2011/03/08

米国務省部長の発言を考える


米国務省メア日本部長 確かに顔つきはいけすかない(笑


米国務省部長の「ゆすり」発言に揺れているが、この事象は実に様々な考察を与えてくれる出来事だと思う。

確かに、学生時代に近代史が好きで本を読み漁り、沖縄には幾度も訪れ、ひめゆり平和祈念資料館にも何度か足を運び、その度に涙した私は、この報道に初め眉を顰めたことは間違えない。

一方で、ある種政治的な”タブー”として沖縄問題を捉えねばならない風潮、なにより、”失言”ひとつで政治生命が絶たれてしまうような、日本の風土自体が大きな問題ではなかろうかと思う。

勿論、政治の裏側を熟知しているわけでもなく、実際に沖縄で苦しい思いをされた方々の気持ちなど汲むことはできるはずもなく、このような発言は甚だ軽率かも知れない。

ただ、それなりに事情に通じている、立場のある人間の発言なだけに、”ゆすり”発言は揺るぎない事実に基づく内容であろうことは、十分に推測できるし、講義は「オフレコ(公開しないこと)で行った」という大人の対応に、日本の政治家が見習うべき点があるかと感じる。

日本の社会には、”区別”や”けじめ”が足りないのではないか。
そして、それが今の閉塞的な日本を作り上げている気がしてならない。

私は、この報道を聞くたびに、残念な日本の状況について思いめぐらしては、項垂れるばかりだ。

但し、沖縄県議会の迅速な対応は立派。
尖閣諸島中国漁船衝突事件でも同様の対応がなされればどれ程良かったかと、日本人の感情として率直に思う。

(参考-nikkei)

■第一報

米国務省のメア日本部長(前駐沖縄総領事)が昨年末、米大学生らに国務省内で行った講義で、日本人は合意重視の和の文化を「ゆすりの手段に使う」「沖縄の人は怠惰」などと発言していたことが6日までに分かった。メア氏は米軍普天間飛行場(沖縄県宜野湾市)の移設問題など日米交渉に実務者として深く関与、移設先を同県名護市の辺野古崎地区とした現行案決着を米側で強く主張してきた人物の一人。

メア氏は共同通信の取材に、講義は「オフレコ(公開しないこと)で行った」とし、発言録は「正確でも完全でもない」としている。〔共同〕


■第二報



枝野官房長官、米国務省部長の沖縄発言「大変遺憾」

枝野幸男官房長官は8日午前の参院予算委員会で、米国務省のメア日本部長(前駐沖縄総領事)が沖縄県民を「(日本政府に対する)ごまかしとゆすりの名人」と発言したとの一部報道に関し「事実なら、沖縄県民のみならず日本国民の感情を傷つけるもので容認し難い。こうした報道自体が大変遺憾だ」と不快感を示した。そのうえで「現在、米国内でも対応について検討していると聞いている。近く米国側から説明がある」と述べた。

民主党の安井美沙子氏への答弁。(日経QUICKニュース)

■直近


「ゆすり」発言問題 官房長官が米駐日大使に抗議

枝野幸男官房長官は8日、ルース米駐日大使と電話し、米国務省のメア日本部長が「沖縄の人はごまかしとゆすりの名人」と発言したとされる問題について「事実なら極めて不適切だ。沖縄県民のみならず、日本人の心情を著しく傷つけるものであり容認しがたい」などと抗議した。

ルース大使は「沖縄県民の心情を深く傷つける深刻な事態になってしまったことを遺憾に思う」と陳謝。「伝えられている発言は米国政府の政策や米国が沖縄の人々に持つ最大限の敬意と全く相いれない」と釈明した。

菅直人首相は記者団に「そういう発言があったとすれば遺憾だ」と述べた。

「ゆすり」発言は昨年12月の国務省内での米国人大学生への講義内容として、6日に報じられた。沖縄県議会は8日、発言の撤回と謝罪を求める決議を全会一致で可決した。

■琉球新報


Okinawans urge US State Department to fire Maher

The reported disparaging of Okinawans by Kevin Maher, Director of the US Department of State’s Office of Japanese Affairs and a former consul general in Okinawa, has outraged many observers in Okinawa.
They angrily accused Maher of seeing Okinawa as an American colony, and claim that there is little to distinguish his views from those of the US High Commissioners who reigned supreme in Okinawa before its reversion to Japan.
Those observers claim that the Department of State should ask Maher to resign. Maher is reported as having said that “(Okinawan) people try to extract as much money as possible by pretending to seek consensus.” Following that comment, the mayors of the municipalities that host the US military bases objected strongly, saying, “Money is not the issue!”
Political scientist and Okinawa International University Professor Manabu Sato concluded that what Maher had said were “his genuine views.”
The statements were made as part of a lecture to a group of university students in the US, and on the understanding that he was speaking off the record.
Sato also pointed out that Maher still sees Okinawa as a US strategic colony, which indicates Okinawa is still suffering from the kind of discrimination of which it was a victim under the High Commissioners.
Considering that Maher holds such an important position as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs within the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Sato expressed concern that he has been extending his biased ideas that Okinawans would accept the US military bases if they were given more money or if pressure were exerted on them.
The recipients of such views could be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Zenji Shimada, leader of a Futenma group suing the government over noise pollution, is one who was exasperated at Maher’s alleged remarks. He said, “Local residents are living on the edge. During his term as consul general, Maher repeatedly stated that Futenma base was not a source of danger. He still seems to entertain the same view, and we find that highly offensive.”
Knowing Maher has been an advocate of relocating the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to the Henoko coastal district of Nago, KENko, a musician and resident of Ginowan City, strongly asserted that the government of Japan should take Okinawa’s side and say “NO” to the US government instead of putting the onus on Okinawa.
KENko said, “Okinawa has persistently expressed its determination in rejecting the US military bases as we have seen in election results and at protest rallies”.
Douglas Lummis, a political scientist and an ex-Marine, said that in view of Maher’s insults it is important that the State Department demand Maher’s resignation. It would be a well-advised move unless it wants to be seen as accepting discriminatory remarks aimed at a partner and an ally.
Teruo Onishi is a member of Nago City Council in northern Okinawa and a critic opposed both to the construction of the U.S. sea-borne heliport and to the relocation of the Futenma base to Nago.
Onishi offered the view that Maher deliberately passed such remarks in order to make the Kan administration bend to US policy, and added that he was trying to throw Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima off balance in order to force him to accept the relocation of the Futenma base elsewhere in the prefecture.
“Maher used to pass various remarks that deprecated Okinawa while he was Consul General,” Onishi added.
Masatake Kyoda is a co-leader of the voluntary group that conditionally accepts the relocation of the Futenma base to Henoko. He argued for the hasty relocation of Futenma base, saying, “Although the US doesn’t see Futenma as posing serious risks to the safety of the local population, Okinawa and the government of Japan both do. The relocation of a dangerous base should be undertaken immediately before any further accidents occur.”

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