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Shimochi-shima Airport

Shimochi-shima Airport was opened in 1979 in Shimochi Island, which is located between Okinawa's main island and Taiwan. In 1971, before Okinawa was returned to Japan, Japan's government and Okinawa's Ryukyu government signed an agreement that the airport will be used only for civil purposes. In disregard of local protests, U.S. Marine helicopters have landed on the Shimochi-shima Airport since 2001 for refueling on their way to military exercises in the Philippines. The U.S. Marines reportedly plans to use the Shimochi-shima Airport until an alternative site for their Futenma Air Station in Okinawa's Ginowan City is constructed in the sea off the Henoko district of Nago City. It is also reported that the Japanese and U.S. governments plan to relocate fighter plane units of the Air Self-Defense Force to the airport and use it as a joint exercise site for U.S. forces and the SDF.


The New Japan Women's Association (NJWA or Shinfujin) was founded on October 19, 1962 at the call of 32 women including Raicho Hiratsuka (pioneer of the Japanese women's movement,) Yaeko Nogami (writer) and Chihiro Iwasaki (artist of pictures for children.) Shinfujin activities are carried out in over 10,000 groups, which are organized all over the country; in workplaces and local communities, including rural areas. Shinfujin has local headquarters in all the 47 prefectures, and branches in 880 municipalities. Under the five objectives, Shinfujin works to realize all kinds of women's demands concerning such issues as women's rights, equality with men, better working and living conditions, measures to support child-care, education, environmental protection, peace and abolition of nuclear weapons. The five objectives are:- To protect the lives of women and children from the danger of
nuclear war- To oppose the adverse revision of the Constitution and the
resurgence of militarism- To work together for better living conditions, extended
women's rights and children's well-being- To win genuine national independence, democracy and emancipation of women- To join hands with women in the world for building lastingpeace

Short-term certificate

This certificate covers medical fees only for a short period and requires to be updated every time it expires.

Siberia captives

Siberia captives are Japanese who were held in forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union's Siberia following Japan's defeat in WWII. The former Soviet Union hauled about 640,000 Japanese soldiers off to Siberia for compulsory labor. More than 60,000 people died of huger and from the cold as well as the harsh labor. International laws prohibit inhumane detention and labor under coercion. The 1949 Geneva Convention stipulates that a country in which a captive was held must issue his labor certificate and a country to which this captive belongs must pay unpaid wages for his forced labor abroad based on the certification. The former Soviet Union, however, had not issued such certificates to the detainees. In 1993, then President Boris Yeltsin eventually offered an apology and issued labor certifications to about 34,000 former Japanese detainees. The Japanese government had paid wages to those who were held by the U.S.-British forces in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, but to the Siberia captives it has still refused to make the payment. Most of the formerly detained soldiers are now over 80 years old. Suffering from war syndrome or the aftereffects of diseases or scars they had in the camps, many are now living under difficult conditions.

SOFA (Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement)

Article 17 of the SOFA stipulates that if "off duty" U.S. personnel, after committing a crime outside U.S. compounds, flee onto U.S. bases, the U.S. authorities have the right to detain the suspect until Japanese authorities prosecute.

The 1995 rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen caused a storm of public criticism against such privilege. In the wake of this, both governments agreed on an "improved administration" of the SOFA.

However, it covers only "murder, rape, and other heinous crimes." In response to Japan's request to hand over U.S. suspects before indictment, the United States is required to just "give favorable consideration." In short, the decision is left to the U.S. government.


Imperial Japan in February 1940 launched a policy of integrating Koreans as the Emperor's subjects by forcing them to adopt Japanese names instead of Korean names.

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