Takahashi wants Japanese media to report on movement for mainland to accept bases
December 3, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
At Japan National Press Club on December 2, 61 reporters attended a lecture delivered by Tetsuya Takahashi, a professor of philosophy at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Tokyo, about his work Considering Relocation of Okinawa’s U.S. Military Bases Outside the Prefecture (Okinawa no beigunkichi kengai isetsu o kangaeru).
Professor Takahashi pointed out that, “Mainland Japan is the benefactor of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and yet pushes the base burden onto Okinawa.” Not only this but he expressed that, “The Security Treaty was a political choice undertaken by mainland Japan, so it should bear the [base] burden,”
Takahashi raised the issue that at the time the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan was ratified, there were no Okinawan members of the National Diet, so the Security Treaty was the political decision of mainland Japan excluding Okinawa. The result of Okinawa not having a say in the political decision-making is that although Okinawa only makes up 0.6% of Japan’s land area, 73.8% of military facilities used exclusively by the U.S. military came to be concentrated in Okinawa. Takahashi said that, “The current execution of the Security Treaty is causing fundamental inconsistencies. The discriminatory state of affairs contradicts democratic principle.”
Takahashi said, “There are movements for [the mainland] to accept bases emerging in Osaka and Fukuoka. I want the media to report citizens’ movements, and open an outlet for public opinion,” extending his request to those gathered at Japan National Press Club.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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