Ryukyu Disposition Symposium: the 140 years since colonialism

Ryukyu Disposition Symposium: the 140 years since colonialism

Speakers discussing the annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom (Ryukyu Disposition) on March 10, at the Ginowan City Community Hall.

March 11, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

ACSILs, The Association of Comprehensive Studies for Independence of the Lew Chewans, held its 21st open symposium on March 10 at the Ginowan City Community Hall, titled: “Investigating the 140 Years Since Yamato State’s Annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom (Known as the Ryukyu Disposition).”

Speakers included Kanagawa University’s Associate Professor Atsushi Shiitada; music teacher and YouTuber, Yuzo Takayama; and Ryukoku University professor, Yasukatsu Matsushima.

Speakers looked back on Okinawan history, from the dissolution of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879 by Japan and its military force (referred to as the Ryukyu Disposition), to the Battle of Okinawa, leading up to the current construction of a new base in Henoko.

They also discussed Japanese colonialism. Roughly 230 people attended.

Shiitada said of the annexation, “Okinawa was the first colony Japan acquired and to this day, it is still a colony.

Japan is one of the few democratic countries that has not let go of its colony.

” He asserted the prefecture should “propose the third U.S.-North Korea summit be held in Okinawa. It will be a step toward thinking about Okinawa’s path forward.”

Takayama explained his connection with his ancestor, the Ryukyuan king, Shō Shin. He stressed that, “in order to revive our unique history and culture, and to escape colonialism, Ryukyu must build self-reliance and independence.

To establish the Uchinanchu (Okinawan) identity, it’s crucial for each and every one of us to express it,” He intends to do the same, while “hopefully grounding the message in easy-to-understand and clear evidence, while making it entertaining as well.”

Matsushima criticized the central government for “never admitting it annexed Ryukyu by force, nor has is apologized or paid reparations.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan is in possession of an amity treaty the Ryukyu Kingdom signed with three other countries, including the U.S. He commented, “there should be legal action to have the treaty returned. The Ryukyu Kingdom no longer exists, but the descendants of the Ryukyuans have a right to demand its restoration.”

English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki

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