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Monday, November 29, 2010

Yoshio Shimoji: Comment on Japan Today's "DPJ relieved after Okinawa vote"

Yoshio Shimoji regards Governor Nakaima's reelection (in conjunction with almost 50% of the votes for opponent Yoichi Iha, mayor of Ginowan City) as a referendum by Okinawans against the construction of another U.S. mega-military "replacement" base in Henoko.

His comment on Japan Today's Nov. 28 article "DPJ relieved after Okinawa vote” reflects his reasoning:
In yesterday's gubernatorial election in Okinawa, candidate Hirokazu Nakaima, an incumbent Governor, garnered 335,708 votes (52%), candidate Yoichi Iha 297,082 votes (46%) and candidate Tatsuro Kinjo 13,116 votes (2%), of the total 645,906 valid votes.

Nakaima and Iha campaigned on an almost identical platform that the 2006 Futenma relocation plan agreed to between Japan and the U.S. should be scrapped while Kinjo ran on a "Futenma to Henoko" platform. Of the three candidates, then, it's only Kinjo who precisely represented both (Washington & Tokyo) governments' stance regarding the Futenma issue. But his vote count was only 13,116 or a meager 2 percent.

U.S. policymakers should recognize this hard fact and, if they consider the U.S. as a great democracy, never attempt to force their failed plan on Okinawa -- an undemocratic and immoral action on the part of the U.S.

Yoshio Shimoji
Naha, Okinawa
Japan
Yoshio Shimoji was born in Miyako Island, Okinawa. He received his M.S. from Georgetown University, and taught English and English linguistics at the University of the Ryukyus from April 1966 until his retirement in March 2003.

Mr. Shimoji's "The Futenma Base and the U.S.-Japan Controversy: An Okinawan Perspective" was published at The Asia Pacific Journal earlier this year.

See also his letter letter, "How dare Obama ask Hatoyama to act without regard to democratic process in Okinawa?" published at the The New York Times on May 28, and "'Thanks' Doesn't Allay Okinawans" published on July 11 at The Japan Times.

(Human chain demanding the removal of U.S. Marine Base Futenma & no further base construction in Okinawa. Photos: Yoshio Shimoji )

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