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Monday, February 28, 2011

White Rock Meeting, January 2011 on Okinawa ホワイトロック 2011年1月の会報告 沖縄を知る

This is a report by Hara Kyoko, a member of White Rock group, a peace group based in White Rock, BC, a beautiful coastal city near the US border, of our January 22 meeting on the current situation in Okinawa. Right is a photo, in which we are wearing a yellow strap that says "No Base Okinawa," donated by Ken Nakamura-Huber living in Okinawa.
ホワイトロックの会 1月の会の報告

原京子

沖縄の現状を知っていますか?

1月22日(土)、山本真理子さん宅で行なわれたホワイトロックの会は、参加者10名(女性6名・男性4名)の中身の濃い集いとなりました。今回は、ピース・フィロソフィー・センターの乗松聡子さんと、沖縄の基地問題について学びました。

沖縄の歴史と現状

「沖縄」といえば、青い空・美しい海というリゾートのイメージを第一に思い浮かべる方が多いと思のではないでしょうか。でも、沖縄はどんな歴史をたどってきた県か、考えたことがありますか?琉球王国として独自の文化を発展させてきた沖縄は、第2次世界大戦時には、日本の一部として「最大規模の陸戦」と呼ばれる「沖縄戦」の舞台となってしまいました。沖縄戦では、全戦没者は20~24万人とされており、日本側の死者・行方不明者は18万8136人で、沖縄県出身者が12万2228人、そのうち9万4000人が民間人ということです。(沖縄県生活福祉部援護課による発表。もっと多いという報告もあるようです。)当時の住民の3~4人のうちにひとりの割合で亡くなった方がいたと言われるくらいに、その闘いの傷あとは大きなものでした。現在も、沖縄戦の痛みを心に残して暮らしている方々がおられます。

戦後、アメリカの領土となった沖縄は、1972年に返還され日本に復帰しましたが、現在に至るまで在日米軍基地を抱えたままの状態です。沖縄の面積は日本の国土の0.6%なのに、在日米軍基地の75%が沖縄県のあるそうです。この数字を見ただけでも、いかに沖縄に負担がかかっているかがわかります。”沖縄県は基地で潤っている”などというイメージもありますが、基地で働いているのは県民の1%以下、建設工事などもほとんど本土の業者が受注してしまうのが現状です。沖縄の一人当たりの県民所得は全国で最低、基地では潤わないという事実があります。また、ひどい騒音、アメリカ兵の起こす事件(暴行、交通事故など)は日米地位協定により日本の法律で裁くことができずにうやむやになってしまう、など、現在も多くの問題が残されたままになっています。2009年に普天間基地の県外移設というスローガンをかかげて当選した鳩山政権は、公約を破る形で辞任しています。

住民の反対を無視して、豊かな自然を破壊してまで、基地を広げていくことは本当に必要なのでしょうか?アメリカ自身も「沖縄にはこだわらない」と言っているのに、なぜかそのことは日本国内ではほとんど報道されていません。県民全体が反対しているのに、なぜか日本政府は基地建設をさらに進めようとしています。

「高江」ヘリパッド建設問題

高江は、那覇から車で3時間、人口160人ほどの小さな集落です。自然に恵まれ、ヤンバルクイナ・ノクチゲラなどの稀少な動物の生息地、また豊かな水源地としても知られています。

この世界自然遺産の候補地にもなっているやんばる(沖縄島北部)の森に、米軍ヘリパッドが新設されようとしています。これまでも、高江の住民は米軍の「ジャングル訓練センター」と隣り合わせて暮らしてきましたが、さらにこの集落を囲むように、ヘリパッド(ヘリコプター着陸帯)を6つ作る工事が始まっています。住民の反対にもかかわらず、工事を強行しようとする沖縄防衛局に対し、「自分の家で普通に暮らすために」と、2007年から150人の高江区住民を中心に全県・全国からの支援者がゲートでの座り込みをはじめ、また全国に支援が広がっています。ホワイトロックの会で、高江の現状のドキュメンタリー映像を見せてもらいました。素晴らしい自然の中、普通に暮らしていた人々がその当たり前の暮らしを守るために、どれだけの犠牲と苦痛と努力を強いられているのか、考えさせられます。

これら住民の非暴力の抵抗に対し、沖縄防衛局は「道路通行妨害」として裁判所に訴えるという措置をとりました。訴えられた住民の中には8歳の子供も含まれていたというのですから、ひどい話です。このような訴訟は、SLAPP訴訟(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation:公に意見を表明したり、請願・陳情や提訴を起こしたり、政府・自治体の対応を求めて動いたりした人々を黙らせ、威圧し、 苦痛を与えることを目的として起こされる 報復的な民事訴訟のこと)と呼ばれているそうです。今回の高江のケースも、市民側のリゾース(人員、やる気、体力など)を削ぐために行われたSLAPP訴訟であると言われています。(SLAPP訴訟に関して、詳しくはこちらをご参照ください。http://slapp.jp/

高江の人々の闘いは、現在も続いています。どうぞこちらをご覧ください!!
http://takae.ti-da.net/index_1.html

これまで私たちの持っていた「沖縄」のイメージと、現実の「沖縄」とはずいぶん違います。沖縄の外側にいる私たちも、もっと沖縄の人たちの抱えている苦労や闘いを理解しなければならないのではないでしょうか。今の日本が「平和」だとするのなら、その「平和」の影では沖縄のような犠牲が強いられていることをもっと考えなければならないと思います。

現在も、北朝鮮・中国の脅威を理由に、基地建設は進められようとしています。「憲法九条を考える時、過去の戦争の過ちを繰り返してはいけないと思っていました。”過去の戦争”と思っていましたが、沖縄の人たちの話を聞いて、戦争は今も続いていることを知りました。本土の人たちが、その事実を知らなければならないと思います。1972年に沖縄の人たちが日本へ返還されることを強く望んだのは、憲法九条があったから。基地がなくなるだろうと期待して日本への復帰を望んだのに、基地は現在も存続しています。」と、聡子さん。

沖縄が抱える痛み、もっと考えなければなりません。

何ができるかわからないけれど、まず現実を知ることが第一歩なのではないでしょうか。

また、参加者の中からもいろいろな意見・情報などが活発に交換され、盛りだくさんな内容の「1月の会」でした。

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stop Forceful Construction of New US Military Facilities in Okinawa: Press Release by Network for Okinawa 沖縄における米軍施設建設作業中止を求める:ネットワーク・フォー・沖縄

A U.S.-based NGO Network for Okinawa (NO) issued a press release. 米国のNGO,「ネットワーク・フォー・オキナワ」がプレスリリースを発表しました。日本語版は下方をどうぞ。

★琉球新報に2月22日報道されました。下記をどうぞ。Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo reported the NO statement. See below.

Click on the document for a larger view. クリックすると大きく見られます。


The Network for Okinawa (NO) is a grassroots coalition of peace groups, environmental organizations, faith-based organizations, academia, and think tanks, which oppose additional military construction in Okinawa and support the democratic decisions of the people of Okinawa.

NO's official website is http://www.closethebase.org/


沖縄・やんばるの森と辺野古における新軍事施設建設に関する
「Network for Okinawa」(沖縄のためのネットワーク)声明文

沖縄のふたつの米軍施設で新たな建設進む
米国支援者たち、平和的な抗議者に対する扱いに憂慮を示す


米国防長官ロバート・ゲーツが沖縄米軍基地の再編に関して最近、より柔軟に対応すると示唆したにも関わらず、日本の防衛省・自衛隊沖縄本部(沖縄防衛局)は、一月の最終週に沖縄北部にあるふたつの米軍基地に新たな施設の建設を進めています。この建設により、国際平和・環境団体から抗議の声があがりました。

建設作業員が建設資材や機材を高江の山原(やんばる)の森へ移動する際、地元住民を押しのけて通り過ぎました。また、キャンプ・シュワブと海辺の境界にある有刺鉄条網を臨時の壁に置き換えることで、建設現場を抗議者の 視界から妨げる試みです。住民は、1996年末に日米政府が計画を発表して以 来、両建設現場では住民たちが反対運動を行ってきました。住民たちは、繊細な 環境および文化遺産の危機をずっと訴えてきました。両方の現場は、沖縄でしか見つけることのできない希少種や絶滅危惧種の生息地です。

「沖縄防衛局の行為は大きな懸念であり、沖縄地域の正当な不満をあきらかにしています。私たちは、工事関係者には不適切な行動を慎むよう要求します。私たちは、日米両政府に対し、沖縄の圧倒的大多数の人々が新基地建設阻止のために投票した民主的な願いを尊重するよう求めます」と、米国を拠点にしている「Network for Okinawa」の代表のジョン・フェファー氏は語りました。

高江近くの米海兵隊のジャングル訓練場の計画は、米軍が開発した垂直離着陸機V-22オスプレイが操作できる米軍のヘリパッド6つを含みます。住民は、建設が160人の住む村を囲み、生物が多様なやんばるの森に被害を及ぼすと異議を唱えています。2007年から2010年12月までの間は、建設の阻止に成功していましたが、今回、抗議テントが米軍のヘリコプターによって部分的に破壊され、建設作業員 たちが強制的に建設を再開しました。2007年から2010年12月までの 間は、建設の阻止に成功していました。

キャンプ・シュワブ付近の住民は、新航空基地建設と辺野古湾の珊瑚礁を覆う軍事港の建設に反対しています。軍事指導者らは、この新巨大基地は、現在物議を醸している普天間基地の代わりだと述べています。この計画は、建設現場内に絶滅危惧種が生息しているため、国際的な批判を招いています。2008年、米国連邦地裁の裁判官は、辺野古と大浦湾における建設計画が日本の「自然遺産」であるジュゴンにもたらす影響への「配慮」を、国防総省が怠っていることによる、米国文化財保護法違反であるとの判決を下しました。昨年11月には、普天間基地を閉鎖し、県外移設を公約した人が沖縄県知事に選ばれました。

「日米両政府が、世界で最も多様な生態系に取り返しの付かない損傷をもたらす建設計画を主張し、推し進めるのは信じ難い悲劇です。」と、フェファー氏は語りました。「金融危機や悪化する財政状況の中、両国が、教育や社会福祉活動を削減し、軍産複合体への利益のみを支援する計画を受け入れるとは、衝撃的です。」

※「Network for Okinawa」(沖縄のためのネットワーク)は、米国と世界の平和・環境団体、宗教的奉仕活動団体、大学・研究機関やシンクタンクの代表者を結びつけ、沖縄に おける軍事施設建設に反対し、民主的な判断をサポートする草の根のネットワークです。

★2月22日、琉球新報にニュースが載りました。

Sunday, February 20, 2011

鳩山香港TV局インタビュー Hatoyama Interview with Hong Kong TV Station

2月18日、香港の衛星テレビ局「フェニックス」が鳩山元総理とのインタビューを放映しました。

15分のインタビューのビデオリンクはこちらです。下に埋め込みをしました。聞きとってメモしたものを下に記します。一字一句一緒ではないですが要旨はまとまっています。簡素化のため「ですます」調は「である」調にしています。

http://v.ifeng.com/news/world/201102/17ff4336-e9ba-4fc4-ae25-07fe5ea5ee45.shtml



Q.民主党政権1年半が経ち、菅内閣厳しい情勢だが、今を乗り越えられるか。

あなたの言うとおり。(2010年7月の)参議院選挙に大敗して、せっかく(2009年の総選挙で)大勝して政権交代、マニフェスト実現できると思っていたが、参院選にまけねじれ現象ができて法案が通らない。菅内閣が徐々にマニフェストから外れていることについて民主党の支持層が離れた。政治指導といいながら政治指導でなくなってきた。原点に戻って本当に国民が期待していたのは何なのか、政治主導に、国民の期待するほうに運営させないと。

Q.予算関連法案を通せなかった場合、菅内閣総辞職かそして解散の可能性どちらを選ぶか。

率直な質問ですが、そうならないように努力せねば。予算関連法案を野党の協力ももらい成立させないと。小沢先生の処分の問題で界は離脱する人が出てきて予算関連法案が参院で否決された場合、衆議院で3分の2が難しくなってきている。起こり得る話だ。しかし政権交代して道半ば、スタートしたばかり、マニフェストをこなしていない。あと二年間は解散は絶対にしてはいけないと思う。解散だけはしてはいけない。

Q.民主党分裂する可能性は?危惧は?

危惧はしてる。今日まさに若手が15名会派離脱をした。これは小沢先生への処分に対する影響だ。彼らは党にとどまるといっている。分裂しないようにしなければ。

Q.民主党は戦後はじめての政権交代。鳩山内閣が早く総辞職したが。米軍基地の移転問題、社民党の離脱問題が原因だったが当時の最大の困難は何だったか。

政治資金規正法にかかわる問題で避暑が二人処分受けた。自分自身の身の問題で参議院選挙を目の前にして仲間を減らしてしまうのはつらいので身を引こうと思った。参院選は勝つことができた勝負だったが菅政権になって消費税の議論が出て大敗をきしたことは予想外だった。

Q.日米関係で苦労されたが、発足当時からアメリカで警戒論が高まっていて、オバマ政権とうまくいっていないと報じられた。アメリカのトヨタ叩きがあったのは偶然だったのか、それは今から見ると間違いという声もあるが。プレッシャーはあったか。

アメリカは自分たちの雇用問題があったからトヨタに対して厳しい判断がくだされた。私の政権の時期だったが関わりがあったという関連づける必要はない。

沖縄の皆さんには申し訳なかったが、辺野古という県内に移設先を決めたということで、アメリカの普天間の移設問題に関する私に対するへの懸念というのは払拭されたと思う。菅政権も日米関係がネックになっているとは思わない。

Q.外交の面から日本、アメリカからの自主路線を目指していたが。日本はまだ軍隊を持っておらずいずれは持つべき?

専守防衛の力もまだできていない、この国は独立国であるならば自分の国は自分の力で本来守らなければいけない。基地存在のおかげで安全が保たれているということは世界の歴史の中で正常ではない。

Q.「抑止力は方便」という発言が波紋をよんでいる?「常駐なき安保」という背景があったか。

これは絶対正しいと思っている。「常時駐留なき安全保障」とうい考え方への方向に今すぐではなくても徐々にに動かさねばならない。その一歩が普天間の移設問題であったのではないか。

Q.小沢さんの「第七艦隊だけでいい」という考えに近い?

かなり近いと思う。

Q.東アジア共同体は?菅政権になってから聞こえないが?

非常にさびしい。私はなぜかはわからない。21世紀はアジアの世紀だ。アジアに信頼を勝ちうる日本にしていなければいけない。過去の歴史を鏡として未来を見つめなければいけない。中国と韓国と関係を信頼関係を密にしなければいけない。そう思って東アジア共同体を主張した。

Q.尖閣問題をめぐっては?日中はすべきことは?解決できますか。

解決できると思います。これは私がやめた直後のことです。温家宝首相との間では問題がおきたときにははホットラインですぐにお互いに情報交換しようと言っていた。そこまででトップ同士の信頼が築けていた。菅総理はそれが築けない中で菅総理と中国との間に十分な信頼が醸成されていなかった中で起きた。こういう問題があればその先を見つめなきゃいけない。東シナ海のガス田の開発のように、せっかく温家宝首相の方から共同開発スタートしようといわれた。うれしかった。その方向に戻してガス共同開発ということで 争いの海ではなくて友愛の海にもう一度戻すことで尖閣の問題なども消えていくと思う。

Q.国民感情が悪化している。国民感情の改善は?

若い世代の中で国境というものを意識しないで行き来できる状況を作るのが時間がかかるが一番大事。国力というのは軍事力ではなく文化力。経済力でもない。むしろそれぞれの文化を理解しあうのが大事。中国人と日本人はお互いを好きになれる。

Q.ロシアと日本については。ロシアの新しい北方領土についての動きは。民主党内で対応策は。

大変難しい問題です。私の祖父の鳩山一郎が総理のときに行った功績が日ソ共同宣言でありました。祖父は北方領土の返還交渉がやりたかった。菅総理の「暴挙」という発言、わからんでもないがその言葉を使うと交渉にとってみればマイナス。もっと冷静に柔軟な発想が求められている。

Q.小沢さんは。過去20年で大変影響慮力のある政治家と言われている。新しい指導者になれるか?

私は可能と想う。小沢さんはあの問題について完全に無実と思っている。

Q.最後に、政界を引退されたときに農業をなさりたいということだが、今でも?

歳とってきてますがワイン畑を作ってワイナリーでおいしいワインを作りたい。自分の畑でそういうものができて、近くにいる牛を料理してと、レストランでもできたら。夢はある。


Q.道半ばでの辞職。再度の機会は?

今はそういう状況ではない。どのようなポストでもその中で自分の役割を、国益に資するようなはたらきをしたい。

Q.政界での役割は?

あまり長く続けるべきではないが、今しばらくは今政治が国民の信頼を失っているので信頼を取り戻すために、特に外交的な役割を果たしたい。

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

大手メディアからは、「菅政権を批判」とばかり報道されているようで、実際批判はしているが、このインタビューで大事なことは他にもある。鳩山さんがあらためて「駐留なき安保」を強調していること、外国の基地のおかげで安全が保たれているということは異常な状態であると言っていること、また、「国力は軍事力や、経済力でさえなく、文化力」であること、中国や韓国と分かり合い東アジア共同体を築くことの大事さを訴えている点に注目したい。しかし、普天間問題について、「沖縄には申し訳なかったが辺野古に決めたことでアメリカの私に対する懸念が払拭された」という発言は聞き捨てならない。沖縄の基地の過重負担をやわらげ、「常駐なき安保」の方向性に持っていくために「最低でも県外」と言ったと、先日の共同通信等とのインタビューでも言っているのに、結局沖縄を見捨てたことを、申し訳ないといいながらも過去形に片付けてしまっている。「常駐なき安保」への第一歩が普天間の移設問題であったとも言っているが、これも過去形である。沖縄の反対は揺るぎないものであり現在形である。辺野古だけでなく、やんばるの森の住宅地を囲む形で危険なオスプレイを使うためのヘリパッド増設を強行しようとしている防衛局に対して今も昼夜を問わずの住民、支援者の抵抗が続いている。鳩山さんは、これだけ自由にものが言える立場になった今、どうして沖縄の苦しみに心をもう一度添わせ、日米合意を撤回するように訴えないのか。「常駐なき安保」が「絶対正しい」と思うのなら、鳩山さんには、もう一度、普天間「移設」が県内に絶対にならないように、「最低でも県外」の信念を呼び起こし、今の自分の立場でできることをやってほしい。
 
PP

Friday, February 18, 2011

Peter Kuznick: 65 Years - Atomic Bomb Debate Goes On ピーター・カズニック: 原爆65年、論争は続く

Rethinking the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives, co-authored by Kimura Akira and Peter Kuznick was published in November 2010 by Horitsu Bunkasha, Kyoto (木村朗・ピーターカズニック著[乗松聡子訳]『広島・長崎への原爆投下再考―日米の視点』法律文化社) to mark the 65th year of the atomic-bombing. Kimura, Professor of Peace Studies at Kagoshima University in the southernmost prefecture of Kyushu, is a regular speaker for the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Study Tour, and Kuznick, Professor of History at American University (Washington, D.C.) has led this tour with Fujioka Atsushi, Professor of Economics at Ritsumeikan University since 1995, bringing US and Japanese students to the two cities attacked by atomic bombs in August 1945. Peace Philosophy Centre has collaborated with this tour since 2006, bringing Canadian students to this tour.

Kimura in this book debunks so-called "a-bomb myths," a prevailing view about the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in some regions of the world that it ended the war early and saved lives. However, mounting evidences indicate that the US (Harry Truman and his hardliner aides James Byrnes and Leslie Groves) even purposefully delayed the end of the war to gain time to drop the atomic bombs, by removing a clause in the Potsdam Declaration that hinted that US would allow Japan to keep the emperor, and by excluding Stalin from the Declaration - in order to experiment both an uranium bomb and a plutonium bomb before the Soviets entered the war. (See Kimura's lecture notes HERE.)

Kuznick, in his introductory chapter (with the original English version published here on this website with author's permission), reflects on the way scholarly and popular thinking have evolved over 65 years and assesses the significance of the fact that recent U.S. public opinion polls reveal growing American support for the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kuznick offers two other major articles in this book. One, on Truman and atomic bombings, moves beyond the perspectives of the Japanese victims and the American perpetrators to show how the decision to drop atomic bombs in World War II opened the door to the potential annihilation not only of the entire human species, but of all life on our planet. The other essay looks at the life of Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets and weighs the meaning of his unwavering refusal to question either the moral or military justifications for his participation in the atomic bombings, as well as the reactions of the other crew members of the Enola Gay. The original English versions of these two articles are available in Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.

See:
The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative
http://www.japanfocus.org/-Peter_J_-Kuznick/2479 

Defending the Indefensible: A Meditation on the Life of Hiroshima Pilot Paul Tibbets, Jr.
http://www.japanfocus.org/-Peter_J_-Kuznick/2642
(This article ranks No.3 in the all-time most-read ranking of Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.)

The book received good reviews in newspapers and magazines including Chugoku Shimbun, Shukan Kin'yobi, Kyodo News Agency, and Nishinippon Shimbun. An English translation of Chugoku Shimbun's Tashiro Akira's review is available HERE.

Here is Peter Kuznick's introductory chapter from the book (footnotes are ommitted in this on-line version).

Sixty-five Years and Counting: The Debate Goes On

Peter Kuznick

No topic sparks more controversy or arouses greater passion among American scholars and the public at large than the decision by President Harry Truman and his military and civilian advisors to drop two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War II. But, sadly, there is also no topic more shrouded in ignorance than this crucially important one. Surveys show that more than one-third of young Americans and young Japanese either cannot identify Hiroshima as the target of the first atomic bomb or don’t know that the United States was the nation that dropped it. They also indicate that, among those Americans who do know, the majority still believe that the bomb was justified because it avoided an invasion and saved hundreds of thousands of American lives. In this book, Professor Kimura and I challenge this and other myths as we try to pierce the veil of ignorance that still surrounds discussion of the most consequential event in human history.


Perhaps the United States is finally beginning to wake up to its culpability for the nuclear nightmare that begin on that fateful day in August 1945 and has haunted humankind ever since. To his credit, President Barack Obama has put nuclear abolition back on the international agenda after eight years of losing ground under George W. Bush. In his inspiring Prague speech of April 2009, Obama declared, “as a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.” Acknowledgement of America’s special responsibility is an important first step. As the American Catholic Bishops stated in their 1983 pastoral letter on nuclear weapons: “we must shape the climate of opinion which will make it possible for our country to express profound sorrow over the atomic bombing in 1945. Without that sorrow, there is no possibility of finding a way to repudiate future use of nuclear weapons." The attendance by more than 100 Hibakusha--living reminders of what two primitive atomic bombs could do to human beings--at the May 2010 NPT Review Conference at the United Nations drove home the urgency of Obama’s call to action. The tireless efforts of the Hibakusha, who have heroically transformed themselves from victims into the conscience of humanity, provides a constant reminder that the world cannot wait for another Hiroshima or Nagasaki or worse--maybe much, much worse—before it eradicates these evil weapons from our midst.

But a moral obtuseness still clouds the debate—an obtuseness that can be traced back to the ways in which the bombings were originally justified by some of their earliest defenders. Taking a cue from Truman, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, and Manhattan Project Director Brigadier General Leslie Groves, these early defenders argued that the bomb brought a mercifully speedy end to a bloody and brutal war without a costly invasion. Although Truman and Groves initially said the bombings saved “thousands” of American lives, the number of projected dead climbed to Truman’s half million and beyond as more and more questions were raised about the justification for such devastating actions.

Although, in the immediate aftermath, 85 percent of the American public supported the atomic bombings and almost 23 percent were so filled with hatred of the Japanese that they wished that the United States had had time to pulverize Japan with additional atomic bombs, some Americans, like Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins, were horrified by what their government had done. Equally appalled, Albert Einstein astutely opined that the real target was the Soviet Union not Japan. Others immediately recognized that the most terrifying implications went beyond the unconscionable slaughter of over a hundred thousand Japanese civilians or the dangerous provocations toward the Soviet Union. Historian Paul Boyer described a “primal fear of extinction” that swept the United States. NBC radio commentator Cesar Saerchinger noted: “the atomic bomb is merely in its infancy. Indeed, mankind . . . has achieved the power to destroy himself.” One of the starkest assessments came from Major George Fielding Eliot, who wrote in the New York Herald-Tribune: “Mankind stands at the crossroads of destiny.” If humans fail to rise to the challenge, “this planet will vanish into darkness and roll on, a blackened cinder, through the limitless night of interstellar space.” Earlier pre-atomic warnings “were warnings of chaos and of terror, but they were not warnings of the end of the world, only of the end of a particular phase of civilization. They were warnings of a new Dark Age, out of which man might again have arisen after a few centuries of suffering. But the forces which man has now brought into play are forces which can be utterly destructive, so that no living thing may survive their loosing—if ever they are loosed in their ultimate power.”

Hence, the terms of the debate over the atomic bombings were established within days of the attacks as the three narratives—heroic, tragic, and apocalyptic—were clearly set before a frightened and confused public. It is stunning how closely the public debate has hewed to these formulations over the subsequent six and a half decades although the positions embraced have not always conformed to political views or attitudes about the legitimacy of future use of nuclear weapons. A writer in the National Review, America’s leading conservative magazine, even posited in 1959 that criticism of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki “was becoming part of the national conservative creed.” The ironies and contradictions abound. The “official” defense of the bombings was published by Henry Stimson, a man who campaigned aggressively to change the surrender terms the U.S. was offering in hopes of avoiding using the bomb and was subsequently tormented over his responsibility for authorizing use of such a weapon and publishing such a disingenuous defense. On the other hand, six of the seven five star generals and admirals who won their fifth star during the war can subsequently be counted among the critics due to their statements that the bomb was either morally indefensible, militarily unnecessary, or both. Counted among them were Generals Douglas MacArthur and Dwight Eisenhower. MacArthur went so far as to praise former President Herbert Hoover for his May 30, 1945 memo urging Truman to let the Japanese keep the Emperor. MacArthur wrote, “That the Japanese would have accepted it and gladly I have no doubt.” While that judgment seems rather premature for late May, there is certainly reason to believe that it might have worked a month or two later, especially if combined with word of imminent Soviet entry into the conflict and, perhaps, a warning about the Allies’ devastating new weapon. Eisenhower claimed to have expressed to Stimson his opposition to using “that awful thing” against an “already defeated” Japan. Dulles issued a statement on August 9 deploring the morality of using such a weapon and worrying about the example the U.S. was setting for other nations who would emulate it in the future. All three were passionate and vehement in their denunciations. Yet MacArthur called for use of atomic bombs during the Korean War. And Eisenhower said the U.S. should use nuclear weapons in Korea like it used a bullet and Dulles offered atomic bombs to the French in Vietnam at Dienbienphu in 1954. Together, Eisenhower and Dulles oversaw an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal from 1750 nuclear weapons when they took office in January 1953 to 23,000 when Eisenhower left in 1961. The Eisenhower-approved Pentagon war plan called for killing, deliberately and inadvertently, up to 650 million people in the event of all-out war with the Soviet Union, a possibility that seemed far from remote during the Eisenhower presidency.

The scholarly debate has developed along similar lines. Gar Alperovitz posed the biggest challenge to historical orthodoxy with his 1965 book Atomic Diplomacy, which argued that the bombs were not needed to end the war and that their real target was Moscow, not Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Alperovitz refined and further substantiated this thesis in his magisterial 1995 book The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. Here he argues that the combination of changing the surrender terms and the Soviet invasion would have ended the war without the atomic bombings and that Truman and his advisors were aware of this. They deliberately delayed clarifying the surrender terms until after the bombs were dropped in hopes that the bombs would enable them to limit Soviet gains in both Europe and Asia. Other scholars, including Martin Sherwin and Kai Bird, also believe the bombings were indefensible but present a more complex view of U.S. decisionmakers’ motives.

This tragic narrative, as John Dower labeled it, emphasized both the indefensibility of the bombings and the suffering of the victims. Though it is supported by both sound logic and extensive documentation, it has been challenged on several grounds by scholars who persist in the belief that the bombings were necessary to end the war. Such scholars, including Robert Newman and Robert Maddox, insist that the Japanese, far from surrendering in early August 1945, were busy shoring up their forces in Kyushu to resist the anticipated Allied invasion. Privileging military cables over diplomatic ones, they cling to the notion that, without the atomic bombs, the Allies would have launched their invasion and suffered catastrophic casualties. In their minds, potential American deaths from an invasion not even scheduled to begin for another three months should take precedence over actual Japanese deaths in indiscriminate atomic attacks that deliberately targeted overwhelmingly civilian populations. Although scholars, such as John Ray Skates, have effectively challenged the rationale for an invasion , and others, such as Barton Bernstein and J. Samuel Walker, have refuted the bloated casualty projections, a handful of influential academic and military historians hold strong to such views. And the American public still adheres to the belief that such an invasion was inevitable. According to an August 2009 poll of 2,400 American voters, 61 percent said the U.S. did the “right thing” in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki and only 22 percent thought it “wrong.” Sixteen percent were undecided. These figures actually show stronger support for the bombings than was evident in previous polls in recent years. Perhaps this reflects a new strategy among the bomb defenders, who have tried to increasingly cast the bomb as a humanitarian gesture on Truman’s part. They have done this by not only emphasizing the numbers of Japanese who would have lost their lives in resisting an invasion, but by emphasizing the death rates among other Asians being subjugated under Japanese rule. Based on this, they argue that the lives saved by expediting the end of the war without an invasion far outweigh those killed in the atomic bombings. This is an extreme and particularly specious case of historical hindsight because there is no evidence that such considerations influenced the thinking of American policymakers in 1945 when the decision was being made.

Two other recent books have sharpened the debate. In 1999, Richard Frank published Downfall, which offers the most informed and reasoned effort to defend the bombs’ use. Frank goes beyond previous scholars in making extensive use of Japanese archives. Like others who embrace the heroic narrative, Frank believes the bombs’ use was the quickest way to end the war but acknowledges that the Japanese would not have been able to hold out much longer given the collapse of their rail system and the hunger and deprivation that was already undermining both morale and the war effort. The most significant recent work on the subject is Tsuyoshi Hasegawa’s 2005 work Racing the Enemy. Hasegawa goes Frank one better, drawing upon U.S., Japanese, and Soviet archives to show that the Soviet entry into the war in the early morning of August 9, not America’s use of the atomic bombs, spurred the Japanese decision to surrender. Soviet entry proved the bankruptcy of both Japan’s diplomatic strategy, based upon seeking Soviet mediation to secure better surrender terms, and its Ketsu-go military strategy, based upon inflicting very heavy casualties upon the invading Allied forces. Ultimately helpless in the face of the rampaging Red Army, Japanese leaders decided to surrender to the U.S. while they still had the chance rather than risk a major Soviet role in the occupation, which would further diminish the chance of retaining the Emperor while it would increase the chance of socialist transformation inside Japan. This is not to ignore the impact of the atomic bombings on Japanese leaders. But U.S. firebombing of over 100 Japanese cities between March and August had already demonstrated U.S. ability to extirpate urban populations. The difference between doing this with one plane and one bomb or hundreds of planes and thousands of bombs was less monumental to Japanese leaders than many Americans realize.

What was really new, as I argue in this book, was the fact that the human species was now, for the first time, forced to reckon with its own annihilation and that of all other living things on this planet. And what I find most appalling, beyond the senseless deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings, is that Truman and his advisors knew enough about the prospects for inducing Japanese surrender without the bombs and understood full well that, by using the bombs, they were opening the door to what Truman called “the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley era after Noah and his fabulous ark,” and still opted for the nuclear option. As the following pages attempt to show, it is this willingness to use the weapons at hand and the reckless disregard of long-term consequences that makes the elimination of all nuclear weapons more urgent than ever.
Peter Kuznick is Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University in Washington, DC. He was born in New York City in July 1948 and received his Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees from Rutgers University. His doctorate was earned in History, in 1984, and he began his work at American University in 1986. He is the author of Beyond the Laboratory: Scientists as Political Activists in 1930s America and co-author of Rethinking Cold War Culture. He is currently writing a 10-part documentary film series with Oliver Stone with tentative title "The Secret History of the United States" that will air in the fall of 2011. He and Oliver Stone are also co-authoring a book by that title. He has led the Nuclear Studies Institute's tour to Hiroshima and Nagasaki since 1995.

Also see related articles:

Hiroshima and the World: Awakening America's "Moral Responsibility to Act"

Hiroshima and Nagasaki at 65 – A Reflection

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shimoji Yoshio: Takae's Helipad Issue - Criticizing Sen. Inouye 下地良男:イノウエ議員への反論、高江ヘリパッド問題

An Okinawan author Shimoji Yoshio refutes Sen. Inouye who urged early resolution of Futenma "relocation" issue, citing the ongoing struggle at another location in Okinawa - Takae, in the Yanbaru Forest. Since the end of 2010, Japanese Ministry of Defense has been forcefully proceeding with construction work for building six Osprey-capable helipads for the US Marine Corp jungle training center. The planned sites surround the neighbourhood of Takae and residents and supporters have been sitting-in to protest since 2007. Yesterday (February 16) a woman was injured during the struggle, but the Defense Ministry still continues their coercive construction work. We must stop this construction that will destroy the residents' life with noise and high risk of accidents, and will further destroy the rich Yanbaru forests, habitat for many rare and endangered species. PP

Yanbaru Forest in Northern Okinawa, where US and Japan are attempting to build Osprey helipads surrounding a residential neighbourhood. Photo by Shimoji Yoshio

Takae's helipad issue – criticizing Sen. Inouye

Futenma is not the only base issue anguishing Okinawa these days.  There's a village called Takae in northern Okinawa and the problem facing Takae is that, in return for an unused portion of the U.S. Marine Corps Northern Training Area, Tokyo agreed with Washington to construct six helipads (diameter: 75 meters each) for the U.S. Marines' V-22 Ospreys in the lush forests surrounding the village.

The helipad construction is apparently interconnected with the planned relocation of the Futenma air station to Henoko, located also in northern Okinawa.  The noise pollution caused by the Ospreys is said to be beyond human forbearance as the storm of protest showed lodged against the Marines on January 27 by the citizens of Brewton, Alabama, for the maneuvering of the Ospreys at the city’s airport.


Takae sits amidst lush forests and natural beauty.  Imagine how horrible its beautiful landscape would become if the construction actually started.  The training and the deafening noise of the infamous Ospreys would certainly destroy the peaceful environment for not only the Takae villagers but also those precious species, some already listed as endangered, that are indigenous to Yanbaru (or Northern Okinawa Highland).

According to the February 12 Japan Times, Senator Daniel Inouye again urged Tokyo to make headway for the early relocation of Futenma, saying “the U.S. side has been patient, although it cannot wait indefinitely.”  This is a gangster’s typical pet line when he intimidates others – that is, Senator Inouye is threatening Tokyo to expedite Washington’s decades-old design of Futenma’s relocation to Henoko.  

He may not know, but the Marines or the U.S. Navy representing them submitted to U.S. Congress every fiscal year in the 1960’s a blue print for the relocation of Futenma to Henoko for a budgetary approval, which was never approved because of sky-rocketing Vietnam War expenditures.  How dare he say “the U.S. side cannot wait indefinitely”?  That’s a laughing matter, indeed.  

Yoshio Shimoji
Naha, Okinawa
Japan

Here is the Japan Times article on February 12 that Shimoji is responding to.

Senator urges Futenma solution
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110212a5.html

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) A leading U.S. senator said Thursday he hopes the issue of relocating a key U.S. Marine base in Okinawa will be resolved when Prime Minister Naoto Kan visits the United States for talks with President Barack Obama later this year.

A series of meetings between U.S. and Japanese security experts will hopefully "accommodate the summit where decisions would be made on the resolution of the so-called Futenma problem," Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat, said in Washington.

"I feel confident that it will result in the summit sometime this summer and the Futenma matter will be resolved," Inouye added.

Japan and the United States have agreed to transfer U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a residential area to a less densely populated coastal area farther north on Okinawa Island, but the plan has been stymied by local opposition. The Okinawa governor is seeking to move the base out of the prefecture.

Touching on the burdens that hosting U.S. bases in Okinawa, Inouye said, "We can't ignore the concerns of the people of Japan." But he added the U.S. side has been patient, although it cannot wait indefinitely.

RT: Empire of US Bases ロシアRT:米国軍事基地帝国

Here is RT's three-minute program on US Empire of Bases.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Japan has lived and kept Article 9, and it will: David Rothauser's Letter to the Japan Times ジャパン・タイムズへの投稿:日本は九条と非核三原則を守り主権と独立を保つ

Here is a letter by filmmaker David Rothauser, director of film "Hibakusha, Our Life to Live," regarding the Japan Times' article "U.S. says Article 9 limits close defense cooperation." The Japan Times did not print his letter, so with David's permission, we are posting this important voice from the US, in support of Japan's Peace Constitution. See HERE for the Japan Times article David is responding to.

U.S. says Article 9 limits close defense cooperation

If one reads between the lines of this article, "U.S. says Article 9 limits close defense cooperation," it is easy to see that the U.S. and possibly Japan are preparing to go to war against North Korea. If one studies how wars have begun for more than 100 years one can see a pattern of propaganda and media reporting that portrays the enemy (in this case North Korea) as a diabolical threat that "must be stopped." The language is soft to show how the U.S. and Japan are building a war machine, a coalition rather than each country independently defending their own territory. "Defense cooperation," "alliance," "integration" of missile defense operations all set to psychologically prepare the Japanese people to accept a revision of the Japanese Constitution. Historians may take note that the U.S. has been pressuring Japan to drop Article 9 since 1950 when the U.S. wanted Japan to take up arms with them in the Korean war. To their credit the Japanese government said, "No," and has not participated in war-making for 65 years. No war necessary for Japan to become an economic giant. No soldiers or civilians lost to war in 65 years. Now both Japan and the U.S. are wheeling and dealing to drop Article 9 and worse, to drop the 3 nuclear non-proliferation principles (which both sides have been secretly planning since 1960). It is sad, it is regrettable, it is a crime against humanity, but it is not the last word. The Japanese people are resilient, creative and possess the power to demand the constitutional guarantee of their own independence and continued adherence to Article 9 and the 3 nuclear non-proliferation principles.

David Rothauser
MEMORY Productions
39 Fuller Street
Brookline, MA 02446
617 232-4150
http://www.hibakusha-ourlifetolive.org/
For more information on David's film on atomic-bomb survivors, see HERE.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kyodo News : 2 Congressmen "US Troops Out of Japan" 共同ニュース 米2議員「米軍は日本撤退すべき」

Two congressmen spoke of their opinion that the US troops should withdraw from Japan, from different perspectives. It is good to know that Ron Paul has that imagination of foreign troops in the backyard of US citizens.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/2-congressmen-call-for-pullout-of-u-s-forces-from-japan

2 congressmen call for pullout of U.S. forces from Japan
Wednesday 16th February, 11:00 AM JST

Ron Paul (photo from Tokyo Shimbun)

Dennis Kucinich

WASHINGTON —
Two veteran U.S. congressmen have called for the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Japan amid the ballooning U.S. budget deficit.

‘‘It’s becoming a financial issue,’’ Ron Paul, a Republican House of Representatives member from Texas, said in a recent interview with Kyodo News, indicating that maintaining U.S. forces in Japan has become a financial burden for Washington.


Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat member from Ohio, said in a separate interview, ‘‘The United States truly cannot afford to construct the new base in Okinawa. Nor can it afford to have a military presence across the globe.’‘

Kucinich and Paul are heavyweights in the House, and both have experience of seeking the presidency. Paul, an advocate of isolationism, is supported by conservatives, while Kucinich is popular as one of the most liberal figures among the Democrats.

Last week, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff unveiled their latest National Military Strategy report pledging to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in northeast Asia for decades.

Some members of Congress say it is important for the United States to keep forces in Japan as China’s military presence is growing in the region while North Korea continues to act provocatively.

The two lawmakers, however, are opposed to continued stationing of U.S. forces in Japan.


‘‘China’s interested in making money, not war,’’ Kucinich said.

Paul argued Tokyo should end its dependence on U.S. forces for its defense, saying, ‘‘It’s time for Japan to assume all of their own responsibilities.’‘

He also dismissed the view that U.S. forces in Japan serve as deterrence, saying this is an ‘‘excuse’’ to maintain a U.S. military presence in the region.

‘‘For a long time I was probably the only one’’ who proposed such a view, he said, adding, ‘‘Now we’re getting more support.’‘

Kucinich is also critical of the current U.S. military strategy. ‘‘We don’t have the money to be the policemen of the world. And we should stop pretending that we do,’’ he said.

Describing the U.S. military bases in Japan as ‘‘really part of a bygone era,’’ Kucinich urged the two countries to move away from a relationship prioritizing military cooperation.


‘‘We have a strong friendship with Japan. That friendship is not dependent on a military presence,’’ he said.

Both Paul and Kucinich said they can understand the feeling of local people in Okinawa Prefecture where a host of U.S. bases are located. Local opposition remains strong against a plan to relocate a U.S. base within the prefecture.

‘‘What if China wanted a base in New York City? We’d be furious,’’ Paul said.

The problem in Okinawa is not U.S. Marine troops but ‘‘the people in Washington that send them there,’’ Kucinich said, adding, ‘‘This is an issue that Congress must take up with the White House so that we can make sure that the concerns of the residents of Okinawa are taken into consideration.’’

以下、東京新聞などに報道された共同通信の記事。
在日米軍は撤収すべき 
 財政赤字でベテラン議員 

 【ワシントン共同】米下院のロン・ポール議員(共和党)とデニス・クシニッチ議員(民主党)は15日までにそれぞれ共同通信との単独会見に応じ、日本駐留を含む米軍の前方展開戦略が「財政上の問題になっている」(ポール氏)と述べ、米財政赤字が最悪規模に膨らむ中、在日米軍は撤収すべきだとの考えを示した。

 孤立主義外交を唱えるポール氏は保守層に人気があり、クシニッチ氏は民主党内で最もリベラル派の一人として支持を集める。いずれも過去に大統領選に挑戦した経験を持つベテラン議員で、在日米軍を維持する「余裕はない」(クシニッチ氏)と共通認識を訴えた。

 米軍は、8日発表した指針「国家軍事戦略」で「北東アジアの戦力を今後数十年間堅持する」と明記。米議会内にも台頭する中国や核問題を抱える北朝鮮を念頭に、在日米軍の重要性を説く声が依然としてある。

 しかし、ポール氏は「日本がすべての責任を自ら負う時だ」とし、平和と安全を確保する上で米軍依存をやめるべきだと主張。在日米軍は抑止力だとする議論は軍事的プレゼンスを維持するための「口実だ」と一蹴した。

 クシニッチ氏も「米国に世界の警察を務める金はない」と強調。在日米軍を「過去の遺物」と呼んだ上で「移転して軍事優先政策から脱却すべきだ」と述べた。中国についてクシニッチ氏は「中国が関心あるのは戦争ではなく、金もうけ」と述べ、軍事力ではなく金融政策を通じて対抗すべきだと語った。

 両氏は外国軍の基地を周辺に抱える住民の感情は理解できるとし、ポール氏は「中国軍がニューヨークに基地を持とうとしたら、われわれは怒り狂うだろう」と指摘。クシニッチ氏は「問題なのは海兵隊員ではなく、彼らを派遣する政治だ」と述べ、沖縄県民の不安や懸念の解消に向けて米政府に働き掛けを続ける考えを示した。


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Former PM Hatoyama Interview: "Deterrence" was a "Pretext" to Justify Henoko Plan 鳩山元首相インタビュー:「抑止力は方便」

Former PM Hatoyama interviewed -
Photo from Ryukyu Shimpo
NEW: An expanded and complete version of Hatoyama interview translation and analysis is now posted on Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.

Hatoyama's Confession: The Myth of Deterrence and the Failure to Move a Marine Base Outside Okinawa

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Norimatsu-Satoko/3495


(鳩山首相が共同通信等のインタビューに答え、普天間移設問題については「県外」を約束していたにも関わらず最終的に辺野古案に戻ったときの理由を「抑止力」としたことについての真相を語った。海兵隊が直接「抑止力」にはならないということはわかっていたが、移設案が辺野古に戻ったことの「理由づけ」をしなけばいけなかったので「抑止力」という言葉を使ったこと、それを「方便と言われれば方便だが。」と答えたことが明らかになった。日本語を読む人は一番下に琉球新報、沖縄タイムスの関連記事のリンクがあるので読んでください。)

Former Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio's interview with Kyodo News, Okinawa Taimusu and Ryukyu Shimpo revealed some answers to unanswered questions, particularly what Hatoyama meant by "deterrence" when he stressed the importance of the US Marines in Okinawa. He gave up the his election pledge of moving Futenma Air Station outside of Okinawa, instead of building a "replacement" base within the island already cluttered with US military bases, mere legacy of WWII and Cold War.

The answer was that he only used the word "deterrence" to justify the Henoko plan when he thought there was no other option available. It was purely an excuse; nothing substantial.

Here is a translation from the interview (translation and notes by PP, based on the text of the interview on Ryukyu Shimpo, Sunday February 13).

Interview: The Hatoyama revelations


Q: What did you have in mind when you called for Futenma to be relocated “at least out-of-Okinawa [elsewhere in Japan](kengai)” during the 2009 election?

Hatoyama: "In view of the reality of the excessive burden of the bases on Okinawa and in order to alleviate the suffering of the Okinawan people, the DPJ as a party had decided in its "Okinawa Vision” on “at least out-of-Okinawa”. It was not just Hatoyama bringing it up on his own initiative, but I raised the party’s core thinking with great expectations. It was not so much that I had a clear view of how to proceed, but I said that out of my sense of responsibility something had to be done.

Q. Why did the idea not prevail within the cabinet and within the party after you became Prime Minister?

Hatoyama: Amidst the difficulties following assumption of power, many realized it would not be easy and gave up. There was an overwhelming atmosphere within the government that it would be difficult to relocate Futenma outside of the prefecture, let alone outside Japan, based on the thinking within Defence and Foreign Affairs, and on the accumulation of events, and that atmosphere still remains. Such thinking prevailed within the Cabinet, with only myself and a few others wanting to move the base outside of Okinawa.

Q. Did you expect this to be a big issue?

Hatoyama: I was not expecting that it would be such a big matter as to become the reason for my resignation as Prime Minister.

Q. Why did you put a seal on the idea of a US-Japan security treaty without permanent [US] troop presence?

Hatoyama: I still have that belief. I used to call for it in the old DPJ, but unfortunately, once the DPJ took office, it was not able to win support. On the Futenma problem too, even though I did not use the actual expression “without permanent bases,” I wanted to lead things in that direction, so I often spoke of “outside Japan, or at least outside Okinawa.”

Q. Statements by your Cabinet ministers were all inconsistent.

Hatoyama: Although Okada (Katsuya), then Foreign Minister, said that we had not actually written “Futenma outside of Okinawa” in the party’s manifesto, I thought that, since we constituted the core of government and enjoyed overwhelming popular support, we should clearly articulate and implement the party’s vision. I wanted Okada to act on that vision.

Q. Why did you not form the Cabinet in such a way as to be able to realize your vision of a security Treaty "without permanent bases"? Why did you choose Kitazawa (Toshimi) as Defense Minister?

Hatoyama: Kitazawa was Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, and was supposed to have a stable vision for defense-related matters. Rather than appointing ministers on specific themes, we had lists of candidates, and placed the most suitable person in each position. Defense Minister Kitazawa’s challenge was how to transcend the Defense Ministry’s ways of thinking and to propose new ways of thinking. He should have put more effort into it.

Q. Was it the case that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence had cultures resistant to new thinking?

Hatoyama: Yes, such a culture was very strong. It seemed as if my ideas were scornfully dismissed. MOFA and MOD, while they should have been thinking through the base transfer issue with me, instead chose to give priority to what had been agreed with the US (a new base in Okinawa). Once, after summoning two senior members of these ministries to my residence and telling them that we would constitute a team to deal with this, stressing the importance of confidentiality, the matter was reported in the following day’s papers. I was greatly saddened. I did not know whom to trust. After much effort during the LDP time, the MOFA and MOD had come to a single solution – transfer within Okinawa, and saw no alternative. A determination to push things gradually in such a direction seemed to be at work. In dealing with the Americans, there was nothing for it but to trust them. When we reached the point where anything else was futile, I could go no further and I came to doubt my own strength.

Q. Did you have any allies?

Hatoyama: Then Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano was cooperative in exploring possibilities of Tokunoshima Island.11 I had at least one ally.

Q. Did you not consider appointing a secret mission to negotiate with the US on your behalf?

Hatoyama: Yes, and I almost had somebody for that purpose, but things were difficult.

Q. It sounded like something out of the blue when you came up with "deterrence" as a reason to build a replacement base in Okinawa.

Hatoyama: When Tokunoshima Island (in Kagoshima Prefecture) refused to host an alternative facility, we had no choice but to move it to Henoko, so I had to come up with a rationale to justify it. I didn't think the presence of Marines in Okinawa would work directly as deterrence against war, but without the Marines, the US military would not be able to function fully in terms of interoperability, and that would affect deterrence. As for the deterrent effect of the Marines themselves, you all think they are not a deterrent, and that is also my understanding. If you say it was a pretext, then it was a pretext. But I thought I could still use the word “deterrence” in a broader sense.

Q. Your statement during the meeting with President Obama drew much attention.12

Hatoyama: I said, "Trust me," because I believed that I would be able to work out a plan agreeable both to Okinawans and the US. I used those words, meaning to ask President Obama to trust me as a person. Last July (2010), I received a hand-written letter from President Obama that said, "You were faithful to your words." According to the media, I damaged US-Japan relations, but that is not true, at least it was not true as of July last year. I feel sorry that the current plan is not something that Okinawan people can understand. It is true that trust between the Japanese government and Okinawa was severely damaged, and for that I am really sorry. I regret it very much.

Q. At the end of 2009, had you not already given up on the idea of moving Futenma out of Okinawa?

Hatoyama: Even when I used the words “trust me,” the prospect of moving Futenma to another part of Japan was grim. Already then the understanding had been reached along the lines eventually announced on 28 May. I would be lying if I said that at that time (the end of 2009) I did not think about asking Okinawans to accept the plan to build a replacement base in Henoko as the inevitable option. However, while consulting with Okinawa Governor Nakaima (Hirokazu), I chose to delay the ultimate decision until May 2010, thinking that this plan would betray the Okinawan people and would not survive politically.

Q. Why May 2010?

Hatoyama: With the US expectation to settle the issue by the end of 2009, I could not postpone things for a whole year; the maximum would have been half a year. The budget bill would tie us up until March, and there was the circumstance involving SDP (Social Democratic Party).13 Having Futenma relocation as an election issue would have made it impossible to contest the Upper House election. I wanted to go to the US to negotiate directly (with President. Obama) in early May, but we (as a government) did not yet have a coherent alternative plan.

Q. Did the sinking of the South Korean warship (Cheonan) affect the decision (to go back to the Henoko plan)?

Hatoyama: The threat of North Korea was real to me then. It was an act of war in a way. That incident certainly worked as a lever to move the whole plan back to Henoko.

Q. What did you mean when you told us you had a “plan in mind”?14

Hatoyama: I used that phrase because I wanted to find a place for Futenma relocation on Tokunoshima Island. The US military eventually replied that part of the Marines’ training could be transferred to Tokunoshima, so the idea of “Tokunoshima” is preserved in the Japan-US agreement (of May 28).

Q. When did you make the final decision to go back to the Henoko plan?

Hatoyama: It was when I gave up on Tokunoshima. On April 28, I met with Tokuda Torao, former Diet member (from Tokunoshima) but I could not gain his support. The possibility of Tokunoshima was completely blocked from that point. I thought I would be able to solve the problem if Okinawa, together with the Japanese and US governments, were to form a consultative council and create a platform to discuss the government’s ideas. But when I met Governor Nakaima for the second time in May, he told me that he would not able to do it before the gubernatorial election (in November 2010). I gave up then, thinking there was no way to attain Okinawan understanding.

Q. What is your suggestion for future negotiations?

Hatoyama: Any replacement base should not be made permanent. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano and I had come to an understanding that we must not let the US military use this facility in perpetuity. Okinawa does not consent. In order to gain their understanding, there has to be some way to negotiate, for example to make this base temporary, even if such a condition was not included in the Japan-US agreement. Even if a relocation site was to be a certain distance away from Okinawa, so long as it is part of a single package (with the US military), it would work as a “deterrent.”

Q. What is your overall reflection?

Hatoyama: Our counterpart should have been the US, not Okinawa. I should have gone there first. I should have been more assertive, presenting my plan as the only possible plan. Mr. Obama himself was probably surrounded by voices that told him the only option was to hew to the status quo (the existing US/Japan agreement). Both Japan and the US lacked political leadership on this issue.


********************************************

日本語関連記事

琉球新報
「抑止力は方便」断念理由後付け 鳩山前首相、普天間で証言 http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-173438-storytopic-53.html
鳩山前首相一問一答 見通しなく「県外」発言
http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-173440-storytopic-53.html
“抑止力は方便“鳩山氏に不信再び 県内関係者「地元で声聞いて」
http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-173444-storytopic-53.html
「発言責任持って」県外執着も“人ごと” 鳩山氏「県民に申し訳ない」
http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-173443-storytopic-53.html

沖縄タイムス
鳩山氏「抑止力は方便」本紙インタビュー
http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2011-02-13_14499/
「軽い」前首相に怒り 
後悔するより日米合意見直しを
名護や宜野湾 市民ら責任指摘
http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2011-02-13_14517/
[解説]「脱官僚」内実は依存
http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2011-02-13_14504/
頓挫した県外の理念 徳之島拒否で窮地に
http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2011-02-13_14503/

Friday, February 11, 2011

Media Criticism by Yoshida Kensei これでもジャーナリストか by 吉田健正

Okinawan journalist Yoshida Kensei's criticism of Kyodo News Agency's interview article of Dennis Blair, former top US Intelligence official (February 8, 2011).

沖縄在住のジャーナリスト、元桜美林大学教授、吉田健正さんに寄稿いただきました。共同通信ワシントン発の記事に関するメディア批判です。(元の記事は下記を参照)。


これでもジャーナリストか

                                   吉田健正

語るに落ちる、というのはこういうことを指すのだろう。

 共同通信の杉田雄心ワシントン特派員によれば、日米同盟に支障を来たさないため、「米政府は(日本に対する)圧力と取られかねない発言を極力封印する」という(『沖縄タイムス』、『琉球新報』、2月8日)。「ブレア氏の発言はこうした中で飛び出した」。

 ブレア氏の発言というのは、昨年5月まで米国家情報長官を務めたデニス・ブレア氏が、2月初めに共同通信との「単独会見」で、日本に憲法9条の「見直しを促した」という発言である。

 米国政府が日米同盟深化の観点から、こうした対日要求を「極力封印」していたのに、杉田特派員との「単独会見」に応じたブレア氏が、封印を破り、米国政府の「本音」を語った、というのである。「単独会見」というのは、報道機関が注目に値する特定の人物の見解を求めて行うか、特定の人物が自分の見解を発表するために報道機関に接触して実現するインタビューのことである。つまり、両者の利益が合致して成立する。今回の「単独会見」はどちらが接近して成立したか明らかでないが、いずれにせよ、杉田特派員が、ブレア退役海軍大将との会見に成功して、ジャパン・ハンドラーズとしてたびたび日本の主要メディアに登場したリチャード・アーミテージ元国務副長官と同じ「9条見直し」発言を獲得・報道したというわけである。

 ブレア氏に関する報道は、通常の記事と解説からなっているが、中身を読むと、杉田記者側が9条見直し論者のブレア氏に接近して単独会見に持ち込み、ブレア氏の発言を「米政府の本音」と見て、自らの同調意見を加えて発表した、ことがうかがえる。あるいは、杉田記者なら自分の発言を好意的にとりあげてくれると睨んだ前国家情報長官が、同記者にアプローチした可能性もある。

 記事は、バランスを欠いた日米安全保障体制に関するブレア氏(記事によれば、99年から3年間、「米太平洋軍司令官を務め、日米関係に精通。09年1月から昨年5月まで、「中央情報局(CIA)など米情報機関を統括する国家情報長官」」の発言を紹介した後、次のように書く。

 「(ブレア氏の発言は)北朝鮮の核・ミサイルの脅威が高まる中、『非対称』とされる日米安保体制の在り方をめぐり、米側に不満がくすぶっている現状を浮き彫りにした」

 ブレア氏との「単独会見」が「米側に不満がくすぶっている現状を浮き彫りにした」とは、恐るべき報道である。

 また「解説」では、ブレア氏が日本に憲法9条の見直しを「促し」たことは、「「外交辞令の裏に潜む米側の『本音』を代弁したと言える。菅直人首相は、国会答弁で集団的自衛権の行使を禁じる政府の憲法解釈見直しを否定しており、日米同盟の将来像をめぐる両国の溝を浮き彫りにした」と書く。ブレア氏の発言が米側の「本音」を「代弁」した、というのには、恐れ入った。

 ブレア氏一人の発言がなぜ「米側の不満」を言い表し、それがなぜ「不満がくすぶっている現状」を明らかにした、と総括できるのか。ブレア氏の発言と杉田記者の解釈は、どういう事実や政府内議論に裏付けられているのか、示されていない。情報の「ウラ」をとった形跡もない。

 一見、公式の場では語られることのない両国の見解の相違を伝えて、読者の思考を刺激するという体裁をとっている。しかし、その後の「米側には、日本の人的国際貢献への不満がくすぶっている」、「(こうした不満)の背景には、史上最大規模の財政赤字を抱えるオバマ政権が国防予算削減を求められ、余裕を失いつつあるという事情がある」とか、菅政権の防衛費の5年間据え置き方針は「米側には『期待外れ』(日米関係筋)と映る」という説明には、元軍人・ブレア氏の視点で米国の軍事的利益を代弁した「解説」にしか見えない。一人の退役軍人の発言を米国の「本音」として報道するやり方には、単に日本の読者を「洗脳」しようという意図があるようにしか見えない。

 駐米特派員の身分で、杉田氏は、「日米同盟深化」が米側の「期待外れ」に終わらないよう、「同床異夢」にならないよう、日本は米国の「本音」にしたがって憲法9条を改定すべし、というのだろうか。ブレア氏が唱える日本の軍備強化や米軍支援のための海外派兵は、日本の「国益」になるのだろうか。近隣アジア諸国との関係はどうなるのだろうか。日本の世論はどう反応するのだろうか。

 杉田特派員は、日本のジャーナリストというより、軍事的視点から日本国憲法の改定を求める一部米国「知日派」のエージェント(代理人)としか映らない。日本のジャーナリストであれば、日本の視点から、「日本国民の多くは憲法9条の改定を望んでいない」、「国民は日米同盟を支持するが、米軍基地の駐留にはどこでも反対している」、「世界の民主主義のために戦争するという米国は、なぜ沖縄住民の基地反対の民意を無視するのか」、「なぜオバマ政権は『史上最大規模の財政赤字を抱え』ながら、世界全体の国防費の40%以上を占める国防予算を削減できないのか」といった質問があってもよかっただろう。多くの国民が治外法権的で不公平と考える日米地位協定について、さらには「対テロ戦争」の正当性や有効性、戦争がイラクやアフガニスタン、米国社会に及ぼした影響などについても元国家情報長官に見解を求めるべきだっただろう。しかし、そういう観点からの報道はなく、杉田特派員は「日米同盟」や日本国憲法に関する元長官の意見と杉田自身の「本音」と合致した米国の意向を一方的に伝えたのみだ。

 特派員の仕事は、駐在する国や地域の声や動きを読者に伝えることにある。退職した一人の元軍人・国家情報長官に、米側に「くすぶっている(対日)不満」を語らせ、それを「米側の『本音』」と称して、特派員自身が外国政府の「本音」に基づいてあたかもオピニオン・リーダー(世論指導者)のごとく日本に圧力をかけるのは、本来の役割ではない。それでは、一部の外国人の単なるエージェント(代理人、代弁者)に堕してしまう。その外国人が、元太平洋軍司令官で、昨年までCIAや連邦捜査局(FBI)を統括した国家情報長官であれば、なおさら注意が必要だろう。


吉田健正
1941年、沖縄県に生まれる。ミズーリ大学と同大学院でジャーナリズムを専攻。沖縄タイムス、AP通信東京支社、ニューズウィーク東京支局、在日カナダ大使館を経て、桜美林大学国際学部教授。2006年に退職後、沖縄に帰郷した。近著は『「戦争依存国家」アメリカと日本』(高文研 2010年)

過去のこのサイトのメディア批判はこちらをご覧ください。

吉田健正さんのこのサイトでの過去の記事についてはこちらをご覧ください。

以下、2月8日の『琉球新報』に掲載された共同の記事。ネットでは47NEWSで読めます。英語版は Japan Times でよめます


最後に、このサイトがメディア批判に力を入れているのは、特定のメディアや記者を非難するためではなく、マスメディアには、その責任と影響力の重さを認識しているが故に、政府や権力を批判する役割を忘れず、良心と公正さに基づいた報道をしてほしいという願いがあるから、ということを断っておきます。(PP)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stop building V-22 Osprey facilities in Okinawa! 危険で高価:米国も調達中止するかもしれないオスプレイ配備のためのヘリパッド、基地建設は直ちに中止すべき

This post introduces two recent news from the US on V-22 Osprey in Japanese: one over the Air Force generals' disagreements over the cause of the combat crash in Afghanistan last April; and the over on the Center for American Progress recommendation to cancel the Osprey program, due to cost and technical unreliability. See the links and text of the news in English below.

V-22 Osprey: from Air Force Times
沖縄の海兵隊基地に配備される計画といわれ、その危険性を指摘されているV-22オスプレイは2010年4月9日アフガニスタンで、初めて実戦による事故が報告されている。2人の犠牲者を出したそのときの墜落について、米軍内で、エンジンのトラブルかパイロットのミスかでトラブルになっているという報道があった。(下記参照)事故調査の責任者、空軍准将ドナルド・ハーベルは、8月に報告書を書いた後、9月に退職している。『エア・フォース・タイムズ』の12月28日、1月5日のインタビューに答え、「自分の頭脳もハートもこれはエンジントラブルだと確信している」と語った。自分の書いた報告書を変更するような重圧が相当あったとのことだ。ハーベルの報告を受けたカート・シチョウスキ中将は証拠不十分等の理由で反論を出していたが、結果的には報告書を承認したという。

また、2月2日、民主党系のシンクタンク「センター・フォー・アメリカン・プログレス」は米国の財政難を受けて「2015年までに3578億ドル節約する方法」として軍事予算を削減する10案を出しているが(下記参照)、その中に「V-22オスプレイプログラムを中止する」というのがある。他の機種に比べコストが5倍かかることと、技術上の問題が絶えないオスプレイは、ディック・チェイニーも国防長官時代に「失敗作だ」として4度も調達中止を勧めたという。

オスプレイについては、1月27日の投稿でも、琉球新報等が報道したように、アラバマの民間空港で空軍が演習したところ住民から苦情が殺到したということと、国防省が数々の部品の欠陥を指摘する報告書が出していることを伝えた。

こういった状況の中で、沖縄の東村高江(ひがしそん・たかえ)の住民の根強い反対にも関わらず、海兵隊北部訓練場にオスプレイ対応のヘリパッド建設の作業を強行している、そして辺野古に「普天間代替」という名目でオスプレイ対応の新基地を作ろうとしている日米政府は一体どういうつもりなのか。昨年秋までオスプレイ配備の計画さえ国民に隠し続けた日本政府は、当然ながら辺野古や高江の新施設計画に向けた環境アセスメントでもオスプレイ配備を想定していない。アメリカでさえその危険性を認め、調達を中止するかもしれないオスプレイ配備のための工事強行は異常であり、違法であり、今すぐやめさせなければいけない。

高江における工事の強行と住民や支援者の抵抗については、ブログ『やんばる東村 高江の現状』で随時報告されている。実際に座り込みに行けなくてもできることの情報も満載である。2月22日にはまた東京でもデモが予定されている。

PP

オスプレイ調達中止を訴える「センター・フォー・アメリカン・プログレス」のウェブサイト

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/responsible_defense_cuts.html
Cancel the V-22 Osprey program ($10-12 billion by 2020)


The V-22 Osprey helicopter has been long hampered by cost overruns and technical problems. Opposition to the program is bipartisan: the co-chairs of President Obama’s 2010 deficit commission recommended ending procurement of the V-22; during his stint as secretary of defense, Dick Cheney attempted to cancel the program four times, calling it a “turkey.” Like the EFV, technical problems have seriously impaired the Osprey’s performance. A May 2009 Government Accountability Office report found that “in Iraq, the V-22’s mission capability (MC) and full mission capability (FMC) rates fell significantly below… rates achieved by legacy helicopters.” Given the V-22’s high price tag—it costs five times as much as other models—and lackluster performance, there is no reason for DOD to continue sinking money into this turkey. Terminating the program would save $10-12 billion in the next decade.
 
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/01/air-force-generals-clash-on-osprey-crash-012211w/

以下、2010年4月のアフガン実戦でのオスプレイ事故についての関係者の意見の相違についての記事。

Generals clash on cause of April Osprey crash

By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Jan 22, 2011 10:12:48 EST

In a rare public display of disunity, two generals are at serious odds over the cause of a fatal aircraft accident.

The April 9 crash in Afghanistan was the first loss of a CV-22 Osprey in combat. Two of the three cockpit crew members — pilot Maj. Randell Voas, 43, and flight engineer Senior Master Sgt. James Lackey, 45 — died attempting a night landing at a desert landing zone. The co-pilot survived; he has not been indentified. Also killed were a soldier and a contractor — two of 16 passengers in the cargo compartment.

Brig. Gen. Donald Harvel, president of the accident investigation board, said he believes engine problems brought down the special operations Osprey on its landing approach. Lt. Gen. Kurt Cichowski, to whom Harvel answered during the investigation, argues aircrew errors caused the crash.

Harvel cited engine problems in his report; Cichowski wrote a dissent that he released with the report Dec. 15.

Cichowski, a fighter pilot, declined to comment on the dispute. He is now the CIA’s associate director for military affairs; Harvel, a mobility pilot, spoke with Air Force Times over the telephone Dec. 28 and Jan. 5 from his home near Atlanta. He retired in September from the Air National Guard and now works for Delta Air Lines.

“There was absolutely a lot of pressure to change my report,” Harvel said. “My heart and brain said it was not pilot error. I stuck with what I thought was the truth.”

Harvel said Air Force Special Operations Command wanted him to cite the cause of the crash as pilot error because AFSOC didn’t want old doubts stirred up about the safety of the Osprey program, which had three fatal crashes of prototypes and the Marine Corps variant from 1992 to 2000. The Air Force variant has had one other serious accident, caused when an engine bolt vibrated loose during takeoff. The CV-22, though, managed to land safely.

AFSOC declined to comment on Harvel’s accusation. At the time of the April 9 crash and during the investigation, Cichowski was AFSOC’s vice commander.

The dispute will never be resolved because no irrefutable evidence exists to substantiate either explanation: no black box and no eyewitness testimony.

The CV-22’s flight data recorder probably ended up in little pieces when the service destroyed the Osprey hours after the crash. The airmen and soldiers stripping the wreckage of evidence and classified items before the explosion didn’t know the aircraft had a black box, according to the report.

As for firsthand knowledge of what went on inside the cockpit, the surviving co-pilot told investigators he didn’t have a clear memory of the flight’s last 30 seconds.

Harvel came to his conclusion from watching a video of the CV-22 from a camera onboard an A-10 Thunderbolt that was part of the mission. The footage shows haze coming out of both engines throughout the last 17 seconds of flight; Harvel is convinced the “unidentified contrails,” as they are described in the report, are fuel vapors from engines trying to restart. The Air Force did not release the images.

The stresses of flying in the dirt and dust of Afghanistan probably caused the engine problems, Harvel said.

When maintainers checked the power level of the engines April 6, the right one operated at 95.3 percent and left one ran at 99.5 percent. When an engine fell below 95 percent, it had to be repaired or replaced.

After the power check, the Osprey made four more landings at austere sites. On one, the screening system that protected the left engine from blowing sand failed. Each landing would have reduced engine performance, Harvel said.

“Degraded engines could have led to engine failure, surge/stall or insufficient power when a high power demand was required,” he said, adding that he believes the aircrew members knew about the engine problems and flew the Osprey as best they could to a rolling landing. The CV-22 touched down at 88 mph, the report said; it should have landed like a helicopter, with little forward speed.

The plane’s landing gear absorbed some of the impact, with the tires digging eight inches into the desert sand. The plane rolled and bounced for more than 200 feet until it reached a drainage ditch. As the plane’s nose dipped into the ditch, the Osprey flipped over and began breaking apart before coming to a stop 50 feet away.

In his dissent, Cichowski cited several factors ruling out engine failure:

•No one onboard the Osprey or in radio contact with it heard any discussions about engine problems or warnings from the cockpit.

•An analysis of the recovered left engine showed it was working. The right engine was not recovered.

•The V-22 Joint Program Office, which oversees Air Force and Marine Corps Ospreys, concluded engine failure was highly unlikely.

•The crew made several errors, including the pilot flying too high and too fast in his approach; the failure to obtain a weather report warning of a 17 mph tailwind; distraction over unexpected lighting at the landing zone; and self-imposed pressure to make the mission a success.

Typically, the senior officer who convenes the accident investigation board — Cichowski in this case — agrees with the board president’s opinion.

If the senior officer disagrees with the report, he can ask the board president to consider new evidence. Usually the review resolves the differences.

Cichowski received Harvel’s report Aug. 25. On Sept. 30, Cichowski received an analysis from the joint V-22 Program Office that suggested the report underestimated the CV-22’s speed when it crashed.

In a memo dated Oct. 5, Cichowski stated he accepted the report but believed there wasn’t enough evidence to support the conclusion that at least one engine malfunctioned.

Next, the report and Cichowski’s dissent went to Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, who in the early 1980s served as an MC-130E Combat Talon pilot in the same squadron as the Osprey crew — the 8th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

On Nov. 15, Schwartz ordered Harvel to review the program office analysis. Harvel spent three days, Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, studying the new information but still came away convinced that engine problems caused the crash.

Despite his strong disagreement with Harvel’s conclusion, Cichowski signed off on the report Nov. 23 because Air Force accident investigation rules left him little choice.

With the investigation finally wrapped up, AFSOC leaders began meeting with families and survivors to explain the conclusions. Usually, the board president handles the duty, but Harvel was not invited.

Harvel was not asked to meet with the service members and families because he had retired, said AFSOC spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Villagran.

Harvel sees the exclusion as AFSOC’s snub of his opinion.

“I thought that they were very wrong not to let me brief the families,” he said. “I had gathered a lot of insight and took extra notes to brief personal stories to each family. I even volunteered to brief the families at no expense to the government. Still, they never even acknowledged me.”

***********************************************

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

John Hallam: What Next After New START Entry into Force? ジョン・ハラム:新START条約締結後の課題は?

Here is John Hallam, international anti-nuclear activist and writer, on the new START, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed by US and Russia on February 5, 2011.

John Hallam

WHAT NEXT AFTER NEW START ENTRY INTO FORCE?

PND (Peaple for Nuclar Disarmament) NUCLEAR FLASHPOINTS STATEMENT ON NEW START ENTRY INTO FORCE

John Hallam

February 5, 2011

A few hours later today, at a ceremony at the grand military strategy conference that takes place every year in Munich, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will exchange 'instruments of ratification' for the New START treaty.

The moment they do so, New START will enter into force, and there will once more be an arms control framework of sorts, as there was until December 2009. The occasion has already unleashed some commentary, with some suggesting that New START not only doesn't go nearly far enough but is not worth having at all because it does not 'really' reduce actual nuclear weapons numbers and because it is associated with a modernisation program that largely undercuts the very purpose of a nuclear arms control agreement. Others argue to the contrary that it undermines US (or Russian) security, or that it puts 'unacceptable' constrains on the US holy cow of missile defence. Alas! It does nothing of the kind - if only it did!

The facts are that as a disarmament treaty, New START is distinctly underwhelming. The reductions it mandates in 'deployed' nuclear warheads are of the order of 30% only, and some argue that Russia at least, would have found its forces shrinking BELOW the levels mandated by New START anyway, new START or no New START.

Hans Kristensen recently pointed out that New START does not actually mandate the destruction of a single nuclear warhead. All it talks about is reducing the numbers of OPERATIVE nuclear warheads, so to satisfy the treaty all that needs to happen is for warheads to be removed from that category and stored in bunkers.

And of course, the treaty manages to count nuclear bombers, which may carry up to 24 warheads as if they are a SINGLE warhead. This means that any number of warheads may be stored on bomber bases, and the number of warheads actually counted will never exceed the number of nuclear - capable bombers at the base.

However, it is fair to say that there is some consensus that we are better off with New START whatever its inadequacies, than we would be if the Congress and the Duma had rejected it. It would have been much better if the reductions were deeper and more real, if missile defence HAD been really constrained, if a path to zero were more clearly embraced, if warheads really did have to be actually destroyed, and above all if that bargain with the devil - the monster modernisation program - had not been associated with the treaty.

But the results of not proceeding with New START would have been in effect to abandon the entire progress however tentative, in the direction of nuclear abolition, that the world has time after time pledged itself to.

And there is now an increasing comment on 'what further progress can we make now?'.

There is talk of proceeding with the FMCT (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, stalled in the CD because of Pakistani blocking), and of proceeding with the ratification of the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty).

That there can now be talk at all of 'what's next' is itself an indication of the benefits of having START enter into force. There mere fact that it has done so almost regardless of its content, makes talk of further progress possible.

However, neither the CTBT nor the FMCT look to me like terribly good candidates for further progress. The prospects for movement on either just don't look good enough.

An issue that has hung around in the background as it were, but is of utterly apocalyptic significance and that might have a chance of real forward movement is however, the issue of operational readiness.

The US and Russia STILL maintain over 2000 warheads each in a status in which they can be launched in less than two minutes. This number will decrease slightly under New START. Obama as a presidential candidate, pledged himself to negotiate with Russia to change this.

The Canberra Commission back in 1996, the Blix commission in 2006, an appeal by 44 nobels in 2004-5, and the Evans/Kawaguchi commission in 2009, all urged that nuclear weapons be taken off high alert.

A study done by Bruce Blair, Colonel Valery Yarynich, Generals Esin and Zolotarev, and others, published in the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs, concluded that nuclear weapons in the US and Russia could be de-alerted without the danger of a 're-alerting race' and with overall improvement in strategic stability.

And at the last session of the UN General Assembly, two resolutions specifically called for the reduction of nuclear weapons operating status, with the 'Operational Readiness' resolution sponsored by Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Switzerland being adopted 157-3. (Operational Readiness came about partly as a result of this authors work).

Minimal progress has been made on the US side so far, with the Nuclear Posture Review conceding that, yes, the US DOES maintain its strategic nuclear forces on high alert (after denials during the Bush administration that it even does so), and committing to examine ways in which 'presidential decision-making time' could be increased. Certainly, decision-making time (currently 8 minutes max to decide on retaliation) is the nub of the problem, but to increase decision making time is precisely to decrease the alert level of nuclear forces. You just can't do one without the other.

A number of NGOs and others have written to Sergei Lavrov, Hilary Clinton, and the relevant State Duma and Congressional committees, urging progress on this literally apocalyptic issue as a priority in the post START entry into force era. That letter will be dispatched in the coming week.

John Hallam
Johnhallam2001@yahoo.com.au

John Hallam, People for Nuclear Disarmament Nuclear Flashpoints Project, worked on nuclear fuel cycle/nuclear power issues with Friends of the Earth 1977-1999, in Melbourne 1977-84. Now with People for Nuclear Disarmament Nuclear Flashpoints Project in Sydney, Australia. He originated the texts of over 20 resolutions on nuclear disarmament in the Australian Senate from 1998-2008, plus resolutions on India-Pakistan nuclear testing in 1998 and 2003 in the UK and Brasilian parliaments. In 1999, he worked on a global campaign to lower the operating status of nuclear weapons over the Y2K rollover, resulting in resolutions in the Australian Senate, a unanimous resolution in the European Parliament, and a letter signed by over 600 NGOs and parliamentarians to presidents Yeltsin and Clinton. In 2004/5, together with Doug Mattern of the Association of World Citizens, he put together an apppeal on nuclear weapons operating status that was signed by 44 nobels and endorsed by the European Parliament and that led to the adoption of resolutions in the General Assembly in 2007 and 2008. John has written a number of widely supported letters signed by hundreds of organisations ans parliamentarians on nuclear weapons policy to the Indian government notably in 2003 when nuclear war was a real possibility. This letter resulted in media coverage and in an 'early day motion in the UK parliament calling for a peaceful resolution that became the most widely supported EDM ever. He was in panels at the UN in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, together with Steven Starr of PSR, with detailed papers on nuclear weapons operating status/operational readiness.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Historical Understanding to Combat Nationalism: Takazane Yasunori ナショナリズムに負けない歴史認識を 高實康稔

Takazane, giving keynote speech at the
memorial for Korean victims of Nagasaki
A-bombing, August 9, 2009
This is the prefatory article "Historical Understanding to  Combat Nationalism," in the January 1, 2011 issue of Nishizaka Dayori, newsletter of Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Museum, by the museum's Director Takazane Yasunori. The article warns excessive nationalism in Japan, especially in its mass media, calls on them to deal with the territorial conflict over the southernwest islets called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, with historical  understanding of Japan's past aggression against China. Oka Masaharu Museum helps visitors learn about Japan's acts of invasion and aggression during the war, such as forced labour, sex slavery, Nanjing Massacre, and Unit 731, and the struggles of Korean a-bomb victims.

For past articles in this blog about Takazane, Oka Masaharu Museum, and the annual memorial for Korean victims of Nagasaki atomic bomb, see this LINK.


ナショナリズムに負けない歴史認識を

岡まさはる記念長崎平和資料館理事長 高實康稔


「中国に親しみを感じる」が激減

ナショナリズムの高揚が平和を脅かし、友好関係を阻害するだけではなく戦争の原因とさえなりうることは歴史上数えきれない実例あり、論ずるまでもありません。しかし、このナショナリズムに対する警戒感は国際社会において未だに不充分といわざるをえません。日本もその例にもれず、近隣諸国との摩擦が生じる度に、ナショナリズムが高まる傾向を否定できません。最近では、尖閣諸島周辺での中国漁船の巡視船衝突事件を契機に、反中国感情が急激に高揚しています。2010年10月に実施された内閣府の世論調査で、「中国に親しみを感じる」とする回答は昨年の調査より18.5ポイントも減じて20.0%となり、「親しみを感じない」は19.3ポイント増の77.8%に上り、過去最高だったと発表(同年12月18日)されています。この調査結果に対して外務省は「9月の中国漁船衝突事件で日中間の緊張が高まり、国民感情に大きな影響を与えた」と分析しているとのことです(各紙報道参照)。

尖閣諸島の領有権宣言は日清戦争のさ中

中国漁船の衝突事件が尖閣諸島の領有権に絡む問題であることは明らかです。「尖閣諸島は日本の領土であり、領土問題は存在しない」と表明した日本政府に対し、中国政府は「中国の神聖な領土」と反発し、日中関係が一挙に緊張しました。激しい攻防の過程で、国民は「尖閣諸島は1895年に日本の領土に編入された」という報道記事にも接したはずです。近代史の流れを概略でも理解していれば、1895年と聞くだけで日清戦争を想起し、「日本の領土」に不透明感を抱いたに違いありません。事実は日清戦争中の同年1月に領土編入を閣議決定したものでした。すなわち、中国名を釣魚島と称し、それまでは日中帰属の不明確な小島でしたが、日本の戦勝とともにその閣議決定が既成事実と化したのです。

ナショナリズムに弱いマスメディア

不思議なことに、この歴史的経緯を解説する報道記事は皆無に近く、多くの国民は衝突漁船の過激な行為にのみ目を奪われました。日本が実効支配している海域での事件であり、故意の衝突という漁船の不法行為が批判されるのは当然としても、海域をめぐる帰属問題が冷静かつ客観的に論評されない現実はマスメディアの責任放棄といわざるをえません。本来マスメディアはナショナリズムと関連する事柄にも逃避することなく積極的に発言する責務があるからです。因みに、竹島(韓国名は独島)を日本が「領土宣言」したのは1905年のことであり、日露戦争後の第2次日韓協約(保護条約)によって統監府を置き、植民地化をほぼ完成した時期と重なりますが、日本の領有主張に対する抗議行動の報道はあっても、帰属問題を両者の主張に基づいて詳しく論評した報道記事を目にしたことはありません。これでは徒にナショナリズムを刺激するばかりです。

古来共通の魚場

日清戦争によって日本の植民地となった台湾が尖閣諸島の領有権を主張するのも自然なことと思われます。また、この海域は日本が領土編入を宣言する以前、古より沖縄(琉球)、台湾、福建省の漁民たちの共通の魚場であったことにも思いを馳せるべきです。

歴史認識の深い溝が日中間に潜在

漁船衝突事件後に中国で相次いだ抗日デモに不快感を覚えた人も多いことでしょう。しかし、一隻の漁船の巡視船衝突事件が両国の国民感情を刺激し、重大な外交問題にまで発展すること自体尋常ではなく、その原因がどこにあるのかを考えなければなりません。一言で言えば、それは歴史認識に深い溝があるからだと私には思えます。暴虐をきわめた中国侵略の歴史が共通認識とならないまま、いわば未清算の状態にあることが中国国民に反日感情を抱かせる潜在的な原因であるといって過言ではないでしょう。日本の首相の靖国神社参拝は反日感情に火をつけました。731部隊の生体実験という背筋も凍る戦争犯罪でさえ、日本政府は未だに認めてはいません。また例えば、国交を回復させた「日中共同声明」(1972年)で、中国が「中日両国国民の友好のために、日本国に対する戦争賠償の請求を放棄」した寛大な決断を認識している日本人は少なく、逆にその決断を逆手に取り、日本の最高裁判所が、中国人強制連行裁判において、中国国民の戦時損害賠償請求権は消滅したとして「裁判上訴求する権能を失った」と判決(2007年4月27日)したのも未清算の最たる証拠です。日清戦争の賠償金として清国の年間予算の3年分にも相当するという2億両を支払わせたことを思うとき、日中戦争の賠償請求を放棄した中国の「以徳報怨」の精神を日本国民は決して忘れてはなりません。正しい歴史認識をもつことによって、戦争はもとより、ナショナリズムの高揚をも根底から阻みたいものです。

永井隆が南京にいた?

一言付け加えたいことがあります。先日12月12日に行なわれた「南京大虐殺生存者証言長崎集会」で、「南京で軍医として治療に当たった永井隆が虐殺について何も書いていないので、大虐殺は事実無根ではないか」という趣旨の発言がありましたが、永井隆は第5師団所属で当時南京にはいませんでした。いかなる疑問や問題提起も事実を前提にしなければ欺瞞のそしりを免れません。また、こうした発言の背後にも歴史認識の溝が垣間見えるといえるでしょう。


岡まさはる記念長崎平和資料館は長崎の観光名所、二十六聖人殉教地のすぐ近くにあります。日本の帝国主義と軍国主義の歴史、朝鮮人・中国人の強制労働や日本軍性奴隷、南京大虐殺や731部隊、朝鮮人被爆者など、日本の学校では十分に教えない、または全く教えない重要な歴史について学べる場所です。上記の記事は資料館の会報「西坂だより」2011年1月1日号の巻頭言として掲載されたものです。