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Friday, September 30, 2011

From a Cold War Warrior to a Staunch Opponent of Imperialism: Special Lecture in Memory of Chalmers Johnson by Yoshida Kensei 冷戦兵士から反帝国主義者への変貌: チャルマーズ・ジョンソン追悼講演 by 吉田健正

2011年8月4-8日、沖縄国際大学と沖縄キリスト教学院大学で開催された国際会議DUO Dialogue Under Occupation の特別講義、吉田健正氏による故チャルマーズ・ジョンソン追悼講演の要旨とパワーポイントを紹介します。Yoshida Kensei, Okinawan jouranlist and author of Democracy Betrayed and numerous other books, gave a special lecture in memory of late Chalmers Johnson at the DUO (Dialogue Under Occupation) Conference, held at Okinawa International University and Okinawa Christian Unviersity from August 4 - 8.

チャルマーズジョンソン氏についてのこのブログの過去の記事もご覧ください。See past posts about Chalmers Johnson below (in English and Japanese).
Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010

Chalmers Johnson's Op-ed in LA Times チャルマーズ・ジョンソン氏の論説、LAタイムズに掲載

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 (吉田健正、平恒治両氏からの追悼の言葉を含む)
吉田氏のパワーポイントへのリンクはこちらです。Click below line for Yoshida's PowerPoint presentation (in Japanese).

講演要旨 Abstract of Yoshida's speech (see below)



[要 約]






主著:『国際平和維持活動――ミドルパワー・カナダの国際貢献』(彩流社)、『カナダ――20世紀の歩み』(同)、『カナダはなぜイラク戦争に参戦しなかったのか』(高文研)『沖縄戦――米兵は何を見たか 50年後の証言』(彩流社)、Democracy Betrayed: Okinawa under U.S. Occupation (Western Washington University)、『戦争はペテンだ――バトラー将軍にみる日米地位協定』(七つ森書館)、『「軍事植民地」沖縄――日本本土との<温度差>の正体』(高文研)、『米軍のグアム統合計画――沖縄の海兵隊はグアムへ行く』(同)、『戦争依存症国家アメリカと日本』(同)


In Memory of Professor Chalmers Johnson

How the end of the Cold War and a visit to Okinawa turned a Cold War warrior into a staunch opponent of imperialism



How should the United States be regarded in terms of world political history, and in terms of American political history? And what role does Okinawa play in this? Professor Chalmers Johnson, who passed away at 79 years old last November, was perhaps the only researcher that examined these three issues together.

Professor Johnson called himself a Cold War warrior. Viewing China and the former Soviet Union as enemies, he worked as a consultant under Allen Dulles, one of the earliest directors of the CIA. Johnson helped assessing the strengths of Vietnam and China and was critical of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union, which pleased him, caused him to look skeptically at the US, and led to a major change in his thinking. Johnson noticed that although the United States had become the world’s greatest military power, the country had begun to follow the path of an empire, in the tradition of the British and Roman Empires. The republic that was initially founded on the principle of popular sovereignty (i.e. democracy) in opposition to monarchy was now building military bases throughout the world and transforming itself into an “empire of bases.” After World War II and the Cold War, the powers of the President were greatly expanded, and the country increasingly became resented for its overseas espionage, overturning of foreign governments, support of dictatorships, and endless waging of war. The extensive network of bases also led to the obstruction of democracy and economic development at home. In other words, the US was repeating the history of the British and Roman Empires. Johnson was concerned that without a change of course, the US would find itself increasingly more isolated internationally, would face internal contradictions, and would eventually collapse.

Johnson focused his attention on Okinawa, as an example of the “empire of bases.” This poor and cramped prefecture hosts seventy-five percent of the US military bases in Japan. Not only has the US military been granted exclusive use rights for the bases, but also has been provided by the Japanese government with a “sympathy” budget that has made possible for base personnel and their families a lifestyle that includes shopping malls and golf courses. There have been numerous rapes and traffic accidents, but base personnel also enjoy the extraterritorial rights and protection provided by the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). The 1995 case in which three US soldiers raped a young girl triggered anti-US and anti-base protests that were so intense that even the Japan-US relationship was threatened.

This case and the ensuing protests, along with the US empire of military bases that appeared after the fall of the Soviet Union, opened the eyes of the Cold War warrior Johnson and turned him into the anti-imperialist researcher of regional studies (on Japan, China, and East Asia) at the University of California. Between 2000 and 2007, Johnson wrote a trilogy of books analyzing US imperialism’s current situation and future (arrogance and its consequences), edited Okinawa: Cold War Island, and contributed numerous articles on US imperialism and Okinawa to newspapers and journals (some of which reappeared in Dismantling the Empire).

Much of the interest in and understanding of the “Okinawa problem” throughout the United States and other English-speaking countries (especially amongst intellectuals, political researchers, and astute journalists) owes a debt to the work of Chalmers Johnson. His writing, unlike much left wing ideology, has the persuasive power of both a former Cold War warrior and an empirical researcher.

A Profile of Kensei Yoshida
Kensei Yoshida was born in what is now Itoman, Okinawa in 1941. After dropping out of the Spanish program of Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Yoshida attended Nago English School. He then worked as a reporter for the Okinawa Morning Star before going to the United States, where he majored in journalism at Missouri University. After working as a reporter for the Weekly Okinawa Times and the Okinawa Times, he returned to Missouri University and completed a master’s degree in journalism. After working for AP Tokyo and Newsweek Tokyo Branch, and later as the spokesman and director of arts and science exchange at the Canadian Embassy in Japan, he became a professor of international relations at Obirin University. In 2006, he retired and moved to Okinawa.

Major Publications:

1. Kokusai heiwa iji katsudō: midorupawā kanada no kokusai kouken [UN Peacekeeping Operations: The Canadian Experience] (Sairyūsha Press)

2. Kanada: 20 seiki no ayumi [Canada in the 20th Century] (Sairyūsha Press)

3. Kanada wa naze Iraku sensou ni sansen shinakatta no ka [War against Iraq: Why did Canada not participate?] (Koubun Press)

4. Okinawasen: beihei wa nani o mita ka 50 nengo no shougen [The Battle of Okinawa: How US Servicemen Saw It 50 Years After the War] (Sairyūsha Press)

5. Democracy Betrayed: Okinawa under US Occupation (Western Washington University)

6. Sensō wa petenda: Batorā shōgun ni miru nichibei chii kyōtei [War Is A Racket: the Status of Forces Agreement in the Eyes of General Butler] (Nanatsumori Shokan)

7. Gunji shokuminchi Okinawa [Okinawa: A Military Colony] (Koubun Press)

8. Beigun no Guam tōgō keikaku: Okinawa no kaiheitai wa Guam e iku [Guam Integrated Military Development Plan: US Marines Are Relocating to Guam] (Kobunken Press)

9. Sensō izonshō kokka Amerika to Nihon [US and Japan: Countries Addicted to War] (Koubun Press).

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