2012 survey reveals that 74 percent of Okinawan people view the concentration of U.S. military bases in Okinawa as discrimination

2012 survey reveals that 74 percent of Okinawan people view the concentration of U.S. military bases in Okinawa as discrimination


January 29, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural government carried out an awareness survey for Okinawan people from October to November 2012. The survey revealed on January 28 that 73.9 percent people see the situation in which about 74 percent of the U.S. military facilities in Japan is focussed on Okinawa as discriminatory.

Asked whether the Japanese government operates acceptable policies for the base issues, about half of the surveyed felt dissatisfied.

The prefectural government carried out the survey to know how Okinawan people’s consciousness and values changed. They used to carry out the survey every five years from 1979 to 2009. The government surveyed seven times in total. They will change to carry out every three years.

The government carried out the survey at the end of the administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan. Adding analysis to the survey results, they plan to announce it before this March.

Asked whether about 74 percent of the U.S. military facilities in Japan being concentrated in Okinawa is discriminatory, 49.6 percent of those surveyed said, “I think so.” The survey saw 24.3 percent saying, “I somewhat think so.” The people who said, “I don’t somewhat think so” accounted for 6.7 percent and those who said, “I don’t think so” for 8.4 percent.

Asked whether the Japanese government has acceptable policies for the issues caused by the bases, about 27 percent of those surveyed said, “The policies are not satisfying at all.” Those who said, “The policies are relatively not satisfying” accounted for 22.4 percent of the surveyed. Those who said, “I can’t answer” accounted for 22.3 percent and those who said, “The policies are rather satisfying” for 6.1 percent of the surveyed. The people who said, “The policies are very satisfying” accounted for 3.0 percent of the surveyed.

The government asked the people to rank the policies that the government should stress to work on, and choose the top three. Promoting employment and career skills went to the top, supported by 16.8 percent of the surveyed. Secondly, creating attractive tourism and resort spots came to the second place supported by 15.4 percent. Those who favored downsizing the bases, developing the land returned by the U.S. military and promoting the resolution of base issues such as revising the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement, accounted for 12.2 percent.

The prefectural government carried out the survey targeting 2,000 people ranging from 15 years to 75 years of age in 200 areas in the prefecture from October 6 to November 5, 2012. They had 1,612 respondents.
The survey response rate was 80.6 percent.

(English translation by T&CT)

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