When President Obama went to Hiroshima, the American media focused on what he would – or wouldn’t – say about Harry Truman’s horrendous war crime against the Japanese people. Would he apologize? Leaving aside how one apologizes for such a monstrous act – short of committing seppuku – as it turned out he just spoke in harmless generalities about the dangers of nuclear weapons, expressing a commendable albeit vague wish to rid the world of them. What the pundits mostly ignored, however, was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s outrage at the latest murderous sex crime committed by an American soldier stationed on Okinawa; the brutal murder of 20-year-old Rina Shimabukuro by a US military contractor.
Before Obama arrived, Abe gave vent to his anger: “I am extremely upset. I have no words. I demand that the United States take strict measures to prevent something like this from happening again.” Those are stern words coming from a Japanese leader: Japanese officials almost never express strong emotions, especially when dealing with the United States. For Abe to say he “demands” something in this context is like Donald Trump talking about how Mexico is going to pay for The Wall. And when Obama did arrive, Abe brought the subject up again. As the Washington Post reported:
“Using surprisingly strong language, the Japanese prime minister said he felt ‘profound resentment’ at the ‘self-centered and absolutely despicable crime.
“’I have asked the president to carry out effective measures to prevent a recurrence of such crimes,’ Abe said, a solemn-faced Obama standing beside him.”
For the craven American puppet Abe to breach protocol in this way, the provocation would’ve had to have been enormous. And it was. The murderer, one Kenneth Franklin Gadson, is a former US Marine turned military contractor assigned to Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base. After sexually assaulting Shimabukuro, who had gone for a walk near her home, Gadson dumped her body in the woods. He admitted to the crime under questioning.
Just a few days prior, another sex crime committed on Okinawa by a US soldier was in the news: 24-year-old Justin Castellanos, a seaman stationed at US Marine Corps Camp Schwab, is accused of raping a Japanese woman at a hotel. Castellanos is pleading guilty.
These are the latest in a long line of such crimes, which keep coming without respite. Since 1972, there have been over 120 cases of rape by American military personnel on the island of Okinawa. And that’s just the cases that are reported. All in all, there have been over 4,700 crimes committed by US soldiers on the island since Okinawa reverted to nominal Japanese control.
Attention came to be focused on this outrageous situation in 1995, when three US servicemen kidnapped a 12-year-old Japanese girl, bound her with duct tape, and gang-raped her. Massive protests followed, and yet since that time basically nothing has been done. American military personnel continues to prey on Japanese women, raping and robbing with abandon. The weak-kneed Japanese government, which allows the continued occupation of Okinawa, loves its status as an American colony too much to make too much of a fuss. After all, in exchange for playing out their role as a conquered nation, the Japanese get to export cheap well-made goods to the US tariff-free, while they refuse to drop their tariffs on American goods. Honor is one thing, but money is quite another.