Okinawa demands explanation from Japanese gov’t on new security documents

Governor of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture Denny Tamaki

Xinhua News

28th January 2023 – (Tokyo) Governor of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture Denny Tamaki has requested a detailed explanation from the Japanese government on its plan to strengthen defence forces in the southwest region, which was mentioned in the updated security documents.

The governor made the request when submitting a petition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, local media reported.

Tamaki met with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenji Yamada and handed over the petition, asking the government to immediately elaborate on the development process of the new security documents, its impact on local areas, and the changes it might bring to the residents of Okinawa, Kyodo News reported.

Last December, the Japanese government approved three updated documents on its security and defense policies, namely the new National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy and the Defense Buildup Program.

The documents all mentioned strengthening Japan’s self-defense forces on Okinawa with greater access to local airfields and ports.

Analysts here said the release of the documents marks a fundamental shift in Japan’s post-war security ideology and defense policy, in complete violation of its exclusively defense-oriented policy and pacifism embodied in the Constitution of Japan.

Such a major policy shift lacked parliament discussion or any explanation to Okinawa residents who will be most affected, experts noted.