Few if any commentators link these three consecutive events, different as they are in character and scale. Yet this paper suggests that all - from one small Okinawan island to the Japanese nation state and the US-Japan relationship - may profitably be considered within a single frame. It rests on the premise that it is profoundly mistaken to think in terms of the "Okinawa Problem" (and "Yonaguni problem") as distinct, self-contained and therefore relatively minor in significance. The three superficially distinct events of November 2014 all involve the democratic process, and may be seen as manifestations of a complex struggle whose nature is best perceived at the periphery, in Okinawa and Yonaguni, but which is deeply rooted in the nature of the Japanese state in Tokyo. Through their prism, much is to be learned of Japan itself - state, democracy, law, constitution, and diplomacy. This paper addresses first the "Japan problem," then the "Okinawa problem," and finally the "Yonaguni problem."
|Journal||The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|