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LIST  February 2016

LIST February 2016

Subject:

Re: NBR's JAPAN FORUM: The Marines and Okinawa

From:

Titus Spree <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

NBR's Japan Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 19 Feb 2016 02:31:12 +0900

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (25 lines)

Thanks a lot to Mr. Armstrong for the informative posts detailing his views on where lies responsibility for the Okinawan quagmire.

If the USMC really is the driving force behind Tokyo’s resolution to push through the Henoko relocation scheme we would be facing a situation in which a branch of a foreign military is stronger then the democratically expressed will of the people of a whole prefecture and that sounds quite disturbing. 

While it seems plausible that the USMC has been powerful enough to pull the strings it might well be that the conflict has reached a stage in which the US stance is taking the backseat as it seems that the central government is starting to see Okinawas popular resistance as a threat to its authority and is now suppressing the movement as a matter of principle. 

The way the Okinawan people are questioning the authority of the central government must appear like a capital sin to Abe and at times I get the impression that he and his guy-for-the-rough-jobs Suga are starting to see this as a personal feud.

The recent election in Ginowan has once again complicated things as the central government surely will take the victory of submissive Sakima as a sign that its divide and rule policies are showing results again, which will surely sound the bell for a new round of bullying, threatening and bribing of the Okinawan people.

I have to admit that all the talk about the strategic importance of the Marines being in Okinawa is completely lost on me.
In my eyes it’s a topsy-turvify discussion as military strategic considerations should never be able to overwrite the democratic will of a whole prefecture or region of a democratic nation. 
Military strategies that rely on curbing the democratic freedom that they were supposed to protect are either a sign of incompetence or a display of complete ignorance on the side of the military strategists. 

The US military is well enough equipped to deal with the most complicated logistic challenges that global warfare can pose and in cooperation with the SDF there surely are a plethora of options to facilitate Japanese national security without constantly forcing the bulk of burden onto the Okinawan people. 

Unfortunately the US military in intimate togetherness with the central government in Tokyo still believes it is easier to achieve its goals by discriminating the Okinawan people then by developing an appropriate and democratically legitimated military strategy. 

On the long fun the only way to properly solve this conflict will be to closely listen to the Okinawan people and let them regain the level of self-determination that is a prerequisite for a democratic nation to function properly.

Titus Spree

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