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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yoshio SHIMOJI: USMC Futenma in violation of the Hague Convention 下地良男 「普天間基地はハーグ陸戦条約違反」

Here is Okinawan writer and amateur photographer Yoshio Shimoji's response to the recent meeting of Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara and US Secretary of State Clinton, held in Washington on January 6, 2011. See Yomiuri Newspaper's report of the meeting. Also see a related post in this blog on this meeting (in Japanese) HERE.

Criticizing Japan-US foreign-ministerial meeting
Yoshio Shimoji
Naha, Okinawa

At the meeting between Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, both agreed to accelerate and strengthen the bilateral alliance to pave the way for Prime Minister Naoto Kan's visit to the United States later this spring. During the talks, Clinton never failed to remind Maehara that the strengthening of the alliance also meant the relocation of Futenma's function to Henoko ("Japan, U.S. to start mapping new goals," The Japan Times: January 8). Why, in the world, does the U.S. persist in demanding Futenma's relocation to Henoko, stomping our appeal for its all-out removal from Okinawa?  

The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma sits on the private lands which were encroached upon with impunity by the U.S occupation army during and after World War II in blatant violation of the Hague Convention, Article 46 of which clearly states that "[f]amily honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated." The U.S. army thus requisitioned the land by violent means, completely disregarding the international convention. This cannot be allowed by any moral principles, either.

Secretary Clinton must be well aware of this and think that, if Futenma's function were to be moved to Henoko in northern Okinawa, the U.S. would be exonerated from not only the violation of the Hague Convention but also an offense against humanity. When dirty money is transacted from one bank to another to conceal its illegal source, we call it "money laundering." Futenma's relocation to Henoko is exactly like money laundering or, should I say, "base laundering."

Washington's aim is thus to conceal the shameful history of the base and maintain the status quo of military function of all the bases on Okinawa, Futenma included, indefinitely, making Okinawa's northern area a new military complex complete with airfields, helipads for Osprays, combat training areas and port facilities.

Remember also that expenses for this "realignment" project of the Pentagon are entirely borne by the cash-strapped Tokyo government, namely, us Japanese taxpayers. What stupidity! What absurdity!

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