US military personnel will be subject to curfew after the alleged rape of a local by soldiers. US troops will also have to take ‘core values training’. The island’s government is also pressing for an overhaul of the Japan-US Status of Forces Treaty.
Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said that the incident will force Japan to rethink its security arrangement with the US as the list of abuses by servicemen continues to grow.
“Although I have asked repeatedly for a reduction in crimes and accidents perpetrated by US military personnel, it has happened again,” Nakaima told reporters.
“Problems will always arise as long as the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) remains unchanged,” he said.
The US-Japanese Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) grants most American military staff an exemption from visa regulations and has led to occurrences where US soldiers have escaped Japanese jurisdiction. Two US soldiers were arrested on Tuesday for the alleged rape of a 27-year-old Japanese woman and taken into US custody.
The US said it would consider handing offending soldiers over to the Japanese following the rape of a 12-year-old girl in 1995 by servicemen, but Japanese authorities have voiced complaints that they are often not allowed to interrogate suspects.
The Prefectural Assembly on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa has condemned the US military for its lack of discipline and responsibility over the latest incident that sparked outcry on the island that already harbors strong anti-US sentiment.
Members of a civic group gathered outside the Japanese Prime Minister’s official residence in Tokyo to protest against the US presence in Okinawa on Wednesday. They carried banners, reading “No rape, no base” and condemned US abuses in the region.
From the Koza Riots, the 1960’s anti-SOFA protests, repeated controversies over crimes committed by the US military, especially the 1995 incident and outrage, you’d think the US would eventually get the picture and get out of Japan.
This isn’t limited to Japan though. Guam, Korea, the Philippines, Vieques, Diego Garcia, all over the world we build these bases and ruin lives.
Fuck the American Empire.
Exactly. In no way is this just a Japanese issue. This happens in many non-European countries around the world.
Allen Ginsberg - America (a draft version, excellent)
MY TRACKED TAGS FOR THE DAY
Fandom, I have given you all and now I am nothing
Fandom nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents January 11, 2004 or however much a paid Livejournal account cost in those days
I can’t stand my own dirty mind.
Fandom when will we end the wank wars?
Go fuck yourself with your sockpuppets.
I don’t feel good I’ll fake my own death.
I won’t write my porn til I’m in my right mind.
and so on and so on. click through for the rest. MY MASTERPIECE.
I found this in my (computer) journal; I came up with it some time last March when I was having insane reverse cultureshock and felt oppressed by having people who lived with me and cared about my welfare, a.k.a. my suitemates.
In Japan, when you sneeze, no one says anything. If anyone says something, it’s you and what you say is an apology: “I’m sorry I interrupted the silence by daring to have a bodily function; if necessary, I will physically scrub the air to rid it of my germs.” If you’re sneezing a lot (because you have hay fever or, god forbid, a cold, in which case you’ll probably be told to go to the “hospital”) you should invest in a face mask so people don’t stare at you on the subway even more than they already do because you’re a giant, ugly foreigner. But I joke; I think the Japanese style of responding to a sneeze with echoing, occasionally accusatory and guilt-inducing silence is much more natural.
In America, when you sneeze, people compete to say “god bless you” as quickly as they can. Who can say the most god bless yous in response to an intense sneeze sequence? How many times do Americans need to be blessed? Why do people sometimes say it in German (besides German being cooler than English)? Americans sneeze extravagantly, they sneeze like it’s going out of style. My mother sneezes like a cartoon character; she actually says ACHOO. I suspect sometimes that she’s sneezing to get attention. (My friend Paige does it too; maybe it’s a blond and/or youngest child thing.)
Why do our souls try so aggressively to escape? / why are demons and/or fairies always trying to get in? / whatever folkloric explanation for “god bless you” Western culture has come up with now? Japan is filled with weird crazy spirits and demons and they have an actual word for getting kidnapped by gods, yet they’re not worried about their souls escaping through a sneeze. Maybe that’s why – when a peaceful walk through the woods can end with you getting eaten by a woman with a giraffe neck, you’re less worried about harmless things like sneezes. (Freaking long-necked demons, the government should really do something about them.)
I wonder if Americans feel bad because their country isn’t haunted enough, so they climb to this flimsy superstition.
When I came back, I had to relearn bless you culture. One suitemate sneezes loudly in the next room (that’s you, Paige). BLESS YOU BLESS YOU BLESS YOU can be heard from every other room; do I still need to say it? We’re not even hanging out together. Why am I saying it? Because it’s polite? Because I want to beat the others to it? Why such a rush to say it when I’m not particularly concerned that her soul will escape? When I sneeze and immediately get four bless yous thrown at my face, I feel smothered, surrounded, a vague uneasiness, an unaccountable instinct to run away. The whole custom is baffling; what does it even mean, to ask God to bless someone post-sneeze?
But now, in September, moving back to the city and living with randoms from Craigslist, I miss having people to yell God Bless You!! at me four times in a row when my allergies are acting up. Having someone to say god bless yous to you means having someone to make sure you’re not dead or dying or trying to die on a regular basis. So, PSA: everyone check on me occasionally to make sure I haven’t tripped and cracked my head open in my room. If you’ve seen me walk, you know this is a real concern.
Interesting article about Asian American experience and how the stereotypically-Asian child-rearing techniques hurt Asians as soon as they leave the (mostly) meritocracy of schools.
1. On how even the most assimilated of Asian Americans feels the disadvantages of not having the childhood-on training in white culture that white people get by default.
2. On corporate and social bias against Asian Americans and some of the methods of rebellion / accommodation, including the rise of Asian-specific leadership seminars and Asian-male specific pick-up artists (I found the latter particularly fascinating.)
3. On how Amy Chua’s not particularly Asian at all, in the end.
Interesting for me for a variety of reasons, number one being that I can see how these influence my Asian American friends and number two being that learning Japanese is like going in the opposite direction - I’ve had to unlearn “tooting my own horn” etc.