‘Rape’ remark by Japan Defense Ministry official may be final nail in the coffin of Futenma base relocation plan

The statement by Japanese Defense Ministry official  in Okinawa comparing the base relocation plan to ‘rape’, only the latest outrage over the proposed relocation of the Futenma military base to Henoko, is causing a political storm that, as the Asahi Shimbun opined, “could spell end to (the) Futenma plan”:

Discussing the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Satoshi Tanaka, director-general of the Okinawa Defense Bureau, said to the effect on Nov. 28, “Would you say, ‘I will rape you,’ before you rape someone?”

Tanaka used the rape analogy to explain the government’s reluctance to set the submission date of an assessment report on the environmental impact of the air station’s planned relocation to the Henoko district in Nago–a plan the people of Okinawa vehemently oppose.


In fact, it was the rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl by U.S. soldiers 16 years ago that triggered the move to relocate the Futenma base. But the girl was certainly not the last victim of sex crimes by U.S. service personnel. Anyone who has any understanding of the feelings of the people of Okinawa would never even dream of saying what Tanaka said.

The Japan Times published a similar editorial:

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda should realize that trustful relations no longer exist between his administration and the Okinawan people, and that the Henoko plan has no chance of being implemented.

According to a Facebook posts by Satoko Taira:

Defense Minister is having a meeting with Governor Nakaima.  Nakaima will present Okinawa Prefecture Assembly’s resolution of protest over the remarks made by Tanaka, to Ichikawa, which was adopted unanimously yesterday.

Another post by Masami Mel Kawamura reports:

Defense Minister visits Okinawa to apology for ODB’s officers’s gaff to Okinawa Governor.

Okinawan people are holding a rally in front of Okinawa Prefecture Office.

Keiko Itokazu, councilor, is now giving a speech there.

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