Dear President Obama:
My first letter to you was a recommendation that you as an American President apologize to the people of Japan for the atomic bombs dropped on their soil at the end of WW2. It will definitely have an enormous effect on the cool relations that exist today between our two countries. However, if you decide not to do so, which is also an option, how can the unrelenting anti-American sentiment be resolved.
Before I present my options I would like to express my sadness regarding the departure of Mr. Kevin Maher, the former US Consulate General in Okinawa. Although, I have no reason to stick my neck in to American internal affairs, I have tremendous respect for Mr. Maher and his devotion to our two countries.
He is correct on his evaluation of Okinawan attitude although his remarks were not professional. Immediately after the fall of Okinawa and for the past 66 years Okinawans have been spoiled by the US government and the Japanese government. The more we gave the more they demanded and the present issue follows suit. They take US bases as hostage for ransom. I am not wrong on this because I have known Okinawan issue since 1978 when the US returned the island to my country.
My wife and I visited Kadena US Air Force base last year to interviethe public relations officer. He spoke quite candidly about his frustrations in trying to work with the Okinawan population. Many efforts were made to reach out with the varied programs that were designed to better relations between the two countries, however, nothing seemed to work.
Here are my ideas to resolve the issues facing the US and Japan on the island of Okinawa.
1) US can do nothing and accept the status quo.
2) Japanese must meet the Americans half way. By this I mean Japan must come up with the
burden of the their own national security. Their defense budget should match the world average in relation to their GDP.
The US will now have more room to secure the Asian Pacific region. With the upgraded budget Japan can now build a conventional aircraft carrier or rent the Kitty Hawk(decommitioned 09) which can be used to accommodate the US Marines off shore.
A force is needed in this area to maintain peace on the isolated islands and Taiwan. This should be a joint Naval force activity. A joint naval force will unite the US and Japan which has never been seen before and this will send a clear image of the two great alliances to the Pacific Rim and the world.
In my opinion the most powerful move would be for Japan to change their Pacifist Constitution, although, Japan may not change their current Constitution. However, it does not prohibit the collective defense action between our two countries, which means that the Japanese forces will assist and supply any necessary logistics in the event of a conflict with the Chinese Navy. Meantime, Japanese Marines, which we don't have at this moment and are being discussed, would
replace the US marines stationed in Okinawa.
In my view, a 66 year occupation by American forces in our country is unhealthy for a proud nation. The Japanese will never redeem their national pride as long as the current status continues. Mr. President, please give us back our pride. I know you can do it.
I would do anything to eliminate the anti-American movement in my country in order to regain independence and national pride.
Nobuyoshi Ozaki / Christine Aragon Mandeville Louisiana
USS Kitty Hawak(CV-63) conventionally-fuelled aircraft carrier (1956～2009)