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Friday, July 09, 2010

Okinawa's Prefectural Assembly Calls for Revision of Japan-U.S. Agreement to Build a New Base in Okinawa 沖縄県議会、日米共同声明見直し決議を採択

(Photo from Ryukyu Shimpo Website)

On July 9, Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously (except two who left) adopted a resolution to call for a revision of the joint statement by the U.S. and Japanese governments on May 28, 2010, in which the two governments confirmed their intention to build a "Futenma replacement" base in Henoko, Okinawa.

See below for the Mainichi Shimbun (Kyodo) report of the resolution. For Japanese readers, see towards the bottom of this post for the full text of the resolution, and Ryukyu Shimpo's July 9 Editorial.

Summary of the above-mentioned Rykyu Shimpo's editorial:
  • The resolution calls the Japan-U.S. Joint Statement "an act of violence that tramples democracy," and "one that ridicules Okinawans."
  • The anger in the resolution is only natural. The Prefectural Assembly in February passed an unanimous resolution calling for swift closure of Futenma Air Station and opposing construction of a "replacement" base in Henoko, but it was totally ignored by former Prime Minister Hatoyama.
  • The anger of the Prefectural Assembly is directed against new Prime Minister Kan, who unscrupulously inherited Hatoyama's irresponsible "Japan-U.S. agreement."
  • The resolution also protests Kan's statement of "apology and gratitude for Okinawa's burden" at the Battle of Okinawa memorial ceremony on June 23, saying it was "an act that paid no consideration to the feeling of Okinawans."
  • Prime Minister Kan attempts to impose further base burden on Okinawans. If he had any heart for making that apology, he should cancel that imposition. That would be the only right thing to do.
  • Kan, in his policy speech in June, stressed on the "realization of relocation and closure of Futenma Base, and transfer of components of U.S. Marines to Guam." The bilateral agreement specifies the relocation of "8,000 Marines and 9,000 family members," but the most important information is missing, which is how many Marines will be left in Okinawa.
  • According to Okinawa Prefecture's statistics at the end of September, 2009, the number of Marines stationed in Okinawa was 14,958, and that of the family members was 9,035. In theory, the number of Marines remaining in Okinawa after the Guam transfer would be approximately 7,000, with no family members remaining. However, according to research by Ginowan Mayor Iha, "the majority of Okinawa Marines have been dispatched to Iraq and Afghanistan, and there are actually less than 5,000 Marines in Okinawa."
  • For the past seven years, the number of military personnel in Okinawa, including family members, has decreased by more than 10,000, from 50,000 (2003) to 40,000(2008).
  • So what is the rationale for transferring 8,000 Marines? Hatoyama, in his visit to Okinawa on May 4, said, "The more I learned, the more the deterrence effect of U.S. Marines I came to understand." The reality is, if one starts to "learn" anything, one will quickly discover that the bilateral agreement is full of contradictions.

(Above English summary by Peace Philosopher)

****** See related Japan Focus Article by Yoshida Kensei:
Okinawa and Guam: In the Shadow of U.S. and Japanese “Global Defense Posture”

Below are newspaper articles and Okinawa Prefectural Assembly resolution mentioned above:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100709p2g00m0in049000c.html
Okinawa resolution calls for review of Japan-U.S. Futenma statement

NAHA, Japan (Kyodo) -- The Okinawa prefectural assembly on Friday called on the Japanese and U.S. governments to review the joint bilateral statement promising to move a controversial U.S. Marine base within the prefecture largely in line with a previous agreement between them.

The opinion sheet and resolution adopted by the assembly charge that the statement was issued "over the heads of" the people in the prefecture, against their consensus that they oppose relocating the Futenma Air Station within Okinawa.

The opinion sheet, addressed to Cabinet ministers including Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and the resolution, addressed to several others like U.S. President Barack Obama, note that the April mass rally in which organizers say 90,000 people protested the planned relocation "clearly shows" that the islanders want the prefecture to be free of U.S. military bases.

Of the resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month thanking the Japanese, especially those in Okinawa, for continuing to host U.S. forces, the documents say, "That was an act borne out of their insufficient understanding of the feelings of the people in the prefecture and has enraged them."

At a news conference on the same day, Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima suggested that the base should not be forcibly relocated over the opposition among local people, noting that Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine opposes Futenma's relocation from Ginowan to a coastal area of his city under the bilateral agreement.

"The Nago mayor is against it. The only way to overcome it is to employ bulldozers, guns and swords, but I don't think they can do it," Nakaima said, referring to the United States' construction of military facilities in Okinawa while it was under U.S. control.

In the joint statement issued on May 28, Japan and the United States confirmed "the intention to locate the replacement facility at the Camp Schwab Henoko-saki area and adjacent waters" and that they decided to complete a study by experts on its "location, configuration and construction method...in any event no later than the end of August."

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who had once vowed to seek Futenma's relocation "at least outside of the prefecture," resigned days after the announcement.

(Mainichi Japan) July 9, 2010


米軍普天間飛行場移設の日米共同発表の見直しを求める意見書

 去る5月28日、日米両政府は、米軍普天間飛行場の移設先を沖縄県名護市のキャンプ・シュワブ辺野古崎地区及びこれに隣接する水域とし、1800メートルの滑走路を建設することを明記した共同発表を行った。
 この共同発表は、「県内移設」反対という沖縄県民の総意を全く無視するもので、しかも県民の意見を全く聞かず頭越しに行われたものであり、民主主義を踏みにじる暴挙として、また沖縄県民を愚弄するものとして到底許されるものではない。
 さらに、去る6月23日に行われた沖縄全戦没者追悼式に参加した菅直人内閣総理大臣は「沖縄の基地負担に陳謝とお礼」を表明し、米国では6月24日に下院で、29日には上院でそれぞれ米軍基地を受け入れる沖縄への感謝決議が議決されているが、このことは過重な基地負担を強いられ、今また新たな基地を押しつけられようとしている県民の思いを全く理解していない行為として県民の大きな怒りを買っている。
 沖縄県民の願いは、基地のない平和で安全な郷土をつくることであり、このことは本県議会が再三にわたり県内移設反対を議決したのを初め9万人余が参加した4月25日の県民大会、県内全市町村長の反対表明、マスコミの世論調査などで明確に示されている。
 よって、本県議会は、県民の生命、安全及び生活環境を守る立場から、政府が県民の思いに真摯に対応するとともに、日米共同発表を見直すよう強く要請する。
 以上、地方自治法第99条の規定により意見書を提出する。
  平成22年7月9日
                                                               沖 縄 県 議 会

内閣総理大臣
外務大臣 あて
防衛大臣   
沖縄及び北方対策担当大臣

琉球新報 2010年7月9日 社説

普天間決議 矛盾多い日米合意の危うさ

2010年7月9日  県議会は9日、普天間返還・移設問題に関する日米共同声明の見直しを求める意見書を決議予定だ。
 意見書案には「民主主義を踏みにじる暴挙」「県民を愚弄(ぐろう)するもの」など政府批判の文言が並ぶ。
 怒りは当然だ。県議会はことし2月にも、普天間飛行場の早期閉鎖・返還と県内移設反対を求める意見書を全会一致で可決したが、県民総意を体現した県議会決議は鳩山由紀夫前首相に完全にほごにされた。
 鳩山氏は「最低でも県外」を公約しながら、迷走の末に公約を破棄。5月28日に辺野古崎・隣接水域への県内移設の日米共同声明に合意し、その後辞任した。
 政治家の語る言葉は「うそ」、選挙公約は「破られるもの」との前例を残した大罪は、日本の民主主義を踏みにじる暴挙である。
 その鳩山氏は5月4日の沖縄初訪問時、「学べば学ぶほど米海兵隊の抑止力が分かった」と釈明したが、石原慎太郎氏は「一国の総理がみっともない。小学生、高校生じゃないんだ」と断じている。
 県議会の怒りは鳩山氏の無責任な「日米合意」を無節操に継承した菅直人首相にも向けられている。
 加えて慰霊の日の沖縄全戦没者追悼式での菅首相の「沖縄の基地負担に陳謝とお礼」表明にも「県民の思いを全く理解していない行為」と抗議している。
 過重な基地負担を強いられる県民に新たな基地を押し付けるのが当の菅首相。謝るくらいなら押し付けをやめるのが筋であろう。
 菅首相は6月の所信表明演説で「普天間基地の移設・返還と一部海兵隊のグアム移転の実現」を強調した。そのグアム移転の日米合意は「在沖海兵隊8千人、家族9千人の移転」を明記するも肝心な削減後の数字がない。
 県統計では2009年9月末現在の在沖米海兵隊数は軍人1万4958人、家族9035人。移転で兵員数は7千人に、家族はほぼゼロになる勘定だ。ところが「大半がイラク、アフガンに派遣中で、実際の海兵隊員は沖縄には5千人もいない」(伊波洋一宜野湾市長)という。
 そもそも在沖米軍人数(家族含む)は最近7年間でも5万人(03年)から4万人(08年)まで1万人もの幅で変動している。
 なぜ削減は8千人か。「学べば学ぶほど」どころか、ちょっと調べれば矛盾が噴出する「日米合意」の危うさが分かる。

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