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Activist speaks up for Okinawa at U.N. indigenous issues forum

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By Seana K Magee

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And here we go... cant wait to see the same regurgitated arguments. 

said the Ph.D. candidate at the University of the Ryukyus and executive member of the Association of Comprehensive Studies for Independence of the Lew Chewans.

The pro-independence organization uses in its name the original, local-language word for "Ryukyuans,"

At this point the argument becomes dismissible because it speaks for less that 5% of the population. The independence movement has no support.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

than*

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The independence movement has no support.

That was said about Ireland in the fight for Home Rule and later, independence.

There are some who still say it about Scotland which edges ever closer to statehood.

I wish the people of Okinawa well in their struggle, it won't be easy.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I am really angry about this. UN should not give platform for Independence movements. Okinawa is Japan and always will be. Japan should lodge an official protest to UN.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

I agree the activist Shinako Oyakawa to highlight Okinawan a minority people of Japan, the same of Ainu people in Hokkaido, who were and some are different in social aspects and tradition. Japan govt. and authorities have to find ways to respect their way of living (language and tradition) to preserve that tropical southern islands, including Amami Oshima currently belongs to Kagoshima prefecture, islanders of the same ethnic. The only island region in Japan where you find the colors of beauty distinctive from all other parts in Japan. I find myself the southern islands of Okinawa and Amami-Oshima, the last paradise of Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Okinawa is Japan and always will be.

Taiwan is China and always will be.

Ireland is the UK and always will be.

Korea is Japan and always will be.

See? There is no logic to colonialism. None.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Activist Shinako Oyakawa has a point though...... as long as Yamato (dominant ethic group of Japan)view themselves as “superior” to Ryukyu blood, there will never be equality.

Worse. Japan hates political change. They’ll never let Okinawa be independent.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have long felt that the Ryukyuans need to get more assertive towards Tokyo and Washington. If they won't listen to peaceful protest, then they will need to take it to the next level - just as the Irish did against the Brits. Sometimes violence is the only answer.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This is purely an "I want the bases out" complain-a-thon. Any feeling for the other indigenous people (the Ainu)? Is it all about just you? I would like her to show a pertinent stat about the crime rate, "rapes and murders of locals" and see which group is most responsible. However, it would more than likely reveal an inconvenient truth that goes against their tired narrative.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Civitas Sine Suffragio Today  12:24 pm JST

I have long felt that the Ryukyuans need to get more assertive towards Tokyo and Washington. If they won't listen to peaceful protest, then they will need to take it to the next level - just as the Irish did against the Brits. Sometimes violence is the only answer.

A very shallow comparison, and very shallow thoughts. I do not know if you are talking about the Irish War of Independence, or the Northern Irish Troubles, but in the latter Ireland already had Home Rule coming in, but it wasn't enough for the hardliners. As for the Troubles, if you want to make a fractured, tortured society, by all means go for mass bombings, shootings, abductions, and torture - but don't turn around afterwards and decry the pain and anguish of those left behind, or try and scramble up the blood-soaked hill to claim the moral high-ground.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There was an Okinawa Kingdom before 1879,Imperial Japan took it by force and brutal racial assimilations! She is speaking the truth,Okinawa was a forgotton nation!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Independence. Singapore is doing pretty well.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have long felt that the Ryukyuans need to get more assertive towards Tokyo and Washington. If they won't listen to peaceful protest, then they will need to take it to the next level - just as the Irish did against the Brits. Sometimes violence is the only answer.

Assertive? Sure. Violent? A very dangerous and unjustifiable suggestion.

My understanding is that most of the protests against Japanese government policy in the Ryukyus have centred around the presence of the US military bases in Okinawa, and have only peripherally been in favour of Okinawan independence. Opinion polls certainly show that most Okinawans want the bases out, but as far as independence is concerned the polls I've seen put the support for complete Okinawan independence at a very low level. It seems more likely (and achievable) that Okinawans would support more devolution of power to their regional government. That was also evident from the polls.

And since Ireland has been mentioned, neither have there been any violent incidents such as the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry in 1972, where 14 civilians died and many more were injured as a result of British troops firing on a demonstration. You might be able to justify a violent response on the basis of something like that, but as Star-viking says up above:

if you want to make a fractured, tortured society, by all means go for mass bombings, shootings, abductions, and torture - but don't turn around afterwards and decry the pain and anguish of those left behind, or try and scramble up the blood-soaked hill to claim the moral high-ground.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It may be too late for the language. Most of the old people who spoke Okinawan/RyuKyuan/LewChewan are dying off. The middle generation understood both languages and could translate in between, but the young now mostly speak and understand only mainstream TV Japanese. Still, there was a real culture there and I wish her and her associates luck in isolating and refining it into a tangible cultural asset. Keep the vision bright!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Spot on! Shinako Oyakawa belongs to a new generation of young Okinawans who are developing a new consciousness for their heritage and language.

They are still a minority within Okinawa, but I'm observing a growing number of younger Okinawans who are in one or another way rediscovering and reinvigorating their independent cultural heritage and language.

And they are doing this despite having graduated from an overly centralised education system that leaves no room for integrating minority cultures and that has been highly discriminating towards the Okinawan people.

Respect!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This would be like Hawaii telling Washington DC they don't like Navy bases on their islands.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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