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Militarized CurrentsToward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific$
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Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L. Camacho

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665051

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665051.001.0001

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Rising Up from a Sea of Discontent

Rising Up from a Sea of Discontent

The 1970 Koza Uprising in U.S.-Occupied Okinawa

(p.91) 5 Rising Up from a Sea of Discontent
Militarized Currents

Wesley Iwao Ueunten

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the 1970 Koza uprising in U.S.-occupied Okinawa and highlights the shared links between Okinawan, African American, and Third World movements in response to U.S. imperialism and militarism. In the midst of the rebellion, Okinawans purposefully refrained from harming African American soldiers, saying that they were “the same as us.” As a territory that has been colonized by Japan and the United States and continues to remain under de facto shared rule by the U.S. military and the Japanese government, Okinawa represents the coarticulation of this complementary and dual neocolonial system. Despite the fact that Okinawa comprises only 0.6 percent of Japanese national territory, 75 percent of U.S. military bases in Japan are concentrated in Okinawa. Okinawa was officially reverted from U.S. military governance back to the Japanese government in 1972, yet its economy, territory, and peoples remain subordinate to the U.S. military’s commanding presence that occupies approximately 11 percent of its lands and 19 percent of Okinawa’s main island.

Keywords:   imperialism, militarism, Koza uprising, Okinawa, Japan, United States, military bases

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