Japanese PM ‘outraged’ over 20yo woman’s murder after US Okinawa base contractor arrested (VT 5-20-16, Ian Greenhalgh, from RT)
“Okinawans have been complaining bitterly about presence of US base for a long time and latest case will enflame tensions. One imagines there will be many face palms, prolific cursing and cries of ‘not again!’ within the halls of the Marine Corps command today as this is not the first time this has happened and just as on previous occasions, it has placed great strain on US-Japan relations.
“The latest incident comes two months after a US soldier was arrested over the rape of a Japanese woman at a hotel in Naha in the south of Okinawa.
“The government of the Okinawa Prefecture has been opposed to US military bases in the area ever since, calling for a reduction in US forces. Governor Onaga filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government to stop the relocation of the Futenma US Marine Corps base to another part of the region.”
“Okinawans are not likely to back down and will continue to struggle for the dismantling of the US base, said journalist Jon Letman. Americans should also speak about the suffering of people of Okinawa and support changes in the region, he added.
“[Okinawa Governor] Onaga “has got the people behind him for sure in Okinawa… You have got an overwhelming majority of people who have had it for 70 years – of being occupied, militarism, crime, pollution, noise that goes along with these bases,” he added.
“Letman said that governor definitely has support among the locals. However, Washington and Tokyo are pushing very hard for this base. The journalist argues that the main grievances that Okinawans have are sexual violence and crime, and the noise that goes along with these bases.”
Okinawa Occupied (Harvard Int’l Review)
“Being a hegemonic global power, the United States has a large presence on all the world’s continents. Although the majority of media attention has focused on the US military presence in the Middle East, the United States also holds a strong presence in East Asia centered on the bases in Okinawa, Japan.
“The Treaty of Peace with Japan, which officially ended World War II, left the Okinawa islands under US administration. However, the continued postwar presence of US troops in Okinawa began building local resentment against the foreign occupation.
“…tensions related to the base have not desisted. Today, it remains a point of contention between the United States and Japan—and one that will come under increased scrutiny with the new “pivot” of the United States to Asia.”