Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I've been reading Blowback, by Chalmers Johnson. There's alot of information in it pertaining to the history of our military in Okinawa. We have been raping these people and their land for years. As our current President is raping us of our freedoms and constitutional rights, with the threat of terror, so have the Okinawans been told for years that the presence of a gross amount of U.S. military bases and personnel was for their benefit. For their protection. We forcibly seized their land without any kind of compensation paid. We have NOT helped the economy there, but hurt it. There have been problems, including sexual assaults, noise problems, to a gross amount of traffic accidents due to the Americans being there.

They say the noise from planes landing and departing is unbearable. There are 52,000 takeoffs and landings each year from Futenma Marine Corps Air Station alone, or 142 a day. This airfield is in the middle of a densely populated area. In 1997 the Marines grounded helicopters for a day so the local school children could take college entrance exams in peace. From 1973 to 1997, the 12th Marine Regiment passed time in Okinawa by periodically firing 155mm. howitzer shells over Hwy. 104. Everytime they decided to fire, the highway had to be closed down. In 1993 they poured 5,606 rounds onto the other side of the highway, causing great environmental damage.

As far as the economy goes, it was reported by economist Koji Aira that "According to the best estimates, the incomes generated directly or indirectly by the bases are only 5% of the gross domestic product of Okinawa. This is far too small a contribution for an establishment sitting on 20% of Okinawa's land. Given the choice locations of the bases, if these areas were used as part of a the civilian market economy, they should yield more than 20% of Okinawa's GDP. In effect, the U.S. and Japan are forcing on Okinawa's economy a deadweight loss of it's GDP every year."

It is stated clearly in the Status of Forces agreement that the U.S. will bear, without cost to Japan, all expenditures incident to the maintenance of the U.S. forces in Japan except for the construction of facilities. In May 1978 it was arranged for Japan to donate 6.2 billion yen toward support of the U.S. forces, because the American Government told Tokyo that it was experiencing budgetary difficulties following the VietNam war and could not cover all the costs of it's bases in Japan. This money came to be known in Japan as the "sympathy budget." The Americans have asked for increases in this budget yearly since then, and as of 1997 it was up more than 44 times larger than the original sum. As of 1998, Japan supplied 78% of the costs of U.S. troops on it's soil.

I could go on and on.... the point is, we have shit on these people for years and years. And now, we are finally moving out some of our bases.....but again, they pay approximately 60% of the cost of doing so.

And then we wonder why people around the world hate us..... go figure.

Read more here , here and here. To get a feel what the Japanese feel overall......read here.

If you haven't read Blowback yet, I'd recommend it.

Question Girl