In 1972,the colonial administration of Okinawa was retransferred from US to Japan.The strong wishs of Okinawans to remove all US bases were ignored.Military bases and economic activities become connected each other in Guam and Okinawa,but almost benefits of base-related economies have gone out of these islands to other places.The military policies on Guam and Okinawa have been decided by US and Japanese Governments unilaterally to ignore these peoples’s claims.So the colonization of Guam and Okinawa has been very clear militarily,politically,economically.
But Chamorros has used international networks for the decolonization by their groups such as OPI-R(Organization of People for Indigenous Rights),Guhan Coalition for Peace and Justice,We are Guahan and Chamorro Nations and so on.Also Okinawans has participated to UN organizations to resolve colonization problems.In 1996 I had participated to UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples.Until now,Okinawans have taken part in several UN organizations to decolonize,and demilitarize Okinawa.
In 2006, Dr. Deu Deu Dien,a special reporter of UN Commission on Human Rights, came to survey military bases on Okinawa.He reported that Okinawan situation was abnormal and Japanese Government discriminated against Okinawans.In 2010, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said that US military base problems on Okinawa are racial discrimination to Okinawans.
3.Towards the Demilitarization of Guam
If US Marines will move from Okinawa to Guam,Chamorro people will face many problems such like Okinawan cases.We must understand military base problems on Okinawa because ‘Build Up’ in Guam is conditioned to that of Okinawa by US and Japanese Governments.
74% of US military bases in Japan have been concentrated in Okinawa which covers only 0.6% of all Japanese territory.Many military bases reside in small and highly populated island.That is why there are so many accidents and crimes committed by US personnels.
We have faced such serious damages as fieldfires and bomb accidents caused by live ammunition practices,planes and helicopters crashes,deafing roar,traffic accidents,destruction of environment and historical sites, indigenous cultural heritages, infringements upon the daily life of the Okinawans and so on.From 1972 to 2010,military related criminal cases have occurred 5,705.From 1972 to 2010,accidents and incidents related to Military training have occurred 1,545.
Two of the most shocking cases are the rape case by 3 US soldiers against a schoolgirl(12years old) in 1995 and the US helicopter crash in 2004 at Okinawa International University.This helicopter belonged to Futenma Air base.
The Japanese Government hasn’t changed the Agreement on the Status of US Armed Forces in Japan in spite of the strong outrage of almost all Okinawans.This Agreement gives the US military personnels the special privileges to refuse handing over suspects to Japanese authority and on-the-spot inspections.