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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 December 15 - 21  > US process of building military bases in US-occupied Okinawa violated Hague Land Warfare Ordinance
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2021 December 15 - 21 TOP3 [POLITICS]

US process of building military bases in US-occupied Okinawa violated Hague Land Warfare Ordinance

December 15, 2021

Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting on December 14 revealed that the process of constructing military bases in U.S. occupied Okinawa had violated "The Hague Land Warfare Ordinance".

Pointing out that a broad area of Okinawa is still held by U.S. military facilities even 49 years after the reversion of Okinawa to Japan, Akamine asked Prime Minister Kishida Fumio for his opinion regarding the formation process of U.S. bases in U.S.-occupied Okinawa.

PM Kishida avoided giving his own opinion and answered, "There are different perspectives and various opinions about the formation process of U.S. bases in Okinawa."

Akamine responded, "There's only one indisputable fact. The United States constructed its bases in Okinawa while keeping residents in concentration camps or by threatening them with the policy of using 'bayonets and bulldozers' to force them to surrender their land to U.S. forces. This violated 'The Hague Land Warfare Ordinance' which prohibits the confiscation of private property and looting in an occupied territory."

Akamine said that in the runup to the return of Okinawa to Japan, the government of the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa Prefecture) put together the demands of Okinawans, and emphasized that Okinawans at that time wanted a peaceful Okinawa without military bases and their basic human rights to be guaranteed under the postwar pacifist Constitution of Japan. Akamine pointed out that Yara Chobyo, the then head of the Ryukyu government, went to Tokyo to convey the Okinawans' demands to the Japanese government, but a Japan-U.S. agreement concerning the handover of Okinawa was railroaded through the House of Representatives just minutes before Yara arrived at Haneda Airport.

The Japanese government paid no heed to the demands of Okinawans when forging an agreement with the United States to revert Okinawa to Japanese control. Most of the U.S. bases which had been constructed in Okinawa under U.S. occupation remained even after Okinawa was returned to Japan.

Akamine said, "It was far from what Okinawans longed for." Now again, the Japanese government is moving ahead with the construction of yet another U.S. base in Okinawa's Nago City in complete disregard of Okinawan opposition. Akamine demanded that the new base project be cancelled and that the existing U.S. military facilities be scaled down and eventually removed from Okinawa.
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