An appeal for help from Okinawa, specifically but not exclusively directed at our Japanese and American readers (all two of you). Seems like your governments are misbehaving themselves again, silly things. The U.S. government in particular has chosen this moment to go ahead an just built that desperately needed new air force base on top of that irritating coral reef, despite the entreaties of most of Okinawa’s residents. A few Okinawans, those who already do brisk trade in servicing servicemen, don’t seem as disgruntled. The majority, however, are extremely annoyed. Now I’m not a big fan of the internet petition but, as Kelly Dietz, from whom this appeal comes, points out that
Believe it or not, the media here is covering every development surrounding the drilling, and the Japanese Defense Facilities Administration Bureau is increasingly aware of the extent to which this issue is being watched from outside Okinawa and beyond Japan. And, although the US media’s attention toward the US military rarely extends to the day-to-day reality of its overseas bases, the US consulate in Okinawa dutifully reports opposition to the bases. All Japanese media reports on base issues are translated and sent to the State Department.
In other words, your voice WILL be heard by both governments. Your message will also give a tremendous boost to the Okinawan people — who have said no, so many times and in so many ways, to yet another US military base on their island.
Read the whole story here here and then send your emails to Kelly at kld18 at cornell dot edu. And then read more about Okinawa’s history of being whaled on by all and sundry in this fine article.