Oliver Stone, the award-winning Hollywood director and known Japanophile, leads a list of 28 artists, activists and scholars from around the world who are condemning the United States’ construction of a new military base in Okinawa, Japan. This group released a statement on Jan. 7, speaking out against the relocation of the highly controversial U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa to a new facility in Nago, also located in the same prefecture.
The statement says that plans to build a new base in Nago can be considered a deepened and extended “military colonization of Okinawa at the expense of the people and the environment.” The statement also speaks strongly against Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima’s decision to approve the land reclamation needed for the new base, saying that the governor’s decision “does not reflect the popular will of the people of Okinawa.” Stone had earlier visited Okinawa in August of 2013 with a view to study the deep issues that stem from the United States’ military presence in Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Stone had declared after the visit that he strongly believed that the U.S. military bases were “no longer necessary.”
Aside from the famed director, signatories of the said statement include John Dower, MIT professor emeritus of Japanese history and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Embracing Defeat,” Daniel Ellsberg, senior fellow at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a former U.S. Defense and State Department official who leaked confidential U.S. government information about the Vietnam War, known as the “Pentagon Papers,” and famed MIT linguist and theorist Noam Chomsky.