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Table of Contents:
1) United Nations demands Tokyo introduce anti-discrimination law to counter hate speech (HRC report CCPR/C/JPN/CO/6 text included in full, citing “Japanese Only” signs, thanks)

2) UN: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers report of Japan 2014: Little progress made

3) Nikkei: Another Japanese nabbed for being like a “suspicious foreigner” in Ibaraki. Adding it to the collection

4) “No Foreigners” (and no women) Capsule Inn Omiya hotel in Saitama (UPDATE AUG 21: No-foreigner rule withdrawn, but lots more exclusionary hotels found on Rakuten)

By Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (,, twitter @arudoudebito)
Freely forwardable


1) United Nations demands Tokyo introduce anti-discrimination law to counter hate speech (HRC report CCPR/C/JPN/CO/6 text included in full, citing “Japanese Only” signs, thanks)

Good news. The United Nations has once again reviewed Japan’s human rights record (preliminary report below), and found it wanting. Here’s the bit that has been cited in Japan’s news media (also below):
Human Rights Committee
Concluding observations (2014) CCPR/C/JPN/CO/6
Human Rights Committee
Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of Japan (excerpt)

Hate speech and racial discrimination
12. The Committee expresses concern at the widespread racist discourse against members of minority groups, such as Koreans, Chinese or Burakumin, inciting hatred and discrimination against them, and the insufficient protection granted against these acts in the criminal and civil code. The Committee also expresses concern at the high number of extremist demonstrations authorised, the harassment and violence perpetrated against minorities, including against foreign students, as well the open display in private establishments of signs such as “Japanese only” (arts. 2, 19, 20 and 27).

The State should prohibit all propaganda advocating racial superiority or hatred that incites to discrimination, hostility or violence, and should prohibit demonstrations that intended to disseminate such propaganda. The State party should also allocate sufficient resources for awareness-raising campaigns against racism and increase its efforts to ensure that judges, prosecutors and police officials are trained to be able to detect hate and racially motivated crimes. The State party should also take all necessary steps to prevent racist attacks and to ensure that the alleged perpetrators are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with appropriate sanctions.

COMMENT: Happy to see the generally-overlooked aftermath of the Otaru Onsens Case and the information on’s Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments is still being cited. Keep the pressure on, UN. The media reaction and the UN report in full follows, and there’s lots more important stuff (including issues of “Trainee” NJ slave-wage work, Japan’s historical wartime sexual slavery, abuses of police power, and even Fukushima irradiation!)


2) UN: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers report of Japan 2014: Little progress made

In the previous post I talked about the UN’s most recent report on Japan’s human rights record (and how there seems to have been almost no progress made). Well, also interesting is the public record of the give-and-take between UN officials and Japan’s mission to the UN. That’s below. It offers a glimpse of the mindsets of Japan’s representatives, and how they will defend Japan’s status quo no matter what. The parts that are germane to are bolded up, so have a read. This is probably a glimpse as to what courses the GOJ will (not) take regarding human rights issues in future.

BTW, If you want to see how much has not changed (these UN reviews happen every two years), get a load of what happened last time Japan faced the music in the UN regarding its human rights record, back in 2010. The GOJ even claimed Japan was taking “every conceivable measure” to eliminate racial discrimination back in 2008 (yeah, except for an actual law against racial discrimination, unrequited since 1996!).’s archives and analysis go back even farther, so click here. And when everyone by now realizes that Japan’s human-rights efforts are a joke (seriously, back in 2013), the Japanese representative will angrily shout to the audience, “Why are you laughing? SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” This is not a joke.

Concluding remarks (excerpt):
ANWAR KEMAL, Committee Member acting as Country Rapporteur for the Report of Japan, said Japan was making progress in the implementation of the Convention. Japan had a democratic constitution and therefore should be able to adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination law which would plug the gaps in the domestic legislation as recommended by the Committee five years ago. It should be able to tackle racist hate speech without impeding upon the right to free speech. It should install a national human rights institution without delay…

AKIRA KONO, Ambassador to the United Nations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, [said] Japan would continue to make tireless efforts to improve the human rights situation without permitting any form of discrimination, including racial or ethnic.


3) Nikkei: Another Japanese nabbed for being like a “suspicious foreigner” in Ibaraki. Adding it to the collection

NH: According to the Nikkei, two weeks ago a no-good busybody “reported” to the police that there was a “suspicious foreigner” around. The police duly rushed to the scene and questioned a Philipino 20-year-old they found. They arrested him as caught in the act of not carrying his passport with him.

After 7 hours of questioning, through an interpreter it came to light he also had Japanese citizenship and his father is Japanese. They double-checked, and since it was true released him in the middle of the night. The police stated “We are sorry. We will try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The article and police statement does not find any fault with the person who reported a suspicious foreigner, or with the police for going and questioning people alleged to be suspicious foreigners. That is pretty much just the whole story. It’s not a bad law exam question, since we could ask, did he have to give up his Filipino citizenship now that he is 20, etc.? The article doesn’t go there either, of course. Another example of this law’s failure to account for Japan’s diverse population, and people getting caught in the cross-fire. I can only imagine how this young man felt about all of this.

COMMENT: I can imagine. I myself have been racially profiled (although not arrested) by J-cops on numerous occasions (see here and here, for example), even after naturalizing. So were these people (one of whom actually was arrested in 2006 for looking “too foreign”.) This is yet another reason why Japan needs laws against racial discrimination — because you can’t always tell anymore who’s “Japanese” based upon physical appearance alone. Innocent Japanese who don’t “look it” are going to get caught in any dragnet of suspicion.


4) “No Foreigners” (and no women) Capsule Inn Omiya hotel in Saitama (UPDATE AUG 21: No-foreigner rule withdrawn, but lots more exclusionary hotels found on Rakuten)

Joining the ranks of hundreds of other places nationwide that have “Japanese Only” rules in place is this capsule hotel called “Kapuseru In Ohmiya” in Miyamachi 5-3-1, Ohmiya-ku, Saitama, close to JR Omiya Station East Exit, phone 048-641-4122. Incidentally, and also in violation of Japan’s Hotel Management Law, it does not allow women to stay there either. Here’s a screen capture of their entry on Rakuten as of August 18, 2014, with all their contact details.
(Front door with directions there)
(Entire site with “No Foreigners” and “No Women” rules listed at very bottom)
Anyone want to give them a call, and/or to report them to the authorities? Here’s how…



Alright, that’s all until next month. Thanks as always for reading!
Dr. ARUDOU, Debito


  • John (Yokohama) says:

    “Fears abound at memorial for Koreans, Chinese slain after 1923 earthquake – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

    Participants at a regular memorial ceremony on Sept. 6 for Koreans and Chinese massacred by residents and authorities following the Sept. 1, 1923, Great Kanto Earthquake had a renewed sense of crisis.

    Concerns swirled at the service, held in a dry riverbed of Arakawa river in the Yahiro district of Tokyo’s Sumida Ward, that the same racial hatred that fueled those killings is resurfacing today.

    Recently, racially tinged hate speech has been hurled in rallies against foreigners across the nation, including ethnic Koreans living in Japan.

    “If a disaster occurs, groundless rumors could spread, and foreigners could become victims again,” said one of the 250 participants at the memorial ceremony.

    In the Great Kanto Earthquake, which devastated wide areas of the Kanto region in and around Tokyo, many groundless rumors swirled, such as “(Koreans) are poisoning the wells” and “Koreans will attack us.”

    As a result, many Koreans and Chinese were massacred by vigilante groups, which consisted of residents, as well as the military and the police.

    Singer Paggie Cho, 57, an ethnic Korean living in Japan, who sang a song as a memorial to the victims, said, “What occurred at the time of the Great Kanto Earthquake is not just a thing of the past now when hate speech is being publicly conducted.

    “I am concerned that, at a time of a disaster, mass hysteria could occur again among the Japanese people. As Japan has yet to appropriately settle that history, I feel there is the possibility that a similar incident will occur,” he said.

    In the area around the riverbed where the memorial ceremony was held, racially charged baseless rumors were spread after the Great Kanto Earthquake.

    Because of that, many local residents hacked Koreans to death with swords from the night of Sept. 1, 1923, when the disaster occurred. After that, members of the military also came to the area and shot Koreans to death and buried their bodies in the riverbed.

    A local elementary school teacher heard testimonies attesting to the massacre from the elderly in the 1970s. After that, citizens began to hold a memorial ceremony, with this year’s marking the 33rd. Residents also built a memorial monument nearby in 2009.

    One of the participants in this year’s ceremony was Kim Do-im, 77, who lives in Tokyo’s Ota Ward. Her mother’s elderly brother was killed at the age of 33.

    “He did not do any bad things. Despite that, he was killed only on the grounds that he was Korean. Because of that, my mother’s sadness was immense. We must not repeat such a tragedy again,” she said.

    In the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake, Chinese workers were also subject to being massacred. In remembrance, 18 Chinese people visited Japan from Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, in coastal China and took part in the ceremony, offering flowers to the victims.

    One was Zhou Jiangfa, 68, whose grandfather and four of his brothers were killed in Tokyo’s Koto Ward.

    The exact numbers of Koreans and Chinese slain at the time of the disaster are unknown. However, the common belief is that the number of Koreans murdered ranged from 1,000 to several thousands and that of Chinese victims totaled about several hundreds.”

  • It really has to be noted here (and I may have said this elsewhere, but it bears mentioning again) that this HAS happened again in recent history. It seems to ALWAYS happen.

    After Tohoku and Fukushima, we had the word “flyjin” focusing on how many foreigners were just leaving Japan. Note that that also was happening in the midst of worldwide praise for the Japanese: “See how calmly they’re standing in line? Isn’t it amazing that there are no riots happening in Tohoku now?” So, as the world praised Japan for their calm and order, somehow that same narrative appeared in Japan, but in reverse: “See how cowardly and disingenuous foreigners are? They’re all running away!”

    Fast forward to this year. After the landslides in Hiroshima, there were rumors of “foreigners” looting the houses. These rumors appeared within days – perhaps hours – of the disaster in question. My own wife brought them to our dinner table, saying there were rumors of crime in Hiroshima.

    It’s worth noting that there WAS looting in Fukushima done by Japanese people after the evacuations. Interestingly, my wife and mother-in-law were unaware of that (but they had heard the rumors about Hiroshima).

    So nothing has really changed except that they’re not that big on wartime mass murder anymore – but scapegoating foreigners is still a pretty big thing.

  • [Moved here so as to be on topic.]
    In another thread, Jim Di Griz wrote:

    And in related news;

    Immigration official tells German; ‘We are only following orders’!
    Ouch! That’s gotta smart a little!


    While not German, I too have had nothing but trouble since the introduction of the zairyū cards. I spent a total of 7 hours over two days at immigration trying to resolve the issue, but to no success. I use a 通称名 in kanji that is significantly different from my passport name. Regardless of a Japanese diploma, 国家資格, bank accounts, and other forms of proof, they will simply not add it to the card. As such, just like the German residents in the article, the card cannot function as daily ID. And I was essentially told as much: a zairyū card is NOT ID. While translated as “[temporary] residence card”, this zairyū is in fact short for zairyū shikaku (在留資格), your immigration status. Its purpose is solely for immigration matters, such as at an international airport or immigrations building. They have no need for any information that is not on your passport already, so nothing else is included. While not prohibited, its purpose is not to function as something useful in your daily life after passing through the airport.

    The solution to this (though immigrations may not tell you) is to stop trying to use the zairyū card for non-immigration matters. Rather you should go to your city/ward office and apply for a 住民基本台帳カード. This is based on the information in your 住民票, which for me includes my kanji name. For long-term Germans, it surely has the preferred form from before 2012 when the system changed. There is absolutely no information regarding your immigration status, visa expiration, work permissions, nationality or other such non-relevant nonsense.

    So let the zairyū card rot in your wallet and forget about it until the next time you that you need to pass through an international airport or are racially profiled by the police. For everything else, just use your jūki card.

  • @Mumei, #3 Thanks for the Juki Card advice. I have it, and am wondering, did you (or anyone else here) manage to get it printed with “通称名 Only” (e.g. “田中 良太郎”) or does everyone have the “ROMAN LETTERS AS IT APPEARS ON PASSPORT plus 通称名” (e.g. “FAMILY FIRST MIDDLE / 田中 良太郎”)

    I currently have the latter, and I’m hoping to find someone with the former, because if you tell me what city hall you got the “通称名 Only” version at I can then call that city hall and hopefully charm them into helping to explain to my city hall that “Yes, a ‘通称名 Only’ version is possible and here is how to print it.”

    Currently, although showing the Juki card as I.D. is indeed much better than showing the Zairyū Card, my current Juki card is still unfortunately announcing (with the Roman letters) that “This here is a foreigner, you can treat him differently” (for example exclusion based on nationality, by credit card companies in Japan who often decline issuing credit to Non-Japanese citizens, regardless of actual credit history.)

    So, as you kindly pointed out, Juki is better than Zairyū, and I’m hoping that some Non-Japanese citizen here in Japan might have been lucky enough to get a Juki “通称名 Only” version, and might be kind enough to let us know which city hall issued that. Thanks.

    PS – Mumei, please know in your heart that it has been noticed by readers here that you kindly post important factual useful information here, again and again, consistently ( Much Gratitude for helping our human being family so altruistically. Thank you. 🙂

  • Remember ‘Abenomics’?
    Remember it had 3 ‘arrows’?
    The 3rd arrow was reform, deregulation.
    As part of that deregulation, Abe touted ‘special economic zones’ that would be friendly to NJ and NJ investment.
    One of those zones was Osaka, where the municipal assembly has just slapped down an idea for home owners to rent out unoccupied property to NJ ( an activity now somehow prohibited by laws regulating hotels).
    Why was the idea slapped down? Because these places will become hot-beds of foreign crime, apparently.

  • Watching Tokudane this morning, they showed the Apple store in Osaka with people lining up to buy the iPhone 6 as soon as the doors opened.
    Unfortunately, the whole theme of the piece was the idea that Chinese shoppers are some how stealing Japan’s iPhones (by lining up and paying for them? What’s the fuss? So what if they sell them after?).

    Anyway, the ‘news’ showed the crowd lining up outside the door shouting 帰れ!帰れ!, like they were chanting it at a football match, at the Chinese shoppers.

  • Dengue fever reporting shows Japan’s extreme sensitivity to the outside world.

    Why was Dengue fever in Yoyogi park?
    According to one Japanese expert;
    “The event was visited by many people from Southeast Asia,” he says. “It can be assumed that the mosquitoes bit people infected with the dengue virus and then subsequently bit Japanese.”

    Ahh, ‘assumption, the mother of all (you know the rest)’.

    The article concludes, with a total lack of self-awareness or irony;
    ‘Will the mosquito problem fade away of its own accord, or will it become a long-term headache for public health authorities in the runup to the 2020 Olympics, the main stadium for which borders on — you guessed it — Yoyogi Park?’

    After all, we can’t have those dangerous foreigners coming to Japan and making it dangerous for….foreigners?

  • @ Jim, in other countries you have to reserve to get an i phone 6, or line up and hope theyve got enough in stock.
    “Stealing “Japan’s” i phones- now that is postmodernism plus globalism, plus a weird jealousy from the otaku/herbivore demographic (used to be “stealing our women”, now its stealing our American made machines).

    Oh the ironies. Still, America must be happy how it’s products tie Asian countries to them politically and culturally.

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    And on the news tonight, there was yet another “foreigners amazed at Japan’s ¥100 shops” features.
    And while we hear how great Daiso and Cando are, the fact that many, if not most, of their amazing products are made in China.

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    “Kunitachi city adopts statement to outlaw ‘hate speech’ – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

    In a first by a local government, the Kunitachi city assembly in western Tokyo adopted a statement demanding the central government take legislative action to ban “hate speech” rallies in Japan.

    The assembly’s move on Sept. 19 prompted immediate protests.

    The city government on Sept. 22 received 15 calls opposing the statement. Some demanded the assembly revoke its decision because it “goes against freedom of expression,” the assembly secretariat said.

    Assembly members proposed the statement after a United Nations anti-discrimination committee on Aug. 29 issued recommendations, known as “concluding observations,” that expressed concerns about the increase in hate speech rallies and xenophobic Internet messages against ethnic Koreans in Japan.

    The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination also urged the Japanese government to ban hate speech and racial discrimination while respecting freedom of speech and the people’s right to hold public demonstrations.

    The Kunitachi city’s opinion paper states that the city assembly asks the government to “sincerely accept the U.N. recommendations” and to “enact legislation to ban discrimination against social minorities.”

    Excluding the chairman, 19 of the 20 assembly members voted in favor of the statement.

    “We hope that the statement will apply pressure on the central government and the Diet to take prompt action to address the issue,” assembly member Kazuko Uemura said.

    The assembly plans to deliver the statement to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, both houses of the Diet and the Justice Ministry.”

  • Foreign Policy Journal Japan • News Analysis
    Racism and Inferiority Complex in Japan’s Current Foreign Policy towards China
    by Peter Baofu |  July 22, 2014

    CONCLUSION: The nationalistic leadership of Shinzo Abe in contemporary Japan will not be the last of its kind even after he is gone in some years from now, but the historical meaning of his foreign policy has much to do with the truly very painful transition of contemporary Japan to a new epoch of East Asia history, when Japan is a declining power and will eventually fall back to the shadow of its former self, as it has for millennia, this time in the orbit of “China’s return to greatness,” which is totally unacceptable (in a very painful way) to its obsolescent racism against (or condescension towards) the Chinese but will be gradually absorbed by its growing inferiority complex in the making.

    But between now and then is a tormentous path to go through, so this very painful transition from racism (superiority complex) to inferiority complex in the current Japanese psyche will continue for years to come, until the growing Japanese inferiority complex will eventually overcome its declining racism (superiority complex) in due time, that is to say, until the so-called “China’s return to greatness” is ever more realized in the rest of the 21st century (and beyond).

  • Hate speech in Japan
    Spin and substance
    A troubling rise in xenophobic vitriol
    Sep 27th 2014 | TOKYO | From the print edition

    IN OSAKA’s strongly Korean Tsuruhashi district, a 14-year-old Japanese girl went out into the streets last year calling through a loudspeaker for a massacre of Koreans. In Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo neighbourhood, home to one of the largest concentrations of Koreans in Japan, many people say the level of anti-foreigner vitriol—on the streets and on the internet—is without modern precedent. Racists chant slogans such as “Get out of our country”, and “Kill, kill, kill Koreans”.

    Perhaps for the first time, this is becoming a problem for Japan’s politicians and spin doctors (to say nothing of the poor Koreans). The clock is counting down to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and lawmakers are coming under pressure to rein in the verbal abuse and outright hate speech directed at non-Japanese people, chiefly Koreans.

    Japan has about 500,000 non-naturalised Koreans, some of whom have come in the past couple of decades but many of whose families were part of a diaspora that arrived during Japan’s imperial era in the first half of the 20th century. They have long been targets of hostility. After the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, Tokyo residents launched a pogrom against ethnic Koreans, claiming that they had poisoned the water supply.

    So far the abuse has stopped short of violence. There have also been counter-demonstrations by Japanese citizens in defence of those attacked. But the police have been passive in the face of verbal assaults. And there is clearly a danger that one day the attacks will turn violent.

    So the government is under pressure to act. In July, the UN’s human-rights committee demanded that Japan add hate speech to legislation banning racial discrimination. Tokyo’s governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, has pressed the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to pass a law well before the games.

    The courts, too, are beginning to move. In July Osaka’s high court upheld an earlier ruling over racial discrimination that ordered Zaitokukai, an ultra-right group that leads hate-speech rallies across the country, to pay ¥12m ($111,000) for its tirades against a pro-North Korean elementary school in Kyoto. At least one right-wing group, Issuikai, which is anti-American and nostalgic for the imperial past, abhors the anti-Korean racism. Its founder, Kunio Suzuki, says he has never seen such anti-foreign sentiment.

    The backdrop to a sharp rise in hate-filled rallies is Japan’s strained relations with South Korea (over the wartime issue of Korean women forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese army) and North Korea (which abducted Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s). But, says Mr Suzuki of Issuikai, the return of Mr Abe to office in 2012 also has something to do with it. The nationalist prime minister and his allies have been mealy-mouthed in condemning hate speech.

    Even if Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) bows to the need to improve Japan’s image overseas, the message is likely to remain mixed. Earlier in September a photograph emerged of Eriko Yamatani, the new minister for national public safety and the overseer of Japan’s police, posing in 2009 for a photograph with members of Zaitokukai. The government says she did not know that the people she met were connected to the noxious group. Yet Ms Yamatani has form when it comes to disputing the historical basis of the practice of wartime sex slavery.

    Many reasonable people worry that a new hate-speech law, improperly drafted, could harm freedom of expression. But one revisionist politician, Sanae Takaichi, said, shortly before she joined the cabinet in September, that if there were to be a hate-speech law, it should be used to stop those annoying people (invariably well-behaved and often elderly) demonstrating against the government outside the Diet: lawmakers, she added, needed to work “without any fear of criticism”. Ms Takaichi’s office has since been obliged to explain why, with Tomomi Inada, another of Mr Abe’s close allies, she appeared in photographs alongside a leading neo-Nazi. Some of the hate, it seems, may be inspired from the top.

  • Japanese companies being caught with their hands in the cookie jar again. But this time, punished and reported, since no one does so in side Japan:

    “..Japanese Company Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing on Ocean Shipping Services for Cars and Trucks…..WASHINGTON—Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line), a Japanese corporation, has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $67.7 million criminal fine for its involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers, and rig bids of international ocean shipping services for roll-on, roll-off cargo, such as cars and trucks, to and from the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today….”


  • @ John (Yokohama) #10

    That’s great news!
    Now let’s see if it will stand, or if they will be forced to back down. After all, protecting my safety, and the safety of my kids, and protecting my families right to go outside without being verbally abused and physically intimidated, has so far always been less important than some J-loser’s right to scream insults at us over a megaphone, or block our way in the street and verbally abuse us.

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    Note the odd wording here… “Three Japan-born scientists”… one of them is not Japanese any more.

    “Three Japanese scientists”

    “Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Japan-born U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura”

    “3 Japanese win Nobel Prize in Physics”

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    “Politician retracts slur against indigenous Okinawans – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

    NAHA–An Okinawa assemblyman was forced to apologize after he was accused of insulting the island’s indigenous people by associating their traditional dress with “rags” and suggesting they wore “very dark” faces.

    Moriyuki Teruya, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Okinawa prefectural chapter, sparked the controversy during an assembly session Oct. 2 when he criticized the attire worn by Keiko Itokazu, a local representative in the Upper House of the Diet, when she attended a U.N. conference in New York on indigenous peoples in September.

    “It would have been appropriate if (she) had attended wearing rags and making her face look very dark, instead of wearing a (noble person’s) traditional outfit of the Ryukyu Kingdom,” Teruya, 58, said.

    Opposition parties immediately lashed out at Teruya’s remarks, saying they put down Okinawa’s traditions and history.

    Itokazu is head of the Okinawa Social Mass Party. She attended the U.N. conference to highlight strong local opposition in Okinawa to the construction of a U.S. military base there.

    Facing a firestorm over his remarks, Teruya told the assembly’s plenary session on Oct. 10: “(My comments) were inappropriate. I apologize and take them back.”

    He added, “I am Japanese and meant to make it clear that I do not see myself as a descendant of the Ryukyu Kingdom, but the way I put it was inappropriate.”

    In Okinawa, differing interpretations of the history surrounding the kingdom and its relations with Japan’s main islands often spark heated political debates.

    In the gubernatorial election in November, Hirokazu Nakaima, the 75-year-old incumbent, stressed the importance of collaborating with the central government over U.S. military bases and other issues. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s LDP endorses the governor.

    But Takeshi Onaga, 64, Nakaima’s main rival and a former mayor of Naha, has ardently argued Okinawa has the “right of self-determination,” citing the island prefecture’s distinct history. He has gained support among opponents of the U.S. military bases.

    The Ryukyu Kingdom prospered from 1429 through 1879. It developed a distinct culture, largely influenced by China, the Korean Peninsula and countries in Southeast Asia.

    It was eventually dismantled by the Meiji government and annexed as part of the southern islands to make them part of Japan.”


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