When the security treaty between Japan and the U.S. was about to expire in 2010, Japan, after a big controversy, has agreed to renew the treaty for the next 10 years. One of the main reasoning that Hatoyama, the Prime Minister at that time, made is Japan’s lack of the ability to defend itself without the help from the U.S. Majority of people would have been expected that they were going to agree on that except for Okinawan people. Was it really the best solution just because it had got agreements from the majority? What was really needed for us to seek for Japan’s future is the attitude to learn from what have happened in the history, not just taking a nod without really considering about it, was’n it? We all should consider them as they are, and also in the context of our country as well．The case in the Philippins is undeniably one of them.
What do you think are going to happen if Japan lose the help from the U.S. military? In fact, soon after the Philippines evacuated the U.S. military, China invaded islands of Mischief Reef which the Philippines insist are the territories of theirs. In 2008, also, China established a military airport in an island of Spratly. Is China going to invade Japan as well then? I think it is not very likely. Considering of Japan’s strong economy, it is not good idea for China to invade any parts of Japan at the great cost of ruining all the relationship it has established with Japan. Also, we should have learned how the Philippines had been developing their economy by utilizing the land of the former U.S. marin base. It is very regrettable that people in Japan had not discussed the future vision very much at the time of expiration of the treaty, even though we had very good source to think about it, the Philippines’ experience.
Also, we should reconsider, “is it really safe for Japan to maintain the U.S. military?” Those who say yes must not see Okinawa as a part of Japan, since Okinawa is exposed to the danger because of the very existence of the U.S. military on a daily basis as well as in potential conflicts with foreign countries. If a conflict had broke out, Okinawa would be the one of the first regions to be bombed. Now, majority of people in Japan do not even discuss the issue related to the national defense of Japan. In the mean time, Okinawan people have been complaining the U.S. base to stay in Okinawa even after the renewal of the treaty.
by Koji Arai