Women in Comparative Societies
Chalmers Johnson:  Blowback
Okinawa:  Asia's Last Colony

professor emeritus, UC San Diego
president of Japan Policy Research Institute
MITI and the Japanese Economic Miracle
Japan:  Who Governs?

refers to unintended consequences for American foreign policies

The "policies" in question in this chapter
1) America's continued occupation of Japan, use of Japanese controlled territory (Okinawa) as a military outpost, base
2) Like Enloe, Johnson is encouraging us to see the human (gendered) costs of the bases
the lawlessness and license "enjoyed" by American military personnel stationed in Asia, especially

The Incident
massive protests (85,000 people! - p. 42)
triggered by gang rape of 12 year old Okinawan schoolgirl by

3 American servicemen in September 1994
Marine Pfc. Rodrico Harp
Seaman Marcus Gill
Marine Pfc. Kendrick Ledet
bound and gagged the girl with duct tape, drove her in a rental car to remote location, gagged raped her

Admiral Richard C Macke remarks, "For the price they paid to rent the car, they could have had the girl" (35).

What does his "lighthearted" comment reveal about American military officers' attitudes toward local women and children?  Asian women/girls?

"[F]rom an Okinawan point of view, Admiral Macke's remark merely confirmed what they had already long experienced:  that this was not an isolated incident committed by undisciplined enlisted men but part of a pattern ignored, if not condoned, at the highest levels of the American military hierarchy" (37).

See Enloe here
Part of militarism
"boys will be boys" mentality
troops need to "blow off steam" by frequenting brothels, treating local women as chattle, commodities to enhance their "rest and relaxation"

Yet stats on the extent of sexual violence, violent crime against women in US military areas hard to come by due to agreements brokered with foreign governments
In Asia, US policy of "extra-territoriality" dating back to Opium War (1839-42)
if Euroepan, American or Japanese committed crime in China, foreigner would be turned over to own consular officials, rather than being tried under the laws of the country where the crime occurred

"reflected the belief that Asian law was barbaric and that no 'civilized' person should be subjected to it" (43)

Today, extra-territoriality applies in Japan or Korea for service person, spouses or children of service people
Article 17, section 5 of the Japan -US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stipulateds that service people and their families shall be detained by US authorities until Japanese law enforcement agencies file complaints with prosecutors' office (43)

delays often give US authorities a chance to ship suspects home
Scant evidence:
1949 reproted killing 29 Okinawans and raping 18 others in only 6 mos.
1/4-1/3 of 3rd Marine Division stationed there in 1958 had some form of VD

1972-1995 4,716 crimes committed by US servicemen (acc. to prefecture policy records)
A team of investigative reporters in the US estimated that between 1988 and 1994 there were 169 courst-martial (for navy and marines only) for sexual assault in Japan, 66% more than at San Diego (twice the personnel) (41)

hundreds of other offenders are allowed to go free despite court-martial convictions (42)

The reporters concluded, "covering up sexual assault is Pentagon policy" (42)

one of the Ryukyu Islands
454 sq. miles, the size of LA, smaller than Kauai
42 bases
a prefecture of Japan
one of the most densely populated areas in the world
history of colonization, imperialism at hands of Japanese (annexed in late 19th C)
WWII 3-month Battle of Okinawa cost 14000 American lives, 234,000 Japanese lives - justification for nuclear bombings
Vital to the Korean War and Vietnam War efforts

Earlier protest against American presence during Vietnam War
led to return of island to Japanese control
Japan pours money into the island yet still poorest prefecture with only 70% level of national wealth

today, US pays "sympathy budget"