politics

Deputy minister resigns over Okinawa gaffe

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When an opposition lawmaker asked Abe in Thursday's parliamentary session about a recent series of emergency landings by U.S. military helicopters in Okinawa, Matsumoto heckled by saying, "How many people died from that?" Kyodo news agency said.

This is considered a gaffe? It's not prejudice, it isn't a lie, and it isn't derogatory. It's a very true and fair observation.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

It’s derogatory to an innocent and oppressed minority wh o never wanted to become part of Japan or support the US military in the first place.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

It's another gaffe, disrespecting and proof of much he Ldp Gov. Is looking down on Okinawa. Maybe the Ldp should start doing something to solve these decade old problems, but no they prefer to make disrespecting marks about it. Even more embarrassing is the fact that the Jpn Gov don't have any say about national security matters, as the US Army I ignoring to listen to the Gov. And take steps.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

it seems that all the LDP have his viewpoint, so don't they all resign?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is in fact an argument off the point, besides being creepy and insensitive. It the sort of thing LDP types say behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms over drinks. It is not the sort of thing that you say in public. It is not the thing you say about Okinawa, given the burden of their homeland being occupied by U.S. troops. Given what Okinawa has to live with, even a seemingly small sting causes a big hurt. Fumiaki Matsumoto was a stupid jerk for saying what he said--in public.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The comments are insensitive and foolish even though they were technically correct. But, I think the US military presence in Okinawa hasn't just been a negative one (the rapes and other major crimes have been inexcusable). It has added to the culture and made Okinawa feel quite unique. The amount of interesting restaurants there is reason enough to visit the main island. Those restaurants have only come about because of the large US population situated there. Many of the great restaurants there are run by former military personnel who now call Okinawa their home. It's shameful that Okinawans were never given the chance to decide what would happen with their islands, but we can't change the past at this point.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Knobby Roads- These comments were not technically correct their have been recent fatalities with Okinawan Civilians as a result of the US Milataries arrogance towards the host community for example a 20 year girl was brutally raped and murdered by a US Marine Veteran and a Truck driven by a drunk Marine killed a 60 year old man.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Its time the Japanese people regained their sovereignty and told the occupying force that after 70 years they should leave. The Japanese government is controlled by Washington and the Japanese people only appear to have their own government, but the Japanese government is in Washington. Their is no advantage in Japan having US bases on their soil, it only make japan a target.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

GoodlucktoyouJan. 27 10:03 am JST

it seems that all the LDP have his viewpoint, so don't they all resign?

Sacrificial Lamb.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JWTNSSN

The heckle in relation to the question asked was technically correct. Whether it was sensetive or appropriate is an entirely different matter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Definitely a derogatory and discriminatory remark towards the people of Okinawa by the Nippon Kaigi Affiliate Fumiaki Matsumoto. If these Marine Corps Helicopter Incidents were happening in Mainland Japan, you can bet he would not have made these comments and if these incidents were happening in Mainland Japan, you can bet that the local people would be protesting just like the people of Okinawa are.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Read the same article in The Japan Times News.  

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/27/national/politics-diplomacy/abe-administration-official-quits-appearing-downplay-u-s-military-incidents-okinawa/#.Wmz8-bnTkic

It is interesting that Japan Today article omitted the identify of the "opposition lawmaker" whereas Japan Times identified the opposition as Japanese Communist Party chief Kazuo Shii.  

While Matsumoto's rhetorical response to JCP chief may have been sarcastic, it is hypocritical of JCP to criticize Matsumoto of downplaying/minimizing the accidents when they themselves and other anti-US leftists politically exaggerate and blow the whole issue out of proportion. It was unfortunate for Matsumoto to be forced to resign.

 But, I think the US military presence in Okinawa hasn't just been a negative one (the rapes and other major crimes have been inexcusable). It has added to the culture and made Okinawa feel quite unique. The amount of interesting restaurants there is reason enough to visit the main island. Those restaurants have only come about because of the large US population situated there.

Very thoughtful comments, Knobby Roads. One such Okinawan dish I like is Taco Rice, an interesting and tasty fusion of both U.S. and Okinawan culinary tastes.  While I was stationed there, I found Okinawans less xenophobic than the mainland Japanese.

I'm sure many of the anti-US posters here would disagree with the U.S. having a positive influence

As for cultural influence, let's not forget how Japan, during their colonial occupation of the Island between 1879 and 1945 attempted to systematically wipe out the Okinawan culture and language and force the Okinawan people to assimilate to Japanese culture, albeit as lower class citizens. Also shameful is the manner in which Imperial Japan occupied Okinawa as a major military outpost during the 1930s and 1940s, forcibly enslaving able-bodied Okinawans to help build the underground military tunnel network and fortified caves and subjecting it to be a sacrificial lamb during the Battle of Okinawa to buy time for mainland Japan to prepare for an American mainland invasion that never came.

I know many elderly Okinawans, (including my grandmother and her family), who lived in Okinawa during the 1930s, 1940s and post World War 2.  Having experienced both occupiers, they found the Americans treated the Okinawan people more kindly and respected their culture more so than the Imperial Japanese occupiers ever did. 

It's shameful that Okinawans were never given the chance to decide what would happen with their islands...

Actually they were given the chance. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was discussion whether Okinawa should: a) remain a U.S. territory, b) revert to Japanese prefecture, or c) be an independent sovereign nation. In 1972 Okinawa voted to revert back to being a Japanese prefecture.

Its time the Japanese people regained their sovereignty and told the occupying force that after 70 years they should leave.

@rlperez@hotmail.com.au, you mean Okinawan people. Okinawans are not ethnically or culturally Japanese. Okinawa was at one time a sovereign country wholly apart from Japan. Nowadays, they are considered as Japanese national because Okinawa is a Japanese prefecture. But many Okinawans, even Okinawan expats abroad still consider themselves as Okinawans, not Japanese.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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