On September 4, 1995, three American servicemen abducted and raped a twelve-year-old schoolgirl in Okinawa. The reaction to that rape throughout Japan and around the world mobilized otherwise inattentive people to the persistence of Cold War-type relationships in East Asia-- particularly to the presence of 100,000 American troops-- and started to end the artificial distinction between economics and security in relations between the United States and its trading partners in East Asia. It also caused some observers to begin to see Okinawa not simply as Japan's poorest prefecture but also as an American colony located on Japanese soil.
Okinawa and its role in the Cold War is hidden history for most Americans and Japanese. It was the scene of the last and bloodiest battle of World War II and was occupied by the American military until 1972. Since then it has remained the site of some 39 American military bases located in close proximity to the 1.29 million people of Okinawa.
This book offers a pioneering selection of essays on the Battle of Okinawa, forced emigration of Okinawans to Bolivia, Okinawan identity, the rape incident and the rekindling of Okinawan protest against the bases, the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, economic development in Okinawa, the environmental degradation of Okinawa, and the Clinton administration's deceptive promises to the Okinawans. Authors include former governor of Okinawa prefecture Masahide Ota, the editor of The Ryukyuanist Koji Taira, the pioneer writer on Okinawans in Bolivia Kozy K. Amemiya, one of the founders of Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence Carolyn Bowen Francis, the leading American scholar of Okinawan literature Steve Rabson, journalists Mike Millard, Shunji Taoka, and Patrick Smith, and professors Gavan McCormack, Masayuki Sasaki, and Chalmers Johnson.
Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (Holt Metropolitan Books). 312 pages, softcover.
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Table of Contents
· I. JAPAN'S LEGACY: THE TYPHOON OF STEEL
o Re-examining the History of the Battle of Okinawa (Masahide Ota)
o The Battle of Okinawa in Japanese History Books (Koji Taira)
· II. OKINAWA: THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY SETTING
o The Bolivian Connection: U.S. Bases and Okinawan Emigration (Kozy Amemiya)
o Life on the Mainland: As Portrayed in Modern Okinawan Literature (Steve Rabson)
o Okinawa: Then and Now (Mike Millard)
o The Okinawan Rape Incident and the Rekindling of Okinawan Protest Against the American Bases (Chalmers Johnson)
· III. OKINAWAN IDENTITY
o Assimilation Policy in Okinawa: Promotion, Resistance, and "Reconstruction" (Steve Rabson)
o Being "Japanese" in Brazil and Okinawa (Kozy Amemiya)
o Okinawa's Choice: Independence or Subordination (Koji Taira)
· IV. OKINAWA: THE PROTEST MOVEMENT
o Women and Military Violence (Carolyn Bowen Francis)
o Governor Ota at the Supreme Court of Japan (Masahide Ota)
o The Heliport, Nago, and the End of the Ota Era (Chalmers Johnson)
· V. OKINAWA: A FUTURE WITHOUT AMERICAN BASES?
o The Japanese-American Security Treaty Without a U.S. Military Presence (Shunji Taoka)
o Sustainable Development in Okinawa for the 21st Century (Masayuki Sasaki)
o Okinawan Dilemmas: Coral Islands or Concrete Islands? (Gavan McCormack)
o Inertia On Display (Patrick Smith)
· The Authors