Can Okinawa be the “catalyst” for peace in East Asia?
ARASAKI Moriteru (Translated by LIN Chia-Hsuan and TAKAHASHI Shinnosuke)
ABSTRACT Starting with the introduction of pressing issues faced by the “deplore war and advocate peace” anti-base movement in Okinawa, the essay further present its context in Okinawa’s history since the Second World War as well as earlier stages so as to present What Okinawa is—a historically and culturally unique place which both is and is not Japan. This essay goes on to propose the idea of “sphere of living” as a perspective going beyond national boundary, in the hope to acquire a historical understanding as well as the vision for a future in which people can co-exist with each other.
Keywords: US military bases, anti-base movement, Japan-US Security Treaty, sphere of living
Professor ARASAKI Moriteru [新崎盛暉], born into an Okinawan family in Tokyo, 1936, is Professor Emeritus at Okinawa University. He has been known in Japan not only as a distinguished historian of Okinawa, but also a long-time organizer of people’s movement in Okinawa. Since he was a researcher at Okinawa Resource Center (Tokyo) in the early 1960s, he has been writing about people’s movement in Okinawa under US military rule till today. The books he authored includes Okinawa Contemporary History: a Series ([沖縄同時代史], 10 Vols, 1992-2004). He has organized many groups to support people’s movements, among them are: Hitotsubo Hansen Jinushi (support group for anti-war land owners against military base), Heiwa Shimin Renraku Kai (Okinawan People’s Coalition for Peace), and so on. He is also the founding editor of Keshi-Kaji, an Okinawa based quarterly. He worked as a chancellor of Okinawa University twice in the 1980s and 1990s, and a chief director of trustees in the 2000s. In 2007, he received the Japan Association for Peace Studies Award.