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Friday, September 17, 2010

Armitage says new base plan in Okinawa may be impossible アーミテージは「名護市議選もあったし、沖縄県知事選によっては普天間移設は無理になるかもしれない」と言っているが主要メディアは完全無視

See bottom for a brief description in English, and a YouTube link to Richard Armitage's talk at Japan Press Club on September 15, 2010.  Please see comments below by Gavan McCormack, John Junkerman and myself too.  New comments are welcome.  (英語のサマリーも一番下につけています。この投稿へのコメントもご覧ください。新規コメントも歓迎です。)

たまには日本語で思い切り文句を言いたい。9月15日にリチャード・アーミテージが日本記者クラブで講演をしたということがメディアに大きく取り上げられたが、私が確認できた限りでの主要メディアと沖縄二紙が報道していることが全く違うので戸惑った。本当に同じ講演のことを言っているのかと疑うほどであった。

琉球新報の報道はここにある。抜粋すると、
「県内移設反対を掲げる候補が当選すれば「辺野古移設は不可能になる」との見方を示した。また、同氏は普天間飛行場移設問題の解決策として、当初の全面移設にはこだわらず部分移設など、次善の策を考えるべきだと提言した。
 アーミテージ氏は、普天間飛行場移設問題に深くかかわってきており、全面移設見直しを提言した同氏の発言が今後、普天間問題の打開策を探る日米両政府に影響を与える可能性もある。
アーミテージ氏は「当事者の意志と善意さえあれば、もともとの目標である普天間の全面移設には到達しないかもしれないが、日米同盟を維持する解決策があるはずだ。他の米軍再編問題はうまくいっているので、(普天間問題についても)次善の策を話し合わないといけない」と述べ、解決策の再検討を促した。」
沖縄タイムスのこの記事でも同じように報道している。しかし主要メディアでは尖閣諸島事件についてアーミテージが「中国が日本を試している」と言ったということばかり報道していた。

そこでアーミテージ講演の全文が記載されているサイトを探した。しかし記載されていた形跡があるようなサイトに行っても全部なくなっていた。現役の国防省は国務省の高官ならそれらの省庁のウェブサイトに行けば大体原文を入手できるのだがなんせこの人は「元国務副長官」というだけの肩書きなので、そういう正式な文書も残らないし、そもそも日本のメディアがこぞってよいしょして、かつぎあげて報道合戦するような対象ではないのである。しかしこの人の、アメリカ軍事業界の利権との深いつながりがきっと日本の「軍産・官僚・メディア複合体制」ともがっちりタックルを組んでいるのでこの人が来るとやはりメディアは国賓扱いなのだ。やっとこの講演を主催した日本記者クラブのサイトで見つけた。最初からそこに行くべきだった。しかしここでも全文のテキストはなく、YouTube ビデオだけだった。質疑応答も含めて一時間もゆっくり聞いている暇はとてもないので飛ばし飛ばし聞いて普天間問題に触れているところを探したら、あったあった。琉球新報や沖縄タイムスが報道しているようなことをやはりしっかり語っている。下にリンクを示しているので56分あたりのところから聞いて欲しい。

私は沖縄をなるべく英語で伝えたいと思っているので大体まず英文の報道に目を通すのだが、やはり英字紙のジャパン・タイムズをはじめ、共同も、尖閣諸島沖で中国漁船が海上保安庁の巡視船に衝突した事件について「中国は日本を試している」と述べたことばかり強調している。

肝心の普天間問題について、アーミテージが沖縄県内「移設」は無理かもしれないという可能性について触れたことを一切報道していない。共同に至っては、「アーミテージが仙石官房長官と会談したときには難題の普天間移設問題には触れなかった」と言っておきながら、この記者クラブ講演のときにしっかり触れたことをかすってさえいない。

朝日も、毎日も、時事も、日経も、産経も、全部横並びである。読売では英語報道

「講演自体では触れなかったが質疑応答では『日米関係にはもっと大事な問題がたくさんあるのに普天間問題がスピードバンプ(順調に進んでいたのにストップさせられるような)になった』という報道をしている。この「スピードバンプ」発言の直前に、「沖縄県内移設は無理かもしれない」ということを言っているのに敢えて無視しているところに意図的なものが感じられる。

新聞に批判精神というものはなくなったのか。北朝鮮の「脅威」を理由にした海兵隊の「抑止論」も、沖縄に基地を置く「地政学的」理由も説得力がなくなってきていたところに起きた尖閣諸島沖の事件は、「やっぱり中国は脅威なんだ」ということで沖縄の基地増強を正当化する格好の理由ということになり、政府も官僚もメディアもよってたかってこの事件を利用している。開いた口がふさがらない。

しかし本当は、今政権にいないアーミテージが「普天間移設は無理かもしれない」と言ったところでだから何なんだと思うのが当然なのである。そういう人に過度に影響力があるかのように演出し、政府や官僚に都合のいい発言だけを取り上げて大げさに報道するメディアは、それをそのまま信じる人たちがいかに多いかを考えると本当に罪深い。特に外国語によるインタビューや記者会見は、報道を受け取る側が原文にまで行って確認するようなことはほとんどないので発信側が情報操作を自由自在に行えてしまうので危険度は倍増する。

私は日本の戦争は知らない世代だが、最近、戦争時代を知っている人たちから、「最近の日本のメディアが政府・企業にべったり寄り添った報道をするようになって、戦前戦中のそれに酷似してきた」という声を頻繁に聞くようになっている。メディアの戦後というのは、政府に協力し戦争を助長した責任への反省の65年ではなかったのか。当時は治安維持法もあり、言論の自由もなかったが、現代においてメディアが政府・官僚・企業の御用機関になり下がっているのは言い訳の仕様がない。



What I wrote here basically is about the fact that the mainstream Japanese all ignored that Armitage said that,  given the recent Nago election and depending on the result of Okinawa gubernatorial election in November, a replacement base for Futenma in Okinawa may be impossible. Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times reported it, but the mainland media all ignored that part and focussed on one thing, which is that China is testing Japan by showing stern attitudes towards Japanese arrest of the Chinese fishing boat that collided with Japan's Coast Guard patroll ship near Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. Now that the "deterrence" of marines and Okinawa's "geopolitical" advantage to deal with the "North Korea threat" are becoming ever unconvincing, this incident came in a perfect timing for those who want to increase the perception of  the"threat of China," to justify  perpetuation the US military base presence in Okinawa and the Henoko base construction.

Richard Armitage
State; Deputy Secretary a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Ambassador to the Newly Independent States after the fall of the Soviet Union, in recent years Armitage has combined a lucrative consulting business - through his firm, Armitage Associates - with seats in many prominent corporate boardrooms, including Raytheon and Mantech International. His company's clients have included multimillion-dollar defense contractors such as Boeing, Science Application International Corporation, and Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root, as well as financial powerhouses Goldman Sachs and Chase Manhattan. Armitage also owns Rubaiyat Trading, a business entity created to own a Cessna Citation private aircraft valued at somewhere between $1 million and $5 million. He also has stakes in partnerships involved in everything from publishing to commercial real estate, and has personally invested millions in companies such as Pfizer, Chase Manhattan and American International Group.

8 comments:

  1. Gavan McCormack5:50 am

    A terrific piece of detective work. We are really indebted to you.

    I myself had seen reports of the Armitage talk (ie minus the Okinawa references), and assumed it was Armitage as usual, delivering instructions to Japan.

    I did notice, just in the last hour or so, today's Okinawa Times editorial, where I had circled with an exclamation mark and question mark the sentence you rightly draw attention to.

    But I had not really grasped it and had no idea of the scale and significance of the broader media phenomenon you describe.

    The implications are huge.

    And as the Okinawa Times editorial puts it "it is really pathetic that it should be the American side, not the government of Japan, that first responds to the shift in Okinawan people's consciousness."

    I urge you to circulate widely.

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  2. John Junkerman2:16 pm

    I agree this is an important sign, but just for the sake of accuracy, Armitage said the Nago and gubernatorial elections "could make things near to impossible... hard, but not impossible. It is hard to see a resolution on Futenma, but it is not impossible." He goes on to suggest that the resolution might be something short of the complete relocation of Futenma, which is significant, given the US stance to date.

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  3. Thanks for your supportive comment, Gavan, and John, thank you for your citing Armitage more accurately. His words were certainly difficult to summarize in a few words, but for the simplicity of the heading, I described it in the way I did, and I believe his words did have that tone that Henoko could be impossible. But you are right that his suggestion of this issue settling into something short of the complete relocation of Futenma was significant. In my understanding, "the complete relocation of Futenma" means construction of the Henoko base. So, something short of that would be an alternative "relocation" - partial transfer of training, for example, instead of construction of a whole new base. And Futenma will still be returned. Am I right?

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  4. John Junkerman6:08 pm

    It certainly sounds that way, though who can tell? It strikes me that this is very similar to what Ozawa was saying during the DPJ presidential campaign, and in a sense it's stating the obvious, because building the base as planned is in fact impossible. With Maehara as the new foreign minister, the stupid spat with China will, as you suggest, help maintain the pretense that the marines need to stay in Okinawa, and it's possible the US will find it easier to talk to Maehara (not necessarily a good thing overall, but potentially leading to some compromise on Futenma).

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  5. Thank you John. I am glad I got a chance to ask you what Armitage meant by "short of complete relocation," though of course no one has the right answer, it is something that we shouldn't assume we all have the same understanding about. The terminology over this issue has become excessively complex, because the word "relocation" is used ambiguously to mean different combinations of return of Futenma, construction of a new base elsewhere, transfer of Futenma Marines to that new base and/or to other locations, and transfer of training. Maehara, proponent of collective self-defense rights, as new FM is certainly worrisome news, considering his pro-US stance. He will possibly intensify the "candy and whip" policy to buy off the will of Nago and beyond.

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  6. Douglas Lummis4:46 pm

    Belatedly I have just listened to/watched the Armitage video you sent. My impression: for some time back a few people in Okinawa have been trying to change the terms of the debate, from "please listen to our voices, have some
    sympathy for our plight" (i.e., we are powerless) to, "sorry, but building the base at Henoko is now impossible" ( i.e.,we have the power). Because in politics, sometimes the direction of a discussion is decided by the terms in which it is defined, and changing the terms can have large consequences. It is interesting that the word "impossible" 不可能 is appearing more and more in
    political discussion, and in the newspapers. And interesting that now it has even entered Armitage's vocabulary for talking about Henoko even though, as John pointed out, he tried to hedge as soon as he used it.

    Doug

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  7. Thank you Doug.

    It is extremely interesting what you said about the use of terminology impacting political trends. Nakaima has been using this (不可能、and 無理) for some time and I have been looking at it rather negatively, because it is 日和見主義、not coming from a value within himself,compared to Inamine, who is clear about not letting the base to be built inland
    or on the ocean. For Inamine, he is the subject of the decision, but
    for Nakaima, the subject is more blurry. It is almost like a natural disaster, what in my understanding many Japanese regarded war, firebombing, atomic-bombing, and US occupation even. It just happens and you have to deal with it. I thought Nakaima using that narrative was for allowing leeway for changing his position (or observation)
    depending on the political trend of a future time. But now more
    Okinawans are using it. Are they all becoming a Nakaima, or asserting more power as you suggest? Why don't they say what Inamine says? Is that because these people are aware of their own limitation and want to
    adopt a narrative that leaves an impression as if some higher power is ruling the whole political scene?

    By the way, now Nakaima is officially asking for kengai. I thought it was a dangerous move, attempting to remove the Futenma issue out of the whole campaign to undermine Iha's candidacy itself.

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  8. Douglas Lummis5:32 pm

    I suppose that when Nakaima says "impossible" he is being
    opportunistic (or saying to the Tokyo government, "don't blame me!") But I believe that when grass roots people use the term they mean, We have made it
    impossible. And a man like Armitage (or Nye or Campbell) will never respond to an appeal for sympathy or understanding, but as "realists" the dichotomy "possible/impossible" is a concept their simple minds can grasp. (I thought the big clod was pretty entertaining as he presented the well-worn threats
    of raising the military budget and engaging in military exercises as if they were "subtle and nuanced" responses - as if they were fresh ideas that he just thought up. He should have stuck with pro wrestling)

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