Being detached from the concept of nation-states, not being one to patronize a flag, an abstract concept of a nation, the idea of defending a “homeland”, and all that other psychological baggage associated with patriotism, it looks like the US military in Okinawa will have no fireworks display on the 4th of July. Apparently, it was decided not to have fireworks displays on US bases in Okinawa considering the murder of a Japanese woman last month by an ex-marine employed on Kadena Air Base, and a car accident in which two Japanese were injured by a drunk female US sailor.
Many Japanese people are actually and quite rightfully so, envious of the life style many US military members live on Okinawa. US military members have access to swimming pools, live in relatively large houses compared to Japanese in Okinawa, have access to ocean beaches, tennis and many other activities Japanese would have a hard time accessing. The fourth of July big birthday party for America, is usually associated with barbecuing and drinking. Bet Thomas Jefferson would be fucking proud.
Source: ABC News
No July 4 Fireworks at US Bases in Japan After Okinawa Rape
By mari yamaguchi, associated press
TOKYO — Jun 23, 2016
FILE – In this Sunday, June 19, 2016 file photo, protesters shout anti-U.S. military base slogans as they hold placards that read: “Get out U.S. Marines” during a rally in front of the National Diet building in Tokyo as tens of thousands of Japanese on Sunday protested the presence of U.S. military bases on the southwestern island of Okinawa. There will be no Fourth of July fireworks for American troops in Japan this year because of restrictions imposed after a former U.S. Marine was accused of raping and murdering a woman on Okinawa. U.S. Forces Japan said Thursday, June 23, that “no U.S. installations in Japan will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks displays or concerts” to demonstrate respect for Okinawan residents. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
There will be no Fourth of July fireworks for American troops in Japan this year because of restrictions imposed after a former U.S. Marine was accused of raping and murdering a woman on Okinawa.
U.S. Forces Japan said Thursday that “no U.S. installations in Japan will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks displays or concerts” to demonstrate respect for Okinawan residents.
The killing of the woman, whose body was found in May, triggered outrage on the southern Japanese island, where tensions frequently rise over crime linked to U.S. military bases there.
The suspect, a U.S. military contractor and former Marine, is charged with abandoning the woman’s body, and murder and rape charges are pending.
Maj. John Severns, deputy director of public affairs at U.S. Forces Japan, said in an email that barbecues, sporting events and other community activities are still being planned at bases in the country to share the traditions for celebrating American independence with Japanese neighbors.
The murder case has rekindled anger in Okinawa over the burden of the heavy U.S. troop presence there.
After the suspect’s arrest, the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy imposed restrictions on their personnel, including prohibitions on alcohol consumption and off-base activities, though some limits by the Navy have since been eased.
Okinawa was already in the spotlight because of a contentious plan to relocate a Marine Corps air station to a less-populated part of the island. The plan developed after the 1995 rape of a girl by three American servicemen enraged Okinawans. Critics want the air station completely removed from the island.
“Crime and accidents have been repeated for years because of U.S. military bases occupying vast areas (of the island),” Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga said at an annual ceremony Thursday marking the end of the Battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battles Japan fought against the U.S. in World War II. More than half of the 200,000 Japanese who died in the battle were Okinawans, compared to some 12,000 Americans killed.
“The prefecture residents are shocked and are feeling unsafe and enraged because of the latest crime that was so inhuman and heinous,” Onaga said, renewing demands that the Japanese and U.S. governments quickly reduce the number of American troops on the island.
Half of about 50,000 American troops stationed in Japan under a bilateral security agreement are based on Okinawa.
The U.S. military says the crime rate among its ranks in Japan is lower than among the general public.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which wants Japan to play a bigger military role internationally, backs the Japan-U.S. security alliance.
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