planes, or missile discharges, Japan expects the Okinawans to endure this and accept the bases silently, because it is for the benefit of Japan. The Japanese government has bought the lives and livelihoods of Okinawans for the price of stimulation and development. There are also Okinawans who will sell themselves, their families, or Okinawa for money. If this situation lasts for another 50 or 100 years, will there be any people of integrity left in Okinawa? Multiple Violations of the Constitution and Treaties The present political system of Okinawa Prefecture violates the constitution of Japan. Article 95 of the constitution contains the following restriction: If a law is drawn up that is applicable to one single location only, the parliament cannot vote it into law unless one half of the population of the location in question approves of it. After the return of Okinawa to Japan, this restriction was ignored when the laws for stimulation and development and the financing plan that only applied to Okinawa were introduced. They were only sanctioned by the then Okinawan administration. The demand of the Okinawans for “a return under conditions current in Japan and without military bases” was shelved and abandoned. The Japanese government once again ignored the voice of the Okinawans. The legal change of law in 1996 that stipulated the continued stationing and coerced land use for military bases also occurred without consultations with the Okinawan people. The stationing of American troops in Okinawa violates article 9 of the constitution - respect for the sovereignty of the people - and fundamental human rights of Okinawans as citizens, as guaranteed by the Japanese constitution, were not protected for 38 years. Peace was not realized. Does it make sense for Okinawa to continue being a part of Japan? The Okinawans should rather create their own code of laws, stand on their own feet and use their own strength to defend themselves. The subjugation of the Ryûkyûs by military might, coerced incorporation into Japan, and the convention for return to Japan are all ILLEGAL. The last for the reason that it was not effected with the approval of its inhabitants. The so-called “disposal of the Ryūkyūs” is ILLEGAL. The treaty stipulating the return of Okinawa to Japan (1972) is also ILLEGAL for the following reason; according to international law, the treaty is limited to Okinawa prefecture as a political entity. Article 4(3) decrees that the United States voluntarily pay compensation for damages to the land and for the restoration of its original condition before the return. However, according to a secret diplomatic agreement and the testimony of the then diplomat Yoshino Bunroku, Japan and the USA signed a secret treaty according to which Japan paid $4,000,000 USD and at the same date assumed all administrative powers and legal responsibilities for these islands and their inhabitants. The treaty mentions the power of the state, but actually the power of the Japanese state does not extend to inside the American bases. That is to say the Japanese-American status treaty supersedes the return treaty so that the power of the Japanese state cannot be exercised over American troops stationed on Okinawa. Since the terms of this treaty contain falsehoods, it must be deemed invalid and ILLEGAL. The Decolonization of Okinawa to be Approved by the United Nations 8 If we cannot pin our hopes on Japan, there is no other way left for us but independence. Legal means for independence from Japan are in existence. The United Nations was formed in 1945 by 51 nations, but by June 2006, the number of member nations had grown to 192. After the convention for independence of former colonies signed by the United Nations in 1960, the number of independent nations increased exponentially. Rule of citizens by a foreign power, subjugation and exploitation violate human rights and the conventions of the United Nations and undermine the foundations of world peace and solidarity. All citizens have the right of self-determination. Based on this right, all citizens can freely determine and develop their political, economic and social status. It will not do to use perceived lack of economic, social and educational preparedness as pretext for delaying independence. The foreign country mentioned in the convention is, in this case, the USA. If the disposal of the Ryûkyûs and the reversion treaty are invalid, the term “citizens” does not refer to Japanese, but Okinawans. In order to avoid rule by a great power and discrimination, protect one’s language and history and live a life with self-respect, peoples have attained independence, even when their populations amount only to a few thousand. Even if the opinion that “Okinawa cannot be independent” is perceived as common sense in Japan, it makes no sense globally. Tuvalu and Nauru, with populations of 10,000, Palau of 20,000, the Micronesian confederation 11,000, Malta, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Iceland, Brunei, Singapore, Trinidad Tobago, and East Timor are among the many countries that have gained independence. The population of Okinawa is 139,000. Being aware that small countries have attained independence; one wonders why Okinawa has maintained the status quo as a colony. In order to earn a new political status, a non-autonomous area has to execute the following international procedure. It must explain its situation to the Special Commission for decolonization of the United Nations, find support in the international community, choose between full independence, free alliance with a country or integration into a large country, hold an election and let the people decide. However, at the time of the return (to Japan) international rules were ignored. The Ryûkyûans must declare to the world that the “disposal of the Ryûkyûs”, as well as the treaty for the return to Japan, are illegal, and that both the government of Japan and the United States are guilty of multiple violations of international law. The Okinawans must make use of their right to autonomy and are entitled by international law and the Human Rights convention to open negotiations with the Japanese government in view of their new international status. It is the duty of the United Nations to support Okinawans setting themselves free from colonialism. Neither Possessed by Japan or China To begin with, does Okinawa belong to Japan? The kingdom of Ryûkyû was constituted when after the Three Kingdoms period, the three kingdoms were united by Shô Hashi in 1429 and existed until 1879, they are not Japanese territory. According to mythology, Japan was created by Amaterasu Omikami, and the Ryûkyû islands were created by Amamichû, Shirumichû – they thus differ from their mythical beginnings. If we look at relations with Japan from an Okinawan perspective - domination, disposal, discrimination, 9 a battleground, the sacrificed stone (in the Japanese game of “go”), being cut loose, the imposition of military bases; What a succession of unfortunate history. The Okinawan culture does not exist to give variety to Japanese culture; it has value by itself for the world’s cultural heritage. From a long view of history, the time Okinawa was a part of Japan is short, and Okinawa’s current subordinate status is abnormal. Chinese scholars who advocate Okinawa’s return to China have recently multiplied, but because the kingdom of Ryûkyû had tributary relations with China in the past, it does not follow that it needs to revert to China. In consideration of the Tibetans, Uighurs and other minorities in China, reversion to China is nothing but a nightmare for Okinawans. Okinawan independence does not mean a revival of the Ryûkyû Kingdom. Ryûkyû does not belong to either China or Japan. Okinawa has learned from the post-war history and liberation struggles of former colonies to stand on its own feet, take back its language and teach its children in their own language as legitimate subjects in school Okinawan culture, history, language, economy, environment, property rights, peace, and human rights as Okinawans. However, becoming independent does not mean that all problems will automatically be solved. This depends on the premise of every single Okinawan autonomously putting the truth into practice and strengthen the underpinnings of independence through daily grassroots-like efforts. The Okinawa issue is an issue of discrimination. The complete eradication of discrimination cannot be made dependent on the Japanese Government or another political entity that may eventually seize power in Japan, but must be deliberated and put into practice by Okinawans themselves. They are challenged to determine whether they want to live on their own soil as discriminated serfs, or as free and equal human beings. From: “KAN” Quarterly for History, Environment, Civilization Vol. 43, Autumn 2010, pp.186-195.