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“Okinawan identity” is often asserted as the bedrock of the “All Okinawa” coalition in the 21st century. This chapter argues, rather, that Okinawan identity, predicated upon the memory of collective suffering during the Battle of Okinawa, has long been harbored in the expression of kenmin, in line with the post-war bifurcated nationalism, which has recently swung toward detachment from Japan. We claim that Okinawa’s exposure to an increasingly neoliberalized economy has enabled some conservative Okinawans to reassert Okinawan identity, which they have suppressed under the Okinawan Developmental Promotion System. We stress Okinawa’s jichi (self-governance) has been so far positively connected to market liberalization and deregulation, translated into local autonomy, which suggests possible confusion of Okinawans’ self-governance with market governance.
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Sakashita, Okinawa Kenmin no Kigen (The formation of syncretic national identity in Okinawa: 1945–1956) (Tokyo: Yushindo, 2017), 2017, 2.
Arnold Fisch, Military Government in the Ryukyu Islands: 1945–1950 (Washington D.C.: Center for Military History, U.S. Army, 1988).
Moriteru Arasaki, Nihon ni totte Okinawa towa Nandattanoka (What did Okinawa mean to Japan?), (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2016), 28.
Fisch, op. cit. 160, 168.
Miyume Tanji, Myth, Protest and Struggle in Okinawa (London: Routledge, 2006), 87–88.
A study on Okinawa, conducted by three anthropologists of Yale University led by George Murdock, was summarized in a ‘handbook’ and distributed to the US military personnel in 1944. Etsujiro Miyagi, Senryō sha no Me (In the Eyes of the Occupier) (Tokyo: Hirugisha, 1983), 26.
Ibid., 240. On USCAR’s cultural policy, see, for example, Yasuhiro Tanaka, “Ryukyu Daigaku to Amerikanizumu”(University of the Ryukyus and Americanism) in Atsushi Toriyama ed., Imo to hadashi: senryo to genzai, (Sweet potatoes and no shoes: Okinawa’s occupation then and now) (Tokyo: Shakai Hyoronsha, 2009, 37–70).
Sakashita, op. cit., 372–373.
Masataka Okamoto, Minzoku no Soushutsu (Creating Ethnicities) (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2014).
Moriteru Arasaki Okinawa Gendaishi (A contemporary history of Okinawa) 1996, 26; Makoto Sakurazawa, Okinawa Gendaishi (A contemporary history of Okinawa) 2015, (Chuo Kouron Shinsha) 168.
Sakurazawa op. cit., 62–63.
Atsushi Toriyama, “Senryoka Okinawa ni okeru Seicho to Kaimetsu no Fuchi” (Between growth and collapse) in Masakazu Nagae et al. Seichou to Reisen e no Toi (Interrogating growth and Cold War), (Tokyo: Otsuki Shoten, 2011) 141–142.
Tanji 2006, op. cit., 41, 51–52.
Jun Shimabukuro, “Okinawa Kaihatsu Shinko Taisei e no Chosen” (Challenging the Okinawan Development Regeneration System), Sekai, July 2012, No. 48 (2012: 45–53), 47.
Ryukyu Seifu (GRI), Fukki Sochi ni Kansuru Kengisho, November 1971, available at http://www.archives.pref.okinawa.jp/proposal_document (accessed May 18, 2017) 3–4, my translation and emphasis.
This MITI intervention exemplifies the industrial policy that Chalmers Johnson explains distinguishes Japan’s model of economic growth from other capitalist models, especially the classical liberal model dominant in the United States and Europe, and also, from the communist model of central planning. See MITI and the Japanese Miracle: the Growth of Industrial Policy , 1925–1975 (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press: 1982).
Sakurazawa op. cit. 152–155.
Sakurazawa op. cit. 203–205.
Akihiro Sadou, Okinawa Gendai Seiji Shi, (Okinawa Contemporary Political History) (Tokyo: Yoshida Shoten, 2014), 58–60. Actual development of returned properties, however, usually takes many years, requiring conditions such as identification of owners’ registration, relocation of military facilities, and planning and agreement on the future land use. One of them, Awase Golf Course, has recently been turned into an Aeonmall Okinawa Rycom.
See for example, Meredith Woo-Cummings, “Introduction: Chalmers Johnson and the Politics of Nationalism and Development” and Chalmers Johnson, “The Developmental State: Odyssey of the Concept,” in Meredith Woo-Cummings ed., The Developmental State, (Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press: 1999: 1–31; 32–60), and Robert Wade, Governing the Market: Economic Theory and the Role of Government in East Asian Industrialization (Princeton University Press: 1990).
Okinawa Shinko Kaihatsu Tokubetsu Sochi Ho (Special Okinawa Developmental Measures Law).
Shimabukuro, op. cit., 2012.
Article 4 of the Special Okinawa Developmental Measures Law (Sadou 2015: p. 31–32).
For example, Jun Shimabukuro, Okinawa shinkou taisei o tou (Interrogating the Okinawa Regeneration System) (Kyoto: Houritsu Bunkasha, 2014), Akihiro Sadou, Okinawa Gendai Seiji Shi, (Okinawa Contemporary Political History) (Tokyo: Yoshida Shoten, 2014).
Okinawan economist Yasuo Kurima calls Okinawa’s economy a “public finance dependent economy”: after the reversion, in the nine years between 1969 and 1978, the financial transfer from the state to the Prefecture grew 15.4 times, and continued thereon (“Kichi Mondai Ronso de mirareru Okinawa wa ‘Kichi Izon Keizai’ no Ayamari” [The misleading assumption of Okinawa as a base economy in the debate on the base issue]), Ekonomisuto, August 3, 2011, 68–70.
Shimabukuro, op. cit. 2012, 48.
Supported by progressive political parties, trade unions, and anti-base and peace citizens’ groups, including the Anti-Landowners’ Movement, Ota is a distinguished peace studies scholar specialized in the study of the Battle of Okinawa, a key figure in a citizens’ historical research group, the Okinawa Historical Film Society (Tanji 2006, op. cit., 45–46, 111–115), and also for the establishment of Heiwa no Ishiji (Cornerstone of Peace): a collection of marble walls with names of over 240,000 casualties of all nationalities inscribed on. See Gerald Figal, “Waging peace in Okinawa,” in Laura Hein and Mark Selden eds. Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).
Shimabukuro, op. cit., 2014, 6–7, 118–119, 123–124.
Jamie Peck, Nik Theodore, and Neil Brenner, “Neoliberal Urbanism: Models, Moments, Mutations,” SAIS Review, Vol. 29 no. 1 Winter-Spring 2009, 49–66.
“ Kichi Henkan Akushon Puroguramu: soan” (Draft of the Base Return Action Program), in Okinawa ken chiji koushitsu taisakuka (Okinawa Prefecture Base Affairs Section), Okinawa no Beigun Kichi, Heisei 20 nen 3 gatsu (Okinawan U.S. military bases, Heisei Year 20 March) (Naha: Okinawa Prefecture) March 2008, 457, available at http://www.pref.okinawa.jp/site/chijiko/kichitai/documents/shiryo13.pdf.
Shimabukuro, op. cit. 2014, 116, 123.
Yoshimoto was a founder of the Okinawa Tokubetsu Jichiken Kousou (Special Self-governing Prefecture Proposal) originally publicized in 1981 by Jichirou Okinawa ken Honbu (Okinawa Prefecture Chapter), Sadou, 39–46. Also, see, Yoshimoto Masanori Oral History: moto Okinawa ken fuku chiji (Oral history of Yoshimoto Masanori, former deputy governor of Okinawa Prefecture) , C.O.E. Oraru Seisaku Kenkyu Purojekuto, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, 2005, available at https://grips.repo.nii.ac.jp/index.php?active_action=repository_view_main_item_detail&page_id=13&block_id=24&item_id=1500&item_no=1 (viewed 21 May 2017).
US Department of Defense, “The United States Security Strategy for the East Asia-Pacific Region,” Washington D.C., February 1995.
Arasaki, op. cit., 1996, 2.
The ‘contract’ landowners receive rent subsidized by the government of Japan, whereas ‘anti-war’ landowners receive a reduced amount of indemnity instead of rent (See Tanji, op. cit., 106–126). Until Ota’s refusal in 1995, the governors of Okinawa (including Ota regarding other properties) have given the central government consent to the US military compulsory lease of anti-war landowners’ properties, overwriting the refusal of their owners and of the municipal leaders. Without the governor’s ‘delegate signature,’ legally the US occupation breaches the right of private property, thus undermining the legitimacy of Anpo. The new 2002 Local Autonomy Law, ironically, overwrote this limited authority of the governor which is now solely practiced by the Minister of Defense.
For accounts and significance of the lawsuit against Governor Ota, see Gavan McCormack and Satoko Norimatsu , Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), 139.
David Harvey. A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford University Press: 2005), 92–93.
Sadou, op. cit., 80–83.
In 2002, prefectural and municipal governments were responsible for 40 percent of Okinawa Prefecture’s GDP, 72.6 percent of which was financed by the central government (as opposed to about 25 percent and 41.9 percent in Japan) (Munehiko Yaka, Okinawa Jiritsu no Keizaigaku (Economics of Okinawa’s Independence) Tokyo: Nanatsumori Shokan, 2016), 17.
Shimabukuro, op. cit., 2014, 124–129.
The first ever in Japan at the prefectural level, the kenmin referendum was held in December 1996, resulting in 89.09 percent supporting the reduction of US bases in Okinawa and reform of the SOFA (Sakurazawa, op. cit., 251).
McCormack and Norimatsu, op. cit., 140.
Tanji op. cit., 163–169.
On the process of the 1998 election that ousted Ota, in which LDP’s secret public funds were used in the election campaign to elect Inamine, see McCormack and Norimatsu, op. cit., 140–141.
Shimabukuro, op. cit. 2014, 272. Calder explains compensation politics as a “‘carrot-and-stick’ approach toward prospective dissenters” that involves “substantial material payment … from the host-nation government to various interests in the host nation that are adversely affected by foreign base activity. Through such payments, states aim to neutralize antibase sentiment and to stabilize foreign base presence.” Japan, Calder evaluates, clearly illustrates the “compensation-politics paradigm” [Kent Calder, Embattled Garrisons: Comparative Base Politics and American Globalism (Princeton University Press: 2007) 130].
McCormack and Norimatsu, op. cit., 147.
Sakurazawa op. cit., 299.
See Yumiko Kikuno and Satoko Norimatsu, “Henoko, Okinawa: Inside the Sit-In,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 8-1-10, February 22, 2010. The official reason for the removal was to avoid typhoon damage. Ryukyu Shimpo, September 2, 2005, available at http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/prentry-6158.html (accessed May 24, 2017).
Also see McCormack and Norimatsu, op. cit., 152–153.
SACO members also agreed to enact the plan of building six helipads in the pristine forest of Takae, Higashi Village, in northern Okinawa. This plan would require the return of 9900 acres (40 square kilometers) of Camp Gonsalves, also known as the Northern Training Area (NTA), which is about half of the entire base (75 square kilometers). The vast, subtropical forest in the northern region of the island is called Yanbaru, which is home to over 4000 species of wildlife, including 11 and 12 forms of flora and fauna, respectively, found nowhere else. August 24, 2007, saw the inauguration of ‘Residence’s Group of No Helipad,’ which served as a valiant but ultimately ineffective effort to halt further construction of helipads in the forest of Takae. Despite a consistent and concerted effort to oppose the construction within Takae itself, two helipads have already been built and are now in use by the US military.
The United States and Japan’s 2006 FRF plan simply ignored his conditions of acceptance to limit the military use of the airport to 15 years, and to permit civilian use. In 2005, Governor Inamine was sighted at the protest rally following the US Marines’ live-wire training being executed at the new urban combat training facility dangerously adjacent to residential Kin Town, ignoring residents’ protest against the facility being built in the first place (Sakurazawa, op. cit., 289).
Ibid., 2014, 273.
McCormack and Norimatsu, op. cit., 9.
Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), Cabinet Office, Okinawa General Bureau, “The JFTC issued cease-and-desist order and surcharge payment order against bid participants for construction works procured by Okinawa prefecture,” March 2006, available at http://www.jftc.go.jp/en/pressreleases/yearly_2006/mar/2006_mar_30.html (accessed May 25, 2017).
Traditionally construction companies’ bid-rigging for public works had been considered acceptable business practice in Japan, which has been targeted in the structural impediment reform, pressured by the United States, since the late 1980s. See Kazukiyo Onishi, “Can the new Anti-Monopoly Act change the Japanese Business Community?” Asia Pacific Economic Papers, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Australian National University, no. 373, 2008, 28, available at https://crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/pep/pep-373.pdf (accessed May 25, 2017).
Shimabukuro, op. cit., 2014, 275.
Nomura Research Institute and Toshi Kagaku Seisaku Kenkyujo, “Churyu Gunyochi Atochi Riyou ni tomonau Keizai Hakyu Kouka nado Kentou Chosa Hokokusho,” March 2007, 59, available at http://www.pref.okinawa.jp/kichiatochi/keizaikouka-ga.pdf (accessed May 25, 2017).
Sakurazawa 2015, p. 329.
Mayumi Negishi, “Okinawa’s free-trade zones failing to attract companies,” Japan Times, September 13, 2002.
Sadayuki Horie at the Nomura Research Institute argues that further drastic financial deregulation, such as the introduction of captive insurers, is necessary to deliver results; tax breaks and wages (paid for employers under age 30) and costs (rent, internet use) support are not enough. “Okinawa Kinyu Tokku no Genjou to Kongo no Kadai” (Okinawa’s special financial zone: its reality and prospects) in Financial Information Technology Focus, Nomura Research Institute, April 2005, available at https://www.nri.com/jp/opinion/kinyu_itf/2005/pdf/itf20050402.pdf (accessed May 29, 2017).
The censorship paralleled the court case made by plaintiffs “claiming the Oe Kenzaburo’s 1970 book Okinawa Noto, falsely stated military orders urging civilians to commit mass murder-suicide so as not to hamper Japanese troops fighting US forces and also to ensure troops had enough food” demanding the publisher discontinue the book publication. Osaka District Court and the Supreme Court both dismissed this suit (“‘Okinawa Suit’ Favours Oe” Japan Times, April 23, 2011), available at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/04/23/national/okinawa-notes-suit-favors-oe/#.WSpWRvl96Uk (accessed May 28, 2017).
See Miyume Tanji, “Close Yet Distant Relations: The Politics of History Textbooks, U.S. Military Bases and Trauma in Okinawa” Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific Issue 24, June 2010, available at http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue24/tanji.htm.
Arasaki, op. cit., 2016, 139.
For the background and the aftermath of this turn, see Satoko Norimatsu, “Hatoyama’s Confession: The Myth of Deterrence and the Failure to Move a Marine Base Outside Okinawa” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 8-1-10, February 22, 2010.
Arasaki, op. cit., 2016, 140.
Gavan McCormack, “‘All Japan’ versus ‘All Okinawa’—Abe Shinzo’s Military—Firstism,” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue 10, No. 4, March 16, 2015.
Tanji 2006, op. cit., 41, 51–52.
Julia Yonetani, ‘Future “assets” but at what price? The Okinawa initiative debate,’ in Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power, ed., Laura Hein and Mark Selden, (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003) 254–255.
Sakurazawa op. cit., 320.
Yaka, op. cit. 61, Shimabukuro, op. cit. 2014, 138.
Negishi, op. cit.
Ibid., and Yohei Matsuo and Jun Yamazaki, “Japan’s Special Zone Scheme: Third Time Lucky?” Nikkei Asian Review, 20 May, 2014, available at http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/Japan-s-special-zone-scheme-Third-time-lucky (accessed May 30).
Negishi, op. cit.
Sakurazawa op. cit. 274.
Shimabukuro, op. cit. 2014, 277–278.
According to Douglas Lummis, after the accident, the US military occupied the crash site: “They set up a cordon of yellow tape around the accident site, and kicked out not only reporters and cameramen, but also the Okinawan firemen who had come to put out the blaze, the local police who had come to investigate the cause of the accident, and even the mayor of the town…. Standing behind the tape was a line of Marine MPs, pistols on their belts. Behind them, Marines were dismantling the wrecked helicopter and loading it into trucks (from a police standpoint, destroying the evidence).” However, there is no legal clause that justifies such military police power over the citizens of Okinawa in SOFA [“Mission Creep Dispatch: C. Douglas Lummis” Mother Jones, September 28, 2008, available at http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2008/09/mission-creep-dispatch-c-douglas-lummis (accessed May 28, 2017)].
Mainland Japanese NHK news reported the accident only fifth, after the change of Yomiuri Giants owners, the 2004 Olympic report, and other news items, indicating a dazzling emotional distance (Shimabukuro, op. cit., 2014, 65).
Shimabukuro, op. cit. 2014, 284.
Arasaki, op. cit. 2016, 150.
Kunitoshi Sakurai, op. cit.
Shimabukuro, op. cit. 2014, 278–280.
Editorial. Ryukyu Shimpo, December 26, 2013, cited in Arasaki, op. cit. 2016, 152.
Interview, Naha, July 1, 2016.
Interview, Naha, July 1, 2016.
Sakurazawa op. cit. 326.
Hayato Ishii, “Naha Airport hoping to become Asia cargo hub, helped by TPP” Japan Times, July 24, 2016 available at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/24/national/naha-airport-hoping-become-asia-cargo-hub-helped-tpp/#.WS5eycklGT9 (accessed May 31, 2017).
“Okinawa Keizai Ken” (Okinawan economic bloc), Nikkei Bijinesu, August 6–13, 2012, 24–41, 25 (my translation).
Jun Hongo, “40 years after return, Okinawa still struggling to grow up”, Japan Times, May 15, 2012, available at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/05/15/national/40-years-after-return-okinawa-still-struggling-to-grow-up/#.WS7Q5cklHtU (accessed May 31, 2017).
“Kichi no Machi ni sumu Sakka ga tou: Okinawa wa yutakani nattanoka” Asahi Shinbun Dejitaru, May 15, 2017, available at http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASK4W5V8HK4WUTIL05M.html (accessed May 31, 2017). Relative poverty rate of children in Okinawa is 29.9 percent, as opposed to the national average of 16.3 percent [Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa Kodomo Chōsa Chōsa Kekka Gaiyōban, March 25, 2016, 67. available at http://www.pref.okinawa.jp/site/kodomo/kodomomirai/documents/okinawakodomotyousagaiyouban.pdf (accessed June 1, 2017)].
“ Shin jiyū shugi ni kōsuru shiten” (Special Issue: against Neoliberalism) in Kēshi Kaze, no. 73, December 31, 2011, 6–33, 20.
Neoliberalization process has necessitated “not only of prior institutional frameworks and powers (even challenging traditional forms of state sovereignty) but also of divisions of labour, social relations, welfare provisions, technological mixes, ways of life and thought, reproductive activities, attachments to the land and habits of the heart” [David Harvey, Brief History of Neoliberalism (Cambridge University Press: 2015), 3].
- Political Economy and Identity of “All Okinawa” Resistance
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- Chapter 10