[Feature] The Moment of Truth for Japan's Tibet to Secede from Naicha's Failing State
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The flag of the Ryukyu
|The natives of the Ryukyus, better known as the Okinawa islands, call themselves Okinanchu or Uchinanchu when they want to stress their distinctive cultural identity.|
On the other hand, they call the people in the main part of the Japanese Archipelago Naicha or Yamatonchu. The connotation of the former appellation is contemptuous while the latter is a neutral word. In that sense, Naicha to Okinawans are what gringos are to Latin American people.
The biggest difference you see between the two peoples lies in their quality as human beings measured by integrity, maturity and viability.
Traditionally, Naicha leaders have all been known for their propensity toward indecision, inaction and procrastination in the face of crises. Especially when it comes to foreign affairs, they have always let things drift until the problem solves itself. To them politics is like weather, as Ian Buruma once observed. They invariably fall into a state of thanatosis until the ferocious typhoon is gone.
That is why they make believe timeliness in action is not that important in diplomacy.
This way Japanese leaders have piled up formidable problems which should have been addressed much earlier and more straight ahead.
Just to mention a few, the Russo-Japanese dispute over the "Northern Territories," the Sino-Japanese feud over oil and gas fields in the East China Sea and the issue with the Japanese citizens kidnapped more than 25 years ago by North Korean agents all remained unaddressed until the other side had fully entrenched its interests there.
Believe it or not, never once has the Japanese government shown its readiness for a bloody warfare against the other claimant of the disputed territory or filed its territorial claim with the international arbitration organization. Instead it keeps grumbling all the time out of fear that a provocative word or act will inevitably lead to an all-out confrontation.
It is true that leaders of other countries sometimes procrastinate, too. But they are fundamentally different from Japanese procrastination artists. They always act first to get a head start and once a fait accompli is established, they start buying time to defend status quo, whereas Naicha leaders just wait and see all the while and start selling time when the other end wants to buy it.
More or less the same thing can be said of the issue with the Senkaku Isles, Diaoyutai in Chinese.
On September 7, a Chinese trawler collided against a patrol ship of Japan Coast Guard in the disputed waters off Senkaku. At the onset, Prime Minister Naoto Kan and then Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Seiji Maehara were saying they would handle the incident "strictly in line with Japanese law."
But once again it proved totally useless for them to raise their voices to repeat the same old claim that Japan has a "legitimate" right on the uninhabited islets. As always the Chinese leaders by far outsmarted and outpaced their Japanese counterparts. In retaliation, they arrested four employees of a Japanese construction company on the charge of spying military facilities in Hebei Province.
Amid the fuss, Maehara, now as the new Foreign Minister, visited New York where he had a talk with his U.S. counterpart. The moron was momentarily heartened by Clinton's signature lip service. She said, in effect, that the disputed isles were included, albeit implicitly, in the 1972 bilateral deal to "return" Okinawa from the U.S. to Japan, and thus, Article 5 of the bilateral security treaty could be invoked to secure Japanese interest there.
Back home the media were also stupid enough to gush over the "diplomatic victory" Maehara had achieved. But in a matter of hours, China could bring Japan to her knees like taking a candy from a baby. The skipper of the Chinese fishing boat was freed.
Yesterday, I was really taken aback by Kan's declaration of 有言実行・引き延ばし一掃内閣 (a cabinet to act without delay.) In his mistimed as well as misplaced declaration, the moron wanted to say that habitual procrastination in the past decades, mostly under the rule by the Liberal Democratic Party whereof he used to be a member, has now taken a devastating toll on the fate of this country and that he is now fully determined to quickly fix it.
What a laugh.
Actually things are getting even uglier. Yesterday, China released three hostages out of four in a gesture to mend the relations between the two countries.
The dull-witted Yamatonchu felt at a loss because with China's move, the problem was three-quarters solved before they could attain anything. They just kept wondering why only three until it slowly dawned on them that the Chinese government wanted to keep the unlucky guy in custody to deter the Japanese government from releasing the video of the crime scene. The Chinese knew one hostage is enough to stop the move.
The embarrassing situation triggered an outcry from among Japanese lawmakers of both camps for the release of the video footage - something none of them had thought about demanding from the Okinawa prosecutors in the last three weeks.
Political commentators and self-styled China experts, too, responded to the situation larghissimo. They started saying the video should be made public "immediately" to show the "international community" how the Chinese vessel hit the patrol ship, twice, in the starboard only when the problem had been 75% solved unilaterally by the country which had created it also unilaterally.
As usual, the idea of releasing the hard evidence occurred to these quarterbacks only when it was already Monday morning. Now there were only two options before the Naicha government.
Option 1: Turn the clock back to September 7 by complying with the demand to release the video.
Option 2: Swallow the remaining 25%.
Whichever way it goes, the end result is the same. Japan goes around in circles forever.
Small wonder Kan's cabinet supposedly to act without delay has started stalling for time once again in a matter of hours from his declaration of no-procrastination policy.
All this has made me think it's about time for the 1.4-million Okinanchu to seek secession.
In 2005, an associate professor of the University of Ryukyus by the name of Lim John Chuan-tiong conducted an opinion survey. He found out that 45.4% of the respondents thought Okinawa should eventually seek secession, whereof 20.5% even said the islands should declare independence, immediately and unilaterally.
I think it's a safe bet that a similar survey would reveal a majority of the Ryukyuans favor the idea of parting ways with the Yamatonchu in the wake of the fuss over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' air station.
Once upon a time, the Ryukyu Kingdom was a tributary state of China under the reign of the Ming Dynasty. In 1879 Japan forcibly annexed the islands of Okinawa, including the Senkaku. But ever since, Japan (1879-1945 and 1972-present) or the U.S. (1945-1972), let alone China, has never owned the isles legitimately.
Against this backdrop, the independence movement there has gone through a lot of ups and downs, but when the decision to remove American troops altogether was reversed in 1995, the smoldering aspiration for independence was reignited.
It's an irony that even from the Naicha side, there has been a strong push in this direction lately. Head of the new-born Your Party, Yoshimi Watanabe, for one, is saying that the only way to save Japan from collapsing is to give local governments greater autonomy. Even Kan cannot but subscribe to Watanabe's prescription.
These are why I think time is ripe.
I'm certain that you Okinanchu have learned the lesson the Yamatonchu have failed to learn. But just in case, I summarize it for you like this:
The moment of truth is something you should go grab at; it doesn't just drop by at your doorstep while you are awaiting it. And more important, you shouldn't miss the right time as the Japanese have done time and again. Once missed, it will never come back to you in your lifetime.
Most of you have been assimilated more or less into Naicha's culture which is characterized by their inaction and indecisiveness. But this time around you should act fast in taking necessary steps for a referendum. With this firmly in mind, you should waste no time discussing the legality of your move. After all, secession is an extra-constitutional matter.
From time to time the Okinawa prefectural government has demanded the inept central government stand firm toward the U.S. to protect the lives of the Ryukyuans. Most recently some of its municipalities have submitted petitions to ask the Kan administration to safeguard unfettered fishing activities in the waters off Senkaku Islands. However, the Naicha government have responded only evasively thus far.
Now you should go one step further by having the prefecture's assembly pass a resolution for a referendum. To that end, you will have to unseat governor Hirokazu Nakaima in the election scheduled for November 28. The guy has always been sitting on the fence with respect to the issues with the military bases.
Equally important in seeking self-determination, you should not forget to collect a multi-trillion severance pay from the Naicha government in Tokyo, and Washington, as well.
In the last 130 years, especially during wartime, hundreds of thousands of your ancestors sacrificed themselves to save the bastard named Hirohito and his empire as a human shield. Even after the war, you have been treated as second-class citizens under the U.S.-Japanese security treaty. And, in return, you have received practically nothing.
So a huge amount of reparation is long overdue now. And don't you ever forget that Emperor Akihoto, Hirohito's son, still owes you a tearful apology in the dogeza position and a ritual suicide by disembowelment.
Tags: okinawa, independence, referendum, 沖縄, 独立, 住民投票, procrastination, 菅直人, 先送り一掃 ·