Human Rights in Okinawa

Human Rights in Okinawa

Top military men.., believe that Okinawa has decided advantages over Japan and the Philippines as a site for American air bases. They point out that in Japan and the Philippines the US must deal with independent governments which may not always be so favorably inclined to the idea of playing host to US military forces. In both countries there is organized—and—vocal opposition to the leasing of bases to the US.


The US formally recognized today full Philippines sovereignty over US military bases in this island republic … It said the US would turn over the full title to all bases but did not say when.
(NEW YORK TIMES, July 4, 1956)

Some may consider us naive when we speak of God-given rights, of the dignity of man and the equal sovereignty of all peoples. If these are simple views, then we are proud to be a simple people. We know that you will share these views for you too believe that the greatness of nations is judged by eternal standards of right and wrong, and not by the accident of military and economic power.

(VICE-PRESIDENT NIXON, Manila, July 3, 1956)

On July 4 the New York Times reported a speech by Vice-President Nixon in Manila. This speech was considered so important that it was given two front-page stories. In the same issue the Times gave 32 lines to a report from Tokyo that the Japanese Government hoped to confer with the US Government, in order to get better treatment for the citizens of the US-governed Japanese island of Okinawa. Taken together these two stories explain why the US has such difficulty persuading the “neutralist” governments that its intentions toward Asia are democratic and humane. Mr. Nixon presented the idealistic words; the item from Tokyo called attention to the reality.