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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gavan McCormack: How Many Other Mahers Will Turn Up in Wikileaks? ガバン・マコーマック:ウィキリークスにあと何人の「メア」が隠れているのだろうか

Kevin Maher, former Consul-General of Okinawa, has been sacked as Director of the Japan Affairs Office of the State Department and being replaced by Rust Deming, a former deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Japan. See below for related news (Kyodo, Xinhua, and New York Times). 下方にケビン・メア更迭の英語報道(共同、新華社、ニューヨークタイムズ)を貼り付けています。

Here is Gavan McCormack's comment on the issue, which he provided at request of Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo. The English version is followed by Japanese. 琉球新報3月10日版の社会面に一部が掲載されたガバン・マコーマック氏(オーストラリア国立大学名誉教授、アジア太平洋ジャーナル:ジャパンフォーカス編集委員)のコメント全文をここに英語、日本語で紹介します。

For Ryukyu Shimpo


Gavan McCormack
Gavan McCormack

As exposure follows exposure since 2009, with the Mitsuyaku, Hatoyama, and now Maher revelations, the US-Japan-Okinawa relationship is revealed as never before. We now learn that the US Department of State’s Japan policy unit is headed by a man who is ignorant, abusive, and racist.

That in itself is not new. Contempt for Japan has been common ever since General MacArthur referred to Japanese as “twelve-year old.” But it was commonly concealed by the warmth with which Japanese leaders who are compliant, performing essentially as poodles and saying “Yes” are feted in Washington.

When Hatoyama in 2009 began to assert, however briefly and feebly, a distinctive Japanese national interest, and to talk of an equal relationship, however, that was intolerable. He was subjected to a barrage of contempt and abuse that would have been unimaginable towards any other country, enemies included. Much of Japan, however, then sided with Washington.

In due course compliant Japanese leadership was reinstated under Kan and Maehara. They are accorded respect precisely because they have reverted to the established role of Japanese leaders: to say “Yes.” Respect is simply the other side of the coin of contempt.

To Maher, Okinawa deserves special contempt because it is, or should be, the zokkoku (a client state) of a zokkoku, yet it persists in saying “No.” That he seems to find infuriating and his bureaucratic colleagues are presumably like-minded.

By exposing so clearly the thinking of Washington’s Japan handlers, however, Maher performs an unexpected service. He opens a window onto thinking at elite policy levels in the Washington establishment and so makes it virtually inconceivable that the agreements for construction of the new base at Henoko or the helipads at Takae should ever proceed.

He also makes us anticipate the release of the supposed 5,000 plus US embassy documents contained in the Wikileaks archive. How many other Mahers will turn up in those files?

Gavan McCormack, author of Client State: Japan in the American Embrace, is Coordinator of Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, and Professor Emeritus at Australian National University.


琉球新報の取材に応じたコメント


ガバン・マコーマック

沖縄返還時の密約の暴露に始まり、鳩山政権、メア発言に至るまで最近、沖縄と日米政府との関係がかつてない鮮明さで表面に出てきた。米国務省の日本部長が日本に対し無知で、侮蔑的、人種的偏見の持ち主であることが露呈した。

もっとも今始まったことではないが。マッカーサー将軍は日本人を「12歳の子ども」と見なしたが、それ以来米国の日本軽視はごく普通のことだった。プードル犬のように、米国の言いなりになる日本の指導者たちのために一席設けて、暖かい態度で持ち上げることで、軽蔑は隠されてきた。

2009年に当時の鳩山首相が、短い期間であったが、おずおずと日本の国益を打ち出し、米国と対等な関係を求めると、米国にとって鳩山は我慢がならない存在となった。

米国は鳩山に他の国の指導者に対してはあり得ないような、ありとあらゆる侮蔑、誹謗中傷の集中砲火をあびせた。日本の大勢は米国に与した。そして、菅首相、前原外相という米国に従順な指導体制に復帰した。

菅政権は好感を持って迎えられたが、それは米国に菅が「イエス」というだけの日本の指導者の伝統的役割に回帰したからにすぎない。好感の裏側には軽蔑がある。

メア日本部長にとって沖縄は特別に軽蔑に値する対象だった。沖縄は、日本という米国の属国のさらにまた属国であるはずなのに、米国に「ノー」と主張し続けるきわめて腹立たしい存在だった。彼の同僚たちもおそらく同じような態度であろう。

メアは、米国のいわゆるジャパンハンドラーズの考え方を、 これほどまでに赤裸々にした結果、思いがけない貢献をすることになった。米国の日本政策担当のエリートたちの思考様式がここまで明白になった以上、辺野古の新基地や高江のヘリパッドの建設を計画する日米合意が実際に進行することは考えられないからである。

これで一層ウィキリークスの5000ともいわれる米国大使館関係の情報の公開が楽しみになってきた。その中に、あと何人のメアが隠れているのだろうか。

ガバン・マコーマック 
アジア太平洋ジャーナル:ジャパン・フォーカス編集委員、オーストラリア国立大学名誉教授。著書は『属国―米国の抱擁とアジアでの孤立』他多数。

Here are related news.

U.S. sacks official over disparagement, apologizes to Japan
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/u-s-sacks-official-over-disparagement-apologizes-to-japan
Thursday 10th March, 11:04 AM JST

TOKYO —
The United States has sacked Kevin Maher as head of the Japan affairs office of the State Department following his remarks that reportedly disparaged the people of Okinawa, while apologizing Thursday to the Japanese government over the matter.

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo announced Rust Deming, a former deputy chief of mission at the embassy, had replaced Maher and the appointment was effective immediately.

Kurt Campbell, an assistant U.S. secretary of state who was in Japan to attend scheduled bilateral security talks, expressed his ‘‘deepest regrets’’ over the matter during a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto.

Campbell also told Matsumoto of the dismissal of Maher, the embassy said.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos plans to visit Okinawa to offer an apology over the matter, Campbell told Matsumoto.

Maher, a former consul general in Okinawa, allegedly made a series of remarks including a description of people in the southern Japan prefecture as ‘‘masters of manipulation and extortion,’’ during a lecture at the department in December.

The comments have stirred a controversy in Japan and especially angered residents of Okinawa.

U.S. sacks state department official over racist slurs, apologizes to Japan
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/10/c_13770455.htm

TOKYO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo announced Thursday that the U.S. government has sacked Kevin Maher as head of the Japan affairs office of the State Department following derogatory remarks he made about the people of Okinawa.

A former deputy chief of mission at the embassy, Rust Deming, will replace the abashed Maher, immediately in a bid to rebuild strained ties between the two countries, officials said.

Following the uproar caused by Maher, leading to prefectural and city assemblies in Okinawa calling for Maher to step down, apologize and officially retract his comments, U.S. assistant secretary of state Kurt Campbell was dispatched to Tokyo.

Campbell on Thursday offered a personal apology to the people of Okinawa and Japan and conveyed deep regret on Maher's behalf, stating that Maher's views in no way represent those of the U.S. government.

In a meeting held with Japan's new Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto on Thursday, Campbell said that U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos plans to visit Okinawa to offer an official apology to the people there in person.

Local media reported that the people of Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture, felt shocked, horrified and utterly ridiculed by Maher's remarks.

The issue arose during a State Department lecture in the U.S. aimed at college students, during which Maher referred to the people of Okinawa as being "masters of manipulation and extortion. "

He also referred to the people of Okinawa as "lazy and deceptive," drawing the ire of Japan's senior ministers and the Japanese population at large.

The Okinawa prefectural assembly said that Maher's comments trampled on the feelings of the Okinawan people, ridiculing and insulting them and that the disparaging remarks were absolutely unforgivable.

The assembly also said that Maher repeatedly made discriminatory remarks and acted discriminatorily during his time as consul general.

Added to this, one of the students attending Maher's State Department lecture felt there were definitely racist undertones to the former U.S. consul general's remarks.

During the lecture, Maher was quoted as saying: "Consensus building is important in Japanese culture. While the Japanese would call this 'consensus,' they mean'extortion' and use this culture of consensus as a means of extortion."

"By pretending to seek consensus, people try to get as much money as possible," he said.

He was also quoted as saying that Okinawan people are, "too lazy to grow goya" a traditional summer vegetable in the southern prefecture, according to official accounts.

Maher, 56, served as the consul general in Okinawa from 2006 to 2009 after joining the State Department in 1981. His comments have riled the people of Okinawa who have suffered under the heavy burden of hosting U.S. military bases for 65-years after the war.

U.S. Apologizes for Japan Remark
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/world/asia/10japan.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

TOKYO — A senior American official apologized on Wednesday for comments attributed to an American diplomat that stirred charges of racism.

The official, Assistant Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell, said he regretted misunderstandings caused by the diplomat’s reported remarks about the people of Okinawa, the island that is host to about half of the 50,000 American military personnel in Japan.

The Japanese news media have reported that the head of the State Department’s office of Japan affairs, Kevin K. Maher, told American university students in December that the Okinawans were “masters of manipulation and distortion.” Mr. Maher, who previously served as consul general in Okinawa, has called the reports inaccurate and incomplete. It was unclear why the media reports emerged now.

The United States Embassy said Thursday that Mr. Maher had been replaced, The Associated Press reported.

The Japanese news media reports on Mr. Maher’s remarks caused outrage on Okinawa, where there is deep resentment of the large United States military presence. The Okinawan prefectural assembly adopted a resolution on Tuesday calling for a retraction and apology. The uproar also created a challenge for Japan’s new foreign minister, Takeaki Matsumoto, who was sworn in on Wednesday. Mr. Matsumoto, a relative unknown, replaced Seiji Maehara, a hawkish young member of the governing Democratic Party who was popular in Washington but resigned over illegal campaign donations. In his inaugural news conference, Mr. Matsumoto said that if the reports were true, Mr. Maher’s comments were “unacceptable” and “hurt the feelings of not only Okinawans but all Japanese.”

Some Japanese officials also said the reported comments could further complicate efforts to relocate the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to elsewhere on Okinawa, something sought by Washington but opposed by many Okinawans.

Mr. Campbell, who is visiting Japan for two days of talks, said the reported comments did not reflect the stance of the United States government. He said he would apologize at every meeting during his visit.

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