June 3, 2023

MUI Daily News

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In Ishikaki, the Japanese military base was built to revive the wounds of history

“Diego bloomed, called wind, but the storm came …” Shima UtahThe Boom Group’s moving “song of the islands” echoes through sun-drenched alleys, lined with the gray concrete of Ishikaki’s Old Market, a small island in the Okinawa archipelago in southwestern Japan. .

In local culture, the red flame of the Diego flower announces the intensity of an upcoming hurricane. Kasufumi is symbolized by its bloom in Miyazawa’s song “Sacrifice of Okinawa Islands to Other Parts of Japan”. The Battle of Okinawa in April-June 1945, US Army spreads everywhere, Tokyo commands: May 15, 50 Many dark moments reappear during commemoratione The year the Americans handed over Okinawa to Japan.

In Ishikagi, with a population of 50,000, nothing marked the anniversary except a few shop facades, such as the Hamawuda store, which displayed yellow and red greeting stickers. “Return from Okinawa”.

The municipality is not planning a party, just holding an online conference. Officially due to the corona virus, the event unofficially provoked mixed reactions, exacerbated by the construction of a missile defense base by the Japanese Defense Forces (FJA, Japanese Army).

Since 2020, bulldozers have been plowing the lush green hills in the shadow of Mount Omoto, 526 meters above the island, above the sugarcane and pineapple orchards. This installation is considered essential by the Ministry of Defense, which has pledged to strengthen the Nansei Islands since 2015. Seen from Tokyo, the string extends to Yonaguni, about a hundred kilometers from Taiwan. “Prohibition against China”.

Persistence of past injuries

The Japanese government fears that a conflict around Taiwan could lead to the capture of the Senkaku / Taiyu Islands by China – which is administratively dependent on Ishigaki, but claimed by Beijing and Taipei – or threatening Okinawa. It has already set up bases in Miyago, Yonaguni and Amami Islands.

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In support of the FJA’s visit, Ishigaki’s Mayor Yoshidaka Nakayama received a fourth decree in February. Known as being close to the nationalists of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Mr. Nagayama argues for a firm stance against China and does not hesitate to pose a threat. “Provocations”. He rejected the proposed referendum on the new basis demanded by the 14,000 people who signed a petition. “National security issues cannot be decided by a municipality”, He was beaten. Ishigaki already owns the largest port of the Japanese Coast Guard and is busy monitoring Senkaku.

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