Globally renowned musician and Japanese MP Shoukichi Kina and others speak about the US military occupation to filmmaker Linda Hoaglund in this clip from her upcoming film, ANPO:
ANPO opens as a squadron of F-16 fighter jets thunder directly over local traffic to land on Kadena, the largest U.S. airbase in Asia. Ten miles south, the urban homes that crowd Futenma Marine Corps Air Station shake from the numbing drone of C-130 cargo planes whose novice pilots repeatedly practice “touch-and-go” take-offs and landings.Hoaglund said this film is a sequel to her first documentary, Wings of Defeat (Tokko in Japan), and that her most pressing issue is to get "the word out to the world about the current situation in Okinawa and the base they’re trying to move from Futenma to the emerald waters off Henoko."
The U.S. base at Futenma is one of 30 bases in Okinawa, an island that makes up only 1% of Japan’s land mass while shouldering the burden of 75% of the U.S. military installations in Japan. That presence includes over 28,000 American troops, rivaling the number deployed to the active war zone of Afghanistan.
America’s military presence was negotiated in 1951 under the terms of the lopsided U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty, known in Japan as “ANPO.” Under its provisions, American soldiers who rape Japanese women and girls are often protected from local prosecution. Prime farming lands have been confiscated from farmers to extend air force jet runways. Civilians are killed in hit-and-run accidents by drunken US servicemen with few held to account. In one particularly egregious case, a woman collecting shell casings to sell was shot in the back and killed by a US soldier who served no time for her death.
ANPO will open in Japanese theaters in June 2010--on the 50th anniversary of the 1960 ANPO struggle.
We will be reposting this video clip regularly so it doesn't disappear in the archives--because outside of Okinawa and Japan--most don't know about the US-Japan plan to expand a US military base in the environmentally sensitive area of Henoko--home of the endangered dugong, pristine forests, and coral reefs.
Filmmaker Linda Hoaglund is keeping a blog of recent, underreported news on Futenma, Henoko, and other Okinawa news at the "ANPO" website.
For the best, in-depth reporting on Okinawa in English, go to Satoko Norimatsu's Peace Philosophy Centre blog and to Japan Focus.