Political journalistTakano: “The presence of U.S. Marines on Okinawa is unnecessary”
September 14, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On September 12, the Ryukyu Okinawa Center of the East Asian Community Research Institute held a lecture meeting in Naha City. Journalist Hajime Takano stressed in his lecture that “stationing US Marine Corps in Okinawa is unnecessary.” Director of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center Hiroji Yamashiro reported on activities to oppose the government’s work towards the construction of a new US air base to replace US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The president of the Institute is former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
Takano, referring to the disputed Senkaku islands, said, “The Abe administration has been spreading a false rumor that China will come and take the Senkaku Islands. [It decided in July to reinterpret the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense.]They expect that the United States will help Japan based on the right of collective self-defense. However, President Obama and US forces in Japan have not agreed to do so.”
Referring to the joint press conference when President Obama visited Japan in April, Takano pointed out “President Obama told Prime Minister Abe it would be a profound mistake to continue to see escalation around this issue instead of dialogue,” and the President also said he would like to welcome the peaceful rise of China.
While in Japan, Obama re-stated that the security treaty covers the Senkaku islands. Takano said, “This is written in the Japan-US Security Treaty. The Defense Secretary and Secretary of State have made the same comments many times.“ He also said, “The assertion that stationing the US Marine Corps in Okinawa is unnecessary has become wide-spread recently among experts in the United States, but this is not reported in Japan.”
Yamashiro strongly criticized the Japan Coast Guard for its harsh attitude towards the citizens’ movement opposing the construction of a new US air base in Henoko.
(English translation by T&CT)
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