“No sincere solution offered”; gathered women criticize US-Japan

“No sincere solution offered”; gathered women criticize US-Japan

Following the suspected murder of an Okinawan woman, women's groups seek removal of U.S. bases in Okinawa at the congressional office building for the House of Councilors in Tokyo on May 26.

May 27, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

Groups of congressional representatives and organizations advocating for the eradication of sexual violence held a rally under the title “Women are mad! Emergency Session on Murder of Okinawan Woman” on May 26 at the congressional office building for the House of Councilors in Tokyo. Participants protested against the Japanese and U.S. governments in solidarity with Okinawa regarding the recent alleged murder of an Okinawan woman by an ex U.S. marine. According to the group organizer, 300 people took part in the rally.

The participants agreed on the statement read out at the meeting. The statement criticized both the U.S. and Japanese governments for their U.S.-Japan summit meeting held on May 26, stating that “there was not even an apology for the loss of this irreplaceable life, and the attitude they show is far from sincere in offering solutions.” The group further demanded for removal of the U.S. military bases in Okinawa.

A member of the Upper House, Keiko Itokazu, strongly pleaded for revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) on the stage stating that “as long as there is the SOFA, which is unequally designed, we will not be able to do anything but shed tears over how many Okinawans have been murdered. Even though we strongly and repeatedly demand the revision of SOFA to the Japanese government, they have not made any effort to listen to us.”

A writer, Keiko Ochiai, said, “Including the latest unforgivable incident, all the continuing issues surrounding Okinawa ask those of us who live outside of Okinawa, ‘where do you stand?’.” She argued that people living outside of Okinawa need to take this into serious consideration.

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma) 

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