(Asked by a reporter why the Defense Minister has been saying that he was "preparing for the submission before the end of the year" instead of saying he was going to submit the report of environmental assessment for the planned construction of a new Marine base in Henoko,)
- When you rape (women), would you declare "I am going to rape you"?(Asked for a comment on the fact that Okinawans suffered damage despite the presence of Japanese military, in the Battle of Okinawa 66 years ago,)
- Ryukyu (Okinawa) allowed Satsuma Province (southern province of Kyushu Island that is now Kagoshima) to invade them because they had no military. There is no such thing like "a peaceful island without military bases." Because Okinawa is weak (it is invaded).(translated by @PeacePhilosophy)
- I don't know about the politicians, but on the vice ministerial level (within the Ministry of Defense), we share an understanding that, if there is no concrete development by the summer of next year (2012) on the issue of Futenma Air Station relocation, the Henoko plan will be given up. Futenma Air Station will stay as it is, as if nothing has happened.
Tanaka's appalling gaffe reveals that he thinks forceful construction of a new Marine base in Henoko is comparable to rape, and he thinks that rape is acceptable. Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura said there would be no change in the plan to submit the environment assessment report by the end of the year, but sacking Tanaka will not solve this problem. This is only going to reinforce the growing understanding that construction of a Henoko base would be no longer possible. See below for a report by Asahi. @PeacePhilosophy
Here is Ryukyu Shimpo's extra on November 29. English translation is HERE.
Okinawa defense chief in hot water over rape remark
The director-general of the Okinawa Defense Bureau may lose his job after he reportedly compared the delayed release of an environment assessment report on the planned relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps air base to warning someone about being raped.
"Would you say, 'I will rape you,' before you rape someone?" Satoshi Tanaka is reported to have said in an unofficial meeting with reporters on Nov. 28.
Tanaka allegedly made the comparison when asked why the government was waffling on the submission date of an assessment report on the environmental impact of the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture.
More than one person present at the meeting confirmed the remark, which was reported in the Nov. 29 morning edition of The Ryukyu Shimpo, a local newspaper.
The meeting, held at a drinking establishment in Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, was attended by staff from about 10 Okinawan news agencies. No staff member of The Asahi Shimbun was present when the remark was allegedly made.
Tanaka declined to comment when contacted by The Asahi Shimbun on Nov. 29.
Yasuo Ichikawa, minister of defense, is considering dismissing Tanaka as director-general.
"We will take stern measures after finding out the precise facts," he told the Upper House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense on Nov. 29.
A final decision was expected to be made after Ichikawa met with Tanaka at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo in the afternoon of Nov. 29 and asked him about the remark.
"I apologize to the Okinawans for the distress (caused by Tanaka's remark)," Ichikawa said.
"The remark cannot be overlooked if it was really made," Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference on Nov. 29.
Ichikawa has said that preparations are under way to submit an assessment report on the base relocation by year-end. However, Ichikawa has vacillated on the submission date, saying, "The issue will not be resolved by setting a timeline."
Earlier this month, the Okinawa prefectural assembly, opposed to the relocation of Air Station Futenma within Okinawa, unanimously approved a recommendation that called on the government to give up on making the report.