間飛行場移設問題に関し、政府が5月末に米軍キャンプ・シュワブ陸上部への移設を最終決定した場合、名護市の辺野古、久志、豊原の久辺3区が、同基地内に保有する区有地について、軍用地契約が切れる2012年5月以降、契約を結ばない方針であることが27日分かった。
     3区の区長を中心に同方針を申し合わせているという。名護市辺野古の普天間代替施設等対策特別委員会の古波蔵廣委員長と区長が同日明らかにした。
     シュワブ陸上部への移設案に対しては、辺野古が2月に反対を全会一致で決め、近隣の久志、豊原も同調している。
     古波蔵委員長は27日、辺野古交流プラザで開かれた名護市軍用地等地主会の終了後「陸上案には3区とも100%反対。陸上案に決まったら絶対に契約できない」と、反対姿勢を強調した。
     古波蔵委員長は、同地主会の席上、参加した約200人の地主に対し、政府案が決まるまで軍用地契約の同意書を提出しないよう呼び掛けた。これについて「契約の同意書を出すことで政府に『地元は陸上案を容認している』という間違った勘ぐりをされたらたまらない」と説明した。
     同日の地主会は12年に軍用地契約が切れるのを前に、地主に契約更新について説明するために開かれ、沖縄防衛局の職員らが仮契約の同意書を提出するよう要請した。


  • Okinawa, Kagoshima locals angered by gov't Futenma plan
    Saturday 27th March, 08:05 AM JST
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/okinawa-kagoshima-locals-angered-by-govt-futenma-plan
    NAHA — (Kyodo)
    Local politicians and residents in Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures expressed strong dissatisfaction Friday after media reports that the central government is considering relocating a U.S. Marine base within Okinawa or to a Kagoshima island.

    With Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama having pledged to settle the issue of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa by the end of May, strong local protests will make it difficult for him to meet the deadline.

    According to diplomatic sources, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos on Friday that Tokyo is considering a two-stage process, starting with the building of a 550-meter-long helipad at the inland part of the U.S. Marines’ Camp Schwab in Nago, Okinawa, to temporarily relocate some of the helicopter troops from the Futenma facility.

    As for the final relocation site, the government is considering an artificial island to be built off the coast of the U.S. Navy’s White Beach facility in Uruma, also in Okinawa, or Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, the sources said.

    Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine told reporters that he rejects the central government’s reported plan to temporarily move the Futenma functions to Camp Schwab.

    ‘‘There is no chance of that plan being accepted by locals,’’ Inamine said. ‘‘We cannot trust the government’s policy of transferring only temporarily. It’s impossible.’‘

    ‘‘I have been saying we are against the Futenma transfer to Camp Schwab with or without land reclamation,’’ the mayor said.

    Japan and the United States agreed in 2006 to relocate the heliport functions of the Futenma base to a coastal zone of Camp Schwab in Nago by 2014 by reclaiming land in the coastal area. The government’s new plan does not involve land reclamation.

    Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima told visiting Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa earlier in the day that local opposition to relocating the Futenma facility within the prefecture has been ‘‘gaining momentum’’ and asked him to ‘‘correctly convey’’ the sentiments of the people of Okinawa to the central government.

    In Uruma, where around 600 local residents held a rally Thursday to protest against a plan to relocate the Futenma base functions to the White Beach area, Seishu Sakihara, one of the protesters, said he cannot accept the government plan that ‘‘ignores the feelings of Okinawans.’‘

    The 76-year-old Uruma resident said the government is ‘‘trying to force us to accommodate a base.’‘

    On Tokunoshima Island, Koei Kabayama, the 55-year-old chief of a local environment and peace group, said the government’s attempt to seek a solution without consulting locals embodies ‘‘discrimination’’ against the islanders.

    Some local business circles have high expectations of increased state measures to boost the local economy in exchange for accepting the base, but Kabayama said he believes opposition has been growing rapidly due to residents’ mistrust of the government and their sense of crisis.

    Kabayama’s group and three towns on the island are scheduled to hold a protest rally on Sunday and are aiming to draw 3,000 participants. Akira Okubo, mayor of Isen, one of the three towns, said, ‘‘I’m enraged. Unless we islanders unite now, we will be in trouble.’‘

    In Tokyo, Mizuho Fukushima, leader of DPJ coalition partner the Social Democratic Party, reiterated Friday that her party is ‘‘clearly against’’ plans to relocate Futenma within Okinawa.

    She said the land reclamation plan around the White Beach facility would pose risks, as oil-storage bases are located nearby and the reclamation would destroy the marine environment.

Friday, March 26, 2010

History of the Development of "Futenma Replacement Facility" Plans

This is the history of the development of "Futenma Replacement Facility" plans, compiled from the information gathered from the following sources:
*** The illustrations are from Ryukyu Shimpo's website.

1996

The Japan-US agreement on the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) called for Futenma Air Station to be shut down and returned to Okinawa by the end of 2003. This agreement was made on condition that an alternative facility ("Sea Based Facility") would be constructed within Okinawa. However, it was impossible to find a construction site that the US Military, Japanese Government, Okinawa Prefecture, the municipal office and residents of the local area would agree on.
The following locations were proposed: 1) The northwest forest area within the Kadena Ammunition Storage (cancelled due to local opposition); 2) The Kadena Air Force Base, within which the Futenma Air Station facility might have been integrated (stalled due to opposition from the US Air Force and from the three municipalities where Kadena base is located); 3) Reclaimed land on a coastal area adjacent to Camp Schwab (proposed by the US side but opposed by the Japanese government because of anticipated local resistance). In September 2006, then Prime Minister Hashimoto proposed construction of a removable "marine heliport" on Henoko Bay instead; 4) The White Beach coastal area (cancelled due to opposition from the Prefecture and local municipal bodies).
(The blue dots on the diagram above shows the locations of this initial discussion for SACO. The red dots shows the locations that were reconsidered for the US realignment in 2005 and after.)
In the end, the U.S. and Japanese governments agreed in the SACO final report on a site: the coastal area adjacent to Camp Schwab, without specifying an exact location. Naturally, Nago citizens were alarmed.
SACO called for Futenma's return largely in response to huge anti-US base rallies the year before in 1995, held in the rising sentiment after three US Marines raped a 12-year-old Okinawan girl. A total of 100,000 people participated in the rallies.
The initial plans for the replacement base called for a small, temporary facility, for helicopter use only, that could be removed easily when it became unnecessary.

1997

On December 21, Nago Plebiscite was held. The majority of the citizens were against a new base. On December 24, Higa Tetsuya, then Nago Mayor, expressed his support for the base with Prime Minister Hashimoto and announced his resignation right at the Prime Minister's residence in Tokyo.

1998

On February 6, two days prior to the Mayoral Election, Ota Masahide, then Okinawa Governor expressed his opposition against the replacement facility plan. In the following Mayoral election, Tamaki Yoshikzau, whom the base opponents supported, was defeated by pro-base Kishimoto Tateo by a narrow margin (Tamaki 15,103 votes; Kishimoto 16,253). The conflicting results of the 1997 plebiscite and the 1998 mayoral election have been referred to as the "public opinion paradox." While Okinawan voters opposed new military base construction in opinion polls, when it came to election times, they placed greater importance on economic rejuvenation brought by government subsidies provided to host communities of military bases.
The temporary heliport plan changed drastically when Inamine Keiichi became governor in 1998.

1999

Governor Inamine announced plans for a large-scale offshore airport. The airport would be for dual military-civilian use for 15 years, after which it would become entirely civilian. Part of the problem was that the U.S. government never gave serious consideration to the 15-year military use cap. The estimated construction time itself would have been 15 years. Such a base would destroy the coral reef, and the massive land reclamation would kill off the area's dugongs (endangered Asian manatees).

Upon Governor's request, Nago Mayor Kishimoto Tateo also accepted this conditional plan. This plan with the above conditions by Okinawa was approved in a Cabinet meeting as well.

2002

The Japanese Government, Okinawa Prefecture and Nago City agreed on the construction of an airport (both for military and civilian use) with a 2,000 meter runway by reclamation, about 2 kilometer off the coast of Henoko. (The diagram above shows different location ideas on and off Camp Schwab discussed between 1996 and 2005.)

2004
In April, the Japanese government finally began an environmental assessment, and got ready to bore into the sea bed surrounding the proposed site. These moves were interpreted as the beginning of construction, and opposition movements organized a heroic sit-in campaign to prevent it. This nonviolent civil disobedience was hugely successful. Henoko has come to be a symbol of the peace and environmental movements.

2005

Rather than directly face off against the protesters as the Japanese government did, the U.S. military had a different idea: Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), or global military transformation. Instead of letting Futenma and Henoko be political issues within Okinawa, QDR transformed these issues into part of a global military realignment.

On October 29, 2005, Japan and the U.S. agreed on a new plan to build a 1,800 meter-long runway inshore from Henoko, partially on the peninsula, instead of entirely offshore. This facility would have a military port function (the "L-shape" plan - see the upper part of the diagram below).
This way, Governor Inamine's idea of an offshore dual-use airport was abandoned without even nominal consultation.

The new base would be fundamentally different from Futenma in its capabilities . This is not a replacement of Futenma, whose main function is training. This is a new, different, upgraded facility that U.S. Marines will receive for free and will use as a forward base capable of attacking foreign territories, not just for training.

2006

In April, Nukaga Fukushiro, Japan’s Defense Agency chief at the time, told Nago mayor Shimabukuro Yoshikazu about yet another new plan, this time to build a V-shaped runway. Shimabukuro and Ginoza Mayor agreed. (Then Okinawa Governor Inamine did not agree, but later new Okinawa Governor Nakaima supported Nago Mayor.) In May, the Cabinet passed a resolution to build these runways, with an even larger port facility -- perfect for Marines (the "V-shape" plan - see the lower part of the diagram)
May 2006 "Roadmap for Realignment Implementation"

"The United States and Japan will locate the FRF (Futenma Replacement Facility) in a configuration that combines the Henoko-saki and adjacent water areas of Oura and Henoko Bays, including two runways aligned in a "V"-shape, each runway having a length of 1,600 meters plus two 100-meter overruns. The length of each runway portion of the facility is 1,800 meters, exclusive of seawalls (see attached concept plan dated April 28, 2006). This facility ensures agreed operational capabilities while addressing issues of safety, noise, and environmental impacts."

2009

In September, a new coalition government of DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan), PNP (People's New Party), and SDP (Social Democratic Party of Japan) is formed. The new government starts to review the whole FRF plan.

2010

On January 25, Inamine Susumu, the anti-base candidate wins the Nago Mayoral Election. This election was viewed by many that for the first time in thirteen years since the 1997 plebiscite, the "public opinion paradox" - the incongruence between the public opinion and election results was resolved.

Miyagi Yasuhiro concludes, "At the time of the Nago referendum in 1997, the new base was going to take the form of a removable marine heliport. In 1999, that was changed to a joint military-civilian "airport." In 2006 the new base was further widened to require coastal landfill. In the 10 years of delay, the two governments have exponentially increased the capacity of the substitute air base. "

Back to 1966...

Miyagi also refers to the two plans that were drawn up by the US Navy and the Marine Corps in 1966 for an airport in Henoko, very much like the plan in the 2006 agreement. (See Makishi Yoshikazu's article for details.) "It is no longer a substitute for Futenma Air Station, but it now appears that Japan is constructing what the US military has wanted to build since the 1960s."

And now...
For the current plans considered by the Hatoyama Government, see the recent posts below.

No Longer "Relocation" - An Idea of a Massive Artificial Island with Three Runways over 3,000 metres

Airbases, a Military Port, and a Casino

Listen to the Unequivocal Voice of Okinawa - Once and for All

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Okinawans Irate Over Government's Plan - Yomiuri Report 沖縄は激怒している 

A citizens' meeting was held to oppose the plan to reclaim a site off White Beach, Uruma City, one o the two plans that the government is reported as considering for the "relocation" of Futenma Air Station. The meeting took place in Uruma City on the evening of March 25, attended by 650 people, according to the March 26 Yomiuri Shimbun report.

Okinawans Irate Over Government's Plan
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/news/20100326-OYT1T00135.htm

The whole island is angry at the news that the Hatoyama government has decided to go into negotiation with the US government with the two plans - one to build a runway within Camp Schwab(Nago City), and the other to reclaim an area off White Beach(Uruma City).

Before the general election in August 2009, Hatoyama pledged that the airbase would be relocated "at least outside of the Okinawa prefecture." To most Okinawans, the current plan is a serious betrayal by DPJ, the leading party in the coalition government.

Yamauchi
Sueko, one of the prefectural assembly members who met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano on 24th to oppose the inter-prefectural relocation plan said, "How dare would DPJ come up with a plan to reclaim the same ocean while they oppose the Henoko plan?"

Inamine
Susumu, the anti-base Nago Mayor who recently drew international attention by winning the election which was virtually regarded as another plebiscite for the city citizens to accept a new base or not, also told reporters, "Mr. Hatoyama has repeatedly said that he would pay consideration to the feelings of Okinawans. What was that promise about? I am speechless with digust."

Inamine
is not just against the plan to build a base over the shore of Henoko, a plan in the 2006 US-Japan agreement, but also against the new plan to build a base in the in-land area of Camp Schwab. "I oppose it. Both the City Council and the Prefectural Assembly oppose it. The residents of course oppose it. The feasibility of such plans is close to zero."

Even the supporters of the Henoko plan opposes the in-land Schwab option. Miyagi Yasuhide, head of the organization of Henoko residents who support the 2006 agreement plan says, "The in-land option would allow helicopters to fly right over residential areas and the danger of Futenma would just be automatically be transferred to Henoko. We cannot possibly accept it."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mr. Hatoyama, Can You Protect Life? 鳩山さんへ、命を守れますか?

Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, emphasizing on policies "for protecting life," in his January 29 Policy Statement at the opening of the 174th Diet Session, January 29th, 2010


On March 23, Hatoyama and four other members of the Cabinet started discussing the plans for "relocating" Futenma Air Station (see Jiji news quoted at the bottom). There is a grim prospect of any plan to come out of this team that will be favourable to Okinawans. Hatoyama last week expressed difficulty for Futenma to relocate to another area but Okinawa, and there is little to expect from the other members - Hirano, Okada, Kitazawa, and Maehara.

Hirano Hirofumi, Chief Cabinet Secretary has been known for his repeated gaffes, like the one he said immediately after Nago Mayoral election that the anti-base candidate won. He said on January 25,"The election result is one expression of popular will, but there is no reason to take that into consideration for future discussion of policies." He also expressed his inclination to disregard the local opposition in making a national security policy on January 26. He, like Hatoyama, has been repeatedly saying that the options are being considered on the "zero-base" basis, meaning that anything was possible, by which he really means that "relocation" within Okinawa prefecture is not ruled out. He also told Okinawa Governor Nakaima on February 20, "I think the 'best' plan is ideal, but we might have to settle for a 'better' plan."

It has been also reported that Hirano and PNP's Shimoji met behind the closed doors on March 22, the day before the Cabinet members started discussion. Shimoji, now infamous Okinawan member of the parliament who has been endorsing the plan to build a runway within Camp Schwab, has been associated with his family's construction business(Daiyone Kensetsu) that will most likely profit from subcontracting for such a project. It is almost obvious that Shimoji met with Hirano to push this idea. Medoruma Shun suspects that Hirano's casino construction idea on Miyako Island, where Shimoji is from, is a reward for betraying Okinawans and promoting a plan to "relocate" Futenma within Okinawa.

Maehara Seiji, Transportation Minister also in charge of Okinawan issues, said on March 6,"there should be a special promotional measure allocated if a community within Okinawa has been chosen as a relocation site for Futenma," meaning that the government will dump money and construction projects for "economic development" of the host community. But we don't know if that strategy works any more. In the symposium held at Hosei University in Tokyo on March 20, Kawase Mitsuyoshi, Kyoto Prefectural Universty professor mentioned the fact that Inamine Susumu, new Nago Mayor rejected the government subsidy associated with hosting a new base for the new fiscal year. Kawase expects this would set a new trend for Okinawan municipalities to stop the disproportionate flow of those government funds to communities that hosted bases.

Kitazawa Toshimi, Defense Minister met with Okinawa Governor Nakaima on March 17, in which it is reported that two plans were suggested - the plan to reclaim a site off White Beach (Uruma City) and another plan to relocate Futenma to Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima. This Tokunoshima plan is technically an "out-of-prefecture" plan because Tokunoshima belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture and seems to be favoured by Hatoyama who wants to honour his word before the election that the Futenma relocation had to be out of Okinawa prefecture. This Ryukyu Shimpo column on March 22, however, points out that this island only 200 km north of Okinawa did belong to Ryukyu Kingdom, and it is still a relocation within the wider Ryukyu region - "a faraway place from Tokyo, where bureaucrats and politicians would have no worry about noises and accidents from the base affecting them."

Foreign Minister Okada Katsuya stirred controversy by stating that the failure to "relocate" the airbase in Ginowan City may lead to continued use of the current Futenma Air Station on February 2. Even PM Hatoyama said on March 23 that he would not rule out "emergency use" of Futenma.

Does this mean that in the worst case scenario, Okinawa will end up not just with a new base, but with the existing Futenma Air Station as well? Okinawans would accept neither of them, let alone one of them. What is the government thinking? What is going on? Another symposium held on March 20 at Okinawa International University had that very title - "Chaasuga (What's Going On) Futenma?" It was an opportunity for Okinawans to ask questions of the three parliamentarians representing Okinawa. One thing that the three representing each coalition party (DPJ, PNP, SDP) did have in common was their opposition for the plan to reclaim an area off Katsuren Peninsula (White Beach), for different reasons - DPJ's Kina calling the plan "reckless," SDP's Teruya fearing the large reclamation project would destroy the whole Eastern shores of Okinawa, and PNP's Shimoji arguing "creating a base in an area other than within an existing base is not acceptable."(We all know where Shimoji's twisted disagreement comes from - he wants to build a runway within Camp Schwab.) Okinawa Governor Nakaima expressed a serious concern over the plan - not just the reclamation plan, but the Camp Schwab plan as well.

It seems as if this symposium left the audience with more questions than answers. Now what? Chaasuga? What decisions will come out of this team of PM and four Cabinet members, of which each seems to have lost the DPJ's pre-election ambition to remove the Futenma base out of Okinawa? Hatoyama, in his January 29 Policy Speech, placed a special emphasis on "policies for protecting life ("inochi o mamoru seiji")." Hearing this speech reminded me of this group in Okinawa - the Association for Protecting Life ("inochi o mamoru kai"). The group of Nago residents and their supporters have been protesting on the shore of Henoko against construction of a new base for the last thirteen years.

Can Hatoyama protect the livelihood of people and the lives of the natural environment of Okinawa by removing Futenma and not building another base there?

He should, against all odds, if he is really determined to live up to his principles.

PeacePhilosopher

  • Japan to Present Multiple Proposals for U.S. Base
    http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2010032301115
    Tokyo, March 23 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to present multiple proposals for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, a government official indicated Tuesday.
    After Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had talks on the Futenma issue with relevant ministers, a senior Foreign Ministry official said that the government does not intend to decide fully on its own and seek negotiations, indicating the government will not narrow candidate relocation sites down to one and will present them to the United States and local governments.
    Relocation sites being considered by the Japanese government are the inland area of the Marine Corps' Camp Schwab in Nago and a landfill off a U.S. Navy facility at White Beach in Uruma, both in Okinawa.
    At the day's meeting, participants likely discussed a proposed transfer of the U.S. Marines' drills to Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, north of Okinawa, as Hatoyama is exploring a possibility of moving the Futenma base out of Okinawa.
    The meeting was held by Hatoyama, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Seiji Maehara, minister in charge of Okinawa.

    (2010/03/23-23:30)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gavan McCormack's Article on Okinawa and Japan-US Relationship ガバン・マコーマック 対米従属への警鐘 沖縄からの視点

This article is from the March 5 Edition of "Shukan(Weekly) Kin'yobi," a progressive weekly journal in Japan, written by Gavan McCormack, professor emeritus of the Australian National University and editor of Japan Focus. For English readers, see the longer version of the article "The Travails of a Client State: An Okinawan Angle on the 50th Anniversary of the US-Japan Security Treaty" in Japan Focus.

『週刊金曜日』2010年3月5日号に『米国は辺野古から、沖縄から手を引け―今こそウソにまみれた日米安保五〇年の検証を』のタイトルで掲載されたガバン・マコーマック(オーストラリア国立大学名誉教授・ジャパンフォーカス編集委員)氏による記事を掲載します。この内容をもっと膨らませた英語記事が『ジャパン・フォーカス』誌に掲載されておりますので併せてご覧ください。

「属国」の労苦
- 日米安保50周年、沖縄からの一視点 -

ガバン・マコーマック

戦争が終わってから六五年もたつのに、日本はいまだにかつての占領国の言いなりである。政府とオピニオンリーダーたちは、自国を占領状態に留めたがり、どんなことがあっても占領者の機嫌を損ねることは避けようと決め込んでいる。特に沖縄では、米軍は武力で奪った土地を今も占領しているのに、日本国政府は彼らの駐留維持のため、気前よく財政貢献を続ける。

また安保に基づく同盟関係を特徴付ける(密約という名の)ごまかしとウソが相次いで暴露されながらも、正式にその釈明を求める声が聞かれない。それどころか、耳にするのは四方八方から同盟の「深化」という言葉だけである。特に米国は、普天間基地の代わりに辺野古に新たな複合軍事基地を建設しなければならないと言い張っているが、日本の識者たちはこれにうなずくのみだ。こうした従属を求める姿勢を、私は「属国主義」と名付けている(注1)。

 「対等性」や日米関係の再交渉を口にする鳩山民主党が与党となりそうな気配が濃厚になると直ちに、、米国は忠告や要求、脅しを矢継ぎ早に送りつけ、民主党に伝統的(自民党的)な従属を強要し続けてきた。自民党時代、イラクに「日の丸を揚げろ」「軍隊を派遣しろ」だの、インド洋に海上自衛隊を派遣しろだのと一貫して要求してきた同じ「日本問題専門家」や「ジャパン・ハンドラーズ」が、今度は「従え!従え!従え!グアム協定を実行しろ!辺野古に新基地を作れ!」と執拗に繰り返している。

 ところが、日本では怒っている徴候がない。それどころか国内では、鳩山とその政府は「現実的」になるべきだなどと、米国の要求をオーム返しに繰り返す声がこだましている。日米両国を知悉する高名な評論家は、「知日派・親日派」の米国人と、「卑屈」な「知米派・親米派」の日本人が一緒に築き、支えてきた不平等な日米関係によって「飯を食ってきた」人々が発するワシントンと東京の空気を、「腐臭」と書いている。(注2)

 今年現行の安保条約が制定五〇年を迎える。この際両国関係を再考し、それをそのままに継続するのか、必要なら、改正するか、ことによっては廃棄も、すべては可能であるはずだ。だが、そうした再検討の試みは、過去の外交記録の隠蔽と特定方向への改定の圧力、そして政治的なレトリックと詭弁によって妨害されている。その結果、「黄金の五〇年」の記念すべき年にあって、日米関係ほど不平等で、無理解と誤解に満ちた二つの近代国家の関係は、想像するのも難しい状態にある。 

日米安保条約のシステムは、その全期間に渡って不平等であり、ごまかしとウソに満ちている。一九六〇年に衆議院で未明に野党不在のまま強行採決された第二次安保条約は、一九五一年の第一次安保条約で本土は非軍事化された「平和国家」日本で、直接米国支配下に置かれた「戦争国家」沖縄という分断状況を、より強固にするものであった。後になって、沖縄がごまかしの典型のような協定で名ばかりの日本施政下に戻されても、この分断は維持された。

前進する沖縄の闘い

なぜごまかしなのかといえば、第一に、沖縄の一九七二年の「復帰」は実際には日本に「返還」された〟のではなく、「購入」されたのだ。日本は、その七年前に韓国に対し約四〇年間の植民地支配の謝罪として支払った額よりも多くを、米国に(実際は米国が握っている資産の〝返還〟という名目で)支払った。第二に、その協定は「核抜き・本土並み」と宣言されたが、決してそうではなかった。「戦争国家」の機能が中心的位置を占め、米軍基地には依然手を付けることができず、米国は(密約によって)核兵器に関する特権に変化はないと保証されていたのだ。沖縄にとって日本国憲法下への名ばかりの編入があったにもかかわらず、その時から現在まで実際には軍事がすべてに優先する原則に従属しており、その意味では皮肉にも、「先軍」国家としての北朝鮮に似ている。

冷戦後に日本本土ではナショナリズムや民主主義、護憲精神の良質部分は、徐々に日米同盟という「より高度な」存在の下に降格されてしまった。しかしながら沖縄では、民主的市民社会が着実に成長し、属国化路線は正当性を確保することができなかった。

その結果、二〇〇五年に沖縄の市民社会は小泉内閣と米国支持者を向こうに大困難を克服し、政府の辺野古沖合基地建設計画を断念に追い込むという驚くべき勝利を勝ち取った。これは、民主主義と非暴力市民運動の歴史における特筆すべき出来事であった。だが政府は〇六年に、辺野古の陸地に接する大基地計画案を携えて反撃に転じた。二つの滑走路を有し、アジア、太平洋全域を射程に収めるハイテク装備の陸海空軍基地計画は、旧式で不便、危険な普天間基地や、当初の沖合ポンツーン式の〝ヘリポート〟のいずれよりもはるかに広大で、多機能な性格を持つ。

 オバマが大統領に就任した二〇〇九年初旬、彼の日本担当顧問たちは、民主党政府のもとで起こり得る政策転換の恐れに対しそうさせないようように、先手を打って素早く行動するよう助言したという。自民党が野党に落ちる直前のことであったが、〇五年の「郵政民営化」選挙の大勝利でまだ自民党が衆院の三分の二を占めている間に、オバマ政権は麻生前首相に衆院で〇六年のグアム協定を正式な条約にさせるため強行採決させ(〇九年五月)、政権の座を目前にした民主党の手をしばったのである。

 〇九年のグアム協定は、日米の力の差を歴然と見せつけた決定的瞬間でもあった。米国は自民党との交渉時間が残り少なくなっているのを承知の上で、早くやれと日本に催促し、日本は不平等(日本に義務が課せられたのに米国は何の義務もなく)、違憲・違法、かつ植民地的でごまかしだらけの協定であれ、とにかく米国の要求に応じたのであった。(注3)だがこの取り決めから漂う「腐臭」に、気づいた人々はほんのわずかであった。

「防衛」とは無縁な海兵隊

 しかしながら沖縄における昨年の総選挙での鳩山民主党の大勝と、続く一月の名護市長選挙の勝利は、民主的なうねりが盛り上がってきたのを示す徴候として受け止められる。普天間基地のどのような「県内移設」にも反対する世論は、ほぼ全県民的なものとなった。名護市長選挙後は、大浦湾に迫る危険は(ジュゴンやサンゴ、ウミガメも含めて)劇的に減りつつあるようだ。一三年間にわたり、期限付きの沖合いポンツーン方式の〝ヘリポート〟が徐々に巨大となり、海を埋め立てて、二本の滑走路を備え、軍港もある〇六年の計画に変貌していくウソとごまかし、策略を目撃し、さらに基地提供の見返りとされた経済的繁栄の約束が当てにならないのを経験した、今日、沖縄県民は再び簡単に騙されはしない。

 二つの選挙は県民に勇気をもたらす一方、選挙は「同盟」関係を揺るがすものであった。辺野古基地建設は、鳩山がかつてのソビエトのように、戒厳令のような反民主的手段をとった場合には、実行に移されるに違いない。しかし「日米同盟」誕生五〇年を祝うための方法としては、かなり変わっている。
ヒラリー・クリントンはこの一月、ホノルルで、「安保条約は、東アジア、とりわけ日本の安全と繁栄にとって不可欠である」と強調した。これこそまさに、クリントン政権の国防次官補だったジョセフ・ナイが、一九五五年に冷戦後も日米安保を継続させるため「再定義」した際の核心的ポイントである。だが、こうした考えは正しいのだろうか。東アジアの平和と安全が沖縄の海兵隊の駐留に依存しているなどというのは、奇妙に歪められた考えだ。冷戦期に想定されたどこかの軍隊が日本を攻撃するような可能性は、現在ほとんどゼロに等しい。

そしていずれにせよ海兵隊は遠征する「攻撃」部隊であって、地上部隊として敵国領土に侵攻する即応態勢が用意されているが、安保条約第四条で明記されているような沖縄や日本の防衛のために駐留しているのではない。一九九〇年以来、海兵隊は日本の基地から湾岸戦争、アフガニスタン戦争、イラク戦争に参戦するため出撃していった。

加えて、辺野古の基地計画に関する日本の大騒ぎは、大変な無理解の上に成り立っている。宜野湾市の伊波洋一市長が繰り返し示しているように(注4)、米国防総省は〇六年から、普天間の主力海兵隊部隊をグアムに移転することに決定し、それによってグアムを、東アジア全域と西太平洋をカバーする軍事的要塞・戦略的拠点に強化しようと進めてきた(それによって沖縄の新基地のあらゆる戦略的重要性も削がれる)。伊波市長の分析は、少なくとも部分的には防衛省の高官(柳沢協二・防衛研究所特別客員研究員。『朝日』一月二八日付朝刊参照)によっても裏づけられている。それによれば、沖縄の第三海兵師団は「いつでも、日本以外の世界のどこへでも出動する任務を持つ。特定地域の防衛のためではない」と説明されている。要するにグアム条約とは普天間の代替基地ではなく、海兵隊がタダで受け取り、多国の領土を攻撃できる前進基地として使用する、新しく増強され、複数の機能を備えた基地の建設にこそ関連している。

米軍の恐ろしい本質

ほぼ例外なく、米国政府高官や識者、評論家はグアム条約方式を支持し、日本の民主主義や沖縄の市民社会に理解や好意を示したりなどしない。そして概して日本の識者、評論家も、これに「奴顔」(植民地状況に慣れ切った顔つき。寺島実郎が使っている)で呼応している。『沖縄タイムス』の一月一九日付は、制定五〇年を迎え、「沖縄からは従属関係にしか見えない日米安保を検証するチャンスである」と指摘している。真摯に「見直す」のなら、日本の政治家と官僚から「奴顔」を一掃することが求められよう。

鳩山が五月までに普天間基地の移設先に関する重大決定を延期すると発表した際、国防総省の広報官はこの決定を「認めない」と公言した。ワシントンの匿名の高官は、鳩山を「信用していない」と語ったと伝えられている。ナイは日本の民主党について「経験不足でバラバラで、選挙公約にいまだ捕らわれている」と述べているが、それは明らかにグアム条約を再交渉しようとする試みは許されないということを意味している。

五月までに、鳩山は重大な外交的危機をおかしても米国の要求を拒否するか、それとも遺憾ながら辺野古の「V字型滑走路」基地にとって代わる「現実的な選択肢」がないと表明して米国に屈するかどちらかを選ばねばならないが、後者は国内の政治危機を招く。

 安保条約五〇年の公式的記念行事では、ナイがかつて述べたような米軍が日本と東アジアにとっての平和と安全を保障する「酸素」の根源として讃えられようが、それは日本の市民社会にとって、この「酸素」が世界各地では毒なのだという事実が指摘される機会ともなる。

米軍こそ、次々と各国に破局をもたらす元凶なのであって、朝鮮戦争(一九五〇年から始まり、法的にはまだ終わっていない)、民主的に選出された政府を倒したイランのクーデター(一九五三年)、グアテマラの社会改革を潰すための政府転覆工作(一九五四年)、チリの左派政権打倒クーデター(一九七三年)、ベトナム戦争(一九六〇年代から七〇年代にかけて)、アフガニスタン戦争(二〇〇一年から今日も続いている)、イラク戦争(二〇〇三年から今日も続いている)などが有名だ。そして今では、パキスタン、ソマリア、イエメン、そして(再び)イランを脅かしている。

そこでは不正で違法な武力干渉により、米軍が「酸素」をまき散らすにつれて数百万人が死亡、あるいは国外亡命を余儀なくされ、国全体が破壊される。米国の同盟諸国がどこまでこうした犯罪の責任を負っているかと、オランダ(イラク戦争は実際に非合法で侵略的であったと最近調査委員会が結論づけた)と英国(イラク戦争を検証するチルコット調査委員会)で真剣に討議されている。日本政府の責任も同様に、調査されてしかるべきだ。

 安保条約五〇年を記念する今年は、「武力による威嚇又は武力の行使は、国際紛争を解決する手段として永久にこれを放棄する」とする日本憲法をもちながら、よりにもよって戦争と戦争の威嚇を重要な国策遂行の手段とする国と一蓮托生の同盟関係を結ぶことになったのはどうしてか、そしてそのような国を今後も絶対的に支持し、気前良く財政援助を続けるのかどうか、じっくりと考える機会としなければならない。その第一歩として、今こそ過去五〇年の不平等な条約や秘密外交、ウソ、そしてごまかしを市民がオープンに論議し始めなければならない。

(注1)『属国 米国の抱擁とアジアでの孤立』)
(注2)寺島実郎「常識に還る意思と構想」『世界』二月号)。
(注3)Gavan McCormack “The Battle of Okinawa 2009: Obama vs Hatoyama” http://japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack/3250
(注4)本誌一月一五日号「普天間移設と新基地建設は関係ない」

Gavan McCormack・オーストラリア国立大学名誉教授 

The "Quilt for Peace" Completed 「平和をつなぐキルト」完成


My sincere thanks to Kyoko Hara and the White Rock group for completing this beautiful "Quilt for Peace." Hopefully the few pieces I did and sort of messed up didn't do so much harm... an English message is followed by Japanese.

「平和をつなぐキルト」完成のお知らせ

皆様にご協力をお願いしておりました、「平和をつなぐキルト」がついに完成しました!
ご協力くださった方、応援してくださった方、どうもありがとうございました。

キルトのデザインは、中心の折鶴を囲んで、皆様から寄せられたナインパッチ(116枚)と、その周りに”We are love, and we are world peace”というメッセージと共に、22カ国語の「平和」の文字をアップリケしてあります。

この作品の制作には、子供から大人まで、60人以上の方々が様々な'形で協力してくださいました。
日本の「キルトで九条をつくる会」の日高桂子さんにも、いろいろとアドバイスをいただきました。
どうもありがとうございます。

キルト作品としての完成度はともかく、制作に関わった人たちのほとんどが初心者で、「針を持ったこともあまりない」と言われる方まで、「平和」を願うというひとつの思いでこの作品が作られたということに、大きな意味があると思います。

このキルトは、ピース・フィロソフィー・センターに管理していただき、九条の会のイベントなどでも使っていただく予定です。 どうぞ、お楽しみに。

(パッチワークを寄せてくださった方は、どうぞご自分のつくられたピースをさがしてみてください。)

ホワイトロックの会(山本真理子・ロバーツ世以子・原京子)

The "Quilt for peace" has finally been completed !
For the people who have contributed and to those who have supported this project, thank you very much.

The paper crane, which symbolizes peace, is in the center surrounded by 116 nine-patches.

Around the quilt, the message "We are love, and we are world peace," along with "peace" in 22 different languages are sewed on.

This project was supported by more than 60 people, from kids to adults. Ms.Keiko Hidaka from "Quilt de Kyujou wo Tsukuru Kai" in Japan has also helped us in many ways.

Thank you again.

Many people who wish for world peace gathered together to make this quilt, even though most were beginners at sewing.

It was a great challenge, but being able to complete it has a big meaning.

We will donate the quilt to the "Peace Philosiphy Centre", so you will be able to see it at many events.

Whiterock-no-kai (Mariko Yamamoto, Seiko Roberts, Kyoko Hara)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 20th Peace Philosophy Salon Report "Foreigners in Japan"

We, university student members of Peace Philosophy Centre, are so glad to have had a wonderful time at peace philosophy salon yesterday. Tank you very much for your attendance and participation in our salon yesterday.

The main topic for yesterday's salon was the rights of non-Japanese people in Japan, and we approached the issue from different point of views and various perspectives.

We started with a presentation by our guest speaker, Go Murakami (UBC, PhD student of political science major). He presented on political issues related to immigration and fundamental rights of foreigners living in Japan. His presentation made me to rethink about the concept of state sovereignty, citizenship and our fundamental rights as human who must live somewhere, within a defined territory no matter what you like it or not.

Relating to that, Arc Zen Han (UBC, International Relations major) presented on political and philosophical analysis on the conception of citizenship and community as well. Even though it seems very complicated, it is always important to think about the world around us radically- "radical" in a sense that "going back to the roots". In China, for example, there is no simple and single definition of "Chineseness" which can be applied for ALL the people living within China, since the country is consisted of so many different regions of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In Canada as well, there is no such "Canadianess" that can define each Canadian people as one particular kind of people. We think we understand that in our head, but in practice, it might be difficult for us to be aware of that constantly. In order to think about any kind of discrimination and prejudice, we need to go back to fundamental and radical factors and philosophical approach is definitely necessary.

Dan Aizawa (UBC, Political Science and History major) presented on the issue of social and political position of international schools in Japan based on his personal experience and thoughts. His presentation led a deep discussion on whether or not those non-Japanese schools that are not fully following Japanese education curriculums need to be recognized as "school" in Japan. They should follow Japanese curriculums? or, should it be individuals' freedom to choose not to be part of Japanese education system while living in Japan? By discussing on these questions together, it urged us to rethink not only how non-Japanese schools should be treated, but also what the fundamental role and purpose of education is and what "good" education is.

In addition, and highly importantly, we also discussed the issue that the Japanese government currently discriminates Korean high schools in Japan institutionally by not providing them funding, whereas other non-Japanese schools can receive money from the government just like other Japanese schools. This is clearly representing racial discrimination against Zainichi Koreans and the government just got warned by UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) for its commitment to racial discrimination.

I (Shoko, SFU Sociology major) shared my perspective and thoughts based on my own "sociological" analysis about social and cultural implications in discrimination against non-Japanese people in Japan. The situation is changing due to political, economic, and cultural globalization, but I personally think there still exist cultural and social aspects, which are peculiar to Japanese society, causing discrimination against non-Japanese people in grass-root levels.

Andrew Livingston (UBC Asian study major) shared his experience and his' stories of living in Japan, and it was a great opportunity to hear how discrimination against non-Japanese people still exists in Japanese society from non-Japanese point of views. However, he and one of the participants who have lived in Japan as a foreigner also addressed that their experience of living in Japan was great and they met lots of great Japanese people who helped them during their stay. They told us that their impression about Japan is quite positive, even though they have come across with discrimination explicitly or implicitly.

My belief is that small shifts in individual consciousness create massive shift in consciousness just like a small pebble thrown into a pond produces a wave farther. Therefore, as a Japanese who have lived in abroad and learned the importance of critical thinking, I feel responsible to see Japan, the country where I was born and grew up, in critical way and have dialogue with others to know different perspectives and thoughts. As a Japanese student who have been studying in abroad, not only criticizing negative part of Japan but also I need to recognize positive aspect of the country and its people.

From this salon, I learned a lot about Japanese political background and situation of non-Japanese people living in Japan, and most importantly, discussion with participants urged me to have balanced perspective in order to improve my critical thinking skill into more constructive one :)

and...

Student members would love to thank Satoko-san, for guiding and supporting us to have such a wonderful time. Thank you, always!!!





Love & Peace ,


Shoko

Friday, March 19, 2010

Listen to the Unequivocal Voice of Okinawa - Once and for All

Okinawa "kenmin taikai" (prefectural citizens' rally) on Novemer 8, 2009 to protest against the construction of a new base in Henoko or anywhere else in Okinawa. Photo from the JCP website.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Hatoyama expressed his thought on the Futenma issue.

"It is difficult to relocate (Futenma Air Station) out of the prefecture, but I would like to pay consideration to the feeling of people in Okinawa, who want it out of the prefecture. We are doing our best." (県外は難しいけれども、沖縄県民の皆さん方の(県外が)望ましいという気持ちを大事にしたい。その中で頑張っているところだ」)(Jiji News, March 19)

When Japanese speakers say something is "difficult," if often means "impossible."

Indeed, the government has been acting as if they had already given up the idea of just returning Futenma to the people of Okinawa without building another base there.

On top of the plan in the 2006 Agreement, which is to build a V-shaped runway over the shore of Henoko, the possible government plans include building a runway and a helipad on the land of Camp Schwab (see the upper part of the right illustration by Yomiuri), and reclaiming off White Beach (there are two plans - off Katsuren Peninsula, or between White Beach and Tsuken Island) to build a new base that could accommodate a military port and ASDF runways as well (see the lower part of illustration). This blog already introduced some details of these plans in the previous posts. There was another plan that Defense Minister Kitazawa referred to when meeting with Okinawa Governor Nakaima on March 17 - the plan to move the base to Tokunoshima Island, another island 200 km north of Okinawa, which belongs to the neighbouring prefecture of Kagoshima.

It seems that the moment the government puts their eyes on one place, the municipality stands up with an opposition resolution. Three town councils of Tokunoshima, including one that hosts Tokunoshima Airport, passed opposition resolutions between March 9 and 17 (Nishinippon Shimbun, March 18). The Council of Uruma City, where White Beach is, also passed a position statement addressed to the central government opposing the above mentioned plan to reclaim off Katsuren Peninsula (Ryukyu Shimpo, March 19). Nago City, which attracted wide international attention at the end of January for electing the anti-base mayor, also passed a resolution opposing the Camp Schwab on-land plan earlier in March.

How many of these elections, plebiscites, resolutions, and mass-scale rallies do the central government and US Government need to hear about in order to REALLY get the message - one simple message that Okinawa (nor any other prefecture) does NOT want another base?

Gavan McCormack, Professor Emeritus of Australian National University and editor of Japan Focus says,"Does Ampo(Japan-US Security Treaty) mean deny/reject/crush all these (expressions of popular will)? ... An alliance that treats the opinion of "natives" with such contempt is not an alliance of or for democracy. The "free world" used to be fiercely critical of Moscow for ignoring/trampling on the opinions of Poles, Czechs, and Hungarians; now in the name of democracy and "freedom:" it is about to act in precisely the same way. Does freedom mean so little to those who pretend they defend it? "

Okinawa Times Editorial on March 19 says that these "new plans" by the government are nothing new. Back in 1999, Governor Inamine Keiichi announced that the Futenma relocation site would be on the coastal region of Henoko, Nago, within the water area of Camp Schwab. " At that time, the prefecture had considered seven different options - 1) Coast of Henoko; 2) Eastern coast of Tsuken Island; 3) North of Takae (where the contentious construction of US helipads are forcefully underway); 4) On the land of Camp Schwab; 5)Coast of Katabaru (South of Nago); 6) Off Yokatsu Peninsula (where White Beach is); and 7) Ie Island. The possible plans that have been suggested by members of Hatoyama Administration are those that have already been considered but did not materialize. Digging up those dead plans itself is a "derisive" act against Okinawans, the editorial argues.

Miyagi Yasuhiro today warns that any decision by Hatoyama Administration to build another base within the prefecture will only lead to a fierce political battle by Okinawa against the central government. Okinawa's dignity will be at stake.

Okinawans are going to get together once again for a massive rally on April 25 at Yomitan Sports Park. This will be the first all-party demonstration against building another base within Okinawa as a "relocation" site of Futenma Air Station. They are aiming for participation of 100,000 people.

Both US and Japanese Governments will have to see and listen, if they haven't already by then.

PeacePhilosopher