【PART 3】 The Mystery of the Security Treaty Village (1): The Showa Emperor and the Constitution of Japan

 

【2】 Double restriction

 

Here are two examples.

The first example is the U.S. Air Force Helicopter Crash at Okinawa International University, which I mentioned in PART 1. At the time of the crash, the U.S. Forces got over the fences of the base and seized control of the university crash site, closing it off. No Japanese police, politicians, or bureaucrats could enter the university without the U.S. Forces’ permission. That made it obvious to everyone that Japan is practically a colonial satellite of the U.S.

Of course, neighborhood residents were furious. But what is remarkable here is the fact that even the top officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who rarely complain to the U.S., got very angry, saying “This is outrageous” when their efforts to enter the sight were rejected by the U.S. Forces.

The Japanese government, compelled by the strong rage of the residents and top government officials, resolved to institute a new agreement with the U.S. Forces. They decided to reconsider fundamentally the restrictive rules of U.S. military aircraft accident sites.

That appears to be a reasonable measure. It seems that we can be relieved that the government finally changed its mind and has begun to cope with those issues.

The biggest problem here, however, is that the ones in a position to discuss such new agreements are the members of the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee, which I introduced in PART 1. As a result, the new agreement (Guidelines Regarding Off-Base US Military Aircraft Accidents in Japan), which was ratified eight months after the accident, is as follows:

(1) Site/access control involves two cordons: inner cordons and outer cordons.

(2) The outer cordon will be established and controlled by Japanese authority.

(3) The inner cordon will have one entry control point (ECP) to process entry into the restricted area by responsible officials from both the government of Japan and U.S.

(4) The U.S. side will retain control over all wreckage, parts, pieces and debris.

It seems Japan’s complaints have been addressed, judging from the third point’s assurance that “entry control point at the inner cordon will be controlled by both Japan and U.S.” But what is assured by point (3) is withdrawn by point (4), which stipulates that “the U.S. side will retain control over all wreckage, parts, pieces and debris.” In other words, the U.S. side can establish the restrictive cordon in order to control all wreckage and parts scattered in a wide range.

This means the area under control is exactly the same as in the diagram. It is just that one cordon has changed to three cordons. The situation where “the inner side of the restrictive area set by U.S. Forces is exclusively controlled by U.S. Forces” remains unchanged. This is the first example of “three in the morning, four in the evening.” Japan was tricked when offered an agreement that looked like an improvement but was essentially the same as before.