Monday, March 7, 2011

U.S. Diplomat accused of disparaging Okinawans as "lazy" "masters of manipulation and extortion"

Today The Japan Times (via Kyodo News) published a disturbing report of U.S. diplomat Kevin Maher's racist disparagement of Okinawans as "lazy" "masters of manipulation and extortion."

Maher is in charge of Japanese affairs at the State Department. When he was posted in Okinawa in the summer of 2008, Ginowan City residents formally requested he immediately leave their island.

A former Japanese Foreign Ministry official said his experience indicated that other "U.S. officials in charge of recent U.S.-Japan negotiations shared ideas like those of Mr. Maher."

Read "U.S. diplomat accused of disparaging Okinawans: Islanders 'masters of manipulation and extortion' on Futenma issue" here.

(Update: The U.S. State Department apologized for the remarks and removed Maher from his post on March 9, 2011.)

Okinawa analyst Satoko Norimatsu provides an annotated version of Maher's lecture and commentary from East Asia scholars Mark Selden and Gavan McCormack at the Peace Philosophy Centre website.

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