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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Part II: Dialogue with Douglas Lummis on Okinawa Election 沖縄知事選について、ダグラス・ラミスさんとの会話 パート2

Sequel to the previous post, this is the rest of my dialogue with Doug. See previous post here, with explanation of terms like kokugai and kengai.

Dear Doug,

If my memory of what I learned from you before is correct, you said something along the line of calling for unconditional closure of Futenma being equivalent of calling for disbanding of the Futenma USMC units, and that would be unrealistic and irresponsible, because one is not in the position to tell a foreign government what to do with their existing military unit. Please correct me if I am wrong. I think you implied by saying that calling for unconditional closure of Futenma would be asking something impossible, which would be irresponsible, because wanting something impossible would be equivalent of wanting nothing, and that would only perpetuate the status quo, which is unfair base burden of Okinawa: therefore it is colonial.

If my reading you is right, Japanese people are hypocritical if they support Okinawa's call for less bases but support ANPO (Japan-US Security Treaty) at the same time. They should accept base burden in their backyard as long as they support ANPO. But calling for abolishment of ANPO is problematic too, because it is not realistic in any foreseeable future. Again, just talking about something impossible would be the same as talking about nothing, which would be equivalent of approving status quo and that would be colonial.

So, Nakaima's point of kengai, no matter how sincere or insincere his motivation might be, should be emphasized on and should be embraced by the mainland Japanese. Only then Japanese will seriously think about ANPO; they will think more in the same way as Okinawans. They the whole nation will be united to work together against ANPO itself. Is this what you envision?

Going back to the election, what if Iha simply called for kokugai, without specifying the place. It would have been hard for Iha to do, knowing the US plan to move Marines there anyway, on which he has no control on whether he wants it or not. But if he did, would you have supported him more whole-heartedly? For you it would still have been better than his calling for unconditional closure, which would be colonial. Then I wonder why Iha didn't do that: just call for kokugai. What did he gain by talking about Guam, rather than kokugai? I don't have an answer for that.

Touching on what you said about Nakaima reading the situation correctly - if electing a candidate who makes pledges only on reading majority trends in order to win an election is a way for democratic victory, aren't we encouraging any election candidates to read the trend of the time, and if that's the case, in theory all candidates (at least who are ready to win) will have no policy differences. Would that facilitate democracy? No. Citizens will just deprive themselves of their opportunity to voice their position through election, because they will have no choice, as all candidates will already have read the majority opinion. There will be absolutely no room for minority voices, and that would defeat the fundamental purpose of democracy. Do you see the contradiction? By supporting Nakaima's strategy and his victory, are you not voting against democracy itself? Is it not that only in this specific case, Nakaima's victory happened to work for the anti-colonial cause that you support, therefore you support his strategy retrospectively?

Having said this, I agree with the last point you make about his Okinawa nationalism and his anger for Japanese and US governments for their "over-the-head" dealings and decisions. As an Okinawan, I don't think it is hard for him to think this way. But having heard how he justified his previous support for Henoko plan ("I only accepted because Nago said yes"), I can't help thinking in a matter of time he would move so that he would influence the very trend that he would want to read on and act on. I can't help thinking his immediate visit to Tokyo after the election is his first step toward that direction.

Dialogue with you helped me think deeply. Having said all that, I think about the colonial issue you raised more than ever before. Thank you Doug.

Satoko

****************************

Dear Satoko,

I think I see what you are saying about Nakaima and democracy. But it maybe depends on where you look for, to use an old Marxist term,l the agent of change. If you look for Nakaima himself to be the agent of change, of course, what could be more dubious? But I think at this moment the agent of change is the Okinawa electorate. They have changed themselves, they have changed the situation, and as a result they have forced a change in Nakaima - if not in his character, at least in his behavior. He is an effect, not a cause. If he fails in this his political camp will go down to defeat in the next election, and they know it. That's why I think it is not wrong to think of this as a democratic moment.

*****************************

Dear Doug,

I see. Nakaima as an effect not a cause makes sense to me. So now our challenge is how to sustain that democratic "moment," as power shifts from the electorate to Nakaima after the election. What we must prevent from happening is him bringing himself down in exchange of a base approval, just like Higa did, and just like Hatoyama did. Another concern is how do LDP and Komeito hold themselves compatible with the fact that they endorsed Nakaima? They won't possibly call for kengai together with Nakaima. They will pressure him to come closer to them, as they regain power in the parliament. These are pessimistic scenarios but we must have them in mind in order to prevent them.

******************************

Where is Okinawa going?

Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus and Okinawa University will co-organize a forum with this theme on December 19, 2010 at Okinawa University. Information will be posted.

PeacePhilosopher

2 comments:

  1. 吉田健正3:41 pm

    グアム移転反対の気持ちはわかりますが、それでは海兵隊基地は沖縄がそのまま引き受けよと、ということになるのか。グアムでは政府も大多数の住民も基地移転を支持しています。反対は、基地予定地に史跡のある先住民チャモロです。しかも、米軍はチャモロ遺跡を尊重する形で基地建設をしようと工夫を練っているところです(沖縄の普天間や小禄その他では、そういうことはありませんでした。辺野古のジュゴンも無視されそうです)。米軍の計画および日米合意にしたがって日本の一部である沖縄から米領のグアムに、あるいは基地に反対する他府県に移すのがだめなら、永久に沖縄が引き受けることになります。どこへ移転するかを決めるのは米国政府です。ハワイも米本土も日本本土も候補地になりうるでしょう。そこで反対運動が起こったら、沖縄が引き受けるのでしょうか。1991・2年に米国がフィリピンからグアムに部隊を移転したあと、グアムではチャモロを中心に土地返還要求運動が起こったそうですが、そのときチャモロの声を尊重せよという動きはなかったのではと思います。・・・というわけで、沖縄の人間としては、まず沖縄からの米軍撤退が優先です。

    ReplyDelete
  2. 吉田健正3:51 pm

    ラミスさんとのやりとり、おもしろいですね。基本的には、政権が対米交渉に動
    き出さない限り、辺野古とりやめの希望はうすい。民主党が過半数を占める国会
    では、党本部が日米合意で締め付け、そうでなくても沖縄選出議員や、沖縄の声
    を代弁する他府県の議員はきわめて少ない。おまけに、主要メディアが日米合意
    遵守を主張しているので、沖縄の声は国民の間にも広がらない。つまり、民主主
    義は機能していない。きわめて悲観的な状態です。方法があるとすれば、国が埋
    め立て法を改定して県知事の権限を取り上げて埋め立てようというとき、沖縄で
    大反対運動が起こるか、日本と世界の反基地団体がいっせいに声を上げるか、普
    天間基地や嘉手納のゲートを封鎖するか、その間に何らかの事故が起こって大き
    な反響を呼ぶことぐらいでしょう。沖縄で独立運動が起こる気配もないし、
    独立が世界的に認められ、国連に訴えるなどして基地撤去実現にこぎつけるかど
    うかもわからない。日本で安保改定運動が起こる可能性も少ない。 米本土の多
    くの知名人や団体、メディア、プエルトリコ系市民が後押ししたプエルトリコの
    ビエケス基地撤去
    運動を思い出します。

    グアム移転反対の気持ちはわかりますが、それでは海兵隊基地は沖縄がそのまま
    引き受けよと、ということになるのか。グアムでは政府も大多数の住民も基地移
    転を支持しています。反対は、基地予定地に史跡のある先住民チャモロです。し
    かも、米軍はチャモロ遺跡を尊重する形で基地建設をしようと工夫を練っている
    ところです(沖縄の普天間や小禄その他では、そういうことはありませんでし
    た。辺野古のジュゴンも無視されそうです)。米軍の計画および日米合意にした
    がって日本の一部である沖縄から米領のグアムに、あるいは基地に反対する他府
    県に移すのがだめなら、永久に沖縄が引き受けることになります。どこへ移転す
    るかを決めるのは米国政府です。ハワイも米本土も日本本土も候補地になりうる
    でしょう。そこで反対運動が起こったら、沖縄が引き受けるのでしょうか。
    1991・2年に米国がフィリピンからグアムに部隊を移転したあと、グアムで
    はチャモロを中心に土地返還要求運動が起こったそうですが、そのときチャモロ
    の声を尊重せよという動きはなかったのではと思います。・・・というわけで、
    沖縄の人間としては、まず沖縄からの米軍撤退が優先です。

    ReplyDelete