Okinawa

Iwao Kitamura ikita at st.rim.or.jp
Mon Oct 9 21:37:33 MDT 1995


In Okinawa, at past 8:00 PM on 4th September, a elementary school girl was
kidnapped by three american soldiers and raped. Suspects are Marcus D. Gill
(22), Kendrick Morris Ridet(20), Rodorico Harp(21). Those three were arrested
on 8th September.
Such violent incidents have been over 4,000 since the beginning of US
occupation of Okinawa. People in Okinawa get really angered.
Due to the agreement of the status of US armed forces in Japan, these three
were to be under arrest of US force untill prosecution.
There was a bad experience of such process. 3 years ago, two soldiers who
were suspects of burglar, escaped from the base and run away.
There burst out questionairre on Japan-US security pact (ANPO).
Wataru Kubo, secretary-general of JSP, appealed a rivision of the agreement
of US armed forces on 17th Sep. Masahide Ohta, governor of Okinawa, requested
the rivision of the agreement and an explanation of re-definition of ANPO
that is planned in November. On 21th Sept., the conference of JSP decided
to requet the government to revise the agreement.
On 22th, Okinawa union of women's organizations held a meeting and 300
participants requested withdrawal of US forces and abolishment of ANPO.
This is the first mass action. On 25th, 30 Okinawa born tokyo residents
sat in 24 hours to protest in front of the US assembly in Tokyo. They
are members of "Hitotsubo anti-war land owners". They have been refusing their
owned land to be used by US forces.
Okinawa center for peace movement held a mass meeting on 26th. Over 3000
people participated. This center is a joint struggle organ of JSP,
Okinawa socialist mass party and unions.
On 28th, Ohta, the governor of Okinawa made an important dicision. He
decided to refuse to sign on the papers that are related to the forced
rental of land by US forces. On 29th, Goken Kondankai (left organ of
JSP dietmen/women) appealed an immediate abolishment of ANPO and support
for Ohta, the Okinawa governor. On 3rd Oct., Okinawa center for peace
movement held a meeting to support Ohta. On 4th, Peace organizations
held a mass meeting for abolishment of ANPO and US bases in Tokyo.
4000 participated. On 5th, Teachers unions in Okinawa held a mass meeting
to protest the incident. 4000 teachers participated.

To understand the situation, it is necessary to look back the history of
Okinawa. Okinawa is an islands country that had been independent untill
the invasion of Satsuma (one of japanese feudal clans) in Edo era. Okinawa
proud of its non-armed peacefull figure. Satsuma made Okinawa its colony.
In fact, Okinawa places between Japan and China and played an important
roll in foreign trade of Japan. Satsuma gained much from this.
However, the kingdom of Ryukyu had been maintained under control by Satsuma
untill the Meiji revolution(1868). Meiji government made Okinawa a prefecture
of Japan. Peacefull Okinawa was forced to turned to be a front-line of
expansion policy of Japan imperialism.
The worst tragedy happend at the last phase of WWII. Okinawa was the only
place in Japan where US forces invaded. Hundreds of thousands of non-armed
Okinawa people were killed by both US and Japanese army. Then Okinawa was
occupied by US forces and turned to be a front-line of anti-communist
military policy of US in east asia. After the San Francisco pact, Okinawa
was left to be under occupation of US forces. It was 1971, when Okinawa
'returned' to Japan. But this did not mean that Okinawa could get rid of
US bases.
------------------------------------
Iwao Kitamura
a member of theoretical study group
Socialist Association (Japan)
E-mail : ikita at st.rim.or.jp
personal web: http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~ikita/


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