Unsafety of living with military basesPosted: 02/08/2011
The biggest hypocrisy in the presence of military bases in Japan is that there is a fantasy of safety/security in having military bases (as well as many others.) I didn’t grow up with military bases in my town or surrounding areas, and I may be one of many people who don’t understand fully what it is to live near the bases. But we can learn from many voices, writings and imagery, like this striking evidence:
(photo courtesy of Ojo de Cineasta : click to see larger and read the photographer’s description.)
This burnt-down tree stands on Okinawa International University campus to commemorate the US Marines’ helicopter crash in August 2004.
Outside Okinawa, very few can see the daily hazard Okinawan people experience while living with military bases. Tokyo recently thought that it still is inevitable that Okinawa hosts the US bases and said “very regrettable.” It sounds like just a recent tragedy. But it’s been going on too long. We weren’t informed too long. It is true some people insist the necessity of US bases. Even within Okinawa, many people believe that Okinawan economy depends on the presence of bases. But why would they need the bases so bad, if sacrificing safety of Okinawan people? A rape on a 12-year-old girl in 1995 brought Okinawan people together and became a big resistance against the US presence. But again the new base plan is on if we didn’t speak up enough now. Do we all just wait till another tragedy happens in Okinawa? More air crashes and sexual abuses?
In the meantime, watch this footage of V-22 Osprey at an air show in NY May 2010. Osprey are planned to be deployed in Takae area at the completion of new helipads.