Japanese Solidarity with U.S.-Occupied Okinawa in the 1950s: Reflections on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Reversion of Okinawa to Japan

Fumi Inoue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The year 2022 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Okinawa’s reversion to Japan. This article examines the Japan Civil Liberties Union’s 1955 solidarity activism on occupied Okinawa, which generated Japanese civil society’s first awakening to the “Okinawa problem.” The Asahi Shinbun’s front-page article on the organization’s publication “Human Rights Problems in Okinawa” and its follow-up coverage triggered public debate influencing Japan/U.S. official policies on Okinawa. Drawing on archival evidence, the article illuminates the contested nature of Japanese activism caught between Cold War Asia and decolonizing Asia. It argues that the 1955 activist movement shaped the subsequent trajectory of Japanese engagement with the “Okinawa problem.”

Original languageEnglish
Article number5707
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Volume20
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 15
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • American military bases
  • decolonization
  • human rights
  • Japan
  • Okinawa
  • race
  • solidarity activism
  • the Third World
  • the United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History
  • Cultural Studies

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