The Federation of Autonomous Republics of Ryukyuanesia The Declaration of Independence
In this year of 2010, we declare independence of Ryukyu as a “Federation of Autonomous Republics of Ryukyuanesia.
At present, the prefecture of Okinawa that is but 0.6% of the national landmass of Japan is compelled to host 74% of the U.S. military bases. Clearly, this is a discrimination.
In 2009, Mr. Yukio Hatoyama, President of the Democratic Party of Japan, vowed before the Ryukyuans that “at a minimum,” he would transfer the bases out of the prefecture.
Although he became Prime Minister of Japan as a result of ruling party changes, his earlier vow to Ryukyuans was shredded and thrown away like waste paper under the U.S.-Japan Agreement of May 2010, which embodied the decision to build a new base at Henoko.
Furthermore, the government of Japan is planning to move the U.S. troop training to Tokunoshima within the area of Ryukyuan culture. In effect, the government of Japan has offered the entire Ryukyuanesia as a sacrificial lamb to the United States.
The government of Japan has chosen to honor the U.S.-Japan alliance while destroying the lives and peaceful livelihoods of Ryukyuans who are Japanese nationals.
Ryukyuans have continuously demanded the withdrawal of the U.S. military bases since before the reversion of Ryukyu to Japan in 1972. But the bases still stand in proximity to Ryukyuan communities.
What are the problems the people of Japan have with the U.S. military bases? Can the Japanese other than Ryukyuans justify the peace and prosperity of Japan based on the sacrifices of Ryukyuans?
They should not impose the U.S. bases on us Ryukyuans by ignoring our general will and our collective right to live as a people. Being under the control of Japan that itself remains tethered to the U.S., we Ryukyuans live in constant fear of the threats of war, unable to find peace in life.
We Ryukyuans declare independence from Japan now. The island groups (Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama) of the Ryukyuanesia each forming a self-governing republic, together form on an equal footing to one another a Federation of Autonomous Republics of Ryukyuanesia .
Historically, the Ryukyu Islands after the Era of Three Kingdoms (mid-14th early 15th century) were integrated as the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1429.
Then in 1609, the Satsuma army invaded the Ryukyu Kingdom and placed Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama under indirect Satsuma rule, while separating Amami as a directly controlled area. In mid-1850s, the Ryukyu Kingdom concluded treaties of amity with the United States, Holland and France.
In 1872, Japan unilaterally defined the Ryukyu Kingdom as a domain of Japan and in 1879 abolished it accusing it of insubordination and annexed it to Japan an incident known as Ryukyu Shobun ---Disposition of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
During and after Ryukyu Shobun, the Ryukyu loyalists exiled themselves to China (then Qing) and engaged in movements for Ryukyu independence. Ryukyu was under Japanese rule from 1879 to 1945 and from 1972 to 2010 --- only 104 years. The history of Ryukyu as an independent country is much longer.
Look to the small island states of the Pacific Ocean for a few lessons. There you will see that islands as small as ones with populations no more than several tens of thousands have become independent and joined the United Nations.
In these island states, in order to safeguard the self-support and self-existence of peoples, each individual, “self-conscious of self-government,” has chosen the path to independence.
“Peoples’ right to self-determination” is guaranteed in international law. It goes without saying that Ryukyu can also be independent of Japan.
In the days to come, the government of Japan will try to control and manipulate Ryukyuans with money in the name of “economic stimulus and development,” the real objective being the promotion of more base construction everywhere beginning at Henoko.
However, the Ryukyuanesia with a long history and deep-rooted culture as well as abundant nature will never sell our pride as a people, our life in peace, and our splendid natural environment to anyone for money.
Our great leader and pioneer of “Okinawa Struggles”, the late Shoukou Ahagon of Iejima, roared “Land lasts ten thousand years; money just a meager year” and fought the U.S. military against forced taking of Ie Island’s land.
In order not to allow any more land of Ryukyu to be used for U.S. military basing, we declare independence from Japan. And on attaining independence, we will at once return the existing U.S. military bases to Japan that is so fond of them.
Memorial Day, 23 June 2010
Submitted by Yasukatsu Matsushim and Kinsei Ishigaki