公立大学法人名桜大学

 

大学の世界展開力強化事業:東ティモールからの留学生が見た沖縄の基地

)

MY REFLECTION DURING STAY IN OKINAWA

PAHSA LONG TERM PROGRAM 2014

Eugenia Urania da Costa Correia

Peace and Conflict Studies Student

National University of Timor-Lorosa’e


I am an exchange student of PAHSA long-term Program in Meio University. It was interesting to me to have field visits to US Military bases and Henoko (Nago City) where new US Marine Air base is planned to construct. This is part of my research plan in this semester in Meio University. Nevertheless, Okinawa is Prefecture of Japan Territory it seems like that its culture and nature as well as the people who are really compassionate with each other are different from the other prefectures in Japan. In my field visit, Peace Memorial Park (Itoma City), Kakazu-dai Park (Ginowan City), US Helicopter Clashed Site (Okinawa International University, Ginowan City), Henoko Fishing Port (Nago City) and the like were visited for my understanding of the US bases situation in Okinawa. As you know, it is supposed that Marine Corps Air Station Futenma will relocate to Henoko coast, the east coast of Nago City. This plan was approved by governor Nakaima, however this decision created pro and contra between the Nago residents as well as all of the residents of Okinawa. It was really surprising for me when I heard that the opposing groups have been sit-in Henoko fishery port 10 years already. The people who are sit-in the places are mostly elderly people, conversely they have passion to protest the new US military base in their area. The most impressed to me was, they are always protest with no violence action.


These people really kind and sharing with me about the circumstantial of this issue, I felt I really accepted among of them. They really care with their own land and they do not want anyone to occupy their land again. They expect Japanese government could visit them and hear about their voice. There are many visitors to sit-in sit not only from Okinawa but also from other prefectures in Japan and foreign country such as South Korea. Many people who support them through their opinion banner hanging on the fence which divided the Camp Schwab from Henoko Fishery Port. How to illustrate Okinawa or central Government; local residents want to free from military and also need democracy.


They against government decision for many reasons. Conservation of natural resources such as, dugongs and corals, are one of reasons of them. As we know, dugong is protected by international law. They would like to maintain their beautiful ocean and not to be abolished just for new US Military base. When I visited to Kadena and Futenma, I saw that these US Military bases are occupying broad area in the communities and they were in the middle of city. There are many people living around these bases. In addition, almost no taxes are paid by US civilian personnel, almost no tax duty to them. Japanese people could not entry to the US bases freely but why US civilian personnel could walk around in Okinawa Island freely. Does it can be said that equality?


Are the US Military bases in Okinawa because Japan was defeated in WW II? Or does US Military bases in Okinawa Island protect Japanese people from other nations that would like to occupy? Or should US Military bases be existed in Okinawa Prefecture because there is the treaty that signed by both government? And how about the “Article 9” of Japanese Constitution? The existence of US Military Bases in Japan Territory dose not violate this article?