Archive for the Okinawa Category

Hiroshima and The Glorification of American Militarism [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Hiroshima, Japan, Media cover-up, Nagasaki, Okinawa, Stalin, Truman, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USSR, World War II on September 1, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Dr. Gary Kohls

August 16, 2012

August 6, 9, 2012 was the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the whole truth of which has been heavily censored and mythologized starting with the news of the event that created understandable joy because of the end of that awful war.

Hundreds of millions of Americans took in, as gospel truth, the heavily edited stories about the end of the war. To the average American, the war’s end was such a relief that there was no questioning. For the soldiers who were particularly war-weary, no moral questions were raised regarding the justification of their use.

The immediate history was written by the victors, of course, with no balancing input from the losing side.  But, several decades later, after intensive research by unbiased historians, we now know that the patriotic narrative contained a lot of false information, often orchestrated by war-justifying militarists – starting with General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur, aka “the American Caesar”, successfully imposed a virtual total censorship of what really happened at Ground Zero. One of his first acts after taking over as viceroy of Japan was to confiscate and/or destroy all the unpleasant photographic evidence documenting the horrors of the atomic bombings.

Back in 1995, the Smithsonian Institute was preparing to correct the pseudo-patriotic myths by staging an honest, historically-accurate 50th anniversary display exploring all sides of the atomic bombings. This provoked serious right-wing reactionary outrage from veterans groups and other “patriot” groups (including Newt Gingrich’s GOP-dominated Congress) the Smithsonian felt compelled to remove all of the contextually important aspects of the story, especially the bomb-related civilian atrocity stories. So again we had another example of powerful politically-motivated groups that falsified history because of a fear that “unpatriotic” truths, albeit historical, would contradict their deeply-held beliefs – and intolerable psychological situation for many blindered superpatriots.

The Okinawa bloodbath could have been avoided

The Smithsonian historians did have a gun to their heads, of course, but in the melee, the mainstream media – and their easily brain-washable consumers of propaganda – ignored a vital historical point. And that is this: the war could have ended as early as the spring of 1945 without the August atomic bombings, and therefore there could have been averted the 3 month bloody battle of Okinawa that resulted in the deaths of thousands of American Marines with tens of thousands of Japanese military casualties and uncounted thousands of Okinawan civilian casualties.

In addition, if the efforts had succeeded at ending the war via early Japanese efforts for an armistice, there would have been no need for the atomic bombs nor for an American land invasion – the basis of the subsequent propaganda campaign that retroactively justified the use of the bombs.

President Truman, was fully aware of Japan’s search for ways to honorably surrender months before the fateful order to incinerate, without warning, the defenseless women, children and elderly people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who had not been given a choice by their militarist, fascist government about going to war..

That top-secret intelligence data, de-classified in the 1980s, showed that the contingency plans for a two-stage US invasion of the mainland (the first one no sooner than November 1, 1945 and the second one in the spring of 1946) would have been unnecessary.

Japan was working on peace negotiations through its Moscow ambassador as early as April of 1945 when the battle of Okinawa was just starting. Harry Hopkins, President Truman’s close advisor, was aware of Japan’s desire for an armistice. He cabled the president from Moscow, saying: “Japan is doomed and the Japanese know it. Peace feelers are being put out by certain elements in Japan.”

Truman’s team knew of these and other developments because the US had broken the Japanese code years earlier, and US intelligence was intercepting all of Japan’s military and diplomatic messages. On July 13, 1945, Foreign Minister Togo said: “Unconditional surrender (giving up all sovereignty, thereby deposing Hirohito, the Emperor god) is the only obstacle to peace…”

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25,000 barrels of Agent Orange kept on Okinawa, U.S. Army document says [Japan Times]

Posted in Japan, Okinawa, Pentagon, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam on August 27, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Aug 7, 2012

by Jon Mitchell

[Excerpted]

During the Vietnam War, 25,000 barrels of Agent Orange were stored on Okinawa, according to a recently uncovered U.S. Army report. The barrels, thought to contain over 5.2 million liters of the toxic defoliant, had been brought to Okinawa from Vietnam before apparently being taken to Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean, where the U.S. military is known to have incinerated its stocks of Agent Orange in 1977.

The army report is the first time the U.S. military has acknowledged the presence of these chemicals on Okinawa — and it appears to contradict repeated denials from the Pentagon that Agent Orange was ever on the island. The discovery of the report has prompted a group of 10 U.S. veterans, who claim they were sickened by these chemicals on Okinawa, to demand a formal inquiry from the U.S. Senate…

Full article link here

Backgrounder: History proves Diaoyu Islands are China’s territory [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Diaoyu Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, US imperialism, USA, World War II, Zhou Enlai on August 20, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) — The Japanese government on Friday decided to release the 14 Chinese illegally detained Wednesday by Japanese authorities at the Diaoyu Islands after the Chinese government repeatedly demanded their "immediate and unconditional" release.

The 14 Chinese, despite obstruction by Japan Coast Guard patrol ships, arrived at the Diaoyu Islands by a Hong Kong fishing vessel to assert China’s territorial claim to the islands.

Japanese police arrested them on suspicion of "illegal entry."

After their detention, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying reiterated China’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islets, and demanded that the Japanese guarantee the safety of the citizens and free them immediately and unconditionally. On Thursday, China once again urged Japan to "immediately and unconditionally" release its nationals.

Demonstrators across China staged protests Thursday demanding the release of the 14 Chinese nationals.

The Diaoyu islands, in the East China Sea between China and Japan, have belonged to China since ancient times.

The islands are 120 nautical miles northeast of China’s Taiwan province, 200 nautical miles east of China’s mainland and 200 nautical miles west to Japan’s southernmost island Okinawa.

Geologically the islands are attached to Taiwan. The waters around the islands are 100 to 150 meters deep and there is a 2,000-meter-deep oceanic trench between the islands and Japan’s Okinawa islands.

Fishermen from China’s Taiwan and Fujian and other provinces conducted activities such as fishing and collecting herbs in this area since ancient times.

The islands appeared on China’s map since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

There are records about the islands in a book published during the rule of Yong Le (1403 to 1424) in the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years before Japan claimed discovery of the Diaoyu islands in 1884.

After the Ming Dynasty, the islands were recorded in many historical documents.

On a map published by Japan between 1783 and 1785, marking the boundary of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the Diaoyu islands were shown as belonging to China.

Japan never questioned China’s sovereignty over the islands before the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895. 

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World War III Has Begun – It`s the First Asymmetric War Long Awaited by Pentagon Think Tanks [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Afghanistan, China, DPR Korea, Iraq, Japan, Korean War, Nukes, Obama, Okinawa, Pentagon, south Korea, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR, Vietnam, World War II on January 28, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I don’t agree with all of the propositions of the writer, but I emphatically agree that US-led WWIII is in effect and the general trend of global appeasement must be reversed. – Zuo Shou

by Wayne Madsen

26.12.2011

The Pentagon has already declared World War III and President Barack Obama and the Congress never even carried out their constitutional duties to approve the use of American military power for war.

One might reasonably conclude that the United States has outsourced war. Presently, World War III is being conducted on two continents – Asia and Africa – with two others – Europe and South America – looming on the horizon. Today, wars are crafted by the upper one percent of wealthy elitists who, using non-governmental organizations, television networks, non — profit “think tanks,” and public relations firms, can declare war on nations without a whimper from elected public officials.

Symmetric warfare is no longer an option for the global elites. World Wars I and II severely affected the investments of many of the global elite families as a result of the destruction of cities, factories, railways, seaports, and other infrastructures. The Korean, Vietnam, the Arab-Israeli, and Iraq wars were messy affairs that also adversely affected markets and destroyed valuable infrastructures. The Cold War never developed into a hot nuclear war because of the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which ensured that a nuclear first strike by either the West or the East would result in total annihilation of both sides, along with the rest of the world. Even a western military attack on China would have had disastrous results for the attackers, especially since China could retaliate with a nuclear counter-attack and wipe out the U.S. Seventh Fleet and its East Asian naval bases, including Okinawa and Guam. A new type of warfare was required by the elites: asymmetric warfare – the use of unconventional warfare tactics, including information warfare, by proxies, non-state actors, agents provocateur, and fifth columns…

Full article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/12/26/world-war-iii-first-asymmetric-war-long-pentagon-think-tanks.html

Japan’s PM apologizes to Okinawa for defense official’s “rape” remark [Xinhua]

Posted in Japan, Okinawa, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on December 13, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

TOKYO, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Wednesday apologized to the people of Okinawa for a senior defense official’s offensive comments made with regards to the central government’s plan to relocate a controversial U.S. Marine air base to Okinawa’s environmentally sensitive eastern coast.

Noda’s apology followed Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa sacking Satoshi Tanaka, chief of his ministry’s branch in Okinawa, for likening the government’s lack of a clear schedule for submitting an environmental assessment report to officials in Okinawa to the rape of a women.

“Do you declare, ‘I am going to rape you,’ when you rape someone?” the 50-year-old Tanaka was quoted as saying by local Japanese media.

The lewd remark was made during a drinking session with the media in Naha city, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, on Monday night, local media reported.

According to the local reports, Tanaka used the word “okasu,” meaning “violate” in Japanese, but commonly used in a sexual context to intimate violent sexual acts with a woman against her will.

“The replacement was an inevitable measure,” Noda said of Tanaka’s dismissal from his post. “I sincerely apologize to people in Okinawa for Tanaka’s very inappropriate comment,” the Japanese leader said.

Tanaka’s gaffe has intensified an impasse reached between the central and local Okinawa government over the proposed relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station from a crowded district in Ginowan to the coastal Heneko region also on Okinawa island.

Local officials on the island are opposed to the transfer and wish to see the base moved off the island entirely.

The island’s citizens also remain opposed to the base being relocated within Okinawa and would rather see it repositioned off the island entirely as the islanders shoulder the burden of hosting 75 percent of Japan’s U.S. bases on the island and more than half of the 45,000 U.S. military personnel.

Citizens and officials on the island claim that instances of environmental pollution, military accidents and crime have increased and can be attributed to the disproportionate military presence in Japan’s southernmost prefecture.

Tanaka’s comments were particularly insensitive in light of the rape of a local high school girl by three U.S. military personnel in September 1995. Other instances of crime and accidents also remain fresh in the minds of many Okinawans, including a Marine CH- 53D Sea Stallion heavy assault transport helicopter ploughing into the Okinawa International University in Ginowan in August 2004.

Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima, who remains staunchly opposed to the base’s relocation and demands that it be removed from the island, was quoted by local media as being too incensed to comment on Tanaka’s remarks.

“I won’t make any comment because it would soil my mouth,” Nakaima said. Following a hastily convened meeting between Vice Defense Minister Kimito Nakae in Naha, Nakaima added that the latest gaffe had further eroded Okinawa’s trust in the central government.

Susumu Inamine, mayor of Nago — the would-be new city if the base is relocated — also found Tanaka’s remarks deplorable.

“I cannot condone the fact that such a person is working in the government branch in Okinawa,” Inamine said.

Noda told reporters on Wednesday that he would seek the continued understanding of the people of Okinawa for the base’s relocation and will ensure that Tokyo submits an environmental assessment report to the island prefecture in a timely manner.

The Japanese premier is seeking to gain approval from Nakaima on the issue by next summer so that coastal land can be reclaimed and two new runways built as part of the new base in Heneko.

Tanaka’s comments were made off-the-record during the drinking session in Naha but were first published by local Okinawan newspaper the Ryukyu Shimpo.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/30/c_131280339.htm

US beefs up Asia-Pacific army bases [China Daily]

Posted in Australia, China, Economic crisis & decline, Encirclement of China, Japan, Obama, Okinawa, Seoul, South China Sea, south Korea, US imperialism, USA on December 7, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Ma Liyao

Nov. 30, 2011

BEIJING – The US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region is currently experiencing major changes, but analysts said this adjustment in deployment was more a case of strengthening Washington’s influence in the area than specifically targeting China.

“The question of how China should react to US military redeployment is raised with an underlying assumption that the countries are adversaries, which is debatable and reveals a certain lack of confidence,” said Xu Hui, a professor at the National Defense University.

During his visit to Australia this month, US President Barack Obama announced a new security agreement to position more US military personnel and equipment there.

According to the agreement, about 250 US Marines will be stationed in the northern Australian port of Darwin, which is known as Australia’s gateway to Southeast Asia due to its close proximity to Indonesia, which is 820 kilometers away.

A full force of 2,500 military personnel will be stationed there over the next few years.

Compared with the US presence in Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), Darwin is nearer the South China Sea.

Obama sidestepped questions about whether the move was aimed at containing China, but said the US would keep sending a clear message that China needs to accept the responsibilities that come with being a world power.

He added that the US was stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific region.

However, “nothing says the United States supports Asia like sending a small marine regiment to Darwin in Australia’s northern territory Australia is hardly threatened by another foreign invasion from the north – by China or any country”, said the Bangkok Post.

An article published on the Washington Post’s website said the US Navy is close to basing warships in Singapore, on the edge of the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

Negotiations on a deal are in their final stages to base some of the US Navy’s new Littoral combat ships, designed to operate in shallow coastal waters and travel at a top speed of more than 40 knots, at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore, the article said.

And to the east of China, US forces in the ROK are relocating their headquarters and combat units to new military facilities in Pyeongtaek, a port city 70 km south of the capital Seoul, and around 340 km from the eastern Chinese city of Rongcheng.

The relocation, due to be completed in 2016, will make Pyeongtaek the main hub of the US military in the ROK, as well as the largest US overseas military base, taking up around 14.6 sq km and housing about 44,000 US troops.

At the same time, a plan was released a week ago to relocate around 8,000 US Marines, including fighting forces, from Okinawa, an island in southwestern Japan, to Guam.

“Most of these movements are not entirely news – they’ve been under negotiation for years, such as the relocation of the ROK and Japanese bases. And the motives are complex including various internal problems, like persistent protests by local people,” Xu said.

But there is a reason why the US chose this time to announce the changes in such a high-profile manner, he added.

Whether Washington is aiming to contain China or not, what can be sure is that it is accelerating the adjustment of its military deployment in order to “step up its commitment” in the Asia-Pacific.

“The strategy means the US has to ensure its Asian allies of its security commitments to them, and at the same time, gain more economic interests and maintain its leadership in the area,” Xu said.

“Now with the decline in its economic influence, it has to play up its military advantage either as a policy instrument or a bargaining chip,” he added.

No official statements have ever linked these deployments directly to China, but this was an opinion held by some observers.

Japan’s Mainichi Daily News said the plan to relocate US forces on Okinawa aimed to spread out US Marines so they are not overly concentrated in one spot to become easy targets.

The Los Angeles Times said the US president was taking every opportunity during his Asian trips to tell countries neighboring China that Washington is their most reliable “counterweight” to Beijing.

AP contributed to this story.

Article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2011-11/30/content_14185391.htm

“Poll finds more support for U.S. bases” – Japanese population increasingly paranoid about China, DPR Korea [AP / Japan Times]

Posted in China, Fukushima nuclear plant, Germany, Hu Jintao, Japan, Naoto Kan, Obama, Okinawa, Russia, south Korea, Tokyo, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on September 8, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

What the biased corporate press won’t say: “Japanese overwhelmingly like the nation which bombed it with atomic weaponry, along with its World War II Axis ally. However, they feel threatened by those they have invaded and colonized in the recent past. We’ll gloss over rightist / Cold War mentalities and Japanese’ record high disapproval rates of their own “democratically”-elected government. Backgrounding of recent Japanese-US military joint saber-rattling in Northeast Asia is ignored, as is the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown[s].” – ZS

September 7, 2011

AP

* Excerpted *

Japanese have become more welcoming toward the U.S. military presence in the country over the past six years, as neighboring China and North Korea [sic] are increasingly perceived as a security threat, an Associated Press-GfK poll has found.

The survey released Monday on the public’s views of other countries, security and the Imperial family also showed that while about half of Japanese have a positive view of the U.S. and Germany, they are overwhelmingly negative or neutral toward Asian neighbors China, Russia and North Korea. Opinions toward South Korea, meanwhile, are mixed.

The telephone poll, conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, surveyed 1,000 adults nationwide by calling land lines between July 29 and Aug. 10. It has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points…

…while they gave elected leaders low marks, most Japanese think highly of Emperor Akihito and the Self-Defense Forces.

Tokyo is cautiously monitoring China’s growing military spending and its more assertive stance over disputed islands in the region. Ties between the two countries deteriorated to their worst point in years last autumn, after a Chinese fishing trawler and Japan Coast Guard cutters collided near the Senkaku [aka Diaoyu] Islands in the East China Sea, which are controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing.

China’s state-run media have already issued warnings to new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda over his past statements suggesting that Beijing’s military buildup is a regional security threat.

For protection [!], Japan relies on the SDF and nearly 50,000 U.S. troops based in the country under a 51-year-old bilateral security pact. That arrangement came under increased scrutiny last year, when then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama sought — and ultimately failed — to move the controversial Futenma base out of Okinawa Prefecture.

U.S. forces were also actively involved in humanitarian relief efforts following the natural disasters in March.

Amid public alarm about China’s assertiveness, support for U.S. military bases in Japan has grown to 57 percent, while 34 percent want them shut down. In a similar poll in 2005, Japanese were evenly divided on the issue, with 47 percent in favor and 47 percent against.

“The U.S. military presence has received a greater acceptance, apparently because people think this region has grown more unstable,” Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said in response to the results.

China is viewed as a threat to world peace by nearly three-quarters of the respondents, and about the same number have a negative impression of the country, despite it being Japan’s largest trading partner. Unfavorable views of Chinese President Hu Jintao outweigh favorable views by more than 11 to 1, the poll showed.

North Korea, meanwhile, is viewed as a threat by even more Japanese — 80 percent, up from 59 percent in 2005. Pyongyang, which conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, and fired missiles…into the Pacific Ocean in 1998 and April 2009, is viewed negatively by 94 percent. The North’s leader, Kim Jong Il, is disliked by 9 in 10.

Many Japanese are supportive of the SDF, with 74 percent trusting it to do the right thing all or most of the time.

People were mixed over changing the Constitution to allow the SDF to play a greater international role, although more favored than opposed such a change — 38 percent for and 28 percent against. About a third were neutral on the issue.

The Constitution, drawn up by the Allied Occupation after World War II, prohibits the creation and use of a military force in an offensive capacity. But under pressure from the U.S. to play a larger role in regional security [sic], Japan has become more involved in peacekeeping operations overseas…

…Some 41 percent of respondents feel positively about U.S. President Barack Obama, compared with 16 percent who view him unfavorably, and 41 percent who are neutral. As a country, the United States is viewed favorably by 49 percent, neutrally by 36 percent and unfavorably by 14 percent.

While South Korean cultural exports such as television dramas and K-pop singers have become increasingly popular in Japan, the country itself isn’t viewed as favorably, with 31 percent positive and 27 percent negative.

Russia, meanwhile, is viewed positively by just 11 percent and negatively by 44 percent…

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110907a9.html