Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
 
 
HOME
Past issues
Special issues
Books
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Link
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
 
   
 
HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 2 - 8  > Government can no longer put absolute trust in Japan-U.S. alliance:
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2008 April 2 - 8 TOP3 [US FORCES]
editorial 

Government can no longer put absolute trust in Japan-U.S. alliance:

April 7, 2008
The string of serious crimes committed by U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan testify to the Japan-U.S. alliance constituting the biggest threat to the safety of Japanese citizens.

Akahata, editorial (excerpts)

The public is infuriated with the string of serious crimes committed by U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan as well as with the recent collision between a Self-Defense Forces Aegis-equipped destroyer that supports U.S. military operations and a Japanese fishing boat.

The recent crimes testify to the Japan-U.S. alliance constituting the biggest threat to the safety of Japanese citizens. They in turn indicate that the government’s attempt to allay public anger by arguing that the Japan-U.S. alliance under the Security Treaty is absolute is becoming a hard sell.

Major threat to safety

As the rape of a 14-year-old Okinawan girl in February and the murder of a taxi driver in Yokosuka City by U.S. servicemen show the U.S. military’s repeated promise to “prevent the recurrence” of crimes cannot eradicate crimes unless U.S. bases are removed.

Over the last two years alone, a number of serious crimes have been committed against Japanese women: a robbery and murder in Yokosuka City (January 2006); an attempted murder in Sasebo City (October 2006); a rape in Hiroshima City (October 2007); a rape in Okinawa City (February 2008); and the recent rape case mentioned above. During the 1988-1994 period, there were 216 sexual crimes committed by U.S. servicemen in Japan. The rate of crimes of this kind is extremely high in Japan compared to 24 in Spain, 16 in Italy, and 10 in the Britain during the same time frame.

The 1996 Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security stated that the “most effective framework for the defense of Japan is close defense cooperation between the two countries.” This argument is no longer tenable.

In March, Okinawans held a rally to protest against U.S. military crimes and severely criticized the U.S. forces in Japan.

Referring to the murder of a taxi driver by a U.S. sailor in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Governor Matsuzawa Shigefumi stated, “It will be difficult for us to coexist” with U.S. bases.

It’s time to consider paving the way to a peaceful Japan

The Japan-U.S. alliance is the main rationale used to drag Japan into U.S. preemptive wars, and force Japan to support U.S. illegal wars, including the Iraq War. It runs counter to the currents for peace that are strongly developing in Asia and the rest of the world. It is more and more important to increase criticism of the Japanese government’s policy that regards the Japan-U.S. alliance as absolute.

Now is the time to discuss ways to abolish the Japan-U.S. military alliance and create an independent, foreign military base-free, and peaceful Japan.
- Akahata, April 7, 2008
> List of Past issues
 
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved