Prime Minister Abe to Humiliate Okinawa with ‘Restoration of Sovereignty Day’ (Ryukyu Shimpo Shimbun, Japan)
Do the people of Okinawa, who host 75 percent of America’s military presence in Japan, have a right to be angry that the central government wants to celebrate the day that all of Japan – except for Okinawa – had its sovereignty restored? With North Korea’s nuclear misbehavior and a sovereignty dispute with China as a backdrop, this angry editorial from Okinawa’s Ryukyu Shimpo Shimbun insists that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pay respect to Okinawans by canceling any such celebration.
The Ryukyu Shimpo Shimbun editorial says in part:
Under the Treaty of San Francisco, in exchange for Japanese independence, Okinawa was isolated from Japan and remained under U.S. military rule. As the head of every Okinawan municipality knows, April 28, 1952, the day the Treaty came into effect, is known as “Humiliation Day” in Okinawa. Not a single one of them will vote in favor of holding a ceremony to celebrate the “Restoration of Sovereignty” – and rightly not.
If Japan is a true democracy, and if it’s leaders wish to show they are willing to listen to the voice of Okinawans, their only choice is to forego holding this ceremony. The ceremony is also intended to commemorate the “60 year anniversary of Japan’s return to the international community.” But while the inequalities of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement are ignored, and servile diplomatic relations toward the United States continue, can Japan really puff itself up with pride at a “Restoration of Sovereignty?”
In the administration’s ceremony invitation letter to members of the National Diet, the fact that Okinawa, Amami and Ogasawara fell under American administration, and the reality of Japan’s distorted status as a sovereign state, aren’t touched upon at all. In the letter, the event is described as a celebration of the “complete restoration of the sovereignty in our country.” This shows a complete detachment from the realities of the situation.
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