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Okinawa marks 75th anniversary of fierce WWII battle

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@Samit Basu

Imperial Japan did, not Americans. The US troops were liberators of Okinawa.

Incorrect. The US military murdered over one third of the entire population of Okinawa.

The civilian death toll during the Second World War Battle of Okinawa was very high. This was the result of sheer brutality resulting from racism and hatred, but also from unethical strategic decisions. They amount to crimes against humanity.

In addition to the strategic decisions that contributed to the high death toll, actions such as rape, killing of surrendering soldiers, looting and mutilating the dead.

Here is a starting point for your research:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15027570.2014.991512

Why would America atone for the crime that Japan committed?

Wrong. The US targeted Okinawa civilians for mass slaughter. A crime they have yet to atone for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US troops were liberators of Okinawa.

The battle had zip to do with "liberating" Okinawa. That's some serious propaganda you just floated. US troops were there to defeat the Japanese, and the Okinawans were generally considered to be the same Japanese they were there to defeat because your typical soldier is an ignorant fool who just started shaving regular. Okinawans were wantonly killed and raped by both sides, perhaps just less often by one side. Perhaps. But the victor writes the history. Large numbers of rapes continued long after the battle was over and the people of Okinawa have a mountain of anecdotal evidence of it. Liberation? Okinawa still has US bases all over it! Okinawa is still a prefecture of Japan!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Okinawa on Tuesday marked the 75th anniversary of the end of a major World War II ground battle that claimed over 200,000 lives, including large numbers of local civilians as well as Japanese and U.S. combatants.

After the extreme sufferings of the Ryukyuan people under the hands of both the Japanese and Americans during the 'Battle of Okinawa' it's so sad that today Naha is still the Crimea of Asia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Remembering War should be done with respect, for all sides involved. War isn't pretty. It's not some Computer game, that you can simply replay again & again... many seem to forget that these days, likewise, the other things that happen during War - Rape/Pillaging/Sadistic torture activities.

China had its fair share at the hands of the Japanese, so I wonder how they perpetuate these upon their own people still. Disappearing Kids - only to be found later on with organs removed, imprisonment for open comments, Family persecutions, etc. etc... its almost like a Mafia run Country these days... though the Mafia are more respectful for the Church.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smithinjapan,

Is this the reason why you think Futenma's replacement must be built in Okinawa at any cost? And yet the most active elements of them are to relocate to Guam, occasionally visiinvg Okinawa just for training in the aforementioned bases? Besides, Tokyo and Washington agreed that primary responsibility for the defense of outlying islands rests with JSDF, not with USFJ.

Under such circumstances, what's the use of constructing Futenma's replacement in Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa: "That’s why you need training bases in Okinawa, like Camp Schwab, Jungle Warfare Training Center and replacement facilities in Henoko for Futenma for Guam-deployed Marines to come and train, to scare off the Chinese fleet?"

No, because you would be part of China without them. Period. You can thank the troops later, as you should. And if you want to be mad about the deaths of Okinawans in the war, be mad at Imperial Japan, which first annexed the Ryukyus to begin with, forced them into their war of attrition after attacking Pearl Harbor, and for slaughtering their own people in the waning days of the war when it was clear Japan had all but lost.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I briefly lived in Okinawa as a child during the late 1960s and again in the late 1980s when I was in the U.S. military. Yes, many places were lovely, peaceful and serene. Others were haunted and scarred with reminders of the Battle of Okinawa. Found those places interesting but sombering. Tragic how many Okinawans were caught in the middle between two opposing forces, much of their island and cultural artifacts, including the original Shuri Castle destroyed .

The tragedy of Okinawa was that Okinawa and Okinawan people were used and ultimately sacrificed by Imperial Japan like a sacrificial lamb and the battle prolonged in order to buy time to prepare for the anticipated American invasion of the homeland Japan that fortunately never came.

Another tragedy of Okinawa is that the Battle of Okinawa is not widely remembered (considering it was the bloodiest and most destructive Pacific battle of them all) or is only remembered as a brief paragraph or footnote in American and Japanese history books.

The Battle of Okinawa and the plight of the Okinawan people during those times deserves to be preserved and remembered.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mankind needs peace.Okiniwa is a beautiful place but foreign gentlemen military bases should be removed so that Okiniwa people can breath peacefully.Okiniwa wa seezukana Island desune.

For better or worse Okinawa is in a strategic location between major powers and that will never change. It is not a small micronesia island in the absolute middle of the Atlantic. If the US leaves, guess who will be happy to start encroaching.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A most horrible battle, RIP to all those lives lost.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In a perfect world . . . but, sad to say, it isn't.

If the U.S. bases weren't there, China, S. Korea or somebody else would have their ships sailing around and among them laying age old claims to them. It's a pity for the people of Okinawa that their island chain isn't a thousand miles more out in the middle of the Pacific with nobody to menace them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan

You were noticeably absent on the thread where the sub entered Japanese waters a couple of days ago. Weren't shouting to kick out the US military then

I didn't notice the article, let alone the thread. So I searched for and read the article. 

Well, it's expected China's warships will pass through some straits in the archipelago from time to time to go in and out of the Pacific Ocean.

That’s why you need training bases in Okinawa, like Camp Schwab, Jungle Warfare Training Center and replacement facilities in Henoko for Futenma for Guam-deployed Marines to come and train, to scare off the Chinese fleet?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Lots of America 'fans' here but few readers or thinkers among them...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Mankind needs peace.Okiniwa is a beautiful place but foreign gentlemen military bases should be removed so that Okiniwa people can breath peacefully.Okiniwa wa seezukana Island desune.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@asdfgtr

In 1945 the US military murdered over one third of the entire population of Okinawa.

Imperial Japan did, not Americans. The US troops were liberators of Okinawa.

America has yet to atone for this cowardly and racist genocide.

Why would America atone for the crime that Japan committed?

If you are talking about crimes by US servicemen post war, yes, the US military does apologize every time any major crime happens.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Wars are HELL.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa: "Thus, occupying Okinawa has been the U.S.'s century-old scheme."

You were noticeably absent on the thread where the sub entered Japanese waters a couple of days ago. Weren't shouting to kick out the US military then.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

browny1Today 07:26 pm JSTAfter the nightmarish hell-on-earth of the Tokyo bombings, incinerating 100,000+in 2 days of March (and untold number mutilated), the Imperial Japanese Army, the Govt and the Emperor saw fit to not cease and desist and in fact furthered the folly of fighting on.

browny1,

Absolutely correct!! The govt of Japan THEN & NOW until this very day has never really given a damn about the people on the street, we see this all the time from abe & the LDP!!

What the J-govt allowed in the closing days of WWII in Japan was utterly insane, abe's grandfather & friends would let most of the people die if they could have to ""save"" the Emperor.....and Japan to this day cant admit what it did inside & especially outside Japan....all we get is vaguely worded meaningless BS from the LDP while the people of Japan suffer to the day & in Okinawa they pay a very high price indeed!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Okinawa has a special place in my heart. I've been there twice as a tourist, beautiful place, the food is great, the people among the friendlist I've seen in the world.

Tokyo should make sure Okinawa is taken care of, the people went through hell because of our actions. They had a choice to be independent or return to be with Japan, they choose Nippon.

We should reduce the American military presence on that island, even if the Americans insist on staying there for strategic, military reasons, their presence should be reduced.

If Japan takes more responsibility for its defense, we won't need 50, 000 American soldiers, you could reduce that number.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Going on 75 years of peace in Japan thanks to the US. Well done!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Peace is the way. "Children and grandchildren are growing up and we want no wars" - Yasuko Chinen

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Vince Black: "Large numbers of civilians? Civilians that were forced to commit suicide by their own government. Was that mentioned?"

Nope, and it isn't mentioned in Japanese textbooks, either. Forced off cliffs, forced to pull grenades en masse and hold them together, etc. Not a mention.

Sources on your claim? I understand that 6 of 7 approved history textbooks spell it out.

社説[中学校教科書検定]一部に「集団自決」なし

https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/551199

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Way back in 1853 a U.S. fleet, the so-called "black ships", commanded by Matthew Perry, who pried open the door of a reclusive Japan, made Naha Port their supply base while negotiating with the Tokugawa Shogunate for trade and supply for U.S. whalers. Perry thought Okinawa could be America's forward base to advance to Asia and so wrote to his superior in Washington, suggesting the U.S. occupy Okinawa if Japan rejected U.S. demands.

Thus, occupying Okinawa has been the U.S.'s century-old scheme.

Do you have a source for this claim? I am aware that he suggested that Formosa (Taiwan) might be a suitable island for occupation has a base in Asia, but not Okinawa, but I expect that as the voice of Okinawa, you will be better informed that me on such issues.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

After the nightmarish hell-on-earth of the Tokyo bombings, incinerating 100,000+in 2 days of March (and untold number mutilated), the Imperial Japanese Army, the Govt and the Emperor saw fit to not cease and desist and in fact furthered the folly of fighting on.

Consequently, many other cities and sites were targeted resulting in the further death and destruction of 10,000s, primarily civilians.

But budge they did not and then came the savage horror of Okinawa.

And after the brutal sacrifice of again another 100,000 civilians, not a sign of even giving an inch was declared by the Leaders.

And then came the obliteration that stained humanity for time immemorial.

And then and only then, came a squeak from the emperor - albeit 100,000s of civilian lives too late. - calling an end to it all.

No wonder many Okinawans detested the govt - and still do.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Living in Okinawa.

Okinawans love Matthew Perry.

What would Okinawa be if US wouldn't won? Mainland was ready to kill them all, actually Americans helped to reconstruct Okinawa, more than real Japan.

Currently, Okinawa's economy depends on Americans (construction and tourist).

Japan government sees as a victory in the relocation of Futenma to Henoko but the environmental impact has been ignored. The destruction of that area is terrible, but many okinawans support the decision because they think it is far and they'll get jobs and development. The most important water resources are in the north, Nago, as well of some other natural resources.

Okinawa government should enacted its own regulations and get agreements with American Military Forces, otherwise they will always lose. Mainland, "Naichi" is not interested on Okinawa's well-being.

And kick them out, is not an option, okinawa's current culture is a syncretism among Americans and Okinawans with a little bit of Japanese. A lot of people have American military relatives, are you going to kick them out too?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The Okinawans still suffer military occupation to this day.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

75 years and Okinawa is still occupied by American troops!

Time to go home guys!

Invalid CSRF

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Approximately 94,000 civilians, about a quarter of Okinawa's population at that time, as well as over 94,000 Japanese soldiers and some 12,500 U.S. troops died in the fighting that ran from March through June 1945, according to the government of the southern Japan prefecture.

Do these statistics include the thousands who killed themselves after their defeat?

0 ( +10 / -10 )

The Bbattle of Okinawa ended 75 years ago, but the erstwhile U.S. occupation forces are still here, occupying large swaths of land mass as bases, which keeps reminding us of the war as if it had ended yesterday.

Way back in 1853 a U.S. fleet, the so-called "black ships", commanded by Matthew Perry, who pried open the door of a reclusive Japan, made Naha Port their supply base while negotiating with the Tokugawa Shogunate for trade and supply for U.S. whalers. Perry thought Okinawa could be America's forward base to advance to Asia and so wrote to his superior in Washington, suggesting the U.S. occupy Okinawa if Japan rejected U.S. demands.

Thus, occupying Okinawa has been the U.S.'s century-old scheme.

Colonial egoism is still rampant in Okinawa.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Because the Okinawan people were not considered real Japanese until well after the war.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, but it is difficult to learn from history if you only are presented with an edited and biased version. At least half the Japanese losses were unnecessary and avoidable but for the actions of their own government and military.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

Vince Black: "Large numbers of civilians? Civilians that were forced to commit suicide by their own government. Was that mentioned?"

Nope, and it isn't mentioned in Japanese textbooks, either. Forced off cliffs, forced to pull grenades en masse and hold them together, etc. Not a mention.

3 ( +23 / -20 )

Okinawa is a beautiful place with beautiful people, it is also a place of great sadness and such contrast.

I have been through those tunnels there and I am sure anyone else who has will understand it is a very somber experience, may peace prevail !

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Large numbers of civilians? Civilians that were forced to commit suicide by their own government. Was that mentioned?

3 ( +23 / -20 )

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