|Resolution of Protest Over The Remarks made by Mr. Kevin Maher, U.S. State Department Director of The Office of Japan Affairs (adopted unanimously)
Secretary of State, United States
U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Director of the Office of Japan Affairs U.S. Department of State
According to newspaper reports of March 7, 2011, during a lecture for American university students in Washington D.C. last December, Mr. Kevin Maher, the State Department Director of the Office of Japan Affairs (and former Consul General in Okinawa Prefecture) described the people of Okinawa as “masters of manipulation and extortion of Tokyo,” and “too lazy to grow goya (bitter gourd).” He also reportedly made remarks concerning the Government of Japan, saying, “(the Japanese government) needs to tell the Okinawan governor, ‘If you want money, sign it,’” in reference to the Futenma relocation plan.
Moreover, again in reference to MCAS Futenma, it is reported that he remarked, “Although Okinawans claim MCAS Futenma is the most dangerous base in the world, they know it is not true. Fukuoka Airport and Osaka Itami Airport are just as dangerous”
Such comments are a gross insult to the spirit of the Okinawan people, who have wished for nothing but to create a peaceful, safe and secure prefecture, free of military bases. His reported remarks are contemptuous, making a mockery of the citizens of Okinawa, and are simply inexcusable.
While serving as the Consul General in Naha during the years between 2006 and 2009, Mr. Kevin Maher, the State Department Director of the Office of Japan Affairs, has had a history of repeatedly acting and speaking in discriminating ways toward Okinawa. Since taking on his position at the State Department, he has been deeply involved in the working-level negotiations between Japan and the United States in areas such as the relocation issues surrounding MCAS Futenma. It is truly regrettable that he still remains to hold such perceptions and is a matter that we cannot overlook.
The comments allegedly made by Mr. Kevin Maher, Director of the Office of Japan Affairs, U.S. State Department, were derisive and made with complete disregard to the wishes and sentiment of the people of Okinawa Prefecture. To that end, we, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, strongly protest to Mr. Kevin Maher himself as well as to the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan on the reported comments, and we strongly demand Mr. Kevin Maher to rescind his alleged remarks and to apologize to the citizens of Okinawa Prefecture.
The above is resolved as stated on this 8th day of March, 2011.
Okinawa Prefectural Assembly