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Japan: America's Imperial Proxy

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Japan: America's Imperial Proxy

Japan subordinates its own interests in service to American imperialism

by Stephen Lendman

On August 15, 1945, Japan announced its surrender. On September 2, WW II officially ended. Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu's formalized it aboard the USS Missouri. Both dates signify VJ (Victory over Japan) or VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day.

End of war meant occupation. General Douglas MacArthur became military governor. He ruled a conquered state.

To this day, 67 years later, Japan remains occupied. A US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stipulates terms under which American forces remain and operate.

In his book "The Sorrows of Empire," Chalmers Johnson described SOFAs as follows:

"America's foreign military enclaves, though structurally, legally, and conceptually different from colonies, are themselves something like microcolonies in that they are completely beyond the jurisdiction of the occupied nation." 

"The US virtually always negotiates a 'status of forces agreement' (SOFA) with the ostensibly independent 'host' nation" - a modern day version of 19th century China's "extraterritoriality" granting foreigners charged with crimes the 'right' to be tried by his (or her) own government under his (or her) own national law."

Most US SOFAs deny host countries jurisdiction over US military and civilian personnel who commit crimes. Exceptions only occur at the occupier's discretion. 

US bases usurp, distort and subvert local authority. Doing so assures absolution for murder, rape, other crimes, unacceptable noise, pollution, environmental contamination, and appropriation of valued public land.

It lets unaccountable US soldiers get drunk, cause damage, and ignore local customs. They also get away with accosting, raping, and murdering local women. Okinawa highlights conditions no country should tolerate.

It's Japan's poorest/most southerly prefecture. It's much like America's Puerto Rico. It's also a decades-long battleground. It pits Okinawans against America and their own government.

Washington appropriated around 20% of its choicest real estate. Okinawa remains repressively occupied. Local citizens lost rights. They remain subservient to US interests. American military and civilian personnel have special privileges not afforded local citizens or Japan.

SOFA terms agreed on decades earlier remain in force today. When will Japan grow up and stop acting like a child? When will it assert its sovereign rights?

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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