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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010 チャルマーズ・ジョンソンを偲び、遺志を引き継ぐ

The Nation: "Remembering Chalmers Johnson, 1931 - 2010" by Tom Engelhardt

Japan Times: "Japan hand Chalmers Johnson dead at 79" by Eric Johnston

 Foreign Policy in Focus: John Feffer on Chalmers Johnson's departure - "It's a Shame Chalmers Johnson Did Not Live to See the U.S. Air Base on Okinawa Closed" 

"The Impact Today and Tomorrow of Chalmers Johnson" by Steve Clemons on the Washington Note.

米軍事帝国への警鐘を鳴らし続け、沖縄や九条の強力な支持者であった国際政治学者チャルマーズ・ジョンソン氏が亡くなりました。享年79歳。ジョンソン氏の5月6日のLAタイムズへの寄稿は、彼の沖縄への最後の言葉となりました。(日本語での報道と、LAタイムズ紙寄稿の日本語版、5月7日『ダイアモンド オンライン』に掲載されたインタビューは、下方をご覧ください)

Chalmers Johnson died on November 20.

A great loss... of a conscientious public intellectual, so rare in this world. He was well-respected within the Japanese progressive community, for his support for Okinawa and for Article 9.

His statement that had the most influence on me was that Article 9 was an apology for Japan's neighbouring nations, and throwing that article would mean throwing that apology(Film Japan's Peace Constitution, directed by John Junkerman).

His Op-Ed in LA Times on May 6 became his last word for Okinawa (quoted below).

He won't just be remembered; he and his work will continue to live, through our work for Okinawa, Article 9, and a fair and just world.

Here are messages from two Okinawan scholars who worked with Chalmers Johnson.

Taira Koji, professor emeritus of economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 

Chalmers has been my number one teacher in matters political, especially since he began to pay attention to Okinawa's tragedy. Under his encouragement and guidance, I have written a few Okinawa articles that I otherwise would never have been able to put in proper form. I mourn my personal teacher/mentor's passing.

Yoshida Kensei, journalist, former professor of international relations at Obirin University

I, and I assume many other Okinawans, deeply regret Professor Chalmers Johnson's death. We lost a great intellectual who not only firmly believed in justice for U.S. foreign policy in general but tried to correct the injustice in Okinawa, an island which he called a "military colony."Personally, I am very thankful to him for his very kind preface to my book Democracy Betrayed: Okinawa under U.S. Occupation.

See below for videos of Chalmers Johnson's talks, his Op-Ed LA Times (in English and Japanese), and related news in Japanese, and another Op-Ed, Empire of Bases, on July 13, 2009 in New York Times. 以下、「軍事帝国主義はアメリカにとって自殺行為である」と訴えるジョンソン氏のトーク(10分ほど)です。

"Why should we be concerned about imperialism and militarism a problem? It is a suicide pact" - Chalmers Johnson Speaks Freely, from YouTube

OpEd LA Times, May 6, 2010  LAタイムズへの寄稿(日本語は下にあります)

Another Battle of Okinawa
Despite protests, the U.S. insists on going ahead with plans for a new military base on the island.

By Chalmers Johnson

May 6, 2010

The United States is on the verge of permanently damaging its alliance with Japan in a dispute over a military base in Okinawa. This island prefecture hosts three-quarters of all U.S. military facilities in Japan. Washington wants to build one more base there, in an ecologically sensitive area. The Okinawans vehemently oppose it, and tens of thousands gathered last month to protest the base. Tokyo is caught in the middle, and it looks as if Japan’s prime minister has just caved in to the U.S. demands.

In the globe-girdling array of overseas military bases that the United States has acquired since World War II — more than 700 in 130 countries — few have a sadder history than those we planted in Okinawa.

In 1945, Japan was of course a defeated enemy and therefore given no say in where and how these bases would be distributed. On the main islands of Japan, we simply took over their military bases. But Okinawa was an independent kingdom until Japan annexed it in 1879, and the Japanese continue to regard it somewhat as the U.S. does Puerto Rico. The island was devastated in the last major battle in the Pacific, and the U.S. simply bulldozed the land it wanted, expropriated villagers or forcibly relocated them to Bolivia.

From 1950 to 1953, the American bases in Okinawa were used to fight the Korean War, and from the 1960s until 1973, they were used during the Vietnam War. Not only did they serve as supply depots and airfields, but the bases were where soldiers went for rest and recreation, creating a subculture of bars, prostitutes and racism. Around several bases fights between black and white American soldiers were so frequent and deadly that separate areas were developed to cater to the two groups.

The U.S. occupation of Japan ended with the peace treaty of 1952, but Okinawa remained a U.S. military colony until 1972. For 20 years, Okinawans were essentially stateless people, not entitled to either Japanese or U.S. passports or civil rights. Even after Japan regained sovereignty over Okinawa, the American military retained control over what occurs on its numerous bases and over Okinawan airspace.

Since 1972, the Japanese government and the American military have colluded in denying Okinawans much say over their future, but this has been slowly changing. In 1995, for example, there were huge demonstrations against the bases after two Marines and a sailor were charged with abducting and raping a 12-year-old girl. In 1996, the U.S. agreed that it would be willing to give back Futenma, which is entirely surrounded by the town of Ginowan, but only if the Japanese would build another base to replace it elsewhere on the island.

So was born the Nago option in 1996 (not formalized until 2006, in a U.S.-Japan agreement). Nago is a small fishing village in the northeastern part of Okinawa’s main island and the site of a coral reef that is home to the dugong, an endangered marine mammal similar to Florida’s manatee. In order to build a large U.S. Marine base there, a runway would have to be constructed on either pilings or landfill, killing the coral reef. Environmentalists have been protesting ever since, and in early 2010, Nago elected a mayor who ran on a platform of resisting any American base in his town.

Yukio Hatoyama, the Japanese prime minister who came to power in 2009, won partly on a platform that he would ask the United States to relinquish the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station and move its Marines entirely off the island. But on Tuesday, he visited Okinawa, bowed deeply and essentially asked its residents to suck it up.

I find Hatoyama’s behavior craven and despicable, but I deplore even more the U.S. government’s arrogance in forcing the Japanese to this deeply humiliating impasse. The U.S. has become obsessed with maintaining our empire of military bases, which we cannot afford and which an increasing number of so-called host countries no longer want. I would strongly suggest that the United States climb off its high horse, move the Futenma Marines back to a base in the United States (such as Camp Pendleton, near where I live) and thank the Okinawans for their 65 years of forbearance.

Chalmers Johnson is the author of several books, including “Blowback” and the forthcoming “Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last, Best Hope.”



沖縄の軍事基地を巡り、米国は日本との同盟関係を永久に損なう瀬戸際にある。沖縄という小さな島々からなるこの県には日本における米軍基地の4分の3が存在する。 米国は環境に配慮が必要な沖縄の一地域に新基地建設を企てている。 沖縄県民はこれに猛反対で、先月には基地反対のため数万人が結集した。 日本政府は板挟み状態であったが、鳩山首相はついに米国の要求に屈したかのようである。


1945年、日本は敗戦国だったため当然どこにどのように基地が配置されるかについて何の発言権もなかった。本州では我々(米国)は単に日本軍の基地を接収した。しかし沖縄は1879年に日本に併合されるまでは独立王国で、日本は今でも沖縄を、米国がプエルトリコを見るような目で捉えている。 沖縄は太平洋戦争中の大規模な戦闘で荒廃しており、米国はただ欲しいままに土地を整地し、村人達の土地を没収したり、強制的にボリビアへ移住させたりしたのだ。

沖縄の基地は1950年から53年まで朝鮮戦争のために使われ、1960年から73年まではベトナム戦争のために使われた。 沖縄の基地は軍用機の補給所や飛行場としてだけでなく、米軍兵が休養したり余暇を楽しむ場所としても利用され、バー、売春、人種差別などのサブカルチャーを生んでいった。 幾つかの基地周辺地域では黒人と白人の米軍兵同士によるひどい喧嘩が多発し、両グループを別々の地域に居住させるようになった。

米国による日本占領は1952年のサンフランシスコ講和条約によって終わったが、沖縄は1972年まで米国の軍事植民地として残った。 20年もの間、沖縄県民は本質的に国籍 のない人々で,日米両国のパスポートも公民権も持てなかった。日本へ「復帰」した後でさえ、米軍は沖縄にあるおびただしい数の基地や沖縄空域の支配権を保持した。

1972年以来日本政府と米軍は、沖縄県民に自らの将来にかかわる決定権を与えずにきた点で共謀してきたが、この状況が変わりつつある。 例えば1995年に海兵隊員2人と船員1人が12才の女児を誘拐しレイプしたとして起訴されたが、これに対して大規模なデモが行われた。1996年、米国は宜野湾市に完全に囲まれている普天間基地を返還する事に積極的になると同意したが、しかし日本はその代わり沖縄県内に別の基地を建設しなければならないという条件付きであった。

そこで名護市への移設案が持ち上がった(これは2006年まで正式な日米合意とはならなかった)。名護は沖縄本島の北東にある小さな漁村である。サンゴ礁やジュゴンというフロリダのマナティーに似た、絶滅を心配される動物の生息する海がある。 米国海兵隊の基地を建設するということは、滑走路を造るためにマナティーの海が埋め立てられ、サンゴ礁は死滅するということである。 それ以来環境保護活動家が基地建設に反対し、今年初めの名護市長選挙では同市の米軍基地建設反対を訴えた市長が当選した。


鳩山首相の態度は臆病で卑劣だと思うが、日本をこのような屈辱的な袋小路に追い込んだ米国政府の傲慢さの方が更に遺憾である。 米国はその軍事基地の帝国を保持することで頭が一杯になってしまったようだが、我々にはもはやそんな資金もないし、基地の「受け入れ国」の多くがますます反対の声を大きくしてきている。米国は高慢さを改め、普天間基地を米国本土の基地(私の家の近所にあるキャンプ・ペンドルトンなど)に戻し、65年間も耐えてきた沖縄の人々に感謝するべきであろう。

チャルマーズ・ジョンソン氏は「ブローバック:アメリカ帝国への報復」などの執筆者で「Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last, Best Hope」の刊行を予定している。


チャルマーズ・ジョンソン氏死去 米国際政治学者




2010/11/21 17:00 【共同通信】

Op-Ed New York Times, July 13, 2009 2009年7月、アメリカの軍事基地帝国について書いたNYタイムズへの寄稿文です。

Op-Ed Contributor

Empire of Bases


Published: July 13, 2009

The U.S. “Empire of Bases” — at $102 billion a year already the world's costliest military enterprise — just got a good deal more expensive.

As a start, on May 27, we learned that the State Department will build a new “embassy” in Islamabad, Pakistan, which at $736 million will be the second priciest ever constructed — only $4 million less, before cost overruns, than the Vatican City-sized one the Bush administration put up in Baghdad.

Whatever the costs turn out to be, they will not be included in the already bloated U.S. military budget, even though none of these structures is designed to be a true embassy — a place, that is, where local people come for visas and American officials represent the commercial and diplomatic interests of their country.

Instead these so-called embassies are actually walled compounds, akin to medieval fortresses, where American spies, soldiers, intelligence officials and diplomats try to keep an eye on hostile populations in a region at war. One can predict with certainty that they will house a large contingent of Marines and include roof-top helicopter pads for quick getaways.

While it may be comforting for State Department employees working in dangerous places to know that they have some physical protection, it must also be obvious to them, as well as the people in the countries where they serve, that they will now be visibly part of an in-your-face American imperial presence.

We Americans shouldn’t be surprised when militants attacking the U.S. find one of our base-like embassies, however heavily guarded, an easier target than a large military base.

And what is being done about those military bases anyway — now close to 800 of them dotted across the globe in other people’s countries? Even as Congress and the Obama administration wrangle over the cost of bank bailouts, a new health plan, pollution controls and other much needed domestic expenditures, no one suggests that closing some of these unpopular, expensive imperial enclaves might be a good way to save some money.

Instead, they are evidently about to become even more expensive. On June 23, we learned that Kyrgyzstan, the former Central Asian Soviet Republic that back in February 2009 announced it was going to kick the U.S. military out of Manas Air Base (used since 2001 as a staging area for the Afghan war), has been persuaded to let us stay.

But here’s the catch: In return for doing us that favor, the annual rent Washington pays for use of the base will more than triple from $17.4 million to $60 million, with millions more to go into promised improvements in airport facilities and other financial sweeteners.

I suspect this development will not go unnoticed in other countries where Americans are also unpopular occupiers. For example, the Ecuadorians have told us to leave Manta Air Base by November. They could probably use a spot more money.

And what about the Japanese who for more than 57 years have been paying big bucks to host American bases on their soil? Recently, they reached a deal with Washington to move some American Marines from bases on Okinawa to the U.S. territory of Guam. In the process, however, they were forced to shell out not only for the cost of the Marines’ removal, but also to build new facilities on Guam for their arrival.

Is it possible that they will now take a cue from the government of Kyrgyzstan and just tell the Americans to get out and pay for it themselves? Or might they at least stop funding the same American military personnel who make life miserable for whoever lives near the 38 U.S. bases on Okinawa.

In fact, I have a suggestion for other countries that are getting a bit weary of the American military presence on their soil: Cash in now, before it’s too late. Either up the ante or tell the Americans to go home. I encourage this behavior because I’m convinced that the U.S. Empire of Bases will soon enough bankrupt our country.

This is, of course, something that has occurred to the Chinese and other financiers of the American national debt. Only they’re cashing in quietly in order not to tank the dollar while they’re still holding onto such a bundle of them. Make no mistake, though: Whether we’re being bled rapidly or slowly, we are bleeding; and hanging onto our military empire will ultimately spell the end of the United States as we know it.

Count on this: Future generations of Americans traveling abroad decades from now won't find the landscape dotted with near-billion-dollar “embassies.”

Chalmers Johnson is the author most recently of a trilogy: “Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire”; “The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic,” and “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.” This article first appeared at

Agence Global

以下、5月7日に『ダイアモンド オンライン』に掲載されたインタビュー。



独占インタビュー チャルマーズ・ジョンソン 日本政策研究所(JPRI)所長

普天間基地問題の決着期限が迫るなか、鳩山政権は辺野古沿岸につくる桟橋滑走路と、徳之島の既存の空港を併用する移設案を提案した。しかし、地元や米国側の同意を得られる見通しは立っておらず、日本国内は鳩山政権批判一色に染まっている。しかし批判するだけでは何も変わらない。そもそも同基地の代替施設の不要論は米国内にもある。東アジア研究の大家で、CIAの顧問を務めた経験もあるチャルマーズ・ジョンソン 元カリフォルニア大学政治学教授は、日本国内にはすでに十分すぎる米軍基地があり、日本国民は結束して普天間基地の無条件閉鎖を求めるべきだと提言する。


Chalmers Johnson

































  1. Wow, a giant no longer walks the earth. RIP, Chal. Frankly, I wouldn't read too much into his death not being reported yet in the States--people who haven't worked in journalism have a tendency to assume intent when in fact simple administrative or logistical issues are involved more often than not. Chal worked in a relatively specialized niche, and I simply wouldn't expect an overworked reporter working the San Diego bureau to immediately recognize it when a person of considerable importance to a niche that has little to do with San Diego has passed on. That his death happened on the weekend only worsens the odds; the local wire service bureaus in particular were probably short-staffed as is usually the case on a weekend, decreasing the odds that anybody might happen to recognize the name. At any rate, I still have friends in the biz and I shall pester them to pester their editors to get someone on this.

  2. I am seeing more news and will paste links at the beginning of this post as they come up. The one on Washington Note is excellent - thorough and thoughtful.