【PART 1】 Mystery of Okinawa: Military Bases and the Constitution

 

【3】 “Japanese politicians and bureaucrats lack integrity”

 

Such circumstances in Okinawa are a result of submitting to U.S. requests, of course. Hence, American officials are happy to have the Japanese side comply. Yet, at the same time, Americans despise such an attitude?that of obeying whatever a dominant power says, even permitting actions in one’s own country, in violation of one’s own people’s human rights, that would never be allowed unconditionally in the power’s own homeland. The Americans, therefore, deplore the attitude of Japanese officials for exactly that submission.

An American friend of my own age, who works for a newspaper publisher, confirms this. He describes this attitude of Japanese politicians and officials as, from the American point of view, “lacking integrity.”

In Americans’ judgment of other people, “integrity” is a very important criterion. It essentially means consistency, refusing to change your position under pressure of the situation. In other words, it means having good ethical principles, maintaining your position even if a powerful entity tells you to change it. It also means refusing to tell irresponsible lies even if it is in your interest to do so.

Such a firmly consistent person is called “a person of integrity,” and highly regarded. He or she is seen as moral and incorrupt. On the other hand, if you are called “a person of no integrity,” it is a complete denial of your character. There is much evidence showing that American officials involved in negotiations with Japan despise the Japanese politicians and bureaucrats for yielding to foreign pressure and allowing this situation to continue.